Wednesday, March 27, 2013

River is an a$$hole.

Saturday, we took a lesson from someone at the barn.  I rode Riv (obviously), and my friend rode another horse.  We did quite a bit at the walk and he was fine.  Moved up to the trot....  He was TERRIBLE.  Like, half rearing and spooking and crap.  Then we'd walk and relax, and he'd randomly flip out and start skittering sideways.  At one point, I asked the instructor to grab him because he was just going nuts.  Eventually got him to calm down and we focused on getting a couple decent trot stops, then walking.  At which point, I decided we were done.  So we stood there while the other girl rode and he was ok.  Then instructor said "let's ask for a canter".  Since River had been being a total jerk, I jumped off and held him.  Good thing.. the other horse started cantering, River started going nuts and rearing.  WTF?  And of course I'm like "I swear, he's never done this before!" as my horse is being totally insane.  Great lesson.  Asshole.

On the bright side, he looked really cute in his boots:
You know you're jealous.  Of the boots, not the horse.  Because he's an asshole.

And yesterday I was bringing him in for the night.  He was okay until we got too close to another horse's turnout.  Cue rearing and striking.  I was like, screw you, you're an asshole, and grabbed his lip and twisted.  So we walked the rest of the way to the barn like this:

And he behaved himself.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Weird dream

Last night I had a strange dream.

I took River to an event.  I had a trainer with me and getting ready for dressage, they mentioned the cantering part of the test.  I was like "lol, we don't canter yet".  We go out to practice and he has a beautiful canter transition and does a lovely soft, light, round canter which is far nicer than either his walk or his trot.

And that was about it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

First show!

Friday night, we trailered over to River's first show.  Because he's a good boy, he hopped on the trailer in the dark and off we went.

Arrived, tacked up, schooled.  He was interested in everything but not nutty.  Maybe the ear puffies helped?  We walked over the itty bitty crossrails because the scary flowers were scary.  Eventually we got brave enough to trot.  There were two jumps I didn't attempt--12" wooden boxes, and a cloth panel thing, also about 12".  So I asked someone else to get on him for me.  She took him over the course.. he stopped at the panel, but then went over it.  Rider commented on what a good boy he is and how sweet he is about it all.  I got back on and did it.  He stopped at the boxes, but went over on another try.

The course was scarier than I was expecting.  There was a one stride line, and a triple line set at two strides... not that strides matter for us, because we trot, but still--scary!!

Saturday morning, tack up and school for dressage.  Which basically consisted of trotting around the ring and circling in both directions.  So, you know, not very intense schooling.

Dressage test A (for the combined test)... he was distracted and stargazing and counterbent the whole time.  But we did it!  Score:  49.something%  Which... ok.  It wasn't a particularly good test, so okay, if you're judging strictly, fair enough.

Dressage test B (not combined test)... he was listening and giving to the bit, circle to the left was pretty good.  Circle to the right was counterbent and diamond shaped, free walk was a little drunk.  On the whole, a MUCH better test.  Score:  47%  WTF?  Judging was pretty harsh for a schooling show..  I would have figured 55%-60% for the test.

Then came jumping.  And first off, I'll say that he deserved the best dressed award.  Pink blingy browband, pink ears, pink open fronts and ankle boots, pink and black saddle pad, pink crop.  I wish I had pictures.

Jumping 1 (for the combined test)... we were allowed a warm up fence.  He wouldn't go over it.  Someone had to come over and lead us over it.  I trotted him over it, fine.  I also tried the scary boxes.  He wouldn't go over it.  Person came back to lead us over.  I trotted him over it and then we started the course.  Yeah... we had quite a few refusals.  But since there were 6 entries and 6 ribbons and I was in last place anyway, I didn't get disqualified, just racked up jumping faults for a pity ribbon, lol.

Jumping 2 (not combined test)...  Good boy!  We knocked over a fence, but no refusals!  What a champ!

Jumping 3 (not combined test)...  Good boy!!  No rails or refusals!  Unfortunately, the jump off required we jump the scary boxes in the other direction, so we had one refusal.

Verdict:  VERY good boy!  We need more experience and all that, but I couldn't have asked for more for our first show.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Good boy/Dumb boy

Tuesday, River was... interesting?  He was being a little spooky for some reason.  Maybe because I hadn't ridden him in almost a week...  I had a high cavaletti on one side of the ring and a crossrail on the other side.  He was a good boy over it.  We were circling at the far end of the ring to the right when he randomly started spooking.  I almost stayed on, but ended up falling.  My poor thumb got really  hurt in my attempts to stay on :(.  But I got back on and Riv was a good boy for the remaining two minutes of our ride.

Wednesday we got very brave.  I put up a line, high cavaletti (15" or so) to a crossrail.  Yeah, we're getting advanced!  Started off going to the left, cavaletti to crossrail, and he was SO GOOD.  Like, a total saintly champ for me.  So I'm petting him and praising him and telling him how wonderful he is.  Are you guessing where this is going?  So then we switched to the right.

