Equuestriaan's Weekly Log

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Equuestriaan's Weekly Log

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    11-06-2008, 11:20 PM
Equuestriaan's Weekly Log

Hey everyone! I've decided a log would be a neat way to let you all get to know me and to share what's going on in my life (as far as horses go, anyways)! I'm afraid the amount of personal information about myself I can give out is limited. I'll be 15 in December. I've been riding for 8 years, taking weekly lessons.

My first 4 years or so were at a very small barn with only 6 ponies. The ponies were actually kept in a garage, and the ring was in the backyard. Somehow, it worked out. It wasn't the fanciest place, but my instructor was awesome, everyone was really close, and I learned all the basics and fundamentals of riding, as well as stable work and horse care.

I decided to switch barns because I wanted to advance in my riding and learn how to jump. My second barn was really awesome. I was learning a lot and riding some really great ponies. I learned how to jump up to 2'3'' and started showing on the B circuit (in very beginner classes ).

Then my instructor decided to move to this newly built barn not far from the one I rode at at the time. She only took a handful of her students with her; I was one of them. My usual mount moved to the new barn also. The new barn was really cool, but I missed some of the friends I had made who didn't move with me. I never really learned to fit in at that barn, but I did learn a lot in my lessons. I learned how to jump 2'6'' and even jumped 2'9'' a couple times! Unfortunately, my instructor was pressed financially and said that I couldn't take lessons unless I leased. Last Tuesday was my last lesson with that instructor.

I am currently looking for a new barn to switch to. I want to find a place where I can take group lessons and where I can actually do some barn work and things. At my previous barn, I wasn't even allowed to clean my tack because they had very specific ways of doing things and had hired help to do it just how they wanted it done.

Today I visited a really nice barn and watched a lesson. The instructor seemed really laid back and I got the feeling she was the type of instructor who was encouraging, but wouldn't pressure you into jumping higher than you wanted to or whatever. I am going to schedule a private lesson for next Thursday to see if I am sure I want to ride there, and for the instructor to be able to put me with the right group.

I'm also trying to schedule a visit with this other barn recommended by my friend. If this barn is as good as I've heard, I think I'm going to have a tough time deciding!

I'm going to try to update this log at least once a week (probably more often if I get exciting news or anything). If you guys actually enjoy reading my log then I'll probably write more. I'd love to hear what you all have to say about.. well, anything!
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    11-07-2008, 04:57 AM

Hey Equuestrian!

I think it's a good idea to do this kind of thing - so that you can get to know people on the forum, and also so you can reflect on your progress with your horse by writing it.

Once I'm finished writing this, I'm going to go write my first entry for my weekly log. =)

Will be keeping track of your logs and it would be good to get to know you more - I'm a 15 year old horse lover in Australia

Catch you later
    11-10-2008, 05:34 PM
I was going to look at another barn today. My mom and I drove all the way out there, but the drive took us more than 45 minutes. We drove past the place but didn't go in. I figured there was no point in looking if we had already decided it was too far. I don't think I will be looking at any other barns. On Thursday, I have an hour-long private lesson at the first barn I looked at. I'm super excited. I haven't ever had a private lesson for an hour. I'm also eager to ride a completely unfamiliar horse and ride in the unfamiliar ring. It will certainly be a change of pace and scenery!

I'm hoping I don't get too shy and come off as snobby and anti-social. I certainly hope I don't feel out of place because of what I'm wearing. I noticed when I went to watch a lesson that everyone was wearing chaps and jeans. I definitely will not wear my spiffy new tall boots on my first day. I don't want their first impression of me to be that I'm some rich snob. I only got the boots because it was required for shows at my old place. I can't wear jeans because I don't have any that fit under my chaps. The thing is, my chaps are really fancy and expensive. I hope I don't stand out too much. It's not that I'm rich, I was pressured into buying the most expensive stuff at my old barn.

I'll write more on Thursday about the lesson! Can't wait!
    11-15-2008, 05:11 PM
I just got back from my first lesson at my new barn!

It was a private lesson, for my instructor (I'll refer to her as C) to figure out what group to put me in. It was supposed to be an hour but I started kind of late. I got a choice of two horses to ride: Buster or Dakota. I didn't really know either of them, so I just chose Dakota randomly. He's either a big pony or a small horse, somewhere around 14.2 - 15.3 hh I think.

So I had him on the crossties and he kept trying to bite me. Then when I was tacking up, I forgot he had a martingale so I had to redo the girth. Then, as I was trying to fasten the noseband, he just took off for this bucket of grain nearby. He ate like half the grain before I could get his head out. Finally, somehow, I made it out to the ring.

He had a nice trot, very smooth to sit to. It was weird riding him because I'm used to riding small ponies. His head seemed miles away from my hands.

When I tried to canter him, he threw a little fit and started crowhopping. I would be able to canter him about 3 strides before he would start bucking again. Finally C lent me a crop to use. When he knew I had a crop, he shaped up a bit but still bucked every now and then.

Then we jumped some little crossrails. He was pretty good, except he ran out once. It wasn't a horrible run-out, I just wasn't expecting it. Then C raised the jumps up to about 2ft. We jumped those a lot. Dakota is the kind of horse where you need to set him up for the perfect take-off spot or he won't jump it. Ricky always used to be able to make up for a bad spot, but if you don't plant Dakota right where he needs to be, he runs out. Needless to say, I had some difficulty getting him over everything, but when I set him up right he turned out to be a really good jumper!

