Sunday, February 28, 2010

Trail Practice

This weekend the Royal Stewart indoor arena at stateline held an open house for trail riding enthusiasts. It was a perfect opportunity to go practice blundering through scary obstacles and helping to get the green colts to conquer their fears. Both of my horses experienced minor strokes at the beginning.....but slowly and surely started to settle into it the more we were there. Some folks showed up with mini horses - (which Octopelle thought were small bears....) and there were lots of boarding horses screaming and banging things in their stalls creating a general rukus and totally chaotic environment. This was a good learning experience for my young guys. Neither Suzette nor Octopelle have ever been inside an indoor arena before, let alone experiencing a challenging trail course and manuevering around other riders. Although we didn't try every obstacle, (some were really advanced for completely broke horses, and would've gotten me bucked off for sure!), but we did over half of the ones that were there. It was a great first time learning experience for both of them.

This was a very tough one for Suzette. I had to go through it more than a couple dozen times to get her calmed down. She freaked out and took off like a rocket the first time we attempted it. There are big pine bows on the other side to create movement after the horse steps off the bridge - and since she is so short, my feet would always bump one of the barrels on each side, creating even more movement. Combine the two moving obstacles and the deep booming sounds of hooves going over the bridge, and it was unnerving for her. But, we did it. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again......until it wasn't an issue anymore.

Octopelle had a hard time with the ground poles, which I thought was weird. I have them setup in the pasture to practice all the time and he goes over them great - but we were in a strange place and his attention was on all the other horses and scarey objects, so he kept tripping over the poles like a total dork. We kept practicing until he had full concentration and picked his feet up.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Time Aside!

Today was another lovely day - and a first experiment for both Suzette and myself! I've had an interest in sidesaddles for about a year and a half now - (don't ask me why..... it remains a mystery why I like them so much....) But this was the morning when we tried riding aside - with this being the first time at such an attempt for the both of us! And boy, what a blast! We're both happy as clams. Suzette is a perfect candidate for sidesaddle classes. She's a nice refined ladies horse with smooth gaits. She has only been going under saddle for roughly 5 months of sporatic off-and-on type of schooling, so I'm very pleased with her progress and her acceptance of new things.

I have two formal show appointments type of english sidesaddles in my collection, and also several varieties of singlehead antique vintage models - some are useable and some are in need complete restorations. Unfortunately both of my nice show saddles are being professionally repaired at the moment, so I've got to make use of what is currently available in my collection. I've managed to get all of the bits and pieces gathered up to put this old carpet-seater back together into working condition. It's a circa 1890's vintage singlehead model. Due to it's age and previous mishandling, it naturally needed a lot of parts and pieces to be able to be used once again. I had to recover the bottom horsehair panels, purchase two new girths for it, find a new stirrup leather, and also put a modern safety peacock stirrup on it. But it's back together and in useable condition once again! Wahoo! Overall, it is a lovely antique training saddle to get Suzette used to carrying weight aside - until my other saddles return.

First trot aside.

Learning collection in a regular snaffle. It's very important to be proper in sidesaddle classes, and she is doing pretty good for her age. We still have some work ahead of us, but she's getting it. She will have to be moved up into a kimberwick with a double rein if we decide to do some local schooling shows.

Our first ride is on youtube:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Youtube Video

Arrrgh. Since I can't figure out yet how to post a nice boxed looking video link - here's a regular one:

One of my hero's - (Merlin). Not an Akhal Teke, but a darned good representation of courage and supreme athleticism of the equine world! I've often wondered what a Teke x Lusitano cross would turn out like...


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gotta Love Those Cheezeburgerz!

I can spend endless hours laughing hysterically on that site! Cheezeburgerz kitties rock! =:)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Conditioning With The Christmas Gear

Craig gifted me a new purple and black zilco headstall and breastcollar for Christmas this year, 2009. (He knew that I wanted those oh so badly!) They are a super nice set and go well with the endurance saddle. He also threw in a full set of Legacy support boots for when we do flat work in the arena and around the pasture. What a guy!

Today was a great sunny day - for being the 1st of February, so Octopelle and I tried out the new stuff on our daily conditioning ride. He seemed to enjoy the new gear, and we're both looking forward to using it at the rides this year. Home on the Range, here we come!