Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm Still Here

Happy Friday ya'll. I rode good last weekend, Fri and Sat. Sunday I woke up with a stomach virus, complete with flu and fever. Boo...

Needless to say I haven't ridden since. Heading away today and tomorrow, minus the horses. A mini vacation, and I will get pictures to share.

Harley is coming along nicely still. "Dressage Person" who offered up the training tips, thanks! I'm all-ears, lay it on me! Ready to hear whatever you've got. I am willing to try.

Until Monday, you guys all have a great weekend. I will be back in the tack Sunday evening, and will update more next week. Harley and I are anxious to get back in the show ring next weekend!

Friday, September 23, 2011

9/22/11 Harley sans Saddle

heh heh heh... If only he was a little smoother in the down transitions....

Harley moseyed from the pasture up to the trailer to get 'dressed'. As I sprayed him with flyspray, he lowered his head further with a heavy sigh. I brushed what appears to be the summer coat beginning to shed out with a sadness. "Keep it up, bugger. You'll get the clippers soon enough you fuzz up too early." I grabbed the western pad, and stuck my bareback pad on top of it. cushion, ladies.. you know what I mean?

Out to the arena. Ten minutes free longe, expecting any kind of goofyness, but I got none. Neck stretcher longe, with great results. He was lazy, and had no intentions on moving out in the stretcher without push push from me. Took him to the mounting block, added reins, helmet, and made sure the pad cinch was tight. Off we go.

I gathered up the reins immediately, mostly out of curiosity. Did he learn from the week before, when I started instantly on working walk to free walk transitions? Yes on the working walk, not so much on the free walk. It took a good deal of working walk before he stretched down, which I immediately rewarded with longer reins. Even that didn't last but 3/4 of a circle before he lifted back up again. Blech. More do be done there.

Our work went straightaway into transitions. Walk/Halt/Walk was very nice. The best I've ridden on him yet, in fact. Walk/Trot/Walk, eh, it's getting there. Surprising to me, left is better than right. Heading right, he hops UP into the trot, lifting his front end instead of pushing from behind.

In the trot, I found a gap in my own balance (perhaps the reasoning for his right trot transitions being yucky). As he went into trot left, I was able to post easily, and sit with minimal concentration. When Harley went into trot right, I nearly came off, legs flapping all around. "Yikes, Har, Looks like Momma has some work to do here, too. Bear with me, baby." After a circle or so, I realized I wasn't sitting centered, and my legs weren't evenly stretched down. Forced some posting trot right, and some direction changes, and then things finally evened out. Sheez.

Had I been absolutely convinced Harley's canter down to trot transitions would've been as smooth as his UP transitions normally are, I probably would've ridden canter both ways. However, 75-80% of his down transitions out of canter are a bit bouncy, and usually unless I focus 100%, toss me around in an effort to stay relaxed. Knowing this, I didn't ask for the bareback canter. It's coming, it's on the way, just not yet.

Total working session, about 45-50 minutes. We ended with more working walk to free walk, and some really nice turns on forehand and haunches. Only sticker there.. turn on haunches to the.... right. Yup, right (I had to think about it there, which way I felt dizzy because we did it so much). He'd take one step crossover in front, then move his rear end around, then another step in front. Time to work on it from the ground again, I believe. Turns on forehand, we had 360 in both directions. Turn on haunches headed left, I had 270 before he got wiggly. It's progress for sure.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9-20-11 Romeo

A little over an hour before sunset, I wandered outside and caught Romeo. Harley watched from his pasture, curious. Tacked Mo up, and headed to the arena.

No warmup on the longe, I just hopped on. Lots of good loose rein walking and jogging to warm up his muscles and his mind. Adjusted the jog stride to a working trot a while, then back to jog. He was relaxed, neck level with his withers, ears alert to the deer grazing through. Lope work was pretty. Cute, soft, relaxed. For a while there, I had to squeeze and drive to keep him going. All the down transitions on 'air brakes'. Turns on forehand and haunches, all sticky to start, but improved.

For a bit at the end, I worked on turns on haunches. After a recent HorseMaster TV episode, I decided maybe we'd take a stab at rollbacks. First step was a good halt, which we've got. Second is the turn, which improved last night. Finally, is the lope off from a halt. That'll take some work. I caught myself doing the same thing the TV rider was doing - not looking deliberately and clearly where we were going in the rollback. Once I repositioned my body, my entire body, and looked back over my shoulder in the new direction, his turns got much sharper and focused. Neat stuff...

