Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Joy, Travel NIGHTMARE and Dec. 30th Ride

Despite being away from Missouri and Yankee for 6 days, I had a pretty good christmas! My mom bought me a new sweet ass helmet since Yankee thought my last one was dinner (my spare was too tight!), winter riding boots (the tall ones), full seat devon-aire riding tights (AH-mazing btw) and some winter work gloves. Brandon bought me a gorgeous horsehair necklace laced with beads and a horse jewel (SO pretty). The bro bought me itunes (yay!). I got lots o' cash and gift cards (uber-yay!) and some more few odds and ends things that I felt very lucky to get this year- I thought that being (almost) 20 that I was excluded from gift giving!
The day after christmas Mom, Mike and I packed up in the car and headed to Wisconsin (to visit the grandparents) while Brandon went back with Zoey the dog to Missouri. AMPED on a caffiene pill, I drove for 5 of the 8 hour trip to Wisconsin. Sadly almost as soon as we arrived I got sick...AGAIN. 5 days after pulling through the flu. WTF. I barely did anything for 3 days, except go watch Little Fockers with the Auntie (tradition to go to a movie). On the 29th I packed up for Green Bay aiport to catch my 6pm flight home to missouri....not so easy. Flight was delayed 3 hours so I missed my connection in Chicago wich was a CLUSTER F*** already, and I had to stay the night in the airport, dreadfully sick.
It. Was. Horrible.
Couldnt sleep so I sat in the airport till my 6:30am boarding flight...left at 7am..arrived in Missouri at 8am...drove 2 hours to make it to an emergency Dr. appt for bloodwork at 10am. turns out I dont have Mono. which is good but I do have a sinus infection....
Which brings me to about 4pm when I drug my filthy mud covered ponyface out of his field. He was really good though while I spent 45 min. scrubbing the poop out of him. Yanks turned out pretty shiny, but look slike he might be getting thrush again so he gets to stay in tomorrow! Poor pony.
Seeing as I'm still sick, I thought a light dressage school would be best, espechially since he had 6 days off. Raquel was in the arena too so I had to lunge on the line-went really well, same impulsion and relaxation as usual.
I started off doing some breathing techniques and relaxed posture my book (Kottas on Dressage) from Cheryl (xmas gift) taught me. I concentrated REAAAALLLLY hard on stayin relaxed and centered. more difficult than it sounds. I just KNOW yankee's sudden, unexplainable crookedness is from me being crooked myself from trying too hard to bend him back the way he needs to go, I need to relax, he will relax. After struggling with him for 10 min I decided to try an excercise I thought up..teardrop figure 8's. On the top O part of the 8, i would walk, free walk or trot and on the stright part of the 8, I would either trot or canter. I concentrated on staying straight and keeping yankee straight too and after the straight-aways I would make a simple, clear change of bend with relaxation and soft hands... it worked about 50% of the time. NEW PLAN.
MIRRORS! Handy to have in the arena! Simple plan, I would walk, trot and canter as straight as possible using the mirrors as guides so I KNEW what we looked like. I would put more weight in the outside sturrup since he swings his haunches in and drifts in lately (I THINK thisis from a week of schooling renver and traver, my fault), as well as had an OPEN inside rein. WHA-la! it worked!
Thank the lord. More of this tomorrow, hopefully with pictures, must drag boyfriend to barn!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dressage School Dissection

What a looooong day today, but good. I got up at 6am to feed the horses today, after that ate breakfast real quick then went to work from 8am to 330pm. Straight from work Brandon and I went to the barn to feed again and clean stalls and whatnot. He's such a helper!

I thought it'd be fun to teach Brandon how to free lunge Yankee so that in the future if I need him to work Yankee he could and it was....interesting, haha. Poor Yanks was SO confused with what Brandon was asking. Yanks is so used to my body language and my cues that he kept stopping or turning around or looking over to was pretty funny. Brandon got the hang of the cues and how to hold his body but by that time Yankee learned he could take pretty good advantage of him. Better next time!

A very unflattering picture of me and my tall striped winter socks.

Today Yankee was a very good pony with one MIIIINOR issue which I think might actually need chiropractor work rather than more schooling. He is wicked stiff to the left especially at the canter. Its almost like when I ask him to bend he just CAN'T. I hope I can figure this out since I hate to think of my fantastical ponyface in pain.

But anyways...time for a dissection of today's ride.

