Thursday, February 27, 2014

FB Official

It's on FB so it must be true, right?

Almost! I'm still gearing up to submit the paperwork and make it final!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Past Weekend

This past weekend was the warmest it's been since November! We had temperatures in the 50's, but we're back in the 30's with more potential snow this week... and it's snowing right now. UGH! And snowing again today - right now! :( This post is too long to proof so sorry if some of it makes no sense.

Saturday, I got to farm and a few people were out being the weather was AWESOME! Before I got there, there were lose horses, one that tried to get down in a puddle with a rider, galloping horses, and a crazy one out in the riding ring that was "grazing" aka tearing up the field and acting nutty. Despite all of this, I tacked up hoping for the best. A woman was on her horse that said we could ride together if I got on and got moving, but I wanted to warm up before I decided to ride with anyone else. I went out on the track and did w/t all the way around in both directions. Man, I had a lazy and calm horse. The other woman came with me, and she would canted next to my trot. Yes, the QH canter is Spyder's trot! He would try to go faster as if he was racing her, but he responded to slowing his speed very well... and so we went on a trail!

First, we went in the trails between the track for warm up. There was a lot of water so we got to practice pushing through (but he just followed). Since he was so good, we decided to do some hills. We weaved in and out of the cross country jumps that are up on a "hill" (in south jersey, hills are like 4'). He was SO good! We went over to a cross country ditch jump (which was filled to the brim with water) because the woman I rode with wanted to get her horse over it. She's got reins with clips so she hopped off and had to work her horse up to it. She tried away from the barn, but I told her to try the other way so her horse would be more willing. I wanted Spyder to stand still while all of this happened, and he was a perfect angel for it. Her horse got over it in both directions, and we proceeded to the bigger trails! I have decided those clip reins are awesome for getting over things your horse may be hesitant about. I need to get a pair (or buy clips to hook my reins on to like the lady I rode with showed me she did to her other bridles)! She was always a trail rider so it gives me a better idea of what I might need to get/do to get moving on the CTR stuff.

On the trail, I was told we'd come across a "bridge." This bridge was a cement piece that allowed water to flow through a hill. It was very wet and muddy on both sides so I was just hoping I could stay on because we ran into KILLER guinea hens right before the "bridge." AHH! I could feel Spyder's heart beating between my legs, and I was praying he didn't turn and run. The rider in front of me allowed her horse to stand and look which eased Spyder, and then she pushed her over the cement thing. I gave Spyder a few minutes to calm down before asking him, and he pranced over the bridge with fear/grace. We stopped to look at the guinea hens since we were a few feet closer to them, and the horses from the farm where they were galloped over to the fence to greet us. Once both horses calmed down and took a breather (us too), we headed back to where we came from and did a loop back to the track. We cooled out on some trails headed back to the barn that were ALL water, and Spyder was again an angel going through even after encountering deer on the track.

Sunday was another beautiful day, and I got to the farm around 8:30. It was already 50 out! I tacked up after getting my boots cleaned off from walking in the mud to retrieve the fat horse that wouldn't come since he was eating hay. We went out to the big field after warming up on the track, and I could tell it was going to be a good ride. We worked in the trot and got a consistent speed going, and then we moved to canter. We did some cantering only because he decided he wanted to when I asked him to keep up his speed in the trot moving away from the barn. Since he wasn't cranky, it was a great day to work on it. To the left and the right, the transitions were good, and there was no grunting or kicking. Warmer weather is so great for behavior and it was the best/most smooth canter to date. I sat back and down in the saddle and we moved out on a large circle. It was GREAT for being a while.

After the ring work, we went around the track alone. No one was out, but I thought it was a good idea since the finger incident happened, he was listening, and the day before he got to have a friend and behaved. We went out to the hills, and it was PERFECT. We walked up the first few, trotted the next few, and cantered up the last. We kept weaving like we did the day before, and Spyder even JUMPED up the one like it was a bank. There was water at the bottom of the hill (maybe 10" wide, and instead of walking through it, we went up like a bank. I am still hesitant on the actual bank at the farm, but this is proof it'll be fun when we get there!

We went into trails in middle of track and went through a ton of water to get out alone. I did have to push him through the first few larger pools of water, but he finally agreed to go. He put his head down, and I wasn't sure what he would do in the middle of the water. The breeders had took him for a swim before, and I know the horse the day before decided to lay so I gave him his head and let him make up his own mind. He just played with the water, then drank it. Good Spyder! Now hopefully this will be something he can start to do while continuing forward. I decided to end the ride there, and went back to the farm through the woods between his paddock and another. I ended up riding about an hour and a half in total. It was WONDERFUL!

This coming weekend looks cold and wet, but Spring is so close. Daylight savings time is right around the corner!

Sweaty horse for once!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

President's Day Weekend

I got to ride twice President's Day weekend! WHOO! Sunday I hopped on, but it was way too cold to do much. I headed out to the track after tacking up, and I rode for maybe all of 20 minutes. I was cold and there was a lack of space to ride on due to the snow, ice, and wet ground (from Saturday - more snow.. YAY.. not). The track wasn't frozen, but there were giant puddles that were pure ice. When we would walk on the sand, all of the water would come up, and it eventually got pretty muddy (is sand muddy?) once we went up and down the one side. The other end was still covered in snow since it's by the trees so I got bored quickly. The grass was starting to show, but there was not enough space for riding so I hopped off.

