Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

I am off travelling for the holidays. One family visit complete, one to go. R and I have enjoyed the sights in Pittsburgh, PA. We visited the Strip District, and bought a meal for a homeless guy named Terry. A sweet and polite man. We also visited the Carnegie Science Museum, mostly for the miniature railroad exhibit. I remember the train from my childhood, so it was awesome to see it again. In a new sports complex part of the museum, I got in a little rock wall climbing. Pictures sometime soon... =)

Now, we are off to see R's family. The airport is snowy today, and beautiful...
If I do not get another entry up.. may I wish you and yours
A Very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

12/18/10 Heartbreak

Ransom went back to BRM today. He let me know how he felt about it very early, getting away from R trying to change his blanket in the yard. Took a few scary minutes to catch him, but he was uninjured. Loaded, and arrived safely mid-morning.
Very little words were shared as we put him in their round pen. I got to say my tearful goodbye's, and so did R. I left him with his vet records, turnout blanket and sheet, and love.
We walked off at one point, but I snuck out of the barn moments later... and got the "head up Hi Mom!" face. I snuck another smooch before driving off.

"Farewell, good friend. When it hurts a little less, maybe I will come see you again. Until then, take it easy! Don't overdo it! No galloping fits, no sillyness! Babysit those folks that will exercise you... no jumping high, no trotting extended. Just go easy, eat lots, and love more.."

Friday, December 17, 2010

12/16/10 Romeo Plans

Rode Romeo bareback for about a half hour, western bit. He obeyed mostly, and I stayed at walk & trot. Some pesky things popped up during the ride that I'm going to focus on with him in 2011.

Verbal "Whoa" means stop n-o-w. Not ten feet later. Bit pressure should NOT be necessary for a verbal cue.

Neck reining could use a little touch up work with repetition.
Stops are very harsh on front end. He needs a butt-down stop.

I'm going to work on these things with Romeo next year. I'll probably employ Julie Goodnight's elbow pull system (or one similar of my creating), and he'll spend some serious time on a longe line in the elbow pull, learning how to relax to the bit pressure. I'm also going to spend some serious time working on halts - backing him up a few steps from every halt out of walk and trot. I'll also work on his canter stops, as Julie suggested in a TV episode, going to an opposite diagonal trot everytime he stops ugly.

Soon, you will see some 2011 Goals for Romeo, and for Harley. I've let out my thoughts on Romeo goals. What do you think would make good Harley goals? Competing? Judge comments? Certain scores? Accomplishing things at home with video for proof? What say you?

12/11/10 Training #3, S. Malone-Casey, Judge

Training Level #3,
S. Malone-Casey, Judge
1. Enter working trot, halt at X, salute, proceed working trot
7 = don't drift right to turn left

2. Track left at C, Left at E, circle left 20m at X
6 = stride needs to be longer, 2nd 1/2 better than first

3. Circle right 20M at X, B turn right
7 = getting better

4. – 5. Circle right 20m at A, right canter lead first quarter of circle
4. Transition
8 = fluid
5. Circle
7 = circles don't have corners

6. E-B Half circle 20m, near centerline working trot, B straight ahead
6 = allow horse to trot, balance will be better

7. A Medium walk
7 = nicely ridden

8. K-B free walk
6 = a little tight in back

9. B-M medium walk, M working trot

10. – 11. Circle left 20m at C, left canter lead first quarter of circle
10. Transition

11. Circle
7 = don't go so deep in corner in circle

12. E-B Half circle 20m, near centerline working trot, B straight ahead
7= fairly well balanced

13. C, circle left 20m, rising trot, allowing the horse to stretch forward and downward, shorten reins before C
7 = keep outside rein steady, just bend to inside

14. Half circle at E 10m to X, X straight ahead, G halt salute.
7 = straight, square, but neck short

Rider comments
Gaits = 7
Impulsion = 6
Submission = 6
Rider = 7

Learn four points of a circle. It doesn't have corners.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12/15/10 Harley Meets Dressage & the Clippers

So much in a short time. I had a little sunshine left, and the winds had calmed a little, so I thought. I walked into Harley's pasture, halter in-hand, and he walked over to me, nickering a little. "Do you know, Harley, that you're filling a hole? Because you're sure starting to act like a pocket-pony, nuzzles and all."

