Monday, September 23, 2013

Monkey Monday 9.23.13

Wow Mum, the past couple days have been busy busy busy at The Asylum! I skipped the library trip yesterday, as I needed a NAP in order to recharge from helping Auntie Mrs Mum making homemade bread. You know she kneads that stuff by hand? And that it takes a LONG time to knead it? No wonder her hands are strong-- she does this a few tiems a week!

Anyways-- it was very cool out yesterday. In the 70's all day, so we worked outside in the memorial garden. It was awesome- the flowers are really pretty. Time to replace the petunias with something else though, as their time has passed.

Then I had to help her with the Great Knife Mystery. No real headway in solving the case but we DID discover that it isn't just the butter knives that have gone AWOL-- oh no, some of the sharp steak knives have as well. I tell you, it's a right fair puzzler it is. Got us all befuddled.

Today.. we cleaned house (lots of that goes on here... seems like a nonstop process.) And then we took the Locust Brothers to the lake. I was quite nervous-- all that gator talk had my wee little Monkee bits tucked up far far inside me. Luckily though, no gator sightings so we were happy.

Then it rained again. It seems to rain an awful lot here.

I still have yet to meet the horses- Auntie Mrs Mum says its too wet and yucky out for a little Monkee man like myself. Nice of her to keep me shiny clean!

Oh-- and the scariest part of the day--- I met a puppy. Oh my Heavens. That was a very energetic puppy. She wanted to cart me off to parts unknown and do who knows what to my tiny Monkee self!! Bloody frightening I tell you. I must confess though, after Auntie Mrs Mum put me up high on the table, that little pup sure was cute. From a distance. Not so much up close!

OK Mum, I'm fair knackered from today, so it's time for me to crash for a bit. I'm told that there is yet MORE adventure in store tomorrow, so a little Monkee man like myself had best get some shut eye!

Talk with you soon Mum,
Your Loving Monkee,

Sunday, September 22, 2013

9.22.13 Training #2

Leslie Cummings Judge

1 A Enter working trot.
X Halt salute
6.0  contact unsteady but straight entry

2 C Track right   B circle right 20m
6.5 turn w bend on every step of circle

3 KXM Change rein working trot
6.0 fusses thru turn

4 Between C & H Working canter left lead
7.0 prompt

5 E Circle left 20m
5.5 neck twists right ear high , braced

6 Between E&K Working trot
7 fairly smooth

7 A Circle left 20m, allowing the horse to stretch forward and downward
Before A, shorten the reins
5.0 pulling and snatching

8 Between A & F Medium walk
7 nc (??)

9 FXM Free walk
M-C Medium walk
6.0 fussing to bit but clear difference in walks

10 C Working trot
6.0 needs more supple, stretch to bit

11 E Circle right 20m
6.0 push circle out to 20m
still arguing about bridle

12 FXH Change rein working trot
7.0 better contact here

13 Between C & M Working canter right lead
6.5 a bit haunches in

14 B Circle right 20m
6.5 Push out to 20m

15 Between B & F Working trot
6.5 plan for a lighter down transition

16 A Down centerline. X halt salute
7 slow to settle, but straight

RIDER'S position 6.5
RIDER'S correct and effective use of aids 6.5

Well matched team. The connection is the issue. Bit? Teeth? Hands?
Your correct geometry should help develop suppleness and power especially when you are able to communicate more harmoniously w the rein aids.

The Show 9.22.13

Wow! What a Day! Harley scored 60.8% in TL#l and 62.0% in TL#2.  I couldn't have hoped to much more . Very short warm up, and he wasn't as ready as I thought.  Still, he had more "go" than previous.Better bend ,and in some places, outright terrific.

Let's get on with some details...

