Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ride 39 continued...

Okay, yesterday's ride was in a different saddle.  It is a treeless saddle (in my favorite color), but I didn't have a special pad to go under it so I used a regular one.  Big mistake.  Chrome's back is sore today.  I thought it would be okay since it was a short ride just to see if I could post in it better than the Aussie saddle.  Since his back is sore I won't use it again until I can get one of the special spine relief pads.  It might be a while though because those things are expensive!!  I guess the good news is that every single time I've ridden in the Aussie saddle I have never gotten a response from palpating his back, so it must not hurt him.  I guess for now I'm going to give up on trying to work on posting the trot and just enjoy trail riding my boy in the Aussie saddle until I can afford lessons and a new saddle or a new saddle pad.

I mentioned in my post yesterday that the ride was thirty minutes long (mostly walking because his stifles were locking, but he warmed up out of it; however they are locking again today...) and I did sort of figure out why I was having trouble with my lower leg.  I was bracing on the stirrups with my legs away from his body.  Once I wrapped my legs around him and kept my calf on him they stopped swinging as much.  Unfortunately I am so long legged and he is so narrow that I have trouble keeping my toes forward with my leg on him.  I'm getting so frustrated trying to figure all of this out with no trainer and improper equipment, so I'm just going to trail ride and enjoy my horse.  Out on the trail is where my heart really is anyway.  Later when we've recovered from the financial strain of moving and building a new house I'll get better equipment and start taking lessons again.  For now we're going to just go have fun.  Here are the rest of the picture.  Sorry for the rambling and making no sense (headache).  I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

 One of the fallen logs we walk over to build up his stifles.

 All done for the ride, so I dropped my stirrups.

This one cracked me up.  We walked into a spider web and I was freaking out lol.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Ride 39

I just wanted to post really quick to mention that I rode Chrome today.  I will go into more details tomorrow because there are few things I want to share.  For now I'll just share a couple of pictures and details.  The ride was thirty minutes long in a saddle.  I wore my breeches and paddock boots (and remembered why I don't wear them because they are two sizes too small and hurt like hell!).  Chrome's stifle was locking again, which makes me sad because it hasn't bothered him in so long.  I hand walked him to warm him up and he mostly worked out of it so I decided to go ahead and ride.  After a long walking warm up with no locking I worked on trotting.  I figured out part of the reason my leg is swinging, but I'll share that with you tomorrow.  We were in the pasture and he was being horribly barn sour (and hubby sour; veering toward him), but otherwise willing.  I completely forget I'm riding a greenie sometimes.  He doesn't make me nervous at all.  :D I'll post more details tomorrow.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving day!!!  I hope you all had the perfect holiday filled with family and good food.  :)  I was going to make a list of everything I'm thankful for, but I have a lot going on, so I will just say I'm thankful for Chrome!  I love that horse.

I will share some more pictures of us in a day or two.  :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I'm a Wimp

Picture is from last year, but that's seriously how cold it feels outside!

Okay, I had planned to ride Chrome today so that I could wear breeches and paddock boots to see if they made any difference in my lower leg stability and to get more video, but I totally wimped out.  It got cold today!!  I've decided that if I'm moving around outside 50F is comfortable . . . at the worst I can deal with 40F, but below that no way Jose!  I don't think it ever got out of the thirties today ugh.  This is not normal weather for November in the south.  Normally I'm still in shorts and tank tops lol.  I miss that!  Oh well, enough whining about the cold.  I'm inside, curled up in my electric blanket with a tummy full of homemade potato soup and I'm happy.  :D

Also all of the maple leaves are down and have turned brown so I turned the horses loose for the night so they can hide out in the thick pine trees for shelter against the wind since it's going to be so cold.  Now hopefully Chrome won't pig out on acorns and make himself sick.  I'm pretty sure they ate acorns at our old place and it didn't hurt them, so fingers crossed.  I've read that the green ones can hurt them, but that they are usually okay to eat the ripe ones.  Ours are ripe, so they should be good.

I've decided to ride Chrome on any day that it isn't raining or too cold (below 40F for me) even if they are consecutive days because otherwise he probably would not get ridden at all.  I'm sure at four and a half he will be fine with the increased riding and for riding on consecutive days if I don't go overkill with it (which you all know I won't considering how much I've babied him so far lol).  Thanks again guys for all of your comments, advice and suggestions.  I love hearing from you!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ride 38 (trotting video) & hubby rode Chrome!!!

