Showing posts with label Beefheart. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beefheart. Show all posts

Sunday, October 11, 2015

One Year Later

I don't think that I'll ever stop missing him.

"When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

Khalil Gibran

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Devil Jumps and Beefheart Year End Standings

Since Indy and Winn had the laser therapy and adjustments yesterday, I just hand walked them today. I decided that a walk on the track that goes through the cross country course would be good for Indy since I want to start riding her out there soon. She was really good  for the most part and I think that she enjoyed it.

I decided to snap some pics of the jumps for all of you eventer crazies out there. Seriously though, ya'll have some balls. Most of these jumps made me about pee my pants just looking at them. It's not the height, it's the fact that they're so damn solid. There were about three things that looked fun to me: the banks, the water jumps, and the few jumps that were 2'6" and under. So, you guys have nothing but my utmost respect.

No thanks.

Pan view of the barn area.

No way.

The track

Indy really thought that the graczing part was great.

The only jump that really bothered her was this one. She thought that the mustache was a winged demon. Keep in mind that she is not a fan of big wooden boxes on the ground (giant mounting blocks).

Hell no!

Maybe, but probably not.

The one on the right. MAYBE.

On another note, I looked up the final standings for the NMDA shows. Beefs and I are 1st at training level with an average of 70.266.

I'm not sure how they are going to pick the placings for first level. The requirements are that you ride three tests and one of them has to be 1-3. Beefs and I were going to do that test at the next show, but it was cancelled anyway, we would have been in the same spot even if I hadn't lost him. I'm the only one that has three tests, but there are a couple of people with tests at 1-3. So, if they go by the average, we will win that. His average first level score was 66.72.

Either way, I am so proud of him and thankful that we had the opportunities we did. I was very blessed to have a horse like him in my life.

I will do the post about the laser therapy and adjustments on both of them soon, I'm just waiting to get one of the thermal images.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pushing through

I want to say thank you to everyone for your condolences, thoughts, and prayers. It's been a rough few days and my heart is broken, but I'm surviving. Again, thank you for your support.

It's too difficult to go into too much detail, but Beefs coliced. The fiancé said it was okay to go ahead with the surgery as long as the vet was optimistic of his chances of survival. She wasn't. She wasn't even sure they could get him into the surgery room as soon as he would need to go. I would have paid any amount of money to save him, but I wasn't going to pay in excess of $10,000 to have him go through surgery, suffer a few days, and then have to be put down anyway. I've never seen a horse in so much pain, none of the medication had helped Beefheart at all. He kept falling down and whinnying. I couldn't take seeing him like that any longer and made the decision to put him down.

The fiancé has been in Hobbs for the last week, but JL and MB were there with Beefheart and I.  I'm extremely grateful that they were because I'm not sure I could have handled making the decision I did without their support.

I miss Beefs so much. I always will. He was the horse that gave me back my confidence and taught me to enjoy riding again. Beefheart gave me so much happiness in general. Right now, I am just trying to focus on how lucky I was to have the time that I did with him.

So, I'll be okay. It's going to hurt like hell for a really long time, no doubt about that. I have had and probably will have mor breakdowns over losing him. The last few days have been filled with guilt, denial, hopelessness, anger, and about every other negative feeling in between. The worst is when I just become numb. I've had a lot of wonderful horses in my life over the years, but I have never gotten as attached to one as I did Beefheart. Through him, I was finally getting the dedication and love of riding that I used to have back. He helped me put my heart back into it and I will always be thankful for that.

A company has generously donated product for me to do a giveaway. I owe it to them to get this contest going and I need to do something fun and distracting, this will be good for me. Contest details coming soon.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Beefheart 3/5/2005- 10/11/2014

What we have once enjoyed deeply, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. - Helen Keller

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sucking It Up Show

Make sure to check out L's 1,000th post giveaway over at Viva Carlos

I took Beefs to another show on Saturday. You know those mornings before your show and things just seem to be a bit off? Nothing runs smoothly? Yeah, I was having one of those mornings. Nothing went seriously wrong, but everything just felt not quite right. I have a bad ear infection, it hurt like hell, and I was tired and grumpy. Not the best way to start a show day.

got to the show about half an hour later than I wanted to, which I figured wasn't a big deal because Beefheart really only needs about a twenty minute warm up. More than anything, he needs a few minutes to settle down from being hauled since it always seems to get him amped up. I threw Beefs in his stall with a flake of hay to eat for a couple of minutes while I unloaded my things from the trailer. MB was a life saver and parked the pick up and trailer for me and then came back to help me finish tacking up (she's the best).