A little grooming to get the hay, grass bits, and dust off his coat, and I saddled him dressage for the first time. I only used a square pad, hoping to get him warm enough riding to test saddle fit. It seemed okay from the ground, but I wanted to be sure.

As soon as I got on, it was "go go go". Harley didn't want to stand, and he absolutely didn't want to halt. His head was up, his ears in every direction, and he felt tense. I'd be tense too, with less padding between my back and a human atop me, wriggling around a lot. When I added leg, he immediately bounced into his trot, and it was even bigger. After a few minutes, and lots of turns and bends, Harley settled down, obviously starting to understand the changes in body position and weight shifts. I didn't ride more than about 10 minutes or so, before my headcold started to whoop me, getting spats of coughing and sniffles. I dismounted, and took the saddle off..

I found he'll be needing either a wither riser pad, or my Mattes sheepskin halfpad for the near future, until he builds up some topline and wither muscles. Most of the saddle fit great, but there was a patch of cool skin under his withers, just below the backbone. Darnit! :) It's okay, Ransom had it too when I first got him, so I know how to fix it. I'll be pad browsing online today, so if anybody has experience with this and has a suggestion, comment please!!!

I glanced down at the clippers, looked at Harley, and told him, "Well, let's give this a whirl. You were pretty quiet considering the tarps were flapping in the wind, tree limbs blowing all over the place. I'll be happy if I can just turn them on near you. We've got to start somewhere."

I walked him back to the barn and the power plug. I plugged the clippers in, and turned them on. Harley's head popped up, and he took a step backwards. I rested the clipper body on his shoulder, and rubbed his sweetspot on his forehead. He eased his head down, and gave me a deep sigh, licking and chewing.

So I got brave. I put the clipper body against his nose, with more rubbing, and when he didn't spook, I turned them around, and started coarsely clipping nose whiskers. No reaction, in fact, he leaned into it a little. Cool! I asked him to lower his head, and clipped a little bridle path. A little nervous head-up, until he realized it wasn't going to hurt, and he relaxed again. Feeling even more brave, I clipped those pesky long under eye lashes. Harley actually lowered his head into the clippers for this, and I was verbally cooing and cahhing, praising him the whole time. "What a brave boy you are! This is awesome! Super good job, Harley!"

Finally, I reached up, again with the body of the clippers, inside his ears. No reaction. So I clipped a tiny bit of that ear fuzz near the bottom of his head. Still no reaction. I very coarsely clipped bits of fuzz inside his ears. I didn't "show shave" them short, but just clipped bits here and there inside of both ears. All with zero reaction, except a good head-shaking as I walked around his head to the other ear. Amazing.. good job Harley!

Another success! I'm guessing that was his first time with the clippers, and I'm happy it went well, peacefully, without a problem. Makes me want to body clip him, to make our winter rides easier.. really, really, really does... I probably won't this year, but if we get another warm burst after vacation, it's going to be awfully tempting.

12/15/10 Fifteen with Ransom

Ransom and I rumbled to the arena, where I put on his twisted wire O-ring, and hopped on. He was a little jittery in the sharp wind gusts. That makes me laugh, you know? He's 20 years old, almost 21, and he still squirts at the tree limbs blowing around.

Rode all three gaits, both directions. I actually was able to lean forward, sort of in a two point, for his canter, which was pretty fun. Most of the ride was just walking, though. I laughed at him and his amazing work ethic. As soon as I sat down on his back and grabbed the reins, he bent his neck and nose, and I felt his back round up. He thinks everything is work work work, and I can't blame him. He's worked his whole life, at something or other. No reason for him to know any different.

I didn't ride long. His feet are long, and he's due for a trim. He tripped a bit, and felt very stiff. Three days off, with zero warmup, and long feet, usually leads to some stumbling.

One more Ransom ride scheduled for Friday ... I'll put the saddle on that time, though, and probably let him think it's a workday.. One. Last. Ride.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010 Goal Update

Now, this cheers me up.. I set some pretty high goals, and I got super close to meeting them!

Learn to ride a good sitting trot - Ransom.
Complete! I don't have a lot of video to prove it, but I can drop my stirrups, collect him up pretty, and sit that trot!

Compete Ransom Training Level 1 & 2 with two scores 67% or better.
Fail, Sort of ... top Training 1 & 2 score of the year? 64.348% was the highest. I say "sort of" because look at the next one! Smoking GOOD!

