Sunday, December 13, 2015

Putting my foot down.

Here's a summarized recap of the week!

Monday: Worked on transitions then did some drill work with another rider there. We did a simon says thing for a while, then worked on side-by-side trot work, and then canter circles. It really helped Max stay focused!

Tuesday: Didn't do too much - Max felt a little sluggish and would pin his ears during canter transitions. I decided to keep things easy and give him the next two days off.

Friday: Max felt much better and ready to work! We rode alone in the indoor and he stayed focused. Still some pinning at the canter depart but after some warming up he seemed more comfortable.

Saturday: Went out on a long ride with someone I've never ridden with before. Her horse was pretty skittish, and is not too fond of other horses so we kept our distance. We explored some new trails, crossed over a bridge and traveled about 5 miles! Insane! At the end of the ride though, Max took off with me up a hill bucking!! I grabbed on to the strap and held on and he calmed down quickly.  I took him  into the indoor for a little bit more schooling. No naughty stuff!! When I had his brain back we ended the ride and he got lots and lots of treats!

Sunday: Another beautiful day so I did some short warm up in the indoor and decided to head up the hills. Well Max wasn't going to have it! I decided to put my foot down and have him trot, or even run up the hill...just no backing up and turning and all that nonsense. Well after a few refusals we trotted all the way up and we kept going till we go to the upper hills! Did some galloping around, then crossed a bridge (some more of that pushing with the forward as he had a few refusals), then back down to the barn, across yet Another bridge (a longer refusal this time- but we made it across!!)  - up the road, then back down and across a stream where he just plopped right through and walked up the steep hill very calmly!

He was sooo sweaty after the ride so I gave him a hose-down while he steamed it all off. Then some hand-grazing in the sun while he dried before putting him back in his field where he rolled twice!  Here's a video!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Feet update.

For the one...or two..of you who have followed my blog from the start, you would know that Max had some problems with his feet earlier on.

It's been about a year plus since then and I thought I'd do a quick update on how they are doing.

First things first, a lot has changed since then. We changed his turn-out situation from a mud-filled paddock to a dry-er sandier one. I change farriers to a much nicer, more competent one. He was put on Smarthoof Ultra, and had Durasole and Keratex gel applied alternately through the week.

From This....

And This...




The farrier (who I've kept and brought to the new barn) just re-did his fronts and said his feet had really good healthy growth to them and are in very good shape!

It meant so much to hear that, and to see the results side by side is so satisfying. At this point I am continuing with our maintenance of his feet. So long as we keep it up he will be just fine. Prevention is always better than cure!

Our rides this week have been mainly transitions and patterns. We did a short quadrille session with another rider Monday night which was super fun. I tried out an Antares saddle and to my surprise didn't love it. Max has been pinning his ears at the canter transition to the left, so I'm concerned he may have some soreness somewhere. I'm giving him two days off and will see how he does on Friday.

Another warm weekend ahead (in December to boot!) So looking forward to it!

Christmas lights up at the barn!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Overcoming an obstacle.

I decided to take a trail lesson with a lady at the barn on Saturday to help Max overcome some of his fears.

We started out with a nice slow walk up a steep hill, and a loop into the forest. She gave me some good tips on how to keep his focus on me - walking the fine line of letting him look and process, but moving forward at the same time.

She also talked about the fine line between giving him his head so he can look where he's going (especially down hill) but also keeping enough contact in his mouth so he knows I haven't abandoned him. She also mentioned to keep my leg on him, not really giving an aid, but as a reminder that I am there for him if he needs me.

We decided to tackle a few problem areas that day. First we started by walking through a really muddy area, over a stream. Then we crossed 'The Ditch' - a steep decline down into a rocky stream, and then a steep incline consisting of mud and more mud.

I tried to find a good spot for his head, kept my contact as soft as possible, and wrapped my legs around him like a blanket. I also made sure to keep his nose right on her horses butt - at least the first time. To prevent any leaping.

Well, he trudged through the first stream fine. And at The Ditch, he made his way slowly down and at the very bottom did a small jump over to the muddy bank.

Not exactly what I was hoping he would do, but since he did it very nicely and very controlled, without any stress about him, I was thrilled! He received lots of pats and hugs and kisses, and when we got back to the barn, an armful of carrots!

Today I met up with a boarder and we went for a nice long trail ride. We explored a few new areas but it got really rocky so we exited quickly. It was tons of fun trotting up the big hills, taking in the beautiful weather and scenery, then trudging down to the cross-country field to do more water training with Max. He's getting braver and braver every time!!

