Started 2015 with a bang….or at the very least a horse falling on you.

Like the title says…a horse fell on me….and I didn’t even have the pleasure of riding it. I was standing around minding my own business and in a fluke a lovely stupid horse got its foot stuck in the fence and clotheslined himself and his shoulders hit my right leg from the side. Even before that though I was admittedly riding a lot less simply because I don’t have the time at the moment…three more months and then my schedule and commitment load drops dramatically.
And, not to sound even more depressing I have officially not been leasing Titan for the past 4 months….I couldn’t validate leasing him when I was going out to ride 3-4 times a month maximum. However, he has grown dependent on our rides and becomes downright surly without them…so I have been asked to stop in and ride as much as possible for free just to keep him rideable, yay for grumpy horses! Now just have to wait for my knee to heal up!

In the meantime I have been doing a lot with my newest pup Finn, he is 7 months old now…really hard for me to believe how fast that time has flown by. We are working on various dog sports and have done some dog conformation shows which have been very interesting, some of those folks are downright odd. We have not done so hot….something seems to go wrong and its mostly my fault since I am new to everything dog show related. Last show we got last every time…and one time I accidentally pulled off his collar in the ring….doh! Oh well, its a learning process and at some point I will get my act together. Finn also needs some more training…he gets very excited and distracted in the ring….but no matter what happens or what place we get I always play with him before we exit the judging ring and tell him how good he did🙂

Well, that is basically what I have been up to, I plan to go out and try to get a ride in at the end of February if my knee is feeling up to it by then. Loved catching up with you all, wish Finn and I luck on the 15th and 16th, it will be our second show!

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This is Finn last weekend at 7 months old.

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This is the very last photo I showed of Finn I think? This was about 6 weeks old.

This is the very last photo I showed of Finn I think? This was about 6 weeks old.

Unveiling

Okay, so I can now share and show that big surprise I mentioned in my last post…….exciting news….Im having a puppy! I bought him the day he was born and have been watching him grow up via somewhat blurry cell phone photos and I will be honest….its been hard! I am super impatient for him to come home already and it feels like it is literally taking years. But, the breeder did toss me a life raft for the nearly halfway point and invited me to come over and visit him at the 4 week mark…..he is so stinking cute that I just about died!!! Here for your viewing pleasure are some photos of my little Finn🙂

I will be sure to take lots and lots of photos when I have my hands on him for good and share them here, for now he still has some growing up to do!

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Finn a few days shy of 4 weeks old!

Finn a few days shy of 4 weeks old!

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Ripped pants a la mode

Ah, again I have gotten behind on keeping things up to date here! Since my last post I have admittedly been battling intense feelings of sadness, is this depression?! Oh gosh, in any case things are taking a turn for the better I hope….summer session of classes is over this week and then I am off to Nipomo for a visit with my Dad, the road trip with my sister and her new puppy should be fun, I will certainly try and post some photos of that particular adventure. 

I also have some very very big news but I have decided to wait until my next post to share it as I would like to get better photos ;P No spoilers although it is very hard for me not to gush about this particular news…..patience. 

Otherwise news at the barn has been bleak with a big silver lining; I sadly decided that over the summer months I didn’t have enough time or money to continue leasing Titan, it wasn’t a decision that I made lightly but I simply had to cut costs somewhere and my gas has been costing me a whopping $400 a month! Between work, my internship site (nearly an hour away) and farm duty (an hour in the other direction) its a lot of driving and it was breaking the bank. I couldn’t justify paying a monthly lease rate and was planning on resuming my lease after I was done at this internship site in September. So way back in May I approached the barn manager and told him the sad news and he absolutely shocked me, he told me that he wanted me to keep coming over the summer as much as possible because Titan needed to be ridden and he does so well for me. He also said that I could start paying when I could afford it and if I couldn’t ever afford it in the future then that would be okay too!! What?!!???!! I was shocked and quite frankly floored, how kind right?! So I have been enjoying the privileges of a full lease without any of the costs all summer long and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to continue riding, it really makes me HAPPY!
With the regular riding that I have been able to continue on Titan he has shown me that he can be exceptionally good…and exceptionally bad lol. Just the other day he head butted my face so incredibly hard my ears were ringing! Also, I have ripped/damaged 3 pairs of pants! I bought them all around the same time so I guess I shouldn’t be shocked but sheesh! I am now fully depleted and have no more riding pants at this time…..waaah. I have been riding in jeggings lol. I can’t afford to upgrade yet but possibly this winter. I guess worn out pants are better than pristine pants…means I’m getting saddle time!🙂

We have been doing a ton of suppling/dressage practice to get him listening instead of just running around the arena like he usually does. I also discovered something amazing the other day….Titan was very irritated, jumpy and pissed at another horse in the arena (he doesn’t like other tall horses) and he continually tried to veer over and bite/kick and I got tired of it so I made him move his feet a lot. We did so many unusual things: side passing, shoulder in, haunches in, etc and it really made his brain and butt work😛. It was amazing to notice the quick transition of his focus shift dramatically from the other horse to me….he was really into it! Ever since then I start out doing suppling exercises to get him to really step under himself for at least 30 minutes at the walk before progressing into other gaits and it has really helped him listen to me…even the teeny small cues I give. AWESOME! 