Compete Ransom Training Level 3 & 4 with at least one score over 60%.
Complete! 65.2% and 67.2% , both for Training 3

Compete Ransom Hunter over Fences 2' with a clear round at a schooling show.
Fail... Change in plans. I decided to focus 100% on dressage, and with those scores above, I think it was the right decision.

Determine a "Career Path" for Romeo & stick with it.
Complete! His Career Path? My ultimate stress relief, my mail carrier, my trail partner, my all-purpose "hey I wanna test this out but if I suck at it Mo won't mind" horse.

The extra achievements I never expected?
Adult Amateur Highpoint Sash winner at TWO HDS Schooling Shows! TWICE!

12/15/10 Ransom, What's Next?

I thought about keeping him forever, taking his shoes off, and letting him be a pasture puff.
I thought about using him to teach me flying changes.
I thought about using him to pony Harley around, and teach him.
I thought about trail riding for a year, putting my show dreams on-hold.

The first one? I wouldn't be able to do it. Seeing him in the pasture, knowing his potential, and his serious dislike of not working, running fenceline while Romeo and Harley dance, I know it would hurt him more than if I kept working him.

The last three? Those all mean either some moderate level of work, or some serious injury risk. Ransom can't hold up to those last three dreams, no matter how hard I try to convince myself of it.

So, with tears, and serious frustration, I've come to the conclusion that Saturday, I'm going to get up, feed him, wrap his legs, load him on the trailer, and return him to BRM where he came from. Hopefully once the pain has wore off watching him walk away into his pasture the last time, I'll be able to return up there and admire his cute personality. Maybe even hop on him bareback for a walk. Keeping him sound isn't possible on my watch, despite all the things I have tried. He's not going to continue to score well in the dressage ring, and it's not fair to his joints and muscles to ask him to jump again. He's ready to retire, to go back to his pasture puff life he had before he found me.

And I, like many other bloggers lately I've been reading, am pissed about it. It flat out, no doubt about it, sucks. I had dreamed of bigger things with him, and they're just not going to happen.

With all this in mind, this afternoon, no matter how bad this headcold is making me feel, tonight.. while the winds are still warm, and the sun is still shining, I'm grabbing my boots, my helmet, my twisted wire bit, and Ransom, and we're going to play in the arena. I have zero goals, zero intentions of "things to accomplish" with him today. It's the first time I'm riding him with NO intentions of "feeling something", or "learning something" or "fixing something". I'm just going to ride, and try to enjoy it as much as possible.

12/11/10 Schooling Show Championships Pt II

The championship class was next. Ransom's last competition test, at least with me. What happened? Well, I'm going to be a big pouty baby, and stomp my feet, swing my arms about, and holler, "I don't wanna talk about it!" And I don't.. not just yet. For now, let me say this.. The outcome wasn't real good, and I don't understand it.

Faithful readers and lurkers anonymous, please understand there's a reason I'm withholding the details. It's not that I'm ashamed or embarassed, that's not it at all. I'm frustrated, and almost angry. I've discussed this with a select few, and those who know, please don't comment with details? Thanks.. I've asked some questions, and I'm waiting on those answers. If they arrive, I'll probably be more forthright here...

I know I owe you guys and gals video, and I will provide that, um, *cough* once I watch it myself. That should happen tonight, I think... If I can get it hooked up to the TV so I can watch it. I also owe you all judge's comments for Test #3, which I will provide if I can ever remember to carry the score sheet to a computer. =)

Monday, December 13, 2010

12/11/10 Schooling Show Championships

The title says it all. R, Jen, Ransom and I, dressed and loaded, headed for Houston, to the Houston Dressage Society Schooling Show Championships Saturday morning. We were qualified, and were entered in two classes.

We arrived nice and early, and got everything unpacked, Ransom settled in his stall, and even had time to fix up a few braids he undid overnight. Rested and ready, it was near time for our first event - Training Level, Test 3.

I'll add movement scores and judge comments in some time this week. For the sake of folks reading, I'll cut to the chase.