In this picture you can't really see his back legs but from the front you can see he is actively moving forward with a good pep in his step. He is ok on the bit, but from the look on his face (either he is listening to me or a little upset) and the slight hollow in his back (look right behind the saddle pad-instead of being round, its dipped slightly down. Not good) you can tell it's not a true connection throughout. His poll is the highest point though which is good. My position is good too, since sometimes I have a tendency to tip forward (lack of riding and my hunter days coming back to haunt me). My knee and heel are up, but thats because I was asking him to move sideways here. Other wise I'm sitting up straight, but not looking ahead, shame shame.

I like this picture here of his trot. He is a little low in the head but I'm not too concerned about that. Unlike the last picture he is using his back more here (there is no dip behind the saddle pad if you look close, however it looks as if he is hollow simply because of his conformation. Yanks has a little hunters bump which I consider mostly aesthetic value..
It may give him problems later but it hasnt yet.) and looks very relaxed over his topline. He is swinging forward stellar too. I also look pretty good, straight for me. NIIIICE.

A Hunters bump.

I can pretty much say the same for this picture too with the exception that he is even MORE round over his back and swinging even more with his haunches. But FOR SHAME on me for looking down, again.

Here's a pretty good example of my problem....EEEK! And Yanks also is hollow and lagging, fail for both of us.

And here is what happens EVERYTIME I ask for the right lead canter. UGH. For about a two years he has done this now. Lately I've discovered he hollows less if I 2-point and use more inside as well as outside leg and half release inside rein when I ask, which is what I am doing here (pretty good one at that). This helps him balance a bit more and not rush into it, even though he throws his head straight in the air. He usually settles immediately into the canter though

This is a nice picture of his left lead canter. He is showing self carriage which is cool :) My only complaint is my position, I am a little forward.

Here is my wonderful horsey boyfriend walking my horse out :) Yankee loves him!

Friday, December 17, 2010

End of Exams Ride :)

Exams are FINALLLLLLLYYY over with!!! I feel like my brain is sufficiently fried and thoroughly raped. Poor Yankee didnt get much attention over the past 2 weeks due to my sickness and exam studying...but thankfully I have about a week and a half till I got home to Ohio for a holidays for a week, then after I come back I plan on working him everyday if I get the chance.

Today I warmed him up again inside free lunging with sidereins and thought I would post some pictures to show how very good this is working out for him. I used his jumping tack today since after the warm up we went for a good canter out in the field and walk around the property.

Yes this is him doing his usual freak out for a moment....

Then he settles right down into this AMAZING trot. Look how he is really pushing from behind, his front feet are off the ground before his back feet which show great use of the hindquarters. I love how you can see the muscling on his boot-tay :) He is accepting the bit and listening to me, and his poll is the highest point. He looks great :)

Pretty good active canter too, still reaching forward nicely and active behind as well as really relaxed in the neck....

This picture is fantastic and you can see the awesome spring he has in his step, I mean this is exceptional for yankee. He is very active and working over his back pretty good, maybe a little hollow but still nice. You can even see his stomach muscle. Relaxed in his poll and neck...just an overall good picture of a relaxed pony!

this looks really nice too for Yanks. His canter is naturally uphill but working free in the arena without a rider seems to help him gain more balance and use that muscley butt of his. I can say the same for this picture as the rest of proud!

So as you can see, this really seems to be benificial to him and I will most definetly continue to use this before every only if showsgrounds had an area where I could do this before every test....ugh.

After warm up we did a few laps around the field at a good lung blowing canter in the snow! we both had fun and he was listening like a good boy. His new bridle and bit are working like I hoped!

Speaking of the new bridle here is a pretty good picture of it. This is a $200 jumping bridle i got off ebay for $40! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it and so does Yankee. He has a weird shaped head where his ear base is wider than the rest of his head so I looked for a while for one that would fit and this bridle is beautiful and functional! YEAH ebay!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Today I dragged this filthy thing out of his pasture to re-clip him. This was after currying and brushing for 15 min! GEEZ. I clipped him in October and his hair regrew pretty fast so I decided to re-do it today.

His tail is bagged up, no worries-it's still there!

After only 30 min I had re-clipped AND clipped up higher since he will be in heavier work now than he was earlier this winter. I LOVE the way this clip turned out :)

After his clipping, I had some time left before I needed to get back to studying so I thought a nice hack would be good for both of us. Yanks is still a little stiff so I wanted to get him outside

Yankee in his nice new 'shiny' half pad. State Line Tack $17! Fits awesomely.

