Olympus Ranch Stables

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Lazy Days

It is Veteran's Day and in military speak, that means a "96." A 96 is 4 days off in a row! A Looong weekend. I retired a couple of months ago, so for me it has been one long 96, but for my Hubby, who is still active duty, it is a few days off to relax and recharge. He got to sleep in this morning and I got to hit the trail with my friend again.... Today's ride was even more uneventful than yesterday so not to encourage your boredom, I decided to do a review of my favorite tack items. 

I love reading reviews about tack, so lets start off with my saddle. I have a Wintech Isabell with the CAIR and quick change gullet. I absolutely love this saddle. It fits every horse I have put it on and cleans up super duper easy. It retails for $1299 on www.doversaddlery.com but I got it gently used off www.tacktrader.com for only $900! 

 


My bridle is the Suffolk Dressage Bridle. I don't have a picture of it but I bought it from Dover (see link above) for $54.99. I originally bought it because I was just starting to convert from Western to English and didn't want to spend a lot of money in case I was horrible. OK so, that was 3 years ago and it still looks great! I don't clean it as often as I should, but it has held up amazingly well. I highly suggest it!

I would love to hear about what you use!


Friday, November 8, 2013

Easy Peasy Ride

I have been working Varro in the arena fairly hard this week and thought a nice relaxing ride was in order. A friend of mine came over and we hit the trail with our boys. Varro really seemed to enjoy the ride. His head was so low I thought he might trip over the reins! LOL

I pulled him out of his corral and lead him to the trailer to tack up. I gave him a good grooming, tacked him up and off we went to the arena. I did the customary lead him around the outside of the dressage court then stopped at the mounting block. I finished cinching him up, mounted up and did 2 laps of free walk. My friend was also saddled up and ready to go, so off we went. (No round penning or lunging!)

On the right side of my driveway, leaving my property, is a group of palm trees. Whenever we walk by them Varro is certain there is some kind of horse eating monster that is lurking behind each tree that he MUST snort at! Today he just gave those trees the evil eye and kept walking! The rest of our ride was very uneventful. Sometimes the progress you make isn't in the quality of your transitions or the rhythm of your gaits; but in the quiet trust you share just hanging out on the trail together! 
Smile and enjoy each day as it comes

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Way to go WOOBIE!

Quick little back story for those of you who don't know me yet. I got Varro around 3 years ago. He was so hard to handle and I was new to the Dressage world. By new I mean I had ridden in an English saddle like 15 times. I had had a few "hunter" lessons and did fine but it just wasn't my "thing." I am a long time rider.... all of my life actually.... Western. So when I got serious about Dressage and showing I decided it was time to get a serious horse. (Enter stage left: Melissa) she made it all possible to bring Varro home! (but I digress)

Our very first ride was something like you would see on the PRCA:
 
Now, it may not have been this bad, but it sure felt like it! Varro was such a "hotie" that my trainer needed to hold him as I mounted, lead us to the arena and then I would hold on for dear life and this was AFTER I round penned him for an hour! I may post about how we made it through all the shenanigans later....

It seemed that no matter how many lessons I took, we just didn't make much progress. I had just about given up and posted him for sale, but most everyone that came to look at him was "afraid he was too much horse." I decided to give it another go. I found the most awesome trainer: Liz (her link is to the right) and we started making progress. We showed a few times in 2012 and I was injured (herniated disks and cracked vertebrae) in the beginning of this year so was out for the majority of the year....

So lets fast forward to a few months ago. I retired from the military and found all this time! Time to ride, time to watch riding videos and time to get stuff done around the ranch. (now if I only had a paycheck to go with it haha)

Today our ride was amazing! Varro (whom I affectionately call Woobie) was forward and willing! No matter what I asked him, he did. We started our ride with a lot of walking both free walking and collected. I am working on his tempo and his willingness to just keep moving forward. HE DID IT!

After the warm up we moved on to trot work. We did so many circles, diagonals and loops. He kept steady and forward for the entire 20 minutes of trot work. I was exhausted and needed a break so we did free walk loops for a few minutes. We finished up with some canter transitions and a grand total of about 40 minutes for our ride today.
Not from today's ride; but a tired horse is a happy horse :-)
I am so lucky to have such a willing partner to explore this wonderful world of Dressage with! And GEE isn't he good lookin' too??? 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

OH! MY! GOSH!

I cannot believe it! I WON!


Sprinkler Bandit had an amazing contest! I cannot believe I won! I am so very excited! I will blog all about them as soon as I can! Varro is going to LOVE them!!! WAHOOOOO!!!!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Three posts in one day!

Holy cow! It has been a big day! Let's do a quick recap: I entered a photo contest and chose the cutest picture that shows off Varro's goofiness. Then I joined a Blog Jump, FUN! I enjoyed thinking of my top 3 bucket list goals! Lastly I HAVE to blog about my ride today.

I started out in the arena and warmed up with our usual walking, then trotting etc. Once I got to the trotting I stayed trotting. I was reading Karen's Dressage Blog today and saw something vaguely familiar. I too have gotten into a "Ride Rut" with Varro. He has been doing so well lately that we only ride for about 20 min or so.  He is getting a bit out of shape, so I turned the heat on a bit. We did a lot of trotting and more trotting! He was going so beautifully and pushing from his hind end into the contact! It was awesome! He was breathing quite hard when we were done with our trot work so I dropped the reins and gave him a lovely free walk break. By the time we were ready for a break, my friend TB had shown up for our trail ride. What a great way to cool down. Varro was a DOLL for the entire ride, bless his little ol' heart!

A Bucket List

Little Bay Princess is hosting a Blog Hop! The topic is Equine Bucket List! The deal is to post about the top three things on your Equine Bucket List! I haven't really though about it! Which is very surprising because I am so "Goal Oriented"

1. I think the first item on my Bucket List would be to train a baby from the ground up and eventually compete at the highest level possible. (Depending on the baby's abilities)

2. Earn my Adult Amateur Silver Medal with Varro. We are going to start competing at RATED shows in 2014! We can do this!

3. Attend a clinic with a TOP Dressage Trainer.

Go check out some of the other blogs that are participating! Off to get Varro warmed up for our ride today!



Photo Contest!

I have entered a cute picture of Varro and me at the last show we went to! Please follow this link and go vote for us!

https://www.facebook.com/cosequinhorse?v=app_448952861833126&rest=1

This is the photo I chose to enter! Varro is such a Ham! I thought it showed his personality perfectly!
"Everyone say CHEESE!"