Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pleasure Horse Turned Lesson Pony

First off, I would like to again say, please wear a helmet when riding. As I watch and read the news reports of Kaylee's accident, and her mother's response. . . it's heart wrenching. It could have been avoided. 

Moving on. . . 
My ACDA (American Choral Director's Association) All Eastern Honor Choir experience in Providence, RI was absolutely wonderful. I didn't want to leave. The music was beautiful to rehearse and perform. This is a taste of it: 

When I returned, I took Daisy for a ride on Monday. She, of course, wanted to have a good gallop stretch, and I complied. She sort of has an energy meter that keeps filling every day. . . I go and ride her and use up the energy that tries to accumulate. But when she gets days off, the energy just keeps filling up within her, and she's fit to burst by the time I get on. She still behaves herself and walks calmly and all, but when I give her the opportunity to run it out of her system, she doesn't think twice. I loosen the rein in the typical manner, and she's gone. 

My second riding lesson student started this week with a lesson Monday and Wednesday. She's younger and more timid than my other student. We did a few steps of trot on Wednesday, but we mostly just walk and I have her work on balancing exercises like hands on hips, shoulders, head, airplane arms, etc, to get her comfortable, and I lead her around the whole time. Eventually we will be able to move to her being in control of Daisy. . . 
Daisy, I'm happy to say, seems to have really settled into being a lesson pony.
When I started giving lessons on her, I wasn't so sure it was a good idea after a couple lessons.... because Daisy was incredibly stubborn and testy, almost to the point of embarrassment. However, this has changed. Now that she's had her opportunity to test her boundries with my initial lesson student (who is still continuing and dabbling in canter work now!), she behaves quite well for her. For my new student, she seemed to positively enjoy it. She walked around very relaxed, moving and turning just from my slightest body movement. She snorted and sighed and licked her licks often. She behaves on the ground for her little charges as well. 
And of course, while it is nice to have a 100% obedient lesson horse, it is not ideal, because the best way to learn to ride is on a horse that doesn't always listen. 
And so, Daisy is perfect. 

I've personally been in the arena with her the past few days. I worked with her on some western reining techniques a couple days ago. . . roll-backs, pivots, etc. She's doing a better job with roll-backs then when we started... pivots haven't really improved. She's perfect when we do a turn on the forehand, but a turn on the hindquarters doesn't work as well. She's not good about planting the foot she pivots around.. and so it's not a true pivot. 

We got some snow yesterday. Daisy looked white when I went to bring her in ;) I started brushing it off her face before I remembered to take a picture. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grave News

The second girl from the right in the above photo is Kaylee. This photo was taken when a group of riders from Jenny's farm came to pick Daisy and I up at our house for a ride last spring. 

Today Kaylee went for a ride on her horse (not the one pictured), helmetless. Tragically, she fell and the impact of her head hitting the road was fatal. She died instantly.

Please, ladies and gentlemen, strap one on. Your brain is worth it. Your life is worth it. These things happen. Life happens, no matter how great a rider you are. 

My thoughts and prayers are with all affected by Kaylee's passing. 
Wordless Wednesday will resume next week.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

♥ Happy Valentine's Day! ♥

Yes. I did just take 'cheesy' to a whole new level.

Happy Valentine's day! Go hug your horses, because they're one of the best Valentines you'll ever have. :)

A lovely horse is always an experience. . . It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. | Beryl Markham |

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Her Zebra-Printed Glory

This morning I went out to snap some high-quality photos of Daisy in her stylish coat... but the snow got in the way.

This afternoon, the snow had slowed down some, so I tried again. 

She's so adorable. :) 

And a beaut, too.

I'm heading out of town this week to sing in a choir of kids from all over the Eastern US. I'm pretty excited :) Daisy will be under Jenny's care; I'm bringing her back there tomorrow. 
The snow we've been getting has halted riding for the last couple days, unfortunately. 

Hope you and yours ;) are all staying warm. . . 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Smartpak's "Stuff Riders Say" Episodes

If you aren't in the loop and haven't seen these yet. . . Then these are a *must* for horse people to check out-too funny!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Racking Up the Miles

For Christmas I received a smartphone from my parents. In the beginning days of 2012, I downloaded the Cardio Trainer app, because reviews said it had a horseback riding option.
Who knew this phone app could be so motivating? Now I get out to ride and I think "Hmmm... let's see how many miles we can do today."
The Cardio Trainer app calculates how long I ride for, how far I ride, where I ride using the GPS, and how many calories I burn (however this function I don't really trust all that much for anything beyond a rough estimate perhaps). 
So far this month of February, four days in, I've ridden 11.6 miles. 30.7 miles total this year. 7.65 hours of riding. 
This includes only road rides; while Daisy was at Jenny's in January and I rode indoors a lot, I didn't calculate the arena rides. 

This week on Monday I rode Daisy for a 3.5 mile ride, in which she was very much 'up' and wanting to gallop a lot. I thought I got it all out of her system, hoping she would be good to go for my students lesson that afternoon. Not so. She was still a bit of a handful, full of herself. I took that as my cue to give her an even longer ride, so on Tuesday I took her for our usual summertime 5.2 mile ride. This exhausted her a bit more, and a good thing, because the next day's weather wasn't really that great for riding. 

This morning I had just finished eating breakfast when I happened to check my phone and saw a text waiting from Jenny.
I'm choosing to keep Daisy home for now because we still have such mild weather. 
Jenny said they (her and her leaser) were out riding up my road and wondered if I'd like to ride along.

 Of course I said yes! I hurried out and tacked Daisy up really quick. She was excited when she saw the two horses coming up the driveway.
The ride ended up being 6.4 miles, but the majority of it was walking with a few short canter stretches, so it was the perfect workout for her. I think she enjoyed it. We headed up this private road that I had the opportunity to ride on recently with a fellow equestrian I met. There is an absolutely gorgeous view there of a huge pasture and the surrounding hills. It was a lovely ride. 

If you have a smartphone, download the Cardio Trainer app and get ready to hit the hills! Your horse will thank you :) (Well.... maybe. ;) ) 


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