Monday, April 29, 2013

Monkey Mondays 4-29-13

On 4-1, Monkey failed to remember to bring my lunch to work.  He begged me on 4-2, "Oh let me go with you again!  I'll do so much better this time!  I promise!" 

Instead, he got distracted.  He was auditioning for PlayGirl, to be a stripper. 

Producer told him, "No Go.  You don't have Monkey-boobs big enough to fill the shirt.  Thanks for trying though."

Get the funny?  Playmate lunch box.... Play Girl bunny stripper?  boobs?  =)

Sunday, April 28, 2013


4-25 I longed Harley, in the surcingle, on short and high side reins.  The last time I attempted a surcingle and side reins, it was a hollow backed disaster. He fought them the entire time.  Thursday, it seemed all the other hours longing paid off.

Harley had 25 minutes of really nice work.  I was delighted.  He finished up his work off the side reins at the walk.  A huge, long, low stretched walk.  The entire session was fantastic.

4-26 In an effort to test out the newly shortened side reins, which better mimic my hands when I'm riding, I rode dressage.  He was again, amazing.  I had a very nice forward trot, some amazing leg yields and shoulder in.  The canter was the best it's been, and he is able to hold a few more strides every time. 

4-27 I had the best made plans to ride both horses.  Friday night, R and I found a copperhead snake in the barn, but were unable to trap him.  When we realized it was a poisonous snake (and not a chicken/rat snake as originally considered), I made plans the next time I saw the snake, it would leave this world.  Saturday evening, I saw the snake in the same spot it was on Friday.  With a quick shot, (or two), the snake was dead.  Harley and Mo, however, were way too close to the shot, and while we were all uninjured (except for the snake), neither horse was speaking to me.  I lured and woo'd Harley back to loving me with a curry rub and a few cookies.  Mo took the entire night to sulk and pout.  I couldn't curry him long, and he wasn't really interested in the cookies.  I understood both of them being afraid of me, and the barn in general.  Day Off.

4-28  Mo had plans to run.  He didn't tell me that until we got to the arena.  He started tossing his head up high, and running off.  All this was remedied with LOTS of long trot, varying loose rein and pushing him into contact.  He finished the 40 minute ride pretty tired and submissive.

Harley, hunt seat.  Knowing I need to work hard on his dressage, I also don't want him to forget how different the jump saddle feels.  He was outstanding today.  I got some great forward trot, he stayed relaxed when I lifted to 2 point.  I even got about 6 strides of canter in 2point each way.  Surprised me, because when he feels me move around, he'll break gait, almost every time.  Tonight, he flicked an ear at me, and when I reassured him (not kiss/cluck), he went back to his job.  Something wild rustled in the trees at the end of our ride.  Harley pricked both ears at it, alerted me, then stood completely still until we convinced each other it wasn't going to cause us trouble.

Around the house, the flowers are growing, the arena is getting new fence, and the rains came.  Saturday night into Sunday morning I estimate about 3" of rain at my house.  Much needed, and I'm hopeful for more.  There's a little water in the pond, and the arena is soft.  It's a great time to ride.  Still, if more rain blusters in here, I'll gladly take some time off to watch the rain.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


4-23 R and I went to Austin to the Erwin Center.  Rush, in concert.  A spectacular performance, nice show.  :)  Good job!!

4-24 I had to travel for work.  Left at 530am, got back home about 815pm.  It was a good, productive, and fun day.  Met lots of great people, made some terrific contacts, and my networking increased significantly.  A good day, but too late to ride.

4-25 - I'm looking at the radar, praying for rain.  There's some in the forecast predicted the next few days.  Today, as of 315pm CDT, there's a cell in Corpus Christi lurking this way.  I am going to will it to be here.  Might just put a saddle on Harley, and see if I can't dare the rain to land in my yard. 

Yes, Yes.. I see request for flower pictures.  I'll try to get one soon.  I've also got a bunch more Monkey Mondays to pre-schedule so we don't miss a week.  HAH! Who am I kidding?  With just what's already pre-posted, I'm good through mid-June.  HAH!

Both the boys have looked fairly content the last few days.  I don't enjoy their days off, but I suspect they're happy with it.

I've also tentatively registered for a schooling show in May.  YAY!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


18th - Harley and I puttered around.  Walking, resting, relaxing.  NOTHING serious.  At all.

