Horse Love. :)

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Horse Love. :)

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        11-22-2009, 08:37 PM
    Horse Love. :)

    My background and History with horses:

    When I was little, I lived in California with my parents and close to my dad's family. My cousin, Jody, worked at a barn and had ridden for most of her life. I loved visiting the barn and seeing all the horses. The first book I read was "Charlie the Chestnut Pony" which I read over and over and over again. The first horse I ever road was a little black pony at a pony ride and from then on I was in love.

    I moved to virginia when I was four and quickly found a stable about a mile away where I would make my mother drive me down to feed the horses carrots. (my mom always kept a bag of carrots in the car if we happened to pass some horses) Finally, after a month of sneaking carrots to the horses, we met the Barn owner and I started taking weekly lessons. I never once missed a lesson unless I was really sick. I started on a little light grey welsh pony named serena. After she was sold, I rode her two year old filly, Miracle, a hot headed arabxwelsh who had a mulish attitude. After a few months of riding I graduated from the 11.3hh miracle to the 13.2hh snickers. Snickers became my favorite pony. I loved riding her and she was the first horse I showed; I was 5. For a couple of years I rode many different ponies (all under 14hh) Snickers, Flame, Phantom, Pate, Miracle, Tuffy, etc. And at age 8 I cantered for the first time on Snickers. Soon after that, snickers was sold, along with flame and tuffy (who passed away a year after that) and I started riding Pate exclusively. Pate was the first pony I jumped with, the first pony I cantered at a show with, and eventually, my first 4h project animal. I also started riding a little hackney pony, who I learned saddleseat on, and a few of my trainer's hunters and ASBs. At 12 I was finally looking for my first horse (after years of begging and pleading). I first looked at a 2 year old Palomino welsh pony gelding named Sebastian. He was one of the prettiest horses I'd ever seen, and I was almost completely won over by the fact that we were both blonde. ^^ The second horse I looked at was a 4yo 14.2hh chestnut AQHxArab mare named Angel. She was incredibly psycho and I didn't really consider buying her. And the third horse was a horse at the barn I rode (I have always ridden at the same barn), a 4yo bay SaddlebredxPony mare named Leia. Leia's mom also happened to be Snickers. :) One day, after school, my mom called me up and simply said "Sebastian or Leia?" and I squealed "LEIA!" Leia was my love.

    I owned her for three years and in those three years I took her to her first off-farm show, won many champions with her, took her to camps, taught her western, bridless, and to lie down on command, I took her to the 4h state champs show twice, I jumped her 3' for both our first times, I learned how to be brave when the horse isnt, I learned how to read a horse's body language, I learned how strong the bond between horse and girl could be, I learned that no matter what she did, I loved her and vice versa, I learned how to be patient, I learned how to be calm when she was frightened, I learned how to ride a buck, I learned that 4 year olds are incredibly bad when they want to be, I learned that mares in heat are disastrous, I learned that a martingale could be my best friend, I learned how to cool an overheated horse at a show, I learned how to untangle tail bags, I learned how to give a horse tranquilizers, I learned that I hate giving horses baths when its cold, I learned how scary hounds are to horses at their first foxhunt, I learned how hard the ground could be, and I learned how much I loved my first pony.

    In December of '08 my dad left our family, leaving my mom to take care of me, my sister, and my brother. The one income wasn't enough to keep Leia and We ended up selling her in February of '09 to a little 11yo girl who still boards her at the farm I ride. Over the summer, I had to watch Leia and this little girl together. It broke my heart. Every time I saw them I smiled on the outside, but on the inside I was screaming "Thats MY horse!"

    In July, I still hadn't ridden Leia since I sold her, and was very sad. I walked in on a lesson with Leia and Hannah one day and Hannah was having difficulty getting Leia to canter (which infuriated me because Leia had always been famous for her responsiveness) My Trainer saw me and invited me into the arena to watch the lesson, though I knew what she was planning...
    After a few laps of fast trotting, my trainer told Hannah to stop and dismount. Then, she handed me a helmet and told me to get on her and make her canter both directions. I approached Leia and began to lower the stirrups, as I did, my throat started to choke up, my face became hot and my eyes started to water. I was going to break down. After I mounted, the tears began to fall, though I was still silent. I cued Leia for a canter, which she picked up almost immediately. The Familiarity of riding her was overwhelming. By the end of the first lap I was sobbing. I'm not sure my trainer noticed cause she then told me to take the jump line. This really broke my heart and after I jumped I was crying uncontrollably. I quickly dismounted, handed Leia to hannah and left the arena.

