Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jumping without the jumping....

Today when I went out to get Olly he seemed a bit disconnected. Not like he wasn't feeling well, but just a bit sad almost. I gave him a little extra attention, just to show that I understand. He seemed appreciative. I saddled him up and hopped on. Then it hit me. Three days ago I sold Kiki. No wonder he wasn't feeling like himself. His girlfriend was gone. Poor boy.
Kiki has gone to a great home. This woman has 11 kids, that's right 11!! She also took goaty-goat and baby goat. They will all be together. She seemed like a knowledgeable woman who will take care of them, I hope...
So, back to today...I was feeling sorry for my poor boy. It was a bit warm out so I didn't want to do anything too strenuous. I was asked not too long ago by Megan, if I have a hard time seeing my strides. I answered with a "kinda." I mean I can tell if I am going to chip or take along spot, but I have a hard time adjusting far enough out. So, I guess that would be a "no" then.  I decided to give it a whirl today. I set up two ground poles 48 feet apart. How many strides can my BigRedHorse get in 48 feet? Well, my initial guess was four.  Since one stride is ~12feet and he didn't really need the six feet on either side for take off and landing, I thought my guess was pretty accurate. HA! First time through I think we got SIX!!! Ummmm....Olly is 16.1h and has an average TB back. He should have no problem getting four strides. I tell you what, it was easier for him to get seven strides and almost impossible to even get five. As a matter of fact, we couldn't even get five. We came close though, we got five and a! I wasn't too worried on the number of strides in that length, I was more concerned on being able to control his stride length. I did get some control over it, and that was good enough for today. I did at the end of our ride sneak in a three foot jump. He missed it once in the last jumping video on the full course and it made me think that he may not be ready for it yet. So I decided to try it when he was a bit tired. He cleared it, no problem. I think we are going to start schooling 2'6" and 2'9" more often. When we are doing more tricky combinations I will drop the jumps back down to 2 foot and 2'3".

Here is the VIDEO.

If only my leg were where is was suppose to be....DANG IT!

I like big butts...I cannot lie....
After our ride as we passed the neighbors house, something caught Olly's eye. A tarp on the ground. It was white and not normally there. He HAD to keep his eye on it while walking, which ended up with us in a whole other problem. Looking at the tarp and not seeing the mail box coming right for your nostril does propose a problem. Let's just say I am getting good at grabbing mane and staying calm. I didn't go off, and he got himself to gether quickly and we moved on.

He did own his fear and walk up to it to sniff it!

It alsmot ate him...
Back at the house I hosed him off, no soap, and attempted to braid his mane and tail. I thought I might be able to get away with using the little braid binders that I use for banding. NOPE! Gotta go get some yarn tomorrow. I did condition his mane and tail so he can look oh-so-handsome at the show in a week. I pampered him for a few hours while he ate grass and then put him back in the paddock. No sooner than I took his halter off he was in the dirt rolling.


No big deal, no show today. But next week, I better not see any rolling!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dressage Video

Dressage Video!
I guess it just took a while to process....

Dressage moments/Full course/Big Move

So there is alot going on in my life right now. First things first we are moving....AGAIN. I am not proud to say that we are moving and it is not the military's fault this time. When we chose to live at this house with 9 acres a 3 stall barn and 3000sq feet, I agreed to get a job. Two months after moving into the house I started back to school for nursing. I decided that I did not want to work, go to school, take care of my family, take care of my mini farm, and about 100 other things all at the same time. After thinking long and har Husband and I have decided to move on post to save money until I get out of school. It will eliminate me having to get a job. We have to sell Kiki...which it seems that I am the only one really struggling with that, and the baby goats, which we were going to sell anyway, and Yogurt (the cow) will be in the freezer. I get to keep my two dogs and of course the BigRedHorse.

Baby goaty-goat

Yogurt...he is much bigger now.
On to the important stuff!!!!
So the other day I was reading Solo's Blog and learned a ton of new info about collection. I won't explain it all, but feel free to check out her page. I read it like three times to make sure I understood what to do and headed out to give it all a try. We did ok, but not good enough. I know it is my fault. I watched the video and it seem to be having a problem with my hands bobbing. I hink that I keep hitting him in the mouth and that is making him not want to reach for the bit. The video is a bit rough. I didn't upload the entire thing, just a few tid-bits. Ok so my video didn't really upload correctly. I will getit working here soon and post it.
In the video, I see TONS of things that are wrong. I won't go through and name them because I will probably miss half. So feel free to give any pointers you can. And don't worry about my feelings...I can take it.
On to a better note...The next day I let Olly rest the dressage thing got me down, so what do I do the next time I ride? Do I practice the dressage to get better? NOPE! I go set up a full course! I set up a full course and went out to get'er done. The first jump we tackled was a 3ft vertical, everything else was around the 2'3" to 2'6" range. He did really well, HERE IS THE VIDEO. We owned that course.
I know this may be embarrassing, but I love this book. It is simple but has TON of great ideas....


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Practical Horseman ain't got nothin' on me!

So the other day when i was thinking up jump patterns, I set up two jumps that were about 15ft apart making an angle. The VIDEO I took was posted last week-ish. Olly did great, after a few tries he owned the turns. It helped him understand that you never knowwhat jump I will be pointing him to and that he will always have to be collected somewhat to make those turns. He owned it...not as much to the right. He must be a lefty like me ;). Anyway, I got my Practical Horseman a few days ago and I saw the "Tackle Tricky Lines" article. AWESOME! It was almost exactly the same thing I did last week. All I had to do was add one more jump. I have been wanting to try it out. Today would be a perfect day.
My friends from Savannah, Ga are in town. We were stationed with them in Hawaii a few months back. Perfect time to show off the BigRedHorse's mad skills.
I started out by setting up the jumps like they suggested in the magazine. After a few warm up jumps we gave'er a try. Nothing is too difficult for my BigRedHorse!!! He did pretty good, while trotting in. Then we decided to canter in. Not-so-much. We missed the second jump, guess that is where the whole collection comes in, huh? Back at the trot we did awesome! Next time we are gonna own it at a canter. It was so hot out that we decided to call it quits after only 4-5 tries. It was 1100 and it was already 90*. I am not complaining, I love summer. I hate winter. Here is the VIDEO from today.
On the way home MJ (my Savannah GF) hopped on and rode Olly home.

MJ and Olly

What a great rider!!!

Most of my non-horsey friends seem fearful hopping up on this 16.1h TB that just jumped 2-3ft like it was nothing. Not her. She hopped right on and rode him like it was nothing. I love it when people aren't scared of my horse. Sometimes just being fearful lets the horse know that they are in control. Olly is a great boy, but he will take advantage of anything he can. MJ would be a great equestrian. She wasn't fearful and actually had good form. A few lessons and she would be on her way. It was a short ride, but we accomplished alot. Good Boy!!!