Okay before we move on to the fun stuff (pictures and video) I have to mention a few things...

1.  Sorry for the double post!!  It stopped raining, so I knew I had to ride while I had the chance, but I had already scheduled the previous post, so you get two today because I want to keep his riding posts on the actual day of the ride if possible.  :)

2.  Chrome does sink his back under the saddle when standing still and walking, but not at the trot, so I agree it is a strength issue.

3.  My hubby rode Chrome!!!!  He rode him . . . without a helmet . . .  oops!!  I was wearing my helmet because I got on Chrome first to make sure he was okay.  I didn't want Chrome to spook and wrench hubby's messed up back.  Then I completely forgot to take my helmet off and let him wear it!  Please don't yell at me lol.  Chrome was perfect, so no harm done.

4.  My hubby has not ridden more than a handful of times in the last twenty years (he rode almost daily as a kid and teen) due to college, work and his back injury so his position is not great.  However he said you can laugh and make fun of him all you want because he doesn't care LOL!  I wish I could have that attitude about my own riding.  :D  Also I didn't realize until after these pictures that the stirrups were way too long for him.  I know I am half an inch taller than he is, but I didn't realize my legs were so much longer.  :)

So here are pictures of my hubby riding Chrome.  Aren't they so cute together??

Dang Chrome looks as long as a bus in this one for some reason, but I LOVE that neck!
And yes he's holding the rein wrong in his left hand because he has a fractured finger...

 See how the stirrups are too long and his toe is sliding too far in the stirrup?  This was the up part of the post too and he was tense because his back was starting to hurt.  He needs to stick with walking for now, but at least he got to feel Chrome's trot!  :D  Also look at Chrome's back behind the saddle.  It looks round to me, even though his head is up.  I think he looks super cute for a green horse!!

And now a couple of pictures of me . . .

 My position makes me want to gag!  Ahh!  Between the jeans being too short and showing my socks (I really need to start wearing my breeches and paddock boots), leaning forward, my hands in my lap, my back arched, my toes out, etc. but hey at least I'm looking up!  Score!  LOL.  I need lessons (on a school horse and on Chrome) soooo bad!  Sticking my toes out and dropping my hands in my lap are my worst faults.  My trainer had to remind me constantly to stop doing that lol.  I wish bad habits died as quickly as good habits.  :)

So here is the video to show you how bad my leg swings.  I know how crappy my position is, but I can't figure out what I'm doing that causes my lower leg to move around so much.  Is it the saddle, my position, my lack of core strength, lack of practice posting (haven't posted a trot since 2007 either since I sit the trot on my friend's broke western horses), wearing jeans (someone said breeches and half chaps might help but I can't find my half chaps since the move...), etc.  My knees don't look like they are pointed down like they should (I miss knee blocks on a dressage saddle!), but my leg seems to move less in the second clip where my knees are up . . . I'm confused.  I can't wait until I can afford lessons again because I so bad need to practice posting on a trained horse again.  Posting on a green horse is tough although his tempo is staying steadier now.  Anyway sorry for rambling, here is the video . . . I just hope after taking lessons I can look back on this and laugh at how bad I am.  :D

So what do you think?  Also if you don't care about dressage/position/etc. I hope you at least enjoyed looking at my cutey Chrome!  :)

ETA:  I did figure out that the Aussie saddle is too wide for Chrome, so I'm going to use my thick fleece saddle pad next ride.  :)

ETA 2:  This is just for my records because I think I forgot to mention it.  My ride and my husband's ride combined was only 25 minutes.

Chrome is so full of himself! (and other random pictures... again!)

First of all the best side effect of all the rain is that the pond is full again!  It wasn't even half that full two days ago.  :)  Okay remember how in my last post I said I like taking pictures of the horses rolling?  Check these out...

 Going down!


And back up!  It's so funny seeing a picture of a horse standing up because it happens so quick you never realize how awkward they look.  I love his flying forelock hehe.

 He knows he's gorgeous!  Getting ready to do the other side.. yeah he only rolls on one side at a time, then stand ups, shakes off, turns around so he's rolling uphill and lays down to do the other side.  He will not roll downhill.  I think that's the reason he can't roll all of the way over is because he aims for uphill.  Dork!

 Going down again...

 .. and I missed the roll that time, but here he is coming up.  I LOVE his expression and splayed legs. So cute!

 Gross... just gross Chrome!

 I wish this one hadn't turned out blurry.  I caught him mid snort hehe.

