Sunday, October 25, 2009

Getting and Staying Motivated

I hear banjos! Oh wait. Hubby is watching Hee Haw on RFD! Whew! I was worried there for a minute!

So it's been raining...deja vu? No. Alabama! Hopefully the rainy season is about over! Of course it's now deer season so that means limited trail riding. With all the rain, my lessons have been more of a miss than a hit and therefore my extra funds are non existent. Hydrabull practice on Wednesday nights is a distant memory! I miss it too!

With the rain,economy,lack of funds,and other life things that take a priority over riding,it's difficult to stay motivated to ride let alone focus on a goal! But there's hope!

I am fortunate to have 2 boarders that ride and want to better their horses. They don't know it but they keep me motivated to ride. It's nice to have folks to ride with! We have decided (although poor Jane hasn't been informed yet!) that we are going to try and keep each motivated through the fall and winter to not only ride but to make our horse better each time we ride. How are planning on doing this? We have a list and a chart! Lists/charts make the world go round right? Ours is a list on the dry erase board located in the hall way of my barn. On it we have obstacles,listed and 4 horses listed. (Hayden,Scout,Pari and Bullseye) After each obstacle is safely completed and the horse and rider feel super confident on it we can check it off!

What do we win? Well we haven't decided on a prize but we know for sure that our horses will be more broke for it and our confidence levels will have greatly risen as well! I think that's prize enough!

Today Lisa and I got SERIOUS! Even before "THE CHART" was made! She had a see-saw and brought it out to add to our bridge, back through L, serpentine, side pass log, drag, gate, car wash, and water/tarp obstacles. We also added a big scary tarp on the fence with (Carson behind it), a feed bag full of AIR to be drug, and a baseball on top of the cone, as well as a rain slicker to be taken off the post, put on and place back on post. In all we had a total of 11 obstacles to work!

We decided to start slow and go back to basics first. We started on the ground and instilled into the horses the WHOA!(Thanks KJ!)We introduced all the obstacles while on the ground first and really worked on them reacting in place! Seemed to work well! After 20-30 minutes of that we mounted up (Lisa even did it from the off side for the first time!) and started with the familiar obstacles first. All went great!

Hayden and I did have a tap or 2 on the back though L but we tried to make up for it by at least doing a decent turn on the haunches out of it! Other highlights for Hayden and I included walking though the serpentine without reins and using seat and leg cues only,successfully putting on and taking off the slicker for the first time, successfully picking up and placing ball on cone for the first time (Hayden is 15.2 so I though this was going to be difficult),traveling over the see-saw no problem! We did drag the log with no problem but Hayden still doesn't like the rope! So our home work is to do more rope work! (YAY!) Our other new obstacle, the "Bag Drag" is scary to Hayden so we will also be having play dates with it!

Lisa and Scout had a great day too! They're planning on competing in the ACTHA Competition at Blakeley in Nov. so I am trying to help her get ready for it. Scout did great on everything but just need more practice in side passing over a log and dragging the log. He did great with the "Bag Drag" but I think the weight of the log and the rope he's not real fond of.

After we rode and had the horses put up, Lisa and I went over "The Chart"! It was fun to check off some of the obstacles and make notes on the ones we need to work on. We also have a list of obstacles we need to make and some that we'll have to travel to a few different facilities to accomplish! Jane is going to be shocked when she sees "The Chart" tomorrow!("The Chart" is pictured below)

Speaking of tomorrow-I am finally going to be able to ride with my BFF! First time in FOREVER! We are going to Magnolia Branch Wildlife Reserve with a few others. I really want to ride Mr. Perfect aka Hayden but after looking at my logged hours and knowing that Bullseye has some wet blankets waiting with his name on them, I will probably take Bully. He has issues with entering creeks, and hills with erosion! He balks,refuses and turns for the hills! It's not fun to ride him when he's like that and I don't feel safe letting 6 yr. old Carson ride him on the trails with holes like that in his training. Of course I did actually look at my logged hours on him and Hayden and WOW what a difference! Hayden has 315 since 10/07 and Bullseye has maybe 100! Hmmm...who's my favorite? So it's not a wonder Bully has some holes in his training! I have been taking advantage of his good nature and expecting too much out of him when he hasn't had the same amount of time under saddle. Not fair of me at all! One of my goals for this fall and winter is to get more hours on him. That's not going to be easy since I so very much LOVE riding handsome Hayden but it's got to be done! I will have to think of it as a journey inside The Journey!

