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 HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT

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Fiere
teekathepony
allison.morgan@sympatico.
MoonShadow
Krista
Ellie*Mae
just joan
withaTwist
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withaTwist

withaTwist


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PostSubject: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeMon Aug 01, 2011 7:45 am

Im always one to take on a challenge (blogger for a week), which is related to my topic!

For some reason, a clinician told me this winter that I should be showing my new pony, Angus, who has been quite the pleasant surprise in the way of his background/training and abilities.

I used to show as a child (a few years 11-12-13) in the english hunters/jumpers/mini-events and such with a pony who knew the deal (Sunny). We won all sorts of ribbons, without me knowing too much of what was going on, while Sunny strutted his stuff (completely different from the devil he was at home, chucking me EVERY RIDE). I wish I could insert pictures here, Sunny and I were even put in a book (nevermind that it was "an idiot's guide to horseback riding...lol), for the show-off that he was.

Anyway, I took a LONG time off of "showing", and took my little stbd mare to a local fair last year. Well, twist wasnt quite ready for this, but that wasnt the point. I was at the time working at a local trail rides where the rule was "you cant have that weekend off unless you are taking your OWN horse to the show" well... she was slightly more cooperative than the other, and we entered 2 green classes, with no intention of winning anything. Now I will say, she isnt dangerous, or dirty, she is just.... stubborn. She walked around the ring when asked, did a couple steps of trot/shuffle when asked, but after that decided she had cooperated enough for the day, and was instead going to only walk in reverse, at varying speeds. Of course, my father videoed this, but I'm too embarassed to watch. That was for the first class. For the next class, the trail ride owner who was there with her daughter was convinced I was going to end up in a wreck (im a bit accident prone). I had already ended up in a very close call with one of her horses (who is no longer hers, btw) that summer, and in the hospital with a concussion from one of her horses in the winter (not his fault, total accident). Anyway.... she came in to the class, and dragged me and my little mare around. How embarassing, I was 24, lol. but that mare trotted! lol. We placed 4th and 3rd, since there were only 4 and 3 entries in the classes, so i made my 9$ entry fees back. haha.

I must have lost my mind again, and decided to show. We did really well at our "reining fun show" since that was what we had practiced all winter... and my only exposure to western riding.
For any of you who attended the Sunday of the first WHA Crapaud show, you may have seen how our second attempt at showing went. .... not so great. My pony had a great concept of reining, but... seemed to have forgotten his WP training, and was fired up from the coming storm. Not having much WP experience, I didnt really know what to do (hoping he would be my "western Sunny" and take over). At about lunch time, after a minor breakdown (over-tired, having slept in a tent during a HUGE rain storm, woke up soaked), I shook it off, said the afternoon would be better. Then the skies opened up as soon as we entered our pleasure class, and we got soaked. Thunder, lightening, and gigantic HAIL started, so the rest of the show was cancelled. We didnt get to rein, (my only hope of redeption)or try games, which is what I want to play around with.

This is a very long post, I may have lost any or all of you by now, and I dont blame you, lol.

So here's the deal. Im entered in a Fun show this weekend (horsemanship, pleasure, trail and games), and another WHA show in 2 weeks time (ONLY reining and games this time) because I've realized I dont actually want to compete pleasure, so why waste time with a fast pony, and confuse the two of us even more.

Now... for those of you with LOTS (or heck, even ANY) show experience. Im looking for advice.

Due to... interesting? circumstances, my horses moved this summer, and I dont have a great area to ride. Most of the field is fenced as pasture, and the surrounding fields are planted with crops. I had been using the plowed fields to ride in (conveniently NOT potatoes, which is rare around here, lol), but now im stuck to trails and the rocky/rolly uneven pasture that was only allowed to be pasture as it was deemed unfarmable... great for conditioning, not so much for schooling.

We've been working on solo trail riding, as my riding friends and I have different schedules, (okay, so there are only 2 of them) - one doesnt have a car, the other is 8 months preggo. And my boyfriend, who promised to help me with riding, and trail ride with me, is all consumed by his new fishing fleet, and conveniently is always busy. When we arent on the trail, we are playing around with some barrels. problem is... i have no idea what im doing. The pony does, but Im pretty sure he thinks im insane.

