Friday, 17 October 2014

Best Pony Goes Trail Riding

Isabel and I hauled out to Blackfoot Grazing Reserve to take the ponies for what was supposed to be a leisurely trail ride.  We started off in the fields and made the ponies walk calmly up and down all the hills.  Dee was game but Martini was pretty sure we should canter or trot.
I love fall rides

We ended up moving a little quicker than we thought, going 15 km in just over 2 hours.  It was the first big trail ride I've taken Dee on because I'm trying to bring her fitness up slowly.  I'm pretty sure she was getting tired (at the very least she should have been) but she was completely game to continue on.  I think she would power on until she dropped from exhaustion.  I never once had to push her, I held her back more than anything.  Turns out my little Saddlebred completely outwalks the 16.1 TB.
Sweaty Pony

The more I ride this horse, the happier I am.  I'm sure we will have rough days because nothing is ever smooth sailing but she's so willing and honest I'm having more fun than I have in a very long time.  We actually hauled to a XC course a few hours away just to get one final schooling in and it was funner than I could have hoped.  Dee and I babysat the greenbean 3 year olds in between schooling.  She jumped everything I pointed her at and then was content to stand with the babies or lead them over tiny logs. Not once was I scared for my life.  I had forgotten what it felt like to not be completely terrified of a XC course and Dee is giving my back my confidence.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Spoiled Pony

Snazzy new CWD halter

And new BoT Mesh Sheet

And new Ogilvy means Best Pony shall now be referred to as Spoiled Pony

Friday, 10 October 2014

Because Who Doesn't Love Baby Photos

Recently I had Natural Dynamic Photography out to do photos of Sullivan.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.  It's always a bit of a crap shoot if babies are going to cooperate. He's 8 weeks old in these.
This one's my favourite

Look Ma, No feet!
Yes, I'm a little stinker!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

#TBT - Equines Of My Past

I was talking to a new boarder at the barn and during the conversation our past horses came up.  She was completely flabbergasted that I do not know an accurate count of how many horses I've ridden.

I grew up with hoses.  I do not remember learning to ride, I've always just been able to.  My mother was a trainer and certified coach.  As a teenager I rode all her training horses before they went home.  To this end I'm sure I have ridden 200+ horses, even if I only rode them once or twice.  I've had over a dozen horses that I considered mine, some good, some bad, some ugly and only one heart horse.

Skylight was not the first horse I rode but she was the first one that was exclusively mine. Mom picked her up so that I would have something my size so I could learn to bridle and saddle by myself.  I was only 4 when we got her.

Skylight was an awesome children's pony.  She was hardly bigger than a miniature and she had been around the block and new the drill.  If there was an adult in sight she was an angel, the minute the adult wasn't around she would rub her charge off on the fence.  If that didn't' work she would give laying down a try.

I have very fond memories of that pony. When my parents split and the farm got sold she went to teach my younger cousins how to ride.  I remember my aunt popping 3 of us on her back to toddle around while she fed the cows.

That little rotten pony taught most of our family how to bridle and saddle, how to steer and how to kick like hell when she moved close to the fence. She won me my first ribbon that wasn't in leadline.  I wouldn't be the rider I am without her.  She taught me to mean what I say, EVERY SINGLE TIME and for that I will always be grateful.
Circa 1992

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

2pointober 2014

Well I decided if I'm going o give this blogging thing a go, I should try to be more involved (outside of just reading blogs while avoiding work).  The annual Two-Point-Challenge hosted by Viva Carlos and Equestrian at Hart seemed like the perfect platform to become a participant.  And let's be honest, who couldn't use more two point work?

So I set out to get a baseline time and unfortunately the only day that worked was a day I was riding a friends horse so I did it in a saddle that is too small for me.  Nothing like making it even harder.  Turns out I have a balance problem.  My balance gave out way before my leg muscles.  I couldn't make it past 1:37 without touching the neck.  I tried a few times and I always lost my balance and ended up touching the neck, therefore stopping my time.

This is just a very clear highlight of a bigger problem.  I rely on my hands for balance way too much.  Since Dee refuses to let me balance on her mouth I have just transferred my balance to the neck strap and mane.

My goal this month is going to be to increase my ability to balance.  I'd really like to get to at least 10 minutes of two-point.

Thanks to L. and Hillary for setting up an interesting and fun contest!

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Wherein New Pony Gets A New Name

So I signed the Bill of Sale and said goodbye to a chunk of cash on a Saturday.  In true "crazy eventer" fashion I took my new purchase to a show on Sunday.

It was just a small local jumper derby and I entered the 2'6" since Dee is just coming back into fitness.  The division had two classes, Power&Speed and then the Derby.  I wasn't really expecting much.  My goal for the day was to not fall off.  This would have been a major feat with the red mare.  Apparently now that I have Dee I need to reconsider my goals (in the best possible way).

Since our partnership is in it's infantile stages I figured we could use the low pressure atmosphere to just kinda bomb around and figure each other out.  Turns out, riding a safe horse with more experience than me means when I put my leg on and say "Go" I get a lot of go.  Same when I put my leg on and say "Turn".

Not only did we go clear in the Power&Speed but we went fast!  It didn't feel like a crazy fast round but we were definitely moving.  I also took a few inside turns and Dee was a complete rockstar about it.

The derby class was a total hoot.  We jumped in one ring, then had an in-and-out into the next ring, jumped a wall coming out of that ring, up and down a "bank" then jumped back into the first ring. Since our first class had gone so well my competitive side kicked in and we took some tight turns and we boogied.  I had so much fun.  Not once was I scared for my life and I was sure that when I asked for something I was going to get it.  Coming out of the ring the BO told me that if I had just bought her yesterday I had made a great purchase.  I couldn't stop smiling.

It was a big class (20+) and I figured we might place but there were some established partnerships there, and some lightening quick ponies so I wasn't holding my breath.

Turns out we got a second in the Power&Speed and we took first in the derby, which was good enough for division champ and a COOLER!  There may have been some enthusiastic cheering/squealing and jumping up and down but I will neither confirm nor deny.

Best Pony thinks posing is beneath her.

Dee is officially known as Best Pony now.  So much so that my mom has taken to calling her BP.  It was an awesome start to our life together.  I can't wait to see what the future holds for us.  For the first time in quite some time I believe I will make it to Rebecca Farm next year.