Training Level Test #3, Sue Malone-Casey, judge

It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that this totally sunk in. A 67.2%! That was our

I found the ride a little nerve-wracking. The wind was howling in the trees to the side of the show arena, and our warmup was quite chaotic (too many horses, too small a space, plus a few wayfaring non-attentive pedestrians littering the warmup). Ransom felt a little stiff to me, and I attributed it to a less than adequate warmup. Nevertheless, when I got my test score sheet in-hand, I glowed. We didn't win first place with it, but what a delightfully awesome score!

However, that's where the delight just about ends. It will probably take me the rest of today, and maybe even tomorrow to summarize what happened in the Championship Test #4 class. I'm still stunned, confused, and maybe even a little mad.

12/10/10 Ransom

Ransom rode with a particular snark Friday. You know, the attitude of, "I know something's coming, I can feel it in your behavior Mom. So watch me be a dork, just to challenge your confidence."

And me oh my did he start out the ride horrid. Head in the sky, hollow back transitions, a few gallops rather than canters, and a trot that was so irregular I couldn't even post it, let alone sit without bouncing about. Blech!

I did a longer set at the walk, stretch, collect, stretch, collect, stretch, collect, HALT. A few of these, followed by circles with his head turned slightly in the circle, and slightly out of the circle, and Ransom realized I wasn't playing games. I was serious.

Finally, he started to behave. I was able to ride test pieces that concerned me, and even finished up with some fantastic stretching trot circles. He rode for nearly 45 minutes, and the last 20 of that were awesome. An ugly start, but a fabulous end.

Ransom got a bath, he even got his mane braided.. But why would we go to all that trouble? Locked up in his stall and paddock, dressed and covered, he ate hay for the night, staring longingly at the trailer. What were we ever going to do with the fancy show horse?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12/6/10 Harley Meet Dr. Sam Pt II

Dr. Sam had his tech, Seth, set Harley up on their gravel driveway. Sam said to me quite cheerfully, "If he's got any lameness issues, this gravel sure will show it."

On the first trot-off, Harley hopped up in the air, all four feet off the ground, obviously terrified of all the clucking, kissing, and arm-waving that went on around him. *giggle* I told Dr. Sam, "I've been trying to teach him to trot off in hand, and it hasn't gone so well. Sorry about that." Sam replied, "Oh it's okay. He'll know how to do it when we're done here today."

Flexion up front, on both legs, 100% completely, totally, sound!

Before moving to the rear legs, another client showed up to retrieve a mare in the paddocks. He loaded her, and drove his truck and trailer directly by Harley and the vet's staff.. I stood to the side, cautious. You know, that cautious, "OMG, if Harley does spook, he's going to end up on the highway, in traffic, and... OMG I hope he's quiet." Harley watched the truck, trailer, and mare go by, and didn't even raise his head to do it. Completely passive about the whole event. *whew*
Then onto the back legs. Dr. Sam tested his entire rear leg, in parts. First, the lower half, then the upper half. Each in its own time. Each time, as Harley trotted off, Sam stared, studied, in his deep concentration sort of way. He kept grinning at me after each piece, as if he had a secret he didn't want to tell me.
Rear legs flexion, 100% completely, totally, sound!
Dr. Sam hoof tested each foot, squeezing in all kinds of places. Not a wiggle, not a flinch, not a hesitation from Harley - he just stood there, statue-still. Hooves? Pass!
The Good Doctor asked me what I intended to do with Harley, and so I told him. He then said, "If he were any older, and had done any strenous work, I'd suggest radiographs. Honestly, since you know his history, you know what he's done, where he's been, there's nothing worth looking at further. He's good to go, no problems, no issues." I asked about the old scar on his front right hoof, inside. As hard as it was hoof tester squeezed, with no reaction, it's cosmetic only. The same with the indentation on his rear left quarters. Dr. Sam explained that it's a surface muscle, in a group of muscles that are very thick, and very strong, but serve only to hold other very important using muscles together. "It's a connecting band of muscles, not a functioning band. It's not bothering him, so again, only cosmetic."
I'm waiting for the final report write-up to arrive at the house. That all being said..
Dramatic Drum Roll Please.. (badabadabadabadabadabadabadabadabadabadabada)...
I contacted Harley's current owner, and told her, "Write him up, Bill of Sale, terms and conditions as already discussed. I'd like to keep him, if that's alright by you."
That makes it all but a signed check of official... Luken For Blue Skies, aka Harley, is now a member of the family.

12/7/10 Ransom, not yet!