Since "pictures are mandatory" here is my pony. I tried to catch a picture of him rolling his eyes at me, but no such luck.

HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Angus10


So what should I be doing in a last minute attempt to prepare? Any suggestions???
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeMon Aug 01, 2011 8:04 am

Hey Twist, good for you for putting yourself OUT there.....I will be of absolutely no help to you with tte coaching, but I promise to check in every day and see how you are getting on. I can help with encouragement and the usual smart buttercup comments however. I hope the girls jump in and give you some advice. Good Luck. :cowboyhound.gi

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HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Joan3
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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeMon Aug 01, 2011 8:25 am

thanks joan! i appreciate that.
I figured I'll have lots of time this week to ramble, as the summer is very slow here at the gym, and I have no current clients, my big task today was removing a dead bird.... oh the fun of rural living!
I'll just keep stalking around the internet....

I should have probably added that the reason Im trail riding instead of schooling is that this is a very well trained pony, and a bit of a smart-"buttercup" as well. When he is sure he KNOWS what we are doing, he anticipates, and is hard to bring back. On the trail, with others, he likes to lead, and act like a big shot. Alone, he is a big baby. Im trail riding to work on ME being in charge, instead of him calling the shots.
Last night we went for a ride after I came back from spending the weekend in Fredericton for a wedding, and worked on this "leadership" as he was being particularly difficult.
I will add that he is not dangerous, Im confident with him (which is a big deal to me), and his "acting up" is turning for home, or going in reverse when I ask for forward. I always bring my phone, stay on the same trails and have someone at home know where I am.

Last night Angus didnt want to push past a particular spot on the trail (he's not a fan of water- being from Ontario, and mostly shown, it is new and scary) that leads towards water. We stayed out until almost dark having this argument, but in the end, I finally got him closer to where I wanted to go, and he learned being difficult is more work than cooperating.

this is the sky on our way back.

HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Sky_bm10

we were both very sweaty, but acheived some sort of agreement.
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeMon Aug 01, 2011 8:34 am

Ending on a positive note is Always the goal.........super shot of the Sky.... HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT 210885889 oh, and you dont have to CONVERT the off colour words......the computer does that for us......believe me, I would Never type Buttercup for buttercup

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HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Joan3
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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeMon Aug 01, 2011 8:35 am

hahahaha, seriously??!?!?!?
thats awesome.
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just joan
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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeMon Aug 01, 2011 8:37 am

yup.....Simi inserted a program of some sort, cause some of us get a little carried away .......its really quite fun to type in what you like and see what FLOWERS come up.........hahahaha :cowboyhound.gi

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HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Joan3
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Ellie*Mae

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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeMon Aug 01, 2011 9:54 am

Well - I thoughly enjoyed your story!!!! You had me the whole time :-) I don't show, never have shown, will probably never show, have no idea how to prepare for a show - you get the idea (so be patient)...BUT... can you section off a corner of your pasture for schooling in? Even with push-in stakes with a line, so there is a defined area to follow? And maybe work on smooth transitions - walk-to-trot-to-walk-to-whoa-to-reverse-to-trot type of thing? So you feel more comfortable, as he seems to know what he is doing? Or practise turn arounds and roll backs, even at the walk/trot if it's not safe to go faster...this may help get him listening to you instead of anticipating....good luck, and keep us posted!!! Where is the show this weekend?

ps - your horse is very cute :-)
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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeMon Aug 01, 2011 9:58 am

haha, aww thanks!
i've been considering making a "ring" in my pasture, and step-in stakes are a great idea! maybe that will be today's project...
the boyfriend has informed me that i have to commit my afternoon to fix his truck, and since it hauls my pony, i cant complain...

the bayview fun show is this weekend in vernon bridge/river (?)
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Krista

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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeMon Aug 01, 2011 12:08 pm

Yay! You're coming to Joanies show?! :D You should come watch if you get the chance, Ellie Mae! The big red kid will be there, he'll be the one chewing on something, and I'll be the one cursing under my breath. I wuv my pony :D
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Ellie*Mae

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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeMon Aug 01, 2011 6:51 pm

You just might see me there, Krista - I spent 5 hours at Gingerwood today - I may be getting the show bug :) :0
at least as a watcher -good luck this weekend, ladies!
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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeTue Aug 02, 2011 2:33 pm

Day 2 of my blogging challenge...