I rode on Monday, on my day off, as well. I started to write this post and forgot to keep writing so of course I am at a loss for what the heck went on. I'm sure it was a quick and freezing cold repeat of what happened Sunday because of the snow, ice, and other weather related awfulness. Oh, I got out in the ring from the looks of a picture I took. Man, my memory is awful. We went through the water that didn't have ice in it to practice "water crossing" since there was sun (but don't be fooled, it was still SO COLD). Both days we stuck to w/t as I wasn't in the mood to get hurt more than my finger already is aching. Of course I'm riding with a hurt finger. I can't spare my mood for taking it easy.
Water Practice
Making me feel guilty for leaving
In love with his winter coat.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Slow to Type

I'm a bit slow to type due to this weekend's chain of events that led to a broken finger. Yes, my ring finger and middle finger on my right hand are taped together. It's the ring finger that's down. Good thing it's on the hand I use for EVERYTHING! I wanted to ride on Saturday, but Chris came down with a cold which he so generously passed on to me. We were couch bound all day and had an early night after watching the Olympics. Man, they can make you feel like you've accomplished nothing in life. Below is picture proof of how little I've accomplished, haha.

Selfie before the ride. Hahaha
Sunday, I woke up refreshed, but not 100%. I decided that it was the warmer of the two days, and I had to get to the barn. I took some meds and headed out after reading about April's hunt to find a dressage saddle on Facebook. She inspired me to put on my dressage saddle that hasn't been used since that schooling show we did. YIKES. I believe that my Instagram caption for the picture of the saddle on him was something like, "you can rip my legs off now." Anyways, I thought it was a great idea to ride on the track since we ended there with our last few rides. We traveled around 3/4 of the way around when KILLER DEER were spotted in the riding ring. Spyder has always seen deer in this ring, and he sees them all day when the 100's that live nearby cross through his field and even graze with the horses.

Result of 0 - 30 degree weather always = fluffy mess
Big deal! It's just some deer, get over it! I pushed him forward after he was noticeably excited/scared/whatever emotions horses feel. Since he was a bit on the peppy side, I was in my dressage saddle I never ride in, and we were both out of shape, I decided to give it the old "emergency dismount." I had one foot on the ground when he jerked back and for whatever reason, I didn't let the reins go. This is a signature move I have - front flips while holding the reins. This time I didn't flip, but one day, I'm going to get seriously injured from pulling a horse on top of me. I know this yet I keep doing it subconsciously, why? He stopped after pulling me about 10 feet which resulted in this broken finger. I think.

I walked the spooky horse towards the deer on foot and was hoping he wouldn't trample me with another fit. Explain to me why I thought this was a good idea? I got him past where the deer went in the woods and got back on in the ring. I rode for 40 minutes with a "broken finger" by holding it straight and having little to no stopping power. I got in a  few steps of canter, a few bucks, a few grunts, and then, I got a calmer horse. Not calm, calmer. I rode back to the barn and got off in one piece. Always get back on!

I was afraid to pull my glove off when it was throbbing, but I was glad to see no bones protruding from the skin when I warmed up to coping with what I'd see. It felt funny, but I never broke anything so I wasn't sure what happened. I went to my parent's for dinner (after food shopping like a weak baby), and it started to develop a blue bruise on both joints which progressed to purple by the time I got home. I got ready for bed and taped it after showering, and I am not coping with taped fingers. Hopefully I can get a splint that will do a better job at holding it straight, and give me an additional finger to work with. It's fine when it's extended and I can bend it, but it hurts to lift items and put weight on it. I looked up the time for it to heal, and it looks like 4-6 weeks. I don't have the patience to wait that long, and I'm sure I'll be back to destroying it this upcoming weekend with riding. I have off for President's Day, and I hope we get a nice weekend (nice as in 35 at this point)!

Moral of the story: don't trust too much, don't be so brave, maybe you aren't ready for trails solo
Finger in the blue - purple stage

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Life is Happening

Yes, life is happening and not always how you plan it. I'm not saying that in a bad way, but just making a statement to  say it: life happens, let it. So much has been happening between the weather, work, travel, and life that I haven't had time to manage the things that I need to keep an eye on. It's time to get organized and figure out the direction I need to move because my next graduate course is creeping up on me for March. Yikes!

What's been going on and what do I need to be doing?

I've been changing my name slowly since getting married, and I just want to get it over with! Keep on moving, you're almost there.

I need to get on the parts I need to get the trailer in tip-top shape: a bulb, shocks for the ramp, water carrier, etc. The sooner I do this, the sooner I can practice my trailering skills because...

We have a truck! Life is so good!! A truck came along that is perfect for the job of pony adventures!

I have a ton of books in the line up to get through before my course starts and I have to read boring material. eBook rentals from the library have been too much fun for me.

I've been making a activity list of horse events going on so I can keep control of that situation.

The process has started for my interview as a 4-H volunteer/leader for the chapter at the barn. I hope to get some new and creative ideas moving for the club. I did so much service in college that I have really missed it!

St. Jude and TriDelta are amazing me time and time again! Yes, I'm a sorority girl and I loved every minute of all of the community service it came with. The partnership with St. Jude was for $15 million to be raised in 15 years, which was surpassed like crazy to make it $15 million in 5 years, which was SURPASSED AGAIN... with $15 million raised in just  3.5 years. Go TriDelta and <3 St. Jude.

Photo from TriDelta

The weather is still crap so I went skiing instead of riding this past weekend, and the soggy ground has yet to let up (which was snow ground until this past weekend). Now, it's all back to rain again. VT this past weekend was great, and they are getting DUMPED with powder today (8-12") while we're getting more mud... I mean rain!
Yes, I have "junior" skis

Missed the doggie like crazy when we were gone for this weekend and last, and I'm glad to have him back in action this week! :) He got a laser pointer and a few new toys because I spoil him, and it's been fun tiring him out.