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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I'm dreadfully bored at work, so I decided I'd make a member journal about my girly. I kind of keep quiet on the forum, so perhaps this is a way for people to get to know us a bit.

I own one very wonderful mare named Written In The Stars aka Izzie. Not the best registered name, but it was the only one we could agree on once we decided to change it from the dreadful name she used to have (OLA Shaharazaud; the OLA was given from her previous owners naming their backyard breeding operation Oak Leaf Arabians, which only bred Half Arabians). They also lied on her registration papers about when she was born. If you search OLA Shaharazaud the birth date listed is 4/21/2010, but her papers say 5/6/2010. Coincidence I sent in the deposit for her in April and picked her up May 13th of her yearling year? I think not. They hadn't registered her yet, and also did not register as PtHA as they claimed she was registered in (whatever, we've only done fairs and AHA shows).

Anyway, about Izzie! Izzie is a now 5 year old Half Arabian/Half Paint mare (pedigree here for those interested: Written In The Stars Part-bred Arab). We bought her as a fresh yearling just by seeing her picture on video of her movement. She seemed like a willing, happy filly, so we figured let's go for it! Worst case, she'd wind up a trail horse. Best case, I'd have one heck of a show horse! Well, I got both ;) She's a fun little trail horse who, while nervous sometimes, really wants to do what I ask of her. I am fair when I ask something new, but she knows she has to put forth some effort to earn a reward. This is just an example of her willingness. We had only walked in the creek one other time, and it was from the ground as a yearling or two year old: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWHlX96Vl9g

I'll make a couple posts of her throughout the years so not as to make one enormous post :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So, this post will be here baby thread, pictures I saw of her before buying, the ones sent before buying (where I went "what in the world are we getting into???") and some throughout the first year with her.

Baby picture!


The pictures that had me sold to get her.



Picture I was sent just days before getting her. Nearly second guessed myself, but SO glad I didn't!


The first day home, settling into her new digs.



Awkward yearling phases!




And of course getting as nasty as you can in the wet Kentucky winters!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Her two year old year! We hadn't done much really aside from some easy ground work and lots of grooming. We did learn some light lunging in her two year old year, and I did get on a handful of times to walk. Then decided better of it, got pregnant, and let her sit for another year. Sitting on her at 2 though did make getting back on in her three year old year very easy, and the super light riding absolutely did not phase her.

On our first anniversary! We both love this lady!
Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content



Some playing out in her field.




I will always love this next picture. My husband and her have always had this weird understanding. Since we brought her home she has never been opposed to him putting her in a "headlock" of sorts. Obviously if she reacted he would let go, and he's clearly not hurting her.


Still so awkward.


But such a pretty face!


Growing up and getting lighter!


And filling out nicely! (yes, that is tobacco hanging, no the horses have never ever messed with it)


Holiday pictures!

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Her three year old year! She did her first under saddle show with a friend of mine. Her exact instructions were to make it a good experience, and if she felt my horse couldn't handle it all she had to do was ask to be excused and I'd meet her at the gate. I'd had a major riding accident off this horse which was my fault. Our barn owner started a lawn mower, and she spooked hard forward and sideways. I lost my balance and fell. Tried to catch myself, and ended up severely dislocating my elbow, tearing my skin, shredding my muscles, and rupturing my brachial artery. I do not blame her nor our barn owner, but my foolishness for trying to catch myself from that fall. She has done nothing like that since.

This was from our second anniversary. Excuse the baby weight :oops:


In June, all prior to my accident.



And at her first show. You can see how this show could be overwhelming for a horse new to showing, but she did extremely well!





And total shocker, she got fifth!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Her four year old year was a decent year as well! My friend showed her once, we had our second child, and then I showed her twice! The show my friend did was an A rated Arabian show, and the judge even commented how much she really liked my mare! Go Izzie!

The first show of the year.





My husband even showed her! Both pictures were purchased.



Then my first show!