~Get that pony rode and I'll write again soon!~

Yesterday,Lisa,Jane and I rode at Historic Blakeley State Park. We saw this and had a good laugh.Bullseye was severely disappointed though as he was really hoping to finally get some privacy while going to the bathroom.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Yeah I know...

It's been forever long since my last blog but WOW I have been busy with this "journey". Well sort of with this journey....
3 weeks ago we took the boys to the beach for the weekend. Sounds fun huh? Well it's fun but to go on vacation around here is NOT fun! First you have to find someone who will come in and feed the horses.That's the easy part! We also have 2 English Bulldogs so that means we have to have someone come in and let them outside,feed,and water them,etc. The horses are actually less of a handle! But it was the beach and the boys had a great time!I worked on my journey by catching up on all my horse magazines and studied intently on different training points! That's my kind of vacation!

So just to catch you all up,the last few times I have ridden Hayden on the Hydrabull he has done AMAZING! He's stopping hard on his own,starting to want to turn over and thru his hocks on his own (which we are correcting until he listens to my cue) and even starting to get after the bull QUICKLY on his own! YAY! He's felt really good and it's amazing!

But now I have several new questions since we've reached this level: When do we start on REAL cows? And when do I start another discipline? Remember-I am not on a ranch! I am a stay at home mom! My horse is not exposed to ropes,cows,chutes,gates,etc. on a daily basis!

I did take the opportunity to visit a certain other cutting trainer that I KNOW can help me but have not heard back from him yet....I have not resorted to stalker stage yet but believe me-for this trainer I might just have to! I am blessed to have this caliber of a trainer in the area and I would be STUPID to not ride with him if given the opportunity!

It's been raining like we're in the South or something here...hahaha and riding has been a hit-and-miss thing.Really more of a miss thing,actually.I know there are things I could and SHOULD work on even when it's muddy but it's difficult to convince myself of that! Things like roping the dummy,walking,side-passing,doing the gate,ground-tying,etc. But no,I've been taking care of things in the house.(Sure I have!)

I was appointed to be in charge of gathering items for a silent auction benefiting Storybook Farm in Auburn,AL. for the ALQHA. Little did I know that this was actually going to be a very fun and rewarding experience! Here's a link that tells a little bit about that:
That's right! Yours truly was in Americas Horse Daily! I was so flattered and honored and excited! I was even more excited that my donors were able to get so much free advertising! Cool huh!?

So the AQHA Ride/Silent Auction is this weekend! I have been finishing up last minute details for it,packing and trying to convince Hayden that the 7 hour trip up there really won't be that bad! Nor will all the hills and creeks we have to climb and swim through...I guess I need to convince myself first huh!? It won't be that bad and it's all for such a great cause!

Last weekend I had the opportunity to ring steward a 3 day AQHA/PHBA show with some awesome women judges!I love meeting cool,strong women like that! They were a lot of fun and of course I learned more than I thought ever possible! Considering going to a ring steward seminar if it would help my chances of "going pro"! I need the money! This is one expensive dream! Maybe I need to look into getting some sponsors!Hmmm...
Here's me with the fun judges:

So you see? I have been busy! I haven't had the chance to ride as much as I would have liked but I have been filling my head with plans and strategies and trying to meet the right people to help along the way.

I did receive some great words of encouragement from my sweet friend Tena Bastian today! She told me:"It's not the results that measures the success but rather the effort you put forth." I really liked that! I think it might make a good tattoo! :) Maybe...

Until I write again-stay motivated and "get that pony rode" as Templeton Thompson's song goes...