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Bel Joeor Sale and Giveaway!

Amanda from Bel Joeor is hosting a big sale on her Etsy site and a giveaway on her blog!  She makes beautiful saddle covers and bags.  I highly recommend checking out her shop and entering her contest.  


The Horse Gods Must Be Happy...

...but the weather gods are NOT! After last weekend's gorgeous temperatures (which were certainly out of the ordinary and totally teased me...!!), we are back to freezing cold temps and now rain today and for the rest of the week! BLAH! At least the rain brought back "warmer" temps.!

It was so chilly this weekend, down into the 20s and 30s. I was unable to ride on Saturday, which was probably just as well. It bummed me out, but I had no childcare. :( On Sunday I was able to ride both of the mares, which was great. It was still chilly but the sun came out after lunch when I went out to ride.

Dreamy felt the best she has all year. She is becoming stronger, and our trot work was pretty darn good finally. Back to where we were in November. I felt she was strong enough to begin asking for more leg yield, which really helps engage her hindquarters and balance her quite well. She was pretty soft in the bridle too, which was nice. She still wants to be fussy in a side to side motion tracking left. I am sure this will work itself out as her fitness improves....and I can take a lesson!!!! :)

Her left lead canter was great again. She has finally discovered how to canter in connection to the bit without completely losing her mind! LOL! This feels like it has taken forever! :) I got a bunch of nice 20-30 m. circles at the left lead canter. No more rushing or diving into it...just a nice even canter and transition back to the TROT! WHOOO Standardbred dressage mare! :)

Her right lead made me worry....until I finally just asked. And she picked it up, no rushing, no weird cross cantering in the back, nothing! :D I only let her canter about 6 strides, long before it started to feel like it might fall apart. I did a few trot/canter/trot transitions, took a walk break, and did it again. She was great each time! I do think we will conquer this lead after all! The lateral work at the walk and trot helped...I always worry about doing too much lateral work in the beginning of the spring, as I do not want to make her sore. But I think I used just enough to really get her body moving correctly. Ah, I love this mare. We will conquer Training 4 this year!!!!!! :D

Reva was great too. It must have been a good day for the horse riding gods.....ha ha ha. She was super good warming up at the walk, lots of bending and small lateral steps to really bend her ribcage and move underneath herself. She really acts like she likes her work, which is nice. Her trot is really becoming stronger and steadier...I wish I could video her so I could see what she looks like! She feels great, but I want to see what she looks like! :)

Her trot work was so nice, I decided to ask for a canter. She picked up both leads easily again. Her canter is so rocking-horse and slow. I like that for now. :) She is actually bouncy, but in a different way than Dreamy. Reva does not get that flat in the canter like most Standardbreds. I only let her canter a few strides around half the 30 m. circle for now. She really likes cantering so I then asked for the trot and really had to insist on the trot afterward. A firm half halt seems to work, but she was like, "Well, I rather canter than trot, so why not Mom?" She tried the trot with the jumpy almost canter transition. Nope, not gonna work. :P She is a nice horse and I am super excited to show her Intro level next spring 2011! I think we will actually be schooling a level above where we are showing! LOL!

After, I decided I might as well let her walk around the back part of the pasture where I ride. I figured she would either be fine or dump me. Either way, it is time to start doing new things besides ride on the "ring" section. She was funny and wanted to go NOWHERE near the preschool sized soccer goal that is still out there from last summer. LOL! It is about 15 feet from where I ride, so she has seen it plenty. She wanted to just walk like a crab past it, but I made her walk up as far as she would and stop. She stood there and sniffed the air towards it. LOL! Then I asked her to move closer. She would only go far enough to lean out and sniff it. OK....she sniffed it and moved a step closer. GOOD MARE. She continued to sniff it and finally let out a big sigh. LOL! So it is no longer scary. I was proud of how calm she was about something "scary". I like that she trusts me enough to go closer...I wondered for a moment if I might have to dismount to reassure her from the ground, but she was fine. We rode around the back part of the pasture for a few minutes, and again, she was fine. She enjoyed looking at the (now empty) pig pen on the other side of the fence, the big tree with swaying branches (OH yeah, did I mention it was WINDY yet again??? This time, no spooks! LOL!), and the soccer goal was not scary at all approached from the other side.

So far, the girls are coming along well. Dreamy just needs to become more fit and Reva needs more miles. I am not planning on getting two horses into "show shape" this year, but I do plan to ride Reva at least 3 times a week once show season is here. Speaking of shows, I am signed up for the first two of the year. I am not nearly as nervous about showing rated this year as I was last year. I was peeing my pants a year ago today! LOL! Planning to do the same tests also helps...we've done it once, so we can do it again!

April goal = Schedule the first lesson of the year! :)

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