Sunday, November 29, 2009


I am thankful for all my family, friends, and horses...
We all got stuffed in Nowata at the annual Orban Thanksgiving Feast. Kale was home just long enough to go to Nowata since he was working Wed. and Friday - but it was great to see him. The weather was fine and we had loads of fun gabbing and watching the cousins play. After eating all the turkey and pot luck, Stephanie and I had our annual after-turkey walk to Gaylor with a stop for a quick visit to Jan and company. Stephanie and I plotted a ride on Friday...
So, Steff and I took Sunny and Splash to Claremore Lake and ran into Deb C on Truely - we had a lovely ride and checked out the powerline easement (some trail clearing needed), wandered along the shoreline, and let the horses have a bit of trail salad along the way.
Sherry B and Joker joined me for the trip to Inola on Sat. for the party lesson. Shirley was working Mystic and I used some spurs with Splash. Joker was really good but sure has grown since Sherry got him. Mystic gave Shirley some lovely trot work and Patty says they are ready for canter. We practiced lateral work including leg yeilds from quarterline and some shoulder-in. Splash is moving away from my leg with more impulsion than his foward! Again, Splash and I worked on maintaining the canter and although we dropped gait once to the right, all our leads were correct - yippee.
Graham's was closed and Patty was not able to lunch because of a baby shower for Rhonda (Rhonda and Eric are expecting a boy in Dec). So we met Marsha in Claremore at Ron's and feasted on SPANISH FRIES... mmmmm
The big news is that our YaYa Dirty Santa Xmas party is this week at Sherry's. So, the holiday eating season has started and we will fight over those dirty santa gifts. FUN!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Leg Yield as Resistance

The YaYa's sent a team to the annual fall hunter pace held at Flint Creek over toward Arkansas. Rita, Sherry, and Christiana took Reese, Jazz and Ardie (a walker equivalent at the pace but a dressage standout for GCC/ODS) and had a great time. Maybe next year I should gather a group of VERY SLOW quarter horse types and try for the worlds longest hunter pace pace (5 hours?). But, since I was worried about being left in the dust by those WILD WALKER WOMEN AND CHRISTIANA, I went to Patty's for the Sat. Party Lesson.

Cindy, Donna, Marsha and I worked our horses before heading to Graham's for lunch. Cindy is in Tulsa for most of the week and she needed some equine therapy. I took Sunny for Donna, Pico for Cindy, and Splash for me. Pico and Sunny really benefited from adult riders; Sunny especially has developed some pesky habits being riden by a 10-year old for the last year or 2.
So, we warmed up with leg stretches, arm circles, and heel extensions and then moved into trot work. I was using the GNS because I was feeling weak after a week of work in KS. We worked on leg yields from quarter line and Splash was pretty good to begin with going to the right. Then, we changed directions and Splash would fall fast to the rail. Patty had me leg yield in stair steps to control the headlong dive to the rail. Splash decided to RESIST. After leg yielding 2 or 3 steps I took left leg off and tried to drive him into my hands to straighten out. The RAT continued to leg yield all the way to the rail. Its always something. Last week we dropped gait several times during canter, so this week we worked to maintain impulsion - No canter circles for us. I worked on using seat/leg and tried to steady my upper body. We made some progress. Marsha and Lil used canter circles to slow the canter and gain some balance. Lil looked great in the lesson.

It was wonderful to have Cindy back on a horse and Pico was a semi-good boy and she was able to have a little of his lovely canter. Donna was in a western saddle on the Sunny-boy but I think next time will put some English on.

In other horsey news..... October was way muddy and Pico has developed some serious rain rot on his lower legs and stifle area. TC has some small areas on his rump and even Splash as a spot or two. So, I got out the vinegar and iodine and treated where needed. The Wild O Ranch is still to muddy from last weeks rain for riding in the arena - so we didn't have riding distractions from the grooming projects. X fingers for a mild winter and more yaya trail rides in the next few weeks.

Disclaimer: There is WINE in those water bottles.....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Party (lovely weather) is over....

Rain all day today and I almost forgot that I got to ride both Friday and Sat. But I did get to ride two days in a row which is a good thing since I will be headed to Kansas for the week on Tuesday.
Friday was sunny and WINDY but great riding in Rita's woods with my YaYa Sista's. We gathered around 10 am and warmed up together before we headed out back for some wooded trails with water crossings. Donna join in and rode Sunny and our group included Julie, Sherry, Nancy, Christiana, Rita, Richal, Paula and Paula's Sister Terry. The Walker Pack and the Big Boys set a brisk pace and the Quarter Horse/Appy Gang brought up the rear. Sunny, Holly, and Splash competed for last place and we let Holly have that honor most of the time. All the horses were mostly good and we had a bit of excitement when a deer tried to scare poor Sunny to death by waiting until Sunny was on top of her before she jumped up and raced away. Sunny managed a 180 in the blink of an eye only to find Splash in his face and no place to run. The whole herd was excited to get back to the trailers and eat a little hay while the riders went to El Azteca for a yummy lunch.
Saturday was warmer with hardly any wind until the front came through mid-afternoon. The girls and I had a lesson together and the horses all worked up good sweats (I was sweating too since Splash was pretty sluggish). Ivy complained about being tired - turns out that she was coming down with a cold. We worked leg yields down centerline weaving in and out of cones and Splash did a good job with that. Also did some shoulder-in along the long sides with a little success (Alaina and Sunny were the best at that). Canter work was very difficult for me since Splash dropped gait to the trot with the slightest provocation. Frustration tempered by the knowledge that as a Trail horse, Splash is pretty good.
Looks like we are done with lovely riding weather for a while but Cindy will be in town next weekend so we will party hardy in the Party Lesson on Sat.! YaYa!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

