Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Bareback ride in the arena on Monday

It was a warm day and I had lots of things I wanted to get done (namely loading straw into the trailer and making a run up to the new place) so I didn't want to get too involved riding.

I decided to ride bareback and just work on seat aids and transitions. We did a lot of walk-halt-walk-trot-halt-trot etc. It was relaxing and when I was done I just untacked Gwyn right in the pasture and let her go.

If I ride Wednesday, it will likely be the last time I ride at Hummingbird. I plan on moving Gwyn to the new house on Friday!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

3.25 miles!

Today was a good ride. No pictures, but the weather was great. The insects, however, were nasty. I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. ICK.  And the horse flies, oi! Unlike yesterday, there were people at the barn, so I was more bold in my riding. My goal for today was to do a lot of trotting and just stay in forward motion to build up my endurance.

I had lunged Gwyn first because she was really up after watching all her buddies get turned out to pasture for the day while she stayed in as I groomed her. She was NOT dirty today, and her coat was super soft! Lunging was good, I pulled out the cavaletti and lunged her over that, then pulled out the barrels for jumps when she started getting lazy with the highest height of the pole. She was really good!

I hopped on and set out into the fields. She started out with a nice, loose rein trot, it was FANTASTIC. I decided to try and be more upright while posting since I think I lean too far forward. As soon as I set my shoulders back, I noticed my elbows naturally bent. Oooo!! Light bulb moment! My leg also swung forward a smudge, but I think it's okay. Now I want to get this on video/picture to see if it did what I think it did. I did more for me on this ride, then for Gwyn, until we had our sticky moments with steering away from the barn.

We had no spooky moments by our spook point, which was good, but I gave it decent berth just in case. We also walked for a short time on the road and had a car drive past us, slowly, thankfully, and Gwyn didn't lose her mind. Hurray!

All in all, a good time. And our average pace was up since we did so much trotting. I put her fly sheet back on and sprayed exposed Goober Pony and went on my way. Such a nice morning.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Easy hack today, 1.61 miles

I kept this ride simple because there was no one at the barn. I was going to ride in the outdoor arena but it was a soppy mess thanks to the rain (see next photo) and then thought about the indoor but my GPS doesn't track well inside.... soooooo outside I went. I kept it at a walk since I rode bareback today and just focused on having a positive ride, and I had a great ride!! There were sticky steering moments but we worked through them.

I didn't get to ride yesterday because my truck wouldn't start after I dropped Kaylee off at preschool. WOMP WOMP. I drove it to the dealership instead and got a courtesy car. Turns out the car battery was a dud and it actually explains other issues I had. Truck is fixed, I picked it up this afternoon! YAY
Gwyn was DIIIIIRTY.  She apparently made use of Sunday and Monday mud. I had expected it to be hot and had worn my Kerrits outfit with my icefil tights and super light kerrits shirt, which is white. Figures Gwyn finally rolls in mud the day I need to groom her and I'm wearing a brand new white shirt.

The hay is up above my feet when I'm riding Gwyn. But it's been too wet to cut. Curse you weather!

It was a beautiful day, low 70s, much drier. Not nearly the amount of humidity we've had the past few days. It was very pleasant weather.

Green lipstick!

A post office truck drove up looking for someone that I didn't know. Captivated mare!

The horse flies were NASTY. So Gwyn got to try her fly sheet for the first time. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wolcott Mill Metropark Adventure!

Today was a GREAT day. I got the barn bright and early to get my truck hitched and all my stuff loaded. A group of five of us from the barn were all planning to head to Wolcott Mill Metropark to ride on the horse trails there. We took two trailers including mine. It felt really good to be able to provide my own transport! And help someone else!

I had long ago gotten my bridle tag to ride there, which didn't cost anything. You just haul in, sign in at the book and go. Super simple.

This is where I totally go first world problems though.... these trails sucked compared to what I could do in Washington. It was mainly edge of farm field riding and minimal woods trail. What forest trail there was was a sogging muddy mess thanks to all the rain we've been having so we didn't even attempt to go through the forest areas. I would have been happy with woods. I can ride on the edge of a field at the barn :/

I will go back though, because for distance it's pretty good and once it does dry out, it would be an easy place to just trot/canter FOREVER and get some good conditioning for endurance in. No hills though, it's on the wrong side of Van Dyke.

The trail from the staging area to get to all the loops goes under 29 mile road. Gwyn had no issues going through. I was really happy.

See? Flat


We trotted where the footing was good and made good time heading out.

There was a grassy place to stop with a concrete mounting block. I think it's for pictures. We could see the river below us. Good grazing for the horses and a nice break.

Then out and around and onto a powerline area with random paddle boat.

Maybe this place becomes a lake....??? It was crazy deep mud. I was not a fan but Gwyn handled it well.

Bridge with kids on it. Private land on the other side of the river so no crossing. Plus no rails, made me antsy just thinking about going over.  I didn't get pictures but we turned around just after getting to the next field past the bridge. We'd caught up with a guy out by himself riding a thoroughbred. He cantered across the field, turned around and just BOOKED it galloping back. Ellen's eyes lit up (she was on the paint) "I want to do that!!!!!"

So I rode out with her to the far field and the guy came with us, we lined up and just FLEW back. I decided to trust Gwyn and just let her go. Oh my goodness, the rush was amazing. We hit 24.6 mph, breaking our previous known record of 19 mph. The guy's horse still was faster but my drafty put up a good effort. I ended up losing my jacket off the back of my saddle bags in the gallop so we went back to retrieve it then headed back. 