I climbed on Beefs and go "Ooohhhh, you have a hump in your back!" as we started to walk off to the arena. At this point I was questioning my 'we only need a twenty minute warm up' theory. When we got to the warm up arena he was a little tense, unfocused, and looking at everything. He relaxed fairly quick, but had a ton of energy. What I liked was that the energy translated into his movement and not into bad behavior. JL came to warm us up and it went fairly well. It's always nice to have your trainer there trying to keep you from riding like a dumb ass!

Our first test was training level test 3 and it started out fairly smooth. Then I asked for the right lead canter and Beefs picked up the left. I asked again. Left lead. I asked again. Left lead. We got it on the fourth try. What the hell?!!! I may be far from a Grand Prix rider, but I've also ridden my entire life. I don't miss leads. Like ever. Especially not at shows. Especially not on a horse that isn't super green. It wasn't Beefs fault, it was mine. I totally threw him off balance. I asked in all the wrong ways. The rest of the test went fairly well, other than Beefheart letting out one of his girly whinnies every thirty seconds, but I was pretty much screwed after that. 

Missing the lead messed up my score on two movements and hurt some of our collective marks. We ended up getting a 62.3 and third place out of five. The winner scored a 65 something, so at least we didn't just flat out get our asses handed to us. I was still pretty pissed at myself though.

Our first level test 1 was a little better. Beefheart only whinnied a couple of times and the test went pretty smooth with the exception that he picked up the right lead when I asked for the left. At least we got it on the second try this time. His trot lengthenings were far from spectacular, but that's normal. His canter lengthenings seemed pretty good, so I guess at least he can do some form of a lengthening decently. There was a lot wrong, but there were also a lot of good parts.

We ended up with a 62.something and won the class out of two people. This judge was pretty tough and highest score at first was a 64 (I think we had the second highest score out of all of the first level classes). I'm not going to complain. I don't mind a tough judge as long as they are consistently tough and this one was. MB picked my test up for me since the show office was taking forever to get the scores out. I'm looking forward to reading the comments. Maybe.

Like JL told me; if you're above a 60%, it wasn't bad. I think he's right.

The good part about this show is that I learned that even if Beefheart is fresh and energetic, he can still function. In fact, he moves and performs better in a lot of ways. He's not going to kill me. I was very proud of him. 

They say the good dressage horses are a little hot. I agree. The dull horses just don't have the expression that the hot horses do. Beefs isn't a naturally big moving horse. We need all of the help that we can get in that department. 

The fact that I missed some leads frazzled me a bit. I'm hoping that it was just from my balance being off due to the ear infection. Or that I was just having an EXTREMELY off day. We'll see. We have another schooling show next weekend and then a recognized show the weekend after that. Basically, I have just under two weeks to get myself together.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Wherein Beefs sort-of jumps (w/ video)

Okay, so it was barely a jump. Just a tiny crossrail. Whatever.

*sorry the video is so blurry, I forgot to tell the fiancé which camera app to use.

I've been wanting to take a jumping lesson on Beefs. However, I also haven't jumped anything of any significant height in about six years or more and that was on a horse that did everything for me as long as I stayed out of his way. So, I figured I should probably make sure we could at least handle the very basics. I wanted to work on keeping a good rhythm, staying straight, and attempting to find a somewhat respectable distance.

My boss in Ocala made us canter ground poles constantly. If we couldn't get a good distance or be able to change leads over a ground pole, then we weren't going to jump. So Beefs and I cantered ground poles the other day and worked on picking the lead I wanted up over them. He figured it out really quick. No big deal, but I think that it was good to start out with.

Beefs went really well today and the fiancé asked if I was going to at least jump something. I trotted Beefs over the crossrail a couple of times and he stayed straight, didn't even think about refusing, and half stepped/hopped over it. It was boring to him after the second time.

I picked up the canter and went over it again. Since I haven't jumped in so long, I just kept my leg on and pretty much stayed out of his way. He's smart and can figure it out on his own (it cracked me up that he switched leads over it the first time due to our ground pole work). Me messing with him probably would have been more detrimental than beneficial. 