About 40 minutes out there total. We ended our work pushing some deer that were outside the arena (from inside). Mo walked towards them, and one doe darted away, just to migrate right back to the fenceline. I told Mo under my breath, "Git'er", and he very deliberately walked over towards her. The doe, realizing we were pretty serious, took off again, but as I was dismounting and opening the gate, there she was again, same spot. "Hey Mo, don't freak out when they all take off every direction crazy." As we left the arena, all SIX of them went every which way. I laughed, Mo let out a heavy sigh. Fun...

In other news, I thought I was going to be broadcasting a concert event in my local hometown. Benefit concert for a local charity. Somehow, through some horribly bad communication, what was originally supposed to cost $800 turned into over $2000. That information didn't surface until after I had secured $800 in donations, gotten permission to host and organize the event, and had a lot of eager folks ready to help out. A very unfortunate turn of events. I can hope the event planner has learned from her error in making one deal with me, then changing it. A very disappointing situation, indeed.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Much Accomplished.

Well, except for the riding. Looking back, I didn't get much saddle work completed this weekend. *sigh*

Thursday evening I longed Harley. He was good, and a bit delighted with his energy. :) Cute anyways.

Friday morning early I rode. Harley was introduced to his dressage bridle, complete with noseband and flash. He let me know just how crummy it was, flipping tail, ears, and face as I attached the neck stretcher. Quite promptly, he realized it wasn't going to get him anywhere to open his mouth to avoid the work, and he'd have to comply. With drool running out of his mouth, all I could do was giggle at him. Riding, I worked on all the gaits. One left lead wrong, after a pretty big trip and stumble. He started out correct, and then picked up the incorrect lead after his stumble. Lazy legs, I assumed, and quickly got him corrected. Rode for about 45 minutes total. Also did a LOT of transitions from walk to trot and back again. There's some significant improvement in his transitions, though they're still not where I'd like them to be.

Mo and I hit the arena, and went through all the basics. He also had a bit change, temporarily in the noseband and twisted wire o-ring. His transitions had gotten a little lazy, so I thought I might remind him of how easy life can be, as well as how difficult. 45 minutes of work, and about halfway through, he thought he'd try a "duck & run", taking my slight body language to mean "run off at a gallop instead of the jog she's really asking for". With a very sharp one-rein stop, followed by some very intense turns on forehand and haunches, Mo realized I wasn't joking around, nor was I tolerating it. He finally complied, and the remainder of our work went well.

Friday afternoon I took Harley to the vet for shots & coggins. All is well, so says Dr. Sam. Harley still has a few baby teeth hanging on, but we've decided to put off any serious dental work with them until at least his float next February. Works for me. He's still holding his weight good, eating well (not dropping), and doesn't leave even a speck of grain for the deer. :)

Saturday, Harley had a light walk on the buckle around the dirt road. About 35 minutes total saddle, some of that standing around waiting patiently. Nothing particularly exciting happened, except for the two "stop & find it" moments when he heard the neighbor dogs but didn't see them. Understandable, they were loud, and sudden. Wandering down the middle of the gravelly dirt road, I laughed at Mr ToughHooves. :)

Saturday afternoon, both boys got their hooves trimmed. All eight feets are coming along nicely. One hoof left to be 100%, and we'll be a band of happy barefoots. Harley's front right has this pesky crack that seems to turn into a split as he grows. Grr. Getting ready to start applying treatments to it, see if we can't make some progress. Romeo stood well for his trim, looked great afterwards. Harley was stiff and sore during his light walk, and this pain remained in his general attitude and way of going during the trim. I gave him 2g of bute, told him to enjoy the rest of the weekend off.

Sunday, knowing they both had new trims to adjust to, and Harley still recovering from his shots, I gave them both the day off. Tonight, we should be back in action. Depending on weather, temperature, and daylight, I hope to get both ridden, even if it's short for Romeo.

All that horse-ness being said, there are a doodle-load of other things going on around here. Is this something you guys would like me to blog about? Or, would you prefer I keep my life beyond riding to myself, leaving it to private discussions and unclear facebook posts? Most of it is pretty good right about now, so it wouldn't be a lot of down & dirty bad news. Send me a message, email, d-mail, facebook, comment. You know the drill.

