October 29, 2011

Possibly No Riding

Dang, it's possible that I won't be riding this week =/

My boss e mailed me and told me that no one is allowed to ride Mr P until further notice. He ended up rearing while a girl (a more experienced rider) was trying to mount, and then did it again while they were riding around the arena. According to my boss Mr P is a horse who wouldn't even think about kicking or rearing, let alone under saddle (but I know from first experience that even though you say that it doesn't mean it won't happen)

When Boss gets back into town she is going to look at Mr P. He has been acting funny (with the whole bucking in the stall situation). Hope everything is okay with him, he can be such a sweet hear.

October 26, 2011

Mr P: Day 1

So today was my first day working with Mr P.
What are my goals?
1) Get him trained to ground tie
2) Have him being comfortable in his stall while the other horses are outside
3) Being able to turn on the forehand and haunches on the ground with minimal aids (maybe just by having my hand close to the designated area and clucking)

It is nice when I have goals I like to think it keeps me on track.

So day 1, how did it go?

It went decent actually I don't expect miracles and I have to say Mr P made me proud.

My plan was to go to the barn and bring hay outside, then put a flake of hay in two stalls, bring Mr P in, and then go fetch Legend who I feed inside. So after all of that I went outside to go fetch Mr P, but my plan got skewed by Legend. He walked right up to the gate this morning for me to bring him inside. I was so in awe this is the first time he actually came to the gate and stayed there. I was ecstatic (see doesn't take much to make me happy!) So I brought him in and then got Mr P.

I groomed Legend while he ate and just left Mr P in his stall to munch on his hay. I noticed that he is always fine as long as one of his buds are in the barn with him, but as soon as we walk out he starts his pacing and hollering.

I groomed Legend and Desi (OH random side note, I can't believe how shiny Desi is! My grooming is finally paying off she is GORGEOUS!)

After grooming those two I had half an hour left before I had to leave to go to class, so I decided that when Mr P stopped pacing and hollering I would bring him outside and groom him next to the paddock. By this time I think he had have enough of my sillyness, because even though he had a very nice flake of hay outside while he was tied up, he wanted to play with my grooming bag and be Mr Nosy.

After grooming him I really wanted to work on his flexing and see if I can get him to turn on the forehand and haunches. Flexing went pretty good I didn't make him do to much, just a few times on each side. Turning on the haunches went pretty good, even though he moved forward when he crossed in the back, he still crossed in the back and that is what I was looking for. Turning on the haunches was very difficult for him to accomplish (he can do it he was just more worried about the horse in the next pen). I could also tell that he really didn't have his brain on because he was just too nosy in everything else. I ended up asking D (a guy that is training another horse in the herd) to see if he could get Mr P to cross over in the front, he was able to do it by having him cross over by changing directions, and then Mr P seemed to turn on the haunches better. Again, I only asked him to do it 2 or 3 times to each side.

Overall it was a productive day. Tomorrow I have off which bums me out a little, but I'll be able to work with P on Friday.

Thanks for reading.

October 25, 2011

Oh horses

So this morning was an interesting morning. I decided to change up my routine and instead of grooming the horses outside I would groom them inside their stalls. I fed Legend like normal and then groomed him while he was eating. Overall he was a good boy. Next I did Desi and she was fantastic. I think back to when I started working here in September and she is a totally different horse. The girls are doing great work with her!

After Desi I was going to groom Mr P next. Lately Mr P has been acting like a herd bound pony and every time I bring him inside to groom him he gets antsy and starts hollaring for his friends (who actually never holler back), which makes him more antsy. Usually he calms down and will start munching on his hay, but today was different. Instead of calming down he tried to get out of his stall (I usually keep the door open just a smidge so I have a semi easy access to get out if I need to). I repeatedly had to get him away from his door and every time I did he would get more agitated. He then starting flinging his head around. This made me nervous so I backed to the door just to see what was going to happen. He then walked over to his window to look outside and went bezerc and actually ended up kicking. It wasn't a full extend kick (would have reached me easily) but it still got my attention. Not sure what to do I decided that it was probably best that I tie him outside so he could see his buds.

Tomorrow I am just going to put him in his stall with some hay and let him throw his temper tantrum for five min or so. I won't allow him to act like that, especially since he hasn't done it in the past.

I also want to start training him to ground tie and do some more ground work with him in the mornings. I think this will be fun.