Ransom got to enjoy the entire arena Tuesday night, as I worked through all of the pieces of Training Test #4. The "one loops" were pretty darn good, and to my absolute delight, the canter work was fantastic! Absolutely zero change in stride from the straightaways to the circle. Fantastic! We even had a few fabulous transitions down to trot right at the center marker. His stretch trot right still isn't super long&low, but it's pretty good. The free walk, by far my favorite part right now - he's coming in and out of it from working walk without that goofy "please let me trot" spat.

As he started getting tired, he also started getting lazy. Hanging on the forehand, leaning on my hands, I believe in a attempt to pull my shoulders out of socket. I wriggled and battled, and finally started hard half-halting back at him every time he did it. With a few huge stumbles up front, Ransom seemed to remember that if he leans on me, he doesn't stay up right very long. Right after each half-halt, I was releasing big, and when he tripped he did it hard.

Cheer up Ransom! You're supposed to be a great ride Tuesday! It's Thursday you get to be a goober, and make me wonder what we're doing.. Oh yeah, readers delight.. Great Things coming this weekend.. CountDown, 3. More. Days. Can you wait that long?!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12/6/10 Harley Meet Dr. Sam

Sunshine in the sky, turned on the all-heavenly vaccuum cleaner yesterday afternoon. You know the one.. That mysterious suction that, if you stand in the hallway at work long enough, pulls you right out the door, and sets the "out of office assistant" right on your heels? Yeah, that one.

I went home, hooked up the truck and trailer, caught Harley, wrapped his legs, and loaded him on the trailer. Big step up for a little guy, and after one cautious look inside the trailer, he stepped right in. I drove carefully to the vet, paying attention to traffic, but more to his behavior. Not a step, not a sound. A peaceful ride.

Arrived at the vet's office, told Harley to wait patient, and walked up to the office to let them know I'd arrived. As I walked back to the trailer, Harley called out to me, and I grinned. "You ready to get outta there? I'm sure glad you see me, and you're happy about it." When I opened the trailer compartment to unload him, Harley turned around, thinking he could walk out forwards. "Nope. No go buddy." I turned him around, and backed him out carefully. With a few hesitant steps, he unloaded. As soon as that first hind hoof hit the gravel driveway, he relaxed.

One of the other patient horses called out to him, and Harley answered. I wiggled the lead rope and scolded him, and he dropped his head. A cute apology, I thought. I unwrapped his legs, and introduced him to Dr. Sam.

Sam walked him over to the stocks as I rolled the last leg wrap. I watched carefully, and noticed, not another sound from Harley, nor a hesitation as he walked right into the stocks. There was another patient horse in the other stocks, um, oh, about 20ft away. They exchanged glances, but nothing more.

Harley stood quiet for the entire physical exam. Temperature, heart, lungs, gut sounds, ears, and the like. Dr. Sam had nothing but compliments.

Last to complete, was the soundness exam. Flexion tests on front legs, and rear, including hocks and stifles. How did he do? Well you'll just have to wait and see... 'Cause I'm gonna drag this one out a little!


12/5/10 Ransom Delight

We're like a hand and glove. A matched set of fine china. A great CD in an awesome sound system...

Ransom and I enjoyed about 45 minutes together, after a nice longe on the side reins, I hopped aboard. All the transitions were pretty, all his trot work was steady.

What I'm learning to love, is his canter. I played a little with stride length, pushing with my seat a few strides, and then relaxing a few, just to see what would happen. Ransom enjoyed the game, because I could feel him push from behind when I moved my hips more.

Enjoyable, and at least four times I caught myself smiling without being intentional about it.

Something big is coming! Countdown, 4 days. Can you figure it out??

12/4/10 Harley, The Video

I really thought this went out yesterday. Note the random musical selection. *grin* How funny!!

I got about 45 minutes of total video, and this is probably the better of the clips. I longed him a while, to get a good video of his movement, rode a while for the camera... Then we worked on a few leg yields, which went particularly better than I figured they would.

Finally, this linked video clip was collected. Directly after this video was taken, Harley was sweaty, and warm... So I walked him over to the pond, and dismounted in the field somewhere near the pond.

Hand walked him over to it, and, with a little encouraging, he stuck all four feet proudly in the water. Splashed around with a front hoof a bit, and laughing at him, I carefully led him out, and back to the house.