Also, we have been working on building Titans canter into something with a little more finesse….he goes well on the right lead but things sort of get big, fast and crazy on the left lead. Therefore, we have been starting out doing a lot of canter work on the right lead and then when he seems to settle into the workout and burn some energy we switch to the left lead and eventually we usually achieve a canter at the left lead that is somewhat nice and balanced. I will admit that if he is not somewhat tired his left canter is unbalanced and fast and he seems to get into this mental state of “faster faster faster”….last time we did the left lead when he was still fresh it was scary! He was careening around the corners and tripping and slipping over and over and he wouldn’t stop…I know all of this stems from it being his weak side/being unbalanced so something we can work on. Here is a video of a lot of cantering…no fun edits or music….just going around in a circle but its fun for ME to watch anyways…a very useful critique tool so I know what I need to work on🙂 As always if you decide to watch please play it in HD.

This Friday I spent nearly the whole day riding Titan in order to tire him out for his yearly bath haha, he has a terrible habit of being obnoxious and bad during bath time if not tired out before hand….I don’t think he knows he’s old yet😛.
After my butt was finally numb and my legs could post no longer we headed out to the bath area and he was actually docile. However, about halfway thru the bath he started to recover and get fidgety so I had to break out my grain and put it in a bucket for him to look at….he’s a pig. Having the food in front of him but out of reach kept his brain busy while he got scrubbed up. On the way back to the barn he of course decided to start bucking and being a fool in general so I made him walk sideways to take some of the gusto and strength out of his performance. What a turd!
Titan getting a bath
Titan bath

Bath time

He is looking so good these days, he has a lot more muscle and top line! Yay

He is looking so good these days, he has a lot more muscle and top line! Yay

Perhaps you can tell from the photos but Titan has come such a long long long way in developing normal healthy muscle and carriage since I first started riding him about a year and a half ago. I am so pleased with how handsome he is turning out, I knew it was in there it just took a lot of work! See the old photos below and you will see how great he looks now! No more concave butt and sloppy neck, weak shoulder etc. 

Old photos of Titan

Old photos of Titan

Old photos of Titan, he looks so much better now.

Old photos of Titan, he looks so much better now.

I also have been out to see R and Prince at the new barn she is boarding at and she finally broke down and paid a trainer to work with him. As a result she is now able to finally ride him! I took some lovely photos of the pair, I am hoping that like Titan, Prince will come along with more time. He seems to trip a lot…not sure if this has to do with his bad pigeon toes but perhaps with more time and muscle/topline he will find his balance a little better. Here are the photos I took:

Prince and R

Prince and R

Prince

 

Also, some other fun photos that I took that day while visiting R, they are just so pretty I have to share!

Peacock, love this guy showing off!

Peacock, love this guy showing off!

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I think thats about it this time around, I will have a crazy work schedule this week, internship, finals, surgery practice and a vacation….so of course I will be out at the barn lol. Happy riding everyone!

 

A quick hello

Oh goodness, time has gotten away from me again….I have totally lost track of things…..all things. I am always late for something these days. In any case I have been making time to go out to the barn and ride and after Titan’s head wound finally healed enough and he has been a pain in the butt as usual. The good news is that he has so much spunk and energy….the bad news is that he has so much spunk and energy lol. He has gained a pretty good amount of weight and is finally starting to fill in with muscle over his top line and in his haunches….yippee. I don’t feel so much like I will get on and break him anymore. Maybe his brain matter has moved to his butt? He now has issues simply following and insists on barging and charging and trying to break away…oh and he has started biting again…it seems to be a persistent periodic problem that comes back every once in awhile. We have been doing ground work…..still a work in progress clearly. On the good side he hasn’t tried to kick me while picking out his back feet in at least a month!

