Tuesday, May 17, 2016

You say it's your birthday......

Phil turned 11 today! Birthday pics right here! (Thanks Z for the hat!)



Also here is a shot of his sexy bod! He really looks great right now. We're making some progress on training too. 


Schooling show in June. We're working hard. I'll post video when I can. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Proof that horses don't understand economics

Kaswyn says "This doesn't matter because blankets are free!"


Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Familiar Feeling

Phil and I have been putting in some great rides lately. We had a fantastic lesson three weeks ago and, as usual, my trainers instruction has helped in huge ways. 

Before the lesson I had been concentrating on keeping Phil's neck loose, since his first instinct is to tighten the neck whenever he is resistant or stressed. To do this I was moving his neck left or right to alleviate the tension. 

During the lesson my trainer told me that it was time to just hold my hand still and firm and just push him into my hand. If I kept moving my hand and his neck around it would be really hard for him to establish a steady contact. Makes sense, right? At first Phil resisted but my trainer told me just to be firm. And after a few minutes, Phil relaxed his neck and established contact. THIS IS HUGE! My bit evading horse, making contact? So wonderful! 

My trainer also started work on the flying changes. She gave me an exercise to begin training his mind and body for the change. We are to head across the diagonal at the canter and as we approach X, circle ten meters. Then we are to continue to circle and shorten the stride until Phil is coming through and on the contact. Then, walk and simple change at X. 

After a few tries, Phil knew exactly what we were doing, so he started anticipating, but kind of in a good way. Then she had me just ask for the flying change instead of the simple change. It really stressed him out but he did one clean change each way. Until the next lesson we will just work on the simple change exercise so he gets it in his mind that he's supposed to change leads. 

Today, though, something amazing happened. Halfway through our canter work, something felt familiar. Phil was cantering over his back, neck loose, mind and body relaxed, with a good jump, all with a steady but light contact. 

He felt like Kaswyn. It was amazing. 

Who is awesome? This guy! 


Friday, June 19, 2015

The Horse Pesterer

The other day I only had a short time to spend at the barn. That meant no riding, but I did have enough time to turn my boys out for a little bit. They don't go out together anymore because Phil is a jerk and chases poor Kaswyn around. But since I was there to supervise I thought it would be fine. And it was, considering they were much more interested in the grass than each other. 

Then of course I wanted pictures because it was a beautiful day. 


I was following them around to try and get a good shot. 


I had to call their names to get them to pick their heads up. Phil was pretty cooperative. 


Kaswyn, on the other hand, was completely ignoring me, 



Finally he got sick of me calling his name and pestering him, so he threw me some shade. 


Uppity little thing, ain't he? Still, gotta love him! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Boots don't lie

Well I'm back to riding. A few observations: 

Dressage boots with no zipper or elastic will be brutally blunt about any weight gain. Mine were so tight it was painful just to be in them, let alone ride. 


Taking them off was even more painful. It seems like I must make better choices when eating or buy new boots. The first one is cheaper so we'll go with that. 

Phil has been okay with returning to work but I feel like he's uncomfortable somehow. Or maybe he's not making as solid of a connection because he likes being off work! I'll just keep trying. 

An old barn friend once told me that dirty horses are happy horses. Kaswyn has reached nirvana, everyone! 


Friday, May 22, 2015

Taking a rest


It's not just Phil that's taking a little break, it's me too. I'm not able to ride right now. I had to have surgery on my face to remove a small bit of basal cell carcinoma. 

Before you get all freaked out by the Big C, this kind of carcinoma is easily treated by a procedure (called the Mohs procedure) and as of right now it is totally gone.  

The bad thing is that I haven't been able to ride for a week. I might be able to ride again in a few more days. But for right now, I can't ride until I'm all healed up. 

BLAH!!

So people, along with your helmets, wear your sunscreen outside! Especially during peak hours of 11am and 4pm. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day ride

Mother's Day for me started off with a lovely breakfast in bed served by my girls (assist from Craig, of course). Then I was off to the barn to see my pony boys. 

I rode Phil and he was really good! We are still working stuff out, but I feel progress. 

Then I took Kaswyn out for a walk. He's completely recovered from his fall a few weeks ago, so we had a nice walk outside and a little graze. 


It's easy to let him graze when I'm riding since I ride him in a halter. 

This horse is so fantastic. I wish everyone could meet him. He's the best! 
 
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr