Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Special announcement

 The barn we board at is having a schooling show this weekend, and I entered Soon and I in Training 1 and Training 2 at the last second for experience.

The kicker?  I haven't looked at nor ridden dressage tests in years, and I don't know what the hell to do in Training 2.  I feel like I can fake Training 1 now. 

But I just bought this...

And Bubba will be braided, so even if I fuck up big time and make all the required movements optional, Soonie and I are still going to be fabulous.

(and part of me does actually want to intentionally just do everything wrong, and when the bell rings I'll just say "WHATEVER I DO WHAT I WANT" as I trot around the ring.  Just to see what happens)

This show really is more about us putting on our Horse Show Pants and going through the motions, so me steering in the correct direction at the prescribed time really is secondary to him taking everything in and getting more experience.  I'm also hoping to get him off the farm before I leave this winter and work out of the area, and am relegated to only riding on the weekends for several months.  Whee.

Next time, on The OTTB Blog:
I'll recap my EXTRA SUPER FUNTIME trip to Dressage at Devon, where I had the most amazing time with friends (new and my bestiest friend in the whole wide world and her great family), and also where I bought ALL THE THINGS.  Including that gorgeous mistake above.

Oh yeah.  This bitch happened.  Happened so hard.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Fun Day

Had a fantastic trail ride this morning with Soonie and a couple of our buddies, even went for some trots and canters along the trail.  Had a blast, that made me miss hunting though.

Came back, ate yummy pizza and ice cream, and have been watching the WEG coverage and the American Gold Cup on NBC Sports.  HORSES JUMPING STICKS YES!!

How I feel watching horsey things on tv

...which makes me also want to jump horses over sticks.  That might be interesting, since someone rearranged my awesome course design in the jump field earlier this week.  My box o'four strides is gone, replaced by a one-stride to two-stride combo, and a couple of single verticals.  I was trying to see what kind of variety one could make with that, and came up with:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

20 September Update

My annual fitness test is over and went well, so I can now hang out at the barn ALL THE TIME and it doesn't matter how my back feels, because I can play with ponies all I want.  Zero fucks will be given for the next several months.

Had a lovely flat school this morning with Soonie in the outdoor dressage arena.  We basically reviewed the exercises in the 9 Aug Dressage Lesson post, with lots of great moments.  No drama this time, it was all business in that ring.  His trot work is better especially to the right, we had some nice bend and acceptance, and I can feel how much easier this school was compared to early August.  He's much stronger and more confident in the higher outline.  We stretched for a bit at the trot about 3/4 through the ride, and he was giving me some really nice steps.  Big, loose, swinging trot in a deep stretch, and I sat the trot (in the stretch) well around the ring with no change in the scope or rhythm of his stride.  THAT wasn't happening 8 months ago!  Progress is pretty cool.  He's like riding a completely different horse, I can't wait to get an updated video.

Canter work was also great, probably the best part of the ride.  We did the canter loops and leg yields from the quarter line, and he was soft, obedient, and giving some great push behind.  This also felt effortless for him today compared to before.  Again, when I sit there grinning like an idiot during the ride, you know I'm having a freaking ball up there.  I'm so happy to have those moments with him, and each one is a gift.

We also introduced Soon to a new turnout buddy.  It's nice to see him out with another horse, as he's been turned out all night in an individual paddock (which means less scrapes/bumps/cuts, which is not bad).  So far, the two bay Thoroughbred geldings seem to be getting along well.  Charlie, his turnout companion, is an older gelding, but a bit of a nudge, but Soon seems to ignore him well enough.  Fingers crossed they continue to get along well!  When I turned him out on Wednesday night (their second night), Bubba ignored Charlie's attempts to play and then hung around the gate area (because I was hanging around observing them).  He refused to leave until I had scratched every itch on his body, which of course I proceeded to do because he's adorable and it's one of those things you just don't forget.  He basically just points or hints at what is itchy and I scratch it, we're on a whole new level of spoiled.  Afterward, I led him out to the grass and eventually he started grazing when he felt scratchy satisfied.

Perfect man  <3

Beefcake with his new buddy

"You're still here, come and scratch me"


"I crib like a boss."