As to the previous post asking about current readership, hang tight folks... I haven't quite made up my mind yet. I'll let you know if/when I do.

Monday, September 12, 2011

9-11 Harley

I was glued to the TV for the early morning. For the first time, I saw our curret VP say a few things eloquent. Must've had someone else write the speech for him. It was moving. FoxNews covered all three memorial services, all three locations, all at once. Scrolling between them, covering the special songs, speeches, and things done at all locations. Very moving. I hold the day pretty close, as I was physically close enough to the PA and NY locations to actually be useful. I gathered up bottled water, wash rags, and carried them to a drop off point that evening, to be hauled up to NYC for donating. I gathered up more bottled water for rescue workers in PA, to a different drop off spot. Finally, I scrambled myself to a blood donation point, got there early enough I didn't have to wait in line, and I did my part. Graduate school didn't cancel classes, which gave me pause. "We won't stop, that's what the terrorists want, is for us to cower in fear in front of the TVs." Classes were optional. I did my lab assistant work, and upon advice of my advisors, cancelled my late afternoon of research. For weeks, I was always looking up at every airplane, wondering, "Is that one going to be force crashed here?"

So, when I went out for Harley, it was with a different tone of mind. I wasn't out there as a chore, or a duty. I went out with a passion. The terrorists want us to hold memorials, have services, and be in general mental reflection for weeks now. They want inside our heads. I didn't allow it.

Instead, I chose to have a fun, pleasant, productive ride. Harley and I rode through all gaits, and had a lot of good work. I noticed very early in the ride, I'm consistently losing stirrups when I'm insisting on using heel pressure to push him forward. I made the mental decision to shove my heels down, and as my calves sank into his sides, he shot forward like a lightening bolt. Fantastic! Now, to keep those heels down. :) A whole 'nother project. I knew it before, but with Ransom (and Mo), they were *wide* horses, so I could tap with heels without needing to worry about lifting my foot to do it. Harley's not as wide (got to be the TB close in his breeding, probably a skinny TB), and while he may grow into himself a bit more, this might be all we'll get.

A good ride over all. With heels down, he was easy to sit in the canter and keep moving. Towards the end, I felt myself driving with my seat, which kept his canter even more "put together". Trot work has improved as well, with some actual stretching down at the trot when I asked for it. Free walk / working walk , well , still need work. Apparently the hardest gait to obtain "nice" in. Eh, so far, at least.

09-10 Early Again

Sweetness on Sir Harley. Longe was short, less than 15 minutes, and he started turning in and taking a few steps towards me, "Mom, let's go already! Get up here!"

Ride was nice. One blown lead, and it was mid-canter work left. We made a nice turn, he forgot to pick his front feet up, stumbled BIG, and squirted up into the right lead as he came out of his big stumble. Slowed to trot, and he self-corrected. As soon as I sat deep and added leg (without a verbal kiss), he went back into the left lead and relaxed. Canter right has gotten a little lazy, so I rode that longer than left.

Trot work is improving considerably. He still doesn't understand "collect/half halt in the corners", and will instead brace against the turn, and hollow out his back. On the straight lines, and in a big circle, things are really improving.

Free walk is gaining ground as well. I'm opening up the ride on light contact, encouraging him to stretch down. Every walk "break" now is a working walk / free walk. Not until all the way at the end of the ride do I drop the reins completely and take my legs off. Now, he works at even the walk. As a result, he's starting to reach down into contact more willingly, looking for any kind of a break he can get.

Romeo and I meandered down the dirt road, weaved in and around trees a few houses down (on some cleared grassy area), then towards the mailboxes as far as two houses up. About a half hour, nothing but a walk. He wasn't even sweating when we got home. "Mo, if you want to stay fit, we'll need to do more than that in the future." I believe I heard him reply, "Fit? Show me the cookies, lady!"

9-8 & 9-9

Longed Harley Thursday evening. Spunky little fart. Obviously delighted with the continuation of the lower humidity and northern breezes, he gave a good buck and hop heading into his first canter. He bucks and moves forward, simultaneously. It's funny. A few hop hops and he decided that was more work than it was worth. I gave the side reins another good effort, and swiftly realized that he can still find an ugly way out of them. He'll lift his head, and not bend at the poll. I made them as short as they'd go, and got a little give, but not much. I wanted to hop on him at the walk, but without true reins or my helmet, I thought better of it, and stuck with longing only. 35 minutes.

