Saturday, January 29, 2011


Albigears asked me what kind of boots I like, since I confessed I have a major hoarding problem with horse boots.

But first thing is first. We need to take a break from riding I think. Everyone else agrees to, or to an extent of that. A week or 2 off will do us good. I am pretty sick, so right now doing anything but HW is out of the question. I will go out and groom him and such, I still love my pony :) After a break we will start back up with some trick training, he gets really excited to learn new things. Gotta find my clicker now...
Then we will ease back into work. I need to MAKE time to get outside. I usually have to ride in the arena since I have class till 4pm and the barn gets fed at 4 so riding right afterwards can't happen. What I need to do is ask the employee feeding to just give him hay and I will give grain. I tried to vary stuff with lunging, long lining, dressage work and jumping but I think it all happening in the arena was too much for him.

So boots. I have about 20 pairs I think. Polos, open front, woof boots, woof boots with hard plastic on the tendon, bell boots etc!

Ok, these are awesome boots- SMB Pro Medicine Boots II. I have the navy blue colored ones. One of the things I like about these boots is the loop hook that goes under the ankle, I feel like this adds a little bit extra support and I usually do my gallop sets in these boots. Some people are concerned abut heat in the legs when using boots, but I haven't noticed much heat in his legs after use. Even though they are all material, they seem to ventilate pretty well. :)

I have a pair like this but in white. I bought them off ebay and I use them exclusively for show jumping rounds in competitions. Not a fan of the fleece but they get the job done. I am more worried about heat in these boots than any other, but he wears them for all of 20 minutes usually.

Ok drumroll please...........WOOF BOOTS! These are my all time favorite lightweight sport boots besides the Roma boots down below. They are light, breathable, moldable, easy to put on and come in tons of colors. I have more pairs of these boots than any other. I think I have 7 pairs. 2 for competition, and all the others for schooling. I have one pair with wool fleecey-ness as the liner instead of neoprene and it has a big circle brushing pad on the ankle. These are nice for galloping. I have a front pair that has a peice of hard molded plastic on the tendon; I like these for XC or jumping since Yanks tends to overreach and I feel comfortable he won't hurt himself. I have several pairs like the one in the picture for schooling. I seriously heart these boots big time.

These are Dover Pro Fleece boots. I use them for everyday schooling, especially dressage. They are easy and quick to put on with only 2 straps and they mold very well to legs after a few uses. I dislike that stuff gets in them pretty easily, esp. if used outside. Grass seeds and whatnot get into them pretty easily so I tend to just use them in arenas. They don't work well in cold though, the plastic gets stiff so I only use them in summer.

These are my MOST favorite boots and I originally bought them for shows, but I loved them so much that I use them for schooling as well. For those of you concerned with heat, I recommend these boots for sure! They were inexpensive, are easy to put on, mold to the leg and dissipate heat very well. I love where they sit on the leg and they allow for a lot of freedom of movement. The liner almost feel jelly inside.

These are wicked cool! They are called petal boots and I can't find them anywhere now. I bought them years ago when I had Spirit (see previous horses on top bar under header)and I had just started eventing. Neat thing is that you can interchange colors! I have blue and white petal boots. Sad thing is that they are wicked expensive and to interchange colors you have to buy 2 pairs. But, you get 4 bell boots and if you need to replace a petal or the strap you can. I used these in lower levels since they flap at the canter/gallop and won't guarantee coverage/protection once you get into the higher levels. I swear, my petal boots got more attention at events than me or my horse did, lol!

Now, for events and schooling I use these bad boys. Weaver double-lock velcro bell boots. These are the nicest velcro bell boots I have found, and on ebay they are like $5. Sometimes I use ankle fleece lined ones for schooling dressage. When he was younger, Yankee had to wear bell boots 24/7/365 and I used the pull on ribbed bell boots but those are too hard to get on and off for competitions. I usually don't use bell boots in stadium since he is more careful without them but they are a must for XC!

Polos- I use these for hardcore dressage training since I feel they give more support than regular boots. Only problem is that they are really hot.

To wrap up, I recommend woof boots, roma open front and the weaver bell boots.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Riding Angst

Riding was a no go today.

I think I am getting sick, sore throat, coughing, sneezing & achy...yeeahhh. So I slept a bunch after class. Till like 8 om...then played WOW (world of warcraft) like a nerd, lol. Brandon got me playing a few days ago and it is the most addictive game ever...anyways.

