Friday, November 30, 2012

Animal Communicators?

Alright, this may be a bit of a weird post... just letting you guys know now. haha.

I'm part of the "Horse Forum" (I mostly just lurk around reading other people's posts... forum-people get far too crabby and grumpy and lashey-outey far too fast for my liking) and recently someone posted this:

Sorry it gets cut off because of the size of my blog, but you get the jist.

& there was some really interesting comments afterwards. They ranged from "this is the stupidest question I have ever heard", to people thinking that "psychics" are wrong, due to their personal beleifs, to people saying that these communicators only use "energy fields", and so it's completely fine. Someone mentioned that true "animal communicators" don't publicize that they can, in fact, do this. So the "public" ones are probably fakes. Other people said it's weird, creepy, hokey-pokey-stupid & there was also a lot of people admitting to using these communicators and getting really interesting results! Hmmmm....

"Mahm, I think this you, and this post, is weird, creepy, hokey-pokey stupid. Just sayin'"

So, I did a little research (as I am prone to doing), and these pet psychics/animal communicators are a real thing! I knew this, Dressage Mom once had a post about an animal communicator coming to talk to her horse, Kaswyn, because he had some seriously undiagnosable issues going on (in the end she thought the person was full of it), but I didn't know you could just google "Animal Communicators in Alberta" and multiple pages would show up! Well folks - guess what, you can! I could have had Jingle communicated with in a matter of hours!

"Mahm, animal communicate THIS face"

It gets a little stranger - apparently, and according to some people on this thread, these animal communicators don't even have to come visit the animal. In my head I pictured whimsical women, with soft voices and wearing lots of scarves and bangles, and kind of cuddling and petting Jingle, and having him be like "I hate to lope my right lead, my mom doesn't give me enough cookies, but I still love her, but like, let her know would'ya?" NO. Apparently, many animal communicators work off energy fields from your animals, and through photos. One girl claimed her person got some very spot-on stuff right just off a photo! Craziness.

Now... you guys know I love to spend money on anything horse related, so would I spend money on this? Well ya, I kind of want too! Even if it is a stupid lark and nothing comes from it I think it is just so intriguing. How many times have us horse-owners pondered, "What would my horse tell me if he could speak?" HOWEVER, I don't think I personally know anyone whose had an animal communicator out, and i'm not willing to fork out tons of money for someone to look at a photo of Jingle... hahaha... So many great ones to choose from! (I gave you a taste of some of my favourites today) But who knows, maybe if one day I stumble across an acquaintance that has had one out, and had some results, and the price is right... it would make for a great blog post! ;)

"Sigh... she is so embarrassing u guyz"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Riding Diary: 33

Time: 1 hr

Ride: After our nice trail ride on Saturday, I crossed my fingers and hoped Jingle's brain would have slowed down enough for a decent ride. It seems that our little foray into the wilderness did the trick. He seemed quite calm, even during our warm up he wasn't trying to run around like a crazy horse. The entire ride I attempted to keep the word "RELEASE" at the very front of my mind. So, slightly calmer horse + more frequent, better releases = better ride. (duh, Louisa) We did some of our normal routine of jogging, and that is something that Jingle has really started to get down pat. I can now just sit and tell him to "jog" and he lightly moves off. He's also really starting to check back, I just have to say "jog" and lightly check, and he'll respond slower. Very rarely does he break down into a walk anymore. Goodboy. He's also transitioning a lot better from walk to jog, and jog to walk, with vocal cues, so that is also a good thing.

Then my trainer told me to lope... our right lead... aka.. the lead of hell and death for Jingle and I. He started off strong, but then, got frusterated and annoyed and began his silliness. It's frusterating for me because he'll lope, but on the wrong lead, and so i'm constantly correcting him, and I can almost feel him looking at me saying, "I'm LOPING, can't you see that?! What do you WANT?". So, I try more leg pressure, leg pressure going into an arc, more notice before the lope, less notice before the lope, counter-bending into the lope - nope, wrong lead. Then, I attempted to jog him in smaller and smaller circles and ask him to lope, hoping this would better set him up for his right lead. It didn't, it just caused him to rush around like a looney toon in a small circle for a couple minutes. Cue crop. Ugh. crops. I get crop-panic the second one comes into my hand. However, my trainer commented that I was using the crop at the perfect moments, and eventually Jingle struggled through his right lead. Whatever, what can ya do, it's coming.

