Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back In The Saddle

Annie had a good session with Spots and rode him a little at the end. She reported he was bouncy on the ground, but happy to have her attention and was eager to have her aboard again. She said he clearly wanted to go explore the fields and get back to work doing interesting things again.

In addition to work Spots, Annie is going to continue the training on Britches, a small Appy gelding staying at my house and owned by a family member. He had 30 days with a pro trainer so he very green. Both are planned to attend the Chief Joe next summer so they need to be very trail-savvy. Annie will have plenty of training to do!

I'm looking forward to seeing Spots in the show ring this spring/summer and then wow them on the Ride!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Back to work!

Spots had 4 ribs out, his hip out, and his poll out so he had a bad headache. He is all fixed up now and Annie will ride him today for the first time since he put himself out of whack, which was about 6 weeks ago. He has NOT enjoyed his "break", he much prefers being fussed over every day.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Yey For The Accupressurist!

Spots got his back worked on today. He was biting Annie's foot when she tried to put any right leg on him which is definitely not normal. So he's been waiting about 2 months to have his people-mommy find money to get him seen. Today was the day! Stephanie said he had FOUR ribs out, his hip out, and a headache. So he's all fixed up now and Annie will return him to work tomorrow! We will be back in the show-ring and attending trail rides as soon as things start in the Spring, so they have some work to do! I'm very excited to see how it goes!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Where Did We Go?

We will soon return to regular posting. Spots has been on rest with a rib out and the accupressurist is scheduled to come fix that Monday. Other than that, we are behind on posts because my mother-in-law died in a crazy horse-related accident which really threw the whole family for a loop. She was leading her little gelding and he apparently spooked at a dog and pulled back, the reins she was leading him from broke and she fell backwards and hit her head on a rock and was gone, just like that.

Spots will return under-saddle next month and will be on trail-rides and in the show-ring in the spring and summer, ending the summer with his debut on the Chief Joe with his rider, Annie, aboard. Should be lots of fun and tons of great pictures.

I am now working full-time, so I won't be able to photograph every session, but I will try to get picture updates as much as I can. Stick with us, we'll have a great Appy journey in 2012.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Weather Change and Upcoming Clinic

Spots has had two injuries in the last few weeks, neither serious and both unrelated, but he hasn't gotten to be ridden much. He did great on his last ride Monday. Sunday he will be in a lesson with Annie aboard at a clinic with Jim Briggs. Should be exciting. I won't get to take him to see the arena ahead of time, so I plan to haul in early and let him see everything before the lesson. Hopefully that will be enough to have him focused and calm. I will take pictures and video, so that will be online next week! I'm very excited to see him debut in the Dressage community here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

My First Ride!

I rode Spots all by myself today! I tacked him up and got on, no warming up by Annie or pony-rides. He was good! We walked, trotted, walked over some poles, and CANTERED! He is FAST. But he has a great stop and it wasn't unsettling at all. He is learning to stretch down and go on the bit on cue. I worked on leg-aids and he seemed to improve even in just the one session.

We rode out in the field with Michelle on Dan, an Arab gelding a friend owns. Dan was screaming for Michelle's mare, but Spots was not bothered at all and we just walked around nicely in the field. I was very proud of him.

He thinks he is SO grown up. It is really amazing to be riding my "baby" horse! He is such a good boy.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Spots Photo Shoot/Desensitization

Annie brought over a big black cape and wore a floaty dress to ride Spots in today. He pretty much didn't care about any of it. We got some awesome pictures! After their session I got on and walked him a bit and jogged him in half the arena. He was good, though tired by the time I got on because it was really hot today. Pretty soon I'll be able to actually ride him myself!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

WALLA WALLA COUNTY FAIR!!! September 3/4, 2011

Annie decided we should go to the fair with the herd and post enter. We planned Michelle on Lucy doing the two walk/trots in English Saturday and Western Sunday, Spots and Annie the same, and me and Marigold the same, then Annie on Marigold in English Color, and Annie on Justin in a few classes both days. Things didn't work quite like that. Marigold ended up having sore feet on the rocks in the arena and we scratched her canter class Saturday and didn't bother to bring her Sunday. Spots had withers too sore to do English so he just watched Saturday and only competed Sunday.


Saturday I got up early and cleaned out the Featherlite which we were lucky enough to borrow. We got everything packed in and loaded the horses. Spots hesitated, but got in with a couple pats on the rump. Marigold got in with a stern word and Lucy took the longest, but still was in in just a few minutes.

We were parked in the gravel pit lot which is the farthest horse parking from the arena. So, we tacked everyone up and walked them over to the check-in area and just hung out till time to go in. Annie didn't have a kimberwick for Justin and was riding him in Spots' D-ring for her first class or two. I told her she looked like she had roped a wild mustang, thrown a saddle on it and gone in the class. A friend loaned her a kimberwick for her last couple classes and they looked much more sane.

By the end of the day Michelle had two ribbons and I had two ribbons. Justin didn't feel like ribbons on Saturday. We packed up, headed home and I went to bed early. Michelle and Annie headed back to the rodeo.

