Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Since my last post, our rides have felt much better. I sent in my entry for the schooling show in a couple of weeks. At first I thought doing Second Test 1 was crazy... but after reading it over and having some great rides, it feels right.

Jay has been so ON lately. It's like I blinked and he's fit again! Sure need to catch myself up with him. He has such a personality and seems happy in his work. We haven't had a lesson in a couple of weeks due to car trouble and then C was out of town, but our rides have been great.

He's also learned that our new routine at this barn means he gets cookies as I'm on my way out if he's in his stall. If I take too long gathering my stuff up after I've put him away he is VERTY vocal about needing his cookies and peppermints NOW!

I'm going to try to be better about keeping track of our rides on here. Easier said than done, but I think I can steal some time away during lunch at work to write about the night before's ride.

We the outskirts of Lee come through last night so I'm hoping the barn has power so I can get a ride in tonight!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Less than stellar week...

So this past week hasn't been filled with awesome rides like the past few weeks have. After talking with C, we decided to try giving Jay off 2 days in a row instead of being off Tues/Thurs like I had been. I like this schedule, so we will see how it works for Jay. I also had been riding in my dress boots every day, but since they are all I have and there will be no second pair in the forseeable future, it's back to half chaps except for lessons. Also, my saddle had been out getting the billets replaced and I just got it back. Luckily, C had lent me a saddle while mine was being fixed, but it was much deeper and had larger knee rolls than my beloved Passier. Lot's of "different" things this week, so we shall take the bad with the good and hopefully this week is better.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Much needed catch up with PICS!

Wow, I have been terrible lately with updates. Fortunately, it's mostly due to being so busy riding. The clinic was great and I have started taking lessons with C, who did the clinic. Due to some financial restraints, we've only had 2 lessons since the clinic. From now on we will be lessoning weekly.

There is a schooling show in the middle of September that we are looking at possibly doing Second-1 at. A bit nervous about that, but C thinks we can be ready. Just from my first lesson to the second, I can feel a huge improvement in both mine and Jay's strength. We are working on him really working his booty and being straight... need to clean up our leg yields and shoulder in this week. And I have found my horse has quite the promising medium canter! What an amazing feeling.

My bestie Ryan () was here last weekend and got some pictures and videos of us. Have to figure out how to post videos another time. She also rode Jay and it was great to see him ridden... they looked great together!!

Pics! Need to shed some lbs to get into shape with my boy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

To Ride or Not to Ride..

Ride of course! Storms were rolling through last night as I was leaving work. Usually I am home for about 2 hours before leaving to go to the barn, and the stormy weather had me wanting to stay in my nice dry apartment. I am sure glad I didn't. The indoor footing was recently redone, so even though it's small and still kind of dusty, we had a very nice ride. Clinic is this Saturday! I also got an email from a trainer who will be coming a couple times a month to teach myself and 2 other ladies. We will be discussing the details and when we will start this weekend!

Hopefully I have some good stuff to write about this weekend!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

A month after the big move, and the new barn continues to be great. We've had a lot of thunderstorms overnight the past few weeks, so the horses haven't been turned out for quite a few night. There are no run-ins in the fields, so if there is thunder/lightning they stay in. I couldn't figure out why Jay was staying to chill with missing turnout 2-3 days in a row... then I found out that if they don't go out at night, they will try to get the horses turned out for a few hours in the morning before it gets too hot, or they will be turned out later in the night once the storms pass. Seems like good sense to me, but so many boarding barns I've been at would never go out of their way like that.

I've been riding 5 days a week, with the exception of being out of town for a few days and then having a friend in town for this past weekend. We have our good days, and not so great days, but overall things seem to be progressing back towards that First-pushing-Second Level horse and rider. Jay got new shoes this past Friday, and our new farrier is great so far. There is a group of ladies who ride dressage who I really enjoy and usually see on weekend mornings.

Apparently there are also some really cool trails... didn't think I cared about that when I was looking for a barn, but now I'm so glad we have them! Went put with one lady a few weeks ago for the first time and Jay was GREAT. He even had to lead the way at one point when our new friend's horse decided he didn't wanna go. We even trotted and cantered out in a field. Haven't been out since then, but a few times I have cooled him off walking him through the entrances to the trails. So far no problems walking into the new areas, away from the barn and his friends. Maybe this weekend we will venture out a little farther, there are a couple of big fields to ride in that I'd love to ride to.