Thanks for reading!

October 23, 2011

10/20 Ride

It has been such a crazy week and weekend that I wasn't able to even post about my ride until now.

I have been riding Mr Perfect (aka Mr P or P when I'm feeling lazy). I feel like we have had more productive rides in our short time together. I am still getting use to riding alone and not having someone telling me what I should be doing for exercises.

So I tacked up Mr P, which in iteslf took longer then it should have (I grabbed the wrong saddle) and I just felt that for some reason it was going much slower then need be. So finally after he got a nice groom and tacked up we headed out to the outdoor arena. It was a little windy but I figure there are only so many nice days left and I might as well enjoy the outdoors.

We started by doing the warm up routine that I usually do with any horse. Which consists of walking around the arena on the ground in both directions, and at random times having Mr P halt/walk/trot at random times besides me. Some people may not consider this an important thing to do but I like to use it as a judge of where the horses mind is. From the start I could tell that Mr P was in la-la-land. He was hollaring for his friends in the paddock and didn't like the idea of being out by himself with the mean girl (that's me haha).

After a few rounds I hopped on and, this seems to be a very common occurrence, my stirrups weren't the right length. Believe it or not this is something I usually have troubles with. Getting my stirrups to the right length but also feels right. After a little bit I got my stirrups to what felt like to the correct spot.

Next we walked around while I tried to get Mr P to move his toosh into a decent walk and to get his nose out of outer space and get some bend. Mr P has a tendency to bend to the inside instead of the outside and it's tricky (well for at least to me, I'm sure that any experienced rider could fix this easily) for me to get the inside bend. I usually think *okay give with the outside rein a little, shorten the inside rein a little, now press lightly with inside leg to give him something to bend around* This process, at best, gets Mr P into no bend (better than an outside bend right?). Oh but dangit his nose is still in outer space, okay maybe it's in this atmosphere now but still not in the right spot.

Now that we are some what collected off to the trot. A nice slow trot to begin with (Mr P has a very bouncy trot but when he slows down and engages his buttocks his trot is actually decent). After a few rounds of the arena his trot gets worse and just speedy with his nose in the air. I realize he is probably anticipating for me to ask for canter (I try to avoid asking for the canter if he is speedy).

We really worked a lot at the trot, since I have been having trouble at the canter (mostly with transitioning down and having complete control) and I wanted to work on our foundation before the canter. Thanks Dom for the advice!

I like to believe I am good at not doing the same boring thing. I mixed things up by instead of following the wall, going down the middle line, and then maybe turning in the middle of the long side instead of going fully across, oh and lets throw some circles in there too! I am sure I could be better at this, but it's a start.

So fast foward to the cantering. I have noticed a few rider errors when we canter.
1) My inside (it's always the inside leg in either direction) comes out of the stirrup or the stirrup ends up in the middle of my foot, 90% of the time. I think this is because I am not putting enough weight in my stirrups and I really tried focusing on that when cantering.
2) For some reason I just COMPLETELY forgot the second thing...good going Stasha! haha.

I know I have a LONG ways to go in my riding but I like to think I am making some progress.

Thanks for reading :)

October 20, 2011

Long Week

I've had a long week and I have an even longer week next week, so my cure for it? BLOG! haha, I must have no life (which I am totally fine with).

I am really not a complainer, I hate to complain and I don't like to listen to people complain..but I'm going to have some complaints anyways.

First off, I have this HUGE project due next week. I really want to do well in it so I can get my Issues in the Environment class grade up (it's at a B right now). The project is that you and a partner (partner complaint coming after) pick a common object, and you have to type a paper, powerpoint slide, and give a 3-5 min speech about how the project was made, and the environmental impacts that the Earth goes through based on the process of this object (due to say factory emissions). This project would be very fun if I didn't have to have a partner. I dislike school partner projects, I can work with a person in the real world all day and not worry about it but school projects with partners just throw me over the edge. So not only did I have to pick a partner (after I tried to ask the professor if I can do it by myself), I got a partner that I can't understand (he is Chinese and let me make this loud and clear I AM NOT SAYING HE IS A BAD PERSON AND I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST FOREIGN PEOPLE) but it really makes it harder to work together, so I thought e mailing...well come to find out he doesn't check his e mail regularly so it's pushed back the project a bit. So I have to get that project done this weekend.