19th - Romeo and I to the vet for his annual dental check and flu shots.  That turned into a long appointment.  Full dental float, flu shots, and , "oh, he's nearly due for everything else, so let's just get it done."  Poor Mo.  I sighed as each needle got poked into his neck.  He got a full panel of all his shots.  Oof!!  When we got home, I cleaned his sheath, too.  Poor guy was ready to be done with me.

20th - Harley fail.  I rode jump saddle, without spurs.  I have learned my lesson.  I squeezed, clucked, kissed, kicked, NOTHING was holding his gas pedal down.  I argued with him quite a bit about forward.  He wasn't holding the canter without a bunch of gait breaks.  Oi vey...

21st - Harley.  Dressage. SPURS.  MUCH different horse.  I had some amazing forward trot, lots of good direction changes.  Spiral in/out at trot,  shoulder-in, leg yields.  I rode the basics of TL #1, mostly to see where our gaps were.  I rode it too early in the ride, so his stretch-downs were not what they could've been.  He did hold canter for the entire portion I asked, and while not consistently collected, at least he stayed in it.

Romeo - I caught him, got him to the trailer, groomed, and had a sense to check my phone just before I saddled him.  Steve the Hay man had sent a message, that he was ready for me to pick up my hay.  Shucks, Mo.  Off you go back to pasture.  By the time I loaded, unloaded, 40 square bales, I didn't have the ommf to ride Mo.  Instead, my stubborn self went to a local garden nursery, loaded up on top soil and plants, and planted my little feet off.  sigh ...

22nd - Romeo.  Trail walk down the road, bareback.  He was dragging all weekend, slow and lazy. Last night wasn't any different.  He is sloughing off a layer of sole right now on almost all four hooves, so he was a little sensitive on the rocks.  Still, I was guiding him down the dirt road with mostly all leg cues.  We walked on by the house, and at the new "neighbor's" pasture, he turned into it.  I let him pick through the grass pasture, and when he aimed to go between their property and his hot fence, I saw about a 3' gap, and pretty much loosened the reins and let him go.  Mo picked through some soft dirt piles, tall grass and a little brush, and came out in my side yard.  He let out a heavy sigh, licking & chewing.  He loves that sort of stuff -- picking his way through a narrow trail, or better yet, making his own path where there isn't one. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monkey Mondays 4-22-13

4-1-13.  Monkey convinced me to take him to work.  He wanted to see what I did all day long other than read blogs.   I stuffed him in the handle of my lunch box, and told him, "Don't let me forget the leftovers in the fridge." 
Darn bugger.  The little chap failed to remember the lunch leftovers.  I had to settle for a burger and fries for lunch that day instead of Olive Garden leftovers.

Evil chap ...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

4/16/2013 Mo Don't Ride Alone

Caught Romeo, dressed him just like Saturday, and off to the arena we went.  Warmed up nicely, and we got down to riding hard.  Lots of trot, lots of canter, plenty of simple changes. 

As we were working our changes, I see Harley walking towards the "gate".  He first rested his head on the tape.  Then, with a full mouthful, he grabbed the tape "gate" and pulled.  It broke!  Harley let out a heavy sigh, and proceeded to wander into the arena to "help Mo".  Mo pinned his ears then pointed them right at Harley, ready to push him straight away.

I hopped off, shoo'd Harley out, mended the fence as best I could, and got back to riding. 

Romeo and I enjoyed about a half hour total, including our distraction.  Guess that was Mo's way of saying he didn't want to ride alone, he wanted company.  And Harley's protest to not being ridden.

I iced H's leg again, and there aren't any great improvements to report in the swelling.  It still is warm to touch and swollen in back.  The "mushiness" on the sides of his leg are less pronounced, and he's still sound, which is good.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Harley 4/15/2013

I made good on my "walking only" today.  How?  Bareback pad.  *giggle*  Another windy howly day today, but I didn't let it stop us.

We walked around the arena for 20 minutes, no warm up, all at the walk.  I let Harley mostly decide where to go.  It was a meandering wander, for sure.  I asked him for turns on forehand/haunches, and some brief back-up.  All went well. Yeah, I probably could've asked for more, but I didn't.  It seemed like a good day just to wander on him, and let that be our time together. 