    Of course, with my luck, the barn was full with people, and I was standing in front of them all crying like a baby. I ran into the barn office and shut the door, hoping no one would follow. And, of course, Hannah and my friend, Chris, came in and tried to comfort me. Hannah was laughing, being young and didn't understand, and Chris was mercifully silent. I didn't ride the rest of that day.

    Since then, I have shown many horses, in many disciplines, such as saddleseat, hunter, western, jumping, and dressage. I am not completely over Leia, but I am better.

    My family and I are now getting ready to move for the first time in eleven years. I will have to change barns for the first time in my life and I will be going to a school where I know no one. The good news, the best of the best news, in fact, is that as soon as we move, my mom has promised to buy a horse at the barn where I am currently riding at. His name is genie, and he's a 9yo bay saddlebred gelding who I've known all his life. I'm very happy and am excited to try cross country and maybe foxhunting. :)
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        11-22-2009, 10:51 PM
        11-23-2009, 08:26 AM
    Riding Journal for Sunday November 22, 2009

    Yesterday I had to help teach a group lesson at a friend's barn. Over the summer I was a camp couselor twice and I trained three of their horses. (two are listed as mine on here, but they're not :P) I am very excited because all three of the horses I worked with are now very good lesson ponies.

    So, I arrived at 9:30am and took Phantom, Butterfinger, Harley, Angel and Nibbles (all are ponies accept Angel who is a APH) out of their fields and groomed and tacked them. They were all tied out in front of the barn while they waited for the lessoners to arrive.

    Along with the little kids that came, their was a teenage girl who has been riding for a long time and owns Phantom. She has always had a problem with nerves and tends to cry when the horse is bad, which really aggravates me. She was assigned to Nibbles, because she is a little more of a handful than Phantom. Usually, this girl walks timidly up to Nibbles and slowly reaches for the hoof to pick it up. I guess the last few sessions of them together has gone smoothly, so she was more confident and actually groomed and tacked the horse without asking me for help.

    The arena is located in the middle of a field and the main entrance to the field was very muddy, so we had to take the long way. I took Harley and rode him through the field to the arena, which also was his first time riding in an open field. (Harley is only four and I started him in June and I've been training him since) Once I'd entered the arena I looked back towards the gait where the kids and ponies were coming and noticed nibbles was looking at something.

    The problem with Chloe, the girl assigned to Nibbles, is she's either freaked out by the horse, or she gets overly confident and stops paying attention to the horse. So, Nibbles spooked, and completely freaked Chloe out and I knew exactly what I was going to end up doing...

    ...I had to ride Nibbles around to "Calm her down" while chloe rode harley. Nibbles was a teenie bit jumpy after spooking, but besides that she was perfect. I had to ride her with one hand and frequently looking back, because I was in charge of supervising the kids who couldn't ride very well. -.- So, after riding nibbles forever I finally said to Chloe
    "Look, I can't watch these kids and ride her at the same time, I thought you were going to ride her," as I saw her expression I added, "Never mind, I'll manage," and continued riding.

    I'm not usually so mean, but I was sick, I had tacked up all the horses, I was basically giving this lesson while the trainer was looking at a lame horse, and I had to put up with this chick while I rode her horse.

    Finally, the trainer's husband said he'd take nibbles for me, which both relieved and irritated me cause I wished that Chloe would take her. He took her to the field outside of the arena and galloped her around to tire her out for Chloe. I don't agree with this, but he was having fun, so...

    THEN I noticed that Harley and Rachel, the little girl riding him, were stopped. I walked over and saw she was holding the reins wrong, she was pulling on his mouth, she was slouching, and her heels were up. I was in awe, had this girl never been taught proper equitation?!?

