Thursday, February 27, 2014

Barn Dog

Panda is learning to be a barn dog!
She has a healthy fear of Whin which I think is great, I would rather never have her chase Whin or be under Whin's feet.

Whin is learning to be a third level horse... well OK we have a long ways to go, but she is trying her heart out. We had a lesson and we worked on flying changes again (I swear by the time we get this we will have tried every trick in the book) We started out doing canter, walk leg yield the direction we were just cantering then pick up counter canter. 

Whin did well with it, she did keep bulging her left shoulder out, but she did well.

Then we tried flying change, She reacts now and she is trying her hardest to figure out what I want. to the right she was changing behind when I asked and then the front a while later, 
To the left she was changing the front and then the back... far from perfect but Whin sure is trying. I think if I play around with it enough she will start understanding.

She can do nice flying changes... just not when I ask for them. 
I am very pleased with Whin for trying so hard for me.

All King Edwards Horses Call Me Blessed Fool

PS I may or may not have ordered a little more Bling, and polos to match my new saddle pad.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dressage Diva Photo Shoot

Dressage Diva's are always refined.
                                And that of course is how I ended up with the following pictures.

nothing sexier than a photo looking up your nose
I was trying to get some nice photo's of Whin's head... but Whin was convinced I was hiding cookies!

Whin was a superstar today!

We did lots of transitions today. With in the gait and in the leg yield and shoulder in.
Whin thought it was unfair to make her do squats like that but boy does that make her sooo balanced and her poll can come up and she no longer looks like an overgrown Western Pleasure horse!

Then we worked on Simple Changes and I discovered something very awesome, if I halt her and just as she is making the downward transition I give her just a little tap she tucks her haunches under and has no trot steps! She is so brilliant, I really feel that she has become very willing lately and she has been so lovely to ride.

All King Edwards Horses Call Me Blessed Fool

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

shoulder in

I did shoulder in exercises again today, they went very well.
I did a serpentine and asked for shoulder in each way changing in the middle. This exercise gets her really balanced. She sits more and that is great. I should do this more to build her strength.

I also want to play around with transitions with in the gait in lateral work. I think that it will help her build strength and make the movements easier in the tests.

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Monday, February 24, 2014


Introducing Panda!
 My families new puppy
She is a Sheltie, Border Collie cross

My brother picking Panda

We were not even home yet and she is a snuggle bug already!

Panda and I

Panda isn't sure about itchy collars, but I think she looks good in baby blue

Thanks for letting me share all my pics!

Catch up

Whin and her new boyfriend
So last Thursday I had a lesson, It was really good we worked on Flying Changes and Half pass. The way we did flying changes before was not working... at all. She was just learning to be more and more balanced in the counter canter (which I am not complaining about.)
So we fiddled around with it and if I really half halt and then aid for the new lead she will take a tiny walk step and switch leads.

So that is where we are with the Flying Change.

Half pass started off good and then I got a little discombobulated and it went down hill. The movement doesn't fluster Whin, its just getting me to aid correctly, I think that will come soon, but now at least I know what is should feel like.

All in all I have been very happy with Whin lately, I also found  an article on why mares are better than geldings, if you have a mare you should give it a look.

Also Whin found a new boy friend to add to her harem.  Aren't they cute together? I think a Pas De Duex is in order!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

No more Guilt

We got a bit of snow today and it was generally windy and cold so I don't have to feel bad about having good weather.
Whin was lovely again today, by the end of the ride she was really forward. She has really had a breakthrough with the shoulder in to Renvers, all I do is shift my weight and she switches.  I also tried at trot half pass. I don't really have the feel for it yet, and my instructor wasn't there so I have no idea if it was correct, but she felt nice.

I do want to start doing more canter lateral work with Whin. 

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hill Work

I am not going to lie, I feel a little bad.
It has been lovely here, I know most of the nation is dodging Yetis and Blizzards but I guess living in a desert has its upsides. The trails were mostly dry and because they were working the arena (for like an hour, ask me if I was happy about it. Ask me) I decided to do hill work.

I need to start working on this more (weather permitting) because Whin was trying to break to a trot at the top of the hill because she was tired. Those are just the muscles I want to develop so that her canter can improve!

Monday, February 17, 2014


It's Monday and apparently Whin was feeling refreshed from her day off.

We worked on canter transitions and half pass again. Again praising her seemed to really work. the transitions are easier and easier. I do need to keep her balanced better on the counter canter so that she can make the canter walk transition better.

Whin started out slow as usual and then she got really lovely (after a bit of encouragement from me) I was having such a fun time riding her trot I forgot to do anything for a bit. 
I gave her a break and then she was leaning on my hands a bit, I shortened my reins and much to my surprise she came lighter in the bridle... go figure.

I am really liking keeping my hands closer together as Whin seems to go better. 

well that is all for today.

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Baby Picture

I was going through old pictures and I found this Picture from when Whin was a baby, well ok...she was two at this point, She was so gawky looking... when people saw her the first thing they said was wow she has a big head. its true she was in horse sized halters as a yearling and WB sized halters as a two year old and yet she was maybe... just maybe 15hh. She also had giant legs and was very down hill. But she was my baby and I thought she was adorable even then!

Just for the record, Whin grew but her head thankfully did not now she is about 16.3hh. and no longer down hill.

