Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kieran was AMAZING tonight

And I wish I'd gotten video of it. I set the camera up but must have accidentally hit the record button again (thus, turning OFF recording) when I set it down on the post. So no video, alas!

Anyway, I set up a few trot poles in one corner so he had to trot over them around a turn, then one cavaletti with ground lines on each side (so we could jump it from either direction) on the quarterline, and another one set up the same way more or less on the M->K diagonal.

We warmed up and first just did a lot of trotting around, not doing endless riding on the rail but changing up directions and weaving around the cavaletti and going over the trot poles. I was pleasantly surprised to see how forward he was today (especially considering how extra-relaxed he was beforehand! That usually means he's going to be kind of lazy).

Then we started trotting over the cavaletti from either direction and instead of just trotting down the line and stopping, we'd trot over one, go down, turn and go up the diagonal for the other one (or go down the diagonal, turn, and go up the quarterline). He picked that up pretty quickly so then we threw in cantering.

First, I just asked him to canter over one, then canter around the ring on the rail. He started out kind of rushy, but once he got into the groove, it was better. Then we were able to canter down the quarterline and make the turn for the diagonal and go over both cavaletti (like a very tiny jump course, LOL) and vice versa. So we were able to do those from either direction a few times and he was doing really well at actually hopping over instead of just doing a big canter stride over them so once we did that, I called it quits and cooled him out.

I'm so very pleased with him today, you've got no idea.

I do really need to find an instructor down here to come out and teach us, though. I don't want to add anything too much more complicated without some help and I know I'm still getting in his way more than I should (I really get the sense of, "mom, if you'd just get out of the way...I've GOT this, okay?" from him). So if you're reading this and now any good instructors in the Augusta area who'll come out to where you are to teach, let me know who to contact! :)

Also got to meet one of the other boarders today as they pulled in as I was getting done riding. Unfortunately, she'd had to take her horse over to UGA to get surgery done on his eyes (something about cancerous cells?) so...not really a happy occasion but it was still nice to meet more people at the barn since I'm usually out there alone.

Oh! And there will likely be trail riding this weekend! So. Excited! :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just a nice evening ride

Went out to ride tonight. Getting there later in the day is definitely a better idea, even if I'm leaving as it gets dark. It's such a better temperature! And Kieran seemed to deal with it better too. Though he was covered in dirt and sweat (so mud, basically) when I went to get him from his field today:

[i]That[/i] was fun to clean up (I cheated and gave him a foamy bath).

Here's some screencaps from the ride...actual videos are below:


My elbows, they suck.


Didn't do too many of these, just put them in to give him something interesting to do. It's two ground poles leading in to the cavaletti, spaced about twelve of my (size 9) feet apart.

Videos aren't terribly exciting because I didn't have anyone there to help me out so I just set the camera on a post and let it record while I rode.

After we warmed up. This part of the ride I did in spurs (don't usually use them), to see if how he went with them. Ended up taking them off because I was worried too much about jabbing him in the sides.

Asked him for a simple change. Haven't done too much of this with him.

Then the cavaletti. First time through we trotted, second time through we cantered.

After we were done, the BO was out there with her daughter (the girl who thinks Kieran is amazing. She also thinks he's a Gypsy Vanner and I haven't had the heart to correct her) and a friend. She asked if Kieran could give the daughter a pony ride...which he did, about fifty feet. :) Girl was like, "I rode a Gypsy Vanner!" *sigh* ;)

Oh yeah, and here's the sunset:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why yes, my horse does fart rainbows actually...

In other news, we did no riding in the arena today, just up and down and around and back and forth in the lanes between the fields. We're practicing just going in straight lines. :) It's easy in the lane between the farm and the neighbor's property because it's only wide enough for two horses abreast, maybe three if they're cozy. The main lane between the pastures, though, is big enough for a whole herd and it takes more work to keep him moving straight and not drifting from one side to the other. Still, it was nice to just do something outside of the ring.

The big lane:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Better ride today!

Brought a friend of mine out to the farm to meet Kieran. I offered to let her ride him but she wasn't prepared (mostly she didn't want to get pooped riding out in the heat and not have anything left for her own lesson tonight!). Anyway, she did kindly take a few pictures and videos of us so I figured I'd share them.

Kieran was a lot calmer today than he was yesterday. I think he's fully settled in and figured out this is "home" now. We didn't have a bad ride yesterday, but today's ride was simply...better.

I felt weird riding in just jeans half chaps are in a box on a truck somewhere between here and Maryland!

We didn't ride very long today either (about 25 minutes?). Mostly walking, some cantering, and a few times trotting over a couple of poles. Kieran was very good. :)

I figure as time goes on, I can slowly up the amount of time we ride, but right now I think he's still getting acclimated to the heat. It's definitely taking longer to cool him out now than it did in Maryland.

Otherwise, he seems pretty happy with his new situation, so I'm glad of that.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


It occurred to me I wasn't sure if I'd actually posted here about what the last few posts were about, hah.