Leslie Cummings Judge
Score 60.80%

1 A Enter working trot
X Halt, Salute Proceed working trot
7.0 fairly straight

2 C Track left E Circle left 20m
6.0 good rhythm but needs steadier contact

3 A Circle left 20m, developing left lead canter second half of circle
AFB working canter
5.5 neck pulled left, braced

4 B-E Half circle left 20m
5.5 neck twists w right ear high

5 Between E & K Working trot
7.0 obedient to trot

6 A Circle left 20m rising trot, allowing the horse to stretch forward and downward
Before A, shorten the reins A Working trot
5.0 seems umwilling to stretch consistently

7 Between A & F Medium walk
6.0 add activity

8 FXH Free walk H-C Medium walk
5.5 some rooting into reins

9 C Working trot
6.0 head bobs

10 B Circle right 20m
6 fusses to bit but good geometry

11 A Circle right 20m, developing right lead canter second half of circle
AKE Working canter
5.5 prompt to canter and  better alignment here

12 E-B Half circle right 20m
5.5 broke

13 Between B & F Working trot
 6.0 prepare earlier

14 A Down centerline X Halt, Salute
7 almost straight

GAITS (freedom and regularity) 7.0
IMPULSION (desire to move forward, elasticity of the steps, suppleness of the back, engagement of the hindquarters) 6.0
SUBMISSION (attention and confidence, lightness and ease of movements, acceptance of the bridle, lightness of the forehand) 6.0
RIDER'S position and seat 7.0
RIDER'S correct and effective use of the aids 6.0
HARMONY between rider and horse 6.5

Very attractive duo. Good geometry and rhythm
Needs to develop more confident,  steady connection and elastic stretch into bit.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monkee Mondays 9/16/2013

Mum! Mum!
There's a MYSTERY afoot! A MYSTERY, I say!!
According to Auntie MM, there *used* to be plenty of butter knives in the drawer. Well, apparently up until recently, there were maybe 12 of them. Mum, you should have heard her three days back-- "Where are all the butter knives?" was the battle cry. She said, with more than a little bit of incredulity mind you, that there were only TWO left in the drawer. TWO butter knives I tell you!!
Now tonight, as she was doing dishes and cleaning her kitchen up, she discovered an awful truth---- there is only ONE butter knife remaining! ONE!
It's a mystery I tell you- the knives are disappearing. Shocking!

We're hot on the trail of the gremlins who've made off with her kitchen utensils. Rotten little buggers they are!
I'll keep you posted Mum, on what happens when we solve the Case Of The Missing Utensils!
Much Love from your Monkee,

Friday, September 13, 2013

9/13/13 Ain't always unlucky

Caught Harley early this am. Weather was fabulous. It's been really humid & warm lately, so anything like we had today was perfect, Low 70s. Yum !

Warmed him up in side reins, Only a few minutes, and it was clear he was ready to go.

( I owe a few back stories and Will set to them.--. Basically, full vet trip earlier this week. Big dental float, along with shots and Coggins. Thurs pm l rode light . Long enough to loosen his mind and back.)

Boy O Boy! Another reminder how happy his mouth is! Quiet and obedient! Very nice 40 min of full work. A few lazy moments to work out. Like making a trot to canter transition C-H. He is not keen on all the trot up to more work.

The bugs? perfect to fix Tomorrow in a lesson wl Mrs. N! Harley and I roll solo tomorrow. So for me, time for lights out !

Monday, September 9, 2013

9/9/2013 Monkey Mondays

Dear Mum-
Well goodness. I have found out why Auntie MM calls those boys "Locusts". I swear, if they've eaten once a day, they've eaten 18 times. I've yet to figure out where they are putting all that food. And it isn't even into the loo!

It's been quite an adventure thus far. I've met "Granny", who lives across the way, and had a lovely tour of the yard and both homes with the Locusts. Auntie MM has mentioned something about a lake, but I'm a bit worried about this thing they call a "gator" and what it might do to a tiny Monkee MoJo like myself. I've seen the flower garden too- it's lovely.

I've yet to meet the horses, but the dogs wasted no time in making introductions. Jo is indeed a chicken in a dog suit- anytime there is even a hint of thunder, she clings to Auntie MM tightly. And Murphy/ Merp/ Damn Dog is dangerous to a tiny Monkee like myself with that tail of hers! She sent me flying through the air one time wagging so hard! Lucky for me, Jo broke my fall with her cushiony side. She is a sweet old girl.

And there is this odd creature called a DAT. She is odd because... well.. she LOOKS like a cat. Just a regular, plain old cat. She meows, she purrs, and she does some other things- like when the youngest Locust calls her, she comes to him. And when he asks her, she pushes the fridge door closed! Have you ever heard of such a thing? A CAT of all things, coming when called and closing the ice chest? Auntie MM calls her DAT because she wags her tail and acts like a dog sometimes. If nothing else, she is quite entertaining.