The finishing touch of his weatherbeeta half sheet. Can't live without this!

Weeeellll, he was AWFUL in the beginning...the feeding lady showed up right as we went out to the field so of course all he could think about was dinner (it was only 3pm!). Great.

It was also 2 degrees out.

He pulled a Gogo (sorry andrea :P) and reared and spun like a retard. NOTHING I was doing settled him. So I took a big breath, calmed down, and just asked for little half halts while doing a biiiiig zig zag pattern to keep him from directly facing the barn. It actually worked and he settled right down, good boy!

I thought it would be bad training to dismount at the barn, rewarding his bad behavior, so I took him in the arena for a hot second. A compete opposite of earlier, he trotted out very nicely and cantered like a dream. I was satisfied.

Double blanketed tonight since its supposed to be a high of 2 degrees...high of 17 tomorrow during the day too....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Day

Not really actually, I'm not in High school anymore and I had exams to study for all day. Here's a look from last nights WICKED snow storm. Blew in 2 days early out of nowhere...Can't say i'm in Missouri changes so often it retarded. Like 2 nights ago it was 60 deg. and thunderstorming, last night, 12 deg and blizzarding.

We were taking our dog, Zoey out to go pee and were surprised to see this happening outside! We had gotten a pizza and a movie an lo-and-behold an hr and a half later there were 2 in. of snow on the ground and 50mph winds blowing it all around! WTF

Zoey says "I dont care though, Ilovesnow mom and dad!"

I thought nothing of it really as we went to bed last night but....alomg with being sick and hearing the winds gusting all night I didnt get much sleep so when the alarm went off at 7am to get up and go feed the new Spring Farm horses, well, one can say we were surprised!

Thats our driveway, up a hill....covered in ice and snow...we had a MAJOR problem. I had 12 hungry horses waiting 10 miles away and we were uber stuck! Brandon also had to be at work at noon. We sat there and scratched our heads along with the taxi driver (he came down our drive and got stuck in the parking lot). there was nothing we could do so I had to call Raquel and wake her up to tell her to text Kyle to feed the horses. Kyle lives on the farm but he is off on weekends. I felt really bad since I had 'covered' Raquels feed shift for her. Gosh.

Oh and that ice on the window? Yeah thats on the INSIDE. Our windows suck. You can literally feel the cold wind come in from underneath. Talk about a waste of $$$$$ on heating bills.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sick and Lame

Well last Saturday I tried to take Yankee out before the weather got too cold to jump, and before finals started, but he was ever so slightly lame. I had an inkling about how it happened too. The farm moved him to a new paddock and stall, closer to the rest of the boarded horses so he had better company and I am POSITIVE he ran around like a maniac on the cold ground. He always has a ball in a new pasture and closer to new horses, I can bet thats what he did.

I was a little disappointed since I really wanted to jump over the XC course but I knew it was better not to risk it, of course. I had tacked him up and free lunged him as usual, but immediatly I could see something was off on his right hind. Yanks was overcompensating with his back left but I had to be sure he was indeed lame so I asked him to trot the other direction. Then I remembered that the side reins could be effecting his gaits especially in the cold so I took them off and asked him to trot off again. Still was lame. Sadface.

He was a good sport though trotting out for me. I hoped letting him rest it off would let him get the kinks out and sometime later that week I could ride again...buuuut alas, I got really sick. OF COURSE right smack in the middle of exam week. So no riding, and no being outside for a whole week. I've really missed my boy but I know he's in good hands with tha stable workers. I have to feed saturday so I'm hoping I get better. I would have updated the blog earlier but I've really been out of it.

Anyways here are some pics I took a while back for the christmas cards I want to send out. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Up and Downs

So I wasn't able to ride Yankee Monday, but Tuesday I free lunged him first, as usual, and then did a quick half hour school. Not only was he good, he felt brilliant! He was working super well through the contact, inside leg to outside rein and pushing with his hindquarters and over his back. I was really pleased with with his performance and every time I had to make a small correction or half halt, he gave me exactly what I wanted, submission and contact.

