Monday, June 23, 2014

Missing Piece of the Mochi Puzzle?

Mochi gettin' it in the Pelham with double reins (I know, I forgot my stirrups that day on another saddle at home).

In case you didn't know, Andrea and I have the same mare.  Hers is bigger and redder, mine is smaller and spotted.  We have spent literally hours repeating each other.  Everything O does, Mochi does.  Everything Mochi does, O does.  We share ideas on what might chip away at the complex minds of these mares.  Well, she made some progress with a Pelham with double reins then eventually a double bridle.  Hmmm...a Pelham...with double there is something I have never thought to try.  It got through to O, it was absolutely worth a try on Mochi.  Nothing to lose at this point, so I ordered a mullen mouth Pelham and it showed up last week.

Let's refresh your memories of what the issue is with Mochi.  This little horse has an endless amount of energy and enthusiasm but I have yet to figure out how to organize it.  She's my biggest challenge and the thought has crossed my mind that maybe she would rather be a pet.  She's perfectly happy being a pocket pony.  She couldn't be happier as long as she's included in whatever you're doing on the ground.  She whinnies to us and comes right over in the pasture.  But get on her back and she's like riding five ponies at once.  She's way more horse than Klein, and Klein has about 600lbs on her and three more hands of height.

She's had her teeth done, chiro adjustments, etc...  She's in excellent shape, she has freaking fabulous feet.  Her ONLY issue is that she's a little on the plump side, but give her a break, she hasn't been in work for a while.  I have tried a couple different bits with her and she approves of one so far, the french link baucher.  She's the quietest in that but still is just a little FREIGHT TRAIN.  She pulls on herself really.  I know the whole "if you can't ride them in a snaffle you're a failure" argument.  But seriously people, does one size REALLY fit ALL?  I honestly don't think so.  Can Mochi eventually go quietly in a snaffle?  Maybe one day.  But we have to have a plan that works for now, and that does not work.  This is the problem with buying a horse that you don't start.  You have no idea what's happened to them before you bought them.  Moch has never been in any real consistent training, at one point she was being trained for western pleasure (*BARF*).  One ride on her and I can see why that didn't work out.  Why not just turn her into a trail horse?  She can't just chill out and leisurely hack, she is the energizer pony.

I fell in love with her because she's just the most adorable thing and has such a great personality and the potential is there to be an amazing little sport pony.  On the ground she is just the sweetest little mare.  Loads and trailers like a pro.  Oh, and Klein approved of her immediately, which is RARE.  I just have yet to unlock the code on her and I am not about to force her into anything she doesn't want to do.  Want to see an example of her adorableness??  Check her out the other day:

I had her in regular work thinking she was just rusty and that was why she was such a hand full.  Well, months later, she was just as much of a hand full.  You could take her out for a 15 mile ride and not make a dent in that horse.  I mean just look at this before and after:

 Click to get a better look.

So, after all that rambling, how did the Pelham with a double rein work??  Great!!  I'm really hoping she doesn't figure out how to evade it within ten rides.  That was the FIRST time she has ever not tried to blast off in the canter on a straight line.  Part of things like that is because she is out of shape and has no real balance or collection right now, and I can appreciate that up to a point.  I absolutely take that into account.  Here's a video of her trotting in the Pelham and double reins, short video, but better than nothing.

Cross your fingers that I maybe found something that we can make some progress with.  The start would be just to get her back into shape with hacks and basic flat work, then move on from there.

Mochi's habit, she has to turn and touch her nose to my boot to see if I'm still there...I guess?

Yesterday I took her out for a hack with a friend and she was dramatically better for that as well.  I REALLY hope this is the start of some progress for her.  I would love to ride her regularly but, if she still shows me that she would rather be a pet, well, whatever makes her happy is fine with me, and bf.  He LOVES his little Mochi pony.

After our hack.  SO CUTE.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

That Time When...

1st Place, Novice, Las Cruces Horse Trials, February 2012

That time when we won Novice at the Las Cruces Horse trials.

 Klein baby kicking ass in dressage.

Leaving the hotel Sunday morning to ride XC.  It was also my birthday, how awesome is that??

 Klein loves pita chips.
Klein flying around the xc course, double clear.

Making our way through the back half of the course.

The last fence between us and victory.

After XC.  Klein is like, "That was work??"

That one was special.  Special because it was our last show in New Mexico before we moved to South Georgia, so that was a great note to end that chapter on.  Special because it was my birthday and my mom had come out to visit and be at that show with me.  Special because the last time we competed on that course I came off after that last fence with only like 50 ft before the finish flags.  Yeah.  Ouch.  But, believe me I was thankful that was all that happened.  Especially after such an extremely dark weekend in eventing this weekend.  Two rider deaths and one horse death.  I really am not sure what happened that time.  We had run that course a ton of times, we were even schooling Training on that course.  I could have rode that course bareback and jumped that last fence backward, well apparently not that day.  Klein took off a little long from what I remember, which is no big deal, but we just got in at kind of a weird spot for some reason and when we landed I was off balance and kind of just slid off of the left side of her.  We were in first place too, going for the win.  We would have won that horse trials.  I am 100% sure it was something I did.  Klein still owned that course as usual.  So, it was nice to come back to the next event at that venue and win, on our dressage score too.

