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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Always Learning

Now this is just my opinion, but with horses you never stop learning.  At least, if you have an open mind and are willing to learn you keep learning.
(actually, that goes for life in general)
This is why I look for articles to read, take some equine related classes, take lessons with a few different people, go to clinics.  I know some people are hesitant to go to clinics or lessons if they don't know the person, but the way I look at it is if you learn absolutely nothing and it's an absolutely awful experience (and how damn likely is that) you'll at least learn what doesn't work for you.

Anyhow... one of my boarders rented our arena to host a barrel racing clinic this past weekend.  I got a spot in the clinic, which was with Andrea Udal.
Now some may remember I rode with Ed Wright the last few years.  His style was really working for me and Lefta, but I just couldn't quite seem to get it going with Frosty... at least without Ed, with him it may have been a different story.
I have to say that when at the very start of the clinic Andrea said she knew some of us had rode with Ed but her style is completely different I had a few doubts.  I shoved them aside though and sat down to watch the morning group, listen, and learn. 
The main difference I saw, and later rode, was that unlike Ed's 'jockey like' position up over your horses first ribs, Andrea wanted us to sit deep and drive.  However they both want a horse to move around a barrel "in 4 wheel drive" and they both want a horse that is shaped in the turn.  A smooth, flowing turn is fastest and can put you in the money even if your horse isn't very fast was my take away.
Which is funny because that's what I had been thinking to myself just a few days prior.  I had been thinking of Lefta's last run.  How she isn't really running hard between barrels yet, but her turns are just so darn nice that it's helping her start to clock better.
Back to Frosty though... I have only had him a year, but what I've noticed, is he can be a bit of a freight train at times (at least for me).  He's a nice horse, and he knows how to be soft.  But sometimes he just gets a bit frazzled and needs to blow off steam.  Or he'll go into a run and it's like he's thinking "you just sit there, I've got this" and while he may have it some, we are a team and he needs a bit of guidance at times lol
Working with Andrea I found some drills that helped him relax, made a small change to equipment and holy smokes... he was soft, relaxed, focused, and still craving that turn :D 
Fingers crossed for good things this season!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Maybe I'm biased...

... but she's gorgeous! 
Lefta, May 2017 photo credit @imagesbyRoman
 
Once in awhile I'll catch a glimpse of one of my horses, in person or a photo, and almost need to pinch myself.  I grew up without horses but was determined to have one someday.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd own horses of any real quality though... all I wanted was a horse even if it was just a "scruffy backyard" one. 
The above pic of Lefta was taken by my newest boarder (AK), who is a fledgling photographer (imagesbyRoman), I stumbled upon it on Instagram days after it was taken.  It was taken at my place during a jackpot we were hosting.  I had tied up Lefta after her run and gone to grab Frosty for his turn.  AK had stopped in and snapped a few pics, and yes I have her permission to share this :)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I Swear I'm Still Here!

Really!  I've been reading everyone's blogs, just haven't seemed to find time to post on mine.
So what have we been up to...

I joined the Northwood Farm winter Facebook challenge, with Lefta, and for the first time in the three times I've signed up I completed it.  Had to have some very quick rides (honestly it kinda felt like cheating lol) and had to ride multiple times on a couple days, but we made it.  Finished up our last ride at a jackpot which I thought was kinda fitting ;)
 Frosty had the winter off after cutting his heel.  I won't lie, I was a bit hesitant to get on him this spring after so much time off but he's been a total gentleman *knock wood*
My little Christmas present filly, who was supposed to be halter broke when I got her and she wasn't, is taking a long time to come around.  You just cannot get on her right side or touch her right side.  Yesterday she discovered that being brushed with a curry is a FANTASTIC thing, as long as it was on her left :/
Lefta and I have made some progress on getting her softer in the face, thanks to some tips from my farrier (he shows in cowhorse and rode with us for a bit one day)
A friend is putting some rides on Odin, he's still green and he and I are just at a point where we're stuck.  The plan is to take him to a clinic in June and work with him some more then put him up for sale.
One of my boarders (and a friend) is possibly going to take Voodoo to some barrel jackpots, he's a good confidence booster (despite being a total a-hole at times lol)
And miss Sarita gets to grow up some more this year and then goes to the trainer next spring!