Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sunday Stills Challenge: Landscape(Fall Foliage)

Hello, Sunday Still-ers! :)

I knew we'd have a "fall foliage" challenge, so I took some fall pics a couple weeks ago...the colors are already fading now, as most of the leaves are on the ground. Fall is my favorite season because of all the color, and the temperature, which is PERFECT for trail riding...and I like hearing the "crunch" of the leaves.

But I wanted to ask; are you sure we shouldn't be doing a "Winter Wonders" challenge right now?

I woke up to this a few weeks ago...that was a shock. I seriously thought maybe I was dreaming.
I wasn't.
Luckily, it didn't last long. :)

And so, without further ado, my Fall Foliage photos (sorry my landscape pictures are limited):

Don't you wish they sold carpets in this color?
That'd be cool.

So this "fall foliage" isn't that colorful...can you tell why?
The flowers in fall really make it feel like "Indian Summer".
That's my dog, Abby, in the backround.

Have a great fall week everyone! (or for some of you, Spring!!)

Check out more landscapes and pretty scenes at Sunday Stills today! Or join in! It's a great motivator to get out and take photos.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sunday Stills Challenge: The Letter "C"

This week's challenge, the letter "C", was relatively easy...I just stepped out the door, looked around, and took "C" pictures...not good pictures, but the subjects do start with "C"...

My first one wasn't actually taken outside...this is my model of an edible cell.
No, I'm not enjoying Biology this year... :-/

It was pretty annoying to make...but there it's a Cell, with a Cell wall and Cell membrane and Cytoplasm and Chloroplasts...lots of "C's" (in case you want to know, it was made with a brownie)

Each year, a place pretty close to where I live hosts the Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials. All entrants to the event (which has included Jean for summer 2007 and least, those are the summers that I went, too) receive a Cosequin bucket with merchandise...I got one of the buckets :) I love them. This one is pretty faded, but...another "C" for Cosequin (Cosequin is a VERY good, VERY expensive join supplement for horses)

Next "C": Cats.
Miss Genevieve tonight...a little bleary-eyed...

And cat number 2...Groenemeyer...who came home today sporting (for the first time in 2 years) battle wounds...wonder what animal he was hunting! :P his nose is scraped up, and so is his paw and the base of his tail...I put some antibiotic ointment on...he'll be fine.
And, last but NOT LEAST, I made a video of my CROSS COUNTRY jump schooling I went to last weekend with Daisy-Mae! Our first one!
I know, it's not actually a "still" that's why it's not the main part of the post. Feel free to watch it, if you're interested...and I apologize for the *terrible* quality, I'm not sure why the quality got so much worse after the video was saved on my computer... :-/...I'm not a tech geek, so it'll take a bit for me to figure that out... :(

Check out more subjects with the letter "C" at Sunday Stills!

Monday, October 12, 2009

First Ever Cross Country Schooling!

Guess what I did today! OH YEAH!

I went to my first schooling (hence title)!!! It was SUPER SUPER fun! The best way to spend Columbus Day off of school EVER! Daisy was incredible....really, really great. We went in a group of 3 riders, Oliver (Jean's son) on Phoenix, another girl named Katie on her quarter horse, and I led by Karin (from 3 posts ago). Daisy refused 3 times total, in 1 1/2 hours...once, at the second jump, a stone jump with a piece of wood over the was big, and funky looking, so she tried to refuse, than at the last minute popped over it, anyway...she got a small cut on her hind left leg, but was otherwise unharmed...after that, she did actually jump the jump :P :). I learned that Daisy tries to shoot off to the left of I had to use a lot of left leg and right rein... The other time she refused, it was pretty much my fault because I wasn't focused enough and I didn't set her up well, so I made it too easy for her to refuse, and she did...we tried it again and she was fine. The course had a series o f small jumps with a bigger jump next to it...we ended up doing the bigger jump almost each time because Karin thinks Daisy jumps better if the jump is bigger, otherwise she doesn't try as hard to get over and jumps promised, I got a TON of footage of the course! I think I have every jump on tape, and every refusal, and each time I re-did the end of the course the schooling, we each jumped the course was CRAZY! Daisy was SO strong; I've watched Jean jump courses for a few years now; this time I was the one out there! :P Funny feeling...but SO FUN! Your adrenaline starts flowing and it's incredible to be out there following the course...I think it was 14 or 15 jumps. The video above is of the (I THINK) biggest was just over the top of a hill. When I did the course, Daisy got a ton of energy going up the hill because over it you were heading back toward the trailers, and she jumped fast, than took off, as she does frequently these days.
Karin tried to tell me later on that she took off because her hooves were sore and horses ran thinking it would help their hooves...whatever. Anywhooo...
I turned the corner after that jump at a gallop, tried turning, didn't really get anywhere, tried pulling back to stop, didn't help, and than Karin was calling out that I should raise my hands...I was like, "WHAT?!". I'm always told to keep my hands down; put them UP?! I did it, though, and Daisy slowed right down... :P
I turned back around to the jump I passed, and finished the was incredible. I had no idea it was so stinkin' fun! AND Daisy was GOOD at it! You should see her; she tucks her legs right up and launches over...and those jumps were BIG for our standards!