I was hoping to get more feedback, but I guess I will just ramble on in true blogging style... lol
Before I get to my riding progress, I will go back a little and explain why I've re-started riding, changed disciplines, and why Angus has been so important to me.

After my undergrad at UNB, i moved back home to Kingston, and attempted to start a new life. My parents moved East at the same time, so this was the first time I was really on my own. I liked the freedom, lived my life, made my mistakes. Even before I got a car, I made sure going to the barn was a solid part of my new life. It was always something that grounded me, and my connection with the animals helped me feel whole. I know that sounds lame, but as animal owners/lovers, I know you know what i mean :)
Anyway... I started back riding that summer, helping out at the farm that i saw as home (where i started with riding camps, lessons, and copious amounts of shovelling, lol). I exercised a few horses, had the occasional lesson, but mostly just enjoyed the routine of chores, and being with the horses. I met a woman there who had just started lessons with my instructor, and was horse shopping. She brought home this little scruffy chestnut quarter horse cross named Starr. He was wormy, dull coated, but had a heart of gold. As I said, she was new to riding, and asked me to help get him back in shape. this is him:
HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Angus11


Around the same time, my riding instructor new of my ability to bond with certain horses... and took me out to a field, to meet a training prospect. He was from a Welsh Cob breeder, had hardly been handled, and no one could catch him. So... we went out to the field, and stood there.. the horses were curious, and came to meet, but one hung back (the one we were supposed to take for training). Of course... he slowly stuck up to me, and put his muzzle in my outstratched hands. I was sunk. His name was Dave, and he was (is? - i have no idea where he went) a ~15HH buckskin, and my instructor dubbed him my "spirit horse" - from the movie, but also because of the way he trusted me. I worked with him that summer, fall and winter, from groundwork to finally w/t/c and small crossrails. It was amazing. I wanted to keep him, but reallistically, couldnt afford a registered Welsh Cob, but I kept up hope anyway.

(mandatory picture)
HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Dave10



During one session with Dave, he spooked sideways, and trying to be gentle on his mouth, I let go of the reins, and fell off sideways. I winded myself, and injured my back.
Being stubborn, and living my new life of independence, I said I was fine, and drove myself home. I wasnt fine, I could hardly move. Being a Kin, I knew it was all musclular from the symptoms, so I got a heating pad, and robaxacet, and figured it would go away. Once the stiffness really set in, I was scared. I was alone, I was afraid to shower in case I fell, because I had no one to call. I was really scared, but I wouldnt admit it to anyone. This was the first of a series of bad falls...


That was a lot harder than I thought. Maybe I will wait till tomorrow to continue that story...

New topic! So, yesterday after work, I gave in to this odd summer cold/flu that I have developed, and went to bed. HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT 197969 Didnt ride at all.


Woke up this morning, feeling just as awful, but decided I would ride anyway (forecast predicts rain for the next 3 days). I made my boyfriend get out of bed, and come with me, to help section on some of my field (as Ellie*Mae suggested :) ) and also set up my barrels and "poles". We did a slow warm up, working on control, etc. since he isnt as responsive outside as he is in a defined ring... with the other two turkeys running around near by. Then played around with the barrels and poles. Even tho my spacing was cramped, we had fun! He is such a great coach/babysitter, when im off balance, he slows down so I dont fall. I can tell he's done this before (also, I contacted his western trainer and learned a little more about his experience), so I may not embarass myself as much as I thought. Here's to hoping :)