When I was icing his leg, he also got snuggly.  I was rubbing on him, scratching itchies, while he was licking me.  Literally.  Licking my arms and hands, and he tried licking my face before I moved.  He stood great again for the 10 minute icing.  The swelling looked a little smaller today, not as mushy. 

Tonight, my thoughts and prayers are with the families and the injured in Boston.  What a senseless tragedy.  All kinds of "why" and "who dun it" come to mind, and I'm sure that's for another day.  It was nice to see mass-media address it as a terrorist attack and not some "random event" like they did Benghazi.  Extra hugs and snuggles for all your loved ones tonight. 

Harley 4/13/2013

Reflecting back, Yeah, it was a pretty silly idea. I'd trailered Mo, we rode for a bit over an hour, I was tense most of that ride. (And for stupid reasons -- What if he spooks because the other horses spook? What if one of those other riders comes off, and I need to chase down a running horse? What if they think I'm a crappy rider because my equitation isn't good? Heels down, sit up tall. What if an alligator jumps up at us? What if What if What if?) I stayed after for their group meeting, which was interesting. Got to know most of them a bit better by sitting and watching. Then I trailered home, and unpacked some of our things. I ran inside, let the dogs out. "Yeah, I'll go get Harley, longe him, see how he's feeling today."

I should never "only longe a horse" with a saddle on, bridle in my hand, and a helmet. I can't ever "just longe". I always end up riding. "Oh we'll just walk a little." Those are always the days Harley decides to be a saint. We rode. All three gaits. On light contact. He started to lift up under me, so, not wanting to push him hard, I asked for a gentle leg yield. "A step or two, and I'll back off." He gave me from quarter line clear to the rail, with a bunch of small steps. We reversed, and I got the same. I asked for some more canter, and he had his leads nailed solid. Back to trot, and I hoped for a "tiny bit" of shoulder-in. He started in shoulder-fore, which got him a lot of verbal praise and a little pat. Next long side, he gave about four steps of shoulder-in. I felt his body turn. Wow. More in the same direction, with a bit more shoulder-fore than shoulder-in. I couldn't believe it.

We finished up with that "little walk", *giggle*, and an ice-bag 10 minutes on his leg. Now that I've got a system set, I'll try to get some pictures to share how we're doing this. It took a trick from the vet, and from Jen to get the ice bag to stay. I know some tack shops sell ice boots, and frozen gel leg wraps, and I'll put those on my wish list for "if/when this happens again", but for the rest of this week's rehab, I think I've finally got a system set up.

Monkey Mondays 4/15/2013

Monkey sat in the kitchen while I went to bed.  Woke up, the ornery bugger was going to shoot me!  Wow!  Sure didn't take Him long to become a Texan! 

No need to fear, fellow bloggers.  It's a candle lighter.  No Monkeys, humans, or other canine, feline, or equine creatures were harmed in the making of this entry.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Romeo and I traveled to the Brackenridge Recreation Complex (Edna, TX) and met up with some TETRA Region 11 riders.  They meet at BRC once a month for a trail ride. 

 You see Mo, dressed to go.  Oop!  Look!  Mojo came along for the ride!! 

 Two ponies preparing for their hitch to a cart.  Nice, but we'll ride AFTER you leave for the trails.

  Through the top of my saddle, you can see some of the others gearing up to ride. 

I made a stupid mistake getting Mo ready to go.  I tried to tighten the cinch with him tied-fast to the trailer.  He always pulls back when he first moves away from the trailer, and today was no exception.  I managed to get him relaxed and back to me without busting the lead rope or halter, but not until after he stomped hard on my foot.  Just about his entire hoof landed on my hoof, only his are much stronger.  Dang it!  As of now, it's sore, tender, but my toes still wiggle, and my foot isn't a multi-colored science experiment... yet 

I walked him to a fenced-in field, where we had some long trot and a small bit of canter.  It took longer than I'd hoped, but I did get him relaxed. 

I ended up riding with about three other ladies and their horses.  A lot of the ride, Mo and I were behind a hurry bunch of trail riders, but up ahead of a few that were having arguments with their rides.  We rode along the very wide, very well mowed paths, and Mo was excellent. His only "spook" was a mild startle at a round bale of hay as we came around a corner.  It was kind of funny, I had just pulled out my camera, and thought, "What a great time to get a picture of us, riding out alone, with a few horse hineys off in the forward distance."  As I got the camera out and in one hand, he spooked.  I quickly shut my camera off and stowed it away.  Okay, so we're not taking pictures during this ride. 