One of our double clear stadium rounds from Las Cruces.

 Here is a video of us schooling at Las Cruces:

 I'm going to make a series of posts that start with "That time when..." to repost some of the highlights that were lost on the old blog, so keep checking back!

Sunday, June 8, 2014



Ok, we all know there's a billion snakes down here.  The south is known for its bugs and snakes, and bugs, and snakes, and...bugs.  Amazingly I have only seen two snakes since I have been here, a rattler and a Cottonmouth.  The rattler was in the middle of a street with a bunch of guys around it, probably trying to figure out if they should just kill it or see if anyone was brave enough to pick it up.  The Cottonmouth I saw at the barn and didn't know it was a Cottonmouth or I would have immediately shot it.  I felt stupid for that one.  I always have my .40 on me but ever since seeing the big grey Cottonmouth at the barn in the ditch I have also started taking a .38 with snake shot with me too.  Well, now that bf is home, he's in charge of snake patrol.

The other day we were out looking for Mochi's fly mask.  She is THE WORST about keeping her damn fly mask on.  She did good this time.  Instead of just ditching it in the pasture bf spotted it IN the ditch covered in mud.  You could BARELY see it.  We went around to where the fly mask was and bf told me to let him check for snakes first.  He was walking in front of me with a stick to look through under brush with.  Me, thinking "oh we probably scared any that were down here by walking down to the bank of the ditch" took a step to the right of bf, where he hadn't checked yet.  As soon as I took that step I looked down and RIGHT NEXT TO MY BOOT I saw THIS:

 An f'ing Brown Cottonmouth doing its threat display they are so well-known for.

I yelled "HOLY SHIT, SNAKE!!" and jumped back.  Funny thing...about two days before this happened I was telling bf how atleast once a day he saves my life in one way or another.  As soon as I jumped back he pulled the .38 out and shot the snake.  Yeah, we'll just add that one to the long list of times he has saved me from something. 

 Mochi's nasty fly mask on one stick, dead Cottonmouth on the other.  That's just how he rolls.

 Nice try at hiding your fly mask, little mare.

At first I was like "thanks a lot Moch..." then bf said "You should thank her, she was just marking the spot with her fly mask to show us where a Cottonmouth lived so I could kill it."  Good point.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy 10th Birthday Klein Mare!

Yesterday my Klein mare turned 10!! 
 The mandatory Klein baby picture.  This is the first day we met, the day she arrived in Hawaii all the way from Canada as a coming three year old that was barely halter broke.

 Here she is just a couple weeks ago.  From gawky, un-started filly to event horse that has earned a silver medal with USEA at Novice and traveled half way around the world with me.  We've had adventures of a lifetime together and I really don't know where I would be without her.  We've rode on the beaches of the North Shore of Hawaii (Oahu) together and the beaches of the Atlantic side of Florida and a ton of places in between.  I just hit eight years in the Air Force on May 30th and Klein has been there with me from almost the beginning.  She has never been just a horse to me.  Here's to years and years of more adventures!

 How did we celebrate this year?  With a six pack of Guinness of course!

 Klein and Wes each got two bottles and Mochi got one.  Then bf and I of course got ourselves something to drink too.

 Wes helping open beers.

 Wes taking his first taste of Guinness.

 Birthday mare about to have her Guinness.

 Moch inhaling her beer.

 I think Moch could probably drink Klein and Wes under the table.

Klein and Wes.

They all liked their Guinness, Moch the most.  After they had a drink with just the beer I put some grain in there to soak up the rest and they all cleaned their buckets.  Mochi was HILARIOUS, Wes was pretty funny too.  Wes would slurp his up, Moch just inhaled hers and made funny faces, Klein ate like a shark like she usually does.

 Mochi's 11th birthday was on May 20th and since we're not sure when exactly Wes' birthday is we're just calling it sometime between May 20th and June 4th.  So this was a little celebration for the three of them :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Reunion!

I have been busy the past couple weeks because...MY OTHER HALF CAME HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN!!!!! 

I couldn't be happier, and neither could the ponies.  Before you watch this next video, please remember how Klein treats most humans besides me.  She's a princess and there are only certain humans she genuinely likes.  She's not mean, she's just aloof and will pull away from people that try to pet her like she is SO offended they dare try to touch her majesty.  The other half is one of the few humans that Klein LIKES and this video proves it!  This was the first time they had seen him in five months.

And now you are wondering what Wes did, right?  Remember, Wes arrived about a month and a half into this deployment so Wes had not met his dad yet.  Wes LOVES his dad.  The first day that the other half spent time with him this happened:

Wes resting his head on bf's shoulder.

Wes resting his head on the top stall board with bf to visit Mochi.

Even Josephine, one of the barn cats missed him:

I'm so happy our family is all back together again!