Showing posts with label Beefs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beefs. Show all posts

Saturday, December 13, 2014

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!

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?

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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Monday, July 21, 2014

Getting the most out of a bad ride

Beefs just wasn't into getting ridden tonight. Honestly, the ride was pretty damn bad. When I think about it, we've gone about a month straight with really good work and he was about due to have a bad day. So instead of getting upset or down about it, I'm going to focus on what I learned.

There were good moments. Not many, but some is better than none.

1. If he doesn't seem quite like his normal self, adjust. I knew it wasn't going to go well from the second I led him out of his stall. From the beginning I should have just gone for an easy laid back ride instead of trying to force what I had planned. It wasn't the day to try for perfection. I knew better, but ignored my instincts.

2. I kept my patience and didn't let him talk me into a fight. Because of this, the ride may have been
ugly, but Beefs finished with his brain still in tact and I'm not going to have to go back and fix it tomorrow. I need to remember that one bad day isn't worth loosing my normally willing and happy horse over.

3. He was pissed off, tense, disconnected, and pretty much just in a bad mood. But then, so was I. I need to clear my head of everything else before I ride. If I can't, then it is probably better to just skip riding him that day. Beefs is smart and extremely sensitive. He's not going to miss the fact that I was in a crappy mood (I'm blaming it on the fact that it was so hot and miserable today).

His REALLY pissed off moment. Pretty, no?

4. It doesn't matter that we both looked like crap out there. The ride ended better than it started. Other than one tense moment where he started to get behind my leg and just a little too light for comfort in the front end, he really didn't do anything bad. He was grumpy enough and is more than capable to plant my ass if he wanted. He didn't. Beefs really is kind and tries hard. He doesn't have to go perfect every time.

He's still my rockstar!

It's possible that I may have learned more about myself and Beefs from the ride tonight than I have from the last month of good rides. In a strange way, I might be more proud of how we managed today than I am when things are going well. There is a bright side to everything and tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


I received an e-mail this morning from the management for the show this weekend. Initially, I thought it was my ride times, then remembered entries don't close until tomorrow. Yep, they cancelled the show. As much as I wanted to go, with all of the unknowns going on this week, it's probably better to not have a show adding to the stress. I want to go have fun, not be there stressing about the horses that we have running. So whatever, there will be more shows.

Beefs wasn't very happy about it though. He likes to show.
There's really no other news to report and I still haven't felt well enough to ride. The racehorses haven't done anything spectacular enough lately to talk about. So enjoy a couple of random pics from the last few days :)

Princess trying out my BoT pad.

Zorro now insists on riding on the hay in the cart while we feed.

If a bale isn't available ,a flake will work.

Clean tack

We've only had him back for a week and I am in no way responsible for the state of his mane. There's no quick way to fix THAT!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Beefs in a bonnet (product review)

My USG bonnet finally came yesterday. I originally wanted it in brown and light blue. I was reading articles on what colors are good on certain colors of horses and one of them said yellow actually looks good on bays. At first this sounded weird to me, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it (I have a thing for yellow, even my engagement ring is a canary diamond). Of course, I didn't want the whole bonnet to be yellow. I ordered the brown with yellow(corn) trim.

He was not being very good about me getting a picture of it.

The corn is actually more of a cream color, but it looks really pretty on him. There is also supposed to be grey in there somewhere, but nothing on the bonnet looks even remotely grey. The braided cord looks gold. 

The quality is pretty good. There are a few flaws in the crocheting, but I'm not surprised since it was only $21 and am not going to get worked up over it.  I love the Lycra ears. It is a little big on him and I will definitely order a cob size for him next time. I don't particularly love how far it goes back onto their necks. Oh well. Beefs still looks really cute in the bonnet and it isn't horrifically big.

                          Such a suck-up.