I did Zen today for the first time in about a month, not sure if others have worked with her or not, but she is still such a good girl.  She definitely wasn't where we were on the last ride, but I can't complain about a lack of consistency on the contact when she had every excuse to buck me off and run away after a potential month of no work.  No lunge either, just hopped on and worked around in the jump field, then went on a short trail adventure with some fun buddies.  She's great, she needs a person.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The end of the custom era

Ok, so this has been the summer of custom things.  I went crazy and decided that it was either an investment, or I was treating myself, or it was cheaper to get custom awesome stuff from small companies than buying the stock coats for much more.  I literally decided to


New boots?  An "investment!"  Except they don't fit like I thought and the swagger tabs got left off.  So now I have to send those back for fixes, knowing now that I'd rather wear my $195 used zipper field boots I got from the Tack Exchange.

My awesome new jumper coat, featuring navy blue softshell fabric with a grey collar and white piping (to match my horsey's new custom ear bonnets)?  Yeah, that just showed up in purple with silver piping and a size that I grossly overestimated.  So that gets to fly back to Ye Olde England and part of me just wants to take that money and run, since I won't be showing anytime soon due to work obligations.

So I wanted ALL THE THINGS and got none of the things right.  Which was the entire point of getting them custom.  And now a gif of Veruca Salt throwing a fit because that is EXACTLY what this blog post is doing:


At least my hockey gear was right, though that took SEVEN MONTHS to come in.  *sigh*  I think I'll just go back to buying things second hand at the Tack Exchange since that is both cheap and has given me a much better track record.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Stuff happens

Soonie and I had a fun jump school last night.  It's been a few weeks, so the first few jumps were "OMG!!" scary, but after a couple long spots/miscommunication and me legit almost falling off, we got our shit together.  I almost got jumped off the side on landing, and he had every reason to run left and dump me, but he didn't and allowed me to get back over him (what a good boy!).  He can take a joke.  He was very handy and listened much better after that, we kept our rhythm better and therefore didn't have many distance issues once we got rolling.  He is now a rollback machine, what a fun jumper!

Matchy matchy Sleeps!

I came out this evening for a lesson, but his minor cut got swollen and he wasn't right, so we canceled (didn't help that it was 90+ degrees and humid).  Stuff happens.  He's way too good to me all the time to push him through a lesson when he's not 100%.  He got cleaned up, a little Bute (he pouted hard core about that today) to make him feel a little better, and went outside for the night.  We're introducing him to a new pasturemate tomorrow, fingers crossed that it goes well!  Soonie should be fine since he was out with the huge herd for so long, but you never know until you see the dynamics work out.

Cold hosing bonding time

Aww betadine scrub fun!

On the way out I snapped another great shot:
Love this boy

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Soonie at Sunset

Had a great flat school this evening out in the jump field, with lovely moments in all three gaits and a soft, quiet, swinging horse that seemed to be digging the cooler temps as much as I was.  Then after the ride I snapped this:

So much beauty in one photo.  I am so thankful for this boy.  <3

Find that one thing in your life that makes you smile, laugh, and dance.  Because that one thing can make everything right no matter what else might be going wrong.  Enjoy the simple, quiet moments, for they will remain with you longer than the thrill of victory or the sting of defeat.  Rejoice in every second.  Be thankful for it every day.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Long time no post, here comes long post!

So Soonie is as cute as ever, and with me being absent with vacation and work issues for the last two weeks, he hasn't seen much of me except the weekends.  I think the extra few days off is good for both of us though, I think I was getting a little too serious about training and putting pressure on myself (and thus, on him).  Some of the recent rides have bordered on hot/unproductive, so the break is a good one.  He's been great the last couple of days, so I'm hoping that we can relax and get back on track.

He also seems to be happy to have me back - I realize that's just me making that up in my head, but still.  He likes routine, he likes his work, and he LOVES scratchy time.  He really, really missed scratchy time.  Watch that video in the link for unbearable cuteness!

Lots of adorable photos:

Classy boy got his mane pulled

Closest thing to a "derp" face I can get from him

He marched up to this like it was his own personal jungle gym

Sleepy lipstick foamy face

Sleeps sporting a newly banged tail!

Exploring the wooded trail

The weight is on! He's looking so much better these days

My favorite view

Best boy in the world <3


Yeah it was 94 degrees, we just walked, and we're sweating like pigs