The Birmingham Dressage and Combined Training Association is hosting a clinic at our barn in a couple weeks to benefit 2 local Young Riders. Sending my entry in tomorrow! This will be my first clinic ever, and I haven't had a dressage lesson on Jay in 3 years, so I am a bit nervous, but also excited to get feedback and make sure we are on track. Lot's of exciting happenings here in the Bham!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The First Week

So the pictures I had promised are still on my phone waiting for me to transfer to my computer... this week that will happen.

Our first full week at the new barn was great. After our ride on Monday, I was looking forward to riding again on Wednesday and Friday (giving us 2 weekdays off). Got there on Wednesday and Jay had a big ole boo-boo right on the side of his withers. Nothing bad, not sensitive to touch, not hot and only some hair missing in one small spot. No big deal and just comes with the territory of turning out in a group However, below the missing hair was swollen, so no saddle on there until it went down. By Friday, it was 95% gone but it was thunderstorming and I didn't want our first ride in the indoor to be extra scary. It would have been fine, I'm just a chicken.

Wasn't sure what I'd have on my hands Saturday morning. They didn't get turned out the night before due to storms and that used to make for a crazy pony. Not this weekend though. He stood like a gentleman for grooming and tacking, even when the tractor drove through the barn, right in front of him. Didn't even budge. Good Pony!! We had a nice ride in the jumping ring again. I don't feel like we're ready to ride in the dressage ring yet, we need the bigger, open feel of the jump ring (and no square corners yet).

They didn't go out again last night due to storms, but I had the same horse this morning. So chill! Down to the jump ring again. He was nice and forward into my contact. We did some baby leg yields and shoulder ins to get him through and keep him from getting too bored. Right now the biggest thing that I need to concentrate on is out left side. I tend to collapse my entire left side, which keeps me always slighty turned right. In turn, he doesn't bend correctly to the left and falls in on the inside shoulder. When I actively think about pulling my inside shoulder back and opening my inside rein, its much better. Just a matter of really thinking about it everytime at this point until its a habit again.

During the week nights, its pretty quiet at the barn, but on the weekend mornings it's a little busier. I like that mix of being able to get in, get my ride in, and get out during the week, and meeting everyone, chatting a bit on the weekends. Haven't had to share the arena during any rides yet, but sure I will soon.

I think we will be back in shape and moving right along in now time at all! Looking forward to another good week!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Catching Up

Well for a long time I didn't have much to write about. All I basically was doing was feeding and grooming Jay every night. But those days are over, because I've been in Birmingham for a week now, and Jay has been here since early Friday morning.

Shipping Jay down was a bit of a fiasco that included my dad and I driving back up to Lville and the truck not getting to us until midnight (after getting lost once). Once the truck did get there and got the ramp dropped at the edge of the property, it was all good. Jay got right on the truck and the drivers were very professional and obviously horse savvy. Once he was on the truck I had no worries. The new BM was in contact with the truck drivers and would get Jay off the truck in the morning.

He got to Bham around 6 am, but by the time I got there and ran a few necessary errands, I didn't get down to the barn until early evening. The new BM had said he was settling in nicely and he was exactly right. Jay was just chilling in his stall despite all but a few horses being turned out for the night (new horses have to stay in for a day before going out with the others). Groomed him up a bit and moved the rest of my stuff into the tack room.

Went down Saturday morning to throw him on the lunge and take him for a hand walk. He had thrown a shoe and loosened another the day before he was scheduled to leave. My farrier was able to get down that night to fix it thankfully, but he was a bit sore from whatever shenanigans he had pulled while throwing the shoe. By the time I lunged him in the indoor, he was sound. He behaved perfectly, w/t on the lunge and for a little handwalk around the indoor and barn.

That night he went out with the group of geldings. No drama and once he had explored the field and sniffed every single pile of poop, he settled right in. Sunday morning I decided that since he'd been so god, I'd get on and just ride around the property to the arenas. We went down to the jump ring, back up to the barn, then down to the dressage arena. I was so proud of him, he was interested in everything, but super brave. Stood perfectly in the cross-ties and in the wash stall after our ride.

This evening, I went down to get a another short ride in. He was already turned out for the night, but was still perfectly behaved. We rode in the jump arena and he was great. We are both terribly out of shape, but as long as we keep our work consistent and correct, we will get there. More on the boarders I've met and pictures tomorrow!