Here is a video I shot of some riding clips and also some clips where I was walking with R and her new horse…….wait for it….Prince Charming. Gag gag…….okay, now move beyond it and congratulate her and tell her what a lovely name it is haha. He is unbroken and horribly pigeon toed but he is “pretty”…can you sense the sarcasm? She was working with a smallish budget and I found her so many awesome prospects but they were all “too brown…too blah”. Kind of frustrating but I have moved on from it and am just happy for her at this point.

And please as always pause the video when it first starts and set the resolution to HD then resume watching, it makes a huge difference.🙂

In other very sad and stressful news my good dog Ben who is the picture for the header of this page is near the end of his life I believe. We have had an awful weekend and he just seems to be declining pretty quick in many different ways. I have been looking into home euthanasia options for sometime soon as I feel like at this point I am keeping him here for selfish reasons? Lots of tears and sadness on my part and Ben just sleeps on oblivious….too sad.
To top off that horribly morbid news it is finals week and I just can’t get into it….at all. I am sort of at a loss of what to do, I suppose this is some sort of depression and stress/anxiety disorder?

Ah well, it is the night before one of the tests and I must be off to cram some more, wish me luck all! ‘~’

Big headache!

Well, in some ways life at the barn has been very uneventful…..but at the same time very eventful.
After my last post that was the last ride that I have had on Titan because he was injured again while being handled. While leading him out from his stall he broke away from the lady who works there and took a good spill and got some scabs in the process along with a lot of soreness and temporary lameness in his rear end. I did get on him and walk him but his hind end kept on falling out of under me and it was just a little too worrisome even though the vet assured me that he was just stiff and that light exercise would be good for him. So I put him up and just enjoyed yelling pointers at one of the girls that really enjoys taking informal lessons from me.
Following that the next time I went out I did some jumping on chance and found that he has regressed a lot, he has a newbie leaser that is sweet as pie but knows nothing about riding and she lets him get away with a lot. Anyways…..it shows in how he behaved when I was actually asking him to work. He balked at every jump and every time I asked for the canter he would start to rear…we worked through the jumping issue but didn’t really tackle the cantering issue all the way.
Then the following week after Titan finally was improving he had another accident. Apparently his stall door hadn’t been latched all the way and he got out and was running around outside….I have had this happen a few times and instead of chasing him or trying to corral him I make sure horses and people in the aisle way are aware that he is loose an I do my best to clear a path back to his stall…..HE ALWAYS GOES BACK TO HIS STALL. In any case the same lady that he has been breaking away from tried trapping him on the wrong side of the barn by pulling one of the rolling metal doors down by about 2 feet and leaving it at that height before trying to trap and catch him. He of course tried to run away and ran right into the metal door that was now at forehead height….he didn’t even see it. I know it wasn’t intentional but it is kind of idiotic..with horses you can’t do things in parts…it’s all or nothing….so closing it partway was a rookie mistake that caused a gruesome accident. Titan basically scalped himself…pulled off all of his tissue in a huge flap on the top of his head. He had to be fully sedated and rolled around so he could be stitched back up. So many setbacks, nobody’s intention and no one is really at fault but it still stinks. Stitches come out Tuesday so worst case I should be back in the saddle by next Friday
Titans head

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This was today…he’s looking much better and he’s rocking an awesome hairstyle!🙂

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Back from break

Well, its been quite some time since I made a post on here and I must say it is entirely unintentional, life and time just got away from me. 
Since my last post school has resumed, I have picked up some extra hours at work and I have started a new internship at UC Davis…busy!!!
So of course something in my life had to suffer and it turned out that it was the time I spent playing on the computer reading and writing various blogs. Never fear though, now that I have gotten used to the schedule I am finally able to plan and find more time to do the things I want to do. YAY. 
My schedule is not the only big change, Rachel is no longer leasing Chance (the paint horse that was so often in my videos and mentioned in my blog), in fact she is not even riding at the barn anymore. There was a falling out and Rachel grew a little too attached and possessive of a horse that ultimately did not belong to her. And as we all know, where strong emotions are involved and you are asked to share something that is important to you….well often jealousy, anger and blaming begin to rear their ugly head. In any case, she is now looking for a horse to buy and will be boarding at a nearby stable for the time being while she thinks about possibly coming back to my barn where all of her friends are. 
In any case, sometimes moving on and change is necessary and I look forward to the time when she finds her horse because it will be fun going out and spending time with her while she tries to accomplish her riding goals. 
As for myself and Titan, I have been riding pretty regularly although for a few weeks I will admit I didn’t have time to go out at all….and I felt horrible about it!
However, since then I have been riding fairly frequently and we haven’t worked on too much in particular except bopping about the arena and having fun…..building my and Titan’s stamina. I think its funny to mention that I found out that Titan has been taken out by one of the trainers and on both occasions he broke away….once he was in the arena and he took off and chased another horse. And yet another time he ran off while being walked from the upper arena to the indoor area and he ran into the sitting area in the barn and then jumped one of the support cables Lol, the big turd!
This weekend we rode around for a few hours and I actually remembered to take some fun media clips for everyone. I should mention that I have decided to include a blooper of us going over a ground pole….I am still not quite certain what happened but it is funny looking….I almost fell off….and besides its important to include those imperfect moments because EVERYONE has them…even those so called professional riders🙂
Enjoy watching and I will be sure to update more frequently 

