Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Johnny Cash and I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons!
He is so tolerant of my schenanigans!

It was 80 degrees here yesterday. I wore a light t-shirt to ride and we were both sweaty when our ride was over.
 Then about 8 last night the wind started to blow and the temp dropped to 55 with wind chills in the 30's.

What gives?  I have been trying to find the holiday spirit but its hard in Florida when its 85 degrees, hot and humid while your putting up the tree!

This morning I dug out the warm jods and thermal shirts. Took us 45 minutes to warm up and break a sweat. 

Breeze was still very cool after our ride, so I threw on his cooler and let him have some hay.

                                               (I think he was growling at me in this pic)

Our rides have not been fantastic since we got home from the show. I am never 100% sure of myself and that I am asking correctly so I let him get away with a lot of stuff.
I have a lesson on Sam next week. She is worth her weight in gold as a lesson horse and does not respond unless I am asking her correctly! I always leave my lessons on her feeling more assured and usually go right home and ride Cash, trying to apply the same aids and get a correct response.
I can see continuing lessons on her for a long long time!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Im addicted!

I am so proud of this ribbon!!! My goal for our first show was to enter the ring on top of my horse and leave the ring on top of my horse! Our Intro A course was not pretty. I couldn't believe the bell was ringing as I entered down center line. We were supposed to transition to the walk at x. I was trying! We resumed and I was so messed up I circled at B instead of at A! Second bell. We gathered ourselves together and finished with a 50. BOOOO

Our second test was BETTER! Miss L called our test and I was focused on getting John to respond when I requested something of him. He was sooo forward. This same horse at home is as lazy as can be so I was having some difficulty figuring out what to do with all the energy. I kept his feet moving, lots of transitions, leg yields, circles spiraling in and out, just trying to get him to hear me!
 I was afraid to pick up my test and see my score. I cried when I saw 65.000. The judge commented that I gave away many points for not being picky enough with myself. 

I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to do this with my horse. I have to be the luckiest girl in the world. I have goals that I am dedicated to getting done, like getting as fit as I can so I can stay out of my horses way! I now have every show for 100 miles written in my planner and hope to be able to do at least 2 local shows a month. My goal is training level by April.

If my legs didn't feel like jello I would go ride!


Johnny Cash and I did our first dressage tests and actually brought home a ribbon! I am so proud that we worked together and passed this milestone. Not to say it was a calm cool collected ride...far from it. He was up Up UP!  I was thankful for the forward energy at first but he just kept getting more and more forward and used every opportunity to head for the barn. I hope Wendy had a great first show!

I will post details tonight..for now off to the barn to sort out the trailer and settle back in!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ruined boots and a great ride!

These are the tall boots I got a great deal on a month ago. I dropped them off to have the soles repaired and zippers installed. Needless to say I am less than impressed with the workmanship. This shoe shop has been in our town for 20+ years and they are always busy. I waited 2 weeks for this to be done! When I questioned the work the owner told me "this is how we do it". I am sad but I will live, I will also bend every ear around town about this experience with them! 

John and I went to Grant yesterday and had a lesson in a small cross country field. He was a rock star! We discovered he is not amused by tadpole jumps and lobs himself over them. When raised to 2'9" he focuses on the jump and develops some form going over them. I got so lucky when I found him... he is such a good sport about everything!

Today and tomorrow we are working on our circles and transitions. Halting square and me posting on the right diagonal! UUUGH I am assured I will someday get it right every time but I don't believe it right now.

Sunday we have a stadium lesson....This should be interesting!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November at the beach..

 My job takes me to the beach a couple times every week, Being born and raised here I know I take it for granted.
This is Melbourne Beach boardwalk. I used to ride my bike over during summer breaks and soak in the sun!
 The waves were very large due to a tropical storm off our coast. The skys were clear and beautiful!
           These are what we locals call sea grapes. Some still make jam from the berries and it is devine!

There were many people out enjoying the beautiful weather!  78 degrees and breezy, the sun feels amazing!

None of the beaches in Brevard County allow pets. We are slated to get a small dog park in December. It is going to be fun to take the pups and see how they like the ocean. There is a beach in Ft. Pierce (an hour south of us) that allows horses by permit. That is on my list of things to do in the near future! 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lovely weekend at Rocking Horse HT Fall show!

