Thursday, April 21, 2011

SHV Clinic 3/6/11

Just thought I'd put this up if anyone found it interesting. I will say though that Greta has made a total turn-around and it certainly reflects under saddle! Still constantly updating though haha!

Janet Manley is a BHS II (British horse Society Level II instructor, for all you "yanks" haha) teaching at HyCourt Farm. She is awesome, and we have worked with her before we did this clinic. As you can tell, Greta has grown on her a bit!

At first I felt bad about disciplining her, but when I saw how happy and relaxed she looked and that she was no longer crawling all over me, I didn't feel so bad!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quote of the Day - Phoebe Buckley

"....if you take away what they naturally are, it creates more problems than actually just working with what they are."

-Phoebe Buckley in this YouTube video

I have discovered the wonderful "non-horsey background to CCI****" (as she put in on her website) Phoebe Buckley through Behind the Bit and I must say she is now added to my list of favorite equestrians. She's very honest, and I along with what I am sure are many other Amatuer equestrians can relate to her because she had to work her way up with a small budget (as far as horses go) and a big dream. Not to mention she sounds like a good horseperson and she is a pretty good rider. She updates her website and YouTube channel a lot (which both fans and sponsors like!) and the commentaries, explanations, and critique she has on her videos is very informative. Go check her out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ramaker Schooling Show Pictures Set I

I'm still waiting for JEM's pictures, but here are some from barn buddies Kaitlyn and Karen (the ones of Greta and I, at least haha.) Thanks guys!

Waiting on the sidelines for our turn. There was quite the turnout!

Ashlee on Divine Comedy and Greta Golightly and I before heading into the W/T class (she got first, most deserving, and y'know, for those two only working together for a month now one would think they'd been at this for a while, they looked liked seasoned pros!)

Lined up waiting for placings in the W/T class

A little bit more rein than needed, my first reaction for when she gets speedy (oops!) Although I've been much better about forward hands.

Yay for saving up money for new boots!

Check out that canter!!!

After receiving a ribbon (and a super cool pink thermos - hand picked for us by the judge haha)

Lined up for placings (and Greta posing, per usual)

A bit downhill, but this was right before I was about to get into two-point to get off her back. Until her back gets stronger, if I don't do that, then she'll pick up a bit more speed and get quite downhill haha! She doesn't find it very comfortable!

Being asked to rein back.

She was overbent a lot, but that was partly my fault and partly because she was a bit tense!

Yay, ribbons!

This was actually before we got the ribbon haha.

I love this photo. We look so focused and regal ;)

A little overbent, but you can see I was trying to balance her. What a good girl.

Ashlee and Dante, Greta and I in the back (Greta has such a long, forward stride we passed people several times going around the arena haha!)

Beastin' about. At what gait this is I do not know haha. I want to say the trot, because she always does well at the trot. This is how she looked in between the bouts of headshaking, just to show she was really trying haha!

First Show of the Year!!


In W/T and W/T/C equitation, out of a class of four in the former and five in the latter haha! I was very surprised we did as well as we did. Greta has been having some serious headshaking problems. I strongly believe it's something in her left ear. Like most headshaking, it only occurs during stress (like that of exercising or the stress of the show today) and it has only occured within the past two weeks, gradually getting worse. So...... it'll be figured out with the consultation of professionals, like trainer and vet :)

In the meantime, Greta did have some very good moments today. She had some lovely trot moments, and she had a the loveliest down transition from the canter, light as a feather, super collected, followed by more headshaking haha. Unfortunately, the photographer and trainers and judges had a butt shot of it because we were going away from them. Oh, well. I felt it! She was really trying to be good, bless her.

I'll be getting the awesome photos from our favorite photographer, JEM, soon, so be tuned in for those! And we'll also be getting some from a barn buddy!

Very happy and eager to figure out why Miss Greta wants to try and one-up Willow Smith ("I whip my hair back and forth!"). Poor thing, she's such a good girl!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Saddle

I just realized I never put up pictures of the new saddle that we've been riding in for almost two months now! It's a Prestige Andrea Palladio dressage saddle, and dang it's fine! It may be hard to tell from the pictures, but it's a very pretty, very rich dark chocolate color. That dark havana color looks really nice on her, plus it frees up her back (she does NOT like the typical pointy gussets on her back) and her shoulders. We will have a potentially new matching Camelot bridle coming in soon (I say potentially because I am hoping a QH-sized bridle will fit her, and I really do not want to spend the money on a semi-custom bridle for her part-QH cheeks haha!) so that will complete the outfit. I like her Equi-Touch girth, and it's hard to tell it's not brown, and I'm not going to get a brown girth if it's not needed. Even if one can tell the color difference, I really don't care because Miss Greta likes it, and girths are one area where I will not get matchy-matchy and I will actually stay practical! Also, enjoy a picture of our new show pad (although I've been using it for regular riding as well, yay SmartPak brand!)

Speaking of which, we have our first show of the year at our barn next Saturday!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Within Ear Shot

It's amazing to believe that within a few months we have gone from stiff and star-gazing to relaxed and - can it be? - floppy-eared! After several training speedbumps within that past two years (some self-inflicted and others just due to lack of knowledge, not to say that I'm incredibly knowledgeable now!) we have finally found the right trainer and program and state of mind for us, and it reflects. Greta can get almost round and "gracefully bouncy" on quite a loose rein, and I can post without stirrups and direct her with very little rein (a safety clutch I still fight to literally let go of!) Not mention her topline is looking lovely (the roached mane accents it!!)

So, I present to you, minus the first cute picture, my pony's relaxed, ready, listening state of mind from her back: the way her ears look most of our rides. Also, the two pictures of her sniffing my foot: she will turn around to look at me if we've been standing for more than a "halt at X" moment, as if to say, "We got places to go! You ready? Huh, huh, huh, huh?"

Friday, April 8, 2011


I got to the barn as the ponies were being brought in to be fed, so I put this on Miss Greta, took pictures, and then see how she was being led around in it. Firstly, she was a lot more sensitive to it than a normal halter (she doesn't take much convincging now, anyway, so it was noticeable) so I will say I'm a believer now haha. I will get a nameplate soon :)

As you can see in the pictures, Greta decided she needed to sniff the camera first, to make sure it could capture her properly I suppose. I guess horses can sense those things. She also needed to put on that sultry, disinterested look like the professional models do. She's on her way, I'm telling ya!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A great big thank you....

This morning I walked out to my car to go to school and what do I find on my doorstep? No, not a doggie bag on fire ;) ................

But in all seriousness, there was a big green package addressed me for my 18th birthday (which was Monday, whee! I can vote and sue people now haha! Honestly, I'm excited because I can donate organs and sign things for myself, not like it was ever a hassle before with awesome parents, but I digress) and inside was........ one of those snazzy Arc De Triomphe halters I posted about a few weeks ago!!!! It is BEAUTIFUL, black, and My-God-Super-Nice-Quality. The padding is so soft and it's super sturdy-looking. Arc De Triomphe's slogan is "love your tack" and I seriously love this piece of tack. I cannot wait to try it out on Miss Greta!

So whoever the anonymous gifter was - I think I know who it is, but I will respect their implied requested anonymity ;) - know that I really appreciate this. It's absolutely wonderful!

Thank you so much, also for the pretty notebook that came with it :)

P.S. I put bridle..... but I meant halter haha!

Monday, April 4, 2011