Deer Dressage

This post is very awkwardly written and short:

It was my first day with Warren to ride without any instruction, but I still rode in the dressage arena.

I made him the first part of his bucket before grabbing him from the pasture. I groomed him and tacked him up, then mounted and walked him into the arena. It was windy on Saturday, so Warren was less lazy than normal. I warmed him up by walking him a few times around the whole arena in both directions before trotting him. While trotting, I worked on getting him to do a nice extended trot, since he typically gave me a slow, lazy trot. I changed directions while riding him and worked on both directions. He kept shying from the area near the B marker, and also spooked at a deer in the bushes near the E marker.

I cantered him in both directions on one end of the arena, then let him walk on the other end near the gate. I stopped to talk to my mom for a second, and she pointed out something odd.

There was a deer in the arena.

Which I had never ever seen before.

Maybe the deer wanted to do dressage.

I waited for the deer to eventually leave before riding him a bit more. I fed him, put him in the pasture, and mucked out before leaving.


First Day With the Pony

Today was my first official day with Warren! I showed up at the ranch an hour before my lesson and got all my lease papers signed before getting Warren and tacking him up. In the lesson, I ended up working on getting Warren to extend his trot without trying to break into the canter (which apparently had been happening because of his confusion after other people test riding him) and getting him on the bit without leaning on it. Ivana visited, so after my ride, we gave him his bucket of feed and mucked out his field while he ate. We took him to the office to graze for a few minutes before I put him back into his field.

Ivana’s blog:


Two fridays ago, on March 28th, I tested out a horse to lease! I test rode Warren, who used to be Ivana’s lease horse (If you don’t know much about Ivana’s lease with him, check out her blog by clicking here).

Here’s a bit of information about Warren:

Name: Warren
Gender: Gelding
Breed: Thoroughbred (OTTB)
Age: 10
Height: 16 hands
Color: Chestnut
Discipline: Does sort of a bit of everything but mainly “Western Pleasure”

(mostly taken from Ivana’s blog)

I spent half an hour being introduced to Warren and learning about what his owner does with him. She had me saddle him, to make sure I was able to carry his saddle and tack him up for riding.

"But what if Aramyste and River eat my food?"

“But what if Aramyste and River eat my food?”

I mounted him and warmed him up in the dressage arena. Kat and I worked on introducing me to direct reining (Warren uses an english bridle and snaffle bit, and does not neck rein), getting Warren from leaning on the bit, and to get him to use his hindquarters. We worked on the end of the arena where the gate was, so I ended up having to carry his dressage whip on the outside to keep him from running out. He ran out once, and made many attempts to run off on me again. His lope is really smooth, and overall, Warren is a really fun horse to ride! Below is a video of me riding Warren.

Update on the Past Few Weeks

I haven’t been writing posts.

At All.

And I haven’t been doing Just Horsin’ Around. I haven’t gotten any pictures recently.

But I wanted to update you how lessons have been going for me the past few weeks.

Two weeks ago, I rode Pedro again. We did some stirrupless work, including posting without stirrups. We also practiced one-rein emergency stops using the whole arena. We were to lope our horses fast in an “out of control” way (which Pedro actually did not do, even though he normally does when using the entire arena), and walk them using the one-rein stop.

Last week, we got to choose our horses and I chose to ride Corona to see what he was like being ridden in the arena. We worked a lot on control, doing exercises with posting the trot, halting, walking, two point at the trot, sitting trot, and loping in random order so the horses could not anticipate anything.

Today, I had an interesting class. I chose to ride Cisco since I hadn’t ridden him in a while. We warmed up and trotted around, Cisco trotting faster than the rest of the horses in the class (typical). We did some turning on the forehand, where we halted and reversed directions. We then did circles at the walk, reversing directions at the walk by using turns on the forehand. We also worked on the same things at the trot. The last thing we did was lope. Everybody walked on the inside of the arena while one person would lope on the outside, using the inside leg to keep the horse balanced at the corners. On my turn, Cisco bolted off and I worked on steering him and slowing him down to a decent speed. When loping in the other direction, we used the entire arena and loped two at a time on the inside of the arena. Cisco got excited and I had to lope him in a smaller circle. Kat had me spiral him until he calmed down and walked. Cisco refused to walk though, until he was almost doing a pirouette at the canter. Maybe he should be a Dressage horse.