I was really happy with Beefs. He kept a good rhythm before and after the sort-of jump, stayed straight, and stayed focused on me. We only cantered it three times and he got better every time. I quit after that. The only time he's ever even come close to jumping was when I trotted him over a crossrail a few times years ago. He was so wiggly at that time that it wasn't all that much fun. I figured three good quality trips over a crossrail was a good start. Yeah... I'm not the best about getting into a hurry.

I do wish that I hadn't sold all of my jumping tack now, the dressage saddle doesn't exactly put me in the most comfortable position to jump hop in.

Yes, I realize that this isn't a big deal at all, but I still had so much fun doing it. I was so relaxed and happy the entire time. It was nice to have a ride like that.

Indy and I didn't exactly have a great ride today. It all started when I was lungeing her and the foal in the field tore ass through the trees next to the arena. She was pretty much lit after that.

Not exactly what I was hoping for, but it still could have been worse.

Indy didn't do anything really bad when I rode her, she was just extremely pissed the whole time. She was very fussy in the bridle. I didn't canter her because I could just feel that she wanted to blow. I'm glad I didn't because after I untacked her, she had a pinch from the girth. No wonder she was pissed! I felt so bad, but I'm also really proud of her for not planting my ass which that going on. Poor girl!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Riding, showing, surviving

I haven't gotten much accomplished on getting posts up lately. I've been insanely busy still and no matter how much I intend to get one done, sleep inevitibaly becomes a priority. I spend my mornings at the track, my afternoons with the dressage horses, and my evenings back at the track. Any spare hour here and there is spent grabbing a quick nap or taking care of daily chores that normal people do. I pretty much spend my time hurrying from one barn to the next. I'm not complaining, just explaining my absence as of late.

Indy is doing pretty well, there are good and bad days. JL, my trainer, is going to ride her tomorrow and I'm excited to see how she goes for him. I'm kind of assuming that an Olympic rider will be able to get a hell of a lot more out of her than I can.

Barstow decided to ding up her hind leg and had to have some time off. She got shod a few days ago and my shoer said she had a hot nail in the right front. She about dropped to the ground when he pulled it and then sat there chewing and licking her lips after it was off. I knew something was there, but it honestly felt like it was up in her shoulder more than in her foot, but it still makes sense. I'm glad to know that it isn't anything major or permanent. I rode her on Saturday and she was still a bit sore on the leg she beat up. We just walked and trotted a few steps to see how sore she actually was on it. She was really well behaved! Back to work for her tomorrow.

Gunner is just happy to be away from the track. He's kind of low man on the totem pole when it comes to getting ridden, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he doesn't mind much. At all.

I took Beefheart to another schooling show on Sunday. He hadn't been going well the last week and I wasn't all that excited about going. After the fiancé watched me ride Beefs on Friday, he said that he would come out and do some body work on him on Saturday. Beefs is starting to get a little body sore and stiff with working harder. I also need to get him back on the Mega-Sel, as that seemed to help him a lot.

While I rode Indy and Barstow, the fiancé spent about three hours massaging and red-lighting Beefs! The fiancé likes for me to do well too and he isn't going to send me to a show without my horse being as sound and happy as possible. So thankful for him! After he finished working on Beefs, I put Blue Lotion on the tight spots then the fiancé took him to the round pen to roll.

I was sitting there cleaning my tack when I heard my horse tearing ass around the pen. Apparently, he was feeling better. The fiancé caught him before Beefs could kill himself and took him back to his run. Next thing I know, Ty is yelling at me to hurry up and put my stuff away, we had to get back to the track because our other shoer was leaving in a half hour. Okay, what the hell does that have to do with anything? Beefs had pulled a front shoe and the fiancé was a little panicked. Not because of the shoe itself, but I think he was a little worried about how I would react if I couldn't show. He knows I'm exhausted and stressed to the max, that the shows are an outlet for me, and didn't want me to be disappointed (even if I was pretty sure that we weren't going to have a very good one this time). Hence, his change from always being the calm one to getting a bit nervous. MB, trainer's wife, was trying to tell him that JL could put the shoe back on and asked the fiancé if he had seen him. Apparently, he misunderstood and ended up telling her that he hadn't seen the one dog, but the other one had just been laying by the truck. Eventually, it all got figured out. My fiancé was my hero for fixing my horse, MB was my hero for getting everyone organized, and JL was my hero for fixing the shoe.  I'm very lucky to have so many people looking out for me!