I'm not done yet, check out Led Zeppelin!

 Feels so good! 

 After rolling he yawned...

 He does roll all of the way over by the way.

 ... and another yawn.  So cute!!

Okay enough of that.  Here are the pictures that give the post it's title...

 The blurriness in this one is totally my fault.  I messed up the focus. I wish I hadn't cut him out of the shot, but I still love it.  One day (hopefully 20+ years from now) when Chrome is gone I will love all of these pictures and not care one bit that they are blurry. :)

 I LOVE this one (even though it's over exposed)!  I got the focus right on this one, so the blurriness is due to dropping the camera.  I don't care though, I love it.  :)

 He finally enticed Faran to play!! I don't have many rearing shots of Faran.  I love it!
He would make such a great SCA jousting horse if he could be ridden.

 This is what Faran puts up with daily.  :)  What a pest!

Finally when I walked over to the gate to talk to mom, I was leaning against the gate and Chrome walked up beside me and hung his head over the fence like he was joining in our conversation.  I twisted the camera around and clicked the shutter even though I couldn't see what was in the frame.  I think it came out great (below).  The angle is coming from underneath because he had his head that far above mine.  :)

And a close up of that gorgeous eye!

That's it for now.  Keep your fingers crossed the rain stops so I can ride!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Random photos of the handsome beasts!

Okay I figured out what my problem was.  It wasn't blogger or my browser, it was my mouse!  I had dropped the poor thing so many times that is finally died.  It was doing some weird stuff highlighting and moving things I didn't want highlighted or moved.  It made blogging difficult.  :)

So I want to thank everyone for their awesome advice and I know it's time to stop babying my 'not a baby anymore' horse and start riding him!  So I am...... as soon as the rain stops.  Of course I would decide to start riding more and then it would start raining... literally ALL day for two days straight with more on the way!  So as soon as I can walk out of my house without sinking into the mud and possibly drowning (you know I'm exaggerating right?) I will get to work getting our butts in shape.  Until then, enjoy the pretty pictures from earlier sunny days.  :D

 I'm still loving his Mohawk!  However I also love Faran long, thick mane too.  :D

 I can't tell if he's starting to dapple or if the hair is just growing in white where his sweet itch sores were....

I know this is my horse blog, but I had to share a picture of my sidekick Jackal.
He's always out there right by my side when I'm photographing the horses.

 Zeppers is getting his curly winter coat (and it's brown ick!  I prefer when he's black hehe).  

 Biting Faran in the butt trying to get him to play...

 When that didn't work he decided to scratch his back. 
I love taking rolling pictures!

Here is another one!

 Chrome wants to know if I'm going to play... Zep is staring at... my dog maybe?

 One of the best (not blurry) bucking shots I've gotten in a long time.
I love the way the sunlight highlights his tail and hooves.  

 I want to do a watercolor of this picture (above)!!  I love the backlighting!  I just need to practice some more because I think that one is a bit advanced for me (a friend just started teaching me to paint watercolors!).  Isn't it crazy how the light makes Chrome different colors?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

November 2013 Progress Report

I haven't done a progress report in a long time... oops.  I kind of miss being able to look back at them to see how Chrome has changed (especially with his coat getting lighter and lighter) so I'm going to try to start doing them again.  :D

Date: 11-21-13 (yeah I'm a couple of days late...)
Age: 4 Years 6 Month (and two days hehe)
Height: 15.2hh  (hubby said fifteen two and an eighth of an inch lol)
Height Gain: None.  I'm fairly certain that he's as tall as he's going to get.  Now time to widen out some Chrome!
Weight: N/A 
Weight Gain: I didn't have time to get his weight measurements, but he looks good. :)

Progress:  Progress... what is progress?  Or goals?  I'm just playing.  2013 got completely consumed by house building, moving, settling in, etc. so I didn't accomplish anything really.  We had some fun rides and we had fun goofing off, but I think it's time to get our butts in gear!  So let's move on to goals.

 Goals: My goals for this next month are simple.  Exercise.  For me and Chrome.  I want to start riding more and I really want to start ground driving him again.  That is all.  I want to see how the weather and my motivation are before piling on too much.  

And since I haven't done a comparison in a while either, here are pictures from previous years' progress reports.  :D






And looking at the other pictures I just realized how dirty he is!  Oops!  :D

Well I hope this post works because I'm having some weird, weird problems with either blogger or my browser....