I have some news coming next week which I will definitely post about, so remember to check out this page again next week!


Utah and Smokey

Last week, I rode Utah. He did not lose his mind, surprisingly, and behaved well during the lesson. We did the same weaving pattern as we did the week before, and Utah did not respond to my leg, which was predictable. We also worked on posting the trot around the entire arena, and Utah got excited enough for me to have to circle him several times to slow down. We loped using the whole arena, and Utah also got overexcited. I ended up loping him in a circle about the size of the normal amount of space we took to lope when we didn’t have the whole arena. I had lost both of my stirrups during it, so I had to grip on with my legs while trying to steer him in the circle.

Yesterday, I was assigned Smokey again. I had to get my stirrups shortened a lot, and the cinch had to be tightened a lot before I could walk him into the arena. When I did walk him into the arena, I was one of hte last people to get in. I finally finished warming him up at the walk, and posted his trot both directions to warm him up.

We did some pair work, since so many of the horses in our class did not behave well near other horses. Whenever Smokey pinned his ears back, I would have to give him a smack with the end of my reins. We did fairly well eventually. Once, Smokey pinned  his ears at Utah and Utah’s rider and I had to both get our horses under control. We tried partner riding at the trot, and Smokey still pinned his ears, but not as much as earlier.

After we separated from working in pairs, we made a circle of four horses tracking left and five horses tracking right on the inside. We did a posting trot around, and we were to smack our horses if they ever pinned their ears back at any other horse. I was put on the outside the first time, until we switched and I was tracking right on the inside.

Then, all but two people trotted on the inside while the two people on the outside loped the opposite direction as everyone on the inside. I was in the first group of people loping. I split my reins and asked Smokey to lope. He did lope, but he picked up the wrong lead. He didn’t turn when we got to the side of our riding area without a rail.  I loped another circle and then brought him into the inner circle.

The same thing happened going the other way, except he did not try to run off this time. He did almost take out Kat’s feet along the rail when he loped right along the rail, though.

We cooled our horses down a bit before doing one last exercise. We had to our horses as slow as we could, with or without stirrups. I dropped my stirrups and was able to get Smokey into a pretty slow jog, around the same speed as Jupiter’s normal jog. We changed directions and did the same thing before cooling down our horses. I gave Smokey almost the entire length of his reins and let him walk around the arena.

We dismounted and got to spend a few minutes with our horses before going up.


Last week was Kat’s first lesson with the 1:00 class. She assigned our horses, and gave me a fairly new horse to Garrod Farms, Carson. I mounted him and got my stirrups adjusted. The trainee tightened my cinch and I got the go-ahead to head into the arena.

I walked Carson in, and began warming him up. I had to make sure he kept doing a nice working walk, to get him prepared for everything we would be doing during the class.We rode in our half of the arena both directions, and Kat instructed us to do a posting trot. We got the whole arena eventually, so we used all the space we could.

After trotting a few rounds each direction, Kat set up a weaving pattern that we were to do without using any reins. Carson wasn’t responsive to the reins, so I ended up asking him to only yield to my legs. We didn’t worry about weaving the cones, just getting him to move over when I asked him to. He finally yielded to my leg, and I praised him. We tried at the jog, and I ended up just having Carson yield to my leg instead of weaving.

We did a serpentine pattern, where we would jog a serpentine while trying to use as little rein as possible. Carson did much better during this, doing the serpentine with a lot less effort. the next time we did it, we loped the straight parts. Carson didn’t lope when I cued him to, and tried running off with me by turning the opposite direction that I asked. I had to split my reins and pull him back to where we were going, and had him trot the serpentine. He finally loped, and we loped around our last cone and back to the end of the line.

We dismounted after and walked our horses up the arena.