Forrest Comes Home

Good news! Forrest is home safe and sound!

Mama and I arrived at the barn at nine in the morning and did chores. After that, it was about noon, and Forrest was scheduled to arrive at three.

So, to occupy myself, first I set up his stall.

This is his new stall! It is on the opposite side of the arena, where it is way quieter. Thasia is on his left, and that’s Romeo’s face on the right. He’s a muffin. Since there is no paddock behind his stall, Forrest will get to be turned out every day.IMG_3505

I brought some things to stick in there: our rope halter, fly spray, a himalayan salt lick, and some apple juice. Ill tell you what the apple juice is for later.

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The halter and fly spray went on the rack outside.

I tied up the salt in the corner where he can lick it (for those of you who don’t know, salt licks are good for a horse’s system and is also helps to prevent boredom.)IMG_3512.JPG

Lastly, I poured the apple juice in his water! This is a really cool tip I learned from my mom. If a horse is new to a place they might not want to drink the water, so the apple juice helps make the water tasty and encourage them to drink.IMG_3516.jpg

All set up!IMG_3517

Next mama and I prepared the horses’ grain for later. I decorated his rubber bowl with a green paint pen so we always know which bowl is his.IMG_3518

 

Right now, Forrest gets Essential K, Alfalfa pellets and flax seeds.

And, as a little extra, mama sliced up some carrots to put on top. We call them sprinkles. We also added Ranitidine (it’s going to help get his system adjusted to a new place). We are thinking about adding some AniHist later to help with his stuffy nose.

As I waited the last hour or so, I helped start Forrest’s health record notebook with a cute doodle of his face.IMG_3526.JPGStarting a notebook is a great thing to do for your horse. You can write anything in there: his information, important phone numbers, his birthday, et cetera. It really comes in handy to write down things like the supplements he gets, what the vet or farrier says when they visit, or health-related things in general. This is great to reference later so you have an idea if his health history if a problem springs up. You can even tape papers such as his purchase receipt or his coggins in there.

And after much, much waiting.. Forrest finally arrived!IMG_3546

It was a stormy, windy, nasty day outside and he seemed perfectly acquainted. Daddy held him while mama signed the papers.IMG_3528.JPGvisiting with Gus. How cute!IMG_3530.JPG

Today I have some busy things going on, I have to leave the house in ten minutes or so. I will write another post in the very near future with more cute Forrest pictures. Long story short, he settled in very nicely! See you then!

Over the Rainbow

for those of you who don’t know, when I am not riding I am obsessed with model horses. My other blog is called OTR Stable, it stands for Over the Rainbow and is why I am called otrbreyers.

Roma Fade

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I’m huge model horse fanatic. In fact, the last time I counted my model horses, I believe I had around a hundred and fifty.barntour13barntour8

I compete on the All Breeds Racing Board, make tack, take photos, and host my own hunter/jumper competitions for model horses.IMG_3231IMG_2070

It’s weird, but that’s what I love about it!IMG_1989IMG_2793so if it seems like nothing is going on around 100 hours, it’s probably because I am writing/publishing a post on OTR Stable. check it out here!

 

Today I found out that my friend has just finished her 100 hours. That’s not surprising because she shows and rides all the time, but still. I need to pick up my game. More hours coming soon! (like, a lot more. So I can hopefully have 100 by June.) Ack..

Hours 22-23

Hour 22

Hour 22 was my first lesson back on Indy since my fall. Because of this, we didn’t do anything crazy. The goal was just to get my confidence up a little, and to touch-face with Indy. For a horse like her who would rather stop than take off, keeping her moving is important. I concentrated on keeping my hands level and my senses tuned to her.IMG_8156.jpg

The aim of the lessson was to give Indy the mentality that moving around or slowing down without me asking is completely unacceptable and if she does I am not afraid to deliver an extreme and harsh aid. But if she does what I ask, I will leave her alone. I also focused on delivering aids and commands in a subtle way at first instead of instantly resorting to hard kicking. This lets her know that she doesn’t have to subject herself to the harsher commands if she simply does what I ask and keeps in line.

I also tried out my new galaxy polo wraps today…what fun! I got these from Snowy Mountain Horse Shop on Etsy, and i absolutely LOVE them. IMG_8153.JPGJazzy foots!

This was a fairly simple lesson, but a good way to get back in the saddle and reconnect with my beloved Indy. Every ride counts!

