There is something about the outside of a horse..

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There is something about the outside of a horse..

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    05-17-2012, 11:56 PM
There is something about the outside of a horse..

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
― Winston Churchill

I am a fourteen year old girl living in Missouri. I currently only ride western and compete in western pleasure (and events similar) and barrel racing (and events similar) at the local level. I have only sat in an english saddle once and that was to walk my sister's horse back to the barn. I have hopes of trying to learn to ride english this summer (:

My story started when I was three. My sister owned a stubborn pony named Daisy which she would let me ride as she led it around. One day she started leading my over the ditch in our yard as a "jump". Long story short, Daisy bucked me off, and I broke my wrist. I swore to myself that I would never ride a horse again.

When I was ten my 4-H leader convinced me to ride a small, painted pony named Copper. To this day my mom refers to Copper as "the one who started it all".
I suppose you could say I took "lessons" on Copper. (We didn't pay the owners anything, they were simply happy to teach me) We had planned to lease, and then buy Copper, but several issues prevented either of those things from happening. The main one being that he had worn his teeth down so low when he was young from chewing on wood that he could only eat special chopped hay, which would be EXTREMELY pricey to feed, Copper was simply not an option.

At the time my sister had bought a barrel horse, and because "she wasn't fast enough" was selling her. My sister convinced me to try to ride her. Even though she was very mareish, that Christmas I bought her with my own money.

Wildfire, 1996 Quarter Horse mare

I won the beginner division at a local playday my first year, and the amateur division my second. At one point I was running faster times than my sister on the horse "that wasn't fast enough".

When I was twelve I asked my parents if I could buy a yearling colt from my sister. My parents instead bought me that colt for my birthday, and trust me, it wasn't the brightest moment any of us had. To this day I regret buying him as an inexperienced twelve year old.

Gunsmoke, 2009 Missouri Fox Trotter x Standardbred/Saddlebred? Gelding

Then, just a year ago in August 2011, I purchased my third horse after working with him through the summer for my sister in exchange for training on Gunsmoke. It was love at first canter. I pondered a long time about buying him, and finally did.

Buckshot, 1996 Missouri Fox Trotter gelding

Added to the above three, I am also working with a Arabian mare named Sugar in exchange for moolah' ;) and a Quarter Horse colt named Clover Kid resides at our house as my 4-H club is raffling him off for a fundraiser.
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    05-19-2012, 07:47 PM
Yesterday, Buckshot and I got to go to a funshow! (:

We warmed up very good without any real glitches. Running poles he made too wide a turn on the first pole, but after that he did excellent on his weaving, which, to be honest, is normally pretty sloppy. We also did pretty good on flags, he went right up next to the barrel to let me grab the flag, but we tipped over the barrel to drop the flag back into.

Before the next event he started kicking his one hind leg repeatedly, and just generally acting out of character. My sister suggested that he could have something in his hind boots that could be bothering him. I took both his boots off, then his bridle, and had my mom go fill up a bucket to see if he could have possibly gotten dehydrated. He wouldn't drink, but he did start to eat some of the grass around where I had had him tied. We checked for swelling, walked him and checked for limping, but nothing appeared to be wrong.
I decided to go ahead and do down & back on him, but I was going to hold him back just to see how he acted. He seemed .. wobbly. Afterwards I took his bridle off again and he kept itching his neck and one back leg. After a bit of debating I decided we should probably skip barrels, so instead I rode my sister's barrel horse Roxy. I believe we got a time of 33 seconds, which was because I hadn't rode her in around a year, so we just trotted and did some light cantering.

Checked Buckshot this morning and he seemed perfectly fine. I don't know what was wrong, if anything was wrong at all.
Tomorrow there's a different funshow that I'm going to take both Wildfire and Gunsmoke to, crossing my fingers it goes well!
Skyseternalangel likes this.
    05-21-2012, 12:44 AM
Today at the funshow went decent :) I felt like I got a lot accomplished. There were some issues with catching Wildfire and I decided to take Buckshot instead of her.
We unloaded, groomed, and tacked up the horses. Gunsmoke let me pick out both of his front feet fine, had no reaction to me tacking him up, or getting on him when I lead him over to the arena to warmup. Of course, as soon as I got on him, asked him to flex, and to go he decided to buck on me. No little crow hops either, a full out bucking fit that had me rocking in my saddle pretty good. I corrected him, and then preceded to warmup.
I signed him up for all the pleasure classes just simply for the practice (One of the greatest things about small funshows, no one expects you to be perfect!) Great for me, the only other girl in my class was riding a greenbroke pony. Trust me, that was interesting. My horse kept attempting to or actually bucking as soon as I asked for a trot, and her horse was basically all around the arena and was spooking at everything. The judge laughed it off with us, he thought we made a pretty good show ;) Needless to say, we got second.
After that I broke out the handy-dandy crop and worked Gunsmoke harder, making him work extra hard if he tried to buck. By the time my next class started he would willingly trot without even tossing his head. My next two classes I was the only one and he did TONS better. No bucking, and he would almost start trotting with a bit of leg pressure. He did break gait about every six strides, but he would go back into his trot without any fuss.

