Monday, July 21, 2014

Detox

From May Daze. I wish his knees were up and my form was better but this was such a fun fence!
Sorry for the long bout of silence over here. Just a little heads up that I will probably be a little infrequent in blogging for a while. I just need a little computer detox for a while. I'll still be on just not as much.

Jay and I went to his Dad's memorial service this weekend and it was tough. I am a very introverted person and spending several hours in a room full of people I don't know is just about one of the most exhausting things ever. It was tough in other ways as well but also good for Jay and me. There were definitely some moments of joy and laughter mixed in.

In the other direction from Ohio E and Loki had a good time at their event. Loki put in a very good dressage test. He only scored a 40.2 but from what E. and my trainer said it was really nice. That put him tied for 9th. Then E. and Loki managed a double clear in stadium! Putting them in 5th. I was so excited to hear because I haven't even managed a double clear round yet this season. E. texted me a picture and told me how great Loki is/was and that he totally saved her butt a few times. Good boy!

Unfortunately, the good news ended there as E. missed a fence on XC and was technically eliminated. Loki also had one refusal before that. E. was able to school the course afterwards though and said Loki was awesome. He was just very strong for her during the actual XC run and even though I tried to warn her she still wasn't quite prepared for how strong he really gets. But, she was still pretty happy with him and learned a lot. And hey they both came home in one piece which was really my only concern!

Trail riding tomorrow!! Dressage schooling show on Saturday. (We're going to ride the Novice B test for something different.) And, hopefully XC schooling somewhere different next Wednesday.

Monday, July 14, 2014

If The Shoe Fits

... don't rip it off your hoof!! Which is exactly what Loki did sometime Sunday or Monday morning. Luckily the farrier is coming out tomorrow. Of course this means Loki just got a four day vacation as I wasn't able to ride Friday or Saturday. Hmmmm, I think he planned it.

Sadly I don't have much else to write about. Just not a lot going on on the horsey front. As far as I know E. is still planning to take Loki to an event this weekend but I'll have to find out for sure when I'm out tomorrow. I won't be able to go as Jay and I will be heading up to Atlanta for his dad's memorial service.

It's hard to believe it is mid-July already. The kids start school in early August. I'm not looking forward to the end of summer but having the kids back in school is kind of nice!

Okay now I'm just rambling... carry on. :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

XC School

I had a blast today on an unexpected XC school. Jay and I got up early and went to the Rec center to swim some laps. I'm not a very good swimmer but I do enjoy it and I've somehow gotten burnt out on running. So we're doing some swimming for exercise.

Right after I got home from swimming my trainer texted me and asked how quickly I could get to the barn and about an hour later we were on the XC course.

It was a great school! Man, if I could just ride like this at shows and Loki could behave like this at shows we would be rocking! As it is I know the ability is there and it is just a matter of getting the show miles on him.
Unrelated picture since I have none from today. Getting ready to jump the ditch at May Daze
That's not to say every moment was perfect. I got caught looking at the fence a few times which caused some fugly jumps but I would honestly say we had more positive jumps than negative. Win!

Afterwards E. hopped on Loki to take him over a few jumps. He was very good for her and I was a proud horse Momma! It's so fun to get to see him in action.

Tomorrow we are heading to some local caverns with the kids but first I'm going to the grand opening of the Dover store! Fun!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Things

I finally got around to changing the blog design a bit. I must admit I get a little lazy about this and as nice as it would be to have everything custom it's just soooo much easier to use some of the preset templates, other than my header, but hey at least it's a little new for a while. :)

I had the most fun lesson today! I got to ride the pony!
Pony's name is actually Gracie but all the ponies that we get out at the farm always end up being called Pony. I guess because we only ever have one pony at a time. I believe she's a Welsh. She's super cute and very spunky. Her regular rider (pictured above) does pretty well with her but she's been riding for quite a while. This is definitely not really a "kid's" pony.

I had a blast on her, though, and we jumped up to about 2'6". At first I was a little doubtful that she'd be able to jump that high with me but pony's got a BIG jump! She was super honest if a little wiggly. And it was a good lesson for me because I had to be super careful where I put my weight as it was easy to influence her balance unlike another horse I ride all the time (Loki!). For some reason riding a small horse like this makes me feel really brave and honestly I felt ready for Rolex after our lesson. :D
Pretty much the opposite of Loki and me!

As I was riding I couldn't help but wonder is this how WFP feels riding his horses?
When the size ratio between horse and rider isn't so great a lot of things are soooo much easier. Sure, I could still come off but that pony really wasn't going anywhere without my say so which is probably where the burst of confidence came from.

E. rode Loki and they did pretty well together. Loki is not an easy horse to ride but E. stuck with him and they got around a pretty tight course of 2'6" to maybe a bit higher fences. It was very educational to watch another amateur rider ride him in a lesson. I know a lot of horse owners don't like to let other people ride their horses but it was a really good learning opportunity for me. E. struggled with a lot of the same things I do but getting a real visual of what's happening gave me some ideas of what else I need to work on.

I asked E. if she was still thinking of taking Loki to the event and she said she wasn't sure. I don't blame her she's only ridden him once and he is pretty mellow on the farm compared to how he is at a show. I told her she could ride him a few more times when I'm not riding to help her decide. So we'll see.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Endings!

