Sunday at the Barn and Blondie has new Shoes!!

When I arrived at the barn today, Blondie was in the cross ties getting fitted for new shoes!  Yeah!! D thinks she's racking well enough to put her shoes back on.

While he was working on Blondie, I took Harley for a spin. I don't know what his deal was today, but everything inside the arena was causing him fits.  He was jumping at everything when I first took him in.  I think the dirt mixed in with the sawdust was just too upsetting for him; the dark patches must have looked like a horse eating monster.  I find it hysterically funny that he's such a chicken!

After I put Harley away, I finished getting Blondie ready so D could check her shoes.  He rode her around a few times, then had M get on so he could watch her move.  He decided that she needs a little more weight on her back shoes, and declared that he thinks she'll be racking like a champ by January.

Then M finished getting Woody ready, and I had my first real lesson on a gaited horse.  There is such a huge difference between how Woody and Harley trot.  Woody is loftier, and I kept getting pitched up in the saddle.  When we started slow gaiting, I had to drop my stirrups a hole because I couldn't keep my leg loose enough where they were.  You're supposed to sit like a noodle when you're racking, and not grip with your legs.  Your ankle should be loose and bump against the horse's side, while you're hands are also loose, and you wiggle the bit left or right to keep them going.  This is so much harder than it sounds!  I did keep him going all the way around at a nice pace, so we called it a day at that point.

D & M are also going to be attending some winter academy shows this year.  I can't make the Nov 11th show, but I plan on going:

12/2

1/13

2/10

There is also a show in March and April.  They are informal horse shows, the riders wear lesson attire, and ride lesson horses.  I need all the practice I can get, so I am going to ride in as many of the shows as I can.  When I have more details regarding the location, I'll post it in case any of you are interested in coming to see me.  I think the shows are in East Lansing, but I'm not positive.

A Wet & Rainy Sunday at the Barn

Yuck! What a crappy day!!  Dean doesn't even want to go out and get something to eat!  Good thing I threw some curry fixings in the crock pot before I left for the barn.

I rode Harley first, and M had me go into the arena and work by myself, trying to figure things out on my own.  The problem with Harley is that he's so push-button, there's not much to figure out with him!  I did work on transitions, and making him wait and walk with his head tipped before letting him step off into a canter.

Blondie was next, and M rode her first.  As she worked her, she mentioned that today was best she has racked for her.  Then it was my turn, and things weren't quite so smooth. 

I have to keep my hands down when I ask her to trot now, which isn't such a big deal, but I'm not used to it yet.  I am sitting too far forward to rack correctly, though, and I wasn't pulling her head back far enough.  M said it's really hard to learn to rack on a horse that is just learning the gait, so they'll have me  start riding Woody.  I'm starting to get nervous about getting it right before April - most of the next month is shot between the horse sales and the Disney trip, so I won't be able to knuckle down and really start to learn until the first week of December!  Time is just flying by so fast!

The Shopping Trip

Yesterday, I went tie shopping with Rich.  When I planned the outing, I forgot that it was Sweetest day.  Good thing  Dean doesn't think too highly of made up holidays, and didn't care that I was going out.  He was, of course, invited, but he begged off.  Since he hates going to the mall, I didn't really expect him to join us.

I dragged my riding suits to Rich's, and showed him the shirts I wanted to co-ordinate the new ties with.  I ended up taking the shirts and the vests to the mall, and leaving everything else behind.

The mall was jam-packed when we arrived.  Everyone must have been out shopping before the Tiger game started.  I just wanted them to go home!  With the crappy weather, I guess people thought that Somerset would be a cheerful place to hang out.

We spent the afternoon wandering around the mall, with a break for an early dinner.  Kim, Mom and Dad all met at Macy's for dinner.  By the time we finished our meal, the crowds had noticeably thinned.  Must have been getting close to start time for the game, and people wanted to stake out their place on the couch.

I managed to pick up some nice dress shirts off the clearance rack at Nordstroms, and scored on some really nice ties at Macy's, which were also in the trash bins.  I opened a charge account, and saved even more off my purchases!  I was even able to find a collar bar with clip ends.

It was a lot of fun getting together with everyone.  In additional to spending time with family, I was able to co-ordinate my riding suits!!  Now I'm basically all set for next year.  Maybe some of you can come to a few horse shows and be totally stunned by me wardrobe - and Blondie's beauty, of course!

Lesson 3, Block 6

It was a chilly night on Friday, and I  dread the approaching winter.  Harley already has his winter blankie on.  I guess his old bones are more susceptible to the cold.

I rode Harley.  We worked on no stirrups for the first part of the lesson. Having not ridden regularly for 2 weeks, my legs were soon screaming in agony.  Then we worked on walk/trot/canter.  The lesson was pretty ordinary, and there weren't really any revelations for me. 

There are several new horses in the barn that they are getting ready for the sale next week and the week after.  Pearl is going to auction, and evil me, I hope she doesn't sell.  I really like her and wish I could afford board on two horses...

Blondie’s a High Point Winner!!