Since Gunner had a bigger head, of course I had to try it on him.
I'm so fancy....
Being as he looked this handsome and the bugs are getting even worse, I just HAD to put it on him to pony in today. The fiancé said I could put it on Gunner when I ride him, but no way in hell was Gunner going to wear it when he took him. Men. A guy saw Gunner in the bonnet and said "I like his beanie!"

So Beefs gets a bonnet and Gunner gets a beanie. Whatever works. Beefs was happy that his mane and forelock were no longer attacking his ears and Gunner was happy to have the bugs kept away. Yep, I definitely need to order more colors. Then maybe a fancier one in a different brand to show in :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

FINALLY! A lesson!

*huge sigh of contentment and relief*

So after whining about trying to find a trainer at my constantly changing areas of residence, I decided I just needed to grow a pair (not literally of course) and make a serious effort to find a trainer. I was fortunate in that a friend from home, that rides dressage, had moved to the area and gave me a recommendation. I called 'A', the trainer, and set up a lesson. Hoping to get one within two or three days of calling, I was a little surprised when she couldn't fit me in until six days later. This was perfectly fine, I am just going to have to be a little more organized when planning my lessons. Me trying to have an organized schedule....that's a new concept.

Finally finished pulling his mane. He wasn't nearly as happy about it as I was.

I was totally on schedule to get to my lesson on time. I had everything packed and ready, Beefs was groomed and good to load, and then security decided to be a pain in the ass. Before I go on, I should mention that Beefs absolutely hates the trailer. He loads pretty well usually, but not because he wants to. He doesn't throw too much of a fit when we're moving. It's another story when we're not. When we stopped at security, they wanted to check his tattoo (apparently it is a new policy). Fiancé told them he is a saddle/pony horse, not a racehorse. They insisted on seeing it. Beefs insisted on not showing them and threatened to completely freak out if the issue was pushed any further. Fiancé tells security it isn't happening. Security tells the fiancé that they won't make him unload Beefs to check the tattoo THIS time. My ass, we're going to unload him so they can check his tattoo! The horse was already pissed and if we had to unload him, he would have flown out of the trailer at a hundred miles an hour onto the gravel and then completely lost it. On top of that, I would probably have ended up getting fined for loosing it on security. I'm pretty laid back, but don't screw with my horses' well being.

Anyway, we got to the facility about five minutes before my lesson. We unloaded Beefs, who had fortunately calmed down, and I speed tacked and wrapped him. Um, hello new trainer. My name is Jodi and apparently I'm the inconsiderate jack ass that shows up late to put you behind schedule. Nice to meet you...

Love my boy

'A' was really tolerant of my tardiness. I got on and we started the lesson. Beefs was a little tense at first. He didn't like all of the commotion outside the ends of the arena (this is a super busy place). Even so, he didn't do anything bad and relaxed a lot quicker than I expected he would. He had a couple of very small spooks. The only thing that came close to setting him off was when the lady in the outdoor arena started chasing horses around with the lunge whip. It's a good thing I took Beefs, because if I'd been on Indy, I'd probably be in the hospital right now.


So, instead of going into every boring dressage detail, I'll say that it was a really good lesson. 'A' has a lot of experience with OTTBs. She gets how different they can be from warmbloods. She noticed the very slight stiffness in Beefs right hind and gave me excercises to help loosen and strengthen him. 'A' is more of a fix them through finesse than muscle them type and didn't try to make me do anything through force. She recognized his work ethic, that he is really trying to understand what we want from him and encouraged lots of rewarding. She noticed the problem with my left leg, which still isn't listening to me no matter how much I tell it to work.  I really liked her and am looking forward to my next lesson.

Such a good guy!

Starting to get better

He tries so hard to please :)

1. Riding squares at the walk with turns on the forehand to get Beefs crossing better and more manuverable in the hind end.

