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Friday, January 24, 2014

I Love Cows

Today I headed back for another lesson.  I was unsure what was going to happen this weekend cause last night I got my email entry back saying I sent it to the wrong address.  Ahh so I wasn't entered in the show :(  I went for my lesson anyways and told Doug and he gave me the number of the arena owner and I talked to him and he said it shouldn't be a problem but to call his wife.  So I did and she put me in at the bottom of the class.  Which is fine I'm not worried about being last or having used cows, it will be fine anyways we are just going for more show experience.

It was a really good lesson, I was so excited how well it was going.  I had to lope forever again before we started and she was tired.  Then in come the cows and she was full of energy again, I love how much she loves her job :)  We picked a cow and all I was thinking of was stop and pull on her to stop.  Was good so we worked on pushing her off a cow whenever I could, she likes to creep up on them.

I finally feel like my hands are connected to my brain, rather than waiting for her to stop if she doesn't I am on her right away, no chance for her to make a mistake.  She knows how to do it, she just gets lazy if I let her.  I never thought of it much but its been a long time since Doug has had to get on my horse to get her correct before a show, so I guess I must be improving its just slow so I don't notice.
(my first attempt at a selfie with my horse, apparently it was a bit sunny)

Glad a friend is coming with me tomorrow so I have company for the drive and its always kinda scary going somewhere new, we went one day last year but just to watch this will be more stressful actually gotta do something.  I am in the 5th herd tomorrow so I will have a little time from when it starts at 10 till I go.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cows and Riding

Tuesday I had a lesson and it was on cows.  I was gonna make her do what I wanted when I wanted.  And I got there and a whole bunch of people were there some I knew and some I just met.  We visited for a while and then Doug told me to lope my horse for 15 minutes and don't stop.  I said I doubt I can lope that long and he said just do it.  So we did, she was sweaty all over before the cows come in.  Then brought a few cows in, one guy worked before me it was good, let Jess think before it was our turn.  Then we went.  I was told to  pick up on her every time we stopped and it was soo much better, I was confused when the cows just walked and he said its fine to check them then too so now I am less confused and mostly know when to ask her to stop and so just do it, if I am wrong well that's fine, there is hardly any chance I am gonna pick up on her too often.  I guess I am going in the show on Saturday and so going back Friday to work cows again.

Yesterday we headed down to Brooks and planned an easy ride on Jessie cause she worked hard on Tuesday and it was a shorter ride but even though I was thinking just walk trot she wanted to lope and seemed like she had lots of energy so we loped a little.  She must be getting in better shape if shes so eager to lope all the time, before she did it when I asked but she was kinda slow and lazy about it.  I was a little concerned the inside of her hocks seemed warm but the don't seem to bother her so I guess I will just keep an eye on them for a bit and make sure its not anything serious.
 (I love this arena :) )

Kali was next and I was darn determined we were gonna lope, well at first she tried to hump up on me!  I don't think she really knew what she was doing cause she just kept trotting all balled up, so I pulled her around in a circle to get her loose again and asked again it was better, we got a few steps and then she slowed down, I trotted longer and asked again, we got half a lap, well not great but better.

And today we also headed down to Brooks, was a girl with three horses there when I got there and before I left about 5 more people showed up!  I have never seen that many people there at once for free riding.  I rode Kali first since my saddle was set for her and we got 2.....2 whole laps of lope together without her trying to slow down!!!!  I was shocked at that, I think it helps when someone else is there she is more happy to be out there but still I can usually get half a lap and she tries to quit!  I was pretty happy with her so only about 25 minutes on her this time but a good 25 minutes :D

And then Jess and she was good as always we trotted and loped and then some lady set up the barrels so we just pretty much got in her way when she was trying to use them :)  I don't use any equipment and its kinda a pain when others try to do stuff like that and have no concern for what everyone else is doing.  I was just cooling down and they were using them so it wasn't too big a deal this time.  I also saw my neighbor there and her couple horses riding.  First time I seen her down there that was kinda cool.  Got home kinda early today and its getting warmer but sure taking its time.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lessons and Outside