I received a letter in mail yesterday informing me that I'm the winner of a high point award!  Blondie actually won the prize, in her in-hand classes.  The awards are going to be presented on 11/04 at the awards banquet, which is also the weekend of Youma Con.  Now I don't know what to do.  I'd rather go to the convention!  I have to ask M how important it is that I go.  She and D can always accept the award for me.  It's not like I actually had anything to do with winning it!  

Lesson 2, Block 6

Well, show season is finally over!  Lessons resumed at the barn, and all of the saddlebred people were there for a change. I haven't seen some of them in over a month!

M informed me that Gio won a world championship class.  After he won, D told her to call me and let me know that the demon horse won, but her cell phone didn't have a signal!  Poo!

When I got to the barn, M asked if I wanted to turn Blondie out in the indoor and watch her run around for a few minutes before everyone else arrived.  It was fun watching her frolicking around the arena.  She's so pretty!  She was trotting nicely (with no shoes on), and then she'd start galloping around, kicking up her heels.  I hope she enjoyed herself, because she's going back to work Thursday - we have a show to get ready for in April!

To give Harley a break, Jimmy is now a lesson horse.  When I asked M to tell her husband to hurry up and get Blondie racking, she said we could leave her 3 gated and she's good to go, but I would have more fun if she's 5 gaited.  It will take a while to teach her to rack (boohoo!).  As a consolation prize, I got to ride Jimmy in the group lesson.  I don't know if it makes up for it!

Jimmy wanted to trot right at the get go, so I ended up posting the trot for about 20 minutes without a break.  I was so tired!  Then we cantered, and he has a really nice canter the first way of the ring.  When we turned around and went the other way, he was a lot stronger and faster.  He was fun to ride, except for one annoying habit.  He dives his head down about every 4 or 5 strides, and I didn't know how to correct him before he did it.  I wanted to strangle him by the end of the lesson!

An Evening at ASHAM

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Last night, Karla and I headed over the the MSU Pavillion for the ASHAM horse show.  Roxanne was riding, so we went to cheer her on.  After a semi rough class, she finished 5th on a horse that hasn't been shown in a couple of years.

The pavillion is really nice, and I wish they would move Shiawassee shows here.  The arena set up was a little strange, with seating on only one side of the ring.  The steel benches weren't very comfortable to sit on for long stretches of time, either, but overall, the facilities were nice.  The bathrooms were clean, which is always a plus!  The warm up ring was outside, and with the weather, it wasn't getting much use.  The warm ups took place before the classes, with the officials allowing the entrants to circle around a few times before closing the gate. 

There was no place to purchase any food, and we arrived too late to join in on the exhibitor dinner.  It's a good thing I had a big lunch!  It would have been nice to be able to buy a beverage, but I made due with my bottle of water.

I entered the raffle to win a saddle, but with my usual bad luck, didn't win.  Karla, Dave, and I also participated in the Chuck a Duck, which I haven't done before.  For the fee of a dollar per duck, you can purchase a plastic duck, which you then have to toss into the arena.  If it lands inside the hoop set in the arena, you win all the money!  We lost...

I didn't get home until after midnight, and I'm quite tired as a result.  I think today will be a good day to stay home, read manga, and catch up on my blogging.  I'm too tired to do anything else!
 


Tuesday Lesson at the Other Barn…

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Tuesday night I went riding at the other barn again.  M & D are out of town until next week, so I thought I'd continue with lessons, even if they are at another barn.  It took over an hour to get there, even with Karla exceeding the speed limit quite a bit.  I told her not to worry; lessons always run late, no matter when you ride!

My lesson horse was named Traveler, and he was a Arabian.  Krystal and I rode together this time, which was nice, as I didn't have to stand around waiting for another half hour.  I wasn't exactly thrilled to see the training reins on Traveler.  These are reins with multi-colored sections so beginning riders know where to hold the reins.  I hope that I am far enough along that I don't need that training aid....

We were told that we were going to work on the trot for the whole lesson.  L explained again about the mechanics of trotting (after remarking that she thought I didn't know what was going on under me, which is probably true), and then we worked on an extended trot.  Then she had us post faster and see how the horse reacted.  Traveler went hell for leather around the arena, and it was a lot of fun, but it didn't look very pretty.

After catching our breath, we worked on a nice collected, extended trot.  We trotted around, and were supposed to let L know when we felt we have the best extended, collected trot the horse could give.  Then we took another short break, and worked on cantering.

When I cut around Krystal and tried to get back to the rail, Traveler fell out of his canter.  L then stopped us both, corrected my leg position, and pointed out what Krystal was doing incorrectly, and we started again.  She told me to really keep my hip flexed and my thigh tight against the saddle, so I would feel more secure, and I wouldn't collapse my ribcage.  After concentrating on this for a while, I was able to sit in the saddle better, but this is going to take a lot of work.  M tells me I do the same thing...  I was able to cut around Krystal this time, and keep the horse moving.

The lesson was a lot of fun, but I think that L forgot my name.  She kept referring to Traveler, and not to me.  I found this amusing, especially since she never just asked me to remind her of my name.  Let's see if she calls me by name next Tuesday....