Monday, May 30, 2011

Hangin' Out

Ben has been hangin out - just doing light work on the ground. Our saddle came today - so I'm all excited to ride...gah, stupid injuries!!!!

Anyway, here are some new pics of the boy. Looking rather good (err, aside from the muddy legs!)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Made Ya Look

Ben's Simple Guide to Giving Your Owner a Quick Heart Attack.

Step 1: mid-dinner, when you hear your owner coming, abandon hay and lay flat on your side with your legs stretched out, groaning.

 Step 2: sit up before they take you for a seriously sick or dead horse- cuz ya really don't want 'em calling the vet.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mysteries of Saddle Fit

As you know, we are getting a new saddle, as I've fallen completely out of love with my Prestige Galileo.

So while we wait for said new saddle to arrive from 6,000 miles away, Ben and I had been using a trial saddle. This one was slightly different, being the cob model and also made of partly synthetic bits.

At first I thought "oh my this looks like it fits him better than the other" which was fine, if even a bit exciting because then I could get 2 saddles! But  in the midst of all this joy, Ben started PACING under saddle. He hasn't paced since the day I met him. I had a suspicion that it was the saddle, perhaps it looked a bit too narrow after all. Or maybe it could be me, who is having extreme pain in my hip and groin. Maybe my body is interfering and sending an unintended cue.

Nevertheless, I changed the gullet to the MW and rode again. I got pacing, again. Of course, my own pain has not gotten much better.

So now I'm undecided because this particular model looks like it fits better, but he certainly didn't move as well in it. I am anxious now to get my saddle and see if he is more comfortable in that. Which would be strange, as it is by looks, not the better fitting of the two.

While we wait, I am taking a wee break from riding to address my very apparent medical issue. I have a massage therapy appointment next week, and in the mean time, am trying to learn some gentle stretches that will hopefully loosen up my lower limbs in the areas that matter.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring...I has it

Just a couple of photos from today after our ride.

Spring...I has it.

That's the biggest damn bucket I've ever seen!

I am really excited over how Ben is turning out. He's been quite solid and reliable- and really fun, too! I appreciate this as I have been struggling with my left hip, and it has basically made me forget how to ride. Probably not the best idea to go on training a young horse, but oh well. I'm trying to stretch it out, take supplements, do what i can- but it is still very much locked. I may have to break down and go see a professional- boo. Through all of this, though, Ben has been a rock star, despite having to deal with me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Wee Ben and I rode in a new saddle today, thanks to the saddle fitter coming out with a bunch of saddles. And OMG - the lushness that is the Kent & Masters dressage saddle. It is love.

Turns out its a pretty good fit for Ben, and very adjustable to accomodate his devloping body.

Turns out, my checkbook is a little lighter right now, cuz I just had to get one.

In 2 weeks we shall have our very own.

Back to the lesson- did some trot- took awhile to get the saddle, girth, irons right. But we did our trots, and started to teach him how to turn so we can begin to do big circles. My mantra-outside leg, outside rein, step inside. 1.2.3. I can do this. And once I got myself sorted- Ben figured it out.

And once I figured out how to sort my upper body out- Ben gave THE.BIGGEST.TROT.EVER. Said trot is completely suspended in air- it was so lofty I stopped him at first because I thought he was being naughty and doing something to evade the work. LOL

The funny part was- the more praise he got from our trainer- the bigger he went. LOL

I can tell you what- his stride is huge and thank goodness I have until 2nd level to post the trot! HAHAH

Needless to say- impressive, REALLY impressive.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Finally- a barn mate was able to snap a photo of Ben and I.

Yesterday's ride was PAINFUL! Oh my hips. I had to keep it short.

That said- I'm going on the attack. Weapons: Joint supplement. Advil. Tiger Balm. Sore No More. Heat packs. Back on Track long johns.

Coupled with as much stretching as I can do.

This has got to get resolved asap!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Now

My plan is to one day look back on this blog and have an OMG before-and-after type reaction. And hopefully, our "after" picture is much better than our "before" picture. That said, I feel like I should at least document where we're at now.