Thursday we headed back for another lesson, meant to go Wednesday but I forgot to phone.  I need a reminder cause I like to phone after supper but then stuff happens and next thing I know its too late to call.  But Thursday was on.  I got there and it was just gonna be flag which is good for me and he had me do some different stuff like move her away from and towards the flag while staying level with it and not using my reins.  That was pretty easy for me since we had been working on that when just riding, one thing that's hard for all horses, one leg means move away from it without going faster, two legs means faster.  Hardest for Razz, but even Jess wants to go faster and so we been going around at a trot and I make her move over one way or another on the long sides of the arena, try to keep her head facing straight or a little outside and lead with her ribs.  Its hard for her cause she just want to go that way on a diagonal but we been getting it.  And I discovered she is way more sensitive on the left side than the right, gotta work to get them even.  I got thinking later it was cause my left knee bothers me a lot and I don't want to kick hard on that side so I make sure they listen to a light touch but I guess I gotta do that on the right as well.

We also worked on stopping straight, I know if I keep my cow leg on her when we stop she will think of turning in but won't cause my leg is there, its just hard for me cause when I think stop I think take legs off, but Doug said its quite common for them to like that close feeling so they know what always going on and as soon as I move that leg she goes into the turn.  Gonna have to keep practicing that till it becomes habit.

Was a good lesson, made me feel like something got accomplished.  And got a plan to work cows twice before the show on the 25th that I am hopefully going to.

Friday was a beautiful day so we rode outside again, this time I made Jess open the gate to the hay corral and we rode out towards the cows.  I find she is way better opening the gate if its on her left side but I am so awkward going that way so we practiced the other way that's easier for me.

There is still quite a bit of snow out there and so we stayed on the trail but even though that seems packed down by the tractor it really isn't for a horse.  She would walk and every four or five steps fall through.  She didn't really like it and I don't blame her so I tried to pick where it was shallowest and looked hardest.  We made it most of the way to the cows, there was one more deep spot and so we just turned around before it.  Then stopped to talk to Neil for a bit and he was welding and he said he was gonna scare my pony with his alien head and put his mask on and walked up to her and she just looked at him like "wheres the cookies"  lol.  Then we tried to walk down the road and we got to the bare spot where the grader had plowed to the ground and she was looking at it like what is that???  haha guess its been snowy so long she doesn't remember what the ground looked like.  But after much sniffing she decided it was OK to walk on, lol.  It got a little slippery after that so we headed back.  Was a nice ride out though probly the best one of the winter.

(love my tall horse, lol)

Saturday and Sunday both were hauled down to Brooks and had nice rides on them, sure makes a difference for Kali the consecutive days with her, she just gets better, I rode her like a beginner and she was so funny, I even tried leaning far to to side and she just stops and turns and looks at me, probly wondering what the crazy humans are doing now.  I didn't steer her and she just eventually wandered to the gate and stood there, it was funny.  I am enjoying her and I kinda wish I had an arena and I would keep her and maybe put her over a few jumps I think she might like that. Yesterday Shirley asked if shed be good for penning or sorting and I doubt it, shes too small for one ting compared to all horses I have ever seen and shes kinda afraid of cows, specially if they are coming at her.  And she likes slow.

Also been counting on these as my horsemanship challenge, so far am up to 8 rides and 5 hours 45 minutes with Jessie.  And even though not doing the challenge with Kali I have 5 rides and only 1 hour 45 minutes.  Wow guess those 20 minute rides don't count up very fast should ride her longer I guess...good thing I got Jess as  my challenge horse gonna get 30 rides and 40 hours in by end of March for sure on her and hopefully on Kals too.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Ponies and Riding

OK got a few days to catch up on again, don't know why I been so behind I swear its only been a couple days since I posted last.  Well I did ride outside and it was kinda nice out.  We rode to the hay corral but the gate was closed the way we always go in the summer cause there are cows out there and we don't want them in the the yard but Jessie really wanted to go that way so we did. til the gate.  She just stood there staring at it like it would open for her, lol.  Well it didn't and so we went back and walked down the road a ways.  then on the way back Neil came out of the house and so I made him take my picture.  I laugh when I see this cause I leave my stirrups on the setting where I cut so I look silly but its so much easier than changing them all the time.