I'm starting up with my group lessons during the first week of December, so don't expect a journal for a few weeks. I'll be taking one hour group lessons on Thursdays or Fridays, not sure yet. I'll be riding Dakota regulary. Overall I really liked him. I liked how he was spunky, not just a push-button lesson horse. I think we will make a great team.
    12-01-2008, 11:10 PM

I haven't written in a while because I haven't ridden since my last lesson! I just wanted to check in and give a quick update. I am starting my group lessons on Wednesday! I will be riding from 4:00 to 5:00 on Dakota. I decided to switch to Wednesdays because I found out the Friday group only jumps 1' - 2' while the Wednesday group goes up to 2'3''. It's not a huge difference but since I used to jump 2'6'' regularly I think I would get bored with the Friday lessons.

I am rather nervous to meet the other girls who will be riding in my lesson. I heard that every new "session" (6 lessons) the groups sometimes change as people move up to more advanced groups. I hope that the other girls haven't formed a close group together. It would be cool if most of them didn't really know each other... then I wouldn't be the only one who felt left out.

I'm also going to have to see if my half chaps fit over my jeans. I got some weird looks when I wore my jodhpurs in my group lesson. Everyone else wears jeans. I hope the people who saw me at my private lesson didn't think I was showing off. I think it's best if I start with jeans and chaps and as I get to know people, switch to the jodhs. I don't want people to judge me on what I wear.

On a more positive note... I can't wait to ride Dakota again! My mom will be filming hopefully so I can put some videos in here (and probably in the critique section too). I have got a good plan to keep him from running out. I'm going to try to collect him as we come up to the jump so he can balance and find a good take-off spot. I'm also going to work on not over-releasing and sitting back when he bucks. Basically working on cleaning up my sloppy eq. And I decided to try my stirrups a hole or two lower so I can sit his bucks easier... hope it works!
    12-03-2008, 11:05 PM
Wow! I just got back from my lesson on Dakota!

I was running kind of late so this girl S (again using initials to hide real names) helped me get tacked up in time. I went out to the ring and got on and while I was adjusting my stirrups, Dakota started walking off. I decided to let him walk while I fixed my stirrups. Then he started to put his head down and I tried to get him to stop but he kept tossing his head so I figured he just wanted to itch his nose on his leg. I stopped pulling on his mouth and got back to my stirrups.

What happened next all seemed to be in slow motion.

First I felt a sort of forward and downward motion and at first I just thought Dakota was lowering his head so I didn't do anything. The next thing I know, I'm looking down and there's the ground, right below my feet, and it suddenly occurs to me that Dakota is down on his knees. The first thought that ran through my mind was CRAP. He's going to roll.

At that moment everything sped up and I knew I needed to get off before he decided to roll. I don't remember kicking my feet out of the stirrups or anything. I just remember stepping off just before Dakota went down on his side. I stepped back and he rolled with his tack on and everything. It kinda freaked me out because I was a second away from being crushed.

A second later Dakota's getting up and S (who was watching) runs into the ring saying "Grab his reins, grab his reins!" She sounded worried. I got Dakota's reins and she came up to me and she was all like "Omg are you okay?" She thought he laid down on my leg, but he didn't. Shortly after I got back on and the lesson began.

Dakota kept freaking out at the randomest things while we trotted. He bucked here and there, tossed his head a lot, and shied away from the monsters hiding in the walls.

Then we cantered. It was amazing... the first time I asked, he cantered! Of course, we only made it halfway around the ring before he stopped and bucked again, but I was able to keep him cantering longer than in my last lesson. When we changed directions though we kind of fell apart. It was just a mess... bucking and head tossing, etc. He kept putting his head waay down by his hooves down one end of the ring and when I tried to get his head up, he trotted. >.<

After that, we jumped. We started with this ridiculously tight rollback. The first time, Dakota ran out (see video below). After that he was really good. Each time we went we added a few jumps until we were practicing a full course. The course was really exciting, full of sharp turns and stuff.

Overall the lesson was tons of fun! With my old instructor we only did lines. With my new instructor I am learning a lot more about how to bend around the corners at the canter and jump more challenging and interesting courses. I haven't gotten up the courage to say anything to the other riders in my lesson (there are 2 others) but I like S. She was really interested in helping me out with getting tacked up and she made sure I knew where everything was and how to do everything. She's older than me but doesn't treat me like some beginner. She's really cool and I hope to get to know her better as well as get to know the others in my lesson!

This is the video from my lesson!! Sorry there's only cantering and one blooper (a run-out) and some pics, my camera died halfway through the lesson.

If it's hard to see the cantering (youtube killed my effects) I'll have a plain clip coming soon that I'll post in here and on the critique board.
    12-06-2008, 12:32 PM
My horse rolled on me out on the trails once, the ground was nice and soft, and he just kinda went down! Its the weirdest feeling, isn't it? A lot smoother than I would've thought haha.
    12-06-2008, 08:52 PM
Originally Posted by Fisher.Cat.    
My horse rolled on me out on the trails once, the ground was nice and soft, and he just kinda went down! Its the weirdest feeling, isn't it? A lot smoother than I would've thought haha.
It was so smooth! I was completely surprised. I thought when he went down it would be like a big BUMP and I'd probably get pitched off the horse before I knew what was happening. But nope, one moment I was sitting on the horse, the next my feet are practically touching the ground! It's crazy!
    12-07-2008, 09:31 AM
Originally Posted by Equuestriaan    
It was so smooth! I was completely surprised. I thought when he went down it would be like a big BUMP and I'd probably get pitched off the horse before I knew what was happening. But nope, one moment I was sitting on the horse, the next my feet are practically touching the ground! It's crazy!
I know! It looks so jolting from the ground, but actually riding it feels so different! It was so weird, I felt him doing something odd, but I couldn't figure what until I felt him fold his knees haha and then I was just standing on the ground next to him! I didn't even know how I got there.
    05-07-2009, 05:26 PM
Hey Equuestriaan! I really enjoy reading your journal. Please keep us updated! =)

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