Here's to more adventures!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Getting into position.

All this time I thought I could jump in my dressage saddle...and true enough I could, and still can. However, after tonight I am seriously doubting I can do it correctly..

I decided to squeeze in a lesson with S after work today. Max was fantastic during warm-up and we soon moved on to canter poles in a circle. We struggled a bit there, especially going right. S pointed out I was sometimes too busy looking at the current obstacle, when I should be looking to the next!

After the canter circles she set up a small course for us. She had us trot across the diagonal over a skinny cross-rail, transition into a canter, canter over the three poles and then transition to trot before going over a bigger cross rail.

She noticed that I got left behind during Max's jumps and when she corrected my position I found I moved with him much better, and not only that, I felt more secure!!

I also noticed that my dressage saddle was making it quite challenging for me to get into that position!

One of the other riders was so sweet and offered me her saddle to try the next time I have a lesson. Since her horse is shaped similarly to Max I happily and gratefully accepted.

Can't wait for the next session!!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Peaceful Sunday.

Today we went on a relaxing two and a half hour trail ride. Nothing much to report but that it was awesome.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Jumping lesson with new trainer.

This is going to take me forever to type because my little conure parrot has decided to take a nap in my other hand! :)
Had to record that!

On to my lesson with S!

She started by having me do trot walk halt transitions, into posting and sitting trots at a figure eight.

Then we did some straight pole trot and canter work which was quite tricky as it wasn't supposed to be ridden in a circle, but more like a square. Then she had us canter over three poles fanned out in a circle. Boy this was a tricky one for us....especially going right (as suspected).

We ended the lesson with some canter jumps over poles and a cross rail. Max was all gung ho for this exercise and would rush the obstacle! Our last one was just nice though so we ended there.

All in all I was extremely pleased with how things went. Thanks to Js lesson the night before, our forward and rhythm was consistent, so we could work more on strides and straightening.

Max was an absolute angel and S complimented him on his work ethic and cuteness ^.^

Can't argue with her there!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving week!

Happy belated Thanksgiving! I should have posted earlier but again the week has blown past. I sense a pattern forming...

So I guess I'll have to summarize again!

Training ride - focusing again on transitions. Max has been feeling a bit stuck during the canter transitions to the right so we tried to work on spiraling in and out into canter departs, as well as serpentines that include some quick canter transitions to trot, back to canter.

Got to the barn with training in mind..but as I was tacking up Max, a boarder walked in and asked if I'd like to head up the road with her and take a loop around. I couldn't say no. We warmed up a bit in the arena and then headed out up this really steep road. At the end of the road is a large spanish-style barn with a couple of cows, a horse and a bull!  This was as far as her horse would venture, so we turned around and headed back. A nice peaceful ride, with the sun setting around us.

Since it was turkey day, there was practically no one at the barn. So I decided to be brave and head out to the big fields at the top of the hill by ourselves. It turned out to be the funnest time. Max was brave and willing and pretty much had no hesitation. As we entered the field I started with a short gallop up the hill where we came across a flock of vultures feeding on a deer carcass. It smelled so bad, and the vultures were hopping and flapping about. Max had a few looks but never paused a step and plowed past them.

Max loves it!

Then we rode down the big hill, turned around and did a nice open gallop all the way up!  Then back down again, over a muddy bridge (a small balk), across another field, and down a big hill with a very large, very muddy puddly spot. Max did a pretty big balk there, but after a few encouraging words (and nudges), he bravely crossed it!

Muddy feet with Minimal Drama!

At the end of the hill was a paved driveway that apparently Max has never stepped on before. I wish I had a picture because as we crossed it, he was so very careful - stretching his nose down for a closer look! What an amazing time we had, and it made me so much more thankful for having this special horse in my life.

I was extremely excited for today because my old trainer from the other barn agreed to meet me at my current barn for a lesson in the evening!! Squeeee!!! She's the nicest person!

However the weather was uh-mazing, so I headed to the barn early to squeeze in an outside ride. I got there and it was pretty quiet so I was anticipating a solo ride. However after warming Max up, I hear a clop clop clop behind me and yet ANOTHER boarder introduces herself and asks if I'd like to ride out. She seemed very happy to have someone to ride with, so this time I chose the route!

