Saturday, April 27, 2013


My little spy, err, helper

Just one more day to go before Ben and I are back to work. As such its been kind of a lazy end to the week. Yesterday I had the day off and spent much of the afternoon up at the barn. I cleaned tack and organized my stuff, and also made a plan for this show we've signed up to go to.

I have his saddle and girth, and just went on a mini shopping spree to get the leathers and irons. I bought him a brown hunter bridle, bit and new shaped pad, too. He should at least sorta look the part!

For me, I plan on wearing some kind of jacket even though show clothes are not required. I figure if I'm going to go I may as well look the part too, and have a fighting chance of getting some decent pictures to share!

Hopefully my new goodies will come soon and I can ride him a few times in our new get up before the show. I do plan on braiding...which means I should probably tidy up his mane and get my braiding kit out and practice a few hunter braids...

So much to do!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pre-Show Tune Up

Another week in Boringville. Ben has been kinda off with a bruised hoof. He finally came sound, just in time for the weather to get nice and for his vet appointment during which he got his teeth done and sheath cleaned. Turns out his teeth were pretty dang sharp and caused sores in his mouth- poor dude! We were all kind of surprised- he was coming due, but still early.  I guess he's going to be one of those we have to check more often. So he's got until Monday off.

Come Monday he'll be back to work and just in time- because we finally have something to work torwards! In a couple of weeks we're going to an English/Western schooling show. It'll be good to get him out in a big open arena, which is the main driver for taking him. On the down side there is no cross-entry between walk/trot and walk/trot/canter classes so I can't really use one to warm up for the other. Oh well! Lets hope he'll want to behave himself and we'll have a great time :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Happy 5th Birthday, Ben!
Ben turns 5 years old today. This will be the third birthday I've been lucky to spend with him. His first one was just a few months post-adoption, he was just a gangly, wee thing.

Here are some pictures of Ben when he was first rescued, and then started under saddle. i remember following the J&M blog posts about this guy- his friendliness and rather quick start...these trail pictures were taken on Ben's second ride ever.

Love the sign in this picture! Pretty chill for being so green!
2nd ride ever, 1st ride out of the pen

First time with a saddle & bridle
 Fast forward to a few weeks ago...

I look forward to having a future with Ben...Happy Birthday to you, and many more!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Not Very Motivated Lately But Big Changes Are Coming!

I'll admit, I've been in a bit of a slump. Ben's training has continued thanks to our lovely trainer. I'm riding pretty much 1-2x a week, and I really could do without it right now. Why, might you ask?

  • Saddle fit. I can't seem to find something that will work for us. I am on the hunt, but right now reduced to riding in an older Isabell, and it is just painful. Now might be a good time to work on my bareback goal...but...
  • Ben has turned into a hot house flower. It's spring so he's already a bit...uhm, bonkers, slightly naughty, and full of energy. He's super fit and a spooking machine. He's spent far too much time in our tiny indoor, cooped up all winter. His world needs to be opened up.
  • No show or outings planned. This time last year I was fairly certain I'd have my truck and trailer purchased in April 2013. Well, life took a few unexpected turns and that $ was needed elsewhere. So, yet another year being reliant on others. 
  • Our primary "other", my barn manager, is currently quite busy- planning our MOVE!!! Yes, we're moving. June 1st ~ish. To a lovely place, I might add. With a HUGE indoor arena, 3 outdoors, and direct access to trails. Just what we need - bigger space, many more options.

So, basically, I'm waiting for a few things to work themselves out. The move will really help with Ben's confidence, and we can work on a few things that require bigger spaces. Once we're settled and figure out the new routine, maybe we can plan for some shows later in the year. I'm hopefully going to have a saddle that works for both of us,  and once that is sorted out, I can start my truck & trailer fund again- for next year.

It looks to be a promising summer, no doubt. I'm not the patient type, and all this waiting is really getting to me. I just want to go into hibernation and wake up in a couple of months.

Friday, April 5, 2013


My big, beautiful Ben

Ben is NOT an only child. I actually have 2 other horses - 1 a retired mare living on a retirement farm 5 hours away, and a 4 yr old half Arab who has just recently started his life as a riding horse.

Yesterday, for the first time, I rode the youngster. This was the first time in a year that I've ridden a horse that was not Ben. I gotta tell ya, it felt a bit like cheating.

First of all -this guy is a slender 15.0 hh right now, compared to the 16.1 hh tank that is Ben. Secondly, his gaits are incredibly smooth. I.Don't.Move. Seriously, it feels like cheating.

And I loved every second of it.

I did get a little ribbing from my barn-mates- mainly because Ben has always been a bit awkward. He's not what you'd consider a purpose bred-dressage horse, haha. But then I realized, my joy, especially in this moment wasn't really stemming from this new horse, but rather, coming from Ben. Our hard work over the last year has allowed me to grow and change and become a much better rider than I was. Admittedly, I used to be a passenger on very forward horses. Ben broke me down and I had to put myself back together again (not like I'm anywhere near a finished product- far from it) and learn to REALLY ride- I have to create everything, there is no sitting back and using god-given talent.

And so now, when I get to ride this little guy- everything is a breeze.

Without Ben, I probably would not feel the same way. Nor would I be in the same shape, or have the capability that I have now.

And for that, I am very grateful.

Even more so to continue on our journey together.

I <3 you, Ben!