Thursday, February 23, 2012

Surprise...we're jumping. Happy Birthday Amber!

So I was going to wait until I got a video of us, but I can't wait any longer especially after how SUPER proud I am about last night's lesson.

But first, it's Amber's birthday! Happy birthday Ambermare! :) Turns 8 years old today...time has flown by!

A lot has happened since my last blog. I realized that dressage just isn't for us. Maybe it was for me and my warmbloods and sport ponies, but not for me and my QH. And I won't go into great detail on that. I just nit pick, fight and become frustrated, and I don't think even getting the best trainer in the world to help me overcome that would make me enjoy it. I don't enjoy it because Amber doesn't, and I become even more frustrated when I realize that *I* don't enjoy it anymore.

So after a whopping two weeks of owning the dressage saddle, I am selling that and my Kincade and bought Victoria's Courbette. Well, I still owe payments on it...Victoria in essence traded her Courbette with Casey for Casey's Crosby, then I bought that from Casey so now I just owe...$550? So I'm trying to eek out some $$ from my old saddles.

And then one day we just started jumping again and it was there. Now we're bouncing around little 18" courses. That's 18" verticals - not crossrails. We have moved up in the world.

What got me so excited about last night's lesson was that we were working on a bending line. I was having trouble cantering in and out, but I could trot in and canter out. I worried more about the crossrail than the vertical. Thought I could earn brownie points by adding the outside single as an optional jump, which was a little gate with a rail over it, and I did get brownie points, but I was still made to get our asses through the bending line, cantering in and out. And we succeeded!

We have a lot of work to do, but we are doing better than ever, and I think Amber is enjoying this. She's in a better mood than I've seen her in a long time - and so am I.

Our first show is March 10, but I think I mentioned that already. We aren't doing over fences at her first show, just the flat class in the greenie division. I think she's going to be a beast over fences though. Everyone has been telling me what a nice jumper she is, and how she always picks up her knees over things. Not to mention automatic changes she's been giving me. She's been getting her leads 99% of the time.

In other news, our shipping boots and travel sheet arrived.

Her shipping boots are a darker purple with a darker green trim. No picture of them, but she will be a hot mama stepping off the trailer.

Also got a pair of Ariat Challengers. HECK YES. Sooo nice. $92 ebay!

Still need a few things, including my show shirt which is getting monogrammed.

Everything is coming together so nicely. And for schooling, I got a pair of lavender open fronts from our friend Melissa. She didn't think lavender was manly enough for her gelding. Melissa is an adult that started riding just a couple of years ago and she is AMAZING. She owns a large pony gelding named Rufus - the only horse Amber really likes, haha. I've been riding with her a lot because we're jumping on the same level, and of course, because our horses are lovebirds.

I haven't mentioned this yet - she's getting her own grain now. The 14/6 was just too much for an easy keeper. She's on a 12/3.75 now. Doing great on it. I was going to do a 10/4, but all I could find at the local feed store was sweet feed, and that's no bueno. But the extra protein isn't as much of an issue as the fat content to me. So she's getting 1 and 1/4 cups of Nutrena Complete Triumph AM and PM, with her joint supps in the AM and 2 flakes of hay at night. It's really just about perfect for her. I may have to take her back some in the summer still, but for now it's working. When our current supps run out I'm starting her on smartpaks. She will get MSM, Smart EZ keeper (which I feel is perfect for her situation), and a mare supplement I haven't decided on. I don't want to put her on something that basically sedates her, I just want to take her hormones down a notch so that she will be more agreeable about other horses. We have some trouble riding in groups, because she is constantly trying to race other horses. And there's always ear pinning when other horses are riding with us, which will kill us in our hunter flat classes. More than I could make up over fences I'm sure. She's not hard to ride or handle, just grouchy with her fellow equines. Still investigating different supplements on that note.

I think that's all our updates. I've never felt more accomplished with my riding...nor enjoyed myself as much. And I'm so proud of Amber!