Monday, December 6, 2010

12/3/10 Harley, Talking to Myself

The conversation in my head went something like this...

Why won't I just start cantering Harley? I mean, really... There were how many different horses for sale that I hopped up on, without thought, threw caution to the wind, and asked up into the gait? For heaven's sake, there was even the one I rode without the owner riding first. That one on second ride bucked hard with the owner! I'm a frigging chicken! He lives here! I know his history, I know he knows how. He's got the muscles now. It won't be pretty and collected, but he'll go for sure!

So I grabbed Harley, dressed him all up, and walked him to the arena. I longed him out a little first, and he was quiet. I asked for canter, and got decent movemetn without a lot of effort. A little canter-departs, a circle or two at a time, and easy downs back to trot.

I hopped on. He found his "Go" button, for sure, and it's in a driving seat. I pushed him on at the walk, and he popped to trot. Can't fault him for it, I was asking big. So I left him go. The trot got a little pokey lazy, so I squeezed again. Harley responded with this gigantic trot - You know the one. That "I'm almost in the canter so you might as well just squeeze me again" trot?

So I did. Steady on the circle, I prayed he'd stay there. I squeezed solid, and kissed hard. Harley lept up into his canter, and I quickly relaxed, and kept kissing to him. Gawgeous. Just outstanding, beyond my expectations. Really?! Has he been hiding this all along? I gave him a heavy sigh, and he eased into a trot. A big trot. Nearly as big as the trot-into-canter-trot. Forward!!!

A little more trot work, a little more canter-left, a little more trot. We eased into the walk, and reversed. More of the same. His canter-right? Equally delightful. This little boy is not only bright, he's even. No "better direction", he's about the same both ways, which is fantastic!

I lost track of time, thoroughly enjoying myself, probably glowing and elevated about 3" above the tack, tickled I was brave, and Harley was so willing. We rode for nearly 45 minutes. As I realized how long it'd been, I slowed him to a loose rein walk, and relaxed, with plenty of "atta boy" pats and praise.

I scheduled video taping for Saturday. If he felt that great, I was highly curious what he looked like. Is this the dressage horse I've been looking for, all this time? Have I been driving all over Timbuktu, spending countless hours, gallons of gas, and earned grey hairs, when the horse I'm looking for has been in the yard right outside my door?! Seriously?!

Friday, December 3, 2010

12-02-10 Ransom

Ransom got about three to four minutes on the side reins each way. The sunshine is dimming a little every evening, and that leaves little time for solid rides. He got the hint quickly I meant work and business, so he complied.

I got on and rode a bomb of energy. He was ridiculously forward, and was actually disciplined with some harsh half-halts when he wouldn't mind. Obviously happy about the weather, he then thought it'd be fun to hang on the forehand, and pull the reins out of my hands, which pitches me forward in the tack, and causes me to squeeze, justifying him going even faster. Monster...

After some strong half-halts, and a talking-to, I got some of the most excellent trot work imaginable. If I sat, he got even more forward, so I steadied his gait with my posting rhythm. Nevertheless, it was still outstanding work, and I was able to bend him through some serpentines, and some 1-loops as we'll be riding in Training #4.

Countdown to Championships, 8 days. Dec 11th. I have yet to receive ride times or any additional information. Hope that means I filled it all out right and sent it in correctly. *sigh* That would sure stink, wouldn't it?! If they say they didn't get it all in time. pfft. Let's be hopeful, shall we?

After the ride, and saddle removed, it was still rather humid out, and Ransom was quite sweaty after working in his winter furr. So we stood together a while, and we talked. I asked him what he wants to do with the rest of his life, and where he'd like to be. He nuzzled my hands. I don't know if that meant, "Stay with me", or "Got another cookie in there?" I've got some serious thinking and deciding to do here very soon. A lot of options before me, and I need to think very long and hard before I do anything outrageous I could regret..

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lyrics of the Day

Okay, of the season is more like it...