Friday early evening, we were at it again. Warmup was nice, as he seemed happy to longe out in the neck stretcher instead of the side reins. He let out a heavy sigh as soon as I connected them, as if, "Okay, Mom. I don't like that, but I don't like the other more." :) Cute kid.

Riding was nice. One missed lead left, right at the start of canter work. Not so bad. Back to trot after only 3 strides wrong, and he lifted himself up into the correct lead. Good canter work, though short. I would've done more, but he felt really lazy, and I didn't seem to have enough leg power to keep him moving. (Figured out Sunday morning what was wrong there, but I'll leave that out for now.)
Total, about 45minutes.

Hauled Mo against his will into the arena. He looked pretty longingly down the dirt road while I was saddling him. "Tomorrow, bud.. Tomorrow." Ride was nice. He LOVES himself a loose rein. He did get just a bit chargey/racey at his trot, and when I added contact, he got even worse. So, I tossed the reins back to him, and pushed him at it. When he tried to ease up, I pushed him into a canter, and rode that hard for a little while. Mo, realizing I still have his number, and I'm not taking his garbage, relaxed for the rest of the ride.

Who'da thunk the baby would be easier than the oldie goldie? :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

If You're Still Reading

I'll repost this next week, too.. Thinking about making some significant blog changes. I know the account "followers" aren't the only ones reading, and I thank you "non listed followers" for being here, too..

Email me, through the links, through Facebook, through DG, through smoke signals (wait.. no, all the wildfires, don't use smoke signals), airhorns, text messages.. you get the idea..

If you're still reading, contact me, let me know.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sara Bareillis ,, Machine Gun

Tell mе οff іn a letter
Completely ignore mе
Getting high οff οf saying
Whу уοu don’t adore mе?

Baby, please, I’m well versed
In hοw I might bе cursed
I don’t need іt articulated

Stand іn line wasting
All οf уοur time јuѕt tο hаtе mе
Evеrу dime gone tο ways
Yοu саn find thаt mіght bait mе

Anԁ drag mе down, sight set proudly
Bring mе tο thе ground, see
Yοu lovе tο bе somebody’s enemy

Maybe nobody loved уou whеn уοu wеrе young
Maybe, boy, when уοu сrу, nobody ever comes
Will you try it once?
Give up the machine gun
Machine gun

Locked and loaded
You're practically floating away now
In your fortress you feel like
You're more or less safe now
But let me say I don't mean harm
Oh, but, baby, you'd be charming if you'd come undone
Get back where you started from

Maybe nobody loved уou whеn уοu wеrе young
Maybe, boy, when уοu сrу, nobody ever comes
Will you try it once?
Give up the machine gun
Machine gun

Nevermind how you've rationed your time
And the battle is underway
Maybe times are gonna change
Don't just hide in the silence behind
What you've really been trying to say

What a skill, baby, aiming to kill me
With words you don't mean

Maybe nobody loved уou whеn уοu wеrе young
Maybe, boy, when уοu сrу, nobody ever comes
Will you try it once?
Give up the machine gun
Machine gun

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

9/5/11 Back to the MEC

Harley, Romeo, R, and I, headed to the equestrian center again.  Jennifer met up with us on the way.  The new weather brought us a nice breeze, and MUCH cooler temperatures.  The lower humidity alone made the day delightful.  Security unlocked all the relevant gates and turned on the lights.  We found the entire complex our own.  No one in the arenas, no one driving around.  Security guard "dummy locked" the gates, so it did appear to the unnoticing eyes that the entire facility was locked up.  We were parked nearly out of sight, and found the entire facility our own. 

I started out with Harley, and things went well.  Dressage saddle again, and we had much the same results as Sunday morning.  Harley let me know early in his longe that he'd had enough, this was day 5 straight of work, and he wanted no part of going big, or going fast.  I attached the neck stretcher to the girth buckles, and saw the beginnings of the transition to side reins.  Other than lazy, he didn't fight the new stretcher position, and responded nicely. 

