Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Preparing for the show

On Friday afternoon Olly got his new shoes on. His feet were getting long and it seemed that his shoes were too small. Our new ferrier, Gen, was out to make the magic happen. Not only were his toes getting too long, his shoes were too small AND they were put on wrong. Go figure. Thanks Gunstock...After getting the shoes correctly put on, we went through the "show procedure."
First, was the bath. Olly has 3 white socks. You wouldn't have known with all the red dirt here. They just blended right in. So after scrubbing for 15 minutes, he was finaaly clean. On next to the mane and tail. I didn't braid his mane just banded it. It was getting late so I had to hurry, no electricity in the barn, ya know. I wrapped his legs, to attemp to keep the whites, white and put on a sleezy to help keep the bands neat. Upon returning him to the paddock, all the neighboring horses (Klein and Dollar) didn't know what to think. Is it a new horse or just a ninja horse? The sleezy really through them off. I crossed my fingers that all of the prepping would pay off and headed home. I have no pics to post of my "ninja horse" because my computer crashed and I didn't get a chance to back up my pics, so you will have to use your imagination on this one.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away!

The sky started out a bit gloomy, but I thought it might blow over. It wasn't suppose to rain til noon. How can they tell it down to the hour, I have no idea. It doesn't matter anyway because it was raining by 0830. I head to the barn to paint some jump cups, since Tina said she would be there at 0900. Well she ended up not being there til who knows when, no painting today. I give Olly some treats and head back home. At around 1430 I go back to the barn to feed and to see if stacy can show me how to use my new Garmin GPS. The whole technology thing is pretty new, since it will be on my horse. As I get the low down, the rain gets stronger and stronger. Now there is a storm warning and the show is suppose to be Saturday. As I am standing talking to Stacy, Olly is standing out in the rain! That crazy horse, he is freezing cold and all he does is stand in the rain. I decided to give him an extra 1/4c of corn oil to help him through the night. Poor boy, I just love him.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

So I have been out of a computer for a few days. Get ready for some info...

You can barely see the trail!

So starting with the 18th, we went on a long trail ride. We trotted mostly through the trail, since he wouldn't walk. He loves the trails. If we head toward the arena Olly gets all mopey and isn't too thrilled with what I have planned, no matter what it is. BUT, if we pass the arena and continue on the trails, kick it up lets go! No walking needed. I had to keep a tight rein for most of the trip. I wanted to be able to walk on a loose rein no bending or flexing just walking and getting used to being out and about. No way! one speed and that is not slow. We were gone for 90 minutes and cantered maybe 2-3 times for about 3 minutes each. At the end of the ride he finally walked on a loose rein and was soaking wet with sweat. Wouldn't you if you just tried to trot a 90 minute trail ride?

Sunday, Olly had off to recover from his trotting trail ride, but me on the other hand, did not. Stacy and I were at the barn early and set out paint some jumps. Someone has to do it...and guess who the luck winners are? Yup, the jumpers. 0930 I had the tape and Stacy had a brush. We starded out with red, white and blue. What else would you paint jumps on a military installation?

3 hours later and 2 quarts of paint later, we move on to the white ground poles. By this time we are sumburned and dehydrated and just want to go home. And, guess what? We still have to paint the jump cups, SILVER! WTF? That is what the boss wants Brad reminds me. So we paint them silver. 1500 rolls around and we feed and try to hit the gate as fast as we can to get home for a cold shower. By the way, those jumps look awesome!

Monday I was recovering from the jump painting day, so we picked back up on Tuesday. WE lunged for 45 minutes walk, trot and cantering. Working on transitions and a few ground poles, two verticals and some barrels. We never jumped the barrels we just pretended. I split them and we trotted the poles inbetween. He did great and totally got a work out. He thinks more on a lunge line then when I am on him. I think he worries too much about me and can't focus as much as I would like. He did everything I asked of him. He tries so hard.

He actually un-velcroed his boot and took it off!

Back to the barn for a bath. No soap today just currying and lots of love. All nice and brushed out and what happens? You guess it, not two second in the paddock and he rolls.

Today, I finally get to ride! After a few days off we are both rested and ready to go. I start out by loading up the kids in the back of the truck and climb into the front seat with my tape meauser and head to the arena. Two crossrail and a ground pole. I have a plan!

We start out by walking over the ground poles. How boring. All he wants to do is trot, big surprise...I decide to let him canter-hand gallop around the arena 3 times to get it out of his system. I hate to keep on his mouth. After the sprint we get back to business. We attempt the poles again. I find out that it might not be all him. Keep a steady rein on the outside and light contact on the inside. Back to dressage basics, I have to tell myself. Well, it paid off, with him sprinting and my mind where it should be, we made two near perfect 10m circles. Yeah!!!!! Don't get too excited it was only at a walk.