We worked on the left lead and it was beaaaau-t-i-fu-lllllllll. We left our 20 m circle (screw you 20 m circle, get outta here!) and loped the arena. My trainer just had me working on circles where I saw fit. So if I felt Jingle was taking advantage of the rail, and was going to try to gallop off, I'd make him lope a small circle. If he was softening up, he could lope the rail. I made him lope between things. He was doing really well. My trainer commented that he is moving off my leg much better when we went to move around people on the rail, she also told me I was using my legs effectively - yay. She also commented a couple times that I was choosing appropriate times and distances for when and where I should circle, vs. not - yipee, judgement calls!

A couple times Jingle tried to "leak" out of our circles, and my trainer told me that if he even starts to look away from the circle, in the other direction, I need to correct him quickly, not just hold pressure. We both know, and my horse definitely knows, that the second he starts to leak away, that means he's about to a) run me into objects in the middle of the arena b) be a total pain in my bum c) scare others as he careens towards them at Mach speed. So, with the big word of the day "RELEASE" in my mind, as he started to rush and leak out of a circle I would give him one sharp tug and then relase. If he started it again, he would get another sharp pull, and then a release. I only needed to do this a few times before he got it in his head not to try to run the other direction. Then, we moved to the other end of the arena and I tried to lope circles again, and a couple times he tried to run off again and I was firm, and he listened to me, and quit being such a noodlehead-runaway! Good boy Jingle!

Finally, we worked on our sidepassing, when I apply my leg Jingle just kind of runs sideways, so my trainer told me to lightly apply my calf, and then release, to get a more calm step to the side from him. I also need to focus on keeping my heels down, and using my calf, instead of bumping with my heels/spurs. He did well, he likes slow stuff - that's his jam.

Anyways, a good ride was had by both of us - I felt like we were doing what we do best - being in sync!

For Next Time: Workin' on that ride lead, keeping the magic "RELEASE" word in my mind, first and foremost.

"Hello - people that read this blog, is there anyone out there? PLEASE don't believe her, send help & lots of cookies. Preferably all the cookies you can muster. I am ABUSED. She rides me INSIDE. She makes me do crazy things like lope "leads", what the hell is a lead?! I beseech you!"
"Did I mention I like cookies?"

.... not the best photo, but you can see how disgustingly sweaty my poor boy gets now. I think a clip is coming down the chute for us pretty soon, but I have never clipped a horse before, and Jingle has never been clipped, and all-in-all, it's just something i'm avoiding. However, 1.5 cool down/waiting for him to be dry enough to get his blanket on is ridiculous, & he's inside at night!

Things to think, and care about more, once finals are done --> IN LESS THAN A WEEK.
Excuse me while I go curl up in a corner and cry.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Trail Journal: 7

So, as you guys probably read, I left the barn last Thursday questioning whether my horse and I were ever going to get past this brick wall that is seemingly right in front of us. What happened Thursday was really, not all that bad, Jingle just would not slow down... at all.. we ended up trotting around for about 35-45 minutes because I just wanted him to blow off some steam. Then after that, I asked him to lope and he pinned his ears... I've never, ever seen my horse pin his ears in his life. So, of course, I instantly go into panic mode about saddle-fit issues, back pain etc. (I am planning to get a massage/chiro/perhaps osteo - post for a later date, out to check him, but I think his back is fine - i'm still worried about his jaw) However, I don't think it is related to any of that, I just think he's starting to get arena sour... I really don't want, or need, an arena sour horse. Especially when my goals in life are to become a better arena rider. So, once the words "arena sour" popped into my mind I just became really sad, and then by the time Jingle was banging his head into the wall (literally, and figuratively), while working on our side-passing, I just quit. Enough of this. 

I always try to quit on a good note, but, heck - no good notes were happening with my horse and I that night, we were just way too out of sync, and I could tell he was just as exasperated with me, as I was him. Great feeling, huh?

So, I headed out to the barn on Saturday thinking I needed to change things up, and perhaps ride outside. It's interesting that I went from NEVER riding inside, ever, to now almost being... worried... to riding outside? So strange! I don't know any of the trails around our barn though, and I was a little uneasy about riding up the road because the snow is so packed down and icey... especially because Jingle still has front shoes on.

