Saturday, September 8, 2012

Naughty Engela

On Thursday, I took Engela out for a ride. She had been sick for a bit because she caught a respiratory infection and had to be off of work. So, this was pretty much her first time being ridden in about a week. 

I took her down to the dressage arena because it was empty. I had a nice, light workout in mind to ease her back into her normal work schedule. We did some walking and 20-meter circles. Then I moved her into the trot. She was pretty quick, actually, a lot faster than normal. I went with it. At least she was being forward for once! She was getting hard to turn. I just was firm with her but it didn't get better. I guess it was just something we had to work out of throughout the ride.

We were speedily trotting at the far end of the arena, and then she started getting especially quick. I started to circle her left off the rail. We were nicely turning until she decided that she was done with work. Next thing I knew, Engela was bolting at full speed towards the exit. I was pulling hard on the reins, but especially the left rein to turn her away. Already off balance from her bolting, she threw two bucks in a row. I stayed on for the first one, but on the second buck I fell forward in front of the saddle. By this point, I was positive that I was going to face plant but I kept yanking at the left rein and she slowed. I was able to get back in the saddle, and prevent butt-to-ground contact.  

I gave her three huge whacks in the butt and I sent her off trotting again. I was PISSED. I continued to do trot work in both directions without a walk break. I then asked her to canter. Two more bucks. I asked her again. Another buck. I gave her a huge whack and then she went. She was going pretty fast and wasn't turning easy. She would be good cantering away from the exit but then cut corners and speed off when we were heading towards the exit. 

After each mini tantrum, I put her to work. This, off course, completely threw our "light ride" idea in the garbage. After the ride, she was drenched in sweat. Her shoulders, and neck were completely soaked.

After a difficult ride, Engela was still a little butt. She ran into her stall as I was unbridling her, and she stepped on my foot. 

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better ride. If not, I am well prepared and ready with my spanking whip!!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Awkward Kassian

I found a strange new fact about my little Kassian. It turns out that his tickle spot is on his left shoulder, and his "weirdness button" is activated when you curry it really hard. 


I've never seen a horse react this way to a tickle spot. I think it's so cute when he does it though! Although it's kind of noisy hehe.

Western Pony Club Rating

I participated in my first Western Pony Club Rating last, last weekend. I first groomed Prima to perfection and cleaned her tack spotless the night before, which was a lot of work!

The next day, I groomed Prima super well again and checked over her tack. Our rating began. The examiner looked over Prima's tack and my dress to see if it was safe. She approved and I got on. 

Our riding portion consisted of basic walk, jog and lope. We did emergency dismounts and western pattern work. Prima was perfect through it all. 

At the end of the day, we passed!!! I can now say that I am a D2 HM/Flat/Western Pony Clubber. :) 

The examiner said that we both looked great together and that they had no critique on my riding. I was pleased with that of course! I am so proud of Prima for being great. I am looking forward to our next rating together. We'll be going for our D3!

The Great Prima Freakout!

One day, a couple weeks back, I took Prima out for a ride. It was one of our practice rides for a Western Pony Club rating that weekend. I was expecting Prima to be the little angel that she always was. We did some walk/jog work in the main arena but it soon got much to crowded, so I moved down to the dressage arena. 

Prima was very restless and was quicker than normal. I did circles, lots of transitions and talked to her to try and keep her attention. She continued to do little spooks along the long side. Then we got to the far corner of the arena and she blew up. She was backing up furiously and rearing up. She was prancing and not listening to my aids. I tried to keep her attention but it wasn't working. She kept trying to bolt off and I was getting worried. I decided to get off, then put her in an arena to get all of her energy out. 

You can see the rest:

It was out of the ordinary but all horses have their moments! We were ok afterwards and I finally got her to the vista. I turned her out and she was a complete nutcase!!  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Epic Fall (x2)

Two days ago, I trailered Kass to Woodside Horsepark. It was a test run to see how we would do together in another place. If he did well, it was my hope that we would do shows together. Specifically the Pony Club Schooling Show that was going to be held there in September. He was such a calm, trustworthy horse at home, and I had good expectations.

I was so excited! Kass's owner, Kass's pasture mate (Gentry), and Gentry's leaser came with us. Both horses were easy to load, and I was looking forward to riding at Woodside Horsepark's beautiful facilities. 

We started off by riding in many of the arenas. Kass seemed tense and spooky. I was somewhat expecting this. We were in a totally new place. We did some walk/trot work in several arenas. He was a bit high headed and did quite a few mini spooks at trees, horses, and signs, but nothing too bad. It was out of the ordinary behavior, but I wasn't too worried.

