Friday, January 31, 2014

Matchy Matchy

A friend was at the arena today so I forced her into taking a picture of Whin and I matching. Don't mind my fly away hair. I don't know how people manage to look nice while riding.

We had our first lesson in 3 weeks yesterday. It was great. I think Whin was showing off a bit for our instructor. We got the best medium trot we have ever gotten, and a couple steps of Piaffe (hey you've got to start somewhere). The  Flying changes are still nonexistent but now she reacts. She trots for a stride and then picks up the new lead.It is a work in progress. 

we still don't halt.
Whin was well behaved today I made her go over the raised trot poles and a baby cross rail, which was stressy at first and then she relaxed about it.  My trainer taught me a new way to half halt, which I like, It really helps to balance a horse. I put my leg on and then sit back on my pockets a little more. it really helps to bring Whin round. Also in the canter to the right if I bend her a little more to the inside and ask her to keep going forward it really helps her to be round. 

I also want to think of different patterns to do with lateral work. when I shake things up it makes her listen better.

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dressage Diva's at Heart.

So I did my last post last Friday, then somehow forgot to push publish. oh well.

The Jumping... well lets just say the Whin and I are dressage divas at heart. Whin was crazy when I got to the arena  so before the other people showed up I lunged her in a halter. She got the bucks out and then I tacked her up. She was very good considering there were at least 7 other horses jumping with us.

Whin was feeling pretty good about the trot poles to a tiny jump but then a bounce got put up and we spent some time going backward away from it. Some one handed me a crop and Whin decided she could go over them again (or through them again, the concept of jumping from a trot is lost on Whin).

So now all my eventing friends know that me and Whin do dressage, and even though Whin is tall and lanky it doesn't mean she is going to be going around Rolex or even the grasshopper division any time soon.

On a side note, I live in what was once the Wild West and at the public arena I am greatly outnumbered by barrel racers, reiners and cowboys and girls. It was so much fun to ride in a big group of English riders. Especially when a Cowboy walked in and was taken aback by the number of English riders in the arena. He even asked if we had rented the place (;.

So today we were back to dressage (I think Whin was all the more happy to do it because I wasn't making her go over any jumps). But I did discover something last Saturday in my haste to lounge I just clipped the lounge line to her halter. I realized that with out side reins she doesn't start to lean on me. Today she was a little high while tacking up so I did the same. It works out really well. I got on, all the sillies had gotten out while Whin was on the lounge. and I had a very nice ride.

We worked on shoulder in to Travers and then Shoulder in to Renvers. She tends to not do it as well on the right, today I realized that her inside right hind was being too slow. A little tap helps her quicken it and the Shoulder in improved immensely.

Well that is all for today!

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Bitten by the Bling Bug

So I think I have officially been bitten by the Bling Bug. I seriously feel that Whin needs more sparkle in her life. I am going to blame Edward Gal for having  wonderful gold Bell Boots, I know that happened a while ago but really they are pretty awesome(and I just found the pics).
 So Whin probley needs shiny bell boots, at least ones with some crystals on the top! (As I lost one boot and my other pair are nearly torn to bits) Any ways I think I should pull together an out fit full of bling soon and post it on here.

On to training, Whin has more or less been an angel of late.  Yesterday she was wonderful. She seems to be understanding about my leg much better. (I will be the first to admit she is a sensitive horse and I was just gripping with my leg but since I am improving she can be sensitive again) She is also understanding that she needs to not fall on the forehand. she was being so good anytime I put a slight  pressure with my leg she would come lighter in the forehand. It is fantastic

well tomorrow we will try jumping wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lately I have been riding a horse for a friend,  Usually I ride Whin first but today she was second. You know I really think she tried just a little harder.
She was so good today, the arena was deep again, and as I mentioned it's just frustrating to work on canter much because Whin has a hard time in the deep footing.
I did do alot of walk trot.  I realized that doing the transition got her to sit more and brought her poll up. Whin started out a little heavy but every time she started to lean I would make her transition and she would come light again.
I also worked on halt, she can't halt. Whin hasn't had the hula butt lately but now that we have started rienback she is absolutely sure that that is what I want every time we halt. So we worked on halting and just sitting there and then when I put my leg on going forward again instead of back. I really should do halts every day as they seem to be very hard for Whin.

We also worked on shoulder and haunches in. I need to get the transition between the two quicker. I think that its more a me problem. I take for ever to reposition myself for the new movement.

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Week

Yesterday the arena was closed so my riding plans were foiled.
Today was lovely though.  The footing was a bit deep so we didn't work much on canter. We did do transitions with in the gaits and got a really nice one on our right lead canter, she usually just breaks into a trot when the canter gets too small.

Then due to the deep arena we worked on turns on the haunches, which is improving especially to the left. She likes to step out the last stride, but she wasn't today!

And to finish it off we did our halfsteps which she is understanding well now. she even let me bring them more on the spot this time (well in comparison to how we were doing them.) 

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Horse is Back!

back to normal that is, evil twin has gone and Whin is back to her normal self!

Tuesday I got there and no one else was in the arena so I let Whin run around, I think she enjoyed it!

She was ok but I think I had backed off the leg too much while she was crazy, and she had gotten on the forehand from lounging. So she was behind my leg and on the forehand.

But after 2 days of working on it we ended yesterday on a really good note she was sitting on her haunches and forward. we finally got to work on shoulder in on the circle. She was still a little low on the circle but then when I went down the long side she really came up and started to sit more.

Today she was really good again we worked on canter transitions, canter, trot, counter canter, and so forth.  It went well. transitions are not something I can work her with too much she gets really hot and strong, and stops thinking.  I need to just sprinkle them in my work out rather than work on them specifically.  This is making it hard to teach the flying change, as good transitions are the key.