When I first got to the barn, Tristan, got Jingle and I a present!! He had gone to the states and found crackers called "Jingos" - Jingle's registered name is Bar J Jingos Doc!

My horse was not cooperating with hamming it up with Tristan, but here they are - they even come in spicy flavours to match my boys personality! I think Jingle has to be their spokes-horse, how perfect! THIS is how Jingle will make me money - be the poster ponyboy of a cracker company!!

Then fate intervened, and two ladies, who predominately trail ride, asked Brigitte to go on a trail ride, and I tagged along! Perfect timing ladies! So we headed out to the wild blue yonder for a really nice two hour trail ride. Of course Brigitte and I talked each-other's heads off the whole time...

Brigitte & Mac!

We're pretty experienced at the whole talking whilst trail riding thing, after all these years - we have it down to an art. The ride was actually really nice and pretty, I shouldn't act so surprised, but I've been spoiled by some pretty amazing places to trail ride. There were some decent areas that we even got a trot and a lope in, and Jingle did wicked. I guess when I moved Jingle to the barn, and with the ranch shutting down, I kind of saw my real trail riding days as over. A lot of people see hacking down the road, or what-not, a "trail ride", to me, exploring, rivers, foothills, moss cliffs, getting lost and being nowhere near civilization, 4-6 hour rides.. that's a trail ride. However, these ladies informed us that in the summer, they can head all the way into mountain country, and spend all day on what sounds like, some pretty good trails! So, that's exciting!

Me & my boy.

I did keep Jingle's boots on for the ride - he does bash his legs pretty decently due to his toed in front left, and with the sharp ice, sticks, etc. I didn't want to risk it. The snow wasn't too deep so the boots didn't soak through and get wet on his legs, which was good. All my ranch friends will laugh at this - my horse is so spoiled and pampered, haha, I know.

Another shot of the two of us in front of the local elementary/jr. high.

I was really pleased with Jingle, and happy about the whole ride. He danced a bit in the back, but was listening to me, and I was able to ride him in a loose rein in the front, and back of the pack. He happily loped and trotted, and didn't spook or anything like that. Jingle was my trail horse for a year in 2011, but I barely rode him out on the trail at all this year for various reasons. Plus, he's never been exactly your dead broke-calm trail horse anyways.

I think it was the perfect thing for us to do, he just seemed a lot more calmed out by the whole experience. The ladies even commented how well behaved our horses were... what, you thought they wouldn't be? ;)

Jingle, post-ride.

During the ride, one of the ladies did comment, "Oh, look at those braids - a little indian pony!", and I took it as a little condescending haha. Her horse had a pulled mane. What can ya do? You win some, you lose some, and Jingle and I like our nice long braids!

So, all in all, really successful ride, and I was happy that I was able to read my horse correctly, and figure out a solution for his problem. I'm going to try to get a couple more of these rides in before the weather gets too nasty. But even when it starts to really get into winter I suppose I could even go for little hacks down the road or in the back fields. 

&, just because she reads the blog....
Later that night a bunch of us from the ranch went down to Ranchmans, we had a ton of fun...
Especially Brigitte...


Friday, November 23, 2012

New Stall Sign!

You know those rides where you leave the barn just mentally and physically exhausted, and wondering when you and your horse are going to get through this.... brick wall... that you're faced up against?

Ya, had one of those rides on Thursday...

Especially sad because I was so excited to see my boy after a hellish week, and then BAM - shit.ass.ride. I'm going out Saturday morning (tomorrow), and am hoping it goes much better.

Pre ride photos:
"Mom, you are the lamest"

Jingle has the look in his eye of a horse that is going to give his owner trouble in 0.5 seconds.

Thus, let's skip to post-ride photos, and Jingle's fancy new stall sign that came in the mail the other day!!

I had it done by Custom Stall Signs on Facebook, she is amazing AND super cost-efficient! She worked with me to get all the little details of Jingle down, (including an idea to use googly eyes to emphasize his crazy eyes... we decided not to go with that one haha) I wanted the added emphasis on bells because I always call Jingle "Jingle-bell-rock", but didn't want it too christmasey... she did an awesome job!

