Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bareback and the cow!

I went out this past weekend and it was so hot and muggy that I couldn't muster the energy to lift my saddle.  So, I just hopped on bareback and we walked around the arena.  We did lots of leg work and we mostly focused on stopping off of my seat.  He was very good and I enjoyed the ride.  

The highlight of the day was a rescued calf out at the barn!
One of the owners found him while mowing the fence line.  He couldn't have been more than 2-3 days old and was laying down, abandoned.  
They brought him in to the hay shed and set him up with a box fan and bed of hay.  They fed him a bottle of milk replacer and we loved on him for a few hours until the rancher came to pick him up.  I was really hoping they would keep him.  He weighed maybe 50 pounds and was pretty darn cute!  Sorry, no pictures.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

75 and Breezy

That is the best way to describe our ride last week.  It had been in the mid 90s and HUMID.  So humid you had to check and make sure you weren't melting.  

Then a storm blew in and it was 75 and breezy.  Boomer thought that was fun.  So, we worked on behaving and focusing on me.  He did pretty well, except that I realized that his new little habit of trying to buck at the canter was becoming an issue.  

The first time it happened, I wondered if he was uncomfortable.  We pushed through and he was fine.  The second time it happened, I got a bit nervous and clung to the 'safety circle'.  Only cantering in a circle is no fun, but much harder to buck.  When he still tried to buck on this day, even on the circle, I choked up on my reins and started getting nervous.  He tried bucking on each circle and I quit after we got one good circle in one direction.  Not very good.  

So, that gave me something to think about.  I realized that waaaay back when he was younger and we were still in Oklahoma, he had tried bucking at the canter and I realized that it was my fault for holding his face too much and he was bucking because he felt trapped.  

More to come on this issue...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day!

Sorry, Charley.  Ice cream cake is for dad only!

Paisley took this process surprisingly well!


Making the print!

So sweet!

Getting ready for the next print...

Final product!

Ice cream bowl!

Coffee Mug!

Chillin' at the end of a good day!

We painted pottery at SunFire Ceramics.  They will do the clear coat and fire them for us.  The final products will be ready for pickup later this week.  Totally fun activity!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I had a REAL barn day!!!

John, being the amazing man that he is, took on the task of getting Paisley to take a bottle.  Saturday morning, I grabbed Charley, kissed them goodbye and headed to the barn.  

It had rained REALLY hard the previous few days, so I hadn't planned to ride.  I was just going to trim feet and groom.  When I got out there, two other ladies showed up and were going to ride.  Their horses are Boomer's two pasture buddies.  We took our time getting ready, then rode in the arena for a while and Boomer was very good.  It was nice to have another set of eyes to watch us ride.  Boomer did well, but is still super stiff on his right side.  After having Julie watch us ride a few circles, she could see how stiff he was on that side too.  When I was riding with Karin for lessons, she always got on to me about not using my right leg.  This got me thinking, is he stiff on that side BECAUSE I am not using my leg?  

After we rode in the arena, we went out and rode around the pond.  Boomer was a champ and let me close the gate from his back!  At first, he moved into my leg instead of side passing away, which was ridiculous.   But after a few good kicks (where were my spurs the day I needed them?) he straightened out and moved right over to the gate.  We rode around the pond and through the jump field and all of the horses were great.  

Charley got to play with his buddy Duke and they went swimming, caught frogs, played fetch, and did all kinds of fun 'boy' things together.  

I ended up spending 5 hours at the barn!  That was the longest I have been away from Paisley so far.  She was totally fine and took the bottle from John, no problem!  John had fun with her and enjoyed their daddy/daughter day.  I had a blast riding and I'm not really sure when the last time was that I had so much fun riding!  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bravest pony in the land!

Took Boomer for an easy ride today with another boarder, Julie.  Her horse Fitzy is an enormous 3 year old Hanoverian.  We rode around the dam and then rode in the jump field for a while.  There were a couple of ground poles set up, a flower box, a set of 3 ground poles, and two verticals.  

Fitzy had to lead us over the 3 ground poles and the flower box.  Once Boomer figured out that he could do it he was SO proud of himself.  He was licking and chewing and had his ears up- very cute.  We did quite a bit of trotting and he stayed very connected and round.  We worked on him not falling apart when trotting down the slight hill.  Going up the hill REALLY got him pushing with his back end and he very naturally come up onto the bit and was feeling awesome!  I need to work out there more often!  

My goal for the ride was to have him as responsive as he is in the arena.  I think it is more about me being a RIDER and not a PASSENGER.  

Overall, it was a very good ride and Julie and I were both proud of the boys for being so brave.  Boomer didn't get barn sour at all and I couldn't have asked for him to behave better.  Very good day!  

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beautiful Saturday Ride!

