Saturday, May 30, 2015

Leg yielding and being on the aids.

Today I had another awesome lesson with J. What will I do without these riding lessons..I don't know. They are just the best!

J had me try a leg yielding exercise today that would challenge both my clarity in giving aids as a rider, and Max's quickness to listen.

We started at a trot and she had us trot from C to E and at E leg yield at the fence to the corner, then trot from A to B and then leg yield again to the corner. Rinse and repeat. After that we did it at canter/trot. This is when it started to get really fun. We would canter from C to E right up to the fence, transition to trot, leg yield, then canter at the corner from A to B, leg yield at the trot and so forth.

Then we did it all in the canter. Max felt like a soft bouncy pillow. It was an amazing feeling!

Left lead canter

Right lead canter

Pretty much everything I asked, he gave. I never had to ask loudly, and I never had to ask twice. Before our lesson we even walked through some huge puddles with scary reflections and ripples. He was a little hesitant but after some sniffing and looking he walked right in. We even stood in the middle of a deep puddle and he started to paw at it and play with the water. Hmm maybe it's time for some cross-country lessons!!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day!

No one wants long mundane blog posts on a holiday weekend, especially me! know..I'm doing all the typing ^.^ So I'm just going to post highlights via pictures!

A good roll in the field.

Walking over to meet me at the fence.

No problems with the tarp.

A good snooze in the sun.

Eating some soaked alfalfa cubes at lunchtime to help grow fat. Wish I had this problem!

Friday, May 22, 2015

No drama, no problem!

This week passed pretty uneventfully in all aspects of life, including the horsey life.

Max was a doll on both Tuesday and Thursday evenings. We mainly worked on pole-work and he willingly and (hopefully) happily picked up his feet nicely over them. We've also been practicing switching leads. Something I haven't learned how to do yet, but since he does them automatically I have been changing directions at the canter to see how it feels. Sometimes I don't even know it's happened..other times he doesn't switch at all and goes around at a counter-canter. I've spoken to my trainer about learning the cues for it so hopefully we'll cover it the next lesson.

This was also the first week he was let out in the big field. Thankfully he behaved very nicely and was not difficult to catch. Whew!

Short post today, nothing much to report. We'll be taking a quadrille lesson tomorrow, and I'll be going to hang out with my friend's lovely paint horse while she's away on vacation. It's going to be a fun weekend! Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Our First Hunter Pace!

And we survived it!! Woohoo!!

It was a wonderful experience, and an absolutely gorgeous ride through the  Fairfield County countryside.

I also discovered something new about Max - He is terrified of water crossings! The first stream we came across that had running water in it nearly blew his mind. He spun and tried to run away and he was shaking like a leaf!

After that he decided he was going to jump out of every single water crossing. The first one he lept up so high he bashed me in the face with his neck. And the very last one he pretty much jumped straight out of a four foot ditch instead of walking out of it like every other sane horse. One of the ladies we were riding with turned around and asked if he had some Arabian in him because he was hot hot hot!

Anyway, that last one de-seated me and I slowly slid off and landed on one leg. I was mostly embarrassed, but I know I'll be feeling that one tomorrow morning.

All in all, a great learning experience...and with one under our belt whose to say there won't be another coming soon!

Here are pictures and a video for your enjoyment ^.^

Scary monster below, me jump high!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

DIY: Bling it on.

A few weeks back there was a lady who boarded her gorgeous Lusitano mare for a month at the barn. She had the most gorgeous brow-band for her bridle and I was so inspired to make one, since buying one was pretty ridiculous price-wise ($150 and up for a brow band!!!).

So after some shopping on ebay and amazon, I found a nice v-shaped brow-band and some pretty crystals and brooch. The actual shopping for items took a few weeks, but putting it all together took me one afternoon.

Here it is! Max's first bling-y brow band!

And on the model himself:

I rode in it Thursday night and it held on pretty well. However after I took some pictures today, he did one huge head shake and off fell the brooch. Seeing how it's kind of large and dangly anyway I decided to take it off and just make it a plain ol sparkly brow band. Please excuse the wrinkly table-cloth!

Still pretty!

Today we did some small jumps to get him back into things. He really loved hopping over them and running around. Then we hit the trails where he freaked out a bit, spun around and starting running back to the barn. Well I wasn't having that so we did some (very small) circles and then we marched right back to the trails and completed it. He can be such a cheeky devil sometimes!

Oh, and before I end this post, here are obligatory ribbon pictures, and a few of his pompadour resulting from his careless owner forgetting to undo his forelock braid for two days!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Our first show!

Today was our very first dressage show together! Max has been improving by the mile-full with his willingness and response to the aids. On Saturday we had the BEST lesson ever and I had full confidence he would do very well in the show.

The day started out great. My very wonderful hubby came along and helped me get Max ready. And take pictures and videos of course ^.^

The craziness that is getting ready..

Max was quite ..expressive during Intro C. By Intro B he had calmed down a bit. Here are pics and a video!

We scored 61.3 in Intro C - which is not bad considering! And a whopping 70% in Intro B! Woohoo! This is the first time I've seen a seven in my scores so I'm super excited about that. Max can really be a champ when he's not busy being a goose. The judge was super nice and told me we had some really great moments and some rather interesting ones too. She also told me she used to own a horse that looked just like Max, also name Max! Imagine that!

Moving forward we have a jumping lesson coming up next weekend, and then our very first hunter pace the weekend after that! Woohoo!