We headed up the big hill again, this time from the other way. I suggested to trot up and she seemed okay with it. We trotted up and her horse started to canter. I asked if she wanted to head back down the hill and let them run up. She agreed (I really like this lady!)  - and we had a jolly time galloping our horses up the big hill!

After that she seemed to open up and suggested we head into the cross country field. YES!!! I've been wanting to do more stuff there since Max seems a bit jumpy on his own out there. So we took the 'scary' route in , walked all around and even splashed through the water crossing a few times. Wow.

Then she turns around and asks if we wanted to run up the x-country field. I was like..sure, and she TAKES OFF! lol!! I got Max going and it was a super fun gallop up a hill, and halfway around the field!!

She seemed to want to keep riding, so I suggested we go on another loop around another set of paddocks. That was super fun and we ended our ride after that..because heck...I had a lesson in a couple of hours!

I put Max back in his turn-out field with a few carrots and some hay and headed home for lunch. After a quick meal, my dearest husband and I drove back up to the barn for the lesson. I was beside myself with excitement!!

Boy this is turning into a huge post...but I guess if anyone gets bored they can just skip to the video below ^.^

Anyway, it was So nice to see J again. I missed her so much! We chatted a bit, then started working. She fixed a few things in my position - keep knees more open than calves. Then she had me do an exercise where I'd take my whole leg off Max and pop them back down in both trot and canter departs.

Remember how I was saying he felt stuck the last few canter departs to the right?   Well, with her adjustments, this was our FIRST canter depart to the right:


She left us with a lot of great homework to work on!! Even though I had to pay a little more for this lesson, than I did at her barn, it was well worth the money!!!

More adventures for the weekend : Lesson with a jumping trainer tomorrow, and hopefully a ride out with a trail master on Sunday!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

First lesson with a new instructor, spooking, and a great end to the week.

I've been so lazy keeping up with the training logs this week! I'll try summarize everything and hopefully, will be a more diligent next week!

We did bareback work. It wasn't too much work on Max's end since I was a bit of chicken to go fast, so we kind of plodded around at a trot, and did some canter. We went over some ground poles too. Nothing much to report..Max was very good and I had sore legs by the end of it.

Lots of transitions on this day - walk /trot,  trot/canter, walk/canter etc. Layered in some serpentines and spirals, as well as a couple of ten meter circles and one loop. Again Max was a doll - worked hard with no drama.

Raining cats and dogs for hours and hours. Max was super spooky at the beginning and had a bit of a freak-out session. It turned out he didn't have turn-out that day and had all this pent up energy. The new trainer and I lunged him and he was a streak of color for twenty minutes. After that I hopped back on and we had a wonderful lesson - focusing on relaxation and rhythm. I really like this new instructor. She's very kind to the horse, and very soft spoken and generous to the rider. Looking forward to more lessons with her. Also she left me her Butet saddle to pop on Max when we do have a jumping lesson - how cool is she!

This was a quick day as I had plans that afternoon. Hopped on and worked on the same stuff we worked on on Thursday. Long and low walk and trot, with transitions that were soft and, as she put it, melted into one another. Worked on getting my right leg back, and knees a little more closed - which was her major note on my position.

Today was incredible. Max balked when we headed to the indoor, and refused to move forward. We worked on it for about ten minutes and VICTORY! He finally plodded in! It felt like such a huge accomplishment I nearly ended the ride there! lol

Well we continued to have a very wonderful warm-up in the indoor before heading out on our own. There are a couple of spots where he balks - up a hill, and in a grassy area near a neighboring farm. So we walked up the hill and he walked through everything with only a few looks, and not even one pause! Then we walked down the hill toward the barn, which he has a tendency to rush down. He was very good though and went at my pace.

The 'scary' hill is up ahead, by the indoor.

I was about to hop off to try on the trainers saddle, when a boarder I never met before (but have met her horse) introduces herself and asks if I'd like to go on a walk about! How could I say no!  So we went around to the other end of the farm, out onto a road and into a forest trail and looped back.

When we got back, I threw the Butet on and headed to the indoor. After riding a few rounds in the somewhat uncomfortable saddle (which feels soooo different from my dressage saddle!) - another boarder who I've ridden out with before, comes up to me on her horse and asks if I'd like to ride up the road with her.

Couldn't say no to that either - and what a good opportunity to try the saddle out outside the arena. So we plodded along up the road, and back down, where I decided Max had about enough and hopped off. He was tired, but seemed like he had a really good time.