Hour 23

Hour 23 was a nice, relaxing free ride that was (gasp) not with Indy. Today I rode a Pintabian named Tia. Tia is an experienced lesson horse that still has plenty of sass. She is like sort of an older version of Indy, so the ride was a review of what I did in the lesson, except less stressful.IMG_8182.JPG

After some trotting and cantering, we walked around outside the barn for a few minutes. Tia is such a sweetheart and I love her adorable face. She is a special girl that has been with my trainer and her mom for the majority of her life, they bought her when she was weaned. It turns out Tia is 99 percent Arabian and 1 percent pinto. She’s a really pretty and unique horse, and it is always a pleasure to ride her!

Bonus Picture! here is me and the pony, Huckleberry! I was taking him out to the pasture in the morning before I rode Tia. He’s just so gosh darn cute with his little blanket!IMG_8181.JPG

Hour 17

Today I rode for hour 17. my grandparents came from New Jersey to see Indy, so I happily obliged!

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She was very fidgety in the wash stall because she was excited about meeting some new friends, but once I got on everything was much better. She was very mellow. My trainer was away for the holidays, so since then I haven’t done canter during our rides. She has loosened up, though, and I think her turns have improved since then.

Reluctant, I tried a little canter at the end of the ride and she was very quiet and smooth. The best part was that my trainer, mounted on one of her horses, was watching. What a great ride!

 

I am so, so sorry for being lazy and forgetting to update the blog, I have had a really busy holiday and I’ve also been on a lot of rides. Good Stuff coming!

Hours 8-9

I promise I have still been riding. In fact, I have gotten four more hours since I last posted. I have just been a bit lazy when it comes to posting. But hey, here I am! Here’s a recap on hours 8 and 9.

Hour 8

a week and a half ago (Dec.  5th) I got hour 8 in, I practiced with Indy. I was still getting over being sick over thanksgiving (ugh!) so the ride was short and sweet. It was hard for us to get in the rhythm because I was feeling wobbly and there was a lesson going on. The girl who was riding was a bit of a wild card, and I was a bit paranoid about clashing with the lesson and disturbing my horse. It wasn’t the best ride of my life but it was still nice to get out there.IMG_7594.jpg

Hour 9 

On the contrary to hour 8, Hour 9 was hardcore. I had a very productive lesson with Bethany and (wild guess) the Indy! It was wildly different and mind-broadening than any lessons I have had in a while. Unlike our past couple lessons where we worked on gaining contact through a short, tidy rein, Bethany instructed me to literally hold my reins on the buckle and flop around the ring. Not worrying about equitation or fiddly steering. Like I was on a trail ride. We trotted. Then she asked me to canter. It took a while to get the canter smooth and relaxed (which was mostly my problem) but I was amazed at how easy it was to just ask for the canter if there was no anticipation or tensing, even with a young, green thoroughbred mare on the end of your reins.IMG_7603

Next we moved on to a pole exercise where we simply went around in a circle, on an average length rein. We cantered a little bit, our main focus being to become quiet and responsive and then slow to the trot. It sounded easy, and for the most part it was, until the poles were raised and Indy began to speed up (at the trot), simply because I was getting tense. IMG_7602

The lesson was about trust. Not only were we teaching Indy to trust in me, but teaching me to trust in Indy. We had a bit of rusty spots since the creeping crud caught up to me and I haven’t had a lot of motivation to ride (or blog), which only added to the confusion. Lesson one: I need to ride more. a lot. Lesson two: just because Indy is..well Indy, doesn’t mean that I should anticipate. More on that later!

Thanks for reading everyone! More hours coming soon! sneak peek… *whisper* free jumping.

Hour 7

Hour 7 of the 100 hours took place on Sunday, I just haven’t gotten around to posting it since school hit me on Monday. Sunday’s hour was made of two thirty-minute practices. The first thirty minutes was groundwork with Indy.IMG_7548.jpg

Groundwork is one of the things USEF allows to count towards your hours, and I think it does count even though what I did is not a typical form of groundwork. It is also known as playing with Indy! It starts with a quick groom, then I go in the ring (making sure the gates are closed) and take her halter off. It is so much fun to walk (or trot) around the arena with your horse following you. I even set up a teeny tiny cross rail and she followed me over it! What fun!

