Saturday, January 17, 2015

How to NOT Pony Your Horse

Well it is official. Chimi will not be a future track pony. He will never pony the next Kentucky Derby winner to the start gate. Nope. Not at all. How do I know this you ask? Well I attempted to pony Marley today and it was...uh... eventful.
Me with my ponies

I have 4 horses living at my house. Normally just 1 or 2 are ridden at any given time but today was one of those rare days where 3 went out. My step daughter's friend came over after school before the basketball game tonight and it was such a gorgeous day that we decided to go on a nice little trail ride. I was on Chimi, Friend was on Arrow, and Becks on Finn, leaving poor Marley all alone in the pasture. In the mad rush trying to get on (and finding Arrow's tack!) I forgot to put her in her stall before we headed out. Marley did not appreciate this and as we headed down the driveway she started galloping around the front pasture trying to follow us. Knowing that us leaving would only make matters worse and with her already in a tizzy I couldn't just put her in her stall with hay to keep her calm. Unfortunately at this point the sun was starting to set and we only had about 40 minutes left of daylight. So I figured we could pony Marley along with us. If I had my pick of which horse to do the ponying it would of been Arrow but the friend is not a strong enough rider to control her horse and worry about leading another horse behind her. Chimi and I were the only logical choice and I thought we''ll guess we'll see if this works! Famous last thoughts. 

What? We're innocent!


When it comes to leading my horses are pretty good. They're not perfect and I'm sure someone else could make them better, but my guys respect me when I tell them to go somewhere, especially Marley. I really thought there was a fair chance that this would be successful. I was able to get everyone in the right place to get on Chimi and once i was on, he and Marley just stood there like champs. Great! Step 1 accomplished. Now we just had to get moving. Marley was a little behind us and could't move forward unless we moved. So I asked Chimi to move forward and get out of the way. I'm not 100% sure what happened, but best guess is as Chimi started to walk forward the lead rope somehow touched his back/side and the next thing I know we're going straight up in the air Hi Ho Silver style. Oh Shit. 

The Lone Ranger

I quickly drop Marley's lead rope (knowing she would be fine-she's a mare after all!) and lean forward to grab Chimi's neck and anything else I could to use to stay on, all the while hoping to hell that Chimi wouldn't flip over backwards in his panic. As soon as he drops his front feet to the ground, he spins right, starts bucking and in that moment I had a fleeting thought about just letting myself fall off. That thought quickly passed because I did NOT was to hurt myself falling from a 17h beasty onto the cold, hard ground, plus I needed to take control of the situation and fast. Thankfully Chimi is somewhat sense-able and as he lands from his first buck I start trying to grab the reins (I'm still holding onto his neck) and am saying "easy Chimi, you're ok" and Chimi (being the good boy that he is) comes to a complete standstill. Thank friction god!!! I sit up, look around and thankfully all 4 horses are standing there and all riders still on their appropriate horse!

All of this probably happened in the time span of 2 seconds, but it's amazing how much can really happen in 2 seconds. The situation could of been a whole heck of a lot worse and I'm so grateful it wasn't. I've never really ridden a true rear, yes a pop up, but never a rear like this. Having only heard and read stories of how to ride through a rear I guess my brain clicked into gear and I knew what I needed to do. 

We did end up going on the trail ride. Instead of riding I just walked Chimi and Marley while Becks and Friend rode. I would of let them go on their own but since they're not 18 they can't go on a trail ride by themselves (trail rules) and we have spying neighbors that like to tattle when things aren't done correctly :/ But I got a nice walk in with my ponies, got my exercise in for the day since I skipped the gym this morning (I didn't so much skip it, my legs were protesting from surviving a Jillian Michaels!) 

Next time I'll remember to put Marley in her stall first!!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Perks of Google, Facebook, and Horses

Chimi a couple months after I got him

I am in the process of updating my blog so it is more informative than it currently is. Well in the process of filling out basic profiles for my ponies I realized I'd never googled Chimi's sire and dam. I don't know a lot about breeding, tracing bloodlines and pedigrees, but I do think it's kind of fun to look around and see what is out there! So with endless possibilities in mind I headed to Google started my search for Chimi's parents- Coromino x Liza's Lady Jane (Our Home Port).