The girls and I decided a road trip was in order this past weekend. 2 of my barnmates and I loaded up at decided to take in the rated show going on in Altoona.

This is the "Marsh". It caused a lot of anxiety in many of the horses. I don't think it will be an issue with John!

I love Rocking Horse's  cross country course. Its amazing and we are so lucky to have a facility of this calliber available to us!

Through the trees!

 Woo Hoo!
This rider quickly worked it out and finished the water jump beautifully! How exhilarating just watching!
 Jonathan Holling was there. He is down to earth and lovely to work with. John had a lesson with him at his farm a year ago and he was fun while being educational.
We watched some dressage and most of the cross country. It was brisk! I never seem to dress appropriately for Altoona and about froze to death in the wind. It was worth it though. I am inspired to work my behind off and compete here December 3rd! I am shopping for an eventing vest and I need a new set of reins. What I can't buy and really really need..... is time to ride!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Perfect Sunday

What a beautiful day it was! The weather was perfect finally.

 Hubby and I slept till 8am...unheard of!

We decided to hit the garden center for some herb and tomato plants. When we arrived the seedlings they had to offer were horrible and the prices even worse still. We decided we could start some herbs from seed and skip the tomato's this season. I will be starting basil, cilantro, and pole beans alongside the sweet potatos that are flourishing. They had a rack of half dead orchids this time around and I scooped up 6 small Phalinopsis for 3 bucks apiece! The roses around our home came from this same store that has a horrible plant death rate in their care. We picked the roses up for .60 ..........yes sixty cent apiece. Brought them home water and fertiliser and they are all beautiful!

I had a lesson with yet another new trainer.... and it was AMAZING! She is about the middle of the price range around our area. I was impressed by many things about her. She was prompt, asked me a million questions about Cash's history, his health, his training, my health, my goals, etc etc etc...She rode Cash first and was very tuned in to him, asking him for things and not pushing him into a fight if he didn't know something. He was a good boy for her! She then assessed me riding him and gave me simple small adjustments to work on to improve my seat and hands. We then lunged him and she was the first trainer who didn't scream at me or Cash for turning in to me when we asked him to "woah". I taught him to do so when I started working with him 4 years ago. I didn't know it was a bad thing then and still do not think it is. He stops, slowly turns to me and asks "are we done now mom?". He doesn't walk in to me unless I invite him, he simply waits for my next signal.

She gave me a simple work program to build Cash and myself  into work condition again. She strongly recommends trail rides and hacking out in the neighborhood to change the scenery and stimulate his brain. I love it! The other trainers I have recently used are more of the "the horse work's for me" thinkers with no regard to the horses mental health.

She was at the barn over 2 hours with us, never looked at her watch. I am so impressed with her! I only hope it wasn't a fluke and the same woman shows up again the next time!

Hubby and I stopped at the local park where they were having a fun show. He liked it because there were western classes! I love seeing the kids compete. I have watched most of them grow up and I love watching them show off the horse skills they are developing. Fostering the love of horses in a positive environment for the next generation is very important.
The tack vendors captured my attention and I found a pair of tall boots for next to nothing! They need to be resoled and I want zippers installed but I will have less than $100.00 in them when all is said and done! Love finding things I want but don't actually need for a bargain!!

We ended the day back at the barn and hubby rode his horse while I chatted with our barn mates.
* sorry for the picture quality as I am still without a camera and using my cell phone for now!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

World Equestrian Games.....last fall...

My sweet husband called me on my birthday last year to tell me he had won tickets to the World Equestrian Games in Lexington Kentucky.
 The prize was awarded by our feed company, Triple Crown Nutrition. They put us up at the Lexington Hilton, provided us tickets for reining the first day and dressage the following 2 days. Lexington itself was amazing. The art on the streets is another post in itself!  We had a great time.....
 My reining photos leave much to be desired. These guys do not play around. True professionals.
 There were clinicians through out the week, someone always in the arena. They were very approachable and interactive. I could have stayed at the clinic and been happy watching! I wish I had gotten photos of them all. Lynn Palm was amazing!
John Lyons. He is my hero. I could have listened to him alone for 5 days. He pulled a woman out of the crowd,  put her on his new horse Buddy and gave her a lesson! His sons were working in the other end of the arena on Preacher and a new mount. I respect that he is an amazing horseman and a man of God as well. It is rare that you find a man in his position who openly thanks God for the gifts in his life.
Not sure who they are! They were walking the cross country course early one morning.