 

I wasn’t intending to get another thirty minutes that day, but Mama decided to get Indy out again for a quick ride in her lovely western saddle. I honestly didn’t feel like getting on, but it quickly turned into a “what the heck, why not” moment, so I got on for a few minutes. It is very enjoyable and awkward at the same time for me to ride in the western saddle, and Indy was a very good girl. IMG_7564IMG_7587

After our short ride we put back the deserving and tired Indy into her paddock with her sheet on and took off to finish up the day.

Sunday was a very chill barn day. I am happy to have these experiences as much as I can, it is so much fun sometimes just to try something new: take off your halter and play with your horse, or try a ride in a different kind of saddle. It’s all part of the experience.IMG_7551.jpg

Hour 6

For my sixth hour, I had a short-and-sweet ride with Indy (AKA goofball) to recap from what we did yesterday.

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Today, the weather was really gross. Mama took our dog to the vet and Daddy dropped me off to do chores and ride. Indy was a good girl despite her usual wiggling.

I used my favorite sea-foam colored saddle pad that I got from the Dover store at Tryon. Here’s a close-up view of my new saddle in case you all were curious, if you guys are interested I will probably write a tack collection post later!IMG_3031.jpg

Just like yesterday we mostly did stretching and transitions, and using both long and short reins. It was mostly a relaxing ride, and it was really nice to get Indy out after doing chores all morning and ride. She was a good girl!IMG_3023.jpgIMG_3026.jpg

*peeks back and looks at me*  me: o helo dere

got any post ideas, questions about anything or ideas for exercises I should try in the saddle? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

 

Hour 5

Today’s hour was spent doing some much-needed flatwork in a lesson with Bethany and Indy. It was so nice to walk straight out of school and then go to the barn for a lesson on a Friday.

Instead of starting out on a long rein and working into a shorter one, we mixed it up and started the opposite. We were working on getting her to give in to the contact and stay straight with the use of my hands and legs. My seat and legs are getting better, even though we still have some things to work on as a pair.IMG_7540.jpg

We did a lot of trotting: lengthening and shortening reins and bringing the trot up and down, stretching her into a nice relaxed frame while moving in a nice working trot to build her topline. We also did some poles, through most of which we felt pretty confident. The key is to stay straight and stay quiet and to make a good turn to set yourself up for success. i have learned that in riding this applies to pretty much everything!IMG_7539IMG_7538

Then we did some canter; I find myself rolling with it a lot better, I just need to work on staying straight in the saddle and not leaning as we turn.IMG_7541IMG_7542

After my choppy ride on Thasia, riding Indy felt like a smooth breeze. Her movement is so free and flowing, even with stiffness in her hind. Indy was sharp and confident, even at the canter, and I was very pleased with her. This is progress toward eventual jumping (which I know she can do, because she is brave, we just need to work out the kinks). We are going to do great things! IMG_7543

Tomorrow, Mama is going to drop me off at the barn to do some chores and hopefully ride. It’s going to be rainy, but there are benefits to having an indoor arena; I will just have to see how it goes. This weekend is going to be a fun one, I’ll fill you in as it goes down! Thanks for reading!

Hour 4

Today after school I had an uncontrollable desire to ride and get more hours, so Mama drove me to the barn and dropped me off.IMG_3002.jpg

I only got a selfie because no one was there to take my picture when I was riding, and then my phone died. It’s a cute selfie though!

Today I rode Thasia, one of those been-there-done-that lesson horses. However, she means a little more to me than that. She’s an eighteen-year-old appendix, and the horse I am currently jumping with. I plan to take her through at least the first part of shows in 2019 so I can have a positive experience starting over fences. She also was the very first horse I ever rode in a lesson when I was in the sixth grade!IMG_6491(I am pretty sure this photo is from that day.)

Our ride today was nice and peaceful, since the barn was pretty much quiet. We had the arena to ourselves for the majority of our ride until a novice lesson started happening. I wanted to focus on my equitation and do as much fine-tuning as possible with Thasia since her and I have had some time off. Obviously I will practice jumping, but I feel that at the moment fine-tuning ourselves in groundwork is just as important. I couldn’t help but notice that my seat and leg was much quieter than when I last rode her. We had some problems with steering and pulling, so it is evident that there are things we need to work on in our next lesson.

I don’t think I will be able to ride tomorrow, but I have a lesson coming up on Friday! See you then!