Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving means cooking, baking and eating....  Mighty preparations..... Fabulous Food.....  Wonderful Family Visiting....
Then, suddenly, its the day after Thanksgiving - the sad day that we bade our friend Christian fond farewell.  We will miss Christian's beautiful barn keeping as well as his horsetraining advice.  Sister owes a huge debt of graditude, without Christian's help last year, I wouldn't have been riding her and Sister would have had to move on down the road.
The weather on Sat. was very rainy and the girls and I went to Patty's for the party lesson together.  We worked on shoulder-in, travers, renvers (very hard for all of us) but we made some progress.  Splash was fairly good; correct canter leads; some bend and pretty good leg yeilds.  Hmmm, hope this trend keeps going.

The YaYa Sisters will gather at Kathy B's for the annual party and dirty santa gift exchange on Dec. 18.  Mark your calendar!  YaYa!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

TC Likes to Escape

Every time we take Sunny (TC's pasture mate) or Pico/Splash (next-pasture neighbors), TC walks through the electric tape to see where "they" got to go.  Who knew he would be so restless in his retirement? 

I had another KS trip last week and fritered away Friday w/o any horse play/work.  But, we DID manage a party lesson on Saturday a the Rocking C with LAL at Graham's.  Roxy, Ivy, and Alaina worked their horses at 10 and Mallory and I took the 11 o'clock.  We worked short but the work was good.

It could be that the Clinton Anderson ground work has been influencing Splash.  Or perhaps Splash forgot his main mission (standing still as a beautiful pasture ornament).  Splash was forward, responsive, picked up correct leads, and was relatively "on the bit."  Wow - if I didn't know better, I would think we were making progress.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Time Flies When Its the Weekend!

November weather was windy but mild and I played with the ponies three days in a row.  Alas, we didn't get the Saturday Party Lesson since Patty was in Stillwater to help with the equine special olympics but I am hopeful that next week will work out for LAL with my horsey friends.

After a couple of days in Kansas, I had Friday off so Mallory and I met for lunch in Catoosa and then worked some Clinton exercises on Raffles (Mallory) and Sister (me).  Sister was very responsive for ground work including yeilding the hindquarters and forequarters, lunging, backing, and de-sensitizing.  We added flexing on the ground and then I mounted up and tried some "one-rein stops" from the walk and trot - I did not try that at the canter.  Sister was a little snarky with one rump-hop the first time I used the "spanker" end of the lead.  Overall, she seemed to get the concept and we ended the lesson with cruising at the trot.

Saturday morning and - moving like a herd of turtles - the girls and I took Splash, Sunny, and Pico over to Che' Cheval spend the day while Steve held down the OSU football fort at the Wild Orban Ranch as they stomped again.

The girls rode their horses while I worked Splash in the round pen - lunging for respect.  Although better than the first attempt last week, Splash just couldn't bring himself to comply.  So, MUCH later, he finally realized that he better get with the program so we could stop before we dropped.  Whew!  So, THEN we mounted up and went to work in the big arena with Mallory and the girls.  We worked on walk/stop transitions mostly trying for submission and no back / prompt trot-off.  Then to took a lunch break before moving on to the next horse victim - Sister.

Sister is getting much better with her ground work and we breezed though the basic warm-up exercises and then Mallory tried to teach me "yeilding the forequarters."  Sister seems to get the concept although there was a lot of operator error on my part.

More horse torture on Sunday when Ivy started Pico in the Clinton Anderson exercises.  Poor Pico isn't the sharpest tool in the shed.  So I jumped in to help.  We free-lunged in the round pen until he figured out turning in and following.  Then, we concentrated on de-sensitizing with the stick and string and some yielding the hindquarters.  Pico got to stand at the trailer and ponder things while I worked with Splash in the round pen.  We started with lunging and then moved on to yielding the hindquarters and backing.  We finished goundwork with flexing.  Splash is very stiff (especially to the left) and we had to lower expectations a-bit.  But, we did manage a little flex and then mounted up for more work to minimize head-bob in the transitions.  Some progress so, lets hope for more improvement next week at the long overdue PARTY LESSON!  YaYa!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Schooling Show Championships!

Kathy and Call
Kathy B and Call did us all proud competing in the GCC/SSC Horse Show held in Claremore Saturday afternoon judged by "r" judge Amy Jablonovsky - they are the Reserve Champions at Training Level!  Judge Amy's pet peeve?  Spreading and lowering the hands for stretchy circle and free walk - she calls that a fault.

The girls and I rode in the open show portion in the morning.  Alaina and Sunny rode T-1 and recieved a 58.75; Judge Amy says "quiet horse just waiting for directions."  Ivy rode Pico in F-3 for a score of 58.064; they recieved 7's on the first lengthening at the trot, the second canter lengthening, and the last halt.

Splash and I rode Intro C - for a 65.0%!  Since I was only doing one test, I decided to work Splash in the warm-up like I was riding a lesson - aiming for 30 minutes of "lesson" leading into the test without a break.  The show was running on-time so we went right in to the arena and Splash was a good boy.  Our first canter transition (right lead) should have been our good side, but was slow to develop and lacked bend; the second canter was hollow and above the bit (although prompt).  Splash was forward (YES!) and showed good bend in trot circles and was an "8" for the first corner after X-C, "7"s for both trot circles and the second canter circle.  Judge Amy says "Lovely horse has loads of talent - develop differences in the paces, smoother transitions."   Ya!

So - that really was the last horse show of 2011.  No more baths for the equines until next spring.

One more thing to report.  You can dress the girl up....  I bought some Ariat paddock boots last year.  They were zip front and half price (they were brown).  I wear them for shows only, and until this past show, with black half chaps.  A few weeks ago I found some Ariat half chaps on SALE for HALF price.  They were Brown so I was all set for my next show.  I put the new half chaps on over my brown paddock boots for my ride.  They didn't fit the same way my old pair did - they were very bulky under my knees and the zipper seemed to be in a strange place.  I figured I would need to break them in.  My knees got a bit bruised.  Good News!  Mallory pointed out that I had the half chaps on backwards.  They fit a lot better when they are worn correctly.  Whew - operator error.  HeHe.