I feel like a failure this week :(

Jump refusals. Dressage resistance. Bucking fits. And not being able to make it out to ride as often as I would like. Class is really kicking my lilly white ass right now. I feel like I am drowning in homework, not to mention bill-time-of-the month is right around the corner

With all of that loveliness I feel all this anxiety about Yankee and I's progression right now...

Like its nonexistent and we are going backwards. I get such high's some days, but IMMEDIATELY after we have a week of hatefullness. It is most discouraging.

The way we are going I feel like I will never even finish an event this summer, let alone do well and place well in chance of AEC's. We both have major issues with stadium after last summer....(successfully crashed through 3 courses consecutively-3 separate events. Crashing meaning every fence knocked over or run through and having to withdraw or live with a horrid score going to XC) and it is most difficult to stop being anxious..

As for dressage, some days are glorious, brilliant collection, extensions, transitions, side passes, flying changes and not even 2 days later we can't hold ourselves together enough to execute a nice canter transition.

Do any of you have blah days (or weeks) in my case and feel you will never get out of this rut? What do you do? Take more lessons? Take a break? School even more?

I'm at a loss right now.

So I bought some bell boots on Ebay.

I have a wicked hoarding problem with boots. Woof boots, polos, galloping boots, open-front boots, bell boots, etc. I have a vast collection (consisting of more or less, 20 pairs) for Yankee and he rarely wears the same pair in a week. It's bad. I need help.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Somewhat Good and the Very Bad

Ok so today sucked big ones. I was super excited to get out and jump today since I had the day off, got out of school early-ish and didnt have much HW. Buuuuut it turned out to be atrocious all around. We warmed up outside in the snow, which was ok but he tried to buck me off about every 3 seconds. Some pics were pretty good except my position in some but I blame that on bracing for bucks. Still though, no excuse. I was still extra sore in my core and....well it was just bad.

.....And onto some malarky

Yeah and that was just a small selection of about 20 pictures of him bucking and hopping like a tard.
....And a refusal...

Which is 1 of about 30 pictures like that. Yeah I have no idea what the problem was today. Could have been that Hannah and pronto were in the arena too, or that I was a little off today too position wise, or that he simply just hates stadium jumps and jumping in the arena or that he hates having to jump correctly instead of flying around like an idiot, or he was just off or cold, or some other of about 100 reasons it could be. I lowered it to 1ft. and he still refused. It was so stupid and I am still upset.

I mean seriously this is not my usual horse....he can jump the moon and more...(see "I was bad but my horse was good post" down the page). I must figure out what went wrong today

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lunge/Piaffe Lesson

Yesterday I was wicked sore from working out like a beast at the gym so I lunged Yanks and practiced more piaffe training with him. Got some pretty neat video stills for you to enjoy from our lesson yesterday. To start off with ....

.... a very bad pony. And moving on to good pony....

Some trot work before the harder stuff began. He enjoys the new technique I am using with the lunge line running through the bit to circingle. Really enables him to stretch through the contact and be active. I am taking more of a liking to this lunging technique over the attach to bit and I will continue to use this. I had switched to free lunging him in the arena with sidereins to allow him to be freer ( I thought the lunge line was restrictive) and he enjoyed it for about 2 weeks then got lazy since I had no direct control of his head, even though I had control via voice and body placement.

Some nice canter work too. I LOVE that reach with the hind end. He is epically light in this photo. I feel we are making massive improvement on the lunge. I hope to use these muscles we develop on the line towards in saddle movements.

This is his easiest direction to collect and use his quarters more. His legs aren't as active but he does collect quite well. However after just 2 steps or so he tends to pop up in his hindquarters, but we are slowly and steadily gaining strength.

A little pop up in the hind end. Notice the hock placement difference in this photo versus the previous. The 1st photo he has his hocks underneath him where in this photo they are almost behind him. The step is more active but there is virtually no lowering here of the quarters. I would rather have collection, since activity will come from that as we school this more.

More active this way with the steps but not as collected. Again, hocks are 'out' rather than 'in' or 'under'.

This photo is much better for this direction. His hocks are significantly more under himself and quarters lowered (than previous photo). Very active hind end too.

Example of a 'popped' hind end.
I don't know if you all can see the difference, but I can since I study the photos intensely and he is my horse so I know him pretty well. Cool to see his progress though. I hope in the next 6 months we can get 5 steps in each direction and even more collection and activity. But I'm not pushing. This is just a fun thing to teach him, like bowing (and after last time-where I about broke my ankle from us both losing our balance, I am afraid to keep doing that one for now...).

That is all for now. Jump sesh tomorrow :D It has been to long!