Tuesday, March 31, 2009

That was scary.

I talked to my trainer and she'll be coming back to give lessons to me and another girl. She's not leaving us high and dry. :) *sigh* It just scared me because my mom was the one that told me and she made it sound like she was bailing completely. Sorry I kinda panicked. ^^'

The losers I mentioned might be getting kicked out. I don't know yet. But they're the reason for all the conflict. I'm not going into details because it's complicated and the post would be ten feet long, but the BO isn't happy with them. There's talk of somebody getting booted out, but I have no further knowledge. Oy, the drama. I bet the horses are sitting in their stalls rolling their eyes.

On another note, I'm at the end of my rope with this other idiot at the barn. We'll call her C, as I mentioned in the other blog. C is completely and utterly besotted when it comes to horses. She claims she's been around horses all her life and is a textbook know-it-all. You can't tell this broad anything.

C recently bought her 9-year-old daughter a 7-year-old pony named Jack. Jack isn't broke. He isn't even quiet on the ground, for that matter. Spooks at everything.

Well, C had her girl on the unbroke, spooky, high-strung pony for the first time a couple days ago, with no helmet. The pony reared, no surprise there, and scared the shit out of the poor kid. Nobody was hurt, but that could have easily ended badly.

Last summer I caught her with her 2 kids on a green Arab gelding that's about as reliable as a loose cannon. Again, no helmets, no stirrups, and with a saddle that didn't fit him. I swear to God she never learns a thing. We had a horse break a girl's leg last fall. The girl walked behind the mare, the mare kicked out at another horse, and the girl inevitably got nailed. C was right there, and was actually the one that determined that her leg was broken. And yet she puts her own kids in unsafe situations almost every time I see her.

It's not just her kids. She cross ties horses by the bit, lets the reins hang down over the horses' heads and drag on the ground (just asking to get caught around the horse's legs), and she leaves horses in the arena, completely unattended while fully tacked. Plus she has none of her own equipment so she uses everybody else's stuff. A horse rolled a while ago with the saddle and bridle on, and C just laughed it off. HELLO, that was the BO's saddle. It could have broken the tree. Lucky for her, the tack escaped unscathed.

She rides horses that aren't hers, too. She rides like a neanderthal. She has no seat, totally forward, and she wears her stirrups so long she has to point her toes to reach them. My trainer has offered several times to fix her stirrups, and she just says she's fine. On top of her atrocious riding skills, she rides those horses into the ground. After we got back from the show, she tacked Reba up again and rode her. I didn't stay long enough to see the horror, but suffice it to say that Reba is in no shape to be doing any hard riding. She's in her early 20's, and pretty underweight. Not emaciated or anything, but far from ideal. She does it with every horse she rides. And she NEVER warms up or cools down. She goes in the arena and right off the bat starts trotting and cantering. She even rides them right after they eat. She never picks their hooves, and only grooms them the bare minimum. Lord knows I'd never let her touch Victor. Even though he'd probably dump her ass on the ground in 30 seconds flat. lol I'd love to see that.

This is funny. I let her ride Norman once, and she couldn't get him to do anything. She got him to walk left and right, but other than that, he completely ignored her. XD Granted, I was watching the whole time and it was only for a few minutes. But it was amusing.

She also took a 30-year-old mare with laminitis and arthritis on a 3 hour trail ride while she had overgrown hooves. The mare belongs to C's cousin, who's also a moron and hardly lifts a finger when it comes to his horses. Hence the long-overdue farrier visit. It's a miracle that poor horse can still walk. Just one more reason to kick their asses out. I hate watching horses get treated like that.

The part that really makes me mad is that C sees the other people doing things correctly and riding with proper posture and she never changes. Is she really that blind and dumb that she doesn't realize she's doing anything wrong? Or is she that arrogant to think that everyone else is doing things wrong? I've heavily implied many times that letting the reins drag on the ground and cross tying the bits is a vet call waiting to happen, yet it's like talking to a brick wall. You can't tell her anything. It gives me the willies just watching her in the barn. But it's not my place to directly tell her when she's doing something stupid since the BO loves her and I'd probably get in trouble. That would not be good.

I'm done ranting for now. Just had to get that out. I'm a little frustrated.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm screwed.

My trainer's leaving the barn. She's giving her horses to a couple of people who board there, and she's just leaving. She's sick of the shit. I don't blame her for being sick and tired of the incompetent morons out there, but she's just leaving. Now I'm alone with the idiots and I have no trainer. She's not doing lessons anymore or anything. I'm fucked. There are no other decent hunter jumper trainers here. None that I can afford, anyway.