Sorry for the dark/bad quality photos, my barn is a little dark & dreary at night...

... his eye in this photo. hahaha
"Mahm, this is embarrassing, what if all the other horses judge me?"

"Oooo, look... that mare over there thinks my sign is pretty flashy"

"Good work mahm, I am da coolest pony, I know I am"

Jingle, the demonpony.

"Did you bring me more cookies?!"

Pretttttyyyy!! I absolutely love it.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Horse Quiz!

"Me?! I'm a horse, and I'm a quiz?"
"No Quiz, a human horse quiz!"

Splurge or save:
1. saddle: splurge (everyday I love the fact I splurged on my saddle)
2. board: bit of both I guess, at the place I board at I splurge during the winter and put Jingle inside at night so he can a) get grain & supplements b) I can ride at night and put him away without be worried of him freezing, being too wet, etc. but in the spring/summer he gets kicked back outside so I can save!
3. halter: when it comes to tack - BY ALL THE TACK, no matter the price. So both.
4. bit: splurge, although, as you guys know... this is no longer an issue in my life.
5. bridle: splurge
6. saddle pad: splurge
7. trailer: for my poor self, ANY trailer would be a splurge, I'm thinking my first trailer will definitely be a used, well-loved, but still safe trailer, so - save.

Someone I really respect once told me, when it comes to tack (Saddles, bridles, bits, cinches - anything that goes on your horse), always buy the highest quality product, even if it means having to splurge, because in the end you, and your horse, will be happy you did. Cheap never goes a long way.

First thing that comes to mind: 
1. Haflinger: What exactly is this again? I'm picturing a small draft style horse..?
(just googled - huzzah - I am right!)
2. Quarter Horse: the best, my kinda breed :) (and paints! let's not forget the painted cousin of the QH - says Jingle)
3. Thoroughbred: OTTB's
4. Warmblood: Big & Pretty
5. Welsh Cob: Big-Small & Drafty

This or That:
1. English or Western
2. tall or short
3. trail ride or beach ride (never dont it)
4long mane or short mane (the idea of chopping off Jingle's main makes my heart hurt - never!)
5. hunters or jumpers
6. XC or barrel racing (... I love the idea of cross country - what a complete rush!)
7. outdoor arena or indoor arena  (once you go indoor, you never go back)
8. trot or canter 
9. canter or gallop
10. paddock boots, tall boots, or cowboy boots
11horse shoes or barefoot
12saddle or bareback

About you: 
1. How long have you been riding? I have been riding since I was 6, at various horse-camps, I began riding regularly at 16, and started taking lessons at 19!
2. Do you own or lease a horse? own
3. Breed? Age? Height? Name? (if you don’t own or lease, you could talk about your lesson horse) Paint Horse, 8, 15.1" (I think?), Jingle!
4. Do you have any other pets?   Moose (Hungarian Komondor - google it, you'll want to meet him the second you see what the full grown dogs look like), Bob (overly needy cat)
5. If your horse was a person, what kind of voice would they have (you can use a celebrity for an example) Anyone that knows me, knows Jingle's voice, it's slightly sarcastic, kind of needy, slightly dopy, and sometimes "MAHM - I AM SCARED!", ft. big-wild-white-eyes
6. Does your horse have a “color”? If so, what is it, and what do you have in that color? Red, with a hint of blue here and there, and of course - bling (in my life, bling is a colour)
7. Does your horse do any tricks? haha.. Jingle's tricks include looking crazy, eating cookies/treats funny (WHAT IS IN MY MOUTH?! WHAT IS THIS?! I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO RIGHT NOW?!), and being a bit of a goof-ball.
8. Have you ever dressed your horse up for Halloween? Nope... next year, it's happening!

1. Breed? Paints & QH's.
 2. Discipline? Cutting (one day... one day)
3. Coat color? Bays, Sorrels w/ Flaxen Manes & Tails & anything flashy & splashy in the paint world - mainly Overo's.
4. Famous horse? Highbrow Cat & Don't Look Twice (her barn name is Lipstick - so cute)
5. Horse race/competition? Big fan of the Tournaments at Spruce Meadows, NCHA World Show.
6. Brand of tack? Weaver, good quality, never fails me.
7. Thing to do with your horse? Big, long, crazy trail rides ft. river loping & when things just seem to "fit" and fall into place in the arena. Also, grooming and cuddles - MTG/Condition & Braid his mane & tail every week!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Video: What if Money was No Object?