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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeTue Aug 02, 2011 7:29 pm

eek, tough crowd, i can almost hear the crickets....
should i bother to continue? or admit defeat?
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MoonShadow

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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeTue Aug 02, 2011 8:23 pm

OHH please continue... I can not offer advice, but I am sure enjoying the read.... as I'm sure alot of us, are. As long as you will write, I'll read...
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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeWed Aug 03, 2011 6:52 am

Dont be ridiculous, did you not read Bringing up Donkey.........folks always View and read, not everyone has constructive to say.......so get on with it............I'm reading, and still have no good advice to give..... :cowboyhound.gi

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withaTwist

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PostSubject: Re: HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT   HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Icon_minitimeWed Aug 03, 2011 7:24 am

aww, thanks moonshadow. i was starting to think the 100 reads were just me checking to see if my pictures loaded :)

also, im very whiny when im sick, and this cold is refusing to go away...i appologize.

As expected, once Dave got to this stage in his training, the owner was looking for potential buyers. I was heartbroken, I couldnt afford my own rent, let alone the purchase price of this horse (you dont even WANT to know... definitely not even close to prices here, i think in the 2 years i've owned horses here I still havent spent Dave's purchase price), and then his board on top of that.
HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Fscn0910

My instructor had a friend up from the US to look at him, and asked me to work with him. I just couldnt. She didnt even tell me she was coming, and I had come to the barn for some horse therapy. I left crying, and realizing - I have to go back to school. Working in a kitchen was fun, but the hours wore me out, the lack of sleep was getting to me, and I couldnt afford the life I wanted.

So I admitted defeat, and moved to my parents' place on PEI. Through another forum, before I left, I had met some horse people, and had potential for work at a trail ride near my parents...

I guess my intro - getting to know us all - explains how that went. I probably shouldnt have got the stbds, but I was missing that bonding. I also liked the idea that they had been so handled, so I could fast forward to the riding, except I now realize that was were my confidence wasnt quite where it needed to be.


I had also convinced the trail ride owner to lend me a "seasoned" horse, to keep up my riding, and use as an example... well.. the first one didnt work out as he had a serious hate for my newly gelded stbd, so he got traded for another, Jesse. This was the horse that got me interested in learning western riding, as I had to learn his buttons. I also took him to my first reining clinic... Sometime in February, I was working with him in the indoor, alone, and mad that my bf was out working on his truck, instead of watching me ride like he said he would... then im not sure what happened next. I know we were cantering, and Jesse had a bad habit of dropping the inside shoulder in a turn. I guess I dragged him outside to the truck, covered in dirt, and pissed off. The only thing I remember from that day was the hospital doctor saying "She probably wont even remember this". Ironic.

That summer at the trail rides, we brought our stbds to be "guide" horses, and I still had that drive to work with greenies - more particularly a 16 something (i wanna say 17, but I tend to exaggerate) chestnut QH... well, from a winter off after going to training the spring before, I think he decided he didnt want to work, and developed a bit of a mean streak (striking out, generally being a jerk). But im a sucker for a red-head, and thought I could work with him. One day, during a customer ride, something didnt feel right. A squirrel ran underneath him, and he bucked - not a rational response. Okay, I figured I just wouldnt take him on the next ride, in case he was in a mood. We get back, a break off from the groupp, and trot in to the yard. At the one section of pavement, in the whole place, he stops, and starts bucking. Every time I sit the buck, he bucks harder. I ended up underneath him, all I see are legs, that keep landing on me. At one point (a customer informed me), I screamed "get the rose off me!" .

I actually collected his halter and bridle (that came off from me reefing on his face), handed them to one of the owners, and helped all the customers off their horses - even took pictures. My shirt was ripped in two places, my neck covered in blood, face covered in dirt.

Awesome. My boyfriend dragged me to get x-rays of my chest (where i had a nice footprint - matching ones on the front and back of my thighs, and a drag from a hoof traveling down my neck, then finally stepping on my chest). But I was thankful. If he had stepped on my neck, Im sure I would have been seriously injured, if not killed. I was forced to take a week off work.

