Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lesson Numero Dos

Is that how you say "number" in Spanish? I wouldn't know, I take French...anyway.

I had my second lesson today! And the last one until March because Karin is going to Florida all of February to event...she does every year, I guess. Anyway, we did only flat work (no jumping) and it was soooo amazing.

She had me circling Daisy at a posting trot, and she had me put my inside hand down and behind my knee, so my arm was pretty much straight at my side holding the rein. Then I squeezed that rein over and over as I rode, while squeezing my legs alternately and just keeping my outside rein still (and holding it strong). Normally Daisy rides strung out, and as I've said, without using her hind end and stepping under herself. Quite a few times while I did that exercise, though, I could feel Daisy really pick herself up and step under herself, while holding her head down and her neck arched, and it was the most wonderful feeling ever. Everyone describes it this way, but it's so true: it was like air. It felt like she was just lightly trotting over clouds, just like the the way you'd think it feels to ride those big dressage horses that skip and hold their legs up really high. Daisy was AWESOME. She did it a ton at the beginning of the lesson. She didn't do as well clockwise as she did counterclockwise, but she was still good. However, I REALLY need to exercise my fingers! They ached like crazy after squeezing my fingers over and over on the rein! But it was great. Daisy's so good. At the end she was covered in sweat after trotting non-stop for almost an hour, and after just a minute or two of walking, we went to cantering and she still did it. She's stubborn at times, but she's a good girl.
At the end her whole face was wet with sweat and her neck, and she was exhausted, but it was good for her. And I feel it know-I'm tired, too! :)

Next news:
We're ordering our chicks soon! My dad and I went through different breeds, and we decided on I think 9 different breeds, and we'll get 2 of each...they include:
New Hampshire Red
Buff Orphington
Silver-Laced Wyandottes
Black/Gold Sex links
Rhode Island Red
Barred Plymouth Rock
and I'm forgetting one but I can't remember which one...I also really wanted a White Faced Black Spanish but they aren't available right now...we also wanted a Bantam of some kind but they're all straight runs and we only want pullets...sooo...we'll be getting them in February at some point...I'm so super excited!! :D I'm really glad we're getting them earlier then last time, because they'll lay earlier...and this time I actually know more about Chicken breeds so it's more exciting... :)
Kacy has alsooooo bestowed me with 3 awards....but I'm a lazy bum so I'm not going to show them or pass them on...actually, I'm on lazy b/c of midterms to study for...otherwise I'd make a bigger deal out of them, but I will put them on the side of the blog with the other awards eventually...
But she also tagged me to post five of my "addictions"...I don't think I'm realllly addicted to anything, but here I go ;-).
  1. Blogging, Internet, facebook, blogging. lol.
  2. Jelly Bellys. OK they are SO expensive ($6.99 a pound!) but I LOVE sour Jelly bellys! They are AMAZING. I just splurged last week and bought yeah...
  3. Daisy...barn cats...etc...I could spend HOURS (and I have lately) at the barn doing pretty much nothing. I love it.
  4. Reading, LOVE reading, my favorite series EVER is Harry Potter. I've read the series twice. sooo good.
  5. Music...Switchfoot and TobyMac are my favs right now...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Most Insane Ride Ever

However, just because it was insane, doesn't mean it was bad. ;-).
Long post comin' up here. Get ready.
So. I've been trying to get Daisy to step under herself, and to do that, I was doing a TON of circle work, running the bit to get Daisy to drop her head, and when she did, squeezing to try and get her to move her legs under herself. Yesterday I had my first lesson with Jean's (expensive) (But very good) trainer, Karin...She actually owns Bubba, Jean is just free leasing him until the day he dies...but anyway, she came to give me a lesson. I tacked up and got on and we started with just trotting over some cavalettis, pictured below.
The pole on the cavaletti is actually screwed in, so you can turn it over and over and over to different heights. They're practical, and I like them. They don't go higher then about 1 1/2 feet...anyway, she had me trotting over them for a little while, raising them higher and higher. Then she set up a course like below(like my diagram?;-)):

First there was a cavaletti, stood up to full height, then a pole on the ground, then two cavalettis right next to each other, with a ground pole laying on them and onto the was quite strange. Anyway, we went over it. The idea was to get Daisy to really pay attention and be forced to use her back legs, because she had to jump, collect herself, and jump again really fast. She felt crazy. She was using huge jumps and she would canter over, and then there wasn't much room left on that end of the ring you came out at, so I had to get her down to a trot and turn her. I think Karin thought I was a litttttleee weird for owning such an unbalanced horse...well, not unbalanced, just not-fluid...fluid movement, you know? Anyway, then we went to just walking circles and she assessed the Daisy. The whole time I was riding the way Jean rides Bubba; working to get her to keep her front legs in, not stepping far with them, and pulling in her back legs. Karin however, said that I should be riding her sitting far back in the saddle, instead of on her withers, which off-balances her. It was so true! The minute I sat back farther, she put her neck down nice and far, and stepped out with her front legs, which (I know now) is what she should have been doing. So I need to remember to sit back farther and give her a little more room to stretch.