Then Saturday was show day that I didn't go to and it sounds like a good thing, the power was out till 1 and so they were super late getting started and finishing.  I headed to Calgary and went to a friends housewarming, nice new house she got kinda on the edge of town.

Sunday was also a day off unplanned cause I was gonna haul down to the barrel race in brooks and run Jess in the time onlys but since I got home at 2 and they started at 10 I was too lazy so stayed home and caught up on some housework.  Sure got behind when I was so sick there and it takes forever to catch up, doesn't help our dishwasher broke and am washing everything by hand till our new one comes at the end of the month.

Back on schedule  Monday hauled down to Brooks again and had a good ride on both girls, tried to get some video of them but when riding Jess some other girl was there and so that didn't work but did get a little of Kali, pretty boring but boring is good :)  I want to do it again and get her cantering.  Its a pain cause I gotta get off every time I wanna restart the video and so after twice with her I just quit for the day.  Next time maybe just do some cantering a video that and not the rest.  I had some lady interested in her but she made a feeble excuse why she wouldn't work.  I wish they would just say no rather than a lame excuse.  Guess I am gonna have to actually list her for sale this year rather than just hoping the right person will come along.

After the ride I turned them both into the arena and let them loose, guess no one has done that before with them cause they just stood there and looked at me.  Then the wandered and Jess rolled one side and then smelled the dirt all around and after about 10 minutes they both looked at each other and took off running as hard as they could to the other end of the arena and bucking and rearing, lol was funny but good for them.  I feel bad they never get out of their blankets except to ride and nowhere to run around too much deep snow and ice in their pen at home.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 2 and 3

So I phoned for a lesson and even though no one answered I left a message saying I was coming.  I like that system we just assume its OK unless we hear otherwise, there is always someone there and so unless its something big its not a problem going.  Well it was already warmer and then it started snowing, well it was just nice big giant flakes and no wind so why not I might as well still go.  So I got Jess and we loaded up and off we went.  It was a little hard to see where the sides of the road were on our driveway but after the first half mile was good going.  The pavement had a little snow on but not slippery so that was good to, by the time I got to Doug's it was actually sunny out, I don't think they got any new snow so that was nice and it was even warmer there (it usually is warmer the other side of Drum from us all winter and cooler in the summer)

I was kinda early but went in and he was working a couple young horses, one just came the night before and was just learning what a saddle is, the other had been going a bit longer.  He said he had one more to work and then we would do cows in the afternoon!  Oh perfect day to choose I love working cows :)  His other horse was pretty cool, he rode her mother and liked her so kinda neat to see the next generation.  I didn't know the mare but they all seemed to like her.

Yay cows!  I knew since it had been a while since I worked cows Jess was gonna be a little fresh but holy fresh was an understatement!!!  I thought we were well warmed up but as soon as the cows come in she was awake.  I could hardly hold her back she was so raring to go....maybe I shoulda rode her in the last 10 days!  I made her get off the cows and listen to me and we went back and she was still a little goofy but by the end we got a few good turns.  I need to learn how to stop her square every time, even if it means losing the cow, we have to stop before turning.  Its hard for me to think this I guess my brain isn't fast enough cause I can feel when shes doing it wrong but my reaction isn't fast enough then we are already on the next stop.  I need some slow cows and more I guess.
(she was tired and sweaty when we were done, it was hard work!)