This didnt benefit my stbds in the least. Never the less, I kept trying, except my lack of confidence didnt help my little mare.

That fall, I would trail ride, but never overly fast, and I switched from the more sensitive mare to the quieter gelding.


Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah, Angus.

That fall a good friend of mine was dealing with a 2 horse problem - she had realized her first horse wasnt the best match for her (very sensitive), and bought a more suitable horse. Well now she was paying board for two, and one was out of work. I dont know if anyone remembers, but Ontario had an earlier winter, cold and muddy, and here it was relatively nice. I joked about the grass we still had, the dry fields, and the barn in my backyard, plenty of room for a little chestnut pony (like my foreshadowing there? haha).

Well, after lots of discussion, he was mine in December. I wanted him for a school horse, and something that I knew I could ride. (At this point, I was wondering why I even bothered at all)
He showed up, after 24 hours on the trailer, confused to say the least.

HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Angus12

So we did reining clinics, and bonded, and I loved riding again - no fear he would chuck me, act up, whatever. And best of all? I knew he needed my confidence, and with him, I had it.

to explain this picture, it was freezing, (january), and i could hardly feel my face, but i was happy.
HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Reinin11

I had a friend comment and say "wow, the difference with you and that horse is amazing, you used to look so timid on a horse". i was back :)


I must be crazy, but every time we acheive something, I push for something else. I used to be so "slow and steady" but now look at me, barrels and poles???? Maybe its a quarter life crisis, lol.


Today Im hoping to ride with a friend of mine, and play around with the barrels and poles again.
My buttercup hurts from riding yesterday, and it actually feels awesome, because I know Im pushing myself again.



Damn, its tuesday, and I've told the whole story. Maybe now I'll actually make it a training blog. lol!



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withaTwist

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haha, but Joan, your donkey is hilarious! and we love how you tell a story!!!

my "story" just consists of how im accident prone, and became a giant chicken
:Chicken-Dance.

but i will say, making this public helps, owning up to being a chicken thistle, gives me room to let the true cowgirl out!

to whoever is reading, thanks :)


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just joan
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hahaha......not laughing at your Escapades, laughing cause I love that you have found YOUR VOICE........keep it coming , I for one am reading. :cowboyhound.gi

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MoonShadow

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I'm reading too,, cause I am a bigger chicken thistle than you are... so its wondeful for me to see your progress... it gives me hope.. Sooooooooooooo Continue on girly.. make that Cowgirly!

To be honest, I have never realy understood how blogs work.. I was thinking it was a public form Diary of sorts, not sure we were suppose to add our 2 cents.. so are blogs more like a public conversation.. anyone explain the social graces attatched to a blog for me. ( Sorry to steal your form for this) But maybe I'n not alone in not knowing the rules here.
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hahahah......nobody lives in a vacuum Die.......and we all need feedback.......the blog part for this forum just makes it easy to keep all the conversations in one place and easy to find......there is NO REAL ETIQUETTE.......its a matter of letting the writer know someone actually gives a thistle. :cowboyhound.gi

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withaTwist

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thats a great way to put it joan,

and im still working on pictures... :)
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Alright, its thursday, and time for another session of coming clean about being a chicken thistle, lol.

I like to say that Angus fixed everything, but that would be a lie. Sure, he was a HUGE factor, but the rest of it was much, much harder. When he first came, it was december, the ground was frozen, and it was shitty out. My first excuse was I was giving him time to settle in - which he needed, but I may have dragged it out...
Then I would ride him in my tiny little fenced in area - (going fast has ALWAYS been an issue with me, I never had that pony you get on and run like you stole it, I was a control freak even as a child, it drove my parents crazy, lol). I brought him to a friend's place to ride the trails with her, and her 4 year old daughter; again, no great fear of moving fast.
Then it snowed, real, deep, maritime snow, so I got braver, left my enclosure and starting schooling in the field - again, no fear of moving too quickly. Got braver, did trails in the snow.
Then we went to our first clinic (if Dom, Darcy or Jill read this, they likely knew this before I was willing to admit it), and warmed up in the indoor the night before. It was cold, windy and rainy, and Angus hadnt seen a tarp arena before, and I was nervous. Not a good scene. I got off early, let my bf ride him, and was terrified for the next day. But I paid my money, trailered in, I'd be damned if I wasnt riding. Plus the friend who had given him to me was looking forward to hearing all about it, and I didnt want to let her down. This probably pushed me more than anything.
The clinic went well, the pony was great. It was a huge benefit to have a coach again, even if only for a day.