Then came the actual insane part. Karin set up the three cavalettis at the end of the ring, turned so that you would ride through them while turning at the end of the ring. It looked like this (roughly):
When a horse canters (three-beat gait) they always have one front leg pulling out farther then the other, depending on the direction they're going. If they're going left, the left leg goes out, and if they go right, its the right leg. These are called leads. They do this so that they can turn...its like the inside leg has to go farther to get around the bend. Every horse prefers one lead over another; it's like being right or left handed. Daisy is left "handed". She would MUCH rather do the left lead instead of the right, and when we ride on the road, she always picks up her left lead on straight-aways. During the lesson, no matter what, she tried SO hard to canter left lead, no matter what directions we went in. Karin had me canter her over the cavalettis in the right direction, trying to "force" her into the right lead. WELL. Daisy did not like that. You'd think she'd just give in, since it stresses her body doing left lead when she should do right. No way. She doesn't think like that. She would refuse the jump, veer off to the left when she got there, run around them, etc. One time she veered off and almost ran into Jean and a tractor. Another time she was inches away from running over Karin (at which point I was really afraid she'd get mad and quit on me...but she just kept saying "It's alright, just try again."). So Karin gave me a long crop and she stood at the first cavaletti (right lead) with a long longe whip. When I rode Daisy by, she snapped it so that Daisy wouldn't run off. It worked. Daisy *flailed* over the was very very rough, and I almost fell off a few times, and she was DRENCHED in sweat... But we did it. The point was to get her to get used to using her left lead canter, and not just using it on the ground, but having to push herself with it, and build up back leg muscle. Then we did it on the left lead, and there she was much better but still kinda bad because she was racing through. But it was better. We ended with one straight line of cavalettis, which she was fine at.

I almost fell off a few times, and I thought Daisy was gonna quit on me (lol) but I'm glad I did it. Even though it was hard, I learned a lot, and I think Daisy liked it. Apparently, if we do it more, she won't be that bad of a jumper (Karin says)...She was taught by Karin when she was owned by her old owner (the one before Jean) and she was doing pretty well, apparently. Anyway, now we have something (FUN!) to work on!

If I hadn't had that lesson, I would have kept doing incorrect circles, convinced that I couldn't jump until I got it right. Now, to get it "right" I need to jump! Even little cavalettis are fun. :)

Alright, sorry this was so long, I'll leave you alone for awhile. :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Quick post...

It was said all weekend that it would get down below zero this week...and it did! Yesterday I had to drag an extension cord all the way to the coop from the garage to hook up the heat lamp. And switch out the bulb. But, voila, here it is! It's in the video below ;-).

The barn cats are surviving fine...they sleep together and are warm. I brought them a heated pillow this morning, but that's all.

Stay warm, everyone!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Riding the Energizer Bunny

Sorry this took FOREVER to post, youtube is very unreliable at times...I uploaded this video overnight, and it *apparently* didn't upload, and it said "Video failed to upload" and I checked my youtube just now and it was there X-(...anyway, :D at least it's on!

I love my blog because through it I made a great friend, who I've mentioned before, "I Love Jesus" (ILJ for short ;-)) and she came and visited me again last Friday! We went for a nice hour long trail ride through the snow; she rode Daisy, and I rode Bonita...Jean has me ride Bonita lately because she needs to be exercised...anyway, it was absolutely wonderful to ride and "chat"...afterward, ILJ taped me! Here's the video of me riding Bonita...she tends to be pretty energetic when you first get can kind of tell in the video, and that's after a 50 min. trail ride! I look a little funny at the last canter because I was attempting to balance and "post" to her canter, to settle her down...anyway, enjoy. :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

What to Expect....?

Happy New Year, everyone!

These are just random pictures of Gronemeyer, Genevieve, and Huey...the hamster...not mine...I'm sitting him...anyway....

I'm not big into New Year's resolutions...I think those are for people older then offense, that was just a statement. Anyway, I was thinking about things I'd like to achieve this year. Some goals, in no particular order:

  1. Continue to enjoy violin and practice and get better....this is, actually, top of the list for a reason...lately it seems even harder then usual for me to want to practice, and for me to enjoy violin...this sounds so pity-party-ish, but it's kind of annoying when the same people always get picked for the harder groups and's just, idk, not very supportive....
  2. Do a trail-trial with Daisy. Lydia is also interested in doing one with me, but we have to have an adult to ride with us...soooo I asked Jean and she said she'd do one! (Sorry, Lydia, I forgot to tell you she said yes ;-)) Trail trials are pretty much that you go somewhere with your horse and have to ride a trail in a certain amount of time...but the time isn't THAT big of a deal. You have to get through obstacles like water crossings, bridges, gates, maybe jumps (I don't really know) and just pretty much be able to ride your horse through situations that test their trust in you, and your trust in them...this is a website for one place's trail trials...just an's cool....I think I'll have to work on log pulling and stuff like tarps....
  3. Get more into dressage/jumping...but I'd first want to get Daisy to engage more. If I don't get into jumping for awhile because Daisy needs more ground work, so be it. I'd also like to try more with western reining...pretty much the western version of dressage. It looks REALLY cool...
  4. Go to the county fair again. (That's so gonna happen)..
  5. Survive advanced french without being bored to death (This could be hard)
  6. Learn to play the guitar. My brother got a guitar, said it was too hard, and quit. Soooo I took it and I'm using the "Guitar for Dummies" book to far (since yesterday) it's going pretty well! I like it a lot already...
Well, this was kind of a boring post...Have a Happy 2009, everyone! Make it great! :D


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