On top of...

Studying for two big tests next week (genetics on Wednesday and animal nutrition on Friday).

I know school is suppose to be like this and I don't mind it's just becoming over whelming but I will get through it.

Some good news?

I am going riding after my horse management class today!
I have given one sucessful tour by myself to..yup you guess it, a group of international students (who were fantastic!!)
I have 60 mores days until I go home over Christmas break!
My room mate invited me to go back to WI with her over Thanksgiving break, so I won't be all alone!!

I hope to post about my ride later :)

Thanks for reading!

October 15, 2011

My Own Blog Award

Hey everyone, so I have been looking around at some blogs (three in particular) that I usually read and I decided that I wanted to make my own award for these blogs.

This award is for the three blogs that not only do I follow the most, but I have found them the most helpful and most inspiring.

And the blog award goes to...

Now THATS a trot - My friend Erin who I was introduced to many years ago. She has helped me in my quest to become the best rider that I can and I always enjoy hearing about her horses Willie and Jabby.

A Collection of Madcap and Escapades - I was introduced to Dom through Erin and I really enjoy reading about her wild adventures with her horse Ozzy!

and last but not least

Green n' Green = Black n' Blue - I mostly enjoy reading this blog because of the miracle story of Denali and her Mom! I started reading about Denali around the time that Max had to be put down and it helped me so much knowing that miracles can happen.

There you go ladies! Thank you for having such awesome blogs!!!

Mmm Saturday's

It is days like this that makes me love the fact that I am single and have no kids.

I went to bed around 10:30 last night, got up at 8:20 (because someone texted me), did the daily bathroom things, cooked bacon, made french toast, and I have been lounging on the couch, watching NCIS, and drinking coffee since then. I do plan on getting some work done today but I just love this. I have no one I have to meet or entertain and just be blahh all I want.

People always ask me why I am single, or if I am looking for a guy while I'm at school, and my reply is always "No I'm not looking for a guy at school". My reasons are, I'm not paying thousands of dollars to get a boyfriend or to party, and I need to focus on school. I have always been super independant and I'll admit I don't always do well in relationships because I don't NEED a guy and I really don't like it when I settle into a routine with another person other than family.

But from the few people I have dated, I have made a "list" of qualities I would like in a guy and since I don't feel the need to have a guy, I think I am going to stick with these qualities.

  • Somone I can play games with and laugh, poke fun at, and just have the best time
  • Has to like camping and the outdoors
  • Would rather hang out with people and do things that doesn't involve TV, internet, or video games
  • Sense of adventure
  • Doesn't smoke
  • Someone who can fight with me, but not hold grudges
  • Accept my falts and flaws
  • Can have fun by doing nothing
  • Willing to try new things
  • Respects people and myself
  • Can give me my space when needed
  • Stand beside me
  • Willing to defend me (even if I am wrong)
  • Can express his feelings when needed
  • Can apologize when needed (but not apologize over every little thing)
  • Doesn't do drugs
  • Doesn't nag
  • Doesn't constantly feel the need to compliment me
  • Has dreams, goals, ambitions that go beyond a career and school
  • Has a crazy side that I can adore
  • Sense of humor (BIG BIG)
  • Knows when to be serious
  • Mature but can still have fun
  • Not insecure, but not full of himself
  • Won't freak out over little things
  • Can stay calm in situations and emergencies
  • Allows me to have a different opinion and won't hold it against me or think less of me
  • Can disagree but still respect me and others
  • Has to be able to handle and like my family
  • Family has to like him
  • Willing to pitch in and help with work
  • Competitive side, won't let me push him around
  • Can laugh at nonserious set backs
  • Trusts me and is open when there is a trust issue
  • Does not ignore me when issues, problems, or concerns arrive
  • Understanding
  • Won't just to conclusions all the time
  • Can sit back and just let me complain
  • Can tell me when I need to toughen up
  • Doesn't start unnecessary drama
  • Can come to me to vent
  • Doesn't feel the need to constantly be in contact
  • Likes the simple things in life
  • Doesn't mind having every day routines, but likes to be spontaneous
  • Won't shy away at the thought of commitment

So there's my list! I know it may seem long and some parts repetitive but it's my list and I'm sticking too it.

Frankly, I am just happy being with just myself, family, and the horses I work with. I'm not afraid of a commitment but I'm not about to jump into one.