Now I'm going to be the most knowledgeable one at the barn. I'm not trying to sound like a snob, but it's a fact. Nobody else out there knows what the hell they're doing. I can outride anyone else out there, and that's saying a lot. I'm not that great of a rider. I have about 7 years of riding experience and about 2 weeks worth of jumping. I'm not that great. And now I'm stuck with no instructor.

And no, I can't move my horses. I keep them out there in return for labor, which is the only way I can afford to have 2 horses. And it's 4 miles from my house. I can't get a deal like that anywhere else. Moving isn't an option.

And instead of bending over backwards to get her to stay, the BO wants the idiots to stay. The BO will do anything to keep this one loser there because she's a hard worker. She knows absolutely nothing about horses, but the BO will do anything to keep her there. It makes no sense. My trainer is by far the best equestrian at the barn. And a hard worker to boot. There's no competition.

So now I have no trainer, no lessons, no one to go to if I have questions. I can ride decently to some degree, but I'll be the first to admit I have no clue what I'm doing beyond that. I can train to some extent, but my knowledge is fairly limited. I'm completely screwed. On my own in a barn full of shitheads.

I'm getting absolutely nowhere without an instructor. I'm nowhere near knowledgeable or experienced enough to be on my own. I know that.
I'm screwed.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I've been mulling over show names for Norman.

I don't know if he'll be showing this year, but I've been tossing some ideas around.

I thought of Resplendent Rhythm, but it kinda sounds more like a mare name. Audacious Aspect was another one. Using parts of his sire and dam's names isn't an option. He's by Brehm's Swede out of Toots Buttercup. Horrible, I know.

I've been more partial to one-word names lately.


I don't know. I'm tired.

Equestrian Meme

This questionnaire is from the Glenshee Equestrian Centre blog. Check them out. =)

1. How old were you when you first started riding?
I started taking lessons when I was about 9, I think. It was a long time ago. >.>

2. First horse ridden: Clyde, a Clydesdale gelding in the mountains of Colorado. I was 2, and I fell asleep on his back. That's where it all started... lol

3. First horse trotted on: Noah, my favorite pony ever. He's a lesson pony at the stable I used to take lessons at. He's chestnut with a huge white star on his forehead. I miss him.

4. First horse cantered on: It was at a trail riding place in Wisconsin. He was a big black QH, and I believe his name was Shadow. He had the most amazing canter in the world. :)

5. First Horse fallen off of: Victor. Bareback at a canter. Ouchies.

6. Most recent horse fallen off of: Victor, of course. He bucked and just went out of his mind last fall in the outdoor arena. Silly boy... I managed to fall in the grass, though. It wasn't too bad.

7. Most terrifying fall: That first time I fell off Victor. He took off while riding bareback.

8. First horse jumped with: Victor! <333>9. First horse who ran away with you: *cough*Victor*cough*

10. First horse that scared the crap out of you: VICTOR.

11. First horse shown: You guessed it. Victor. ;D

12. First horse to win a class with: I've never won a class before, but Victor and I placed 6th in a class of 23 in our very first showmanship class. Woohoo!

13. Do you/have you taken lessons: Hellz yeah. I wouldn't have a hot-headed TB if I didn't know what I was doing. I love my trainer. ^_^

14. First horse you ever rode bareback: I think it was Hercules. Cute little palomino pony at the same place Noah is at. It was either him or Donnie, a Belgian that they used for bareback lessons. I don't remember.

15. First horse trail ridden with: Clyde, although I was too young to remember. The earliest I remember is Noah.

16. Current Barn name: Timber Ridge Farm.

17. Do you ride English or western?: English FTW. Although I still go western on occasion.

18. First Horse to place at a show with: Victor!

19. Ever been to horse camp?: Yep. Twice. The first time was when I rode Noah for the week. I cried at the end of the week when I had to leave. I lurve him so much. I wanna go visit him. :) The second time I rode Cisco, a bay QH who had the nicest sitting trot you could imagine. I miss him, too.

20. Ever been to a riding clinic? Nope.

21. Ridden sidesaddle? No, but I'd like to try sometime.

22. First horse leased: I've never leased a horse.

23. Last Horse Leased: None. >.< 24. Highest ribbon in a show: 6th place! We rock. lolz

25. Ever been to an 'A' rated show?: No...

26. Ever competed in pony games/relay races?: We do game days once a year at my barn. Barrels, partner pick-up, egg races, fastest saddler. It's fun.