November but still Indian Summer

After all the rain of October, November has been beautiful so far. Monday morning when I was at work, the yayas had a lovely ride at Glenbrook.... So, after plotting most of the week, I took a day off and joined the Sista's at Rita's on Friday morning. Nine of us rode the trails in the woods and made multiple water crossings.

Splash was a good boy for the most part. During our arena warm up, Splash was taking in-correct leads into the canter; so we had to practice a bit more before we could hit the trails. We had a little trouble up the last slope which is very slippery with loose rocks. Splash tries to rush - charging up the hill. He has never liked that part of the trail and has fallen to his knees in the same place last year. But, we made it up and then back to the barn for a very successful and fun ride. Then, off to Chilli's for yummy lunch with the molten volcano chocolate thing for desert.

No party lesson on Sat. because Patty was demo rider for the 2nd annual Womans's expo in Guthrie. But not to worry! A riding plan was made and Sherry B, Nicole B, the girls and I had a lovely ride at Claremore Lake. Alaina took Diez out again for a walk only ride, Ivy rode Splash, I had Sunny, Sherry worked Joker for the first time in forever, and Nicole had her Elvis. We let several kids pat our mounts and Elvis, Sunny, and Joker even walked a few steps in the lake.

Sunday was dry but cloudy and windy. I worked on projects around the house and didn't get a chance to ride myself. Made a quick trip to Walmart and ran into Marsha and Melissa - sometimes you get lucky and get to see friends. I will plot all week and hope to manage a yaya ride next Friday!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Weekend Fun

Yaya sista's started the weekend early with a birthday dinner to celebrate the October Birthday Girls - Marsha, Sherry, and Kathy. Unfortunately, Kathy was working in Arkansas and missed our gathering at Olive Garden in Owasso Thursday evening. Tammy taught us the best verse of the Viking Birthday Song - "May the candles on your cake burn like cities in your wake," haha. The rest of the song isn't required to get the feeling.

Friday evening, the girls and I met Kathy B, Mallory S, and Roxanne B with her friend Mattie at the Arabian Show at Tulsa Expo. This show is several levels up from any horse show I have seen and we had good timing and got to watch finals for Open Country Pleasure and the Native Costume Class in the old Pavillion. Alaina was so impressed with the costumes and she kept saying that she was in HEAVEN. We even ran into Jean, Jessie, and Ruthie watching reining in the Mustang Arena. Kindred Spirits.

Sat. morning we rode in the party lesson at Patty's with Dennise S on Dee, and Tammi C on Murphy - the girls rode with us since Erica's birthday party was at 2:00pm. After Splash's good performance at the show last weekend, I was disapointed in our lesson work. We had some decent lateral movements but Splash seemed extra stiff bending to the right - he maintained lovely left bend when working left, but would slow to less than his normal slug spead when we worked right if there was any right bend at all. Also, our canter work to the right was very difficult to maintain. One step forward, 3 steps back in our training. The girls worked on canter departs and on staying on the rail through the corners.
After the lesson, I tried Murphy - he is very responsive to leg and seat cues and, after Splash, I had a little more power than I was after at both the trot and canter. He was very fun and we could imagine some nice dressage scores with those forward trot moves.

The girls dressed up in their costumes (sans horses) for a Halloween Party on Sat. evening and warmed up nicely for the Halloween Fun Show at Glenbrook hosted by Rita G at her beautiful spread in Claremore. The weather was perfect and the horses and costumes looked fantastic! We played games on and off horseback including: Bat Relay, Bat Dropping, Ride a Ghost, Boot Race, Pumpcan Race, Egg and Spoon Race and paraded all the costumes. Alaina was thrilled to bring Diez to the event dressed in her native costume in purple and turquoise - even though she was limited to walk/trot since Diez is recovering from founder earlier this year. Ivy the elf rode Pico the Christmas Reindeer (with Moose antlers). At times Pico looked a bit embarassed by his get-up.

YaYa Sister Tammy brought an Owl to add ambiance to the day - he was soooo cool. We finished the evening with a spooky Hay Ride and Wienie-Marshmallow Roast. Way fun.

PS - check out those Tats!