And to that, comes the icing on the cake. That same lady I rode out with had agreed to turning her horse out with Max in a big field for full-day turn out. We were so excited to try this, we couldn't wait and decided to go ahead with it this afternoon!!

They were sooooo cute together! I can't do it justice with words so here are a couple of pics. On to next week's adventures!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Making a plan for Winter.

Now that I'm closer to the barn, I'm trying to figure out a 'training' program for Max that will stay interesting for both him and myself through the winter months.

Here is a rough breakdown for now:

Monday nights: Dressage or Pole work/Cavalettis

Tuesday nights: Dressage or Bareback

Wednesday nights: Dressage lessons (when they come up)

Thursday nights: Pole work or Small jumps - OR a jumping lesson

Saturday and Sundays: Short ring work, and then we move on outside! Trail rides, confidence training, water training..whatever we can accomplish out doors while the weather stays nice.

Alternate Saturdays and Sundays:

Saturday: Bareback or Dressage

Sunday: Jumping/ Pole work

I'm curious how closely I'll stick to this plan, but I'm going to try very hard to. This way by spring, if all goes well, Max and I will be stronger, fitter and ready for more challenging adventures!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

One water step for Max, one big step for Carol.

Saturday morning was a blustery one! I have to admit my heart was pounding when I lead Max up to the indoor. It was rattling and banging as loud as I imagined it would. It was even scarier sounding than the indoor at our old barn!

Luckily Max seemed to take it all in stride and only had a small spook when the door we rode past gave a LOUD rattle. I jumped first, so that's probably what made him jump!

After working hard indoors, I took him out into the windy outdoors for some confidence training. First we tried walking to the road. It is quite a scary exit/entrance as it crosses a big bubbling brook, which Max has some nervousness over. Of course he refused to walk past and over, but I managed to keep his nose pointing at it and in the end he willingly took two steps forward before stopping. This was a HUGE accomplishment. Usually he'd rear and spin around at this point. So we ended there on a really good note! On our walk back I made sure we used the 'scary' route - by the cross country course. There was only one refusal but he willingly walked forward and we circled and went back to the barn.

I brought my little pup Milo along that day. He was waiting so patiently in the car so after I put Max away we went for a nice long stroll, and a mini doggy gallop through the field. Such a fun place for all creatures!!

While I was putting Max away one of the boarders walked in and we chatted a bit. She offered to take us out on a ride around the property so I happily accepted and that's what we did today!

We met up at 11 a.m., and another boarder decided to join us. I wish we had taken a picture together because all three of us rode paints!! How cute is that!!

She brought me up the big hill and it opened up to an amazing space with the most breath taking views. This was the very edge of the property and we had a nice ride around the hills before heading down towards the road. When we got there there was a very steep drop leading right into a rocky stream. I'm not sure who balked first..myself or Max (probably me..the big chicken)...but I made the executive decision not to approach that stream by way of a steep downhill path.

My two companions were very gracious so we turned around and took another route, which brought us behind the 'scary' dressage arena, through a backdoor route into the cross country field!!  Max plodded in like it was no big deal and seemed relaxed as can be.

Then the nice lady in front brought her horse across the cross country water obstacle so Max could see it was no big deal...and guess what? After sniffing and pawing at the water, he plopped right in and walked across like it was nothing ...!!!!


Speechless, we continued on into the most amazing part of the trail. Something I've never seen before that seems pretty common in this area are big tall reeds, about eight to ten feet tall. They clump together in huge groups and look like giant silky hairs growing out of the ground. We went through this ethereal forest , even through some muddy ground. Wow.

Then we circled back, crossed the bridge that Max refused to cross yesterday without a blink, then approached the stream and downhill except now it was a stream and uphill. He didn't do anything silly across the stream and walked up the steep hill like a champ.

We retraced our earlier steps back up on to the hill and did some trotting and cantering up there before heading back to the farm.

It was an incredible time. I'm hoping to set up another ride soon - seems like it would be fairly easy to do as everyone there rides outside more than inside! That's for winter time!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Trotting leg yield.

Well I was going to do a full post on my ride last night but I'm quite saddened by the tragedy in Paris so I'll keep it short.

I snuck out of work early to get to the barn on time to audit a jumping lesson. Max and I sauntered over to the indoor (with some resistance on his end - which we worked through) and sat in the middle to watch.

I really liked what I saw, and the instructor was very quiet and gentle which is a positive thing for me.

