Ask and Ask Again

My lesson last night ended up being 98% flat work, which was fabulous, because we have discovered a rather large issue.  My horse does not realize she can independently move her shoulders.  The idea of moving her shoulder over correctly was pretty much alien to her, for which I felt a bit dumb about.  Does she bend?  Most days. Does she yield off leg pressure?  Yes.  But the minute my trainer asked us to move the shoulder out and create a better, softer bend I ran into a rather large training hole.

Derpy derp.

Derpy derp.

So we found ourselves trotting forward, pushing (a lot) with the inside leg, and opening to the outside to ask the outside shoulder to shift over.  It was not a difficult concept, but we ran into a bit of a training hole on my part.  I get way too excited when she does something correctly, even if it could still be better.  The theme for the night was ask for the move/bend, then ask again.  Did I get enough?  Ask again…and again.  She’s not green, and is more than capable of producing some quality trot work if I just kept pushing her.

This is why I need a trainer.  Would we eventually get the type of bend and movement we had in our lesson if it was just me…maybe?  But it wouldn’t take 20 minutes to create, probably more like 20 rides.  Anyway, great job security for you trainers out there.

Unrelated trotting picture.

Unrelated trotting picture.

I will say that once I had established the “that’s not quite enough-try again” concept to her, O gave me some really fabulous work, including in my mind, some of the best canter we’ve had.  She was forward, round, and while still fussy with her head a bit (not used to my continued requests) she seemed happy enough to oblige my aides.  Now that I know that type of movement is in there, I am making it a mission to get to that place much more often.

We finished jumping some small jumps, where I tried very hard to NOT micromanage every step she takes.  The struggle is real folks.

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B&BS Blog Hop: Quirky Horse

I love this blog hop idea from Breeches and Boat Shoes!  Thanks Terise!


What are some quirks, naughty or nice, that your horse has and do you love or hate them?

O is a pretty funny girl, but I’m going to pick my top three favorites/ones that have the best picture possibilities.

She licks everything.

The licking…dear lord it cracks me up.  People.  Dogs.  Trash cans (eww).  Walls.  Fences.  Nothing is safe from her.

Licking the unsuspecting bench.

Licking the unsuspecting bench.

She's special.

She’s special.

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She’s SO hairy in this picture!

Tongue curl!

Tongue curl!

Another quirk that I’ve mentioned before but have to revisit for this hops purposes.  O hates ponies.  We have made a ton of progress in this matter, but realistically she still gives them the hairy eyeball when first approached.  And she spends most of her time in the field avoiding the pony that lives with her.   In flat classes she will pin ears and snap at the ponies as she goes around.  It’s not cute.



o and mini cute

This was after much therapy and convincing.

Turns into a sloth when I bring her in from the field.  I don’t even know horses could walk that slowly, especially one that takes such big steps.  It’s ridiculous, and absolutely drives me nuts.  I’ve started making her trot randomly by my side so that 1. it doesn’t take  as long 2. she moves faster than a glacier.

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Hood: Check!

It is official, with the purchase of my hooded blanket this weekend, O is going to get clipped this winter.  Not full-body, but something that keeps her from being so sweaty and uncomfortable plus allows us to show this winter if we get the chance.  Here are some options.


I’m really liking the high trace clip which is the 2nd from the left.  Thoughts anyone?

Another great lesson this week on the O-pony.  She popped over everything I pointed her at, and was really soft to me for the most part.  Big focus was ‘getting it done (in our case, adjusting her stride), then leaving her alone’ down the lines.  That way I don’t end up half halting about 2 feet before the jump.  Obviously this tuned up my eye a bit and I felt like we were straight and very lope-y down the lines.  I liked it.

The nights are getting cooler here, and I am planning on squeezing in one last spa day before it gets too cool!  Hairy pony is too hairy already.

Now, That’s the Spot: What do you do outside of horses?

What other activities, hobbies, or sports do you do outside of riding?

To be honest I’m a bit of a sports junkie.

