Hello everyone! I’d like you to know that I have moved this blog to In the Eyes of an Equestrian! If you want to continue following my life as an equestrian, please read and follow my new blog!
Woops… It’s been like two months since I’ve actually posted on here.
Anyways, I’m still riding Warren! We’ve had a lot of improvement in the past two months. I’d been riding him mostly English, but I have switched back to western for the next few months! We’re doing group lessons together in main with my trainer, and it has been going very well! Warren has become a lot more responsive to me without trying to buck or get out of work. He has gained some weight and you can’t really see his ribs anymore, and his back is slowly starting to get stronger! Besides that, nothing much has happened in the horse world. I’ll try to remember to post on Saturday about our lesson and become more active on here again 🙂
Camp was an amazing experience this year! I was able to do camp with Ivana, with my trainer as my counselor and many many friends I already knew and met.
I was given Utah, this chestnut Thoroughbred (I’m pretty sure that’s what breed he is), and he turned out to be a really fun horse to ride since I am experienced enough to ride him (without dying).
On the first week, we did a lot of work on lateral work and transitions. Utah did somewhat well when we did leg yields and turns on the forehand compared to the last time we did lateral work together (my trainer had to literally push him over to get him to side pass). We had trouble picking up the left lead throughout the week, and I was lucky enough to get him to even pick up one or two strides of a left lead canter.
We went on two trail rides on the first week of camp. The first trail ride was a test trail where we took Utah out on the trail. He’s classified as a guide-only horse at the office, since he is definitely not safe for anybody but staff to ride. I ended up riding next to another guide-only horse, since we were free to spread out and not ride single-file. Our counselor decided we were advanced enough to not have to ride in a straight line out on the trails. We kept the trail at a walk-only pace, since my horse and our counselor assistant’s horses would most likely take off and leave the rest of the group behind. On our second trail ride, I was given a different horse so we could do more than walking. We were able to trot and lope on the trails that time without two horses that would run off with people.
We also played a few games of musical horses. Basically, the game is similar to musical chairs, but on horses. When the music played, we would trot around the arena. When the music stopped, the counselor would call a horse out and we had to jump off our horses and run to another one that wasn’t out. The game goes on like that until there are three horses left, where the three people would lope around the arena while everyone ‘out’ watched in the middle. The counselor would call a horse out , and whoever didn’t get on a horse got to get on the horse that was called out and be ‘chased’ by the two other people who were still in. Whoever got on that horse would be considered the winner of the game.
On Friday, we only rode English. I didn’t struggle too much doing the basic riding, walking and trotting around the ring while some first-time English riders figured out the shorter stirrups at both gaits. Utah had issues picking up the canter in general, probably since he was not used to having constant contact on his mouth with a snaffle bit.
The second week was great, too. We started doing pair work for our drill team during the show. I paired up with Ivana, who was on Chuck-E. We decided that Utah was going to be named Ariel and Chuck-E would be our Flounder for our Disney themed show names.
We learned and nearly perfected our drill team in only a few days, which ended up being pretty successful in our camp show on the second Friday. Sure, we messed up a couple of times, but the parents and family watching the show seemed to really like our drill team.
In the equitation class, I was put in a group of horses who had more ‘go’ and were not slow. We did some turning on the forehand, sitting jog as a group, posting trot as a group, loping as a group, and individual simple lead changes. Utah still never really picked up the left lead, except when we did drill team (if we got lucky) and one time during a lesson (after the counselor got on him).
I was given the award for “best legs” during our equitation class. Camp was really a great experience, where I actually got to learn a lot! I’m hoping to become a counselor assistant next year for more fun camp experiences! 🙂
Haha sorry this is such a poorly written post.
I realized that I haven’t posted in quite a while, so I decided to keep you guys updated on what’s been going on.
Nothing much has happened since my last post. I’ve still been taking lessons with Warren and my trainer, and we’ve been working on getting him onto contact without leaning on the bit, as well as keeping him balanced. The most interesting thing that happened was Warren running out of the main arena, down the hill, and kicking, trying to get out of work.