My ride was hard work.  I won't lie and say he was springy and forward.  He was a lazy sloth.  Rethinking the ride, I'm chuckling to myself.  I had to use an absurd amount of leg to get him going forward.  At one point, I was curious just how short his trot stride was.  I rode out to a part of the arena that hadn't seen hooves, and rode a big half circle.  Back to the other end of the arena where R, J, and Mo were waiting, I let my legs rest a minute.  As I rode back over the back of the arena and that fresh circle, I saw hoofprints that were tracking up.  I laughed, right out loud, and caused J to ask, "Uh, what's up?"  "Um, I thought he was being lazy and short.  Turns out, lazy yes, short no.  He's actually tracking up back there, just saw the hoofy prints."  Through more laughter, I started asking for less from him.  I was expecting Harley to be short strided, while he was just being slow about it.

Canter work brought us two wrong left lead departures.  Partially my fault, as I asked very early in the ride.  I had hoped the canter might wake up his trot - no such luck.  J laughed at us, saying, "He just wanted to prove to you he can still get it wrong for an audience."  Pfft!   After the two wrong leads to start, Harley was impressively polite, all other requests correct.

Longed him about 15 minutes, rode about 35.  Asked for some pieces and parts of a few walk/trot dressage tests, since plans are still being made for early October.  J and I discussed registering us as a pair for Championships at w/t level. "You're going to burn yourself like you did before.  Don't assume the worst.  Registration just might be worth it.  So you have to take him to an extra show for the scores, how bad is that?  Besides, you know where they're having championships, and it'd be really good experience for him."

Again, after the ride on Harley, while trying to focus on Romeo's basic reinforcement ride, my mind was running at mach speeds, churning with the possibilities.  Houston Dressage Society holds two levels of walk/trot - Introductory (USDF), and Green As Grass (Local).  That's two opportunities to qualify for Championships.  Are we up for the challenge?  Just what are the judges looking for at the starter/beginner level?  Are they focused mostly on the rider, and expecting only young beginners to ride walk/trot?  Are they giving allowance for intermediate riders and green baby horses?  Will they reward forward movement, or are they expecting the beginnings of collection as well?  Am I "stealing ribbons" from a beginner amateur by entering Harley with hopes of championships at walk/trot levels?  He's nowhere ready for Training Level, and that's in my 2012/2013 plans.  NOT my 2011 goals in anyway.  Where to go from here. ..

9/4/11 Early on a Sunday

I've been watching Harley's muscle development with great interest.  His shoulders have grown considerably, and his withers are starting to plump out.  His butt,, ahh.. Never thought a pony tush would turn me on so much.. *cough* Okay. sorry. Rated G, folks, Rated G.. :) 

Anyways, watching Harley's shoulders and withers, I had a hunch.  Previously, his dressage saddle slid right forward over his shoulders, and would rest on his shoulder blades.  End result?  Forget about bending, forget about collection.  And forward?  Yeah, screw you MommaLady, I ain't goin' forward either.  Probably the only time I felt like Harley was cussing at me was in that saddle.  Seeing his newfound growth and development, I was curious. 

Tacked him up in all the dressage saddle glory, mattes half pad included, and headed to the arena.  I didn't expect much.  Set the goals low - Longe only in the saddle, no neck stretcher or side reins.  See how he goes.  If all is well there, mount, and ride the walk, watching for the slightest bend, or the most stiff resistance.  Don't ask for much, and if he's stiff/nonbending and crabby, dismount, lose the saddle, and ride bareback.  Little expectations.

I am delighted to report, we're back to saddle fit again.  While not perfect, and a reflocking will certainly perk both of our spirits a lot, the saddle no longer slides over his withers.  His girth still needs a bit of effort, however, and I will be biting the bullet very soon and purchasing a different style girth.  The bigger deal here, is the saddle stays put.  Harley longed out nicely, and when finished, I found another hole on the girth to be tightened.  Saddle still wasn't over his shoulders. 

I mounted, and sent him off at the walk.  He near immediately stretched down, looking for the bit.  Really?!  I asked for collection, shortening my reins with all kinds of mental hesitation I was asking for too much too soon.  He immediately came into my hands, as I felt his back lift up into my seat.  woo hoo

Our ride went through all three gaits with a LOT of hesitation in my mind.  I kept waiting on the stiffness, the lack of turn/bend, and the general crabbyness.  Harley insisted on riding forward, and gave all three gaits with very little trouble. 