After they were done I set up a lesson with her for next week. She watched me ride Max a little bit and then asked if I had a non-dressage saddle.

Well clearly..I didn't. What crazy person has more than one saddle? Everyone knows a horsey gal only really needs ONE. Why would she ask me such a silly question!!

Jokes aside, I reluctantly told her that my quest for a second saddle is still on-going and that I currently only have the dressage one.

She was very nice about it though and even offered one of her older saddles for me to use. She did mention it's one of those really old, flatter style ones we'll see if I can even use it without sliding off!

Anyway our actual training ride consisted mainly of lots of transitions, and trotting a leg yield down the long side, cantering the short and repeating the next long side. Max was very very good and worked hard for me, and for that I am thankful.

Looking forward to some quality time with Max this weekend!

Looking like a giant here...

Our first rides at the new barn.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Long warm up, with a small accomplishment.

Tonight was a very easy going night at the barn. Thinking it was going to be a solo ride, I was pleasantly surprised to see several folks still riding.

Max was really sleepy and sluggish. Not saying he wasn't responding to my aids, but he was goopier and calmer than usual. It was a nice change from his twitchy jumpy self so I was happy.

We had a nice long warm-up. Long stretchy walk and trot, and then a few canters around the arena to open up. It took longer than I thought and I had a few brief moments of panic when I saw him kind of bobby going right.

But after about twenty minutes or so of warming up (yes it took that long) he started to feel steady and would move forward into the bit (surprise surprise!).

We ended on a very very lovely controlled canter around the arena, with an amazingly smooth transition to trot. Oh! If only all our transitions could feel this way!

Then it was time to just plop around and cool down while chatting to my new friend.

Heading out there again tomorrow as I hear there is going to be a group jumping lesson! I'm hoping to ride and audit at the same time, and if possible squeeze in a private (since it would be the first time with this instructor).

We'll see what happens!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Training : Transitions

One of the compromises I had to make for the move to this new barn was that I'd be losing my wonderful dressage trainer.

I'll be picking up some lessons with a hunter/jumper trainer at the barn, but I'm hoping I can find a good dressage trainer who will be willing to come by.  I'd gladly trailer out but that had to be cut out too since the board is pricier at the new place.

So it's even more important now that I keep up with my training and logging it to track any progress or lack of..or worst case scenario, we digress!

Tonight I decided to give Max a real workout. He's had about two weeks off of vigorous ring work and it was about time.

My drive to the barn only took half an hour..woot! When I got there, I was amazed to find the place bustling. Lights on in all three barns, the indoor full of riders..about nine total! What a change from the quiet nights riding alone at our old barn.

I started Max long and low at a stretchy walk. After a few rounds of that I stretched him out at the trot, then it was time for work! We started out with circle transitions. It was basically trot half a circle, walk three steps..and only three steps, then back to trot till the next half circle. Then we did the same thing with canter, trot three steps, back to canter.

Max did better going left, as suspected. He has always been weaker going right so our next session will have to focus on that.

After that we did some forward canters around the whole arena. He has a tendency to dip his head down, so I tried holding his head higher and that resulted in a more uphill feeling. I'm not sure if we were truly uphill but he was trying hard so I took it.

We then took a break and went over some cross rails. There was a slightly bigger one that took him off guard and he did his rainbow jump over and knocked me out of my tack! Luckily I stayed on and we circled and I allowed him more freedom in his movement to move forward instead of up.

Then we did leg yield along the long side at trot, canter short side, then back to leg yield at trot. Boy did this one make him huff and puff. Good!

We ended the ride with some walk to canter transitions on a 10 m circle, spiraling out to 15, then back to walk at a 10.

He was such a champ and worked hard tonight. We had a new friend there too to chat to during breaks and cool down.

This new place is going to put a dent in my savings/retirement fund...but so far I think it's well worth it!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Enjoying every moment.

We have been incredibly lucky with the nice weather out east. Who knows when it will change so I'm determined to spend as much horse time outdoors as possible before the bad weather hits.

Saturday we headed up to the outdoor jumping ring. Max was jumpy at first but after some warm up he started to focus a little more. I've noticed he really needs that from me..a lot of clear, focused instruction. As soon as I let him take over during a more nervous situation he will work himself into a tizzy! It's also very important that after I work his mind in a firmer manner that I give him some moments to relax and give his brain a break. 