27. Ever fallen off at a show: No. Not that I've been to enough shows to.

28. Do you ride Hunter/Jumpers?: Yep. :) I'm in training right now. My jumping skills could improve... a lot.

29. Have you ever barrel raced? Informally, yes. My friends and I like to play around with barrels in the arena. Norman is actually better at it than Victor, amazingly.

30. Ever done pole bending?: No.

31. Favorite gait: I love cantering. :) As long as the horse has a nice, rocking-horse gait. Victor used to feel like a freight train. He's getting better, though.

32. Ever cantered bareback?: That one time on Victor when I fell off after 2 seconds. That was back when he had an awful canter.

33. Have you ever done dressage?: No, but I want to.

34. Have you ever evented?: No, but again, I'd love to.

35. Have you ever mucked a stall?: Psh yeah! Every time I'm at the barn.

36. Ever been bucked off?: Yes, lots of times. Mostly on Victor.

37. Ever been on a horse that reared?: Yep. Victor again. He only did it once, though, and it wasn't real high.

38. Horses or ponies?: Horses!

39. Do you wear a helmet?: Yes. I admit, sometimes I'm naughty and conveniently forget it when I'm going for a trail ride, but I always where it for lessons and jumping.

40. What's the highest you've jumped: Like... a foot. Impressive, huh? lmao

41. Have you ever ridden at night?: No, but I've ridden at twilight. Sunsets here are gorgeous. :)

42. Do you watch horsey television shows?: lol yeah. I used to watch Mister Ed all the time, but he's not on anymore. ;( I still watch the Saddle Club once in a while. Who can resist a cute little-kid horsey show?

43. Have you ever been seriously hurt/injured from a fall?: I broke my nose once. It was that time Victor took off at a canter bareback. I wasn't wearing a helmet, so let that be a lesson to the kiddies who don't think they need one.

44. Most falls in one lesson: One.

45. Do you ride in an arena/ring?: For lessons, yes. I prefer trails, though. Arenas get boring pretty easily.

46. Have you ever been trampled by a horse?: No, but I've been stepped on plenty of times. Particularly by Norman. That was hell.

47. Have you ever been bitten?: Yep. Hercules bit me in the leg once and left a nice little welt on my thigh. And there was this mean-tempered mare at my barn named Iris. She got me once. Victor bit me once accidentally. I was holding a treat and not paying attention when he took it. Wasn't really a bite, though. My fingers just got in the way.

48. Ever had your foot stepped on by a horse?: YES. By Norman. I couldn't even cry it hurt so bad.

49: Favorite riding moment: The first time I jumped on Victor. We were alone and there was a little cross rail in the outdoor. The temptation was too much, and we just went for it. I remember it perfectly. It was probably the single most amazing ride we've ever had. :D

50. Most fun horse you've ridden: Probably the barn owner's QH, Harley. He's got an awesome canter. I wouldn't choose him over Vic or Norman, though.

That brings back memories. I wanna go visit Noah...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My patience with NH are gone.

Long story short, Norman was trained with Parelli for a while. She trained him to do that thing where the horse runs around in circles around the handler and is trained to stop and face inward when the handler looks at him. First of all, I'd like to know how anyone can effectively work a horse when they're not even looking at him. All they do is leave the horse alone until they want them to stop. This is bullshit. You don't leave a horse alone and let him do his own thing when you're on his back, do you? Why should it be any different when you're lunging him?

This is rich. I actually had a NH follower tell me that lunging is boring for the horse and should be kept to a minimum for the horse's mental state! HA! My horse's mental state? What, does lunging traumatize a horse now? Jesus Christ. Just the statement that lunging is boring for the horse just makes me want to gag. How the hell do they figure it bores them? They get to blow off pent up steam! And who says I just lunge them around in plain old circles? I lunge them with side reins, over fences, trot poles, smaller and larger circles. Everything you can't do with that run-in-circles-until-I-look-at-you crap. And besides that, if lunging really were boring to a horse (which it is not), if boredom is the worst they have to deal with, they're pretty darn lucky.

But anyway, Norman is an enormous pain in the ass to lunge now. He stops and turns to look at me all the freaking time. It's unbelievably aggravating, because no matter what I do, he just stands there. I could crack the whip all day and he wouldn't move. And it's not just once in a while. It's ten times a lunging session. I can't so much as point the whip at him without him stopping and turning inward. Every time I give a verbal aid, every time I try to bring him into a smaller circle, every time I do anything with the whip. My patience are gone. I know it's not his fault, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. I''m having a hell of a time retraining him. I'd like nothing more than to beat that Parelli worshipper over the head with a carrot stick.

