Thursday, January 28, 2016

TJP Throwback Thursday: Schooling Training Level XC

This was the first xc course that we schooled an entire course at Training Level.

Looking forward to getting out there this year!  I have been busy planning our recognized season out for this year and setting some goals for us!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snowmageddon 2016


Snowmageddon hit us this week.  It arrived Friday evening.  I had been in Charlottesville, VA for work all this week and was sent home Thursday night so I could beat the storm.  I made a bee line back to New Jersey!  I had to drive straight through D.C. so I wasn't about to wait around.

 The next morning it was gusting 30+ mph so I put everyone in their stalls with full hay nets.  Mochs was in anyway because I don't want to take any risks of her running around and slipping when we are still being careful with that right front.

By the afternoon Klein and Wes were reminding us that they are grown ups, they are Canadian, and they don't need to be in.  So...I let them out, and they loved it.

 Giving the storm the double middle finger.

 I let Mochi out for a few supervised minutes, she was confused about exactly what was all over the ground.  This is her first legit snow, ever in her life.  Last Sunday was the first time she had ever seen snow and that was just a little bit.

It has been years since Klein has seen snow.  We had one snow in New Mexico that was out of character and it was 3".  Aside from that, the last time she saw snow is when she was a baby in Canada.  It shows.  She completely forgot how to handle herself in it.  As you can see in the video below, she almost wipes out.  You know...that would have never happened if she would have just left Wes alone.  He was trying to enjoy a nice roll in the snow when the Fun Police notices him having fun without her permission and has to IMMEDIATELY hit the lights and sirens on him and come galloping over.  Watch for his little buck at the end!!

Later on that afternoon she did let him have some fun, only because she was there to monitor.

Look at Wes go!!  He feels so good in the cold!  He is so happy!!  The colder it is, the more he runs around.

This morning it was beautiful out.  We let Wes out to roam while we shoveled the driveway. 

Wes in the front yard, wondering where all the grass went.

Check this next picture out, Wes digging in the snow to find grass!  Here is the horse that had forgotten how to graze when he came home two years ago.  It took him THREE MONTHS to remember how to graze like a normal horse and here he is doing normal horse things.  Things like this are everything I wanted for him in his retirement. 

Digging in the snow for grass.

I took Klein for a snowy bareback hack this afternoon too.  Great way to see how the roads are, which weren't great. 

Does this not look just like my previous post about White Sands?  See how that place messes with your mind?!

Road check!

Part of me is ok with this snow because I see how much the ponies enjoy it, I haven't been cold because I bought the right stuff to wear in this weather, there are no bugs to bother Klein, and I know this is not our permanent home (we'll only be here a few years). 

And we have some pretty sweet sunsets.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

TJP Throwback Thursday: The Most Beautiful Ride


Klein and I have moved halfway around the world together.  We have galloped on the North Shore of Hawaii and on the sunny beaches of Florida, and everywhere in between.  The most beautiful ride I think we have ever had was at White Sands National Monument when we lived in New Mexico.  White Sands is one of the most beautiful, mysterious places I have ever been out of all the places I have traveled to all over the world.  There is just no other place like it.  It just appears out of nowhere in the basin between two mountain ranges.  It's beautiful and when you are there it messes with your mind.  In your mind you feel like it should be cold because the sand is SO WHITE it looks like snow.  White Sands is one of the natural wonders of the world.

When we lived in New Mexico we were only about ten miles down the road from it.  One day I loaded Klein up and we went to check it out.  When we were out riding around the base you could see it in the distance.


 Just me and my girl.

 You can see the normal landscape in the background of this picture.  White Sands begins and ends that suddenly.

I can't begin to describe how grateful I am for all the adventures Klein and I go on together.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


It finally snowed here today! 

Mochi has never seen snow before today.  She nuzzled a little bit of it on the ground, touched her nose to it on the fence, pricked her ears at it and went back to her stall.

Pony trying to figure out what's on the ground.

Moch was not impressed.