Anyone who ever starts a horse knows what I'm talking about. Generally speaking, they are usually stiff, usually don't have the greatest movements- all of which is developed over a long stretch of time according to the training scale.

No better way to document than by pictures.

Currently - Ben is very stiff. While we have now established the "go" button - we have not yet gotten any sort of real rhythm, nor have we gotten any kind of softness.Which is ok. We'll get there- that takes time. Due to his shape and level of training- Ben is like riding a warped 2x4. In fact, at any given moment he looks and feels like any one of these, mainly the first one:

One great thing about Ben is that he canters. However, its not the greatest, most fluid thing in the world. In fact, he reminds me much of my favorite cartoon skunk friend, PepeLePew. While ground covering, we're not exactly the most fluid, beautiful movement in the world. More like a hop from place to place. Le Meow. Le Purr.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More trotting and First Hack in Big Scary World

Poor Ben - well that is what he'd want you to believe!

Yesterday marked 4 days in a row he was expected to do work in some capacity. Mind you, 2 days ago, we went for a long walk- so the word "work" is being used to cover a rather broad spectrum.

Yesterday, work was defined as: longeing and riding in the arena. Lots of walk on the longe, then just enough circles for him to get a rhythm at the trot, and to make sure he didn't have any funny business lurking underneath that cute little bay coat of his.

I got on, and we trotted around - a lot. Luckily, our friends Cindy and Max were in the arena too- and i was able to follow them at a careful distance which was great in keeping Ben going. We also got to practice our ability to withstand horses passing us from all directions. Oh and moving AWAY from our new BFF, Max, and maybe even trot a realllllly big circle or two.

We worked up a healthy little sweat. Ben was very well behaved, and tried really hard. I was very happy with where we ended.

But - then we had the opportunity to go ride in the Big Scary World with our friends. Some of you may chuckle when you read this- I mean- outside- what's the big deal? Well because we live in the wettest, grossest land of all- Ben and I have been stuck in the indoor arena since he's gotten to the farm. We do not have an outdoor arena - so its either small indoor, or  Big Scary World. Big Scary World= our race track. Pretty controlled environment- but still big and scary- lots of horse eating mongers hiding in the bushes, for sure. There are houses build on the infield, horses pastured, dogs barking. A nursery flanks one side- so there are always people in there, tarps a flapping, you name it- its Big. AND Scary. Also- to even get to Big Scary World- there is a wooden bridge that must be crossed. Its like another planet over there.

So as our cool off walk- we went out there. Ben was great! It was so nice to ride into the sunset, literally. We had 1 spook- but he just sort of jumped in place. Not a big deal at all.

One nice lap around the track, and we were finished for the night.


Ben has a much deserved 2 days off. We resume on Friday.

PS- THANK YOU to Cindy and Max for escorting us - we appreciate it!

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I think Ben finally gets it- trotting means, well, trotting, but just keep going until the rider tells you to stop.
YAY go Ben!

And finally, today, i felt like I could actually do more then just hang the heck on. LOL I even posted with some rhythm, and was able to help him sorta balance. I didn't feel like either one of us was going to bite the dust.


I do, however, thing we'd greatly benefit from the use of a neck strap. I dont have any old stirrup leathers. Off to find something.

In other news- someone got his record-breaking-ear hair clipped today. Oh yes, and his front feathers. He was, as always, a good boy. He also stood completely still in the wash rack as I hosed his legs off.

Look Ma, No ear hair!


Methinks hes getting it!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lesson #2 and This Weeks Challenge

Ben and I had our second lesson today. We worked on much of the same, but he was much, much more responsive, even after having a week off. I hadnt ridden him all week. So while it wasnt this amazing wonderful OMG experience, it was nice to see that the dude can learn and retain what is taught.

We did get homework: trotting for a few laps, and go across the diagonal while still trotting.

LOL lets see if we can do it by next saturday!