And the last show of 2014:



 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
And now to 2015! This year has been our year! We've been working with instructors who are really helping us come along and really unlock Izzie's talent. I'm being told by judges who judge at Sport Horse Nationals that they REALLY like my horse, and judges who have even told me afterward that my horse really looks like a fun horse to ride!

Our first show doesn't have any pictures, but my friend's awesome dad recorded it for me! We won the class, our first earned blue ribbon!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdMSOkIzwjI

Our second show was again the A rated Arabian show, otherwise known as BAHA Spring Blast. This was a GOOD show! We won our first class (which sadly was not recorded; hubby dropped the ball on that) out of two, and earned bonus points for our incentive called KAHABA (Kentucky Arabian and Half Arabian Breeders Alliance which is only open to Kentucky bred Arabians and Half Arabians), took third out of three in our Native Costume class (I only do this class for fun since we'll never be competitive with our dressage way of going), went into Sport Horse In Hand where we were told we took fourth, but just recently found out we actually took second AND won reserve champion! Showed in Sport Horse Under Saddle with our worst ride of the day getting 6th out of 7, and then went into the championship class where we won it! Was a good day!

Our first class (and one before it)







Our Native Costume class (video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLc1z7eWnr8)





The Sport Horse Under Saddle class proved hard to take pictures in, so there really aren't many of them. The Sport Horse In Hand class produced eh pictures, and no video. Here are the two videos of the Under Saddle class though:
First class: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RAFBV9mdzw
Championship class: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATNY19KPDDc
Just a handful of pictures:




 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So now you've seen what Izzie can do show wise, and her growing up. But what earns her the title of Miss Versatile? Well, for one, she's hands down the best horse ever with my kids! As a matter of fact my oldest son (who is 2) showed her in a leadline class at the A rated show! The judge LOVED him, and everyone kept saying how they really, REALLY want to see more leadline kids! He doesn't get to ride often, but when he does he never wants to get off!







Petting is absolutely mandatory ;)


We also "pretend" to do barrels and poles, but really we aren't into that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xko150OVHuM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG5MTj0HIQs

And this was practice prior to our first Native Costume show. My friend found out her costume had bells on it, so she warned me to practice with bells. Clearly Izzie cares a lot ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSsYFSRkQIM
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Obviously in watching the videos you'll see she is not very consistent in the bridle. We've had quite a few set backs, so we haven't progressed much. We are FINALLY starting to take up good, solid contact with some incosistancy. I do have to work on working more off my seat than my hands, which a lot of my issue was fear from my fall. We had a wonderful ride yesterday with very, very lovely trot work where she was really working well, lifting her back, and holding herself up (she tends to like to dive instead of doing proper turning, but we had GREAT turns yesterday!)

Sadly Kentucky is getting even more rain now, and with no indoor and a clay foundation, riding tends to get pushed out :( I pine for the day I get to have my very own indoor on our very own property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ah! Almost forgot my favorite pictures! My mother in law BEGGED me to take her out to get pictures of us in the snow! We went two different days since her battery died on the first day, oops!

Day one!






Day two!







 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, MAJOR update!

Had my first lesson with a new trainer. AND I LOVE HER!! We are ditching the clinician we'd been going to in favor of her. He served his purpose to help me overcome my fear of falling again and to sit up and not clamp down. But he'd been asking us to do things I didn't agree with (IE making Izzie go from walk to canter and basically running/falling into the canter). Convinced Nick to just let me try her once and we would decide after the lesson. Well there wasn't any real decision making. We're sticking with her. She nailed exactly what I was doing wrong. Basically I found myself just becoming a passenger and letting Izzie get away with far too much (which was only worsened by this clinician who had me doing stuff that was WAY different than the formal training I had in Michigan). Yesterday, I rode. And I mean really rode. Izzie and I were very sweaty and thrilled after this ride. I had an actual stretch from her! She became so supple and I could put that inside hind leg where ever I wanted it! AND we had perfect, prompt canter departs into an extremely lovely, supple, on contact canter. I almost cried I was so happy!!