2. Trotting squares, lengthening going straight and collecting before the corners to get him sitting more.

3. Spiraling in and out on the circle to get him bending and stretching through the outside of his body better.

4. Keep working on getting him to reach down and forward to the bit.

5. Keeping my left leg working.*sigh

6. Make sure that I don't break in my right wrist. Yeah, that's a new habit I recently picked up. Figures. 

7. Lots of shoulder fore.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Living on the edge

I decided to ride Beefs today, even though it's Quarter Horse day. Okay, so that probably doesn't make sense to you. Don't get me wrong, I love the shorties. However, Quarter Horse days mean lots of match racers (match racers fall into a completely different category from normal Quarter Horse trainers and the two shouldn't be compared to each other). Match racers usually means that for one horse, about twenty people come to get it ready to run. You figure anywhere from three to five people per vehicle which means a truck and trailer (that they usually don't know how to pull and hit the curb by our barn with) along with anywhere from four to six other vehicles. This isn't that big of a deal except for the fact that a large percentage of them drive about a hundred miles an hour through the barn area with their music blaring and the base bumpin. Therefore, you risk a certain death riding in the barn area when they're around. Because they flat out don't give a shit.

    Love him!

*They also have a tendency to get into fights during the races and try to kill each other. I'll never forget the time about forty of them got into it. They were beating the hell out of each other. Most memorable was the fifty-ish woman in the middle of it all, holding the hair of a girl in her early twenties and punching her in the face. Apparently the entire war was over a $100,000 side bet. Yeah, it gets pretty classy on quarter horse day.

Anyway, it's supposed to rain today and the ground is already crappy from the last time. I have a lesson on Monday and who knows if I'll be able to ride again before then. I didn't have much choice but to take my chances. Fortunately, Beefs and I lived.

Rub his poll and he sticks his tongue out :)

He started out pretty lazy today (and yesterday). Maybe the Back on Track really is getting him to relax. Yesterday, it was hot and muggy so his sluggishness didn't surprise me. Today it was cooler, so I was expecting him to have a little more energy. Nope. Time to put the spurs back on. The good part about this is that he is starting out relaxed instead of it taking twenty minutes for him to chill out. Considering that a month ago, I was lucky to get him to relax at all, I'm not going to complain.

We walked on a loose rein for about ten minutes, focusing on staying forward and bending around my inside leg. Then I picked up the reins and we worked on leg yields, serpentines, and quarter turns on the haunches. Then we picked up the trot and started off with some serpentines and more lateral work. He wasn't putting much effort into it at first, but by the end of our ride Beefs was very forward, loose over the topline, and swingy. I didn't canter because the footing was still boggy in some places. 

Not sure I'm loving the white on black, but it's better than I thought it'd be.

I do think that the BoT pad has made a small difference the last two times I've ridden Beefs. He has been much more agreeable. He is looser from the beginning. Considering he just had the laser therapy, I would expect him to be better anyway. I'll have to wait to use the pad more before I can get a better idea of how much it helps him. It certainly doesn't hurt.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Riding, Racing Recap, and Random

I couldn't just post about one thing today, so you get a little bit about a few things.

I'm going to pretend that everyone is this excited about that fact....


Beefs had laser therapy yesterday and he felt REALLY good today (thank you H). He started out much more relaxed and even though we didn't get those moments of huge impulsion, he was more consistently active in the hind end along with using himself better. The good moments are coming more and more frequently.

What I focused on today:
1. Riding the hind end
2.Getting him to reach for the connection more consistently instead of curling up
3. Transitions (however slight) within the gates.
4. Sending him more forward into my hands when he wanted to back off, hallow his back, and get above the bit.
5. Getting him to use his hind end, top line, and the base of his neck better.
6. Keep his neck from shortening in all three gates.

*I was too lazy to edit, so you get it all; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Feel free to judge, I ride better after I've been criticized :) Also, yes I know that shirt looks horrendous to ride in, but I'm trying to fix my polo tan.

Apparently my left wrist decided to join my left foot in being spastic. Whatever.