I'm looking forward to meeting the horses. And to meeting Bitsy and Sissy at Granny's house too. Although I hear Sissy has sharp teeth- Auntie MM is going to have to protect me from her.

The Locusts are non-stop busy busy busy. For that matter, the past few days, Auntie MM and Uncle Lt Handful have been crazy busy too. In fact, there was ONE day this week that I was wishing they would pack me up and send me home. Please do not be upset over any additions to my vocabulary- blame it on a Really Bad Day at Auntie MM's. (By the way Mum, what does it mean when a woman grumbles and growls and steam comes out of her ears? And she mutters things under her breath that involve a lot of... well.. shall we say rather strong and un-ladylike language? And just how many orifices and sphincters are there in the human body? Is it more than in a Monkee?)

Most of the rash has resolved on my tushie and under my shirt from those sparkly bits you insisted on shoving all over me. Auntie MM has been very kind about treating my scrapes. And the youngest Locust even offered up some of his personal band aids! Such a generous little fellow. When he is not sassing his brother and making his mum batty that is.

OK Mum, I hope you are well out there. I'll update more tomorrow- today wore me out trying to keep up with Auntie MM mowing and laundering and cooking. It rained some this evening, so no lake trip yet. Which is good- I'm fair worried about that gator creature introducing himself!

Your Loving Monkee,

9-2-2013 & 9-7-2013

Sept 2, Harley and I rode dressage, sort of.  It started out as "work-work", but I just wasn't feeling it.  We enjoyed the rest of the 40 minute ride on a completely loose rein, trotting and cantering, taking advantage of the close short side of the arena being open.  We ended up loose rein cantering down the long side, right out of the 'arena' area.  Pretty darn fun.

This past Saturday, we worked darn hard.  I've registered for a show Sept 22, Training 1 & 2.  I read through Training 2, and it's a bit longer than 1.  So I rode LOTS of trot diagonals, and two sets of 3-circle canters each direction.  Harley did great.  Lots of zip in his giddy-up, and plenty of go.  He felt focused, attentive, and obedient.  :)  Not bad for a few days off, and new hooves.  A delightful ride.

Yesterday, 9-8, it rained.  Finally.  And lots of it.  Not the "little shower stuff", either.  I'd guesstimate 2-3" total so far.  I had puddles in the pasture, puddles in the arena.  The ground quickly gobbled it up, but the back porch was puddly again this morning, suggesting we'd gotten more overnight.  There's a forecast for it today, and tomorrow.  I'm super happy for it.  Much needed, grass-growing, hay-raising kind of rains.  :) 

Healthwise, I just sit and wait.  BP fluctuates between "wow, that's terrific" to "whoa, that's some weird stuff I've got going on right there".  My ability to get things done has improved dramatically.  I was able to vacuum the entire house without stop breaks over the weekend, a big improvement.  All the tests are done, so it's just waiting now until the 9-18 appointment.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Harley, dressage.  No warmup, just mounted up and off we went.  Lots of walk serpentines to get us started out right.

After a trot warmup, I rode TL#1.  It went well, all but the stretchies, both walk and trot.  He stayed in his canters, without any fuss.  The trot/halt/trot was even nice at X.  Better than I expected, and I attributed the bad stretches to not enough warm up on contact.  By not making him work hard before the stretches, he didn't appreciate the value of the stretches.

The ride was good.  He moved out well at the trot, and stayed with me for the canter work.  Well, most of it.  Towards the end, I rode three circle canters heading right first.  When I started in it, and realized I went right first, I had a feeling left would be bad.  And it was.  He broke gait in the same exact spot as the day before.  Only I couldn't let him keep getting away with it.  Even though I felt like poop, I kept going and sent him back to canter.  In the canter left quite a while, lines and circles, mostly so I could control the down transition.

45 minutes of hard riding.  We were both exhausted.  Cool hose for Harley, and a shower and snack for me.  I spent the rest of the entire day planted on the couch once outdoor chores were finished.  A totally lazy sacked-out remainder of the day.