A little bit about before the ride. We were terrified trying her out. This trainer has been doing extremely well showing, and so have her students (which shows she can train as well as ride very well). She's gone to Europe at least twice that I've known of, and imported awesome horses to sell here. Her current mount apparently was for sale at one point for $300k (according to my former farrier). So we were terrified we would be out of place with our four horse, slant load, stock type trailer and my little half Arab/paint cross. We pulled in, and immediately were welcomed by one of the barn staff, and one of the other riders who told me good luck, what she seemed to be working with today, and that she will be honest but nice. And boy was she spot on!!

And here's stuff to make one's ego bigger. She complimented Izzie on all three gaits! GAH! AND said we really lucked out on how nice she is from what I said (I told her we were afraid she'd have an ugly neck and be 3 inches downhill). Said she really has a nice sport horse look to her, and was talking about eventually doing flying lead changes! That's a higher level than I ever imagined for Izzie and I! And that she reminded her of her daughter's horse who is half Arab/Hanoverian cross. She also asked us to move in with her, which I SOOO wish we could!! May take a look at our finances next year and see if we can swing having her live up there. I don't think it'll happen this year. Also, I just really liked the feeling there. The place we went for the clinic would charge to use a stall to let the horse pee after the ride. Here, we were allowed to use the wash rack, use a stall, and offered water for nothing extra. It honestly felt like I've finally found where we belong, and I couldn't be happier.

Oh, and I introduced her to KAHABA since her daughter's horse is a Kentucky bred Arab ;)

I don't think I'll be coming down off of cloud 9 for a very long time lol
 

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Was fun reading through this and seeing your lovely mare grow up- she's gorgeous and it looks like you and your whole family have a lot of fun with her. The photos of your son on her are just adorable.

I too have an "Izzy"- though she is a little bay Morgan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Egrogan! She's definitely the family horse and not just mine :) I always chuckle when my husband says it's his turn to hop on. And my son LOVES her. My daughter has ridden her a handful of times, but never without someone at her side (she's only 1, so doesn't really have any balance). Kaleb is getting a riding helmet for Christmas so he can start riding a bit more (not without someone at Izzie's head though).

And Izzie/Izzy is a great name :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So little update! We've only been able to work twice since our awesome lesson. She's always more... stubborn at home, so it takes us a bit to get rolling. But we have been ending the rides on a good note where we are both happy! Hopefully it will dry up a bit and my husband won't work as much! We're near Cincinnati, but in Northern Kentucky, and these storms lately have been terrible! We don't have a real arena to ride in, so riding faster than a trot just isn't going to happen when you're on a clay base and a not super level area (it's about as level as we can have till they cut hay). My husband also works for Duke Energy, so the storms knocking people out of power are forcing him to work a whole lot of overtime. BUT! To make it up to me that we couldn't ride on Monday as planned, he told me to schedule another lesson with my trainer for this coming Sunday :) I'm excited! I'm still learning how to back up the trailer and such, so he goes with me. And he's my eyes on the ground at home for "coaching" and that I will NEVER ride alone (drilled into my husband's head when I had my accident two years ago).

Anyway, my fun little update haha!

So after a fairly good ride yesterday, Kaleb (my 2 year old son) wanted to ride Izzie. So we striped her tack off and let him get on her bareback to walk out to the barn. We had to wait for Nick since it was too muddy for me to handle the gate, Izzie, Kaleb, and deal with the giant muddy area at the gate. I figured why not use this time to teach Kaleb something?

Well, I had him lightly bump Izzie with his legs and give a small kissy noise to have her walk forward. He thought this was pretty awesome! And we showed off to daddy! I was merely holding onto the lead rope I had fashioned into reins for Kaleb, and told him to cue Izzie. And what did Izzie do? Listened to Kaleb and walked forward! I did no cueing myself, it was ALL Kaleb!