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And here is the video where I am nearly unseated by a ground pole….Even watching it I can see that he kind of tries to go over it a little early and then he looses his footing? Not quite sure but I was not ready for that kind of ride and nearly came off. Funny to watch so I had to include it lol. 

Happy winter riding everyone!

 

Spectacular Start to the New Year (NOT!)

This week I have made a huge effort to get to the barn almost everyday and ride Titan pretty hard because we had a super bad Tuesday…..and I mean super duper bad!
The day started normally enough, we rode around….I ate a few bugs while riding, Rache and I babbled like two old grandmas while sedately walking around the outdoor arena. We also of course busted some good moves, some intentional some not so much. In fact, while cantering Titan lost his footing? on his hind end and actually “sat” down on the ground. One moment there was horse under me and the next I was straining to stay up over his withers, major blooper moment and I wish that I would have had my camera running. Anyways. I stayed on and he got up and I assure you he was fine, probably more embarrassed about it than anything else lol. After riding for a few hours I decided he was tired enough that we could again work on going out on the trails farther from the barn but instead of riding I decided to untack him and just halter walk him. Rache and her Mom also decided a walk sounded nice so Chance got to come along and be halter walked as well. Ahem…and then everything just went haywire….in retrospect I realize I must have incredible powers of premonition because as we were about to leave I made us all turn around and go back so I could grab my backpack and put my camera in it just in case I needed both my hands. Then I made Rache’s mom hold him in front of the barn because I decided I wanted to wear my lunge gloves… I stalled again when I went back to grab my sport boots and put them on Titan. Rachel was laughing and saying that we weren’t going on a long hike and although I laughed along I was more comfortable and at ease being totally prepared. Anywho, we got about 10 minutes away from the barn and Titan started getting a little goofy…not scared just really funny and uppity so I tried to do some lazy loops with him and then all of the sudden he flat took off. Let me reiterate, not a spook…..he was HAPPY. Prancing around and showing off….he did one big initial gallop away and then came back towards us before taking off for good and disappearing over the hill.
I did a whole lot of grumbling to myself as I walked back towards the barn and wouldn’t you know it he went back to the barn, harassed some of the horses and then put himself into an empty stall to await my return Grrr.
Not wanting to set a precedent I decided I needed to get him back out so he didn’t get rewarded for the behavior…so we went straight back out to the meadow behind the barn and not 10ft. out he tried to run off again but this time I managed to hang on….and was therefore rewarded with a nice trip being dragged against some fencing. He did eventually stop and we walked around a little bit more and then he took off a third time and raced around the barn a few times before heading into the aisle where I caught him up. I then gave up on the idea of walking him out in the field but I am a very stubborn person and I definitely didn’t want him thinking that behavior would result in being put back up in his cushy stall with food…..so I lunged the heck out of him. I don’t really know how long I lunged him……a long time. I usually don’t go too crazy with lunging but he was being incredibly pissy so I just kept him going until he finally gave me his ear and started licking his lips.

Is it sad that after putting him up the first thing that I checked was the camera in my bag?…..following that I did a quick body check and found a few good bruises….oh, and my arms felt like jelly, they definitely lost the tug-of-war battle.

I decided not to go riding Friday as I was just too sore and tired and needed a night off but I went today right after I got off of work and found him back to being broody…I figured that it might be possible that he was also sore from his adventures earlier in the week so I gave him an extra long warm-up time before getting down to business. Finally we did some cantering and lead changes before finally calling it a night.

Next week I plan on going out around 7am on Tuesday, sometime Thursday night, Friday and Possibly Sunday…hopefully all of this quality time will lead to a better team effort from the two of us.

I also have a fun NEW video that is very different from my other video styles, please watch it in 1080 and if possible for your viewing pleasure maximize the size to the larger video player screen size, it makes such a difference. There are some scenes where Rache is giving Titan a quick test drive and it looks very awkward to say the least, I included them….well, because they are funny to watch…she is a western girl that will try anything even if it may not be her forte.

Enjoy! and Happy Riding!!

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