My mind raced the rest of the morning, and throughout the day.  I could barely concentrate on the things I needed to focus on through church.  My horse fits back into the dressage saddle.  My body drifted right to the correct position.  My stirrups weren't jumping off my feet anymore, and my core position was greatly improved.  Not once did I have to "adjust my upper legs" to get the saddle out of the way of my leg muscles.  My horse was light, responsive, and seemingly ready for anything I'd ask of him.  He didn't need the same amount of leg pressure to move out, but instead, I could ask with my upper calves, and he'd spring up into action. 

What can I plan now?  I had put the entire show season "on hold" pending saddle fitting.  Our opportunities are endless again.  I can go back to our original plans, and get on a work schedule that suits both of us.  Harley can have a job, I can have goals, and we can both find success in the little things again.  There are ribbons to be earned, test sheets to read again ....

I immediately contacted Jennifer, and we started talking shows again.  We cleared an entire weekend in October, and I eagerly explained to my church responsibilities that there are great things happening in the saddle and in the show arena.  We've got plans, we've discussed them, we've begun making arrangements.  Harley has no idea what's in store, and I'm so excited I can barely keep the smile to myself. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I might be a broken record here... But the wildfires are BAD here in the state. Here's some information if you find yourself needing it. Check for updates, of course...

Donations of time, supplies, $ information for various parts of Texas (will post whatever I am made aware of, but you will have to verify current UPDATED needs & logistical details on your own):


 2.MCSO is asking for oranges, bananas, apples, and grapes. Please deliver to Magnolia Fire Department on Buddy Riley Rd. Ten iceboxes WITH ice are needed at Magnolia West High School. Enter school from 1774 entrance, then go around the right of the school to the back to the FFA building. CHECK FOR UPDATES

3.Montgomery County Sheriff Seargent requests: For folks up on the Plantersville side, you can take water, gatorate, fresh fruit - oranges, bananas, apples, grapes, granola and protein bars to the road blocks on FM 1774. These officials will help get the supplies into the interior fire fire fighters and these supplies will be more closely located to the fire fighters. CHECK FOR UPDATES

4.The Texas Wildfire Relief Fund

5."ATTENTION TEXAS AND SURROUNDING AREAS...WE NEED FIREMEN!!!! Begging for retired and any fireman to call number to help. We were short 25 fireman last night. Cannot contain town of Bastrop, 35 miles is 16 miles long, 6 miles wide, jumped Colorado river, evacuated entire town and also neighborhood called Steiner ranch of 5500* PLEASE EVERYONE REPOST EVEN IF NOT IN TEXAS.. SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS MAY BE. HELP!! Call 512-978-1187" CHECK FOR UPDATES *UPDATE ON DONATION REQUEST from Magnolia TX Fire and Evacuation Information: No more food, ice, fruit or water donations needed at this time at Magnolia Fire Department or Magnolia West Command Center. Thanks for your great response!! *UPDATE ON DONATION REQUEST: Magnolia HS has enough donations. They are asking people to take bottled water, Gatorade and snacks for the firefighters to the Tomball fire station located at 1200 Rudel


7."Magnolia West Command Center is in need of LARGE ice chests or an upright freezer! Ice is melting! Enter MWHS from 1774 and go to the right around the BACK of the school to the FFA building." Offers to take in animals (pets and livestock): >

According to reports, livestock and animal shelters ARE BEING SERIOUSLY IMPACTED, if you have available space & facilities, please post back accordingly
*Congressman Lamar Smith posted "For pet owners: Austin Pets Alive is helping people displaced by the fires who need help with their pets. If you need a place to board your pet or need food or supplies, email the organization at or call (512) 961-6433."
 *The Original Kennel of Kingwood-"WE WANT TO HELP! If you or anyone you know has had to evacuate from the recent fires, and are in need a safe place for your family pet, give us a call, we want to help out our neighbors by volunteering our services. 281-359-KENL (5356) Carl"
 *"Lowe's in Tomball has a site to bring any animals that were displaced by the fires. They have food and water troughs for any animals that are taken there."
 *"If you need safe pasture for your horses due to wildfires in Texas, call Mr. Matt Daniel at 832-769-1879. He can has pasture to shelter 60 horses and has trucks and trailers ready to go. He Can move 10 horses at a time." *
*The Brackenridge Main Event Center in Edna has 88 stalls, 3 Arenas, and several pens available for evacuees from the fires. 60 RV Sites too! Please pass this info on to others who may be looking for a place to go! Call 361-781-4052 Cammie Pearson, Manager.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

9/3 At Home

Rode Harley this morning. Good results.