Just another reason why Izzie will never have a price tag haha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We had another SUPERB lesson today! I feel I got paid a HIGH compliment too! She said we pretty much picked up right were we left off last time, so I HAVE been working correctly! Issues we had? Yeah, they showed themselves a bit there, which I was thankful for. It was a mix of her slightly resisting, and me being too fussy with my hands. Soon as I quieted my hands, it all fell into place. And we had excellent trot-canter departs, which is a huge difference since 2 weeks ago we were just working on not running into them (which had only been amplified by our previous clinician who did nothing to help this at all). Obviously still a work in progress, but we are making some serious strides now, and Nick (wonderful husband) is already ok with me picking the next free weekend day to go ahead and book another lesson <3 he sees the improvement in us too, and Izzie I think is getting happier and happier. I'm getting better at saying "I want your shoulders here, your butt here, your head here, and this tempo" without screaming at her (with my aids), and she's getting better at realizing what exactly I'm wanting her to do and executing it perfectly.

And as if all that wasn't good enough... the trainer told Nick she really enjoyed working with me and Izzie, and that she really is a good girl and a wonderful horse. Nick told her he was happy to bring me up here and that he knew I really liked coming to ride with her. Even more exciting, we worked on collecting up Izzie's trot today. Said trainer said she'll be an easy one to collect up and that piaffe will most likely come easy for her once we reach that level. Passage may be a bit more difficult, but I'm still sitting here like this :-o at the mere idea of Izzie and I reaching those levels. I always told Nick I'd be pleased with MAYBE Second Level. But now I'm wondering if we really can go that high! Makes me even more excited for our future!

:riding:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Alright, we went to our first of three shows this week! Our first class was halter, in which we got 2nd out of 3! Lost to a NICE purebred that when I heard his name went "well, I know we aren't winning this class!" haha Then Kaleb did his leadline class! We messed up and didn't realize this show required helmets for the leadline kids, oops. But another competitor in his class had an extra! Yay! So Kaleb got to show and everyone won a blue ribbon for being cute! The next two classes were hunter classes. Izzie is not a hunter horse. I am not a hunter rider. We aren't ever going to be. BUT we still got 4th out of 8 in the first class and 4th out of 6 in the second! LOTS better than the show exactly one year ago! Still has consistency issues, and my getting nervous while showing and essentially forgetting I know how to ride doesn't help us any. And she HATES other horses coming up next to her. The only class I disagreed with placings was I think the second one. The 3rd place horse was on the wrong lead the entire time going to the right and we got both of our leads. But whatever. The last class was an open English pleasure class. Again, against all the people that I showed against in the previous classes. However, the judge called it as a walk-trot class. No one knows why either.... We took 1st out of 4 though! Also had some people who I had NO idea who they were originally cheering for us! Like, clapped and cheered when we were asked to rein back. Just said "trying to influence the judge, huh?" I said I had no idea who they are! EVERYONE laughed lol the ladies shouted back they were appreciators! You'll hear their comments in that video :) We know what we need to work on more, and I will be talking with my trainer about ways to keep Izzie calm, focused, and not fussy in the line up. She now stands there, but she flings her head every which way even when I give her plenty of rein. I know my trainer will know how to help. Anyway, some pictures!

From the halter class:



Kaleb's class; Sydney enjoyed watching him!




A job well done from Kaleb to Izzie!


What's that Kaleb??


Family photo!


And finally my riding pictures! In no real particular order since my computer is being a butt...






 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·








Meeting my appreciator!


Love this sweetness with Nick and Izzie waiting for our next class


Ribbons are clearly edible...



And picture with the best horse show husband/groomer/hauler/etc in the entire world!


Kids had a great time too!