Oh yeah, the show. Anyway, the morning of the show I got Beefs loaded and unloaded (he can be a real ass about those things) by myself. He was a bit more awake at this show and I had to deal with a combination of whinnying and trying to eat every weed in sight to get him tacked up, but I got it done. I can't tie him to the trailer because it is obviously going to kill him, even if it just transported him safely from point A to B, and he pulls back. So, getting him tacked up by myself  when we haul somewhere is always interesting. As I finished tacking, MB and JL pulled in with the horses MB was showing. Beefs wasn't being an idiot, but he was tense and whinnying quite a bit. I led him over to where JL and MB were parked to have them hold him while I got on.

*Sorry, no show pics. The fiancé had to take care of things at the track.

I don't do a lot of warm up with Beefs because he A) gets tired and lazy or B) gets hotter and more tense. Either way, a short basic warm up focusing on getting him engaging his hind end and coming through seems to work best. You know, quality over quantity type of thing. He was tense at first and things weren't looking good, then JL came over to coach us. You know you have a good trainer when the second he starts talking, you instantly relax and things start coming together.  The warm up went well and I was starting to feel more confident. *Also, Beefs felt way better, as far as soundness goes, than he had the last week. Thanks Fiancé!

The training 3 test was our first class. I'm pretty sure it was the best Beefs has gone for me. Ever. The only things I can fault us on was that he lost focus on me and was way too interested in the judges booth, we lost impulsion a couple of times, and our right lead canter transition sucked (our left was so good that I about fell off from pure shock). Other than that, I was extremely happy with the test! We scored a 73.8 (the highest I've ever scored on any horse, even the much more talented warmbloods that I've shown when I could actually ride a whole lot better than I do now)! We won the class. There was only me and one other person in the Open division though.

Lunch break was after our first ride, so I untacked Beefs, put him in a pen, and chilled for awhile. He happily relaxed and ate his hay. When I started to tack him back up he was all like "Oh, Hhhelllll nah heifer! I was good, I'm done! WTF?!!!". This is the first time that I've taken the tack off and put it back on in the same day. He's used to being untacked meaning finished for the day. Putting it back on and getting on again was confusing for him.

Needless to say our short warm up started off pretty shitacular. He was tense, stiff, and tired. The warm up arena was rocky and he was starting to feel a tiny bit stingy. Once again JL came over, talked my dumb ass through it, and things started to come together right before we went in for our 1-1 class.

Going in, I knew there were things we suck at (trot lengthenings specifically) and tried to focus on really going for it on the things we could do well. JL had told me to think about setting Beefs up for the movements correctly rather than the movements themselves and I really tried to do that. I didn't always succeed, but I tried. Maybe too hard. The test was pretty fluid, but Beefs had some moments of tension. He lost focus in the free walk, jigged in our medium walk, and must have forgotten how to do a stretchy trot somewhere along the way. Of course or trot lengthenings sucked. His canter lengthenings were pretty nice, our 15 m canter circle to the right was good, the one to the left was okay, and our canter/trot transition across the diagonal wasn't bad at all. I was kind of proud of myself in that I ignored our mistakes and didn't let them translate onto the next movement of the test. We scored a 68.79 and won the class. Oh yeah, I was the only one in the class. Whatever. The best part was that JL seemed much happier with this test than the one we rode last time and what he thinks is much more important to me than what the judge does.

Way too many 5s for my comfort...

                           I'm pretty sure that says tilting (as in Beefs was tilting his head) not titting. Apparently, collective marks can really save your ass.

MB said she thinks we probably won high point again. I had to leave right after my class because we had two horses running and she didn't get a chance to check, so who knows. I'll find out eventually. It doesn't really matter anyway, I had fun.

These last couple of shows have taught me a lot when it comes to riding, but also about myself in general. For some reason, I ride better at shows than I do at home usually. Necessity brings out my best/better maybe? I'm bolder at shows (occasionally, my  reckless "Screw it, I have nothing to lose. Just go for it" attitude can come in handy). Showing really does relax and focus me. I don't get nervous anymore, just content. Things usually seem to come together when I'm in the show ring. Part of the confidence that I used to have returns. I'm not worried about what could go wrong, just what I need to do. Basically, I'm just happy to be out there and nothing else matters. I love it!