Yep....I was this close to Edward Gal and Totilas. AMAZING to say the least. I am sad that they are no longer together. It is an inspiring if not daunting thing to watch people of this level ride. I did enjoy seeing for myself that horses at this level act like horses and not machines.  There were several tests that included bucks so it just shows that your never done working!
They had so much team spirit! Our hotel was covered in Orange and I think the majority of the country was here in support of their team. What a fun group of people to hang out with!

I have suggested that my husband enter every contest available and win us tickets to the next WEG in Normandy in 2014. I can only imaging this event is as close to the Olympics as you can get!

We also visited Old Friends Retirement Farm and got to meet Bull in the Heather and Gulch. Its a beautiful place doing a wonderful service to these old guys who deserve retirement for all they have given of themselves to their owners and fans. 

 Took a detour to Churchill Downs and saw Secretariats jockey Ron Turcotte.  He was there to sign the starting gate used in the movie.  The museum was amazing and had a huge Secretariat  exhibit for the opening of the movie. Out back they had a memorial for 8 belles...that made me cry.

I will have to post on the art that was everywhere! The streets of Lexington were covered as well as the Kentucky Horse Park.  It was an amazing experience!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Non Stop!

Im Pooped........ I will be so glad when my friend returns tomorrow evening and relieves me of my horse sitting duties! It really has been a breeze but sure takes away from my time with Cash and my barn.

My camera has died. I will be giving it a proper burial as soon as I decide on and purchase a replacement this weekend. Blogging is boring without photos. The story is usually told thru the pictures and its just not the same.

The weather here is FINALLY cooling off...again. Do we dare believe that fall is here to stay??

Sunday, October 16, 2011


                                                                               Well, the Florida weather is BEAUTIFUL right now! I had Saturday off except for horse sitting duty for a neighbor. She made my job so easy by having well behaved horses, an orderly barn and simplified feeding by mixing and bagging all meals for me. No guessing if I got all the suppliments in the right horse! Truly a pleasure to help her out!
The barn girls and I, 6 of us, all went for a "spa day".  We got pedicures and then breakfast. We all find it funny that we have regular farrier service for our horses and only have spa day for ourselves every 6 months or so.  All of us agree that we would take the tack shop over the mall any day.
We then had the 1st bon fire of the fall at the barn. The guys grilled brats and burgers and we all brought sides and it was delish!
 Of course my camera batteries were too weak to power the flash so I will have to document that some other time...

 My orchids are very happy!  I havent had this one bloom like this in 5 years.
One of our chickens is feeling good! She has really been outdoing herself. I believe it is a Rhode Island Red.

Today schedule was horse sit, 6 hour shift at the feed store, house warming party, horse sit and then my boys! Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who not only supports my horse addiction but has fallen victim to it as well. Jeff, like myself, would rather be at the barn than anywhere on earth. He is very much involved in his horse's care and has never complained when I need him to cover chores for me. I am a very lucky girl!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

 This is my boy Johnny Cash!  He is 6 and he has had the last year off. My work schedule as well as a million other excuses have kept me from riding other than a few trails. We recently moved the boys closer to home to our neighborhood barn and are ready to start working again. We are just starting back  in the dressage arena and is work! ....John's favorite thing is JUMPING!! Cross country to be exact! 
This is my husbands boy Chance...He is the perfect husband horse and always takes good care of him. He was a very lucky find and so glad we came across him after we lost Ely.

We are having a get together at the barn this evening.... I will take along the camera and introduce you to some of our horse friends!

First post! No longer just a looker!

Its finally time to join my friends from around the world! I have been following several blogs for over a year now and decided its time to jump in and share like they do.  Hope you enjoy seeing the sights from our part of the world as much as I enjoy peeking into all of yours!