Monkey Mondays 09/02/2013

Alternatively titled, "MoJo Monkee's Road Trip, Part One"
Dear Mum-
Imagine my surprise when you were dancing about the house talking about a road trip, just for ME. At first, it was quite exciting- I love road trips, and you always take me to such interesting destinations. (The adult beverage selections you introduce me to are some of my favorites by the way!)
However, when the giant box came out, with a travel kit and my passport.... Pardon my saying so Mum, but I do believe I had my doubts. Never before had you brought out a box, a passport and my travel kit for a mere road trip.
And road trip it was.
All the way to the east coast-- Savannah GA to be exact. At first, I was pretty cheesed, being stuffed in a blooming box, with confetti and what not. (Did you know that those sparkly little bits itch my monkee bits something fierce? Yeow!) By day three I was getting into relaxing a bit, wondering at my destination. And.. it got rather warm. A bit stuffy in there, don't you know.
My relief was huge. For a moment or three, I was worried I'd be going back overseas- but instead, I'm here in Georgia. The squeals from the boys, known for some reason as the Locust Brothers, were a bit deafening. But quite frankly they are charming young chaps who have been quite a bit of fun to pal around with.
Well, I'm a bit knackered from a busy few days. I'll write more next week for you, and include some pictures too. I'm ready to tuck in with the Locust Brothers for now, and dream some happy dreams.
Ta-ta for now!
Your loving Monkee,

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Harley, jump saddle.  Longed (minus side reins) for about 10 minutes.  Quiet, submissive warmup.  Hopped on (via mounting block, since any stretching on my chest seems to aggravate the whole chest/heart situation), and off we went.  Sticky.  Lazy.  Obstinate.  Grr!  Okay, so once he was finally walking, we were off.  Worked on some serpentines and circles at walk.  Up to trot, and more of the same.  He finally started to relax, and loosen up.  Whew.  Loosening his body and mind took another 10 minutes. 

Canter, didn't have a single small circle.  Started on a 20m circle at L/I, depending which side we were on, finish the circle towards A/C, head down long side, short side, next long side, then back to trot around the opposite A or C.  If circle started at L, half 20m circle to A, canter A/F/B/M, C/H/E/K, back to trot between A and L on the circle.  Easier to ride than explain.  Same in opposite.  He stayed IN canter, didn't try to break, didn't fuss.  Rode the lines better than the half circles.  Took a short walk break, 5 minutes, mostly stretching down walk.  A nice steady forward walk at that.

Down trot poles 3x each way.  One time through on one end of the poles, another on the middle, and finally the other end of the poles.  Changed it up depending which side we were coming from.  Didn't have any kind of pattern other than "go over, pick a spot on the poles, then find a treetop to stare at". 

Big long walk break.  By now, I'd been riding about 25 minutes.  I had planned a half hour/35 minutes total.  I figured, "oh, I'll skip the canter poles today.  I'll just ride a little bit more at canter, and we'll be done."  By now, my heart was working good & hard, but it felt good.  Up to canter, "oh heck with it.  I'm doing those @#% poles.  We can DO this."

Canter poles heading right twice, no break in gait.  He was fantastic!!  I was super glad I did it.  He didn't try to break gait, and with gentle smooches from me just before and over the poles, they were smooth sailing.  Walk break, next up left.

Left canter poles - first over, he stumbled in front (heavy on the forehand), but got himself back together just before to stay in canter over them.  Made the short side, heading down long side with intent on doing it again.  He broke.  Straight to trot.  I sat deep and asked again. .No Go.  NOTHING was getting Harley back into that canter without a fight. I asked him to walk to re-group.  So I thought. 

My heart was POUNDING.  I felt like my head could pop off at any moment.  Whew.. Lots of heavy breathing.. More than I realized I was doing.  Enough to make me quite nervous.  Harley knew better than me.  "I've had my fill for the day, haven't I Harley?"  He let out a huge sigh, dropped his head, and shook it just a bit.  "Okay.  We're done.  You know better than me when I've had enough."  We walked it out and went back to the house.

Today we'll dive back into dressage.  I'm planning on riding TL#1 again, and seeing where the bugs are.  Perhaps I'll ride like it's a show - lots of walk/trot serpentines and circles, make me a pony-noodle, ride the test and see where the bugs are.  I suspect things will go well today, and the only "bug" will be that stretchy trot circle.  Depends how good the warmup section of the ride goes.

I intend on a walk on Mo after that.  Heh.. We'll see.  Maybe Harley will let me know if I'm up for it or not.