Sunday, November 11, 2018

Tack For Sale!

It's that most wonderful time of the year.  You know, when you take stock of all of the tack you've accumulated over the year and realize there are some items you just don't need anymore.

All of these prices are flexible, so please feel free to make an offer! :)  Will be charging $10 for USPS shipping - if it fits into a priority box, that's what it'll ship!  If you're interested, please shoot me an email at warriorpony @ gmail dot com

First up!  Cob-sized dark brown Micklem bridle w/ a Kavalkade browband (ooh shiny!).  This bridle has been well worn and well-cared for.  Selling for $120.

Close up to show leather condition
PS of Sweden softy w/supergrip cob sized reins, also in dark brown (matches the Micklem).  These reins are wonderful and I own a different pair in black that I'll be keeping.  There' soft leather backed with rubber and stops - not too thin, but not too thick. $40, unless you purchase w/ the bridle and then $30.  Gavin chewed one of the martingale stops, but besides removing the PS of Sweden logo on one side, these reins are in excellent condition.

24" Albion leather girth - padded, dark brown leather girth w/ roller buckles and elastic on both ends.  $75

54" dark brown leathers.  I can't remember the brand, and it's not visible on them, but these are well made and well maintained leathers.  $25

And a couple of non-horsey items

New w/tags Barbour fluffy ear muffs.  Received as a gift and they don't fit my abnormally large head - a real bummer because they're lovely.  Original price $50, selling for $25.

JVC HD Everio Camcorder w/ 8 GB memory card included. $60  Works well, I just don't use it.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Conrad Schumacher clinic

I audited a Conrad Schumacher clinic this weekend.  Attached are some of the notes I made along with a *very* brief description of the horse being ridden at the time.

Young horse hoping to move to second level next summer.
  • Don't waste time - work even during the walk break
  • Turn on the forehand from walk (couldn't figure out why he wanted this)
  • Keep hands closed into fist
  • Turn the wrists for rein back - nothing with arms
  • Small flexions in canter in/out
  • Always stretch the young horse at the end of the day
4th level - stocky build
  • half pass to centerline and then medium trot (to keep rhythm in half pass)
  • was breaking to canter during medium trot across the diagonal - began halting at each short side and at x with medium trot in between.  Makes the horse listen to you and keep their shoulders up through lengthening.
  • Rider was gripping with legs and he kept repeating sit wiiiiide on your butt.  I think it was his way of saying sit on your seat bones.
  • Ride sitting trot A LOT.  Walk whenever human gets tired and then more sitting trot.  

Grand Prix - older horse/rider
  • good idea to stand w/horse on contact for awhile (that amount of time is different for training level of horse)
  • To close the door (collection), first the door has to be open (forward)
  • Don't practice tests in winter, ride for fitness
  • For suppleness - shoulder in left then right, back and forth on centerline/quarterline
Mentioned to several riders
  • patience is key, you have to get on ready to be patient
  • When you're feeling extra patient, halt in contact with your house and let them mouth the bit
  • Tap with the whip on shoulders rather than behind (unless you're going for lateral work) - this eliminates mixed signals with a pulling hand
  • in general he was very gentle with horses and riders, rewarding good behavior and redirecting any bad behavior or confusion with a different exercise

Friday, September 28, 2018

2018 RMDS Championships

I have so many words about this show that I'm almost speechless.  It gave me such horrible anxiety for the couple of weeks leading up to it and again, horrible anxiety after the fact.  I am not one typically for a lot of self-doubt or self-loathing, but I experienced it in droves relating to this show.

For all of the weirdly negative feelings I had, I also experienced a ton of fun this weekend.  Gav's breeder, Lisa Brezina, flew out with fellow blogger and cob enthusiast, Jen from Cob Jockey!  I was so excited to see both of them (and meet Jen) that I literally told anyone I could at the barn along with coworkers and non-horsey friends.  They did not disappoint!  Lisa is such a warm person and so in love with the breed that she is just disarming and completely inviting to talk to.  Jen is super helpful, friendly, a bombass photographer, and in my case awesome to bounce cob-related questions/ideas off of (her and Conner are far enough ahead of Gav and I that she's sorta been there done that with some of our problems).

Jen with Gav... I'm jelly of those elbows!

Jen was kind enough to act as show photographer (thank you, thank you, thank you!), so I not only have beautiful pictures, but also a lot of pictures where I can learn what some of my habitual issues are in my body (I'm looking at you left arm and general leaning forwardness).

The bad pictures make me cringe and I may post them at some point, but not today!  Today is about the good.
Exhausted horse and rider with our glorious big brown ribbon!
Good timing and VERY flattering ;)
Warming up - spoiler, I didn't get this trot in the test

Medium Walk - First Test, T-3

Has to be start of stretchy trot circle - First Test, T-3

Gav and his breeder having a moment

Just love this pic..

At the end of it all, I cried

I left the arena after our championship ride at training level feeling so relieved and so happy with our ride.  There were no serious "oh fuck" moments and he felt pretty damn tuned into me.  I halt, saluted, patted him and just kept patting him because I knew I was going to cry.  And I cried.  I'm a little bit of a crier anyways, but this horse is just... I don't know... he's my guy.  I'm not a perfect rider, and he's not the perfect dressage horse, but I adore him and he tried really hard for me all weekend.  He hopped on and off the trailer like a pro, he was never naughty or dangerous (even when he was a scared), he looked beautiful, and he listened to me (always on the ground, and most of the time when ridden).  I just felt so lucky, and maybe a little unworthy of him (again, the self-doubt kicking in).  

