Olympus Ranch Stables

Saturday, December 7, 2013

5 Day Challenge: Day 2

So, on to day 2 of the challenge. I am enjoying this. I hope to ride a bit later today if it warms up so you MIGHT get 2 posts today!
6. Favorite equestrian book and movie: I love this! My favorite book, like many young girls has got to be "Black Beauty" I loved it so very much. Ginger was actually my favorite character in the book and I have a fondness for red spirited horses to this day.
Black beauty et Ginger by Citron--Vert on deviantART
As far as movies go, Pharlap has got to be my favorite. I cry every. single. time. I love the strength and loyalty that the horse and stable boy show each other. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it!

7. Most common riding misconception: "You ride and show horses? WOW! You must be rich!" Not even close my dear, not even close. It's like that old joke: How do you make a small fortune with horses? Start with a large one! LOL Anyway. There is so much money that goes into riding and showing a horse: feed bills, lessons, tack, horse trailer, big truck to pull the horse trailer, show fees, membership fees... and the list goes on. The scientific name for an equestrian? Equus Keepus Brokus!
8. 2 riding strengths and 1 riding weakness: This is a tough one as I am so critical of myself. I can come up with plenty of weaknesses. OK here goes. One of my strengths is that I have very light hands. Most of the horses I ride really appreciate that. My Grandad taught me well. The horse's comfort comes first and everything else will follow.
My second strength is that I can read a horse's body language quite well. I am very good at ground work and then translating that bond and confidence into the saddle. I love working with youngsters and starting horses or giving second chances to hard to handle horses.
Now for my weakness. I have been riding my entire life and have a hard time taking criticism, especially from those I am most close too. I am getting better at it since I have been taking lessons from my awesome trainer Liz. I need to work on having an open mind so that I can be a better rider. I also need to work on my leg strength and having a better center of balance. Oh what...just one, oh well I know I have lots to work on!

9. What you like least about riding/owning horses: Well, I cannot think of anything I don't like about riding or owning horses. Well the money of course (see question 7) but I love taking care of Varro. I love making breakthroughs during training sessions. I even like working with "psycho" horses that no one else will work with. Horses really are what makes my life full and complete. OK so I do not like going outside to feed when the wind is blowing so hard I feel like Dorothy's house might fly by at any moment!
Your Love’s Like A Hurricane | A Little Charisma
10. What do you feed your horses: This is a great question! I am very proud of my feeding program. I feed free choice Bermuda hay. I think that having a good quality hay in front of my horse 24 x 7 is the most important part and the foundation of my program. Since it is winter, I will continue with the "Winter Feed Routine." In the mornings Varro gets about 1 pound of AB pellets soaked in warm water. In the evenings he gets 1 pound AB pellets, 1.5 pounds of Safe Choice Original, Beet Pulp and electrolytes. For supplements, he gets 1 scoop of Platinum Performance at night. All of this is also mixed with warm water. If it is particularly cold/windy I also feed a flake of alfalfa at night. Varro LOVES it.

5 Day Challange: Day 1

Tracy, over at Fly on Over, started a 5-Day Blogging Challenge. It has been so cold and windy that I have not been riding and find myself needing something to post about!
1. Most influential person on your riding: There have been several influential people during my lifetime but the most influential was my Grandad. He was a true natural horseman and taught me so much. I hope to be half the rider he was. 

2. Piece of tack you'd love to splurge on: I typically save my money and get exactly what I want the first time BUT I would love to get Woobie a really nice show bridle. One with nice soft thick padded leather and a sparkly browband! Maybe a Passier or a Keifer.

Kieffer Ergonomic II Dressage Bridle
3. Top 5 riding playlist: I don't actually listen to music/headphones while I ride. I feel it takes too much away from my "oneness with my horse." I would however love to be able to listen to a radio playing softly in the back ground of either classical (Mozart) or heavy metal music (Old Metallica), depending on my mood.

4. Most important aspect of your barn: I actually have my horse on my own property and I do not have a "barn." I LOVE being able to care for, feed and hang out with Varro whenever I want. I also have miles of dirt roads (trails) right out my front gate to ride on when we both need to just zen.
5. Three winter riding goals:
1. Memorize the training level tests.

2. Work on better transitions. Varro tends to give me arguments on his up transitions. He is getting better but we still need work.

3. I also need to work on my own personal balance and softness. Varro is very picky and I cannot "ride too hard" I love that he MAKES me be a better rider.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Finally time to ride

Thanksgiving weekend was wonderful! I got to spend some time with my wonderful family and eat some fabulous food. I did not get much time for riding, but made time today. Varro was very snorty, bucky and full of himself! I lunged him for a good 20 min then tacked up and even lunged him a bit on the line in the arena before the ride. My friend TB came over for a trail ride and I had a great time! We did not work in the arena at all today just warmed up a bit to make sure Varro wasn't going to buck me off, then away we went.

Woobie was quite alert for the first few minutes of the ride, not naughty, just alert. After about 10 minutes he lowered his head and just ambled along for the rest of the ride. I was so proud! Most of the ride was uneventful. We did have to contend with some "desert vehicles" speeding up the dirt roads but the horses did fine.

Tomorrow I am going to accompany a friend to the vet. Her horse is a bit L A M E.... so no ride. The vet is about a 2 hour haul... Next ride: Tues. it will be arena work, and lots of it.