I wanted to do some canter work by myself in one of the larger arenas, so we had Gentry and his rider stand outside of the arena as I rode Kassian inside the arena. 

He seemed more insecure than usual. Maybe it was because we separated him from Gentry? We trotted around the farthest corner from Gentry. His trot started to get sticky and hollow. His ears perked up and his head rose up very high. His head looked to the outside of the arena. Almost instantly, he was grunting and charging back towards the opposite side of the arena. I felt him leap up several times and I was flying. Next thing I knew, I was falling forward off of his right shoulder, and onto my back. I got up to see Kass running at full speed and bucking away, the stirrup irons flying everywhere. He finally skid to a halt on the other side of the arena when his owner yelled out "WHOA!"

I was fine, and I wanted to get back on. I didn't want to give up. Gentry's leaser and I then decided to walk around the huge cross country course.

He was beginning to relax a bit. We tried trotting together around the fields. Kassian was being a little jerk. He was trying to get his head down to buck, and was trying to speed off. We resumed to walking. 

All of a sudden, we hear a women shout "RIDER COMING ON YOUR LEFT JUMPING THE COOP!" We frantically looked around and moved to our right. But then, we saw the rider coming at a quick canter right towards us! We then tried moving to our left again but we weren't quick enough. The horse jumped the jump and cantered away, but much to close to us. Gentry and Kassian were both squirming. We were trying to get them under control. I got Kass to a halt, but I was then pitched forward by him throwing a huge buck on me and I was on my back, on the ground, once again. I was angry and felt terrible. My back felt weird and I didn't feel like getting back on again.

So, we groomed our ponies, and trailered them back home. It was a huge disappointment. It wasn't my confidence that was shattered, but my hopes for showing Kassian. I would definitely like show other horses, but it was really Kass in particular that I wanted to show with.

After a rough day, there was still one question on my mind. Who was I going to take to the Woodside Pony Club Schooling Show, and how would I get past not being able to take Kassian to shows?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tal-Y-Tara Tea and Polo Shoppe

Today I visited the cutest little place ever. It's in SF and is a combo of a tack shop and a tea shop. You can browse their wide selection of rider apparel and equipment, then right after have a warm beverage and their delicious cuisine. It's called Tal-Y-Tara. Inside it's so cozy and warm. The atmosphere is so nice and old fashioned.

After buying an adorable horse head stock pin, my mom and I ate brunch there. We had DELICIOUS hot chocolate, with a tasty bleu cheese and bacon salad, along with "motorloaf" and a variety of tea sandwiches. It was such a great change from regular food, and it was all made in a small kitchen within vision by one person! The meal was beautifully presented and the tack shop is adorable. This place is perfect for a horse lover's day out!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kassian Lesson 8/14/12

Yesterday I had a lesson on my lease horse Kassian (Kass). It was my first ride on him in a week since I was off in Washington for USPC Quiz Championships, and I was expecting quite a bit of testing on his part. Our warmup was like usual. he was sluggish and testing me to see what I would do to get him to move forward. 

As we were trying to establish a nice, forward walk, he saw a horse walking by the arena, and it was apparently very frightening. Grunting, he took off sideways and I lost a stirrup. I gave him a smack and made him trot. It was very obvious that he was trying to get out of work (and trying to scare me into doing so). Kass is one of the most bombproof horses I know, and he wasn't even phased by an old, puffing tractor pulling a tree behind it that was  only about 20 feet ahead of us at the time that it happened.

My instructor, Christina, commented that Kass was looking out of shape, and so maybe that was why he was getting creative on ways to get out of work. Anyways, we continued to work on transitions and getting him to move forward and on the bit. We did some cantering, and he was very nice about rounding up and moving forward. Such a good pony! 

We did some trotting, practicing some extensions to medium trot, and back to extending his trot. It was a lot of fun! We took a break for him to catch his breath, and Christina and I talked about how to quickly and effectively switch your dressage whip from side to side. We resumed to canter departures. 

Kass didn't agree. He thought that he was done with his work already! He kicked out and did a little rear. I gave him a good slap with my whip, and he resumed to kick out and popping his rear end up a little. He finally cantered, but on the wrong lead. I didn't care. I made him canter very fast and was very hard on him. He then did a swift lead change! Nice! We cantered some more until he would become on the bit, and then we came back down to a walk to end the lesson.

It was an exciting lesson but at the same time productive. On Friday, his owner and I are taking Kassian trailering! It will be a test run to see if he will be good for me in a new place. If he his, I will take him to the Woodside Pony Club Schooling Show! I can't wait!!! :)