Maximum Effort

Ever have a moment in a ride that’s so good that you’re left feeling like “There’s no way we can top that today.”

I cut the ride short, hopped off, untacked and fed her a million treats (probably why she’s fat).

Best right lead canter we’ve ever had. I mean SPOT ON! Picked it up in balance, correct bend, engaged….  all I had to do was tighten my core and she shifted her weight back even further.  She really tried her little heart out!

I had wanted to work on a few more things that day, but… I think it’s really important to reward “try”.  I don’t care if it sucks, or if it’s not perfect, as long as she honestly tried to answer the question then I want her to feel like she’s won. And boy did she work for that right lead canter. Wow. Knocked it out of the ball park on that ride.

I probably won’t be able to duplicate that canter again for two years. Hahaha

…………………………………………………………

Last Sunday I pulled Joy out and tacked her up for a ride. I hadn’t ridden her in a solid 7 days and Hubby was running loud engines and banging things close by.  It wasn’t until the end of the ride that I realized I didn’t even think about lunging her first. That was about the time hubby shut off the auger and started hammering. Joy didn’t even notice all the commotion.

My little pony is growing up!!

I know… place looks like crap. I’m working on it! 🙂

Can’t start the Digger

We’re changing how the pasture is set up. My two lard balls, er, air-ferns need a bigger “dry” lot than what I currently have.

Hubby has been slaving away at it, and yesterday I decided I was going to do a couple of sections all on my own!

I drug everything out, got everything set up, and then spent 15 minutes futilely attempting to start the auger. I finally gave up and texted my sleeping hubby…

I woke the poor hubby up. Then I made him slave away in the hot sun for several hours.

Did I mention we’ve had a horrible heat wave this week too!

Poor Hubby….

The new configuration will be something akin to below. The “New Arena” area will be close to a regulation sized dressage arena (notice my current “arena” is about the size of a 20m circle).

NewLayout

View of property.

The red line at the top is the property line.

Current config is:

OldLayout

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fencing going up

 

Since we’re re-using existing fencing, we should only need to spend about $50 to complete this.

Soon Ava and Joy will have room room to roam and Jessie can have her own separate area.

And I will have my ARENA!!!

 

 

Not what I expected

I’m going to be honest with you… I had no idea what I’d gotten myself into when I decided to take lessons with the new instructor.

The new-to-me instructor is a USDF Bronze Medalist, an “L” graduate, and a graduated of the “Train the Trainers” Western Dressage program. She’s also super nice, and so far everyone I’ve talked to has loved her training style.

My first lesson was last Saturday.

Everything went well until I unloaded Joy at the trainers barn. After that, Joy was a spit-fire.  Couldn’t hold still, screaming her head off, dragging me around…

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The pic above pretty much captures the situation in a nutshell.

The trainer suggested we work on ground work first, and attempt to get Joy’s brain involved before doing anything else.  I was relieved. I think Joy would’ve been okay to ride, but heck… she wouldn’t even hold still long enough to get her tacked up.

When the trainer said ground work, what I didn’t anticipate was that the trainer meant….
Parelli.

I don’t like to be closed minded about any type of training, but most of the people I’ve met who follow Parelli are utter kooks.

Total kooks.

So, I was skeptical…

The trainer started me off with the basics. And wouldn’t you know it… within minutes Joy was the quiet, calm pony I know and love at home!

We did a few of the “games” with varying levels of success. Apparently the only one I can master is the “friendly” game (you rub the carrot stick on them). I nailed that one!

This pic is showing Joy ground tying within 15 minutes of actually starting the lesson.

JoysSecondTimeOffProperty

I may not be a total convert, but… holy smokes it helped Joy.

 

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to ride, because I really need help with my position. However, the bigger reason for taking lessons on Joy was to get Joy comfortable with hauling to new places by herself. I think these experiences will help her gain the confidence she needs to do that.

So, to recap… it wasn’t what I wanted the lesson to be, but I think it was the lesson Joy and I needed.

Feral cats

When we bought this house,  it came with 20+ cats.  Most of them to some degree of feral. We’ve been trying to get all of them fixed as we have money,  but it’s been… challenging…  to say the least.

The seond to last feral cat had kittens last fall,  so we corralled the whole lot in to the basement to prevent them from freezing to death.

We took them to the vet today.

Our house looks like the scene of a massacre.

Cats are fine,  and on their way to the vets.

Humans are NOT ok.

Did i mention I’m not a fan of cats?

On top of this,  Joy was acting weird this morning.  It was stupid cold last night,  and I thought she’d be okay since she had access to the stall and plenty of hay and water.  Nope.  I come out and she’s shivering terribly.  Ava was fine without a blanket.  Jessie I blanketed because she gets cold easily. Joy’s usually the  hardiest of the bunch.

I’ve got three blankets on her.  Gave her a little banimine, about half a dose,  and waited.  She seemed much better after 10 mins,  and back to normal after 40.

I hate these 30 degree jumps in temps.  Wrecks havoc on everyone.

It’s only 8:30am. I hope this day gets better.

UPDATE:

$100 later, the three feral cats have been fixed, vaccinated, treated for fleas and released back to the wild. Ears clipped by vet to easily identify them as fixed. One is living in the barn, but the other two have not been seen again. I fear they may be dead.

 

Our First Show

Loading, and hauling,  Joy went without a hitch.  We even stopped at the gas station to pick up ice on the way to the show.  Joy was perfect in the trailer. It was cute though,  she saw Bob walking back to the truck with the ice and she whinnied at him.  
We got to the show and I was so nervous about unloading her that I almost wanted to quit right there. Heart jumping out of my chest.   Joy was vibrating like a top and screaming her fool head off.  I was scared…  

We got her off and for the first time ever I used a chain on her. 

The pony was a powder keg. 

Luckily i had a friend there to offer advice and moral support. 

I walked Joy around for a few minutes,  and once Joy figured out that the place was filled with other horses she settled right down.  

I lunged her for a bit.  She was “Up”  but sane. 

And then I got on… 

Yeah…  That’s Joy not giving a shit about anything,  acting like an old pro at all this.  

Ha! 

Best pony ever!! 

So we entered 2 walk/trot classes.  

This show didnt require show attire,  fuzzy show. 

I was on my own game plan.  Just having fun.  Weee! 

To my utter shock,  we won both the classes! Ha! 

What a fantastic pony. 

Oh,  and she loaded up like a dream and rode superbly to come home.  

Definitely a show pony in the making. 

I’m so thrilled with how well she did. 

Next weekend we have our first lesson.  I can’t wait!