May 31, 2013

A serious contender

I have been quietly hoping that today would come and pass as well as it did. Months ago...back in February, my trainer mentioned to me that she had a friend (MM) that was moving up from California at the end of May who was interested in Rose. She was an experienced dressage rider who was finishing grad school and wanting to get back into the dressage show world. On paper she seemed like the ideal person for Rose, but would she hold up in real life?


In fact, MM is such a lovely person, talented, sociable, etc. and gets along amazingly with Rose that I'm having a hard time not welling up when I think about it too much. I would be so happy for Rose to end up with MM. They really make a beautiful pair on the ground and under saddle.

Hopefully I will have a more concrete decision next week, but the current plan/offer on the table is that she would care lease Rose for the summer with an option to purchase her in August. Rose would stay at our barn and in full training with my trainer during the lease period and she would also potentially show her this summer. Honestly, could the situation be better?

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

May 26, 2013

Happy 6th Birthday!

Rose turned six yesterday. Unfortunately I wasn't able to celebrate her birthday with her on Saturday. However, I like to think that a day off and being left to be a horse with no human demands = a pretty good birthday in her mind. Today though, it was time for the human celebration aspect of things. This meant carrots and new (good) photos.

After waking up at an ungodly hour once again bright and early with JR at 5am, I soaked in the early morning sunshine while drinking my coffee, planning the morning, and getting bathed in homemade organic strawberry and goat yogurt purees. Yes, JR is learning to use a spoon. Lord help us all! Bath, braid, photos, ride/photos...that was the plan I concocted, which was passed onto Hubs after he woke up around 7:30am. No, I am not a martyr here, he was up super late working on an insane deadline for an overly demanding client. Kudos to Hubs. He needed the sleep and I managed to get to bed at a decent hour, so 5am wasn't actually that bad.

As I was washing her in the 8:30am still chilly 48ºF weather...I started to think perhaps I was a tad insane to be doing this. Especially since next up was braiding. Following her bath, I took the slightly shivering (I felt really bad about that) Rose outside to graze in the sunlight. It was nice and warm outside in the sun and her shivers evaporated instantly. In about twenty minutes she was mostly dry and happily full of grass. About a half hour later Hubs and JR arrived for the photo session and her dressage braids were finished. Happily it was still sunny out and we managed to get a couple really good shots. I like having the problem of picking my favorite of many! I am so glad I got Hubs into equine photography BEFORE we had JR. He does such a great job.

There isn't much more to say other than HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY ROSE! Without further adieu, here are my favorite photos from the day:

Conformation. 6 years old.

Hugging my girl.

Hubs introduces JR to Rose....and gets a lick.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

May 24, 2013

Trail Ride Video

Now that the weather is nicer I've been able to take Rose on some short trail rides around the barn. I need to get the guts to take her over the bridge and explore the field behind our facility. It is private land, but they are fine with us riding on their property, which is super nice! You'll see the bridge crossing the creek about halfway through the video. My head tells me that she will have absolutely no issue with it. However, the first time I considered taking her over it I was pregnant and decided that it was best not to attempt such a thing alone on a (at the time) four year old. Now I think I've built up a little stupid anxiety about it for no reason. After all, worst case scenario I get off and walk her over it...right?

Anyway, here is a little video of part of our ride. Please forgive the shaky video, I was using my phone to take the video as I left the good camera at home. One of these days I hope to be the happy reciepient of a helmet cam. One of these days...

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

May 23, 2013 Alison & Maggie

Now that I'm only riding on the weekends again, my weekday blogging will probably be more scarce than usual, but I'll try and keep it interesting for you all. Since I won't be to the barn again until Friday night I thought I'd introduce you all to my friend Alison and her new blog about training her 3 year (now 4) old OTTB mare Maggie to be an event horse. Alison and I attended Mount Holyoke College together and despite geographical differences we have been able to stay in touch through the wonders of Facebook all these years. Their journey has recently begun and it is bringing back lots of fun memories about when Rose was that age. You can check out her blog here:


Happy trails and swooshing tails!

May 20, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away

We've all been concerned about the lack of rain, and thus the absence of spring this year. Usually that means a bad forest fire year is upon us. We have already had two forest fires (man made of slash pile and the other an idiotic arsonist). While threat of fire is always a concern, I was delighting in the dry warm weather and loving the absolute lack of mud this year. Until three days ago. It has not stopped raining since. Spring showed up late, but fast an furious.

Happily we have a nice indoor arena, so I can still ride. And even more happily, as of Saturday morning Rose was back to her mostly happy non-cranky and only somewhat peeing self. I could have actually taken her to the show after all, but I'm glad I played it conservative.

