January 30, 2010

Too Cold :(

Today I was really looking forward to riding, but woke up and checked the weather and it was suppose to be 10 degrees out, with a windchill making it feel like 0, so to say in the least I was not happy and decided against riding. But I guess the good thing is that I now have time to work on my college application essay that is due on Monday. *crosses fingers*

I have to call up Michelle to see if we can do a lesson tomorrow, I guess it all depends on how much I get done of this essay today.

Well that is my rant/update for the day :)
See I told you posts would get smaller.

OH and my laptop does not like the idea of uploading pictures, will try to get them up ASAP, thank you for being patient! 

Edit: And how could I almost forget! I was free lunging Ranger on..umm...Wednesday I believe and as usual, he was fantastic, giving me every transition between walk > trot > and halt that I asked for. At one point, towards the end, he really got into this amazing, and fluid trot.  Since I wanted to go out on a very good note, I decided to see if he could keep that pace for a couple rounds around the indoor arena.  When I saw him starting to lag, I gave him a few kisses and gave the whip a little swoosh, and he did a very unpredictable thing, he CANTERED!

Now I understand, "yea a horse cantered so what?" Well when Ranger first came to the barn he was very undertone, muscle wise, and when Michelle asked him to canter a couple days after he arrived he fell over. So when I saw him cantering I kind of panicked, not wanting to hurt a horse that wasn't my own. So I asked him to trot, that was the time where he was like "Oh my I can go faster! No I wanna keep going faster!" so it took me a few seconds longer than I wanted to, to get him back into a trot.  After he cooled down I groomed him up, even more proud of him!  

I hope to do some more canter work with him soon.

January 29, 2010

Wind, Wind, Wind!

Today was something else! On top of 11 degree weather, we had chilling 30 mph gusts of wind. Lets just say gusty wind + door that likes to make loud noises = not good.

Spiffy and Nannie were inside today, since Nannie does not have a winter coat and we didn't want her inside on her own all day. Well, I will just say that has made Spiffy and Nannie much closer! We had to move Spiffy in order to clean his stall, and lets just say Nannie was having NONE of that. She whinnied and called Spiffy the whole time that Tia was cleaning his stall. It got to the point where I decided to bring Spiffy back early so she would stop freaking out. The second she saw him all the calling subsided. What a cute couple!

I was really looking forward to riding today, but due to the wind gusts, the indoor arena was very loud and did not want Ranger to get spooked.

Also since it was very windy and very loud I decided not to groom Ranger today. But, I did have to hook him up to one cross tie to fix his blanket. When I hooked him up and fixed his blanket and went to go move him into his stall, he did not want to move. I believe he really wanted to get groomed, but I did not want to take the chance of him spooking on the cross ties.

I will get the pictures up ASAP! Hopefully I get to have a lesson this Sunday :)

January 26, 2010

Interesting Day

Well yesterday my sister and I went to work. It was raining outside and everything was so icey. We walked into the barn and was glad to see that all the horses were put in for the day, easier to groom that way. As we walked in we were greeted by Rosie, a boarding pony, and then numerous other whinnies from the other horses, but something was new. There was a new whinnie that Tia and I had not heard before. At a fast paced walk we got to one of the open stalls and saw this gorgeous bay mare standing there. Wanting to know who she was and her information, we went to the white board where messages are relayed back and forth from Michelle to us, but found no new messages. The new mare was so friendly and was so pretty.

In order to do chorse, we had to put Spiffy, a boarder, into the inside arena to clean his stall. I am guessing the new mare, who we found out to be named Nannie, and Spiffy had a very good liking for each other because neither of them stopped calling for each other. The instant she saw Spiffy again the both quieted down. HOW CUTE! Spiffy has a girlfriend!

So chores went on as normal and we groomed up all of the horses and took extra care to their feet, since Rosie has developed thrush in her back two hoofs.

I got to work with Ranger some more yesterday. Instead of having him on a lunge line he was on his lead rope. After a few minutes of work he let me rub him in almost any place on his body with the whip. The only play he is still shy about is his chest. I also managed to get some good pictures of Ranger while I was at the barn. =)

January 25, 2010

Progression with Ranger

Today it is cloudy, rainy, and kinda cold outside. BUT that cannot dampen my spirits because today I get to go see Ranger. A 30 year old Morgan that boarders at the barn that I work at. Ranger is truly a magnificent horse and I absolutely adores him. Before Ranger came along I was riding a Belgian named Strawberry for lessons. I admit she was an amazing horse to learn on, but I got to the point where I felt like I was being used as an exerciser for Strawberry and I was not moving very fast in my riding. Then came Ranger...

When I first met Ranger at work I was excited, as always, to meet some new boarders and went directly outside to see what kind of horses we had. I saw him waiting at the fence like the other horses, waiting for lunch hay. I walked up to him and he sniffed my hands, ears perked right up and sniffed my hand. No, it wasn't love at first site, and I wasn't able to fully appreciate him until I got the chance to ride the "super senior" as we say at the barn.

One Sunday, about a month ago, Michelle, my riding instructor, came up to me before my lesson and asked me if I wanted to ride Ranger instead of Strawberry. At the chance or a ridding a new horse I was ecstatic. Michelle told me that I had to put my muck boots on because Ranger was out in the paddock and was not easily coaxed up to the gate
. I walked outside and down the rocky hill where Ranger was ever-so-much enjoying his lunch hay. I walked slowly and said "Hey Ranger, wanna go for a quick ride today?" I believe it was the word 'ride' that told him he had better stop eating and let the round up begin. He slowly walked away and looked back at me as if saying "Try and come get me, I dare you". After a good 10 minutes I finally got him up at the gate.

After a great grooming session and tack up, I got to ride him. Now, I was told that Ranger had many more buttons than the over weight Belgian that I was use to, but I didn't realize how many until I hoped into that saddle. First off, I realized that Ranger, being an old western pleasure horse now riding in English, does NOT like contact at all. Then I realized that he has about five different trot speeds, while Strawberry had about one, two depending on how much I pushed her. The lesson finally ended and I felt like it was my first time ever on a horse, I felt like it had gone awful, but Michelle insisted that it went great for a first time. I was not looking forward to riding him again, but it happened.

From the second time on, I realized how much I love riding Ranger and being around him. Now when I need to go get him from the pasture he quietly stands there, or sometimes even walks to me. When I go to work he is the first horse I go to see and greet him with a good run down. Then it is off to do the chorse and then I get to work with him.

There is one problem with Ranger, he is very whip shy. Today I am going to work with him trying to desensitize him and also I want to teach him how to turn on the forehand and haunches, I believe since he has not been ridden much he needs a refresher.

I apologize for the long first post, once I get up to speed they will be shorter. I hope to get some pictures of this amazing horse and the rest at the barn.