Trot up to the crossrail.  He hops right over it.

Approach the cavaletti.  Slow down... walk up to it... look uncertain.  I kept him aimed at it and gave him a kick, because it's plenty small enough for him to step over it.

He picks up his left front and steps over it.


Tries to pull the foot back.

Foot gets stuck on cavaletti.

River tries harder to pull back.  Starts dragging cavaletti.  River gets scared, tries to back away, but OMG this thing is chasing me!

In his haste to get away, River falls over with me in the saddle.  I rolled clear, he got up, and no harm done.

I put the cavaletti back and got on.  Trot around the ring, and as we trot past the cavaletti, he's getting scared of it.  So I jump off, put the cavaletti as low as it goes, and hand walk him over it repeatedly until he does it without hesitating.  Get back on, ride him over it a million times, and he finally relaxes and does it more or less normally.

And now we're going to a show!  Ugh.

Wednesday I rode him in ear puffies for the first time.  I'm not sure if it made a difference, but they made me feel better.. and when I took them out, he was suddenly very alert, so apparently they do block his hearing.

Stylin' in pink.

Ear puffies installed.  You can see the removal string.  I think of them as ear tampons...

Awww!  Even when he's been dumb, he's cute!

Oh, also Wednesday...  The horse I found dead?  The vet came out to remove her heart to send it for testing.  I asked the owner and she allowed me to take legs.  So I, uh, have two cadaver legs in my freezer (I didn't feel right taking all four).  When the weather warms up, I'll dissect them for my hoof trimming education.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bad day yesterday.

Ever find yourself in a situation that's just kind of unreal and you're like "is this really happening?"

Yesterday morning I got to the barn (not River's) to do stalls.  I got there about 8AM.  Walked in the barn, went to turn on the lights, and saw the BO's 4 year old laying down sleeping.  This is an extremely lazy horse who is always laying down.  I look in and say "hey Piper, are you dead?"  Ha ha.  "Piper?  Piper!"  I kicked the front wall of the stall.  "Piper!"  Made a snowball and tossed it at her.  "Piper?"  Dread is setting in.  Open the stall door and I know before I touch her.  She's dead. 

The night before, I was at the barn until about 7:30.  She was totally fine.  She was, um, very dead when I got there, so she probably died a few hours after I left.  It's so bizarre.

She was laying flat out in her stall with her eyes closed.  No evidence that she fell or thrashed or anything.  Looks like her heart just gave out in her sleep.  She was diagnosed with a severe heart murmur several years ago.  It was a miracle she lived as long as she did.  Seriously--they took her to the vet school in Ohio for an echocardiogram to diagnose her.  A year or two later, the vet told my BO that if they'd bring her down, they'd do follow up testing for free because they were amazed she was still alive.

Friday, March 1, 2013

More riding, less posting!

I've had the week off work...

Monday--was going to ride in the morning, remembered the tractor, and longed.  He was good, so I rode that evening.  He was a very good boy!  I put out poles and he behaved himself.

Tuesday morning we had a line of a ground pole and an elevated pole.  The other long side had a cavaletti on the high side, so maybe 15" or so.  Big enough for me to be nervous.  He was SO GOOD.  Trotted quietly over everything.  The cavaletti I wasn't sure of, but I trotted him at it in a half seat, grabbed mane, and he hopped right over it.  A couple times he landed at a canter, but came back to a trot when I asked.  In fact, he was so good...

I also rode him Tuesday evening.  That's right, twice in one day!  There was a lesson in the ring, so we just walked and trotted over a couple ground poles and generally practiced being a good boy.

Wednesday morning we got really brave...  one high cavaletti, one crossrail on the high side of the blocks, so about 12" in the middle.  Such a good good boy.  Toward the end, we went over the crossrail to the right, and he got a little happy after and was tossing his head around, so I brought him back and we tried it again with me asking for a little less... he barely stepped over it.  We tried again, this time asking for a little more, and he went over it quietly but smoothly, and also managed to knock the whole thing over, lol.

When I was done, we walked around while I texted my friend to say how good Riv is and how lucky I am to have him.  Then I dismounted, ran up the stirrups, loosened the girth, and left him to wander around while I put away the poles.  Walk away, look over, and see him LAYING DOWN TO ROLL.  I start shrieking and clapping my hands while running at him, he jumps up like the ground just turned to lava, and starts frantically circling trying to go back down to roll as I'm continuing to flip out on him, he kicks out in annoyance, and finally stands so I can grab him.  Take off the saddle (no damage, thank goodness!!) and bridle and let him go so he can roll in piece...  he is no longer interested in rolling.

I think my Facebook status says it all"
Me: My horse is such a good boy! How did I get lucky enough to have him?!
River: I'm gonna roll while wearing mom's saddle and then be offended when she yells at me!