I did a simple bareback trail around the ranch last week, and the pony was a lot happier! He didn’t make any attempts to bite me at all, unlike the week before.
I’ve also just begun summer camp! For the next two weeks, I will be spending practically every day at the ranch. I’m taking an advanced camp with Ivana, and so far, it’s turning out to be really fun! We vaulted in the morning, and went straight into vaulting at the trot instead of learning all the compulsories at the walk then trot. We had to do two moves on the back (one facing forward and one facing backward) and one on the neck. Everything went smoothly until I was getting off the neck and sliding onto the back, since the surcingle wasn’t put on tight enough and everything, including the pads, slid and pushed me off the horse.
We rode after, and I was put on a mare that liked to walk away at first, Kahula. Our camp just walked, did some posting trot and trotting in two point, before switching horses a few times for the counselor to see how we did with the different horses.
We got assigned our camp horses by the afternoon ride, meaning the horses we were told to ride will most likely end up being our horse for the two weeks of camp. I was given a tall chestnut horse, Utah, for camp. We basically did the same thing in our afternoon ride without changing horses, plus some work on getting them to do a bigger trot on two sides of the arena and a slow western jog on the other two sides of the arena.
I may post more about camp tomorrow, though I may not if nothing very exciting happens. I’m really glad to be riding in the advanced camp where we get to do more!
Tacking Warren up today wasn’t easy. His english saddle is slightly too wide, and he has withers, and he was cribbing while I was trying to saddle him. It took probably ten times before the saddle was in a somewhat acceptable position.
I warmed Warren up before my lesson, and when my trainer came, we worked on getting him to use his hindquarters. We had him work in more of a square around the arena instead of a circle, so he would have to do a turn on the forehand at the walk to turn. He didn’t exactly step over his other leg, so I had to continue turning him until he did step over. He ended up bucking in almost every corner of the arena. We did it in the other direction, where there was some improvement.
I cantered him, half halting with my outside rein and inside leg. There was major improvement from when I cantered him in the past, and we did it in the other direction before I cooled him down.
Reviewing the videos taken from today, I realized a few issues:
- Warren just plods a lot and does not move at a good pace
- I need to bring my shoulders back
- I need to keep contact with my thighs
- I need to stop posting off my feet
Overall, today was a great day! 😀
This past week was the first week of horse camp! It’s only three more weeks until my camp begins! Remember, I will be writing about it. 🙂
Pictures will be coming soon!
Sorry for not posting recently…
It’s been rather uneventful the past few weeks. One week, Warren was sore from getting his feet trimmed. The next week, we did a bareback ride (and I may have fallen). The next week he got kicked by a horse and was limping, so I didn’t get to ride him again. And I had finals this past week.
During those weeks that I didn’t really ride, I ordered some paddock boots and half chaps. They came in, so I rode English during my lesson on Saturday. English riding is pretty hard.
At least compared to western riding. (Unless I’m just really used to western).
I got instruction on how to sit when riding English, in a close contact saddle. I was allowed to ride with longer than normal stirrups. I warmed him up by walking around in both directions, then brought him up into the trot. I posted the trot, which felt totally weird. I was sitting too heavily in the saddle and I was leaning too far back. I was told constantly to roll my thighs into the saddle, which I constantly forgot to do. I posted the trot for a while, then cantered him on the right lead. He had to hop up to get the lead, which made me fly out of the saddle before I sat his canter.
We did the same thing on the other side, then cooled him down. My trainer had to leave to teach the group lessons down at the main arena, so I went on a little trail ride around the property with my friend walking alongside. I untacked him the prepped his bucket, mucking the field while waiting for the beet pulp to soak.
Saturday was one of those days that I didn’t really ride. Warren had gotten his feet trimmed just the day before, so I was going to only see if he was rideable. He wasn’t with an obvious limp on his front left hoof. Instead of being ridden, I let him chill out in the round pen for a bit, then let him graze for a while before putting him away. It was a rather uneventful day, except for one part: Warren tore the shed down. There was a little covered shack for the horses to have some shade or protection from rain, and Warren had cribbed on it so much that the whole wall fell off and the shack was only standing because of one pillar.