Friday, July 24, 2009

We built this city on rock n' roll

It's a great way to start off a weekend when the blog has received it's first award.

Thanks to wolfandterriers and her blog, Dressage Pony has earned the Honest Scrap Award.

So with any acceptance speech there are ten things I have to tell about myself and the ponies:

1. I believe, whole-heartedly in what I do with my horses. That from breeding to training to showing to management that we're on the right track, even if we make a few detours. They come first and will always have my loyalty first.
a. I love all of them and I believe in them too.
b. Plus they look good everywhere.

2. Sinari rules. All else follows. This includes but is not limited to: sleep, money, sanity, relationship with family, ect, ect, ect. Thus, I bow down to Queen S. Sacrificial sugar cubes are needed daily to keep her royal-ness happy, I suggest you pile them to the right of her stall.

3. I could survive on chocolate, wine and French food for the rest of my life. My heart and waistline, however, could not.

4. I believe education is an investment, and to progress in anything, you need to enable yourself to continue on and focus on it.

5. Rules of life: Never burn a bridge. Give pause. Be nice. Get everything in writing.

6. I wish I had my own barn and arenas now. The ponies do not.

7. I have two (soon to be three) personal alarm clocks, who are more entertaining than anything on TV at the moment (except at 5am). My cats are fabulous, even if I'm their indentured servant.

8. I'd rather go through open heart surgery than a) buy another saddle and b) buy a truck.

9. I have a wonderful boyfriend (who is very supportive and motivated to get stage one Number six completed out).

10. If you can only do one thing well in life, I hope it's the thing you love.

I nominate (since the majority of my reading list has been taken):

Elaine Ward Dressage

The Opening Chord
Mary's Daily Dish
Dover's World

Rock and Race Horses
SHN News

After a very, very, very, boring week of work, no riding (schedule sucks) I'm off to Detroit, MI for the weekend, then a very busy week of dinners, and prepping for my trip to NYC.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wild horses

No one can really deny he's something special. Even if he's a pain in his mummy's bum.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Birthday wrapup

I turned 25 July 17th without a ton of fanfare. I left work early, I rode and played with my ponies, I ate curry and had a lovely beer with the boy and then... I had my first old person moment:

I fell asleep on the couch.

At 8pm.

I would go further into the sordid details of falling asleep, but honestly who wants to hear about REM cycles?

A close group of friends and family partied out at the Zielger House in Frankfort. The boy cooked a huge spread and topped it off with Derby Pie and home brew. It was a good birthday overall, with a good gift haul (thanks everyone!)

We ended the weekend up with a 10 mile bike on my new Cannondale, where I promptly kissed the grass around mile nine. Between coming and going, we nearly hit a kitten. Thankfully, we swerved and missed, but we were pursued by said kitten. So we stopped, unpacked and emergency bag into our pockets and stuck the tiny tabby grey female (about a pound at most) into the black cycling pack on the boy's bike.

The poor girl was dehydrated and currently malnurished and flea infested. She's in quarentine at his parents' house until her first vet visit.

The ponies continue to progress, but with some trouble here and there.

Sincere turned two months old on the 16th, and he's finally grown into his long legs. He's a massive amount of gorgeous horse. He's also getting into a stage where he's discovering he has an option of saying no. I'm quickly squashing it. There isn't an option for him. We're leading for longer periods of time, he's now ground tying sucessfully and trotting for short periods in hand.

Sinari is rocking the arena out. We're working on the transitions in the half pass (canter-walk-canter) without loosing the line or excercise. She's doing her working pir's well enough and the turn on the hauch is very cleared up at the moment. When I dismounted, I found out I used too much right spur, and immediately I felt horrible. She's feeling tight through the neck, and wants to throw her ribs in.

Haven't worked on the changes, so I have a feeling she's rusty.

But all in all, good work this week.

