June 23, 2017

Endangered Species : The Barn Rat

In our corner of the Internet, our subculture in the blogosphere, we all were mostly barn rats, or currently are. Obviously, we love our horses and sport, so this is preaching to the preachers, but I wanted to explore the idea.

I enjoyed spending time in the barn growing up, I still do. I will admit it, I (ahem, my parents) paid for lessons, I didn't learn to do stalls until much later. I didn't learn about barn and yard maintenance until much later as well. But I did absorb all the horse care I could,  I watched the vet, the farrier, and most notably other people's lessons.

Other people's lessons. Or anyone else riding, whether in a group with me, or simply riding. It's stuns me that people don't pay as much attention to other riders in their lessons. It is like a two-for-one! Especially if you're riding with someone more advanced. I'm not sure why the riders today do not pay as much attention to what their Barn mates are doing, in a positive way. I suppose that is it. Positive.

Many have noted that 'kids today' don't want to ride, they want to show. I dare say, some even just want to win. There are horsepeople/horsemen/horsewomen, and then it is been said there are riders. I would even go so far as to say, there are competitors, those who don't even care to improve their riding,  let alone their horsecare,  and simply want to win.

What's the big deal about winning? I mean, sure, we all like it. But most people enjoy it because it means that all that hard work paid off. However, the competitors simply want to best everyone.

A rider can be uninterested in the horse care, they simply want to ride. But a competitor will do what it takes to win. Some of them desire to learn more so they are able to win. But some never change and blame horses and others for their mistakes. No initiative.

But why is winning so important? Because others see it. For some, that validation comes from others seen how 'good'  they are. This brings me back around to the barn rats. Kids seem uninterested in learning more and being better. They simply want to skip all the steps and get to the results. But hey, I was a kid once. One trainer called me lazy at about 9 or 10. I tell that to people today, and they are flabbergasted. Why? Because I'm not that person/ kid anymore. So in defense of kids, they are kids, they can change.

However, the problem I see, giving a fuck about what others think, Social media, other Riders, who are you trying to impress? Why would you want to impress your friends, or 10k IG followers, if your trainer can't get through to you that you need to stop pinching with your knees? Pretending you're a barn rat, care about your horse and Care, Etc just because you put up pictures does not a barn rat make.

Suffice to say, people care too much about image. They want to be famous. Not smart, or kind, or dedicated, or talented. Perhaps all these things - - yes--but only if other see it! So yes, kids see the social media rich kids that live on the circuit doing Big Eq straight out of the womb, and they want it. The easiest thing for them to do? Fake like they have it, pretend, play Etc but it is all for image and no substance.

I suppose my fear is that yes we are losing horse women. But also that we are losing Riders as well. The competitors are taking over. Even if some of them will fall out and move on, they are replaced with more insecure self-aggrandizing attention whores who can't tell you anything about hooves, feed, grass, tack (unless we're talking about brands!!)

Where is the barn rat? They are out there. But I hesitate to just believe all I see.  #Barnrat doesn't mean much. A picture of one with the Pitchfork can just as easily be stage with a dog. (#corgibarnrat?)

Call me cynical. But I will know the barn rat when I meet her. I think nowadays she's post-college, maybe a kid or spouse, but she is passionate and she's talking about horses and learning in every way she can. I think you may know her too. We read her blog. <psst! It's you!>

June 20, 2017

Deja Vu

I haven't jumped my girl since I tried her out at the end of May. Even then it was something tiny. I know she jumps, I know she's good. So I've been looking to work on our flat.

I have a vet appt for her bump. She's been good. But not like the first week. So I think taking care of that will help her. How could it not?

I've noticed she's a ride that I'm familiar with. She's a lot like the Bay's mom, and much like The One Who Got Away. It is a happy ride for me.

June 05, 2017

Weekend summary

There may be a day when I look to compose real entry posts that have been proofread for typos and grammar. But I'm not taking bets on it.

Friday, we walked and trotted through the puddles in  the arena. She wasn't too keen on it, but didn't really fuss too much. I was worse off though bc I'm the one who got to clean her hooves and legs after!

She had one call at the beginning, but I haven't really heard anything since. She's settled in well and everyone fusses over her! Her coat is redonkulously soft, silky, shiny, dapples. Wow. I don't even know what to do or say when people compliment her. It's not really any of my doing. I've always said I had unluck. It's not bad luck, but it's never been good luck. I can't say that anymore. Evah. So, I just kinda smile and nod and appreciate her.

Saturday was helping a friend try out horses. I went back to ride and didn't have my bridle. So I didn't want to put the other too large bit in. I'm very particular on bits. I bit down. I don't want excuses, I hate dental work riders. I want soft and agreement. So, I'd rather keep her consistent this early in the game. I just groomed that lovely coat. We lasted 7 minutes in the dark grazing before the mesquite ticked me off...

Sunday I went out and she had a big lump on her jawline. I'm still getting to know her bumps, legs, etc. But I'm pretty sure I would be noticed this one.

Wut Dat. No like

Normal looking

Hey there 

She didn't like it touched, but it could be touched. Slightly sensitive. So I took off noseband to see how she would do. With the previous day off, I wasn't sure she would appreciate another day off. Esp if she hasn't gone out because of rain. The girl enjoys her work. I will keep an eye on it and see if it is better or worse today.

She was fine. A little mouth jiggy at first but settled in. She settles more and more each ride, faster and faster. Perhaps one day no gnashing.