Then I did Egg & Spoon on Buckshot, got second out of three people. After that it was all speed :)
Flags- 25.206 seconds, he did really good again! The pattern was a bit different then what we're used to, but we didn't have any major complications or spookiness.
Poles- 31.8 seconds. May seem a little slow to some of you, but this is probably the fastest time I've had with him yet. His weaving has improved dramaticly in just these last few shows we've been to!
Barrels- 23.79 seconds. We probably would of had a better time, but the timer glitched on our first run :\ Turns were pretty wide, and I know he can do better. Going to set up some fun patterns at home and practice with him on it.
Catalog race- 32.196 seconds.
Keyhole- 12.598 seconds! I was SO pleased with how well he responded to me! We ran up and he didn't spook at the flour like 99% of the horses I know. I cued him with my legs and he did an excellent roll back. I was more happy because the other girl in my class had this big, fancy barrel horse and she beat me on everything else expect this. She ran a 14 second time and was complaining at how the circle was too small for her big horse to fit into. Makes me happy to own a 14.2hh horse :)

My mom/sister took some pictures, so I'll see about posting some later.
Also ordered a new bit for Wildfire just a couple minutes ago along with a pair of clippers, can't wait for both of them to arrive! Buckshot has quite the amount of hair on his fetlocks, and all of them need bridlepathes clipped too.
Skyseternalangel likes this.
    05-21-2012, 12:57 AM
That is it I ride western trails and that is good for me you are having fun and that is what counts
    05-21-2012, 12:58 AM
What a great story!! I love that you didn't give up horses and now you're back and rockin' it at fun shows :)

Keep going, girl!
    05-25-2012, 07:09 PM

I've been really busy lately, so I haven't done much. Just done a bit with Sugar, who is my sister's horse that she is going to be paying me for working with. (Er.. was. She agreed to just pay off my vacinations with for the year, which ended up totaling more than she was originally going to pay me, so I'm fine with that!) She's a 6 year old greenbroke Arabian mare.
On Tuesday a just did a bit of stuff on the ground with her, majority of it working on getting her out of my space, which is the one thing she is bad at.
Yesterday someone came to look at her (My sister is trying to sell her) and a 3 year old Quarab rescue named "Jasper". I rode Sugar for the people and she was an absolute butt :P I think it was the worst she has ever done undersaddle. The lady said she would let my sister know if she was interested, which I honestly doubt she was! XD The first thing she said when she got out of her car was "Oh .. they're so small.." As Sugar is *maybe* 14.2 hands and Jasper was malnourished and is around 13 hands? She also tried to convince me that my loose ring snaffle I ride Sugar in is only ment to be a secondary Dressage bit?

This is Sugar- (Old old old picture, sorry!)

Anyway, my new bit for Wildfire arrived today! Clippers are on back order, but I'm excited to try it out. Hopefully tomorrow, my sister may even come over to ride ^^
    05-25-2012, 07:12 PM
Lol! Loose ring snaffles are prevalent in both styles of riding :P But they are favored in the dressage ring.

Cute horse!! I cannot imagine a horse that small.. I worked with a Haffie but that's a different build altogether.
    05-26-2012, 10:09 PM
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Cute horse!! I cannot imagine a horse that small.. I worked with a Haffie but that's a different build altogether.
For some reason I always seem to end up riding/working the short horses

Figured I would post some of my goals for this summer/year,

-Improve Gunsmoke in general (I don't necessarily have a place I want him to be at yet, just want him to show improvement in general)

- Learn to ride English

- Run a 19 second or faster barrel time (I *almost* made this goal last year!)

- Be able to jump small jumps in a western saddle without nearly falling off. (Texas Barrels ... I never ran fast times on it because I always tense up before the jump, plus, who knows, maybe I'll really like english and want to try jumping?)

Anyway, my sister did come over to ride, and my friend that is learning to ride! :)
I rode Wildfire in her new bit and she did okay :/ She seemed stiff when I asked her to turn or stop. I did end up switching back to a bit she was more familiar with halfway through our ride and she responded a tad better. I'm going to try it some other time again to see if she was just having a "bad day". (*sigh* mares..)

During our ride we worked on jumping over some small logs, which was actually pretty enjoyable. Other than that we just worked on weaving a bit on poles, but nothing else really.

We stopped for lunch, my friend had to go home, and my sister fell asleep on our couch lol
I went ahead and rode Buckshot just for the fun of it. I honestly didn't make him work very hard, just went ahead and had a bit of a fun workout. We practiced a bit on barrels/poles, made up a few crazy patterns that were pretty fun, and then jumped some logs aswell.
    05-26-2012, 10:52 PM
That or it didn't work for her, horses are very particular about the bits they like. Maybe she got stiff because of the nutcracker action of the snaffle?
    06-10-2012, 11:40 PM
Wow.. things here have been insane! I don't really feel like going into detail, but it's just been crazy.

But I have begun to start completing one of my goals.. riding english!
I was able to borrow a friend's english saddle to ride Wildfire in. I rode her at both a trot and canter, though my posting needs TONS of work. I feel like I know how to post, but I need to get the rythm of her trotting more. (If that makes sense?)
Afterwards I untacked Wildfire and switched back to western to ride Buckshot. Just had some fun riding him, nothing big. :)

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