A few of the other ride members took a lot of pictures, so I hope to get to see some of them soon.  It was a good experience, I had fun, and Mo was awesome. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

4/12/13 Romeo

I saddled Mo up in his slightly cleaner saddle, put his "working bit" in overtop his survival knot halter, and off we went to H's pasture.  With H in the paddock, we had the whole place to ourselves.

I sent him through some brush.
I sent him in the dried pond.
I sent us under some tree limbs.
We went in some tight spaces.

He startled when some doves burst out of the trees.  Otherwise, he was awesome.

Finished up in the arena with all three gaits, some good canter - still slow, but good.

Came back to the house, where he got the ultimate spa day.  Bath with Vetrolin, a sturdy scrubbing with some iodine soap, rinsed with some scrubbing, Laser Sheen and fly spray all over, and some "magic pink stuff" on his tail and mane.  He's shining like a copper penny. 

His current coggins are printed up (in color), and we're ready to go.  I will have my phone (w camera) with me, so I should be able to catch some informal shots.  I'm excited!!!!  I hope Mo enjoys his field trip tomorrow.

Harley Update

Minor Minor!! 

Ultrasound revealed a slight strain on his deep flexor tendon.  All flexion tests, and trot-outs showed him 100% sound, so while the heal time for total improvement is 7-10 months, Harley's not going to be on rehab that long.

Ice the tendon for 10 minutes a day for the next 7 days.  Turnout as normal, no boots required.  No bute, no other medicine.  No special work, just "let him show me if he's lame", and "let him tell me when he's had enough".

What a neat thing.  Yes, it's an injury, no it's not severe, and as long as he isn't limping in any way or head-bobbing, work as usual.

If we're going to have an injury, this will do.

4/11/13 Getting Mo Ready and Harley's...

Rode Mo yesterday, basic stuff in the arena.  About 35 minutes total, and other than being lazy, he was good.  A bit stiff, but mostly lazy.  I suspect just stiff from the rainy cold the night before, and the general "too many days off".  Found out from a neighbor this morning he escaped his pasture yesterday AM as well.  It's either my forgetfulness, or CRNG opening a gate.  Because there's not much a chance that Mo can open a gate hook/clip on his own, no matter how windy it is.  

Harley has a bump. On his front right, outer tendon, near his knee.  Will work to get some pictures today.  It's been there, but with work last weekend and cold hosing, it'd go down pretty significant.  I assumed just a slight bruise.  Yesterday, however, it was there pretty obvious, with a moderate amount of swelling.  I cold hosed, nothing improved.  I added DMSO, cling wrap, and standing wraps.  Stuck him in the smaller paddock.  This morning, it looked decent again, but the swelling increased as I cold hosed.  At least I thought it was cold.  The water felt warm in the mid 40s temps we had this morning.   I called the vet, and Harley has an appointment at 4pm today.  We're going to meet Sarah as a vet today rather than a passerby at all his other appointments.  Sam's busy .. "it's breeding season", the clerk at the phone told me today.

His leg may not warrant a vet call like I'm going to today, but I don't want it getting any worse and my having to miss work next week for it.  Easier to go when I'm already off.

Otherwise, today is a few errands, a ride on Mo, maybe a bath, cleaning his tack and organizing the trailer.  24 hours from now, we'll be making new friends and going new places. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

4/9/2013 Rest

And that's exactly what I'm going to do today.

It's windy outside.  Currently, 29mph, gusts up to 39mph.  Romeo would be "up" to ride, but there's no point.  We'd both be blustered all over the place.  I just don't have it in me for a windy ride.  My muscles are still aching from the last five days. 

I will squeeze some Mo-time in at least twice between Wed & Fri.  Saturday is our "Road Trip" - and, if all goes as planned, I'll have half of my Mo-goal completed. :) 

Somebody else can ride for us today.  As for me, I'm just gonna grab a kite, and hang on...