Notice the ears, not thrilled at all...

On to the next thing. I set up two crossrails. He jumps so perfectly, he just needs more confidence. I think after time of him learning to trust me, we will be a great pair. It is a long road and I have to slow myself down to make sure I am doing everything right. I would hate do push him too far. I already put a saddle on him that didn't fit. Let's not make the same mistakes. After only going through the jumps twice, which he did perfectly, we headed off to a short trail ride as a reward. As we head towards the trail, you guessed it, speed was increased. That crazy horse! The trail ride was just about over and we had one last hill to go up. He couldn't contain it. He wanted to go! It was so much that I had to stop him and help him regain his composure by adding alittle patience. We stood for what must have seemed like minutes and minutes. Pawing and shaking his head, he thought that would make me let him go. Think again Mr.! As soon as he calmed down I let him trot up the hill. Middle ground, he wanted to canter, I would have rather him walk, but it was a steep hill and there was no way he was going to be able to walk it.

...getting more interesting...

...Now We Are Talking!!!!

We ended up at the top of the hill happy. After he figured out we were going to the barn the loose rein law was applied. Relaxation at last! Back at the barn I decided to try out my new tail bag. I thought I was doing him a favor, making his tail pretty and all. No so, he hated it and I had to fight with him just to get the stupid thing on. I would have taken it off, but he was so pissy I had to get it done based on pride and he needed to get over it. Shit happens!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Got My Saddle!!!

I waited all day on Thursday at home, so I could sign for my saddle. UPS delivered it late in the afternoon. Why do they deliver stuff at like 1600 when they know you are waiting on it? It actually is not as bad as I thought. I LOVE leather, the smell, the look everything. THis time I got a synthetic saddle. Go looks like leather and is pretty durable. It sure doesn't smell like leather...but what are ya gonna do? I hope it rides like leather.

Friday I took my saddle out to try it on Olly and to meet Stacy to let the two kiddos play. We took them to the arena and turned them loose. They are sooooo funny. They loved it. Klein is so huge her stride was like 1/2 of Olly's. He had to literally gallop to keep up with her. I think he was in heaven. 15 minutes in She was all his for a short time. He got more of a work out running with her than he did when I was riding him. He is going to be so sad when she leaves at the end of this month. Klein is leaving the 27th because her mom doing a short tour in Korea. We will miss you!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Obsessive much?

So I am a day or two behind, but we figured out why Olly is laying down...without back pain. Wednesday Stacy and I made a time to go out and ride. I got to the barn and did the normal routine. Loving, brushing and taking care of everyday chores. As Stacy arrives, we decide to take Klein away and leave Olly in his paddock, just to see what he does when she is gone. Wow! He wasn't happy lets put it that way. He was running and jumping and kicking out as she leaves his sight. She was only gone for a minutes, which to him ,I am sure, felt like an eternitity. As she reappears he runs to get as close to her as possible. Running along the fence until she reaches her paddock. What a crazy boy! But I love him. So, on to the next task at hand. This situation with him laying down in the saddle. He has never layed down while I am on him, just as we are leaving the barn. Like he just doesn't want to go for a ride. So Wednesday, we decided to try it with Klein standing there. I saddle him up and wait for Stacy and Klein to head towards our barn. I really didin't think it was going to matter much whether she was there or not, at least someone would see him do it other than me. So i get on his bridle and without tightening the cinch we walk away from the barn. Klein and Stacy on the near side, the barn on the off side. NOTHING!!!! That litttle brat! He was perfectly fine!!! I guess we now know what the true problem was. He never wanted to leave Klein. She completes him! lol.

Off to the arena. We set up a few ground pole 4' apart making a collect trot and two ground poles 6'6" apart to use as a center for two circles. A figure basically. Again, it sounds boring, but we gave it a try anyway. Stacy and Klein are on the other end of the arena TRYING to calm themselves for some jumping and Olly and I are on the other end trying to stay focused. Not happening on either end! These two kids are nuts! After about 20 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of troting and not getting anywhere, I decide to go on a 25 minute trail ride. Oh, the focus has changed. On the way AWAY from the arena Olly is totally pissed that he cannot be with Klein and She is in the arena whinnying. We can't catch a break! On the way back from the tail ride Olly can't even walk. He is trotting and prancing all the wayto get back to his girl. Time to call it a day. Finally they are together again on the way back to the barn. They are happy as can be. It was the most productive, unproductive day I have ever experienced!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Couldn't wait to get to the barn today. New riding plan and a fresh Olly. I took my time making sure to stretch all the right places. Legs, back , butt and even neck. He was ready to go. After fitting him with all his new attire, that we are just now using, all we had left to do is get the boots on. Off we go! Oh, but we didn't. Instead he tried laying down!!! Again, I checked all the right places, especially his back and rushed to call the vet. I know for sure he isn't hurting, maybe....he seemed to be ok so I loosened the saddle and gave him a minute and I took a minute to think. I decided to walk him a bit before tightening the saddle again. We went to go see Stacy and Klein. No problems, not a one. So what is the deal with laying down? I finished cinching him at Stacy's barn and proceeded to ride. 20 minutes to warm up just flexing at a walk. Then we moved into a slow trot over a ground pole or two for 5 minutes. Then we finished with another 20 minute walk with flexing. I know it sounds boring, but I have to find out what works for him. I think we need to go on a trail ride with a little more challenging terrain. He seemed like he was ready to go. Everytime Klein and Stacy passed us anything faster than a walk he was pulling to go. As we walked back to the barn I could tell he would have gone another 45 minutes, but he was sure glad to being going home.