The BO/BM came by to tuck ponies in amd shut barn doors as the alerts were going off. Something was coming. I had a little bit so I finished up. We did a leg yield off the rail leg yield back to the rail at a walk. Cantering at meeting rail, back to Trot, then 3 Trot poles. She Was stickier off the R leg. But over all I think she likes having a set of things to do rather than just drilling one.

I need to get creative with this girl...

June 02, 2017

Expect Nothing, Receive Everything

Day four, I had to ride my ponyboy, with that silly thing called life, I knew I wouldnt get it all in. So, we went out, pulled Z's other shoe anf filed down the edges. So begins seeing how she is barefoot.

I rode the next day.

When I tried her out, she went in a single joint loose ring. It was fine, but I tried something  bit more steady, with a double joint. The first day, I borrowed my friend's D-ring. It was too big, she was fussy. But I'm sure most of that was a little nervousness at the new situation. So, I found my eggbutt with lozenge, 5". Works great. She is steady with minimal fussing. My go to bit for nervous or anxious horses actuslly is a roller. But 1, I gave that bit to a student, and 2, I don't think that is what she needed. No flash either. I can see where people prefer it, because she is... "expressive". Mix that with fidgety and she moves her lips around like a baby smile. Babies do that to show, hey, I'm just a baby don't hurt me! But I think Z is just quirky too.

She has yet to do anything hot, or even spook. The only thing close to a spook I saw was when we were grazing waiting for shower time. A rustling in the bushes across the street got her attention in a minor lay startling way, her skin did that quick tightening. But she looked up  then went back to eating.

She is happy. Even dancing in her stall less. You can still see she gets bored, the stalls have mats so there is clear sign she's been doing her thing. But she's super chill.

I'm gobsmacked by this mare.

May 30, 2017

Day Three, Carefree


End of day two:

Scene: Grazing. Mare is a mobile grazer, not stand in one spot for an hour grazer.

Me: omgomg. I can't believe this is my horse.

(mare literally steps out of shoe)

Me: ... Yup this is my horse... -_-

I hate nylon. Need cob leather. Hellllloooo sales

No joke.

But day 3 I hopped on to see what she would be like. Well, someone didn't tell her. The arena is deep enough it was OK to play for a bit. And even better than yesterday!

Seeking contact. Pushing onto my hand. Happy to havr some traffic and buddies. No calling. I think she was disappointed when I hopped off early. My girth was too big and I didn't want to tear up the chips.

But girl's got it going on! Seriously, her reward is more work. She wants it. No breaks, go go go. No drilling, but craves a challenge. What did I get myself into... :D

I suspect she is part Arab, part QH, part TB. When you see her head, you know. And eyes. Then, I think I know a badonkadonk when I see one. But Tb legs.

I have never had too much interactions with Arabs. But from what I have heard it seems to fit. She has endless energy, she seeks to please, but is independent. And smart as a freaking whip. Hence the "entertain me or I'll entertain myself" attitude.

Any advice for those of you, cough Emma, so might know on riding the eventing Arabian?

When your horse's name is on your boots 

May 29, 2017

Hurry Up and Wait

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I think I've been clear to you all, the universe, the people in my life, I want a horse of my own. I'm that person that my life is horses. My life starts when I mount, and pauses when I dismount. It isn't healthy, but that is what it is. There is no other more comfortable place for me, than astride. (ugh unless it is a shitty lame situation..) 

I've had some potential horses drift my way, but for one reason or another it wasn't meant to be. Distance, availability, etc. All horses that I would love to work with. But the universe can be a fickle bitch.... Takes one to know one I guess... 

I continued to wait. To be patient. It is hard for me. Well , no one LIKES being patient, but we do it. A big fault of mine is that I can be lacking consistency at times. Not to say I'm inconsistent, just that I need to work on my consistency, follow? It has been a rough ride of a year. Some unpleasant situations and swallowing pride, trying to be a better person, etc. 

Randomly, Spouse and I received a message from a friend who knew of a horse that wasn't working out in her current situation, she thought of us. After checking out the videos, she seemed worth checking out. A quirky mare. Hot. Not the horse for the owner, nor the program for the horse. Off we went to take a peek. 

I love quirky. I love hot. I do not make hot, as I see other riders enjoy the "sturm und drang" as Denny Emerson just described it today on Tamarack Hill's fb page. I soothe, I work with, not against. But hot, problem, fierce, wtfever, doesn't scare me. 

Actually this mare was none of those things on this day. But I see how she could be. She weaves too. No, not like Ray Charles bopping to a beat in her head. More like performance art in her stall, full on personal Broadway show choreography. So... I can see how MANY people would not be down with that. Girl is Speshul. 

I could see the potential though. She is meant to be an eventer. People were told she was wb/Tb, but I see something else entirely. No worries... I took her home. Stuff to work on, but plenty already there. Seemed like a good deal. 

Rode her the next day, kept her a bit more occupied, and she was great! She is the kid that is acting up in school because she's bored. She wants to do, be entertained, to be engaged, to think. She will fake spook at things she's seen before, she is buddysour. She needs a job. Keep her occupied and she is trying to please. Because of her extracurricular activities of stall balls and dancing. She is free through her shoulder. She listens off the seat, doesn't just run from legs but moves hind legs accordingly. I was stunned day two. I didn't just get a deal....I got a helluva deal. 

May 27, 2017

I Did a Thing

Officially. My. Own.


And I need a name.

Shit just got real. 😨