Who'm I kiddin'?  You'd LOSE a kite in that nasty wind.  I had to lean into it just to feed... Maybe I don't need to be dieting lightly after all. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

4/8/2013 Harley

I almost made it.  I was >> << that close to riding both horses 5 straight days.  But after Harley today, my legs are burning.  There's just no way.  In fact, I'm sitting here blogging to avoid standing in the shower.  *sigh*  I'll get back there eventually.

Harley and I went out dressage.  After I read SunnySD's comments, I put a LOT of effort into holding my arms down at my sides.  When I did bend, it was right at the elbow.  I kept this consistency by making sure my upper arms could "feel" my shirt sides.  This was pretty successful.

Harley was NOT impressed.  It was kind of funny.  He fought me quite a bit, and would hold a few strides, then lift his head *and lower his back*.  He'd get back to "good", then lose it again.  So yeah, I think he's developing still.  I can see in his longeline side rein work that he's improving. 

I also tried to do better about LOOKING where we're going.  It's weird.  I'm not usually staring at his head.  I'm looking.. uhm, nowhere.  does anybody else do that, or is it just me?   I'm thinking, arms, legs, shoulders, heels, where are my spurs.. ooh that stride felt good.  release, nope, hold him.. half halt , good.. forward. forward... and I totally forget to look UP. 

I did ride in my tall boots and spurs today, and definitely noticed the difference.  From the video, I did recognize I might be pushing too hard, expecting a bigger trot than he's capable of.  Today, he definitely was easier to keep going.  I will work up the courage when we ride next in the jump saddle to put the spurs on and "cowgirl up". 

Mo didn't seem too disappointed in me today for skipping him.  I'm a little disappointed in myself that I didn't even walk him down the road.  But, my legs are still howling after all this typing.  I'm hoping some hot water will help. 

Thanks again, Sunny, for your feedback.  It was definitely helpful, and I hope you'll see the difference when I video again.

Monkey Mondays 4/8/2013

Monkey wanted to go for a ride in my truck.  Of course, his first remark was, "Madam, you're sitting on the wrong side of the vehicle."  I had to explain Americans drive on the right side of the road, from the left side of the truck. 

He crawled into the cup holder, and, as you can see, got stuck.  (: 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

4/7/2013 Harley

 I warmed him up quickly to see if the camera was in the right spot.  The entire ride is on video above. 

Things I know.. 

Shoulders back!  Sit Up! 
Heels down!  How ugly are they?  Ew... That's definitely something that needs improving.  I need to start stretching them down on stairs and things, get those muscles back in shape.

His canters were nice.  See where I shortened the reins?  Nicer movements!

I also need to wear spurs in this saddle, now that he's adjusted to it.  Before today, I was hesitant, since he was still bucking and throwing mini-fits.  Now, after four days straight riding both horses, my legs are calling me all kinds of nasty names.  

The good things?  His trot is pretty - even when he's not collected, his legs are a-movin'. 

Enjoy the video.. Feel free to critique.  We can take it.  However, if you're one of those nasty bloggers that steals video for others' pleasure?  You suck!  If picking on a young horse in a saddle he's barely been exposed to makes you smile, I hope the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits. :)

4/7/2013 Romeo

We are preparing for a road trip.  I'm not saying more than that, until after it happens.  Why?  Because Karma's a b#tch, and I think she has my phone #.  :)

Mo and I headed back to the arena.  I rode him up first, lots and lots of trot.   First five walk, ten minutes trot, 3-4 canter, back to ten trot, five walk and done.

In his early trot, I worked on dog & frog stretches, hoping to lengthen my legs some.  It worked, a bit.  I trotted him over two ground poles spaced about 2.5' apart or so ... never did measure that.. hmm

We took off at the canter, focusing only on figure 8s with simple changes.  Heading from the right lead to the left lead, I glanced at the ground poles, and thought, "Quit looking.. He's going to the right of them."  I looked off hard to the right of the poles.

I really did stare to the right of the poles.  Until about two strides out, when it became incredibly apparently Romeo was going OVER those poles.  Oi vey.  Rather than run into the jump standard, I looked at the line off past the poles.  He bounded over them in one big leap.  O. M. G.!  That horse!  I laughed, because when I glanced down to see what canter, yup, he changed.  Flying change, over a spread of ground poles.  Monster...

Couldn't get him to jump at the canter when I wanted him to.. Now, apparently he's going to do it all on his own. 