    After adjusting her position and rearranging her hands, I told her to ask him again for the walk, which he picked up right away. I ended up doing the same thing to about three other people. -.-

    Finally the trainer came down and I was free to ride any horse without a rider. I chose Harley, cause he's my baby. <3 I took his saddle off and rode him around bareback, walking, trotting, and cantering him.

    THEN, once again, someone needed my help... And this time, it was the trainers!! The barn owner/trainer's son in law also trains horses and had brought his mare Blondie into the arena. He was trying to mount up, but every time he did, she'd spin around and manage to dislodge his foot from the stirrup, and he'd be on the ground again. The other trainer tried, failed, then handed the horse to her husband, who also didn't succeed. I dismounted Harley, told him to whoa, and like the good little boy he is, he stayed put in that spot. <3

    I first tried to mount the mare normally, to see what exactly she was doing. She was spinning towards me. I tightened the rein on the opposite side so her head was turned away from me, so she couldn't spin on top of me. I tried mounting again, and what do ya know, she stood perfectly still.

    I dismounted and went back over to Harley, who, of course, hadn't moved and continued riding him till I had to leave.


    **I don't ride at this barn, I merely work there as a favor for a friend.**
        11-23-2009, 08:32 AM
    **ALSO I'm not like a trainer, or anything.. I'm only fifteen :P
        11-23-2009, 03:55 PM
    Journal for Monday November 23, 2009

    Today I went to a barn down the street where I will be animal sitting over the holiday. There are three horses, five cows, a lot of chickens, two cats, two bunnies, and a dog.

    They have a little miniature horse named Molly who is free to roam around the property and enjoys following people and staying very close to everyone. She likes attention. While They're away and I'm in charge, she will have to be put into a field. :P
    The other horse is a PaintxBelgian mare who is six months pregnant. The pregnancy was unexpected and they are completely not prepared for a frisky little foal. Good thing they've got another 5months. ^^
    And the third mare is Sassy, a mare they bought from where I ride, and a mare who I've ridden and known for a very long time. They said if it stops raining I'm allowed to ride her.
    Then, they have a widdle calf I have to bottle-feed which is the CUTEST thing I've ever seen!! He's adorable! the rest of the animals are quite simple to feed, just grain in bucket, hay on ground and check water. :P I also have a lesson this week and another 'fun' lesson I have to give. Wish me luck! :P
        11-23-2009, 04:00 PM
    Originally Posted by tinkerbell09    
    lol :P
        11-25-2009, 07:28 PM
    Journal for November 25, 2009

    Well today has been full of surprises. I rode a mare named 'The Diva' who used to be awful. She was abused at first, then bought by people who were terrified of her. When she arrived at the barn for training, she wouldn't let anyone touch anywhere past her girth area and was vicious to everyone she came in contact with. When someone tried to mount her, she'd rear and buck over and over until you were thrown. Now, she's completely safe and has shown in dressage, jumping, hunter pace and has done some fox hunting. She's incredibly fun to ride and is really effectionate. She even had her first foal a year ago. :)

    I rode her today with my trainer while she rode her ASB, Greta (the mare in my avatar). Diva usually hates other horses and kicks if they get too close. But today, we did a few pa de duexs (SP) and since we were the only ones riding, we practiced the quadrilles with only two horses lol. (we were doing dressage because it was raining and the jumps are set up outside) Diva was perfect!

    I also rode a little greenie pony named 'Whisper' LOL who's here for training. I had to test her out. She was sooo annoying to ride. She'd scrunch up every time I moved or asked her to go faster or made her go. She'd also throw her head up every time I touched the reins which made my trainer think she's either being bad or needs her teeth floated.

    Well, the big surprise of today is as followed...
    I've finally accepted the fact that Leia's not mine. I was excited to get genie. Till my mom called me from work saying Leia's owners couldn't afford keeping her anymore and theres a chance we could buy her back. I started crying. If I can buy her back I'll be so incredibly happy.

        11-25-2009, 08:03 PM
    Aww, yay!

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