I kept attending clinics, since it really helped me learn my pony's buttons. Then it got nice out, and everyone wanted to trail ride. I went the first time, and my bratty pony insisted on leading, and wasnt listening to me. He's also faster outside, it scared me. Then me and 3 girls broke off to ride alone, since our horses were faster, so we could run a bit. I grinned, and pretended I was okay with it. Not until I realized that I could actually control him, I wasnt in danger and HE was really ENJOYING it (again, he didnt seem happy doing english), I took a deep breath, said "okay, Im trusting you, dont let me down" and gave him the reins. We past everyone, and had that open field, wind in your face feeling. after that, I was shaking, and crying, but this time it was releif, I had let my guard down, and he had answered by taking care of me. I may cry right now.

Anyway, it took a lot of trusting him, building trust, establishing a give-and-take (which we are still working on), to start to stir up that confidence again.

So to anyone that might read this, and has issues of your own, all I can say is get to know your horse, trust your gut, and LISTEN to what your horse has to say (not to claim that I can "hear" horses, but their body language is way more obvious than humans', if we only pay attention).
If you arent comfortable, try again another day, your nerves will only make your horse more nervous...


And thats my lead in to today's ride! I never should have been allowed to blog, i could probably type all day!
This morning I decided that since I hadnt ridden yesterday (succumed to that stupid g-d head cold again... grrr...), I would make a serious effort to school today.

This is how I found Angus.
HELP WANTED: NEWBIE WESTERN RIDER SEEKS E-COACHES TO SAVE HER FROM EMBARASSMENT Angus16

I guess he didnt wanna work, lol.

Got my reining/schooling bit, and strung up my "riding ring", kicking the other two bums out of the lower paddock. I tried to summon up my pony's WP training. So far since we've been reining, he's decided he likes galloping, so offers that first. Today I made an effort of being relaxed, focusing on my position, and only letting him give what i asked. He was perfect. Im sure the increased frequency of my riding has helped, and my "I have all day to accomplish x" attitude. We jogged, we loped, we did transitions, on a nice loose rein. Weeeeeeee!

Even if we suck at this show, Im still happy with him.

Tomorrow is bathing/grooming day - his favourite, muaha.
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well, its friday, and the show is tomorrow, and im nervous. I have lots to do to get him ready (taming his wild appearance being only one of those...), and i want to get another ride in. So tired tho.... my boyfriend and my dog woke me up at 4am because they were watching the dog whisperer - no joke, its her favourite show. Having to get up again at 5:30 for work after that was hard enough.... hopefully I dont fall asleep here at work.

The only class Im worried about really is pole bending. I can handle the "flat" classes - and decided neither Angus or I really like/enjoy showmanship or halter, so we arent even going to bother.
I've been practicing with my "poles" at home - which are pretty scary, since they are those thin highway pilons with the reflective tape. And I thought I had the spacing right (my western riding book from the 70s says 21 feet? - which my boyfriends grandfather said was about 7 steps? but now that i think of it... i dont think my stride is 3 feet.... ) but the pony has a hard time weaving through them at a canter, and breaks.

Any tips on poles???? Anyone??? Anyone at all?????
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Ellie*Mae

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Good luck tomorrow! Quick search says 6 poles, 21 feet apart, and 20 feet from the end of the arena.
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withaTwist

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i may take the tape measure out tonight...
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allison.morgan@sympatico.

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I'm hooked on this blog, and yes, it made me cry. Your journey with Angus has helped me have confidence with Maisie. Keep writing.
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