Thanks for reading and happy Saturday!

October 14, 2011

I love those horses!

Unfortunetly it doesn't take much to please me when it comes to horses. I don't expect them to be able to jump 2 feet, do fancy dressage moves, or be a trick horse. All I really expect is good ground manners, nice disposition, and to pretend to like that I am there with them.

To my delight today I got just that from the horses, well mostly from Rollo and Desi. I was having trouble with grooming the horses and picking their feet out. I know they were just testing me but it was starting to get to me, so I talked with my boss and asked her if I was doing anything wrong, she showed me what she does and it was pretty identical to what I do, and she says it's not me, they are just testing me. I know that Desi had two abcesses on her front feet so that could be one reason why she detests getting her feet picked so much, but as for the other horses I couldn't think of a real reason.

Today I changed my approach to grooming. I did my daily things (spread out hay, feed Legend, sweep) and then I went to groom. Usually I just groom in the paddock, away from the other horses, but the horse I was grooming always seemed distracted (even with hay). So today I had the BRILLIANT idea (mostly because it has been raining and the paddock was yucky) that I would just groom outside of the paddock, but still tie the horse the fence. Outside of the paddock is a nice stone mixture (not sure of exacts) and it was very nice looking and welcoming compared to the mucky and wet pasture.

I couldn't wait to try out my new plan. I first decided I would groom Rollo. She is looking better, her coat is slightly more shiny and I saw that some of her scars had tiny hairs growing, YAY! I have started apply aloe heal to her scrapes daily. I lightly curried her, the scars don't seem to bug her but I didn't want to disrupt any hair growth (that is just my simple mind thinking) and brushed her. She was perfect, stood there munching on hay enjoying life. I read her binder that we have in the barn and I read that she doesn't like her feet being picked (story of my life haha) but she has showed some progress. Today I just worked on getting the mud off her hoof itself and didn't pick up her feet or pick them out. She didn't mind me getting the mud off and I think on Monday I will try picking up her feet. I also brushed her mane and tail and she looked so awesome after I was done. Of course she got many treats for being such a delightful horse, and she does need to put some weight on. I am really hoping I will be able to ride her one day.

Desi was next, I like to groom her as often as I can because we are working on her ground manners. She did a fantastic job also! Again, I tied her outside of the paddock and she munched on hay very contently while I groomed her and only moved to shift her weight. Desi has been one of the horses that has given me some of the hardest time with picking feet. But today, she was almost perfect! There was only one time where she took her hoof out of my hand, it was her back one and I believe it was because I was trying to get a rock out. Other then that she didn't resist to me picking up her feet at all and stood perfectly still!

I was so ecstatic after this! It seemed like my hard work, along with some of the other employees, was paying off! I consider myself very lucky to be working where I am working. Sure there are some things that could make it better, but I walk to work every morning with a grin on my face, loving the fact that I get to go see the horses I enjoy so much!

I need to get a camera so I can take some pictures so you guys can see these wonderful horses.

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend!

Oh my gosh almost forgot! I found out that Rollo is Mr P's mother!! *squeel*

October 11, 2011


Okay I decided to share about Rollo, the new horse in the herd.

The main herd consists of Maddie (boss mare with an attitude), Mr P ('boss' gelding), Legend (gelding), Jealousy, and Desi (a green broke mare).

Today I walked to work like I usually do, unlocked the fence, and walked to the paddock where the horses are kept. I said my daily hellos to Mr P who always has his head sticking through the fence and looking at me like he is starving, and then went to go get some hay. As I came back and started spreading the hay I finally saw a new white horse in the far back corner of the paddock. I was shocked. I could see that the horse (who I soon found out was a mare) was skinnier then she should be, and as I got closer I saw that she had lots of scars on her back , neck, and withers. I put the wheel barrow by the hay feeder (that I actually rarely put hay in ironically) and calmy walked up to this new horse. My voice stayed nice and low and calm and I said hello and started talking to her. She pricked her ears as if she was interested in me, but didn't seem frightened. I walked up beside her and stuck my hand out and she sniffed it eagerly and moved her lips along my hand. I slowly petted her neck and she stood there very calmly. So, I got some hay and made a few nice big piles for her.