John, being the wonderful husband he is, carried Paisley out at the barn and hung out while I rode Boomer.  

Boomer is doing well, especially considering I am only getting out to see him about once a week.  I wish I cold see him more, but that is life.  Paisley is on a bottle strike right now, so I am unable to just leave her at home with John and go out to the barn.  And yes, a bottle strike is exactly as much fun as it sounds like!  

Anyhow, I rode Boomer in the arena and he did pretty well.  He is actually surprising me by being very connected and rounding up into the bridle.  Most of the time.  He did throw a bit of a fit when I asked him to canter, but after some stern words (ie, kicking) he straightened right up and gave me quite a few nice canter circles in each direction with several good transitions.  We ended with some serpentines at the trot with very nice direction changes and stretchy trot circles.  He was very good!

When I ordered my new saddle- Circle Y Expedition- it came with a free Reinsman Tacky Too saddle pad.  I am interested in testing this pad out more before forming an opinion, but so far it seems great.  It had really nice grip and kept the saddle from sliding, which has been an issue lately seeing as how Boomer has taken on a rather... round... shape which isn't great at holding a saddle.  After riding for about an hour and getting rather sweaty the pad had not retained heat and was surprisingly cool and dry on the underside!  I don't know if it will retain heat on longer rides, but I sure will test it out!  My main pad, that I love, is the Toklat Coolback.  It breathes, keeps Boomer's back cool, dries in minutes- which is great at vet checks, and washes in the washing machine! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


We suspected it all along...
Boomer is an out of shape, fat-ass.  

The CTR we were going to volunteer at was cancelled due to the EHV-1 outbreak.  

John and I hauled out to Pomona Lake for the afternoon to ride.  He, Paisley, and Charley played in the lake and hung out in the air conditioning while Boomer and I explored the trails.  I do have to say that Boomer loaded into the trailer perfectly both times with not even a moment of hesitation!  Pretty good for not being hauled in over 7 months!

We ended up doing exactly 4 miles in an hour and 20 minutes.  It was about half walking and half trotting. The trails were single track, lots of mild climbs with areas of mud and rocks.  There is a total of 16 miles, 32 miles out and back.  It was about 90 degrees and very humid.  By the end of it, Boomer was sweating and panting.  I think he could have done another 4-5 miles if we had walked the rest of the way.  

We had a good time.  Boomer did try to be an ass a few times.  Once we had just gone over a log and had to go through an opening in an old rock fence.  He boogered at it and started backing up, rather than back into the log, I spun him around.  My saddle slipped a little, so I hopped off to adjust and tighten my girth.  I then had him straddle the log to let me mount back up easier.  We headed back towards the rock wall and he boogered again and spun around.  He was acting a fool and I ended up just going back instead of pushing through.  Bad, I know.  But, I was frustrated.  I got over it and the next time he boogered at something and spun around, I jerked him back around and spurred him several times.  He spun again, and I jerked him around harder, spurred him HARD and he went though the 'scary spot' just fine.  We did eventually go back through where I had given up earlier and he put up his 'helicopter ears', but kept moving.  Same for the big boulder that was spray painted glitter orange (yay for spooky trail markers).  

I was pretty proud of both of us.  I had a realization while I was riding that I just don't care about his shit anymore.  My priorities have changed and he is no longer a top priority, so his bad self doesn't get me riled up anymore.  I have a lot less of an emotional reaction and can ride him better and more aggressively.  

I do have to brag about how good he can be.  He allowed me to mount while he was straddling a log.  He crossed several streams with no hesitation.  He picked his way carefully through rocky sections.  He slowed down for downhill climbs.  He never once knocked me into tree trunks.  He completely ignored me while I flailed about wildly trying to get spiderwebs off of my face.  He is quite a solid little trail horse.  I was very pleased with him.  

As we were headed back, we encountered a tree stump.  Those have always been scary for Boomer.  I joke that he is afraid of the tree-hating, chainsaw-wielding, horse-eating monster that must be lurking about.  It was on the side of a gravel road and I wasn't sure he was going to pass it.  He kept spinning away and I kept jerking him around and spurring him past it.  On the third time, he faced it and walked bravely up to it and sniffed it.  He took a bite of it, a piece of bark fell off and he skittered back.  Then he approached it again and we walked around it and moved on like nothing ever happened.  Good Pony!

Now we just need to get him into shape!  

Photo Bomb!!!

Chillin' in the AC with dad!

 Headed for the trailer

A little cheek-shoulder interference on the chubby baby.

Almost there!

So Sweet!

Yay Boomer!  We made it FOUR whole miles!!!

Best husband ever!  


Obligatory 'ear shot'!

Can you believe that this horse was doing back to back 50 milers just one year ago?  Jeesh.  Now he looks like a quarter horse from behind!


Grillin' burgers with the fam!