Wednesday it was FREEZING but that didnt stop me from going to ride at lunch. I decided to give Yanks a break from indoor work and took him for a hack down the road. He looked ADORABLE in his little half sheet and I could tell he appreciated the windblock. I probably looked retarded with my head scarf and two jackets. However it was bright and sunny and the road we hack on was perfect. the road isn't paved but has small rocks instead which is really nice for conditioning in winter since Yankee rarely slips even with snow. There are plenty of hills too which I htink are AMAZING for conditioning. Usually I ask him to trot and canter up hills and trot briskly on the straightaways. Again, he was fantastic...I couldnt have been happier with how attentive he was and how well he was working with his body and respoding to my aids.

I gave him thursday off since I worked an 8 hr shift right after school, but today the farrier came at 9 so I went to the barn early to squeeze a little school in before he got there. Today was another story...he...was....AWFUL. I wanted to cry. I feel like this continues to happen over and over again with us and his training and it is the most frustrating thing. he was SOOOO resistant to contact, notlistening to my leg, lagging behind, counterbent, head tossing, etc. GOD. The only thing I could think of that was different was that I didnt free lunge him I think I will continue to do so everytime.

Anyways, Brandon is coming out with me tomorrow at noon to take pictures. I plan to school Yanks over jumps one last time before it gets too cold to jump. wish me luck...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Light Work

Since Yanks had 6 days off for Thanksgiving, I decided to lunge him only today. I brought home the circingle from my mom's (where the rest of my vast tack collection resides) [as well as a few turnout blankets (to accomodate my poor horsey from the wicked missouri wind)], so I used that with some side reins in the indoor. I've found he works better off the lunge line and since he is voice trained we never have any issues in speed.

I turned him loose in the arena and WTC both directions on loose rein before I really started what I wanted to with him today. He has a tendency to become hollow in the back during work and I thought today would be the perfect time to do LOTS and LOTS of transitions which I learned from Cheryl at New Springs Farm that that helps weak or young (or both) horses use their back more while still staying balanced in their body.

I started him off his easy way, to the left with some basic W/T transitions. Immediately he came down in the bridle and rounded his back so I did the same with T/C. He was listening really well after a few times of this and I thought I would try W/C and T/C/W to W/C/W or W/T/C/T and so on and so forth. Basically making the transitions rapid. Not only did he carry his back better, but his legs were really swinging forward with energy and he was quite relaxed.

I probably should have started off with his harder side but when I do that he never relaxes enough to get nay good schooling in. However, after 10 min of work to the left my fat boy was tired and felt like not putting so much effort the other direction. Quite lazy but he still listened.

Next time I will start off on the other side for sure.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Free Jumping

So I just thought I'd say I'm, writing this from my brand new MAC!
I used to be a big mac hater but when my AUnt decided she was selling hers at a huge discount price (brand new one too) and I needed one since my comp committed suicide unexpectedly and is now MIA in the postal service system (unfixable), I thought it'd be best to snatch up this sweet peice of computer ass as fast as I could.

Anyways, before I left for Thanksgiving break (to Ohio) for a few days I spent one last day with Yankee free jumping him in the outdoor. He was insane since he had been on stall rest for 3 days (mild thrush) but I was glad he got to get out and stretch those leggies.

Aside from being an explosive maniac he was quite good at the jumping part. After he settled he really got into the groove of jumping like a real event horse, using his back and not stuttering up to the jump. I Think I will try to do free jumping every saturday or sunday this winter to help him gain confidence without me being on his back. This seems to help for when I do jump under saddle. Anyways, here are a few pics from last saturday.

I'm pretty retarded at adding these things in here so I will leave it at those few. Soon I will learn how to do this right! maybe another post later with more pics alone.

Peace love and blessins

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Technology is annoying

Well I did have this huge update I typed up but it delted itself and I'm major annoyed so here are some pictures from the past month. Hopefully they srent too screwed up either!

Yankee doing some trot work (MAN my position has gotten bad)

pretty ok canter for having 4 months off-ish

His bowing trick we are working on and some bad ass free jumping! ALMOST 5 ft! :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Today I had a spare moment to nip to the barn at lunch time and even though I was very sleepy (I fed horses at 6am this morning with a 8a class amd more to follaw till 1pm...gag) I was determined to groom Yankee within an inch of his life.

Yankee remained in Ohio for a few months without me there to spoil him, and mom did not groom but maybe once a week and she never touched his tail so it looked a titch ratty. I curried the crap out of his coat, but he really just needs one more good bath. Hopefully saturday it will be warm enough but I can feel the cold creeping in on us here in Missouri.