The upcoming week is the start of summer travel, I have to go to Detroit for the boy's family reunion then a week of brief rest and then off to NYC. I hope I surivive!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Keep on truckin' Part 2

I didn't get to try out the GMC yet. The deal isn't complete on the guy's trade in (the saga of upside down loans) and I think he's hemming on the price. Meanwhile, I'm looking elsewhere, and more or less out of town.

There are two trucks out of town in the in between class: 2500 and definitely within price range. I'll give a ring tomorrow and see what the dealers have to sell.

Everything else has been ho-hum. We upped the feed on May and Sincere, Sinari had her summer jabs and I'm running around work like a loon.

Oh yeah, I'm turning a year older. Advancing age syndrome sucks.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

We got the power

The week ran hot and cold. Literally. Low 80s with showers and partly sunny. It was incredibly pleasant for going out and working. However, riding was catch and catch all.

When we did ride, Sinari and I finally broke through the last three weeks of ups and downs.

It started by switching from whip to spurs. I've never ridden her in spurs until now, just used a whip, and even then I never really used it beyond what I needed to. But Poulin switched us up, and there has been more respect for the bend, and less hand trying to create it. With zero question as to what I wanted, when I wanted it, the level definitely stepped up with a more refined aid. I'm doing a lot less with a lot more.

Then there was the pesky outside rein on my end. Keep it down if you want to control the shoulder and hind end.

There were a bunch of other things as well, between a hard ovulation and the request of riding more up, she became more cranky, trying to escape through the neck. So we backed down and switched a few things up.

She's progressing through it and is becoming more consistent. Today we did a full turn on the haunch and at the canter a working pirouette. Her half pass has also cleaned up quite a bit, but emphasizing a low, pushing neck is the hardest thing because she reacts with her neck. With this breakthrough we're building on new exercises.

Sincere (sorry fan boys and girls no photos this week!) has grown another inch. He's been learning to ground tie, yield his poll, hind quarters and everything else that is his. He's leading longer periods of time, and now trotting in hand.

He also had his first adventure with the farrier. Aside from mom having her OCD moment, he was a trooper. The farrier was mildly impressed with his manners.

The truck search has lead me calling most of the state's dealers. I've been to enough used car dealers who were slimy, pushy and just horrible. This was even with the boy and Buddha tagging along for the outings.

There is a bright side to things, I did find the Dealer who is just good, pushed the right buttons and is just pushing the right thing: what I need, clean cars, reasonable price and knowledgeable service.

I discussed my needs, wants and goals openly with the Dealer and his sales manager. What the provided were two options, a fully-loaded F150 (with drop down TVs) and a 2002 Duramax GMC 3500 with about 100k on it (carbon copy left).

Needless to say, my jaw dropped on the second choice and the F150 went by the wayside. I've been drooling over these cars for years, but in my mind, I'm still years off from owning one. Plus I'm leery of parking, and among other things: narrow country lanes.

They wanted me to have the GMC. Badly. They dropped the price. Twice. To where it would be in the consideration mark. It's clean. It's pretty. It's... a beast.

Going for a test drive on Monday. Will report then.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

World on a string

For a holiday that's supposed to be about blowing up small projectiles, it's been a bit of a bummer. In addition to the rain and cloud cover, there is nothing in the TV (except a Bond marathon) and really on the Internet. I'm about ready to hit a bath and book.

The day wasn't without activity, I rode with Sharon, working on bending and filling in the small gaps. Sharon hopped on and I got an ground eye view of what's going on. She can do it all, that isn't a big deal, it's just polishing it out so it looks and scores better. Thankfully, everyone is on the same page.

Added to Sinari's wish list is a full custom saddle. I made a deal with her, she gets to FEI in the Duett, and I'll cough up the cash for something really special. Meanwhile I'll keep an eye on the fit, and who knows, perhaps Duett will do a model that's a little more... sporty.

Going back to training- I'm going to leave the changes for a while, and get her more through in the lateral work. Re-gaining full control of the outside shoulder is full priority. Riding with spurs and not the whip has helped a lot. Should make the difference.