Klein and Olly (not sure who the other one is)
As I unsaddled and groomed, I was talking to my husband about the "incident." And boy did he come up with something interesting. Why would Olly be trying to lay down when getting ready to leave the barn? Maybe it isn't neccessarily the barn he isn't wanting to leave. Maybe it is his girlfriend in the next paddock. KLEIN! Well I brought that to stacy's attention and we are going to try a few experiments tomorrow. She tells me that everytime Klein leaves the area and he is left behind in the paddock, he flips out! He misses his girl. She is just so loveable! Who would have thought A TB and a Perch? We will see. I am interested in finding out whether he is actually not wanting to be ridden or if he is just not wanting to leave another horse. Either way it isn't good and we need to find the source so we can fix it. I will let you know it goes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sportin' his new braids

Back to riding.

Today was the first day we went for a ride after the back "injury." Since I do not have my saddle yet we went commando.
My Easter started out heading for the barn. As I am on my way I get a text messege from Stacy telling me that Olly is flipping out because he is missing his girlfriend/paddock buddy Klein. As I get there he is dang near attached to the back fence (it butts up to Klein's paddock). He sees me and runs to see what treats he can get today.
As I get him out he is totally ready to go somewhere. Anywhere but his stall and paddock. Typical TB! I finally get to use the new stuff that I got in the mail. New bridle, reins and breast collar. I got them after he hurt his back so it has all been waiting for me in the tack room. As I put the bridle together he can't even stand still. I feel bad because we aren't going for a long ride since he is just getting bak to activity. Poor guy! I debated whether I should use my dressge saddle or just wait until I get my Wintec. As you can tell by the picture, I decided to wait. We went to a short ride up and down a few hills to stretch and then back to the barn. He was such a good boy, except for that rock on the corner of the road, I guess it eats big red missed him this time. All-in-all we had a good ride and are ready to go a bit further tomorrow. I will be posting our progress and schedule soon, as soon as I figure it out!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Today I got to spend damn near the whole day at the barn. It makes me feel warm inside. As I am still waiting for my saddle in the mail, I asked my hubby to help me fix the fence, the right way. So as he headed to the hardware store I got to love on Olly. We measured for the new gullet, went for a walk and go some new braids put in. He looks so stunning! We will soon be ready to start a new training program that will strengthen his topline and get ready to start jumping, again. Keep your eyes open for new and exciting obstacles, we are going to be the best on the!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ready to Ride?

I think Olly's back is feeling better today! I went out to feed this afternoon and change out paddocks, and you would think he was never injured. As soon as I could get off his halter and lead he tore out of his stall with a kick and wanted to play. So I let him chase me around a bit, in a sence he is like a dog. He actually likes to "play." What a personality! We spent about 20 minutes in the paddock and then back to business. I think he will be ready for light riding this weekend.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Today we are starting our blog. Today Olly and I worked over ground poles with a tarp and a few barrels.

Last week Olly and I were jumping in the arena with Stacy and Klein, and we just couldn't get comfortable enought to go over a cross rail with a tarp below it. We tried for 15 min. We went over once, and I should have stopped there, but instead I asked for one more time. He wouldn't have it. Even as a ground pole...not going over. So we called it a day. due to some ill-fitting saddle issues, We were unable to continue schooling the tarp situation under saddle, so we attempted it yesterday on a lunge line. After a few tries of me walking with him over the tarp covered ground pole we are now cool.

Today we continued with the tarp/ground pole combination and added a few ground poles with barrels on the side, just to make it interesting. NO PROBLEM! Every day we add a few more new items and we are taking it in stride. Learning, learning, and more learning. A few more days and we will be back in the saddle, no jumping yet, but I fore see alot more ground poles!

After the lungeing we walked back to the barn for some sugar cubes and some stretching. Oh, and lots of hugs.