At least I'm crossing my fingers for a few! Here's the happenings:

FFI mare, Market Genius, a.k.a. Ginny and our FFI intern E. at their first event.
  1. I've had a couple of really good rides on Loki. It's amazing how much things improve when I a) stop gripping with my knee and put my leg on and b) sit up! My trainer would roll her eyes at me about now because she literally yells at me to do these things all the time so duh! But, for some reason I feel like I've really improved in both the past couple of rides. I feel like part of the improvement is thinking more about keeping my leg on for support than thinking about not gripping with my knee. 

  2. I am going to let our intern E. take a lesson on Loki tomorrow. If it goes well she is going to ride him at an event the weekend after next. She entered the event on Ginny (pictured above) but Ginny just went out on a trial for 30 days most likely to be adopted, which is a good thing, but that has left her without a horse to ride as none of our other FFI horses are quite ready to go beginner novice just yet. Loki needs the miles and I don't have the money to do another event so hopefully it will be a win-win.

  3. Speaking of trial contracts. We've had 3 horses go out on trial this month! That is awesome! A fourth was officially adopted this month as well. The more horses we get adopted out the more we can take in. FFI does not have huge turnaround in horses. We definitely take our time to put training and miles on our horses and we take our time in finding the right match. If someone comes out to try a horse and my trainer says it's not a good match then that's that. However, it is still really great to get horses moving through!
Logan (the first FFI horse I ever rode) is going out on trial this month! Makes my heart so happy! This guy has been with us for at least two years. He raced a very long time and at 12 even though he is a good egg and perfectly sound it's been hard to find him a home. He's a good boy but very forward. Can you believe he's going to a lady in her 70s? She's ridden him several times and they just seem to click. Good luck buddy you so deserve a happy ending!

That's about it over here. Sorry not much in the way of pictures. (I think I say that a lot, oops!) Things are slowing down on the horse front for a while. Spring shows have pretty much wiped out my horse budget for a while. But, I'm hoping to get to trail riding again soon and I'm really looking forward to it! Oh and one more thing. As far as goals go this month my biggest one is to update my blog appearance. Hello! We are waaaaay past winter!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th!


Seriously cutest pony ever!
Just wanted to wish all of my American friends a Happy 4th of July. Of course I hope all my non-American friends had a happy 4th too even if it was less eventful. :)

This was one of the best 4th experiences I've ever had. An usual cold front came through on Thursday and dropped the temps to a high of 73 so when we went to watch the fireworks that night it was in the 60s. No bugs + not sweating to death = WIN!

My kids marched in the parade today which I guess was televised nationally on Fox. My son was in the boyscouts helping to carry a ginormous flag and my daughter marched with the elementary school aged cheerleaders, so cute!

But the only pictures I took all day were these:
Seriously the cutest pony ride operation I've ever seen. The horses were in fantastic condition with good feet and super shiny coats. It's nice to see an operation with animals so obviously well cared for. I really wanted to take the Haflinger home and the little white mini. Heck, honestly I wish I had room for all of them!

Happy 4th!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

VCBH: Interested Parties

"So way back in week seven of this tortuously long blog hop I have going we talked about the Pros of our current horse. Some of us experienced these pros after buying our horse. Now I am curious, what made you interested in your current horse that lead you to buying them in the first place?"


Vival Carlos has given us several fun blog hops. I haven't been able to participate in all of them but thankfully this one came at a good time where I actually have both the time and energy to participate.

I think I've already written about this a little before but it is still fun. Why did I, ultimately, decide to buy Loki?
One of my very first rides on the boy
Let's look at the facts:
  1. Loki can be handsome but really he is quite plain. If he's standing out in the field with a bunch of other horses I can guarantee you he will not be the first one you look at.
  2. He's at least 16.1 hh for most that is a great size for me it is way too stinking big!
  3. His front ankles do have some slight "rounding" on them. Obviously there is some wear & tear in there.
  4. He's not overly affectionate (although that has certainly gotten better over the past two years.)
I'll just stop there. When I look at those facts I do find myself asking why? Why did I buy this horse? 

Well let's see:
  1. I've already had my flashy horse. 
    Bugs the epitome of flashy... too bad he was also a little nutty
  2. I can't really say anything about his size. He's too big for me and I've just learned to live with it. However, Bugs was only 15.1 or 2 which was really a "perfect" size for me and yet he absolutely did not work out at all. So clearly size isn't everything. :P
  3. I had the ankles x-rayed and they were surprisingly quite clean, no chips and no arthritis. 
  4. As I said earlier he has become much more affectionate as time has gone on. 
Of course these aren't the real reasons I ended up buying Loki. The real reason is hard to define. The first time I sat on him I literally felt something special. It made me say "wow" even though to anyone watching I'm sure there wasn't anything special to see. It was just a feeling.

My trainer had originally picked up Monte, Loki's brother from a different mother-literally, with me in mind. And I really tried to want him but from my very first ride on Loki I was just pulled in his direction like I was metal and he was a giant sized horse magnet. I did fight it for a few weeks, though. (At this point I also have to add that the fact that he came from my trainer was a big plus. I'd already bought a horse without the help of a trainer (Bugs again) and I was determined NOT to make that same mistake.)

I think what really sealed the deal for me, though, was during his pre-purchase exam my vet at the time couldn't say enough good things about him. He really liked him a lot even with the not so perfect ankles.

And that as they say is that. And while there are days that I question myself I do love the big guy very much.
We're slowly learning to fly together