I do have a lot more footage and Jean is going to send me pictures...sooo, hopefully (next weekend, maybe?) I can put together a video with pics and filming and music...
For now, you'll have to be happy with this... :)
First rider is Oliver, second is another girl we went with, third is me...and I have a video of the second time I jumped this jump, and Daisy didn't spook at all, so it was even better... :)

Jean & Ladd

My 4H leader, Jean, and her new thoroughbred, Ladd, on Saturday.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Stills Challenge: Photoshop

Sorry I'm so late! I realize probably not many people will check my blog now..if at all...but it COMPLETELY fled my mind this morning that I had Sunday Stills to post! And considering I spent time making 4 photoshopped photos! :P

I don't own any sort of photoshop software...I know...*GASP!*
I use computer is *painfully* slow, but I get through it...I took all but the last picture of Daisy and I...that was taken by my cousin Anika on the day that I bought Daisy, 2 1/2 years ago.

We start off with this ex-standardbred racehorse that I met during a 4H Equine Careers Camp in June named Snickers...he's here to show his support for breast cancer victims... :)

And this is my chicken, Bibbi...she is not generally that orange, but I played with saturation on this one...

My barn cat, Gronemeyer...first I played around with the saturation on the photo, than I used the black & white brush to make everything but him black and white...I was going to leave out the green altogether, but then I figured it looked kinda voila.
And, Daisy-Mae and I April 17, 2007...I used the "cinema scope" tool on this, than changed to black and white, than added words and the "museum" frame...
Check out Sunday Stills for more!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I've Been Jumping...

Sooo...I had my first jump lesson today, with Karin, the trainer I used in late winter this year... It was, to say the least, interesting.

First off, not sure if I TOTALLY have advertised this, but since July I've had Daisy trimmed with a natural trimmer. I'm LOVING the entire natural trimming process, and Daisy *seemed* and felt, like she was doing really well with it. This week Monday, the trimmer came again, and it turns out Daisy is foundering *very*, very slightly in all 4 feet. She has a small orange tinge on one part of the white-line of her hoof. The trimmer said that since she's on so little grass to begin with, she'd be fine, and just keep an eye on it and if it got worse to take her off grass altogether. He also noticed that she has very slight thrush in her right hooves; it's not advanced, but it's there. As he advised, I'm spraying Daisy's hooves daily now with a mixture of tea tree oil and organic apple cider vineger, which is supposed to help. Sounds like an odd mixture, but (this is a little silly) I have personal experience with organic apple cider vinegar killing off warts, so I think it will work.

Anyway, with all the things I've read about shoeing and farrier's trimming vs. natural trimming, I don't think I could EVER go back to shoeing, lets put that straight. Besides the fact that Daisy nearly killed the farrier multiple times (through excessive rearing during shoeing), shoeing is just wrong. Read up on it, there is a WEALTH of knowledge out there about natural trimming, and it's amazing.