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So we did our last two shows for last week! The first was another county fair. It was a VERY challenging set up. They had the fair rides right next to the ring, and being that the show started at 8 the rides were all lit up. We're talking Ferris Wheels, Tilt O Whirls, and the drop it ride thing. So screaming, etc right next to the ring. I didn't ride very well, and in return Izzie struggled with getting both of her leads. Such is life. We ended up with 4th out of 7 in our Arabian English Pleasure class. We went back in for Native Costume. She was mad about the caveson (which we sadly realized after that she had scrapped her jaw and the caveson was rubbing on it) and gave me a crazy ride. Judge apparently still liked us a bit since we got 4th out of 6 in a class we have never placed in before.

Then we had our FIRST dressage show together yesterday!! Our whole goal was to stay IN the arena (we don't really have an arena we ride in regularly) and that she stayed mostly on course.

Our first test was Training Level Test 1. We got a 58.043% for 7th place out of 10! I was pretty happy with that! Then we did Training Level Test 2, which we had only been able to practice once in completion. She rocked it! We got a 63.651% for 2nd place out of 7! I was SO happy with her! Sure, it could have gone better, and yeah I made some mistakes. But my little mare stepped up to the plate having already shown twice this week, took on a totally new environment (we had never seen judges boxes or arena fencing like normal dressage rings before) and STILL put in decent scores! I have ALL of the tests I did a decade or so ago, and these scores were comparable to what I got back then having a trainer supervise every single ride. We've only had two lessons with our new trainer, so this was a HUGE deal for us. AND we got TWO 8's in our second test! One for a lovely trot circle when she started to relax, and one for our change rein across the diagonal. It was remarked that we used our corners well (which is HUGE since when you ride in a huge open field there really aren't corners). I flipped through my old tests and I never once got two 8's on a test!

So I am one proud horse mommy today, and my little girl gets some well deserved days OFF! No pictures yet of the class (if there will be any; my family didn't get any) and no video since my husband wanted to actually watch instead of video it. I did get a couple with our ribbon, and my friend/caller took one before we hit the ring. We say we had our game face on!




Clearly I wore her out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So Izzie has had a bit of a break since last I wrote! I always give days off after a show, and gave her more this time since it was a whole show week. Went out the next time and she had a huge scrape down her side. Go figure :icon_rolleyes: so, days off for that. We were going to be leaving for Michigan, so plenty of time to recuperate from that. Had a dental done for her prior to leaving for Michigan, so that is all in order! Went back out to ride her Monday. She was not exhibiting any soreness when tacked up, and the hair was growing back in well. Hopped on, did some lovely walk work. Could tell she was a touch ouchy at the trot/canter, so we called it quits after a fantastic stretchy circle. Did her the favor of hopping off and not riding her back to the trailer like normal. Instead, my 2 year old son hopped up for a pony ride, which they both thoroughly enjoyed :) Also FINALLY got my birthday present (only about 2 months late....) delievered last week. Hubby had a pretty new halter for shows made for her. I laugh I was born to ride in the wrong discipline. I like shiny and sparkly, but I love dressage :rofl: I'm hoping to post the pictures to my facebook in a little bit, and I'll get some posted here after I put them on photobucket :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Haven't posted in a bit! It's been insane here lately since I decided to change jobs, and that transition has been fun!

Anyway! This past Sunday we went down to Lexington for a dressage clinic. And boy was it a good ride! We got down to Izzie to find she had scrapped up her rump by her tail head, and it was a bit sensitive. She still rode well though. She HATED the arena footing though. It was WAY too deep for a horse used to riding on grass. But she still tried her little heart out for me. Clinician gave us some things to work on which thankfully lined up well with my regular trainer (who I need to book another lesson with soon as we find a free weekend....) This clinician knows Arabians/Half Arabians, and how they differ from Warmbloods, particularly in dressage.

Tomorrow we haul Izzie up to our local fairgrounds for their big show! We show in one riding and one halter class tomorrow, and then the championship class and Arabian Native Costume Monday night! Then a show next weekend at my favorite show grounds :) Couple weeks break, then a show the 3rd and the 17th of October. Then no more shows till spring :(

Hopefully I'll have some pictures next week!
 
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