After the races, we met JL and MB for dinner at a restaurant that is all organic and serves grass fed beef in their burgers. I'm a rancher's daughter from Idaho, of course this was my type of place! Good food, good company. All in all, it was a pretty good day. Even if I am in Hellbuquerque.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Haven of horses

*I promise that this entire post isn't negative.

So here I am in Albuquerque. Again. Life has been crazy busy since we've arrived. I've kept up with reading my Feedly, but haven't had time to comment on posts much. Hopefully, things will level out here soon and I can be more involved with the blogging world.

I'll try to keep this update as short as possible. Let's see, where to start....

The Downs at Hellbuquerque 
Zorro hates it here too.

I feel no need to sugarcoat my feelings towards this place, so I'll just be blunt. I freaking hate almost every minute I'm at the track. Don't get me wrong, I obviously love the horses and I love racing. That doesn't mean that I have to love this track too. I spend most of my mornings pissed off, exhausted, and partially depressed. There are some very good people here that I do really like and they help make it better. It's still a long ways from good though. By the end of the morning I just want to get the hell out of there and to my saving grace: the dressage horses. I guess that's one good thing about despising being at the track so much, my motivation to go ride has increased exponentially.

Speaking of which:


I had a great, and much needed, lesson on him Saturday with JL, my trainer. We went to a schooling show on Sunday (there isn't a recognized show here until mid October). Beefs was AWESOME! We did very well in our classes, but that wasn't that big of a deal. What I was most happy about was how well behaved he was! Seriously, he was better at the show than he is at home. The arena itself wasn't scary, but there is a soccer field next to it, a raised trail on one end (which includes horses trotting by, people walking with dogs or strollers, runners, etc.) with a gate so anyone could come off of the trail right next to the arena, and the drunk guys running around on their horses (one of which that fell off and his horse got loose and ran into the warm-up arena). There were also two little kids that decided to race each other right next to the show arena, which fortunately didn't happen during my ride. Then there was the ignorant jack ass that enjoys trotting up your horses ass and about running into you any chance he got. Anyway, Beefs never spooked and he kept his focus better than he ever has before. I thought I hadn't taken him to a show in three years, but it has actually been almost four. This was only his third show, so it's not like he has ever been a seasoned veteran. He pretty much acted like one though. This makes me so happy because I want him to be my niece's show horse when she gets a little older. I think with a couple more years experience, he will be an awesome first dressage horse for her!

Watching the videos, I'm not happy with my riding. At all. I will just have to keep trying, work harder. The judge did tell me later on that we beat a really nice (more talented) horse because our test was so smooth and accurate. At least I did that much right.

His training level score was high enough to win High Point. He got a new bridle for it!

The first level score about shocked the hell out of me.

This mare has so much potential! She's smart, athletic, and beautiful. Barstow only ran three weeks ago, so she is still a little racey, but she doesn't forget what she learns. I think she really enjoys the more laid back, slower-paced atmosphere. The hardest part is going to be not getting attached to her.

Winndelynn (sorryI forgot/haven't been able to get pics yet)
I was feeling bad about not getting much done with Indy this summer (I wasn't very comfortabcomfortablee riding her at the track), but I think the time for her to mature mentally and physically was a good thing. Indy fell while she was on the walker the spring of her three year old year and my previously gorgeous moving filly just wasn't quite right after. She wasn't lame, just didn't have much flexibility in her neck or freedom in her shoulders. I had L, the best I've ever worked with, adjust her and do laser therapy this spring. Indy was much better after and I think fixing her before she had the break made her much better. She is moving gorgeous and is a lot more mature, not over reactive or spooky like before. Suddenly, all of my dreams for her don't seem hopeless anymore. My trainer's wife, MB, asked why I didn't do the four year old classes with her this year. That was something that I had originally wanted to aim for, I really don't think she could have handled the pressure though. We're going to see how she does these next few weeks and then decide if it's worth trying to show the five year old young horse classes. The fact that JL and MB even think that she might have the talent to be competitive makes me feel a whole lot better. 

