Saturday, January 29, 2011

We have takeoff

I officially jumped my first vertical yesterday! It was probably just under 2" but I'm just glad that the change of shape made absolutely no difference in how Bijou jumped. We also have been working on stringing multiple fences together. So far we're pretty good at a 4 stride line, she trots in, canters through and generally waits for me to ask for the right spot for the last jump. I'm thinking at this point I really want to keep her slow. She tends to get a little excited and rushy (which is nice compared to where we were 6 months ago when she just stopped) but I want to make sure I have a hunter that can become a jumper, rather than just a freight train :P

Since her head injury, she has been very sporadically head shy. She only really cares when I first walk out into the pasture, or when I take off her halter and bring the bridle up to her face. I've been working her in the round pen again mostly to take the edge off but also to desensitize her to it. So far it's been working ok. I've also been really diligent about feeding her, and it's paying off. I love the feeling that she's eaten well that day and it's made her ribs stick out less, so I feel like it's definitely working. She also officially started shedding yesterday! I'm excited because it means I'm a little closer to my sleek and shiny pony, but not so excited for all the extra time I'm going to spend grooming her.

We have scheduled our first show of the year for February 27th. I'm more than likely going to just do walk/trot with her since our canter can be a little frantic at times. She's been very easily distracted lately, so I'm going to try her on some B vitamin supplements which have proved to calm her in the past. Speaking of which, I should go order some more. Then I'll review them!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

all that worrying for naught

My horse is better. One solid week and she's feeling fine. I petted all over her head and both ears and there was very little shy-ness at all :D

So of course I tacked up (after not riding for at least a week to let her head heal) and we hopped into the arena. I had forgotten that I changed bits to ride a different horse, so we were back to the french link loose ring snaffle. Bijou was very tense but very responsive to rein aids. She had a few good moments of stretchyness but it was mostly just rushy agitated grrr the whole way (if that makes sense). She would pick a spot in the arena to have a little head tossing fit and then be good the rest of the way around until we got to that spot again, and then she'd toss around etc. She did it in a different spot when we changed direction... go figure. I kept it simple, and just kinda forced her to be good. There were a few times we broke to the canter just out of sheer forward momentum, but overall she was ok. One of the ranch hands decided it would be an awesome idea to drag 3 hog panels at about 15mph behind the quad, I'm just glad it was while we were facing that direction, otherwise we would have gotten a much bigger reaction.

She got all the sweat rinsed off since it was 75 (!!) today. Hopefully I'll get out there tomorrow and ride a more sane pony. Now I have to go study for a midterm :(

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spring Sunshine

My mood is a lot more up, what with the weather being so delightful lately. I've also started to get the first premiums for some upcoming schooling shows and I think I've finally gotten to the point where I just want to go for it. I'm so excited about showing I can't even stand it! There's a show at the end of February that I'm planning on going to, which means I have to find all my show clothes!! It also means I need to find all my 'hunter' tack again, right now I just have everything in lavender :P

I still haven't gone out to check on the head wound, but I'm ok with that. I would rather give it a full week to get better than try to push it. I am definitely going out there tomorrow morning to do something with her. I'm crossing my fingers that I will RIDE her, but you know what happens when you hope for the best, so I'm also preparing for the worst. Maybe I'll just take more pictures of her muddy self while I wait for her food to soak. I dunno, having low expectations is my goal.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

ho hum

It's amazing how an injured horse can make my attitude so lackluster. I've decided to give her the week off before I go out and try to push anything, that way I won't be tempted. I want to keep things nice and gentle with her so she doesn't get headshy over the whole thing. I'm going to try to head out on Friday to check on her, and then probably won't ride until it's healed. I might try to gerry-rig something to be able to ride her, remove the brow band or something... I dunno.