He came back to trot after that pretty easily, much to my surprise.  We walked it out a few minutes, then went back to trot work.  Only.  Quiet.  Trot Work.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

4/6/13 More Steady

Harley, dressage.  His warm up bothered him towards the end.  I snapped the whip with the string visible rather than off behind, and he tore off at gallop-left like I had shot him.  I got him calmed down, but as soon as the string wiggled, he took off yet again.  Once he realized the string wasn't a snake to eat him, I hopped on.

I wore my tall boots, spurs, and had the Myler combo bit on the lowest ring.  Biggest influence.  I shortened my reins over the first 10 minutes of the ride, gently increasing the request.  Rather than plain circles, we rode 3-loop serpentines, diagonals, and only a few circles.  I didn't stay in the same direction much at all.  Lots of transitions.  In the X-line on the serpentines, I'd break to walk for 2-5 steps, then up to trot, often changing direction at the same time.  On the diagonal, much of the same.

When I asked for the first canter-right, I was delighted.  It worked.  He was together, smooshed, and had an uphill canter.  MUCH better than the strung out mess it has been.  After canter, his trot was forward and energetic.  Very nice.

Canter-left at first ask, was lazy.  He hung on the forehand, and stumbled pretty big.  Nice & dramatic.  He quickly picked himself up, but wasn't round.  Head up, nose out and bent to the outside.  Yuck.  I held my inside hand out from his neck, and guided his body with my legs.  Things improved, and when I had 4 nice canter strides, back to trot. 

There were very few stretchy-trot circles today.  When he had a walk break, I let him stretch out & down, but I didn't stay there long.  Towards the end, he got incredibly lazy at canter.  I popped him with both spurs and a harsh yell all at once.  He quickly lifted his whole body, and after a few wild strides, he settled into a canter-left almost identical to the canter-right.  Fantastic.

Romeo got much of the same, focusing on serpentines, leg yields, and lots of direction and transition in walk and trot.  In the canter, all figure8s with simple changes in the middle.  He felt very relaxed, and all but the changes were done on a fairly loose rein.  All the serpentines were done by looking in direction, and not with reins or leg aids.  Delightful.  The transitions were almost exclusively on "air brakes".  This is something to teach every trail horse, at least I think... Msg me or comment here if you're new, or missed the first few air brake lessons. 


4/5/13 Counter Canter

Mo and I took it light.  I gave him a very thorough scrubbing with the curry and grooming block to get shedding hair off.  It was successful, but he's nowhere near done.  I ended us with a 15 minute walk down the road & back.  Bareback, halter with the lead rope tied back to itself (lazy neck reins).  At the back edge of CRNG's yard, a deer rustled up out of the trees and into his yard.  Mo came to a complete, startled stop.  Good boy, Mo!  Especially when Momma's got nothin' to hold onto but yer mane.  Good Boy! 

Harley and I were out in the arena, riding dressage, looking for any inkling of 'tude from the day before.  None apparent.  His warm up was easy, and the ride was a giggle.  He fought the bit more than I would've liked, and didn't have all the energy I was hoping for.  I did a few simple canter lead changes down the diagonals, and it seemed to wake him up.  Since Mo had counter-canter Thursday, I wondered if Harley could do the same.

Nope.  Not one bit.  Harley broke to trot before the end of every diagonal, and changed leads to the "correct" on every circle.  I laughed.  It was about all I could do.  I'm sure down the road, once he gains better balance and more topline muscle, he'll be better developed (mentally and physically), and the counter-canter won't seem such an impossible chore.  Still, with all the work I've done to get the "correct" lead every time I ask, it's nice he has learned the lesson and is willing to stick with it.