We even went over a few cross rails! He got really excited and seemed so happy! There was a lesson going on in the arena..a large beautiful gray going over jumps taller than Max. It was a pleasure to watch and I'm proud to say Max stayed calm despite the high energy around him.

The barn's cross country field which Max still refuses to go in..we are working on it!

Today the lovely barn manager and her trusty horse took a chunk of her morning out to take us around the barn and to a couple of different trails. We didn't do the full loops but I now know how to get to them. There were some areas where Max refused to go, but we worked through it and it all turned out ok. He did marvelous considering how much he had to take in, including a cow and a big ol bellowing bull!

After we got back we hopped in the indoor for a bit and did some canter and trot work. Then it was some relaxing grass time, and a couple of rolls and hay in his paddock (which is huge by the way!)

Only at the halfway point!

The sweetest barn cat ever keeping us company.

Our ribbon for the costume contest!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Back after a long blogging hiatus!

Wow it has been a long long time since I've blogged! A lot happened, and still is happening in my little horsey world. Instead of writing a million words about it I'll just post a bunch of pictures with short descriptions to keep things tolerable. ^.^

In August, I decided to try board Max with my friend at her barn. It was a lovely place, run by a really nice family. Plus I had my friend there and her horse Reo and Max got along nicely.

Unfortunately the commute proved too long for me and with a heavy heart I moved him back to his old barn. Luckily they are super nice folks too and welcomed us back with open arms. I've been so fortunate to be surrounded by such kind understanding horse people.

Apple picking!

There were still some fun activities to be had. One was a neat trip out on the trails, where Max learned how to be a little more confident.

Then, Reo and Max and the happy humans entered a Halloween costume hunter pace where we won fourth place in the costume division!! It was such a blast!!

The most recent event was Max's move to yet another barn! He is now closer to where I live and work, in hopes that I can see him more often this winter. So far we really love the place, and hopefully we can stay for a bit (so long as my groaning pocketbook can handle it!). We've already met some wonderful people there, and it seems like a really active place with a huge variety of riders - eventing, fox-hunting, dressage, trail riders. It isn't a show barn by any means though..more of a boarding barn with a bunch of nice folks who just enjoy doing activities with their horses. I love that!  The facilities are great too, and there is just so much property to explore on horse-back in the area it will probably take us years!

Plus...the views are absolutely breathtaking!!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Second Dressage show!

Max and I had our second dressage show this weekend and he absolutely rocked it! We took on Training Level 1 and Training level 2 bringing in scores around 65% which was fantastic! Today we participated in a clinic given by the judge of our show yesterday and it was such a fun experience. She was so impressed with Max and commented on how he puts all his heart into working for me. I already knew that, but it was nice to hear a riding professional say it ^.^

Of course there were quite a few areas that really need some work - like how he has disobedient moments. Luckily he didn't try to create any patterns of his own this time, but he did have some looky moments. I'm just happy it never escalated more than that! As for my position she pointed out I had a lot of tension in my shoulders and arms. The curse of working a desk job!

We also have to work on keeping him more relaxed and forward instead of fast. It's a difficult line to walk! During the clinic she also noticed my legs move around a lot, especially in the canter, and that it annoys him a little. Who can blame the fella. As soon as I put my weight in the stirrups and stretched up he immediately relaxed and moved better. What a difference from a simple change!! Now to sustain such a position..hmm..that's the difficult part for me!

There are some changes coming our way but I'll blog more about it later. Here are some videos of the two tests and some pics!

Weeee!! Me win ribbons!

Learning to ride quiet in the clinic today.

Training Level 1 (Pink ribbon)

Training Level 2 (Blue ribbon! Say what!)

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Obstacle course outing.

Today we headed out with my horsey friend A and her horse Reo to a nearby barn for an obstacle course lesson.This barn had a few amazing courses set up, and came with a super calm and soft-spoken trainer (also the owner of the barn).

Despite being a bit spooky in the morning, and despite the chilly rain, Max did very well. He was kind of look-y and tense at first but with L's quiet instruction and demeanor, we quickly relaxed and enjoyed all the obstacles.

Here are lots n lots of pics!

Tacking up at the trailer.

The more advanced course.

Working on relaxation.

A bridge framed with rainbow pinwheels and scary flapping flags!

Max has intrigued with this metal bull.

Hand-walking through a ditch.

Can he step any higher!

Moving a spear from one cone to another.

A pole gate.

A rope gate.

Max:  Scary tentacles? I got this!