*After the show on Sunday JL told me we really need to focus on Indy while I'm here. He knows how much I love Beefs, but he made a very good point. While Beefs is a nice horse, it's going to be hard for him to compete against huge moving warmbloods at bigger shows in areas with tougher competition. JL isn't putting Beefs down or anything, just being honest. He's right and I really do need to make her my biggest priority.

Love my Gunner!

After I got off of him today, I told MB that it really annoys me that Gunner has probably only had about ten dressage rides since last year (he was ponying at the track), has about 1/20 of the training that Beefs does, hasn't been ridden in almost two months, and he still goes better than Beefs. Talk about being happy, yet wanting to cry at the same time. Gunner is more like a warmblood than a thoroughbred. He has a ton of natural talent with big movement and suspension. Dressage just comes naturally to him. He's not nearly as intelligent as Beefs though. Gunner is as sweet as can be, but in all honesty, he isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. That doesn't mean that I don't still obsolutely love him. The fact that I could just jump on and go after he hasn't been ridden in that long makes him worth his weight in gold.

Other than the track, I'm really happy right now. I've been out to JL and MB's every day since I've been here. I've ridden every day except two. One day it was raining and the other was the day after the show. I'd gotten so sun burnt at the show that I was really sick that night and totally drained the  next day. I still went out to see the horses. I enjoy everything about being out there. Four horses to ride on top of working my ass off at the track might kill me. At least I'll die happy. Their barn is my safe haven while I'm surrounded by Hell.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I really believe that so much of riding is about the details. I'm not a perfectionist in every day life, but when it comes to dressage I'm a bit of a freak about everything being as close to perfect as possible. Yes, I realize I will never be perfect in the saddle, but there's no reason not to try for it. So, here is everything I see wrong with my riding and how Beefs is going. If you see something I don't in this boring as hell video, please feel free to tell me :)

1. I am still sitting off to the left and it's making my entire left leg pretty much useless.

2. I'm way too tight in my back and shoulders, which is probably part of why I'm sitting so damn crooked. I'm carrying one shoulder higher than the other. In all fairness, I hurt like hell and this was with a painkiller and four ibuprofen. Beefs isn't very big and he's hard for me to ride. I don't have this problem as bad on bigger horses. Ugh! Sit straight and relax, heifer!

3. Why the hell am I looking at my horse's head? Look up, damn it!

4. Beefs needs to stay more forward and through in the canter. I'm not going to be too hard on myself with this because the footing out there is pretty crappy and I'm not all that excited about sending him really forward while I have to keep an eye out for rocks/holes on uneven ground. There were parts of the canter work that were still really good and I was actually moderately pleased with the counter canter. It's far from perfect, but then he's far from a second level horse still. We'll get the canter work better when we're on better footing in Albuquerque.

5. The canter transition to the left was over dramatic and ugly. I didn't set him up enough for it.

6. I need to keep my fingers closed better and not let the reins slide through or get too long.

7. I'm still occasionally breaking my wrists, though this has gotten better.

So those are the main issues I see. I'm not trying to just focus on the negative. Beefs has been back to his normal, sweet self lately. He's getting better and I'm so proud of him. Riding him helps my balance and keeps me quiet since he responds to every tiny movement. He will make me a better rider in the long run. I realize we're probably never going to score eights as far as movement goes, but I'll take brains and athleticism over huge movement any day. It's so fun learning from Beefs and teaching him at the same time. I think, all in all, I'm very lucky to have him.

Anyone have any tips or advice?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Return of the Brains

The fiancé made it back from Boise last night. The filly, CD, didn't run nearly as well as I had hoped, but that's how horse racing goes. She was pretty good in the paddock and the post parade (Boise gets HUGE crowds at the races and I was a little nervous how she would handle it). She broke extremely well from the gates. Dennis, the jockey, said that when she saw the stands turning for home she got distracted and backed out a bit, then she got a little tired. She was plenty fit enough, but maybe the trip and the heat knocked her out some. CD is the type that has to experience something once and then she's good to go, so I'm not discouraged with her first race at all. It's not like she didn't show any talent. She made it through, didn't make any mistakes, and came out of the race in good shape. She's two and still a little butt high, big for her age. There will be more races.

Colinda Dawn and her owner. 