Sunday morning rolled around quickly enough and I had a gal out to try Rose. She seemed like a nice lady, getting back into riding now that she's in retirement. I honestly don't expect a call back though. Regardless of the fact hat Rose was very good and I felt it went well and she liked Rose, after watching her ride Rose I think she is still a bit green for the gal. Basically, Rose can somehow figure out immediately when a rider has little experience and will refuse to do much of anything but walk and halt. This is especially noticeable on days like Sunday when she was more forward than usual (it was definitely a no spur day...I think just from the fact that she was in heat). The gal in my opinion seemed to need a school master, and if I were her trainer that is what I would recommend. She's wanting to take the plunge into dressage, has no dressage experience, and hasn't ridden in a long time. Even a well behaved six year old like Rose would probably be too much horse for her unless she worked with a trainer at least twice a week. She did indicate to me that was her plan, but like I said I'm not going to hold my breath on this one. Which, I suppose is why I'm blogging about it.

Most of the people that have come to look at Rose have been in this category. Basically green riders that want a fancy horse but don't want to pay a fancy price tag. However once they come and meet her they realize that a young fancy horse with a reasonable price tag still needs a lot of training and isn't going to pack them around just yet, so they move on to less fancy options. That's my read on it anyway. So, I've stopped anticipating that she'll sell, and I don't get too excited or nervous about showing her anymore. It's just sort of something I do about twice a month or so.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

May 18, 2013

So much for the schooling show...

I was SO excited. Everything magically fell into place for me to be able to take Rose to the schooling show tomorrow. Then I went to the barn tonight to ride Rose and pack the trailer and everything came to a screeching halt. Or rather, a wiggly, peeing, distracted, annoying halt.

Rose came into heat today...and it's a BAD heat.

Normally Rose is still pretty good under saddle even when she is in heat. I was still able to ride her, but she was hella forward, distracted by everything, and just didn't want to listen. Just grooming her took a lot of patience.

I have noticed that the past couple of months she has been much more mareish when in heat than normal. I'm not sure why. Maybe she's at an age where her body wants to reproduce so she's crabbier than when she was younger? I don't know. I do know is that I had enough fun dealing with her tonight that I have no desire to deal with her in heat at a show. Gah! If I weren't selling her I would totally speak to my vet about getting her on some form of cycle control for the season. As it is I have a new person coming to look at her on Sunday, so I'm praying that she gets over the hump of the heat before then!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

May 15, 2013

New exercise rider for Miss Thing

After EB retired from riding Rose (she got her own horse, fun stuff!) it became apparent to me very quickly that riding 4 nights a week again was going to be rough on my stress level and family life, so I started looking for a new rider for her. Along came WS. She is a very talented and experienced hunter/jumper rider and had been an exercise rider for her trainer back home for years. She's a student at our University and is staying in town for the summer...and need something to do with all her spare time (someone please remind me what spare time used to be like).

We met up on Monday for her to meet Rose, me, and for me to see her ride. The two of them get along smashingly and since WS has lots of spare time this summer she's going to be riding Rose three days during the week, leaving me with the weekend days. Hopefully with the full workload Rose won't turn into too much of a spring grass blimp this year. Yeah right! She's already packed on at least 50lbs and is well on her way to another. I blatantly secretly like the fat hunter look so I'm all fine with it. I snapped a few photos of them riding this afternoon in the outdoor arena. By the end of the ride WS had her figured out pretty well, so I'm hoping all goes well tomorrow on her ride without me.

Hunt hack at the trot. Rider is WS.

Jump school. Rider is WS.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

May 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Conformation. May 5, 2013.
Growing again!. Standing a tad butt high.

Happy trails and swooshing tails! 

May 6, 2013

Tying practice

Rose ties pretty well these days, but I figure it's always good to have more practice. I've long been remiss about the fact that pretty much no facility I've boarded at has had a place I could leave her tied for long periods while keeping an eye on her. Then, the other day, while I put away our jumps and she wondered around the arena naked it occurred to me that a while back (when I was pregnant) the BO put up a tie ring and I could now feasibly tie her up while I set up and put away jump. This would be handy in several ways:
  1. Rose gets more practice standing tied while something is going on (me banging jump standards and poles around)
  2. Jump set up/put away will go faster as I can just leave the arena gate open.
  3. I don't have to pull my tack and then re-tack her when we leave (she's threatened to roll in my tack recently...leading to the naked wondering time post ride)
So, last night I grabbed a blocker tie ring, brought her halter to the arena with us, and gave it a go. I wish I had done this ages ago! It saves me so much time and I feel certain that a young horse can never have enough time spent standing tied and developing patients.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

May 3, 2013

April Re-cap & May Goals

Due to Rose's bad trim job and a week and a half off, we didn't get to work on our April goal as consistently as I would have liked. That has left us with a bit of spill over into May.

April Goals:

  1. Begin schooling multiple fence gymnastics. - done!
  2. Move jumps up to 2'3". - fail, fences did not go above 2'.
  3. Solidify flying changes. - fail, Rose started to develop a bit of canter anxiety with schooling these regularly. She started trying to do tempe's on her own accord when I just wanted her to canter a straight line. Now that I know she can do them well enough when asked we are taking a break.

May Goals:

  1. Continue working on gymnastics. Add a third fence to our line.
  2. Move final vertical jump of gymnastic line up to 2'3" oxer.
  3. Attend May 18th local show. Show English Equitation and Hunter Hack (2'6" cross rails).
  4. Have at least one dressage or jumping lesson.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


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