So I curried and curried and brushed and brushed and didnt really get far. His top half was still dusty and gross but his bottom half gleamed like he didnt even have a winter coat. I found some scissors and trimmed up his mane and tail and I hope to attack his whiskers later.

He seemed to throroughly enjoy the attention which I was all too happy to give :D

I bridled him only, since his saddle pads needed washing and I had to return to class within the hour, and decided to lunge him out since I figured he'd be creaky after a 10 hr trailer ride.

Well, he was off and I was worried. Like REALLLY off. to see if he was truly lame i turned him around and lunged him the other way at a trot and he was perfect, so I assumed he was just sore. Sure enough when I reversed him again, all syptoms of hurting were gone. Phew!

He probably only got lunged for less than 10 min which is fine since he is so out of shape. Satur day I plan to do a little dressage work but thats it, maybe take a walk around the farm.

Happy to say that he was good and I cant wait to see him tomorrow! Toodles

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Good Things Come in...3's?

But 1st, a picture of my very bad pony

in his grumpy moods. This is going to change aye?

Anyways, so many good things have happened recently to me and I'm quite excited. I hope my good fortune lasts!!

I'm only going to write about my new job for now, but pics from the WEGs will come.

ALSO, Yankee and Z are arriving in Missouri tomorrow!! Whose excited-this girl. Yankee has become quit the grumpy dick lately and I'm pretty sure he is pissed at me. Hopefully riding him more often will really help his attitude.

But back to my new job, which kind of ties into Yankee arriving here in Como tomorrow. I just happend to stumble upon New Springs Farm, the one and only owner of the famous and amazing Windfall. I contacted her about possibly working there and she got back with me within the day! I went the next day for an interview and she hired me to ride her babies, or "Windfoals".

They are the most amazing bunch of 3 year olds I have ever had the pleasure of riding and I look forward to every day i get with them.

Cheryl is really helping me to gain back my riding strength back and teach me new skills and methods.

Along with helping her ride the 'children', I am getting board in exchange. I COULD NOT believe my luck. Not only am I getting to ride Windfall's foals, but I get to keep MY horse at the same barn he is stabled and ride on that land and use the facilities. HOW LUCKY!? Who would have gussed that the Hoelkamps would be located in my college town, and who would have guessed that I would get to see and TOUCH Windfall as well as see him be worked.

I. AM. SOOO. Thankful, for this chance.

I am trying my best to please Cheryl and I am really enjoying my time there!

So far I have ridden 5 Windfoals, Hermin, Speilmacher, Komik, Angie and Thomas.
More later on them, for now I am going to bed, as riding starts at the break of day :) toodles.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WEG 2010 Countdown!

I apologize in advance for all the supercaps and exclamation points you will be seeing, but I am really excited about this!!!!!!

I have been waiting for the World Games for 4 years-ever since I saw the sign posted on the highway. In case you didn’t know, this is the first time the U.S has hosted the Games since its beginning in 1990! AAAAND what makes this even better is that they are being held at my beloved KY Horse Park! I have competed here many times and this was my childhood birthday party place :) I ADORE it!

Hopefully the U.S. will rock Germany’s socks off since GER currently holds the record for the most medals and the most GOLD medals won since WEG began. GER holds 46 medals, 21 gold whilst the U.S. holds 27 medals overall with 9 of those being gold…We have some massive catching up to do.

My stupendous boyfriend heard about my excitement and went ahead and bought us tickets to the Games for XC day! we leave next friday for OH, then Sat AM for KY. I can barely contain my excitement. :D

Our riders this Year include Phillip Dutton, Will Faudree, Karen O’Conner, Becky Holder, Kim Severson, Allison Springer, Amy Tryon, Boyd Martin, Holly Hudspeth, Stephen Bradley, & Bruce (Buck) Davidson jr. I am REALLLLLLY rooting for Will Faudree, Becky Holder, and Allison Springer!

Phillip Dutton

Becky Holder and the gorgeous Courageous Comet

Kim Severson and Tipperary L.

Will Faudree I may have a slight crush on this guy :P )

Allison Springer

Karen Oconner and the late Teddy

Amy Tryon and Poggio

The Aussie turned American, Boyd Martin. Ohhh yeah.

The newcomer, Holly Hudspeth

Stephen Bradley

Bruce (Buck) Davidson