Wes is having the time of his life.  He has some extra energy today and has been cantering all over the place.  I think he's happy to have his snow back.  Even after dinner he demanded to be let out immediately.  Normally he'll just quietly wait until I finish my chores and let everyone out.

Back in their natural habitat.  One is from Canada, the other is from Maine (which is pretty much Canada too).

Klein saw snow like two or three times in New Mexico but that has been it since she was a baby Klein.  She came from Canada so she knows what winter is.  Judging by how much she has been enjoying the cold lately I'm sure she is happy to see it too.

The Fun Police on duty, seeing things only horse vision can see.

I was planning to ride anyway and I wasn't about to let the snow stop me.  Klein will go out in anything, including dust storms with gusts of 60mph.  I don't know what possessed me to think we might be able to ride in that, but we tried.  After five minutes of being sandblasted we went back in.

The snow was quiet and pretty.  We got some good dressage work in this afternoon.  We worked on 20m and 15m circles at the trot and canter, shoulder-in to canter departs, our stretchy circle, down transitions, and halts.

 Putting that new Back on Track quarter sheet to work today!  BTW, Mountain Horse Windsor jacket, SO warm and comfy!  Mountain Horse Active Rider Winter Tall Boots, also warm and comfy!


 Hacking around the property.

Oh speaking of Klein going out in anything...we also went out by head lamp this past Friday for a bareback dressage school and worked on lengthenings. 


We hacked around the trail on our property and ran into three glittering pairs of eyes too.  They caught Klein's attention and she stopped to stare.  They were deer and they took off into the field next to our property.

 My Canadians.

It was fun to see Wes out enjoying himself so much today.  Maybe he can convince Mochi it's not that bad.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

TJP Throwback Thursday: Klein's First Jumps

 It wouldn't be Hawaii without a rainbow in the background.

Here are a couple firsts for Klein.  These were all when we lived in Hawaii.  The picture above is one of her first times schooling a 3' oxer, albeit a very narrow one.

This picture below is her VERY first time schooling a 2'3" vertical.  She was five in this picture.  My leg is killing me in these pics!  As Denny would say, it was wandering off to buy illegal drugs in most of these pics!  I have pictures from the first time she ever schooled a cross rail, I will have to find them.  They are on my hard drive that hasn't been unpacked yet.

Baby's first 2'3" vertical.

Here is the FIRST time she jumped 3', EVER.  She was six here.  I remember setting the tripod up on this day.  Again, lower leg, out to see the street pharmacist.  Thankfully the both of us have a lot more education now than we did in these pictures!

Baby's first 3' fence!

 Jump school.

 This was probably her second gymnastic line at 3'.

 When I knew 3' was not going to be an issue for her.

 Working on a one stride.

 Flat school with Mount Kaala on the north shore in the background.

 First gymnastic school with a bounce, she was in a rope halter in this picture.

 The line right before I raised that fence to 3' for the first time.

We've come a long way.  It's fun to look back at random points in our journey together.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Horse Maintenance and Weekend Chores


The Odd Couple both got performance floats from an awesome equine dentist this morning.  Klein was coming due for her teeth and I was planning on making an appointment toward the end of this month for her since we got here.  However, about a week ago I could tell that something was up with her.  I KNOW my girl.  She just had this look on her face when I was tacking up like something was bothering her.  I have had her since she was two, "I just know her" is the only way to explain it.  She felt fine under saddle, moving great, super enthusiastic, but she just was a kind of unsettled in the bridle.  That was odd to me because she has been so completely in love with her Micklem since the first day she had it on.  She was still getting super foamy at the mouth but it's like she just wasn't getting in the bridle and staying there like she usually does.  She would get in, then back out, and in down transitions she'd come above the bit.  I thought maybe it's time for a chiro adjustment.  Then it immediately came to me...teeth time.  I knew it.  I knew it was about that time, though the vet said she wasn't quite ready when she checked her right before we left Georgia, and I knew something was up with her just by the look on her face that day. 