We crossed paths with these girls right by the river access. Technically horses aren't allowed in the river. 

But we did it anyway. And then saw the girls watching and double back to do it too, lol. I was proud of Gwyn, she walked into the river with minimal issue. But she had major problems with all the puddles.

The original plan was to eat lunch and head back out for another ride before going home, but during lunch NO ONE EXCEPT ME TIED SAFELY.   Those horses were on a cross tie attached to their lead ropes. They were all over the place. Then they were just plain loose. THEN... one of the horses got too tangled in the long line and gave himself rope burn on the back of his pastern.  It was bad and his halter was nylon with no snap on the lead rope so SUPER UNSAFE. There was no way to quick release him and nothing to break under pressure. Poor guy. I felt bad not offering her a trailer tie to use initially because that's what I grabbed for Gwyn since it'd give way under that strain but... the horses could have also been tied to the trailers as well, and not those posts.

Thankfully because I'm keeping the majority of my stuff in my trailer tack room I had my full first aid kit so he got sprayed with wound spray and then slathered with Furazone. I also showed someone how to put on those professional's choice boots.

Since the poor rope burned guy was ouchy, we called it a day and loaded everyone back up. Gwyn was an idiot for loading, but not nearly as much as she's been in the past. We headed home and overall it was a good day!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Thunder cut the ride short plus a naughty pony

Today was lots of arena work. It had rained again last night and I want to get some work done on the trot. The arena wasn't bad for footing, It was wet, but nowhere near as bad as when we'd been drenched on for several days straight. I dropped my stirrups a hole to see how my leg contact felt and it was pretty good for arena work!

Gwyn was good to start. We worked on bending at the poll and accepting contact and some lateral movement. Then I asked for a canter. She was GREAT going to the left, except she wanted to stop at the gate. So we worked on keeping up momentum, even if I lost the canter, continuing to trot. That went well. Then I switched directions and suddenly Gwyn HATED one corner of the arena. She continued to just push through my leg and reins and veer right, collapsing in on her circle. When she gets like that she also ignores my seat so I resort to one rein halting, which can take a while because she's stubborn.  I had my dressage whip so when she tried it again I tapped her butt and she kicked out! No buck, but definitely a hind end lift. We tried again and this time when I one rein stopped her she put teeth to my shin so I bopped her on the nose with my hand.

Mare! What are you doing?! (Also, my 30$ cheap half chaps do not stay up despite me technically being larger than their sizing)

I stopped cantering and just asked for a walk and then a trot past the problem spot, and once I got it, since I was hearing thunder, I called it quits. 

Mareface doesn't understand why she's inside on a beautiful day.
Because I had heard thunder, the barn owner decided horses were coming back in, which, better safe than sorry but then nothing happened the rest of the day and I feel horrible because it was HOT and humid today. They had a breeze through the barn, but still, I feel guilty.

Tack cleaning and a ride 3.03 miles

Gwyn's nose, I love her speckles.

Yesterday I cleaned my tack and lunged Gwyn. I set up the cavaletti again and also put the barrels on their side for her to jump as well. She did jump them, but spent more energy devising a way to avoid them, despite the obstacles I laid out to keep her from doing exactly that.   LOL. I had prepped to ride but was worried about thunderstorms. Silly me. Those didn't arrive until well into the night.

Being let loose while their stalls were cleaned until the barn owner decided to just turnout because storms were a ways off.

Gwyn says "Stop taking pictures! But I'll look pretty."

Leap over the cavaletti

And SPROING over the barrels, lol

Playing with the barrels when we were done.

Then some grazing time outside. I took photos to have for ID purposes

Spotty butt

Today I went ready to ride. We'd gotten more rain and the ground was wet but I decided to just do low key walking around the hay fields. Most of it was pretty good and she didn't have any issues near her spook spot, so I have no idea what was going on with that from Sunday. It was a nice day otherwise and we got 3 miles in and she barely broke a sweat, even under the saddle pad. Goober is getting in shape! (I am too! I've started losing weight successfully/finally! If you see me in purple hair... that means 20 lb is gone!)

Clover flowering

We also met a little girl playing outside in a house across the street from the barn. She asked to pet Gwyn so I obliged. Gwyn crossed a shallow drainage ditch easily and let the little girl rub on her chest and then we parted ways. I'm a softie for horse crazy girls, I used to be one and I want to pass on the good experiences I had to kids.

I came back out to the barn this evening for a different farrier who was already scheduled. Gwyn's feet were a chipped mess. We'd left them long because she was going to chip away the damaged parts from where the nails were, but I wanted to make sure they didn't go any further. The farrier was pretty nice, chatty and sociable. Plus a lot of the other boarders were there so I had 2 hours of social time. Felt good. He rounded them out and got them to a point where I can maintain with  my rider's rasp. We also discussed supplements for hooves since other horses need biotin as well. I think I'm going to start with the smartpak supplements again, or at least get a regular shipment of non-prepackaged and dose meals myself since I'll have minimal animals to keep track of at home.

Her feet do look less of a mess now. Farrier Kevin also gave me a lead on a potentially free donkey and her yearling foal. Huzzah! Companions for Booger!
Her old nail holes are almost completely grown out!