With life and the weather returning back to normal, I was able to ride Beefs again today. Honestly, the idea of riding him today wasn't that appealing. He had six days off (between the weather, the extra workload, throwing my back out AGAIN, and Beefs needing shod pretty bad, I didn't ride him) and had been acting like a psycho for four of them due to the arrival of a goat at the barn behind ours. The little heathen decided to get loose from the walker and take himself for a nice run out where I ride him. I was up watching a horse go, but my groom said she looked up, the halter was still hanging on the walker, and Beefs was trotting away. Apparently, he was an ass to catch, but she managed to get it done before he killed himself. After that little escapade, he was so stressed that he started acting just a bit colicky. I gave him a couple of ace pills and put him on the walker until they kicked in. He was fine after that, but he's still been a nutcase in his stall since. So yeah, I figured the ride was going to be interesting.

My shoer came and put new kicks on Beefs this morning. His feet looked great after and I always find it interesting to feel how they go after they've just been shod, which gave me a little more incentive to be happy about climbing on. He was really relaxed while I tacked him up and things were looking up by the minute. I was really insistent that he stayed focused from the second I got on and the ride went really well. I guess I should say that Beefs went well, I rode like a proverbial sack of shit. Anyway, I did notice a difference in how he traveled after being shod. He was hitting the ground much better. Beefs was a little tight through his back and slightly stiff in the right hind, but that is normal for him when he has had a few days off. I was really tight in my back today too, which probably didn't help. Beefs still felt better, especially in the front end (good job shoer). So, the ride ended with me being really happy with Beefs and pissed at myself.

On another note, yesterday marked the one year mark for my blog! I was hoping to get to 100 posts within a year, but didn't quite make it. I was a little slow getting rolling with it. Anyway, I've loved discovering your blogs and learning about all of you and your horses. You are all amazing! Thank you so much for everything over this last year!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I finally got to ride Beefs again yesterday. With trying to get the fiancé ready to leave and everything else going, I haven't had much time or energy. I'm glad I rode him yesterday because it started raining yesterday afternoon and hasn't stopped since.

I was completely determined to have a decent ride. I went in with the mind set that we didn't have to be perfect, but he was going to focus and behave. Any disobedience was going to get stopped the second it started and not be allowed to escalate. I have a tendency to be too laid back when it comes to him misbehaving. In the past, I could just ignore him. Ride like nothing happened and he would get over it. However, that hasn't worked lately, so I need to start being more strict with him without taking it personally and getting mad when he is being less than stellar.

Beefs warmed up fairly well, but it was pretty obvious that he was going to attempt something at some point. Then he pulled the dropping the outside shoulder and trying to run sideways thing. I popped him on the ass to try to send him forward. That just made him run sideways more. I got him on the shoulder, he still didn't stop. I used the whip harder on the shoulder and he finally decided that he should probably give it up. I hate having to use a whip as punishment. He's a little jumpy about it as it is and I prefer to use it for refinement, but I'm also not going to let dangerous behavior go unpunished. It's not like I hit him hard enough to leave welt and I wasn't using it out of anger or fear. I wasn't beating him because he wasn't going perfect and I lost my temper. I didn't have to use it again for the rest of the ride, but I did keep it in my outside hand just in case.

After that little fiasco, Beefs was pretty good. He didn't go as well as he was going a couple of weeks ago and that's fine. Horses plateau or even regress sometimes. That doesn't bother me. All I wanted to accomplish was for him to stop being resistant, to focus on listening instead of testing me. When he is done with being evasive, I will worry about moving on. Until then we will just keep it simple. His brain staying in tact is the most important thing to me.

I think one of the most valuable things I have learned at the track is to know when to push and when to back off, to follow my instincts instead of force something because I want to or because it's expected. The worst thing I could do with Beefs right now is cave into rule of thumb expectations. To be fair to both of us, I have to adjust to the horse I have at the moment. Trying to force the horse I want won't get me anywhere.

I was going to go buy the things to set up a temporary dressage arena yesterday since my friend and I wanted to video our tests today. This rain isn't letting up anytime soon and the entire backside is a muddy mess, so our chances of getting out entries in for the Dressage Anywhere classes on time are pretty unlikely. There is always next month, I guess. That's what I get for waiting until the last minute. Not that I had a whole lot of choice, but still.

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