Then Wednesday I went to the dentist and walked on the walking track for an hour or so at the new community center and had coffee with friends.  I need a day off now and then just to remember how much I do like to ride.  Feels like a job sometimes.
(don't know how the animated snow, but George was sleepin, 
 wouldn't even look at me the other day)

Thursday I hauled down to Brooks and it looked like Jessie had a kinda snotty nose, I thought I would take it easy but she had other plans, she was super energetic so we worked for about 45 minutes.  I had great plans of setting up my tripod and videoing us but there was another girl there and before i left 2 more people had come so not this time.  She was a little wet so I put her cooler on and rode Kali.  Its been a few days since I rode her and I could tell, she was all wiggly again and dint want to go to the far end, well not a big deal its a big arena and I can work in half, so we did lots of trotting and she wanted to go to far end so we walked down there and back, amazing how a little work where she wants to be isn't always so much fun :)  She is such a good pony its just more fun to get her to want to do it rather than make her do it, she is a lot happier if she gets to use her brain.  One day down there I may set up a jump or two for her I think she would like it.  Was only about 20 minutes on her but it seemed like longer and I was tired so that was it.

Headed home and my neighbor was over, I put the ponies away and then had a visit with her, that was nice end to the day.  Today gonna try and ride at home if it warms up a little more.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 1

Yesterday was day 1 of the horsemanship challenge for me.  I loaded up Jessie and Kali and was heading down to Brooks to ride.  It was a little bit colder than the forecast said but I was too excited that I was going anyways...after all the arena is heated. 
Got to the number 1 corner and got thinking I shoulda called and made sure there was open riding but most days nothing goes on until the late afternoon evening.  Well as I pulled up I got suspicious when I saw the Stampede Ranch truck.  But wasn't concerned until I come around front and there was about 10 trucks there.  Sure enough booked from 8-6 for colt starting.  Ahhh!!!!

Well felt like a waste of trip but I went to a few places in town and then got lunch and headed home.  I didn't get much work in so spent a few minutes just working with the two leading and turning and stopping and making sure they listened.  Worked well.  Then I fed them and was done for the day.  So only about 15 minutes of horsemanship in today.  But at least I know I have the energy to go and back and I'm sure to ride too.

And a pretty pic of Razz just cause shes so pretty :)  and Disco I love her hair :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Horsemanship Challenge 2014

I somehow stumbled across this group on Facebook that if you want to join just submit a picture of you and your horse and agree to do 40 horsemanship hours in the next 12 weeks, this includes 30 rides of which 5 may be bareback the rest must be saddled.  Sounded like fun so I joined, sounds like a supportive group of people just wanting motivation to get out and ride in the winter.  I put in a pic of me and Jessie and so we are in :)

I would also like to do it with Kali but only entered Jess, I think only one horse and hopefully I will have Kals sold before 12 weeks too. It starts on Jan 5th so will have to get my butt in gear, had planned to already but always nice to have more motivation.  Its hard when my friends aren't riding for the winter and I feel like that's all I do.  It starts today but at -31 this morning I can wait till tomorrow.

This is a great start for my 2014 horse goals, I want to ride more, I dunno how much I rode last year was pretty slack about keeping track but will try to be better this year.  I also want to move out of the $2000 limited cutting class.  I have a long ways to go, am only at $168 but hope its possible this year to move on.  I am sick of feeling like a beginner all the time after 2 years of doing this should be a little better right?  But money earned in winter series doesn't count nor does central shows so if I am gonna do this I have to prove to Doug (and myself) we can compete at ACHA shows and win.  He always asks what my goals are and so next time I go I am gonna tell him this.  He will say its gonna be work but I am ready this year, no more excuses!

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Years

Saw this picture on Facebook and it made me think of how I felt on Christmas Eve with Jessie :)
Other than that, I got to ride Friday and it was good but I was exhausted, thought it was from boxing day shopping but turns out I had a chest infection.  I headed to the doctor on New Years Eve and got a prescription, the doctor was a little concerned I was an hour from the hospital but I was just glad I was finally gonna be feeling better soon.  Pretty sure I slept for a week and am feeling better now but still coughing and super tired.  Gotta get riding soon, wanted to today but there was a blizzard this morning and the roads are snow covered and I cant even get out of the yard :(  Probly best for me to have another day of rest but I am getting bored!  And now I just joined a horsemanship challenge on Facebook so that should be fun too....if the weather and my lungs smarten up!