Saturday, however, work needs doing.  He's hanging on the bit, heavy in my hands, and generally lazy.  I need to find some steady impulse trot rhythm again.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Harley up first, jump saddle.  Naughty boy!  His warm up was very lazy, so I hopped on pretty quickly.  He chose to head left first, with some really nice trot & canter work.  Then the naughty began.  I turned him right, his trot was short, and when I asked for a canter, he bucked up in back.  "NO!" I hollered, pulling his head around.  I sent him back out at the trot, still short & choppy.  I asked for another canter.  More bucking.  "NO!  That will NOT be tolerated!"  I slapped his neck more for the noise than pain.  I sent him back out at the trot, and couldn't get any kind of forward, just head tossing and a fussy "I'll go anywhere I want to" kind of attitude.  I hopped off, backed him up hard, scolded him again.  I sent him back out on the longe line, immediately to canter-right.  He threw another baby fit, then tore off at a big extended canter.  "I told you.  You can, you just don't want to."  When it became apparent he was giving up, I got back on.  Immediately back to right circle, at a trot.  NOW I was getting a nice forward trot.  I asked for a canter, being sure to have heels down.  I sat only to ask, and as soon as he cantered up, I lifted off his back just a bit.  We cantered a few circles, and I let him trot.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Lots of trot-canter-trot, more right than left.  I had intended to only briefly canter, and work more on lengthening/shortening trot stride in our continued adjustment to the new saddle.  Harley had other plans, apparently.

Romeo was equally ornery, well, for Mo that is.  His walk warm up he was lazy and slow.  I asked for trot, and had to get after him to get more than a trippy/shuffly jog.  I asked for a gentle canter, and got the impression all he wanted to do was run.  We worked on some counter-canter, which he did NOT enjoy.  Both times we got back to the "correct lead direction", he let out a heavy sigh.  hmm.. note to self.. counter-canter Harley in the dressage saddle soon  Again in some easy canter, he wanted to run, and so we did, hand-galloping at least one lap around the arena.  I tried a few rollbacks, and the more we did, the better they got.  Two simple lead changes and we were done.

Felt good to ride both on a work night.  I hope for more of the same all weekend.  Well, minus the whole bucking fits. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Harley to the Mailbox - April Fool's

I grabbed Harley, saddled him up endurance, and down the road we went.  Brave in the blustery wind, yet another windy day.  grr.

He was awesome heading towards the end of the road and the mailboxes.  He paused twice - once for barking running dogs, and again when he spotted the donkeys.  I was really surprised he was so relaxed going that far.  Things were going so well...

*insert the theme music to JAWS here*

We turned around towards home, and suddenly, he got googly eyed at the donkey pasture.  No live animals were in there that I could see.  He snorted and got incredibly terrified of something. I have no clue what.  I hopped off, and tried to walk him towards the fence.  Nothing doing.  He was having NO part of that fence line or pasture.  I hand walked him by it, until he relaxed, then got back on.  I could feel a bit of tension still, but at least he wasn't snorting.

Neighbor's young horse screamed out, and ran at a full gallop towards the fence line.  Harley paniced again.  I hopped off, and had to hand walk his oogly terrified self the rest of the way home.  That young'in screamed the rest of the way back to the house.  I don't know if something happened after we left, or what.  The goofy youngster made all kinds of noise at us.   I think he was jealous Harley was out for a walk, and that he's so handsome, but I don't translate horse too well.

It started out as a nice walk, and as he made the corner towards the house, he relaxed again.  Total time, 25 minutes.  We're going to make it to that mailbox and back this year, I'm sure of it.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monkey Mondays - The Introductions

I have been longing for a donkey for MONTHS now.  Why?  Because they're cute, funny, and plenty of blog and real life humor could be had with a donkey.  However, I'm not seeing too many donkeys for sale, nor for inexpensive prices.  Monkey arrived yesterday in the mail, and he's going to be our humor until I run out of adventures for him.  Sometimes, he'll have a story, sometimes, he'll just have a picture or two.  Here goes! 

Romeo and I were walking back home, when I decided I should get the mail.  Usually, a few pieces of flat, fold-able mail, I can stuff them in my waistband and head on home.  Today, was going to be a bit more difficult.

 Royal Mail  - This monkey travels in style.
 His origin.  Monkey is a celebrity where he grew up.  He's the mascot for PG Tips Tea Co, and even has his own website.   Stirlingshire Saddle Fitters have been taking a cousin of my Monkey, Monkee, everywhere with them, and he's been having a lot of fun. 
 This item does not contain dangerous articles.  Uh Oh ... I wonder how true that is .. Or isn't ..
 Hello?  Let me out, please?  I won't get into too much trouble .. I'm skeerd already.
 So, there's Monkey.  Already hanging out by the computer, admiring a picture of me and Harley. 
Tee-shirt!  Monkey Says RELAX.  Smart fellow, don't you think