In other news, I've finally put up my reviews section. It's only just begun, I hope to have a bunch of stuff up there just as a general info type thing. I love getting reviews from people I trust so I figured others must find it helpful too. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you have questions about how I use something or my experiences with anything. I can't say I'm an expert, but most of the knowledge we have in the equine world is anecdotal, and I have a lot of anecdotes :D

Monday, January 17, 2011


It was time for a beach ride! I went out to the pasture, walked up to my lovely mare, slipped the noseband of the halter over her nose, and flipped the crownpiece up to her ears when all of a sudden she flinched away from my right hand/the crownpiece and almost knocked me down. Stunned, I walked up to her and tried to just pet her face, when she flinches away again! I begin an investigation only to find that she has about a 1.5 in cut right below her ear. It wasn't bleeding badly, just obviously very sore. I walked her up to the trailer with the lead around her neck (this is through puddles and slippery mud still, good pony for just following me even when she didn't have to) to see if I could get some help.

She won't let me get anywhere near it. So I've decided to give her a few days off. I went to the beach on another mare (my friend is trying to sell her, so it was good for her to get the pictures) who was really good but I'm still disappointed.

Is it just me, or is it just one thing after another. The second day I had her she got a hole in her sinus which took 6 weeks to clear up. Then it was too mucky to do anything with her for another 3 months. Then she was mysteriously lame. Then I broke my ankle. Then I got an almost full time job for the summer and didn't spend nearly enough time with her. Then I had another horse who was the priority because I was trying to sell it. Then the arena washed away due to all the rain. And now I can't get a bridle on her because she has a cut where the crown piece would go.

I see everyone making their new years resolutions and thinking out monthly goals and I desperately want to do the same, but I feel like every time I make a goal it just gets broken by something. I even tried to keep my goals simple, but now I can't even keep the "ride every chance I get" one. When I got her I was hoping to have made a lot more progress in the time I've had. I'm not saying that the progress we've made is nothing, I just was so sure I was capable of so much more with her. I'm just really discouraged. I guess I'll make the best of it and just work a bunch, get caught up on my overdue class readings, and feed her a lot.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Is finally over!! We had about our whole years worth of rain the last two weeks, which resulted in our arena WASHING AWAY!! It was down to the base in at least 1/2 of the arena a few days ago.

But we have rebuilt. The first day that the email went out relaying the news that the arena was open again I went to try it. I was a little worried because there were already three horses working in there, all of whom hadn't been ridden in over a week and a half, some of whom I'd never seen ridden before that etc. Bijou went for a short romp in the round pen and told me she was done getting out her willies by arching her neck, trotting into the center, nudging me and blowing out a big deep breath of relief at finally being able to stretch her legs again. She went in a little bit quivery, like a horse on a windy day, but came out 10 minutes later as her normal self.

We tacked up and headed into the very busy arena and went right to work. I don't know if it was just because she was unfit or sore from slipping around in the mud for a while, but she was a little tiny bit reluctant to go forward. I wasn't kicking or flapping, but there just wasn't that willingness I've come to get used to. I'm trying not to blow it out of proportion, but I also want to pay attention to see if it's a trend. I did have her shoes pulled for winter, at least, since all the sucking mud would probably pull them for me if I didn't. She was still happy to work into the contact, and even picked up a nice canter on each lead without any fight. The quality of all the gaits was good, it was just the transitions which were a little sticky. Like I said, I'm hoping that's just because she's not been worked much. It was a very uneventful pleasant ride, surprisingly with all the commotion. At one point there were 5 horses in the arena, which is 4 more than normal and she took it all in stride. I think her specialty is to surprise me :)

I'm was going to ride a few times this week, but I've been lured into helping S body clip Wyatt for the last several days. I'm glad its done, and he looks really cute. Now hopefully it's on to riding!

Oh ya, I know it's kinda late, but here are my New Years Resolutions:

1) Ride my horse at every opportunity, even if it just means walking her around. If I can't do that, just go feed her
2) Get straight A's
3) Go to at least one show this season. I don't care what level I compete at, I just want to go.