I still need to work on them as she tends to fall on the forehand in downward transitions. but I will just need to be clever about it to keep her from getting stressed.

On another note, whin suddenly understands halfsteps. She offered some steps fairly quickly, but for a long time I only got 2 or three. Last Tuesday she suddenly decided she could do it for much longer. Hopefully this means that she is getting stronger!

A friend made me this lovely saddle cover to match our pink outfit! 
I tell people I didn't have a pony when I was a little girl so now my poor redhead has to wear pink to make up for it. (At least Whin is a mare!)

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Back on Track

I finally had a work out that was worth mentioning!

Getting ready to be ridden.

So the past 2 days have been cut short due to me trying not to be killed. Thursday I had to squash my rides in between some baby race horses.  So we worked on the rein back and that was about it. Friday I lounged. She got her crazy out on the lounge and then was too tiered to do proper work. And people were breaking there pony to a cart. the Pony was not real happy about it so leaving was my best option.

Today I lounged again because my plan to go early and avoid every one was foiled by every one thinking the same thing.  she only had one tiny kick out as a horse ran away next to her on the lounge.  On the lounge I try to switch directions and gaits often so that she starts to focus on me.

The routine goes something like walk both ways no side reins. Then the side reins go on and she does walk trot transitions both ways until she will walk with just my voice aid. Then we do walk canter transitions until she is listening to my voice aid. by this time she is usually is focused on me and ready to be ridden.

The only problem with lounging is that she gets into this stretch down (fall on the forehand) mode so the first half of my ride is taken up with me getting her to sit back on her haunches with lots of transitions and some upwards half halts.

After that we worked on canter/medium canter transitions. this worked really well to help her come up in the fore hand.

My goals for Monday:

If there is no one there I will not lounge, but I will do the shoulder in on a serpentine exercise to get her supple and stepping under herself. I also want to start shoulder in at the canter.

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Snowed in

 I am too chicken to trailer in the snow, so today Whin just got treats, snuggles and had a photo shoot.

 The dressage diva in all her natural beauty. (after finding a yucky spot to roll in)
the cats were kind enough to venture into the snow to say hi and pose for some photos. but they were unsure about the clicking noise coming from my phone.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


whin and I finally had a ride when I didn't want to send her off to the funny farm.
! She was very well behaved. We started off with serpintines  and transitions to get her up off the forehand and bending then we worked on canter walk and to the right she really started stepping under herself and going forward right away.  Then we worked on se half steps that she did promptly. Also I  am learning how wonderful halting upward in stead of back is it helps her to come off the forehand. 
And we finished just before the baby race horses to came.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter blues

I have the winter blues, my mare has gone crazy. But now the holidays are over fewer people should be riding and the arena will be open more so Whin and I can ride 6 days a week again. Which her brain apparently needs. 
 In between bucking fits we got some nice work done . I saw an exercise where the rider did shoulder in on a serpentine. I modified it to just circles since the arena was crazy busy. But Whin had been stiff to the right In last weeks lesson so I was hoping this would help. It sure did when I finished up she was doing shoulder in to haunches out beautifully. 
I did have to keep up with her on the shoulder in circle To the right because she wanted to slow down and not step under. I gave her a tap with the inside leg to keep her active. I will  do this exercise  again.
I also got to practice anticipating bucks, because once she got going it was all I could do to stay on let alone curb her bad behavior, but the last  two times she wanted to explode I shut it down pretty quickly. If I were a better rider I would catch her before the rocket launch and go on with our dressage work.

All King Edwards Horses Call Me Blessed Fool 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Riding in 2014

OK sorry for totally abandoning this blog for several months. However  I have some good news I now have a way to take pictures, so my blog posts can have pics of Whin!

Some things worth mentioning are that Whin got a haircut which saves me soooo much time. I ride at a heated public arena. She had a woolly mamoth coat and then would sweat buckets, so the hair had to go. I wanted a nice trace clip but Whin is very ticklish, so it ended up being somewhat of a modified Irish clip. And the weather got cold snowy and slick so with it went turnout and Whin's brain.

The thing that really gets Whin is other horses, I have mostly been in barns that were very small and usually Whin and I had the whole thing to ourselves... now I ride in a public arena.

Today the arena looked like this ^^  trailers and horses every where! And  to top it off some were breaking  race horses O: From the moment I pulled up I knew it wasn't going to be my day.

Whin Modeling her pink outfit.
I gave it my best shot we made it through the warm up walk before the fireworks started at least.  Whin is very tricky about it too, She will go around perfectly round very nicely and wham  all 4 feet in the air. And of course every one is looking at me like holy cow get a grip, girl.

I am pretty sure this is how we looked today.
At least this is how it felt.
what happened to my dressage horse???
 Maybe one day I will be one of those riders that can magically feel before the buck/rear/leap happens and stop it, but not today.  So I did my best, and to my defense I did stop a few rocket launches, and was feeling pretty good about it. When I was quickly humbled. I put Whin into I nice shoulder in when suddenly It was as if I was riding a Pegasus. Lift off was so forceful I made a very unflattering Hurrgghh and then we sailed through the air (I flew slightly higher than Whin) I think I flailed around a bit trying to find something to hold on to. we landed together fortunately, and went back to shoulder in.
I did this a bit more and called it quits. I don't think I was going to win today so I stopped on a good note.
Hacking out after riding
Whin and I went for a nice hack (all by are lonesomes) to end the bad ride, I think we both needed it. But I think I am getting old because even when I stay on these bucks it makes my back terribly soar.

All King Edwards Horses Call Me Blessed Fool

p.s. will some one please tell Whin that she is not a Lipizzaner and "airs above the ground" are not required.