"Well I'd like to live an out-of-door life, and ride horses..."
"& after all, if you do really like what your doing, it doesn't matter what it is, you will eventually become a master of it."

Yes, yes, and yes again.

I need to remember this, whenever someone asks me what I want to do with my life, since I am in my final year of university, and I reply that it has nothing to do with my degree (anthropology) and everything to do with horses, they always give me this "look".
Money is no object; passion is everything.
Why not give it a shot, while your young and you can?

Riding Diary: 32

Ride: Jingle makes me laugh, Jingle is pretty well-mannered in the saddle, despite his annoyed head-tosses, and lack of power steering, he has never bucked or reared (never say never, I know), and although he sometimes runs amuck, he generally stops and listens when I tell him to smarten up. Thus, when I got two big "Mom, I'm jumping over here!" spooks out of him from snow sliding off the side of our arena, I couldn't help but giggle. "But Mom! I am SCARED to go back to that side of the arena!!"
Once he cooled off from those moments, we went into our lesson from a warm-up. Trainer: "lope your right lead, but we're going to work on the other side of the arena" Me: ugh. You see, starting something new for Jingle - even something as small as lope a circle somewhere else, often becomes a "WHAT?! YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT?" My horse did not fail me. Sure enough, our lope became a messy, uncoordinated, where is my steering, kinda lope. To the point where my trainer even mentioned that his lack of steering and listening is dangerous, and it's something we need to work on. No shit. However, up-side, he is starting to pick up his right lead - huzzah!

What is so frusterating about my horse and his steering is that, for the most part, at our slow work, he has steering. We can go through poles, we can turn around, we can figure 8, we can do all of that. Then, we lope, and it just dissapears. My trainer mentioned that I should start kind of faking him out, give him less firm direction whilst steering, and see if he attempts to leak on me, and then quickly correct him when he does.

Also, I need to work on my release, it's hard to give your horse a "release" when you feel that you barely have control of the situation. However, as my trainer pointed out, even a slight release for a second while he slows down, or arcs better, will help get him to figure out to stop rushing so much. Honestly, thank the lord he has figured out how to pick up his left lead and slooooooow down or else I might be a lot less positive and optimisitc about the situation!

Our jog is really nice though! So, that's a plus. I joked with a friend that we could always do "walk-jog" classes, except for the fact that his transitions aren't stunning, and we aren't exactly stopping great still... okay, maybe no classes for awhile haha.

Finally, we worked on side-passing, and Jingle picked it up really well. I had him faced up against the wall, and if he passed a couple steps, I released and told him he was a good boy. He did great! Slow work is really our thing.

My poor horse, he does try hard, and I do see improvement - it's just slow in the making. Building blocks right! In other news - Jingle is a sweaty mess after our rides, so sweaty that it takes me quite awhile to cool him off, groom him and then stand him infront of our block heater to dry before I can put his blanket on (and he stays in a stall overnight!) My trainer mentioned we might have to half-clip him... haha Jingle clipped! Does that mean I can buy him a bright red slinky?! =) Any reason to buy more stuff!

For Next Time: Start slow and build from there, work on our "power steering", better vocal cues, and more of a release!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Welcome Home Mac!

This is my bestfriend Brigitte and her "new" horse, Mac. Much like Jingle and myself, Mac was Brigitte's Bates "Heart-horse". One of the family members ended up keeping Mac for themselves, and Brigitte was able to lease him for the winter! So on Saturday she brought him home to the barn I board at!! I am so excited to have them at the barn, and probably have another Bates horse trump Jingle in the whole "well-broke, well-mannered" department. hahaha.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


This WP outfit/saddle/horse combination, yummy.
I loooove the red.
Such a sucker for Western Pleasure sometimes.