1. Sand Volleyball and Court Volleyball: I mean in what other sport would my monkey arms and overall lankiness appreciated!?  Maybe basketball, but I’m awful at that.  My husband and I play sand volleyball in the warm months, and indoor court volleyball in the cold ones, and it’s a blast.  I played quite a bit growing up, but later gave it up in high school for my equestrian pursuits.  Very glad to have picked it back up after school.

1.b. My husband plays soccer, cycles and runs, so I end up dabbling in those areas as well, even if I’m the worst soccer player known to mankind.

Awkward is as awkward does.

Awkward is as awkward does.

2. Cook: I love to cook, I especially love to cook for family-specifically my father as he makes the most grateful ‘nom nom nom’ noises I’ve ever heard.  You’d think he was starving.  I tend to play in the grey area between comfort and healthy, as I must keep thy ass from getting any larger, though I can’t sacrifice everything!  Current favorite thing I made (for baby shower) grilled cheese with bacon jam.  Hellllllo!  (recipe here)

2.b. Host: Who doesn’t love a good party?  I am the one who volunteers to host parties and events among our friends and family.

3. Sewing: My mother is an accomplished seamstress, and I grew up sewing.  While I just dabble in it, it really is something I enjoy and try to spend sometime feeling creative!

4. Workout: Because I like food, and I like to not be 400lbs.  I workout 4-5 times a week, focus on cardio with some strength training thrown in.  I’m really boring honestly, and don’t do any fun classes or whatnot.  But it works and I like being fit.

5. Drink margaritas, wine and watch boatloads of netflix and ESPN.  Because that in itself should be a hobby.

O hanging with her bestie this weekend!

Cutie horse O hanging with her bestie this weekend!

Saturday Shopping with Savings

I’ve been biding my time and window shopping like crazy in preparation for today…it’s the biggest tack sale of the year in this area put on by a nearby tack store.

Primary objectives: Buy everything!  Buy what I need to get ready for the winter season that will be here before we know it.

Well the prices were even better than I could have hoped and I lugged my goodies around the store smiling like an idiot.

The goods.

The goods.

First off, I picked up a cute olive green Rhino medium weight turnout with neck cover that is usually priced between $209-$249 online for $90.  VICTORY!  Also, when I found it I had a good laugh (by myself mind you) since it’s called olive tartan on olive…and O’s barn name is Olive.

So now when she's wears it it will be Olive Tartan with Olive on Olive.  Te he.

So now when she’s wears it it will be Olive Tartan with Olive on Olive. Te he.

I grabbed an Amigo fleece cooler for my BFF’s mare, Honey, since she couldn’t be there for $29.  Typically priced at $54.00 online.  Bonus that it’s dark navy and will look super cute on Miss Grey Pony.

Finally I happened up on a pair of Tailored Sportmans in my size and long.  Priced at $189, I got them for $50.  Bingo.

I also grabbed some random tack cleaner, but that’s not very fun, and the savings was like $1.  So yeah. Not nearly as cool.

Price tag total for my outing was $192.?? for all four things.  Compared at full price ($452), I saved $260.   Woo hoo!

The Adds

This weeks lesson had a decided different feel than last weeks disaster hour.  O was super on the flat, and really just needed some light adjusting here and there.  I focused on keeping my body quiet and efficient.

Trainer then announced what we’d be doing over fences…we’d be doing work on adds down a few small lines.  In case I haven’t whined about it enough lately, my horse has a very large stride, and is often blows through my half-halts between jumps in favor of doing what she pleases.  We have been drilling the adjust-ability idea hard lately, and switched up the a mullen mouth pelham bit to help emphasize the importance of her listening to half halts.

It was shocking to realize that my horse was really coming back to me between the jumps, instead of bulging and pulling at me.  Sometimes it was overkill, even to the point of breaking to the trot a few times during a half-halt.  Not what we were looking for, but the response was correct.  Now to add a ton of leg on my end of things.  The jumps were teeny tiny, but overall the lesson was fabulous, and it felt great to have a horse so responsive and quiet.  Yay us!

I’ve even included a sweet 1ish minute video of us over tiny jumps.  Because I know you all want to watch that.  HA!  Have a great weekend everyone!