SUNDAY: Western

Sunday, Norman and Des joined us and we headed back in. Marigold stayed home because of her sore feet and Spots missed her, but we told him to make friends with Lucy. I pinned numbers on saddle pads, registered the horses and signed everyone in, then left them to warm up and my little family and I headed off to scout the fair. I was quite disappointed that everything was closed as I had hoped to do our family stuff before the show started. We walked through the small animal barns and Desmond was fascinated by the fluffy bunnies, boking hens, honking geese, giant pigs, sheep, goats.

We went back to check on things at the show. Annie reported the Spots had bucked while being lunged and she had lunged him out well. Her groom for the day held him while Annie worked Justin in prep for her classes on him. Nik the groom hopped on him and sat on him for a long time while they watched the show until his classes.

Norman and Des and I headed back to the fair and walked through the pavillion and got Desmond cotton candy. We headed back to the show so I could take video and pictures of Annie's Justin classes. Norman and Des sat in the shade in the grass by the barns while I stood on the bleachers to photograph.

Justin looked much better Western, still not thrilled about being shown, but a bit more with the program. Annie and her pairs partner got 5th out of 9 in Western Pairs. Finally the event I'd been waiting for; the Walk/Jog's! Michelle on Lucy and Annie on Spots entered at the trot and I video-ed and took pictures. In Walk/Trot 11 & Over Annie and Spots got 2nd out of 4, and in the Walk/Trot Green Horse Michelle and Lucy got 2nd out of 3.

We were thrilled with how well everyone behaved and we were happy everyone got to win a ribbon. We consider it a very successful first time at the fair for Michelle and I. Annie decided once again that Justin was tired of being a rail show horse and swore not to bring him next year. We'll see if she keeps her resolve, lol!

Night Ride

Sunday, August 28th, Annie and I decided to take Spots out of the arena for the first time at my house. We rode over to my grandma's house through the alfalfa field. We rode up the gravel road and cantered from the house to the road where we encountered a tiny chestnut mini pulling a cart. We jumped off our horses both of whom were wide-eyed and concerned. Spots' curiosity soon took over his fear and he crept up and started sniffing. He sniffed the cart, the shafts, then the mini. He sniffed the mini's nose and after several seconds, the mini reared, struck, and squealed! I laughed hysterically! After a few minutes, Spots and the mini were friends and the mini and his driver continued on their way down the road.

Spots and Marigold and Annie and I headed back towards my place, cantering the gravel lane. We walked around the side of the field and met up with Michelle on Lucy. Together we trotted around the entire field together, giggling on our happy horses. Michelle headed back to the arena, but Annie and I decided to make another lap. It was nearly dark and dry lightning was flashing in the sky. We took off trotting and on the orchard side bumped our horses up into a canter. We cantered the back side of the field, in the pitch dark, with lightning flashing in the sky. It was tremendous!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Spots New Games

Annie has been playing with Spots in everything. She has been patterning him on barrels at the walk to help him learn to turn off her legs and neck-rein. This last week we added a "jump"; a pole on the ground between jump standards that we raised to one side in the cup for a couple days and finally to a full X. He had a learning curve at how to pick up his feet, then started getting into it and hopping over.

Marigold will lope up and will only trot over, she will NOT jump it. I'm not sure if it's because she doesn't think it's high enough to be worth her time or if she doesn't like to jump. Some day when they're in better condition we'll raise it to a bar and higher to see if she'll jump it. But we're a ways from that.

In addition to barrel patterns and baby jumps, Spot's is working on learning to canter around the end of the arena. It is harder to balance going around a curve, but he is gaining the strength and getting close to being able to canter the whole arena. Annie is also working on getting both leads at the right time. He struggles with his left lead.

Spots First Show!

We decided to take Spots and Marigold to the last show in the Hot August Nights series. I rode Marigold English, Michelle rode her Western and did Showmanship with her, and Annie would do Showmanship with Spots. A couple days before the show, Annie decided to take Spots in the Western Walk/Jog and just school him if he couldn't handle the class.

Annie coached us Sunday and Wednesday and Thursday was the show. It is an evening show, so we cleaned them up and backed the trucks in the afternoon. We made it with plenty of time to get registered and ready. I sat in the stands to watch Showmanship. The 18 & Over Showmanship had 4 horses init. They all did pretty well, no one bombed. They all stood nicely in line-up, I was pretty impressed with Spots; it's hard for babies to hold still! Then they placed the class; Spot's and Annie got 2nd place and Marigold and Michelle got 3rd! I was shocked! When they came out of the arena I greeted them with pictures and congrats!

In the riding classes our biggest problem was the fact Marigold is out of shape and kept breaking gait when she was loping. She also wasn't always taking the correct lead. We had decided before hand to focus on staying in lope and not on the lead. We did pretty well for our first time out. Marigold and I placed 3/4 in English walk/trot, 4/4 in English Pl., and didn't place in our last huge class. Michelle and Marigold got 5/6 in Western pl. walk/jog, 4/4 wes. pl. and their Eq. class has 16 horses in it, so they didn't place in that one. Annie on Spots in Western Pleasure Walk/Jog 18 & Over got 4/6! I was amazed and impressed! We were SO pleased with Spot's first show! There will definitely be many more to come!