Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Magical Polo Wraps

After Stella's athletic and naughty display on Friday I decided I needed to get her in the proper frame of mind for a productive riding session.  In order to encourage the dressage horse within I broke out the polo wraps.  WHITE ONES.  How can a horse possibly do anything naughty wearing a set of fancy polo wraps?



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Good use of back

Stella looked a wee bit bright eyed on Friday so I decided to free lunge her, let her stretch her legs a bit.  She had been turned out in the arena with access to the pasture that morning with a few of her friends due to some incoming rain that never came so I wasn't expecting this!

She has shown a tendency to buck when in any sort of side reins or contraption 'tying her head down" but I usually don't lunge or free lunge her so this was a surprise!

Wanna come ride her?


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Horse Basics 101, tying your equine.


I've been youtubing some basic horse care videos, it's amazing how many bad ones there are out there and how many different ways there are to do exactly the same thing!

I really liked this video on tying a horse, it doesn't have a 4 minute intro or a long lecture, it is easy to follow, and it gives you several different options.

Check it out!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Unitaskers

One of my favorite TV shows is Good Eats Staring Alton Brown as a cook/historian/scientist.  I love the history behind the food, the science behind the food, the yeast puppets, and of course the food!


One of Alton's biggest pet peeves are unitaskers in the kitchen.  Those gadgets that clog up your gadget drawer because you only use them once every 4 years for that very specific task they are made for.  I tend to agree, I hate buying things for one purpose only.

However, I think I am willing to change my mind for this really nifty unitasker.  This Fly Spray Holder
is a smart idea for hanging on your stall door or near your wash stall or cross ties.  I found it available at Equus Now but if you really hate unitaskers you can purchase it from the manufacturer without the fly spray label and use it to hold any number of bottles on the front of your stall.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Teeth

Stella got her teeth done last week, the vet said she had several sharp points, a few ulcers, and some high low spots. She hasn't really given any indication of trouble eating, and I think most of her connection issues are just a lack of training but as an important part of routine care I bit the bullet.

After seeing my bill, she had better put her head down on the bit and never ever pick it up again!

Here is Stella beginning to regret her life choices that brought her to this moment


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Stella's First Horse Trial

Stella went to her first horse trial a few days ago and she did great!   

She has already proven herself an easy traveller and I have been really pleased with how blase she has been given how little experience she has going places and doing stuff.

This was a tie to the trailer kind of show so we got there that morning, about an hour before my ride time.  I knew Stella wouldn't need much warm up.  She doesn't seem to get fresh or spooky, and she really doesn't have enough dressage skills to warrant an extensive warm up!  It was going to hit the 90s that day so we made sure Stella got a nice shady spot under some trees, two hay bags, and her bucket of water.  Which she emptied 4 times by stuffing her hay into it and snorkelling.  Oh well, at least she's a good drinker.







Dressage was first, the warm up area was filled with other riders as well as the jumps for my division so marking out an even area to school in was difficult.  Realizing that no amount of circling would get her head down in this environment (since she had just started going on contact at home) I decided to work on her response to the forward aids by weaving her in and out of areas I thought could be potential "stop and look" spots.  Our dressage was about as expected, score under 60% to put us 4th out of four.  I was ok with that.

We went straight to stadium from dressage which I actually prefer to do, I was in my jumping saddle anyway, and Stella was already warmed up so I just jumped a few warm up fences.  The course was TINY so it was a very positive experience for Stella as far as going over stuff.  However, the ring was small and the course was very twisty, I jumped a few fences off of an angle or almost on a 20m circle and lots of other people that went faster had trouble making the middle of the fences, or slipping in the very dry grass.


We were done with dressage and stadium by 9:30 and XC wasn't until 5:12pm (last ride of the day!) so we did an awful lot of standing around.  I took Stella on a few walks, and held her lead rope while I sat in my chair for a change of pace being tied to the trailer.  Here she is eating a tree.



Cross Country was much more difficult than it seemed if you looked at the height of the fences.  Fence one, although small, was very bright and many horses had trouble with it.  I gave Stella a good hard crack on the shoulder right out of the start box and another crack 2 strides away from the fence, I sure didn't want to have a stop at fence one and set the tone for the rest of the course.  Stella responded really well, too well!  She LAUNCHED over fence one and landed in a nice novice speed gallop and I had her head up in my face trying to get her to slow down so we had a ACK!! at fence two.  We have not done much cantering fences and I wasn't sure if I should let her canter to it and risk an error at the canter but I clearly did not bring her down to the trot in time to jump it well.

You had to make a crazy U turn to get from fence 4 to 5 and then the angle between fence 6 and 7 was almost impossible to ride well, given the angle and fence 7 being a skinny it had a lot of problems, us included.  I just couldn't regain control and get her lined up straight in time so we had a stop.  It was more of a WHERE the heck are we going???!!! so rider error and not horse saying no.

GAG/Starter course walk

Given our couple problems I just about died when I was handed a second place ribbon!  Frankly the fourth place ribbon was really pretty and I would've been happy with not being eliminated, but to move up two spots after cross country?  AWESOME!!!


So I went home super happy (and hot, and stinky, and exhausted) and Stella's ad off  Craigslist can come down.