First up- Chimi's sire- Coromino. This was easy! As soon as I typed Coromino in the Google search a list of options to search popped up! On just the first page I found a YouTube video of his 100 Day Stallion Test, his very own COTH Post, and a Facebook page!!!! After spending way to much time looking at pictures of Coromino and his babies I sent them a message letting them know I had a 2003 baby out of Cory and sent them a few pictures of Chimi. The lady who manages the page replied and unfortunately she didn't know anything about any baby pre 2005 because that was when his current owner bought him. But I've been really enjoying reading about other Cory babies. There are a few babies that are eventing, some are Dressage stars, and others show jumpers. So basically Coromino babies can do it all!!!!

Everything I've read about Coromino babies seems to follow a trend of nice movers, great jumpers, and fabulous brains. (Chimi checks out in those three categories!) I'm kind of excited to find out that Chimi has such a fancy dad. I never thought I'd own a horse with fancy parents!

As for Chimi's dam- Liza's Lady Jane- all I could find was her TB pedigree. This bodes well for Chimi's potential eventing career :) That's about all I know or can find about her. I'm not a very skilled Google searcher so someone with better skills might be able to find out more about her but for now I'm quite content with knowing she's a TB.

It was a fun night of googling ponies and seeing other Coromino babies out there doing some fun stuff. Just hope that I can add Chimi to the list of accomplished Cory babies!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ponies in the Fog

Arrow's nose

The weather has been incredibly gross lately. I think everyone is complaining about all the cold and wetness that is plaguing the entire country. Any motivation to ride in the freezing cold or bone chilling dampness is quickly lost when I head out to the barn just to feed my ponies! Plus I don't have an arena at my house and most of my riding is done in Deer Field or on the side of the hill of my front pasture so I have to be careful not to tear up my pasture and someone else's property! (Deer Field is located on the trail system my house is connected to so I have access to ride in it)

Ponies in the fog

But trying to look on the positive side of the less than ideal weather we've had- yesterday was foggy which meant pretty foggy picturesque views from my front porch! Of course horses being horses, they moved from the perfect silhouette shot as soon as I grabbed my camera and turned it on. Then as I was snapping a few pictures I realized my bigger zoom lens wasn't on my camera so I couldn't really snug up the shot to edit out dead space. Oh wells! It ended up working out just fine because all the ponies met me at the fence looking for treats! Sadly all my treats are at the barn and they would of followed me there thus canceling out the fun impromptu photo shoot! I might have to bring some cookies up here for a future photo shoot! Next time ponies, next time!

Finn poses for the camera

Ponies wish you all warm snuggles and a short winter (HA! We can only hope) I know my guys are waiting for the grass to grow back because hay only tastes so good for so long... and I'm tired of finding blankets pulled into the stall and peed on (Thanks Finn) because I forgot to move it from curious teeth... naughty pony :P

The Princess likes pictures too

Chimi the goofball!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Jumping the Christmas Tree

I started what I think will be a fun New Years Tradition this year- jumping my Christmas Tree! Now I know it's not the most original idea because I've known a few people that make them into brush jumps- but there is something about jumping your Christmas tree on the first day of the NEW year that says "Welcome New Year- Goodbye Old Year". With that thought in mind I had some help carrying my tree to my front pasture and the tree found a new home.

Marley inspecting the Christmas Tree

As Brad and I were carting the tree out to the pasture all four ponies were snorting and looking at us like "Whaaaaat are you doing???" They came snorting over and eyeballed the tree before trotting back to their hay piles because hay is so much better than the foreign object in their pasture. 

So when I had a chance to go out riding my friend Em and I saddled up Finn and Chimi and headed out for a fabulous New Years Ride. I showed her some of the trails near my house and we talked about "The Year of Doing" and all the thoughts we had for this year. When we returned to the house we had to finish off our celebratory ride with the Jumping of the Christmas Tree. 