"A Good Intention" in the Senior Western Pleasure @ the APHA World Fall Show
(btw his Barn Name is "Baby Mac, too cute)

Thursday, November 15, 2012


"I iz the king of da castttle, and you da dirty rascalsss"
(says my horse, whilst everyone else has friends, and are happily sharing their hay)

Found this photo from the summer, and it made me smile.
Wish I was riding tonight instead of studying the dynastic lineages of Tikal.
Sigh... University...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Riding Diary: 31

Time: 1 hr

Ride: Sunday I went out to ride and focused on steering and responsiveness in the side pull. Jingle did really well, I like how more relaxed he seems in it, and just happier to go to work. He still, obviously, has his moments of "hey, remember that one time 3 years ago my Jaw was broken and hurt, well, I'm going to act like your doing that to me RIGHT NOW", but after exploring so many options I know that's a learned behaviour, and not a pain response. However, aside from those moments, his headset is more relaxed, and he's not gaping or fidgeting as much as I expected him too. Hallelujah!

Taken by a friend, "Mahm isn't here, sew tired, sew happy"

Then, Monday and my lesson happened... Do you ever think your horse has split personality disorder? Because, honestly, I often wonder if my horse is two horses trapped in one body, competing with eachother for my attention/love/anger/pain/sorrow, etc. sigh.
Jingle's right lead is not pretty, and is taking quite a bit of work to get him to pick it up. Right now our stratedgy is while entering into an arc, bend him to the left, add leg, and ask for the lead. However, bending him left just seems so wrong to me and my hands, and we often fumble it up together.

"Mahm, remember when you used to hang out with me and not ride? Let's do that again okay?"

Then.... demonponyboy appeared whilst attempting to lope our circles. Jingle decided that holding an arc through a circle was honestly not what he wanted to do during our lesson, and so he started to jut out to the left. So, I'd correct him. Then, he attempted to run me into our arena wall. No, horse, you can't do that. Then, his "jutting" turned into full blown running through the centre of the arena, whilst everyone else stops and stares at us. His nose was cranked to my knee, he was aiming towards jump standards we have in the middle.... not pretty. Bad boy.

This is where split personality comes into play... my horse would not lope a circle to save his life, instead he'd take me every which way, but where I wanted. This went on for quite some time, and then, all of a sudden after a particularly bad moment, he loped like an angel... what? Who are you Jingle?

After we got back to our normal scheduled loping, we jogged, and ended the lesson with a sweaty horse and a tired Louisa. However, ever-redeeming himself, a little girl who rides at the same time as I do on Monday gave Jingle his first EVER cookie and it was hilarious. (He used to be really nosey and pushy so I never fed him treats, but he's learned to respect my space). He took it and was shaking his head and kept giving her this wild eyed "WHAT IS THIS" look. Adorable.

"Mahm, I love you less when you ride me and get sweaty. No, I dun wanna look at you right now."

So of course... I went and bought him cookies and a lick-it, because he needed them.

& then, I went out yesterday to ride, and guess who was there to meet me at the barn? Angelfaceponyboy... I focused on transitions, and jogging for most of my ride, (lots of stopping - as per usual), and he was AMAZING. Beautiful slow jog, was actually stopping for once in his life, would actually listen to me when I scolded him for his pissy pants "I don't want to do this" act. I asked him to lope and he thought about jutting out, but all I had to do was slightly add pressure onto his side and he'd correct himself.

So what does this mean? Well... it means my horse has split personality. So, that's that. :)

In all honesty, Jingle just gets frusterated and completely looses it, he can't focus, or listen, and just becomes my problem child. However, he's clearly learning, and absorbing our lessons, and so it's coming. Patience is a virtue friends!

"Mahm, today I love you, but I love cookies more"

For Next Time: Woah. The magical word.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Glimpse: 5

 Last week, myself and three friends from the ranch I used to work at, headed to the barn to visit Mr. JingleBellRock. All three of them rode him, and aside from a couple times where he thought to himself, "No, I don't want to move anymore", and one incident of "trot fast means lope silly!", he did really well. I love watching other people ride my horse, he is just such a cutie pants!

Horse pals, :)

Sipping on a beer, lounging on my pony.

Jingle has a bit of a snooki-puff going on in this photo

Then, the other night, I headed out to ride baby-boy in a sidepull again, he did very well. His stops are definitely lacking, but they're coming.

"Mom, you dare leave my blanket off for less than 48 hours? Well, I will show you how fuzzy I can get AND how dirty I can get"
The life of owning a paint...