Our rides since then haven't involved any real contact.  Not until the dentist came out, which was this morning.  This guy comes highly recommended and does a lot of the barns with the big name riders and trainers around here.  As I thought, he immediately said she didn't have a bit seat and he would expect the bit to be uncomfortable for her at this point.  I had not even said one word to him about the bridle thing yet.  He just looked in her mouth and was like "do you ride her?"  After I said yes he said "Did a vet do her teeth last time?"  I said yes, I know equine dentists are generally better (also, no drugs used), but we were in a somewhat limited area before, and now we're not, and it's awesome.  He said the vets don't do a bad job, they just don't specialize in teeth like an equine dentist, which I knew and is why I had him out instead of a vet (no offense vets).  Moch would be due in a few months so I just had him go ahead and do her too.  His son works with him so his son did Mochi and he did Klein.  His son immediately said the same thing about Mochi "She's not bad, just no bit seat."  I am so glad I had Mochi done now too. 

 Moch was VERY good for her teeth.

Wes was just done in November, but he also doesn't get a bit in his mouth.  Wes was adorable.  He kept going back and forth and looking in each stall to check on his girls.  He is the sweetest horse I have ever known in my life.  Despite Moch kicking at him for NO good reason right before the dentists got there, he still worries about his girls.

Mochi update, her 12 hours in, 12 hours out just ended yesterday.  So far, she looks fine.  I am going to trot her this weekend and see how she looks.  I've seen her trot around when I let her out, she looks sound.  She's fine at the walk.  Let's just hope that holds true when I actually trot her.  I'm very cautiously optimistic.  Every day I hug on her and apologize to her that she's not feeling 100% and promise that we will figure this out.

Last weekend we got more work done around the property.  The Other Half bought a new toy for himself last week too, a wood chipper.  We have a lot of branches to trim in the pastures and around the ring, and on our little bridle paths. 


Our only option before was burning everything.  We still are burning stuff, but this chipper is really awesome for the random pasture branches.  You can just immediately get rid of them.  No piling them up and waiting for a good day to burn, or waiting for them to dry out so we can burn them. 

 Brush clearing operations.

We also had 200 bales of hay delivered last weekend too.

 While waiting for the hay guys that morning Klein was running around snorting at something.  SOMETHING had her attention.  I went to the corner where she was and stood on the fence to see what she saw.  It took me a second...  Bow hunters.  She has Eagle eyes.  They were WAY far in the distance across the road.  They were only the tiniest orange dot.  Klein was completely offended for whatever reason out of 345,394,210 and proceeded to buck, squeal, and tear around the pasture for about 35 minutes.  I have video.  I'll post it as soon as I upload it, but here are some still shots from some of her fits.  This is why Moch was in during the day on her 12 in 12 out.  At night, it is way less likely these shenanigans will be going on.  Wes ignores her.  You'll see in the video, he acts like she's not even there.  Moch on the other hand, Moch buys into every second of it and will run around with her and snort at random things.

That weekend we also went for a hack and got caught in a down pour.  The skies were crazy but the rain was supposed to be done for the rest of the day.  

Klein knew it was coming.  After it started to lightly rain on us I turned her around and started walking home.  She did NOT want to walk.  She knew we needed to hurry, and I had a pretty good idea we did too, but I don't want her to learn that when crazy things start happening it is acceptable to hurry home.  About five mins into her insisting we at least trot, it let loose on us.  We still walked calmly home.  The Other Half came sprinting out of the house with a roll of paper towels and as soon as I dismounted he started wiping my tack off.  That guy...he is the best.  Who thinks of stuff like that?!  I thought for sure he at least was watching out the front window to see that we made it back, but as soon as we came through the gate at the end of the driveway he came sprinting out to the barn.

If you haven't heard, the EHV/EHM outbreak in PA is starting to wind down.  Good thing because I am starting to go a little stir crazy from not taking a horse anywhere in more than 30 days.  Travel was to cautiously resume this week, but "cautiously" is still not up to my standard.  We'll wait until the end of this month, and then we'll start getting out again.