Longe warmup was good, leads all correct. He was a bit lazy but with some motivation got going. Ride was sweet. Relaxing. While stiff in his bends, and a little grumpy on collection, I found him forward in movement, and beautiful at canter. All leads correct, and easy transitions.

You know you've got the air brakes good when you say, "Oops, holding my breath", let out, and the horse slows down. Heh heh Rode for about 35minutes total, 15min longe. We're in a rhythm, and he's settled into a nice pattern habit. The heat is still oppressive in the evenings, but forecast is calling for a break in the next few days. We'll take it.

9/2 Field Trip

Harley was longed Thursday evening, 9/1. Good effort, no neck stretcher, just halter. It was still pretty hot so I kept it short. 9/2, we all loaded up. R, me, Harley and Romeo. We drove about 40minutes to a nearby equestrian park. They run a pretty good deal on arena rental when nothing is scheduled. Got the paperwork all settled, drove to the warmup arena. Tied both boys to the inside rail, gathered up all my tack, and headed in. Hand walked both boys around, and gave them a look around. Saddled Harley up and headed to it. He longed great. Put the neck stretcher on, and noticed he was blowing his right lead. His way of saying he needs more canter right. Hopped on, and gave him a bit more walk to look around. Good, quiet, relaxed. Went right to it, picked up trot, with some amazing results. Harley stepped right out, forward trot, yet upright. Nice. Realizing it could take a while, I looked at R, and said, "Check this out!" Sit, kiss, squeeze... canter left. Blown lead. Back to trot easily, and second request was good. Rode the left lead quite a while, all around the arena. Eased to trot, and changed directions on a long walk break. A little free walk, but nothing great. Trot right circles good, right canter required a lot of sit and push. What was amazing? No spook, no bolting, no fear. All three gaits, like he'd been there his whole life. Outstanding! Romeo? More of the same. A bit lazy at canter, dropping leads. Dork! To get even, I shoved him into high gear, galloping around the arena. air whizzing thru my ears, past my helmet, grinning like a kid. Fun!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

8/28 Gallop Day?

Entered the arena, and as I removed the halter to put his bit on, Harley turned away from me.  I managed to get the bit on, but as I leaned down to retrieve the fallen halter, off he went.

At an all out gallop across the arena.  I picked up the loose lead rope, and clucked to him.  Harley responded, and took off, down long side, ears perked forward, at it appeared he was enjoying himself.

Realizing the mosquitoes were even worse that morning, and while he was running around like a racehorse, Harley did have an ear on me, and for the most part, turned facing-in every time I changed his direction. 

So I let him run.  A total of about 15 minutes, and in it I was able to vary the general speed of the canter stride, from a full gallop, down to a nice relaxed canter. 

At a verbal "whoa", he turned in, faced me, and took about five steps towards me.  Barely out of breath.  Apparently he's in pretty good fitness, and thought rather well of himself.

well played, Harley.  well played.  Managed yourself a pretty easy day there.

8/27/11 By One

Harley's warmup was cute.  Quiet, though he had a little sparkle going on in his eyes, like he was ready for it.  Mosquitoes were ramping up in the arena as well that morning.  Yay.  A huge disadvantage to rainfall.  Though not a puddle in sight, anywhere within MILES of the arena, somehow they found enough moisture to breed and sprout in.  ugly evil monsters.

Hopped on, after swatting some bugs off.  Felt a bit bad for him, with the tail and ears both saying, "Ew! Bugs!"  Very quickly worked into a trot, and Harley soon realized if he moved quickly, the bugs weren't as nibbly.

Speedy work!  Fun at that.  Harley worked very nicely in the trot, and after some argument of bit pressure, I started getting very nice direction changes, short diagonals, and a bit of stretch.  Settled into working walk, and eased into free walk, only until the mosquitoes began their meal again.  Straight back to trot.

Canter work was lazy.  Once in it, he used any amount of bit pressure without leg from me as a sign to go right back into trot.  Admitting I was frustrated with the lazy, I squeezed pretty hard on one request left.  Harley responded promptly, but with the wrong lead.  My bad.. I did it.  Back to trot, and a lighter ask, the left lead was correct.

We worked a total of 45 minutes.  At that point, I let the mosquitoes win, and we departed the arena.  Nothing else planned for that day, other than a new solution for the bugs.  boo hiss. .