Karin started out the lesson asking me to trot, and change directions at the trot, and asked me why I put galloping boots on Daisy's legs. I said I did because she tends to hit her legs together when I ride, and she responded "So to protect her, right?" and I said yes. Then she asked why I wear half-chaps, and the answer was for protection. So than she asked me why I could go around expecting my horse to work for me while she is in constant pain because she doesn't have shoes on. She wondered how I could possibly put my horse through so much pain when she obviously shouldn't be barefoot and favors her right side.
Those words stung. Bad. I'm a teenager, alright? Not to make excuses, but I'm still young and have experience, but not THAT much, and I try really hard to do the best I can for Daisy. I honestly believed (AND STILL DO) that shoes are WRONG. So Karin berated me for quite a while, which was horrible. Worse than anything, because she's older than me (duh). She has an amazing reputation as being a great riding instructor. She's had years of knowledge. Somehow, I knew that whatever I said, she'd counter, and I wouldn't be able to convince her. It's something that she just wouldn't understand, I know it. So I kept my mouth shut, in a kind of silent disagreement. I didn't agree with anything she said. In all honestly, I felt like crap. It stunk having to listen to her talk, and not figure out HOW to make her understand!
Finally, she seemed to realize I wasn't agreeing with what she said, and she said that in the end it was my choice what I did with my horse, but that I should know that Daisy was in pain and "off" to her right.
We started working for real, which was slightly awkward because I was now very aware of how Daisy's trot would die when we'd turn to change direction at the trot and change when on the right diagonal. She had me work on two-point, which I STINK at because I rarely do it at home as I ride western and rarely english, and just don't do two-point (standing in the stirrups, heels dropped down, leaning almost horizontal over the horse's back and shoulders). We trotted around, and she worked on improving my two-point.
Then she set up this course:
All the cavalettis were at full height. (lines start out magenta, than black, then (although it's hard to tell) maroon.) I would start out the course at a right lead canter, and after the first cavaletti, switch to left lead. I got lost the first two times, as I apparently have a terrible sense of direction...Daisy was, as usual, flat over the jumps in the beginning, but when she got into it and knocked a pole, she started picking up her feet more, and jumping better. At this point, however, Daisy has to go faster to jump better; eventually she was fast cantering, almost galloping, around the ring for the jumps, popping over each one...unfortunately, again no video, just my little diagram... :-/...
I felt pretty dumb jumping...I felt like Daisy was out of control galloping, and though she felt like she was jumping rounded and not flat, her speed was embaressing (I thought). Plus I felt like I was jumping badly. I saw a video of us jumping that Jean took on her phone, however, and we didn't look too bad! In fact...we looked GOOD! Creepy, huh?!

Towards the end, Daisy started to refuse the oxer (two cavalettis side-by-side) and after MUCH smacking with the crop to no avail, Karin got out the lunge whip. That was kinda freaky, because I KNEW she'd hit Daisy, but I wasn't sure how Daisy would react...Daisy shot forward when the whip hit her legs, but she wasn't hard to balance on, and we went over the oxer. Karin had to smack her with the whip 2 more times as she tried to refuse, before we ended with her going over without needing the whip.

Karin still tried to drill the shoe deal into my head again as we finished up...I just sat silent again.

She did give me some pretty cool info on Daisy's past owners, however...Apparently, Daisy used to be really bad at shows because she'd whinny and scream to the mare she was stabled with over the ring fence (I'm assuming her mother)...Ironic, considering other horses mean NOTHING, zip, zero, zilch to Daisy now; they can't motivate her, they don't comfort her, she doesn't feed off them, NOTHING. :P

Sooo, in all, it was worth the money, cool lesson...besides the terrible shoe-talk part. I need to honestly look into Old Mac's G2's...I'm NOT shoeing! NO WAY. Just need to get down and get those boots!

On Monday, I'm riding Daisy in a cross-country jump schooling with Oliver and Phoenix and Karin...Yeah...I'm crazy....we'll see how it goes. I'll try REALLY hard to get some video! :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Still's Challenge: Happiness is...

I actually did take pictures to use for a different "Happiness is..." subject, and now my camera won't upload them... :(

So, I improvised.

My horse trainer, Jean, does eventing herself. The past 3 years she's gone eventing with her English Thoroughbred, Bubba. Unfortunately, Bubba has been retired from eventing this year. These are some pictures from the archives from the last 3 years.

Happiness is horse events.

Anything involving horses, sign me up!

You get those funny moments while taking up; Bubba is quite an interesting horse, to say the least. The King of all kings. :P

Jean and Bubba; Stuart Dressage 2008

Cross Country; GVH 2009; Last Event Bubba was in.

And then, of course, there's meeting all the adorable horses in the trailers around ours... It was hard to resist these ponies; I ended up going up and petting them. Sooo sweet. :)

And then, of course, there's those horses that are walking around that are sooo beautiful they take your breath away...that's one of the best parts; watching all those gorgeous horses.
Check out other people's view on Happiness at Sunday Stills!


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