I'm not going to say I accomplished all of these things, but there was general improvement. In short, you can see a fairly good difference between the videos from a few days ago (click here) and today. He may look a little more inconsistent in the connection at times today, that is because I was riding him into the connection instead of messing with my hands to keep it (hopefully, that makes sense). I still feel the work was a lot higher quality.

I guess I should mention how well behaved this is for him being at the track. Especially since the bugs were really bad (he doesn't typically have helicopter tail). If he does this well here, he is going to really rock away from the racetrack.

Harley and Dennis-win #2 at the meet
Harley won her second race in a row here yesterday. Everything has just kind of clicked with her these last two races. We drew to the outside for both, Dennis (the jockey) fits her really well and she relaxes well for him out there, and she is doing well as far as health and training in general. These last two races she has run very professional, doing everything Dennis has asked of her. Good girl!

Woody (#7) heading to the gates

Woody ran 2nd yesterday, out nodded and beaten by a nose. This meant that we were a nose away from winning our last four races in a row. Not that I'm complaining, but crap! Anyway, after having one mishap after another for his last three races, I was just happy that everything went smoothly and he put in a really nice effort. BTW, if you ever want to see a really pissed off jockey, go talk to them after they get beat by a nose. What mattered to me was that Donnie gave him a smart ride. He made all the right choices with where he put Woody in the (very weird run) race. Shit happens, hopefully next time.

Random (photos and video):

It's a man's world...

I'm not sure who is babysitting who.

"I think he's full."
Looks at his mouth
"Yep. He's full."
Kid is hysterical!

More dark clouds coming our way. Shocker.

H working on the mare we just claimed. I call her Gigantor or Sasquatch (the horse, not H).

Apparently Beefs prefers his lunch over grazing.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Hang time

*WARNING-boring dressage ride recap. I included pics to help with the monotony though. Hopefully. Unfortunately, there was no one around to document Beefs' awesomeness today, so you get random photos.

Picture from after the storm last night

Beefs was acting just a little inattentive today when I was tacking him up and I was thinking that today might not be our best. Visions of him being all like "SQUIRREL!!!!" and doing his best bronc impression popped into my head. He's an athletic little bugger and it's not easy to ride when he does that. Whatever Beefs, you're still going to get ridden even if you act like a spaztard (yes, new word). I did just a bit of ground work with him to get him focused on me. He stopped screwing around, let out a big sigh, and we went to work.

Beefs loves Gunner. I'm not sure the feeling is necessarily mutual.

In the video from my last post you can see that his trot work was flat. He was going through the movements, but not really using himself like he needs to (though it was better by the end of the ride). His walk and canter are really nice if he isn't unfocused. The trot work is definitely our weak spot along with being what will prevent us from moving up.

What Gunner really thinks.

Shockingly, Beefs was extremely good from the get go. He wanted to gawk at a couple of things initially, but listened once we went to work. He was much more relaxed in the trot today and even did some really nice leg yields.

After warming up, I went to sitting trot and Beefs , out of nowhere, was all like "Look what I can do!". His back lifted, he sat in the hind end, he reached into the bit. He stayed connected and in front of my leg. Then there was the suspension. Holy bounce!!!! Where the hell did that come from?! It shocked me so much that I about could have fallen off. Needless to say we did a couple of circles like that each way and then cooled out.

Who couldn't love him with a face like that?

Me getting high quality trot work from Beefimeus was going to get rewarded big time! Plus, using himself like that had to be more tiring than any amount of canter work would have. I truly believe if you get that moment you've been aiming for, the best way to get it more often is to stop for the day. Asking for more, after I finally got what I wanted from Beefs, wouldn't have been much of a reward. He knew he did well and that I was happy. Beefs is extremely smart and sensitive. He was pretty damn proud of himself after that and he's not going to forget how I reacted to his newly found dream trot. So proud of him!

Beefs and Gunner sending love from Arapahoe Park!