If any one reading this is thinking of raising there own horse, Its hard but I highly recommend it.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

My Valentine

Whin was my valentine and I got her these.....
Bling Bell Boots

And she was a complete pain in the neck.
I had to ride later than normal. I thought because it was Valentines that every one would be on hot dates...
Nope apparently lots of people are losers, like me, and did not have that "special someone" to go out with. So there were oodles of horses.  Because Whin has been doing better I thought I could get on and ride. However Whin popping up while I was trying to do up her girth convinced me other wise.

I busted out the lounge line, hoping that I could keep the explosions to a minimum if I just had her walk trot for a while.


First she nearly ran me over and when I got after her for that she reared and nearly toppled over.  She had her usual antics and some extra after that, she took me arena skiing for a bit, where all I could do is hold on and scream "HEADS UP" as she tore away bucking.
Through all this her polos started to slip so I stopped to take them off. Apparently that was the cue that all the craziness was over and she lounged quietly for the rest of the time.
I hopped on and she was very lovely. We worked on shoulder in the Renvers.  I discovered that if I bring my hands closer together and try to keep them very still she carries herself better (self carrage)  that was a nice discovery

Today she was very good 

I found a horse personality test 

Whin apparently is a perfectionist. I would not have thought of this before but it kind of makes sense. When I start new movements (or jump) she gets really frustrated. I think this is because she is a perfectionist. She wants to do it right and if she feels she isn't she becomes flustered. 
Keeping this in mind we worked on our canter/walk/counter canter transitions. 

She was starting to get flustered so I walked for a moment, then when I asked and she picked up the lead I wanted I would praise her. Whin got nice and forward and even picked up the counter canter going around  a corner.  

I was very proud of her!

All King Edwards Horses Call Me Blessed Fool

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Whin wearing green and white
We had our lesson today, It was really good. I realized that I don't ask for enough. I need to insist that Whin go forward and not give me a little trot, even in the warm up.
We worked on canter transitions, they were prompt because I made her go forward in the warm up. I let her get to flat during the transitions and she stopped picking up the counter canter. I need to make sure she isn't falling on the forehand then she can pick up the counter canter easily.
After that we  did the same thing with simple changes it blows Whins mind a little still to do multiple simple changes, I am not sure how to get her over that. Then to finish off we did Halfpass at the walk, we are still very new to it but Whin doesn't make a fuss of it so I think that we will improve quickly.

Having well deserved turnout after our lesson
 All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


the Local Dressage Clubs 2014 Omnibus came! And (drum roll please).... I painted the cover!
It is so fun to combine my two favorite things painting and dressage.

So I have been pouring over it planning my next show season.

On another note today's session was good and a little disappointing. Our flying change disappeared again. We are back to Whin ignoring me so that was disappointing. However the rest of the ride was great, Whin was light in the bridle, I think I figured out how to help her canter. She always wants to lean down as we canter but if I do half halts every other stride it helps her to stay balanced and stay light in the bridle.

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Cow Girl

Yesterday was beautiful, so I went on a Hack. Whin was soooo happy. I decided it was pointless to walk in the mud in my tall boots so I left my cowgirl boots on.
Whin jigged almost the whole time in the walk, but she had the happy pony look on her face at the end of the ride.

She also walked through water, which is a big deal, last time I had to get off and wade in before she would set foot in it. this time she stopped to sniff it and then walked right through it like it was no big deal.  

I like the sun!

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2011 vs 2014

The Photo on the left  was 2011 photo on the right was taken yesterday.
It is interesting to put them next to one another.

Whin is learning to be much more up hill and I am not in as much of a chair seat.
Good to know I am moving in the right direction.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


A friend was taking pictures and was kind enough to snap a few of Whin and I.

Whin has been really good the last couple of days.  I found out what kind of music she likes. She kept spooking at the classical music I was playing... it turns out she is a Vampire Weekend fan (if you don't know them you should look them up.)  It gets her going forward a bit easier. So maybe I should change my plans on what music to use for a freestyle.

Yesterday I made Whin go twice, as she always wants to quite on me in the second test at shows. She handled it well, and boy we got a nice medium trot. It was nice, lifting the shoulders all the way across the diagonal!

As Whin goes more forward she tends to lean down on the bit somewhat. Today that didn't happen when she started to get heavy I did what my trainer calls the Kyra Kyrklund half halt. the Leg on sit up tall. Whin sits back a bit more when I do this and she wasn't heavy at all today.

We worked on Shoulder in to Renvers. She was transitioning between the 2 much more quickly today it was great!

All King Edwards Horses Can Make Best Friends

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Flying Changes, and I mean flying

I had a illustration conference and then got a cold so poor Whin was neglected for the past 4 days. but I got well for my riding lesson. We took it easy today as I was still recovering from my cold. However we did work on the flying change. 
It was better, as in I got some reaction instead of Whin just going, "I have no idea why you are flopping around like that so I am going to pretend I don't notice it". we picked up counter canter and in the corner turned her a little sharply and viola she changes... but only in front.
The first time we stopped her from cross cantering. the Second time (note there was now a lady letting her horses buck around on the lounge at this point) She only changed the front again, but this time my trainer told me to ask again, after asking a few more times and a tap with the whip the hind leg changed. 
My trainer clapped I dropped a rein to give her a big pat and whoosh, we launched into the stratosphere. It did take me an embarrassing amount of time to get her under control due to the fact I was one handed but I stayed on so no biggy.
The last time we got the hind leg  quicker (in just a few more strides), I know this really isn't a real flying change and is more flying than change but, It gives me hope that one day she will do them properly!

All King Edwards Horses Call Me Blessed Fool