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Showing posts from February, 2020

Vet Trip #2 For The Big Lady

I don't talk about her a ton, but we were given Lass, a Clydesdale mare with a rough past who is well into her teens, last fall. Friends of ours who live on an acreage but really aren't 'horse people' 'acquired' her after seeing what kind of condition she was in. They had a vet out to address some concerns that included some sort of fungal issue on her legs and open sores housing fly larvae on her back.  The Vet said her teeth were fine, and they did their best to get some weight on her.  They attempted to sell her, but quickly realized it was in her best interest to just give her away to an experienced home. They're friends of ours, and they asked us if we would take her - My hubby has wanted a draft for some time, so he twisted my rubber arm and I agreed. Shortly after our friends acquired her When we went to look at her, it took 4 of us about 30 minutes to catch her.  She was extremely standoffish and made it clear she didn't want anything

Sierra In Training | Week 6 Update

Ride 23, Sunday, February 16, 2020 Since the short string of excellent rides began, it seems as though CA and Sierra have been on a roll.  CA had yet another early morning ride on the queen due to a clinic, and it once again elicited super results.  Sierra was lovely once again, and CA decided to revisit the Flying Changes - something she had put on the back burner the passed few weeks as they worked through some serious tension which lead to some behavioral issues.  CA was happy to report she was clean and connected 90% of the time, which I'll take.  She tends to bounce between 50% (with me) and 100% (once, with CA) provided she's relaxed, connected and focused.  There are still days when mentally it causes physical issues (IE tension) that there's no point in even touching on the changes at all, so they are absolutely a work in progress but I get the impression she's really starting to understand what she's supposed to do.. but sometimes, when she's ten

Horse Show 2 | Pre-Cap

With the Dressage Schooling Show just around the corner, and subsequently the end of Sierra's training, CA and I finalized Sierra's entry today and I managed to convince CA to reconsider the tests she chose to ride.  The maximum number of tests people were allowed to ride was 4, but we felt even 3 was excessive especially considering we were hoping for a very long, boring warm up.   Initially, CA wanted to enter 1-1 , 1-2 and 1-3  and mentioned that she felt this was already a big step down of where she " should " be showing, as while schooling 'at home' and at a schooling show, Sierra could easily hold her own in the Second Level ring.  I personally HATE the 1-2 test and on a horse like Sierra especially, it would be really overwhelming for her in her current show-anxiety state.  It's a very busy test wherein with the laterals especially, things come up very fast. A snippet of 1-2. Barf. I was surprised when CA said she intended to enter

Slippery Slope

Since Sierra left on January 13th, I have been on one heck of a roller coaster ride.  I chalk some of it up to these lovely pregnancy hormones, but honestly the majority of it revolves around the fact that I need a horse in my life.  Don't get me wrong, I live on a farm and there are currently 3 horses sitting less than 200 feet from my front door, but none of them are my Sisi Girl. I love them all, but I don't share a bond, a history and a lengthy relationship with them.  Sure, I've only had her 1.5 years but I have spent 10x the hours with her than I have the others.  I've gone through more highs, lows and in-betweens with her than any other horse that is on my farm - and at the end of the day, she's mine . I've spoken about the mental aspect of sending Sierra away for training, and what a struggle it's been. I had spent countless hours finding and vetting a trainer, arranging transport, saving money, thinking about costs incurred, getting Sierra&

Sierra In Training | Week 5 Update

Session 18, Sunday, February 9, 2020 On Sunday, CA decided to change it up and lunge Sierra in side reins. I had previously advised her that it was clear lunging was once used as punishment for Sierra, as she did NOT lunge well. I had been making small leaps this fall when I made it a goal to improve, but CA quickly learned it was still a work in progress. In addition to that, Sierra basically refuses to hold her lead in the back on a lunge line, no matter the size of circle. I truthfully haven't addressed it much - I don't let her go around disunited; I make her break to trot then pick it up again and after she holds it for a half a circle or so, I let her go back to trot.  Canter in general on the lunge line tends to bring back a lot of that poor behavior, so we have mostly stuck to trot work to enforce that lunging doesn't mean just galloping around like crazy. CA decided to address it, which resulted in a very, very long lunge session.  She reported it ended well an

2019 Season - By The Numbers

Cathryn's Post inspired me to recap my 2019 season by the numbers specific to Sierra, not only because it's fun, but mostly because it felt like absolute garbage at the end of the season and I think looking back, I will feel a little better.. plus I have very little blog content right now, so here we go! In 2019, I made some major efforts to really push out of my comfort zone and get back in the show ring. Sierra and I had a * lot * of issues with her show ring anxiety, and I felt that the only way we would be getting passed it is if we buckled down and hit as many shows as financially and physically possible while considering other responsibilities and restraints.  I also made a goal in late 2019 that I needed to take more lessons and do more field trips - it was a big leap from previous years, and aboard a fractious horse it can be nerve-wracking to say the least, but I think we made out okay and emerged the other side relatively unscathed. Following Cathryn's c

Sierra In Training | Week 4 Update

Ride 13 - Sunday, February 2 2020 On Sunday, a group of 4H Kiddo's were utilizing the arena, and CA took advantage of the mild chaos to re-create a 'show at home' type feeling, and ride among the kids.  Due to the lack of steering most of the kids possess, she chose to have another 'no pressure' ride and her only goal was to work on relaxation amidst the carnage.  She reported that Sierra took a little more time to relax, but overall it was a positive ride. In other news, unrelated to her training, she is quite settled now in her temporary 'home' - She not only has two boyfriends, but has also befriended a fellow mare and they often take long naps in the sun together, which is adorable! The weather took a turn the past few days and the beautiful break in weather yielded a handful of days that hovered between -20C and -30C again, and we are slotted to warm back up.  As such, and the fact that a day off was due, Sierra had Monday off, and carried on as

Sierra In Training | Week 3 Update

Ride 8 - Mon, Jan 27 On Sunday, January 26 Sierra had a day to be left to her own devices in the pasture with her buddies. She had a really gruelling week, and earned her day off. Even though the show yielded some pretty 'blah' results at the end of an equally 'blah'week, I reminded myself to stay positive as it had only been a week and there were several left before Sierra came home. Her first ride back on Monday, January 27 was described as 'meh'. I knew CA was tired from the weekend and even though Sierra got a day off, she didn't.  As such, I didn't pry for much information, but she said Sierra felt unfocused and pissy.  Overall, she described it as a 'meh' ride and didn't offer much other information which I can understand - we all have days that are just very 'meh' and nothing necessarily goes 'wrong', but it doesn't always go 'right' either. Ride 9 - Tuesday, Jan 28 The following day, Carol