"I am da cutest boy, I know I am"

The drive out to my barn is pretty spectacular, probably the last no-snow shot of the season.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Riding Diary: 30

Time: 1.5 hr

Bit: This is no longer a sub-category in my riding diaries (for now atleast) as you will see in a moment!

Ride: We've been having bit/head issues - anyone who has read my riding diaries knows that. Well, now Jingle is becoming an absolute pain to bridle, like attempting to walk on top of me and leave the premises when I bridle him. He used to be an absolute violent terror to bridle, and that has all but dissapeared since the spring, but now he's becoming a bit of a big, overgrown, annoying pest. It's been two weeks since I've had a lesson, last monday I rode in a ported bit with shanks we've been using, Jingle did well. Then I got hit by a tsunami otherwise known as my "early human burials, and emergence of symbolic behaviour" paper in african archaeology, and did not ride my boy until Friday. Friday I went out with some friends, I rode super briefly, let them fool around in his snaffle, and that was basically it.

Monday, Jingle was a terror. Head-throwing, including throwing backwards (watch my nose there ponyboy!), Head-shaking, prancing, not checking back. General disastor mess. My dentist had told me that after a month or two, I will know if Jingle will be more accepting of a bit, and if I wasn't sure - he would give me all the signs. Well, the damn horse has a very well-moving jaw now, after every ride I massage his jaw, TMJ and neck muscles, and we've attempted to under bit, normal bit, over bit, leverage bit, every-bit, well.... looks like my horse is telling me something, hey?

So, we are now attempting the Side Pull!

My trainer lent me her double rawhide noseband sidepull, she covers the noseband with vet wrap so it's a bit softer on their noses, and as she was putting it on him she said, "well... he has a nice forelock." and then, "either this is going to help, or it's going to be like riding around in a halter." I replied with perhaps Jingle and I will just enter "Best Mane" contests... at the walk.

So, the verdict?

Well... Jingle's headset was a lot better, way more relaxed and low. That is a very good thing!
Jingle was still doing his obstinant head-shake-mom don't make me do this-thing. Not surprising, attitude related, not bit/jaw related.

& then... my issue was the steering, Jingle wasn't exactly listening to my subtle steering ques...
During my lesson I almost ran into a girl who was halfway over a jump, also a child who was jogging her horse, very nicely and quietly on the rail, and a couple really pretty - hey, let's go over here! moments. Really embarassing. My trainer, of course, told me to stop that. (yes... I am intentionally trying to kill a child, yes... I love when I underestimate the time I have to move out of the way of an oncoming jumping warmblood. yes... I did infact intend to do a small circle, but here I am, circling half the arena and my horse could care less)
More embarassment. Life is good.

I guess, especially in the first steps of this whole new bitless business, over-steering is probably what is going to have to occur until Jingle figures out how this whole new contraption works. However, It's more me struggling with the concept than him, sigh. I'm sure the two of us will get used too it, but, as I was being flung around the arena by my horse I definitely had one of those.... siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiighhhhhhhhhh.... days that I often have when it comes to my horse, his pissy-pants moment, and all his jaw and mouth issues.

So; Side Pull? Well... I went home and feverishly researched bitless options (i've done this before... I love to google), and the side pull looks like the best option for us right now. Jingle seems more... physically relaxed... in it, I saw physically because mentally I think my horse has two elephants in his brain attacking eachother sometimes. So, that's a plus, so we shall continue with this route and see what doors open down the road.

For Next Time: I ordered a sidepull, but it wont come in the mail until Friday. No surprise that none of Calgary's tack shops carry them, and the one that does wont have any in stock for about a month. Secondly, the online options weren't too great. Why oh why dont the big clearance/cheap websites deliver free to Canada? So unfair.

I'll probably just ride him in his rawhide noseband rope halter tonight, and hope he doesn't murder me. Plan of attack for tonight - softening, steering, and stopping - the three big S's!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Budweiser Clydesdales!

So, I found this really cool video on the making/training of some of the Budweiser Super Bowl commercials, some of the scenes are absolutely breathtaking. I must confess, I love draft horses, always have, always will. I wouldn't mind to have a big drafty out in my field one day!

& then, because i'm a massive sap, two of my absolute favourite commercials..
honestly, both make me cry each time. haha