It was a great weekend with maybe not the greatest scores (62.5 for the morning test and a 63.75 for the championship test, interestingly, in the championship test the E judge scored me significantly higher than the C judge (65.? vs 62.?), but like the exhausted person I was at that point - I completely forgot to pick up my test, so that mystery will be left unsolved).

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Showing in Blue

I honestly don't know how the people who show for weeks (or for that matter just a few days) do it.  Showing is exhausting to me.  I'm getting better at it, but it's still exhausting.

Yes, I am wearing an apron
Here are some of my own personal, very amateur and slightly diva-ish/lazy tips for showing:
  1. Pay people to help you if possible!  This includes braiding, coaching, and calling (for dressage tests).
  2. Pack your trailer the day before you leave.  It's so nice to just grab the pony and go!
  3. Bring more hay than you think you'll ever need.
  4. Chug water, Gatorade, and bring lots of snacks!  Don't forget to bring some sort of protein.  You're gonna go from not hungry at all to oh-my-god-how-did-I-let-myself-get-this-hungry in two seconds.  
  5. Also bring snacks for anyone helping you.  They deserve a million cookies.
  6. When someone acts like an asshole in warmup, ignoring arena etiquette completely, and nearly runs you over several times, keep the incredulous faces to yourself.  You never know who someone's trainer is on the outside of the ring. *oopsie*
  7. Immediately upon returning home from said show do laundry!  White breeches, white shirts, white show pads clean better if not left to their own dirty devices for weeks in the back of your trailer.
  8. Always put the pony first - first to eat, first to get water, first for treats and kind words.
  9. Don't take it too seriously.
My face in ALL of these photos clearly shows that I'm taking this way too seriously ;)

Gavin and I showed last weekend and accomplished something that I had set as a goal in 2018.  It is a tiny achievement to some, but Gavin and I qualified for the RMDS championships in September at training level.  When I realized we scored well enough to advance I started to cry in the middle of the show barn aisle.  My mom thought something was horribly wrong (not a pretty crier), but I just felt so proud of him.  

Besides a lot of calling at the show (and oh boy, did he scream his head off while we walked around the grounds), he didn't put a hoof wrong.  This doesn't mean our test was perfect (hello breaking to the trot down the long side, jigging before the free walk, and general tension), but he is always game to try, and luckily he puts a lot of trust in me to get him through scary situations without him dying.  I feel very lucky to call him my horse.

We left the show absolutely soaked (it poured right after our test) with a 63.8% T-3 test, a second place ribbon, and a ticket to championships.  :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Show Day

I apparently am at a loss for words anytime I blog.  It's like I want to communicate with the blogging community, and I'm definitely reading and commenting, but when I go to write my own - I lose all words.  Very unlike me.  

Anyways - we went to our first RMDS (Rocky Mtn Dressage Society) show this last weekend and didn't totally suck!  I mean, the heat was atrocious, but I was expecting that and hydrated like I meant it.  I also braided for the first time.  I guess I would describe it in two words - painful and frustrating.  I've learned my lesson - just pay and let someone else do the deed while I clean tack or something.

Gavin was his usual self.  He was amiable, steady, and ready to blast off in the trot.  He was also tight-backed, tried to run through either shoulder, and gave a very weak attempt at the running buck in his first test.  I actually laughed as we were going along the rail.  It was such a pathetic attempt that the judge gave us a 5.5 for the canter and just noted that he had a tight back, but I know the truth.  He wanted his blasted rider off his back!

I had a great time and overall felt like we did ourselves proud in the 1-1 test (the T-3 test not so much - we were both still very tight at this point).  Anyways - without further ado, here are some pictures!    

Captain Hunch with a side of Rogue Right Arm

Thank god this is over...

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Six Months

I decided when I moved into the new barn and was able to get more consistent lessons and regular rides that I'd start document Gav's muscling/conformation on a monthly basis.  Here are the results after 6 months. 






Wednesday, April 11, 2018


The last two weeks have not been good to me personally.  These kind of weeks happen when you love someone (or several someones) who have substance abuse issues.  It can be very isolating, lonely, and frustrating when people you love slip away to a place where you can’t reach them, even when they’re right there in front of you. 

My thoughts exactly
I've experienced the effects of addiction so many times now in my life and within so many different relationships.  I used to cry, get angry, do anything in my power to stop the behavior, but what I’ve realized over time (and with professional help) is that you can’t stop someone who is determined to do something.  You can’t help someone who doesn’t want help.  And so, I’ve learned to provide myself with self care during these times. 

I look for ways to make myself feel good (healthy ways, if you don't include the occasional primal scream and cookie binges…).  That means spending time with friends, walking and cuddling my puppy, evening trips to Barnes & Noble for a coffee, and it also means A LOT of barn time. 

I feel the most myself when I’m at the barn.  I feel strong, capable, and in control of my life.  I can forget, sometimes for hours, what is happening outside of the arena and barn. 

It is a true blessing in my life that I found horses, horse friends, the blogging community, and Gavin. 

First signs of spring

Here’s hoping the next week looks better *fingers crossed*