No words,
My tears won't make any room for more,
And it don't hurt,
like anything I've ever felt before, this is
No broken heart,
No familiar scars,
This territory goes uncharted...
Just me, in a room sunk down in a house in a town, and I
Don't breathe, no I never meant to let it get away from me
Now, too much to hold, everybody wants has to get their hands on gold,
And I want uncharted.
Stuck under this ceiling I made, I can't help but feeling...
I'm going down,
Follow if you want,
I won't just hang around,
Like you'll show me where to go,
I'm already out, of foolproof ideas,
so don't ask me how
To get started, it's all uncharted...
Each day, countin' up the minutes,
till I get alone, 'cause I can't stay
In the middle of it all, it's nobody's fault, but I'm
So alone,
Never knew how much I didn't know,
Oh, everything is uncharted.
I know I'm getting nowhere,
when I only sit and stare like...
I'm going down,
Follow if you want,
I won't just hang around,
Like you'll show me where to go,
I'm already out, of foolproof ideas,
so don't ask me how
To get started, it's all uncharted.
Jump start my kaleidoscope heart,
Love to watch the colors fade,
They may not make sense,
But they sure as hell made me.
I won't go as a passenger, no
Waiting for the road to be laid
Though I may be going down,
I'm taking flame over burning out
Compare, where you are to where you want to be,
and you'll get nowhere
I'm going down,
Follow if you want,
I won't just hang around,
Like you'll show me where to go,
I'm already out, foolproof ideas,
so don't ask me how
To get started,
I'm going down,
Follow if you want,
I won't just hang around,
Like you'll show me where to go,
I'm already out, foolproof ideas,
so don't ask me how
To get started,
It's all uncharted

How to List For Sale

I've read blog entries like this a half dozen times or more. Honestly, I've been searching for a little over a month now. While this may not benefit a single darn person out there, I'm going to vent just a bundle, and if by some miracle chance somebody listing a horse for sale stumbles on this entry, maybe, just maybe, they might learn something.

  1. Good Pictures! I don't mind a little mud, but clean up the legs, and a straight shot, please? Not head-down, grazing, at an angle to the shoulders. All this does, is make me think you're hiding something
  2. Video! If your darling baby is listed as ridable, PROVE IT! All three gaits, both directions. I don't need professional quality, so get your husband, boyfriend, BFF, your teenage child who owes back taxes, I don't care... even the stall mucker can hold a camera for ten or fifteen minutes. Show me the trot going both ways, and please show me your horse can canter both leads! A one-leaded horse, in dressage? Hmm.. bad bad bad...
  3. Describe their temperment. Don't tell me little miss mare is a delightful ride, tell me if she is a "Pocket pony" or if she's all business all the time. Is your horse cheerful? Happy to see you every day?
  4. Give me their faults outright. As a result of all of my bad search trips, I've started to ask quite the list. "Does your horse kick out? Will they pick up all four feet willingly? How many extra aids are you adding on to make them go forward? Have they EVER thrown a temper tantrum about anything, ever, in their entire life?"

I'm sure it doesn't help my cause each and every prospect I've searched for is at least 2 hrs drive one way. But I AM in Texas, and everything here is big, and far off. I don't mind the drive, but I've started asking all the stupid questions, digging for behavioral problems before I ever commit to the trip.

If this helps you, great. Mostly, this was just for me, to get all the gripes off my chest. I'm going to get back to searching now.

11-30-10 Ransom

I think I've figured out how to show Ransom if I mean "goof off" or if I mean business - side reins. The last few times I've hopped on cold, or just free longed, or gotten on bareback, he's a goof. He won't stay steady, he won't stay collected, he just won't mind real well. But tack on those side reins & longe for a few minutes (even 3 each way, as I did Tuesday night), and I have my game-horse.

After his brief longe, I hopped on, and walked maybe 4 steps on light contact before gathering up the reins. He IMMEDIATELY came up into contact, collected himself, and started a very steady marching walk. Nifty!

We rode for nearly 35 minutes, oops! I lose track of time whenever he's that forward. He was in fact VERY forward at trot, and so I played with it, transitioning in and out of canter a LOT. Are his canter trans bad? Nah.. But I figured it would build muscle memory. What I did discover, wasn't about him, but about me.

I will probably play with it more this weekend, but I was able to study very hard how much my outside leg was moving for the transition. I'll admit it, Ransom has spoiled me. I can ask in a circle with just my seat, and he gets his lead right. But I need to experiment a little with asking on a straight line, concentrating on my outside leg. I tried asking with just leg and a little seat, and found his canter less pushy and more light and UP. This is worth experimenting with just a little.

Delightful as always. The cooler, crisp weather makes him a little slow to warmup, but very forward, and energetic. Whee!!!