Going over to the other farm, I thought of the last rounds of photos that were taken, when he was smaller. The boy has already grown to half of May's height. He's physically more mature than most colts I've seen at his age. I'm still quite afraid that I've bred a physically very large young man.

To quell the fears (or to increase them) I string-tested the young man. I'm not encouraged, but then again, I think I was doing it wrong at the wrong time. So we'll try again soon. But I offer this small plea in the mean time:

Oh size fairy! I beseech thee to not to groweth Sparky beyond 15 handith. The ground is hard and I fragile. Thank you, Amen.

Truck/SUV shopping has been endless. My initial searches proved fruitless, and so I've begun scouring the Internet a bit harder. Initially, everything was out of range, or too underpowered. There have been a parade of people, including a few dealers, thinking what I need is something itty bitty and cute.

Seriously guys, it's the 21st century, girls drive trucks. My horse is not a boat, nor is an average boat trailer in the remote category of a horse trailer, and the equipment it hauls. Yes, I do need AWD, 4WD, or a 4x4 coupled preferably with a V8 or a V6 with an excellent transmission/Axel ratios. And don't try to hide the history from me. I am a journalist.

So, trust me when I say, I would love itty bitty. I would love cute. I would love to drive a car again (in fact I've been eyeing Subaru again).

But right now, I can't. I need a dual-purpose vehicle that hauls myself, and the ponies. And since Sparky is deciding on his size to be in the larger range, I need the extra hauling capacity. So please do me the advanced favor of not treating me like an idiot and telling me what I need.

My search continues after Tuesday, I have an appointment with World Class Auto, and will have an appointment with Jack Kain probably Thursday or Friday. In the meantime- I have Dear Ole Da looking up north for me, since newer modeled trucks seem to be more prevalent because of the hit that the construction industry is taking at the moment.

And I can't believe I'm up to five followers for being less than a year old! Yay!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Keep on truckin'

I've been quiet this week, not for lack of stuff to write about, but rather lack of time.

Training in 90 degree heat has been interesting, and adding the odd schedule, it just became more odd as the week progressed.

Between sweating to the point where my underwear has purple staining from the dye in my breeches and nearly falling off dehydrated, it just keeps getting better and better.

Sinari was off and on until recently, lugging around, not being her usual self. She never really did well in the heat. We kept it easy, but when we stepped out last weekend, we were less than prepared to come out and train at the Kentucky Equestrian Center with Tom Poulin.

It went well, but I felt that we were under prepared and until physical therapy today, I was extremely body sore. But since the weather cooled down, the pony feels and looks great.

But there were a lot of confirming moments last weekend, in and out of the saddle which I'm really happy about. FEI is around the corner, and she's only getting better. There are a few debatable plans in the works, and I'll get to them when I get it all sorted out.

We're back to clinicing on Monday and Tuesday. Will hopefully have photos and video.

Sincere, however, has been exploring and testing his mother's limits. In addition to driving her nuts on a daily basis, he managed to jump over the fence and get out with the main herd. Apparently, and unknown to my knowledge, weaning was scheduled five months ahead of schedule. He and the herd were getting along great, his mother however, was having a cow.

I realise the mess that could have occurred if it wasn't for the broodmares and the babysitter pony that kept watch over his chrome-laidened butt. But right now, everyone is happy and reunited.

Sincere has been progressing n manners. In addition to doing all the basic ground work, he now leads without the butt rope, and is learning to yield to halter pressure and independently move his hind quarters. Stopping and going are a little bit of an issue right now, but I suspect that that will solve itself out soon.

Also last week I dropped the car off for it's regular oil change. I had the guys check out the breaks (thought I heard grinding) and found out that the rotors had rusted. It's not a cheap repair (300 range). After chatting to the parties involved, I've spent way more overall on repairs than the car is worth at the moment. It's time to start looking for a new truck.

I hate truck shopping because I have to deal with dealers and it's too much cash for something that isn't worth half as much when you drive it off the lot.

I also have a photo shoot this weekend at one of the farms, and will probably be shooting the TCF stallions again next week.

When am I going to sleep.