Victor was also trained with the same Parelli trainer to an extent before I bought him. I think he had normal training before that, because he was pretty easy to retrain. But when I got him, he had no muscle tone, no self carriage, no impulsion, was totally uncollected, and worked completely on the forehand. It was a real trip getting him to start using his hindquarters, let me tell you. But he's come a long way. He lunges like a dream. ;D But according to NH people he must be really screwed up because I lunge him at least three times a week for at least an hour at a time! Ooohh nooeess!! My poor Victor is metally scarred!

... Jokers. I lunge him a lot to fix what that idiot trainer did.

Norman, not so good with a lunge line. I'm trying to get my trainer to work with him. I rode him yesterday, and he was brilliant. :) We even went outside for the first time this year. He's doing a lot better with moving off leg pressure and responding to rein aids. I even got him to pivot on the forehand! Woohoo! lol His canter still needs a lot of work, but it's a work in progress. Now if only I can get him to lunge nicely.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More show shtuff.

Here's a video clip of the equitation class. I'm well aware that my leg position is atrocious and I'm working on fixing it. :P The main focus is intended for Victor.

The equitation class again.
And my angled heels. lol

Oh! This is off topic, but I rode Norman yesterday and we worked on cantering. He's picking it up pretty well, and he has a lovely gait as long as he's collected. Everyone laughs at him, but he'll make a decent hunter jumper once he's got more schooling. He's soo overweight right now, though. My mom insisted on feeding him way more than he needed. She thought he needed lots of food since he's big. (She means well, but she really doesn't know much about horses). I put a stop to the excess grain. Despite his size, he's like an air fern. He keeps on next to nothing and is notorious for becoming chubby. I feel bad for him. ;( But his training is going well. Hopefully he'll get in shape this summer.

This is kinda funny. My dad said he wants to trade Norman for a paint. My dad knows absolutely nothing about horses. First of all, Norman is an exceptional 4-year-old. He needs some miles on him, but is an overall great horse. He's sound, hardy, young. Nothing wrong with him. Second of all, horses aren't like cars. You can't just trade them in every once in a while when you decide you like another type better. And it's really not his concern because he's not a horse person and I'm the one that feeds, rides, and takes care of them.

Especially in this economy, I would never part with a horse if I could help it. You have no clue where they might end up and you have no control over what happens to them after you sell them. Any horse could end up in a feedlot. Very scary. I would die if, God forbid, that ever happened to any of my horses.


Anyway, I'm looking forward to more shows this spring. Especially halter classes. :)
I also hope to start doing higher jumps if my trainer ever lets us. lol

Monday, March 16, 2009

The show was a success!

Again, it was only an informal warm-up show, hence the fact that I'm in jeans and a sweatshirt. XP
I was in 3 classes (Showmanship, walk/trot equitation, and horsemanship/equitation) and placed once. I got 6th place in Showmanship, in a class of 23. :) It's a tough crowd. 90% of those riders have been showing since they could walk.
Here's the Showmanship class. Victor was pretty good until we had to line up, and he wouldn't stand still. I can't believe we placed.

Victor, in all his fuzziness. This was before the classes.

And my friends and I with our horses. I was the only one from our barn that placed, but the horses behaved really nicely, considering it was Victor and Jessie's first show.

So, overall, it was a good day. Victor spooked once, and shied a couple times, but otherwise he was fantastic. That's really what my goal was.

I can't wait for halter classes this spring. That seems to be Vic's specialty. (Once he's got some more muscle on him, he'll kick arse.)

I saw myself riding on video for the first time, and I was like, "Who's that idiot?" Oops. That would be me. I can't stand the way my lower body looks. My heels are angled in towards the horse and too far forward. And nobody told me I looked like that! D; All this time, I had no idea. Thanks a lot, guys. Lol. I've got work to do.

There were some good looking horses there, too. Particularly a couple of drop-dead gorgeous paints. I wish I'd gotten pictures of them. They were awesome.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Photo Dump ;)

Here's the stud my trainer wants to breed Jessie to. I don't know if it'll actually happen any time soon because of the economy and all.

This picture does him no justice. It's a bad angle and it's just not flattering. I seriously need to get decent pictures of all the horses. I'll probably see Hustler at the Horse Fair in April.