After lots of waiting, I finally got my job to move me from Maryland down to Georgia. Of course...that meant my pony had to come with me! So, last month (among other things), I came down to Georgia to find a new boarding barn (which is sort of a new experience since Kieran was boarded at Gentle Giants before and it's really not your typical boarding situation).

Anyway, I got that squared away and went back to Maryland. Where lots more waiting happened until I was finally given the official move date and was able to move on coordinating with Athena at Horse Jitney to get Kieran on her schedule.

I moved a little over a week ago. Kieran got picked up on Thursday and arrived yesterday, looking fabulous, as usual.

For the next several days, he's going to be kept separate from the other horses in the arena just to make sure he didn't pick anything up while shipping, but then he'll get moved in with his pasture buddy.

Today I went up there and pulled him out of his "field" and got him groomed and tacked up.

He did keep whinnying periodically, like, "hey, I'm too far from the other!" and he kept wanting to swing around to the other side of the tie rail (which was weird because then he'd be facing AWAY from the barn and fields. *shrugs*)

Still, he was otherwise okay.

We had a fairly short ride (about a half hour, mostly walking), since it was hot. Tell me why I thought it was a good idea to go ride my horse early in the afternoon in Georgia? Not to mention the new farm doesn't have a covered riding ring so we were out in the sun the whole time. I'm going to have to keep that in mind and shift my "it's time to go to the farm!" mentality and either go really early in the morning (unlikely, hah!) or later in the around 6. (or even later, they have lights!) Our saving grace was that there was a cool breeze.

Anyway, we did a lot of walking, some trotting, and a canter once each way around the ring (and wow, in a ring of decent size, it was really easy to get a nice canter out of him!). Going straight was a challenge we're going to have to work on, but he did give me a couple of nice circles while we trotted.

Anyway, after that, we rode out of the arena (and I managed to unchain the gate without having to dismount!) and around the farm since there's a nice lane that goes up between the pastures, around one end, and back up the other side. They'd be nice to do just long straightaways of trotting (maybe cantering? I don't know...might stir up the other horses too much).

There are also trails that lead off the property but we left those for another day. Ideally, I'd like to meet someone there who also trail rides and wouldn't mind showing us the ropes before we go out on our own.

Anyway, after that was a long cool down and then I hosed Kieran off. I had wanted to foamy bathe him but I couldn't get the nozzle off the hose so just sprayed him with water. He wasn't really dirty anyway.

So...a really good day.

Oh! Also, look what the folks at Gentle Giants did for me as a going away present!

I bought the trunk back in January and it looked like this:

So they put on new hardware, stained it darker, and got a nice plaque for the top. Isn't it lovely? It's only flaw doesn't fit in the tackroom at the new barn so it'll just have to adorn my living room instead. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

He's here! He's here!

Pulling in the driveway

Getting off the trailer

Turned out on the new farm

Rolling in the new field. :)

Anyway, the shipper LOVED him and kept telling me how amazing she thought he was. Apparently he made for a calming influence for the squirrely OTTB (just a few weeks off the track) he was trailering with for most of the way. Something like, the TB was wigging out because of the storm they had last night but Kieran kept not caring and finally the TB was like.."well...if he's not worried, maybe I shouldn't be." :)

Kieran, of course, could not care less about things like that when he's got hay in front of him. ;)

Anyway, they made really good time and the shipper got here right about when she said she would and he showed up in great condition. I'm so happy to have my pony here, you just have no idea. :D

If you're looking for a good horse shipper, you should definitely check into Horse Jitney. Kieran gives them a hoof stamp of approval.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

On his way to me

He should be here tomorrow! I can't wait!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Awesome lesson!!

Tonight Christina said, "it's only for a half hour, but I'm going to make it FEEL like an hour!"

And then she told me to drop my stirrups and trot around the ring. Then back to a walk. Now do a walk to canter transition and canter twice around the ring. Now do it the other direction.

Only after all of that did she set up a teeny crossrail with a placing pole. I got the choice of going over it without stirrups or without reins. I chose reins, hah. I don't think my stirrupless two point is nearly up to par.

Anyway, the first time around, we went over it with reins (just in case the spacing was wrong), the next time around, as we got to the placing pole, she had me drop my reins. Then after, pick them up, go around again, go over without reins and remember to put your arms out to the sides.

Then we did it from the other direction.

Then she made it a tiny vertical.

Kieran was really good and the last time through, even though you could tell he was starting to get tired from all the cantering, he went over the jump really well nor did he try to stop right after like he sometimes wants to. One time through, I went around the whole ring with no reins and we more or less stayed on the rail, hah.

My biggest problem tonight was that my feet kept sliding "home" into the stirrups. I don't know why as this isn't a usual problem for me. We think it's just that all the time off from riding and I'm still gaining back what fitness I had and thus tensing my legs upward at the canter again. It's always something. :)

Oh yeah, and he gave me a bunch of nice walk to canter transitions. Now if we can just learn canter to walk....