Legend goes inside the barn in the morning to get grain and his vitamin E supplement, so I made up his grain, brought him inside, swept the barn as he munched away, and brought him back out. By the time I went back outside (which wasn't any more then 10 min) I saw that Mr P or Maddie had pushed Rollo away from her pile of hay and she was just standing there. I felt so bad, so I took some of the hay from the front of the paddock and walked it over to her. As she was eating I ran my hands along her body, looking at her scars and wondering how she got them. She just has patches and patches of missing hair, it is so sad and made my heart break. But I knew that no matter what her story I was going to give her some much needed TLC. While I was running my hands over her, I realized that she had a lot of heat in her shoulders, and that one of her scars had opened up and was oozing, and made a mental note to tell my boss. It was hard to leave her because I wanted to just pat her and love her, but I had to get to class.

Walking to class I texted my boss asking her who the mare was, her story, and told her about the heat in the shoulders and the oozing. Boss said that she would buite her and check out the wound, and also said that her name was Rollo and she needed some extra TLC until she was looking healthy again (I told my boss I was all over the TLC part, I plan on spoiling Rollo).

I went back this afternoon to check on her before I rode, and maybe attempt grooming her (which was hard because of the patches of missing hair). As I called out her name when I got to the gate she lifted her head and pricked her ears and walked right up to me and started investigating the bucket I use to carry the grooming items, she eventually noticed that I was there and started sniffing me all over. This mare is such a sweet heart and I already adore her! She ended up walking away from me because Mr P was interested in the bucket also (which he should know by now there are no treats but still he likes to believe I am going to change my ways). I left the bucket for Mr P to investigate while I went over to Rollo and continued stroking her and lightly brushing the brush across her body (I'm not sure how much "grooming" I did but I wanted her to realize she could trust me). After a few moments I walked back to the fence and was just looking at the other paddock of horses and talking to this mare who was looking at Desi very intently. Next thing I notice, a big white head is by my shoulder, and Rollo is standing right beside me. I was so touched that she just stood there next to me. I talked to her and stroked her some more. The heat in her shoulders was reduced a little by the afternoon but not fully gone.

I can already tell I'm going to adore this horse for a long time and hopefully forever. My Boss says that once she gets healthy enough she wants to get her under saddle, and I'm hoping that if she is well broken that I will be able to ride her.

Can't wait to see her tomorrow and give her some more lovings!

Back in the Saddle

YES it has finally happened, I am back into riding and I am L.O.V.I.N.G. it!

I officially started last Thursday with my first ride on a very nice horse named Mr. Perfect (aka Mr P. or P). I was nervous at first, since I haven't been riding in a while and I was a little nervous about how my boss would react to my riding. Turns out she was understanding that I hadn't been riding since the middle of summer and a handful of times since my surgery in December.

We tacked up and then went out to the outside arena. Mr P wasn't spooky at all and acted like this was just a walk in the park. We walked around the arena and then I got my stirrups where I thought they needed to be, tightended the girth, and looked over my tack again. We walked around to warm up and, oops need to tighten the girth again. My boss gladly did this for me, I guess Mr P as learned how to bloat before riding, which I'm use to haha.

After some walking and trotting my boss asked if I was ever going to canter. I told her that I hadn't cantered much except for on a lunge line. She told me that it was the same thing off a lunge line. I was already really comfortable with Mr P and we seemed to be in tune with each other for a first ride. Before cantering I asked my boss what the cues were for canter again and she said that once I get him into a really nice trot he will automatically pick up the canter around a corner. I was a little wary about this, but I was glad that I had less to think about. So I got Mr P's lazy buttock into a nice trot and just as my boss said, he picked up the canter at a corner. Surprisingly I not only stayed on, I stayed on even after loosing a stirrup and didn't panic! Granted, I needed to work on my control but I was ecstatic that I cantered off the lung line, kept my balance, and stayed on! The ride after that was pretty uneventful. I ended up having to carry a whip because once Mr P decides that he is done working, he stops and won't budge no matter how much you squeeze or kick, but after I got the whip he did much better even though I had to tap him a few times. My coordination with a whip is not the best, I'm not use to having to use one, but I am sure I will get use to it.

TODAY I rode Mr P again and again he was a super good boy! I couldn't wait to work on my canter and today my canter was much more organized and controlled.

Note to self: Finish writing about ride and talk about new horse in the herd!

Thanks for reading!