This is Victor... I think the second spring I had him. As you can see, he had no muscle. And it was before I ever pulled or trimmed his mane. I do his mane twice a year now, so he actually looks like a Thoroughbred. >.> Looking back at the early pics, I can't believe how much better he looks now. He could still use some more muscle tone, but it's a world of difference. I'm not even posting the pics of the first day he came to the farm. He had NO muscle at all. It's not because he was neglected or anything, but the barn just had too many horses and he didn't get one-on-one care.

This was last summer and you can see those neck and shoulder muscles popping. :)

Another one with a better view of those nice rounded, filled-out hindquarters. Much better than the triangular, scrawny mess that was there four years ago.

I don't have real early pictures of Norman available, but here he is last summer.

I can't wait to clip their legs. Especially Norman. He's fuzzy. It's been in the 40's and 50's for the past few days, but it's March in the Midwest. You never know. We've had snow in April before.

I would like it to be April right now.

Friday, March 6, 2009

These boots are killing me.

My trainer called me up and was like, "You better put some miles on those boots before the show!"

O.o So, I'm wearing my field boots around the house and they are not comfortable. They dig into the back of your knee. I don't wanna think about what it's going to be like to ride in them. I DON'T WANNA I DON'T WANNA.

Ahem. Now that my whiny 5-year-old moment is over, I might be going out to the barn today to lunge. Maybe with side reins. I'll have to see how Vic's leg is. I have to wear these bloody tall boots as well. I have a new found respect for jumpers and dressage riders. I need to stop whining...

My feet hurt.

I've already got butterflies in my stomach. The show is next Sunday, and I'm already terrified. Please behave, Victor.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I went out today...

And Victor seems to being doing fine, all things considered. He was rolling in the arena for a while and he got up and down pretty well. He even played a little. He's perky. There's no swelling, either. I didn't call the vet since he seems okay. I still have no idea if we'll make it to the show. We'll have to wait and see. I'm keeping a close eye on him. He's still a little ouchy on that leg.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Good and bad news.

I'll get the bad news out first. We had an accident tonight at the barn. I was letting Victor out after feeding, and it was dark. Well, nobody told me there was ice outside that particular door, and you can't see it because it's so dark. Victor slipped and fell, hitting his mouth in the process. His mouth looks okay, but he knicked it pretty good because it was dripping a little bit of blood.

But he's down on the ice now and my worst fear would be a broken leg. So I keep him calm and my mom gets dirt and starts shoveling it under his feet for footing. We got several blankets and laid them out over the ice as well. He gets up and we finally manage to get him back into the barn, and the good news is, he's weight bearing on all legs, so I don't think anything is broken. He's a little ouchy on his left hind leg, but at least he can walk on it. There was no swelling yet, and I'm going back first thing tomorrow to check on him. We left him in his stall overnight with a little bit of bute. I think he's going to be bruised, but it could have been a lot worse. I know it hurt going down. I feel bad. And the show is now compromised. I have no idea if he'll be able to go. We're going to get the vet out tomorrow and go from there. I'm just grateful he's okay.

I am pretty pissed that no one told me that area was icy. No phone call, no note. And I know at least two people knew about it. I just found out a little too late.

Shall we move on to the good news? Well, I lunged Victor over a cross rail, and it was his first jump this year. He freaked out a little at first and launched over it like it was a four foot oxer, but he calmed down after a while and went over at a quiet pace. So all in all, he did good for having most the winter off. Now if only he gets a clean bill of health from the vet. I can handle coontusions. Bone injuries scare me. I'm praying.

I also lunged Norman over trot poles for the first time ever. He went over those poles like he's been doing it all his life. :) I couldn't believe it. It was even graceful, which is a rare occurrence for him. I was so impressed. The video was taken when he was getting tired, so he's moving a little slow. You get the idea, though. Not bad for a greenie, huh?

I need to get polo wraps for him. I can't find any boots that are big enough. ;P

Show news and update on the neglected mare

There's an informal getting-back-into-the-swing show at Fox Valley on March 15. I'm going with my trainer and a few friends... and riding Victor. *dramatic music*

He better behave. That's all I can say. I'm looking to get natural calming supplements for him. He needs them badly.

We're doing halter and English walk/trot classes I think.

Anyway, about that mare. The lady that's taking her is out of town currently, but will be back this weekend and that's when she plans to get the horse. She asked my mom and I to be there, so I'll have a better idea of what's going on by then. But she's finally getting out of that crappy junk heap! Hooray! I can't wait. I'm thinking it's either going to be Friday or Saturday. I'm not sure yet. I'll post as soon as I know more.