Finn is not amused 

There were some squiggly lines to the tree as the horses questioned our sanity but all in all we made it over the jump! Of course videoing was made possible by the great invention the "iPhone"- and I posted it to Instagram that evening and hash tagged Horse Nation (#horsenation). Well a few minutes later I received a message that Horse Nation picked my video to be the 'Gram of the Day! And as the picture stayed up it received a right many likes!!!! I get excited when my instagram pictures hit 20+ likes and the video had over 400 from Horse Nation fans! Chimi's ego has gotten a bit big as a result, but he's cute so I just let him enjoy his 15 minutes of fame :) 

Here's the original video (not Instagram filtered and squared- though I like the square shape to the video) on youtube. Hope you guys enjoy and maybe partake in the Jumping of the Christmas Tree next year????

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015- The Year of Doing

headed home from Deer Field

I have self proclaimed this year to be the Year of DOING!!!!! I have been trying to compete successfully since graduating college but job, money, horse, life, seems to get in the way. I know I'm very fortunate to have a horse because many of my horse friends growing up don't ride anymore due to babies, money, grad school, job, living location, etc. I started to get back into the swing of things with Gus but the past 2-ish years have totally thrown any competition dreams for a loop with new additions to my family (I got married in November!), general horse problems that seemed never ending, moving, changing jobs, new job having ZERO flexibility, planning the wedding, buying a house, moving again, and millions more excuses that just find a way to pile up and before you know it- it's been 2 years.

NO EXCUSES! DO IT!!!! That is the motto for My Year of Doing! My friend Em is going to be joining me in the YoD and hopefully getting some rides on Gus and helping me keep all the beasties at my farm in riding condition.
Em on Finn during the New Years Ride
So GOALS for this year (like all the other blogs out there- but it's a good thing to do!)

  • go Beginner Novice with Chimi
    • Fingers crossed we'll shoot out of the starting gate in April at this level. Chimi has felt great these past couple of weeks that I really feel we have a shot at BN this spring. But horses are horses.... we'll see where we are come April...
  • Compete in some of the local hunter/jumper shows
    • There are lots of fun local shows in this area. PSJ, BRHJA, and a great little series of schooling shows that are perfect for getting some experience under your belt. Also hoping to find myself at Tryon International  for some of the shows there. We'll just have to see how that goes- schooling shows are much more budget friendly but potentially for winning money at TIEC??? We'll see :)
  • Get Marley going again
    • Marley's had a string of bad luck since fall of 2013 and I have given her some time off, made some changes, and will hopefully get her up and going again sometime this year. 
  • Become fitter and stronger
    • joined Curves end of November (closest gym to my house- Jillian Michaels workouts there kick my a$$!!!!)
  • Blog More
    • I think I average about 3-4 posts a year? My internet is crappy so uploading pictures takes forever to Blogger and I flip around the internet while waiting and then I get distracted and don't have time to finish the post. I probably have more drafts than completed blog posts- whoops! Going to work on this....
  • Go Fox hunting
    • I grew up hunting and there are 2 fabulous hunts in this area. I need to make it a priority and actually go hunting!!! 
  • Go Novice with Chimi
    • This would be a fall goal vs. the spring season. Chimi just needs experience because height is no biggie for him. The main difference between BN and Novice really is the height of the jump and if he feels confident I really think we could make our Novice debut this fall. I don't know what/if any show experience he's had in the past, but I don't think it was much. But he's a clever guy and I know just getting him out will help with his show nerves :)
  • Go on a lot of Hunter Paces
    • I want a year end ribbon! I love ribbons!! But starting this quest when half a season has gone by... even if the ribbon doesn't happen these are great ways to get out and about and see things. Plus major fitness points! 1.5-2 hours, 6-9 miles of walk, trot and cantering- Heck yeah.
    • have started back with weekly lessons. There's a covered arena so even if the weather is crappy I know my lesson will still be on!! (unless it's super cold- I don't do super cold- like below freezing super cold. I live in the south- I don't do major cold!)
Who? Me?

Here's to the YEAR OF DOING!!!!!! May my Ponies be sound and happy, excess weight disappear, and all of my goals met/kept up! DOING IT!!!!

a winter ride