Monday, September 29, 2008

Counting Down

Jack arrives on Sunday! The first pony club rally is on Tuesday but I won't be riding because I want Jack to have some time to settle in. I am so excited! Unfortunately the saddle I had set up for him fell through so I'm rushing around trying to find someone who will lend me a saddle with a changeable gullet before next week. I think I've got one sorted!

I ordered some new grooming stuff which arrived yesterday since most of my stuff got lost when I was in Taumarunui. I didn't really know what size brushes to get since you can never really gauge sizes on the internet. I ended up with a huge dandy brush and a small body brush (its like child size) which is annoying! I can do with the dandy brush but I'm going to have to get a new body brush.

Anyway here are some pictures of Jack and I last time I rode him. I can't wait till I get him into work and get some muscle in the right place. Yes that is mud on the side of his face.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Little Pony 25th Birthday

You remember the days when the closest you could get to having a horse was owning a 'My Little Pony'. You would brush her long, glossy pink mane and tail and have fun adventures trotting and galloping her around your back yard.

Well My Little Pony has turned 25! My Little Pony became so popular in the 1980's it even outsold Barbie!

To celebrate My Little Pony, some well known names have designed some new ponies. Here are a few of my favourites!

Designed by Junie Moon

Designed by Jon Burgerman

Designed by Catalina Estrada

You can check out the rest of them here

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Horse Records Take II

Late last year I wrote a post about Horse Records and how important they are to anyone who owns a horse. You can read it here. I strongly recommend that you read this post as it has a lot of useful information in it and can really help you and your horse.

After an influx of emails and general interest requesting templates and originals I decided it was high time to re post the Horse Information File Template. Instead of using Google Documents, which I never really liked and though looked totally unprofessional (not that I'm a professional at all but I like to take pride in my work), I hit upon a new hosting site called Scribd which has a much better system for uploading Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF, Plain Text, HTML, Powerpoint, Excel, JPEG and other documents.

You can access the Horse Information File Template by clicking here which will take you straight to the document and you can download it by clicking the download button on the toolbar once you get there.

If you would rather me email it to you, click on the "Email Me" button under the Contact header on the sidebar and I'll get it off to you as soon as possible.

I've also made the template available on the sidebar under the "Horse Resources Section" along with a "Day Before Show Checklist" and "Horse Show Checklist" which you may find useful.

I hope this helps you all. Let me know if you use it and what you think about it as I would love to hear feedback.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Meet Jack

This is Jack getting all excited because he hasn't seen his friends in awhile

Yesterday was the day I met Jack. Unfortunately M, his current owner was unavaliable to show him to me as she had to put her other older horse down and didn't feel like she would be up to the task. Instead D, his former owner, took the time to talk to me and show me him. My first impression of Jack was great. He came cantering up to the fence when D called him and was super easy to catch.

She told me a bit about him as we got him saddled. She had rescued him off the track when he was a lot younger and he was in bad condition. Thankfully after a bit of TLC he came right. She had always been a show jumper (up until recently) so with her most of his experience was in jumping. She said she just loved his jump but sometimes he was a bit looky and would jump higher then he needed to (at this point he was sounding supiciously like Red). She's done 1.20m show jumping on him. He's done one ODE but has done a few cross country clinics where he was sailing over the Open jumps easily. He's an easy keeper (i.e. not like Red who fluctuates between being practically obese in the Summer to under weight if hes not fed daily in the Winter). His hooves are strong and she only used shoes so she could stud him when jumping. He's never been lame. His ground manners aren't the best I've ever seen but that can be worked on. She had also taken him to her dressage friend and had him schooled. Once they got over the trot situation (see below) he was great. Unfortunately Jack was always the horse D rode last in the day. She had another horse which took priority plus she schooled horses for other people. She said she was always having "first rides" on him and she never liked him enough to want to put up with his trot. Which is why he was passed onto her friend M.

Jack is enjoying a good scratch on his withers. You can just see the pleasure on his face.

Before I got on him she warned me that his trot was sticky and fast... more like a pony trot then the hack that he is. M had also told me about it so I knew that I wouldn't be getting beautiful extensions out of him. I mounted up and took him for an amble around the paddock on a loose rein. Soon I gathered him in and asked for a trot. He went into it straight away and it was diabolical. His neck came up and his steps shortened so much that we were barely moving. His body was bunched and I kept thinking he felt like a colied spring (not in the sense that he was going to suddenly start bucking wildly but just that he was so bunched up). I worked on getting him softer and he slowly started to un-wind and I managed to get a few resonable trot strides out of him. As in trot strides that any normal horse would do immediately. I did a bit of canter and some more trot and walk and then we put him away. Being a trainer herself D said she would be happy to come and give me Dressage lessons since she knew Jack so well. She also offered to float Jack down to Pony Club for me so I can take him over the jumps there. She did warn me that he had been out of work for awhile so for the first few weeks I would get a lot of thoroughbred crap out him until he came back into work. Also apparently he's much better with flat work if you take him out and do some jumping with him first. She stressed the point that because of his trot this was a horse you would have to love otherwise you would just get pissed off everytime you asked him for a trot.

This is Jacks impression of a "too-cool-for-you-cool-guy" as he ignores the other horses. He really just wants to be loved.

Once I got home I gave Sue, my instructor, a call and told her about him. I was going to do this earlier but when I called she was in the middle of a meeting with the Pony Club instructors and I was on speaker phone so I got to say hey to all of them. She said she would give D a call soon and we would go from there. I really think that Jack is the horse for me. Especially with my limited funds. I think his trot can be worked on and that he could be an awesome horse with some work.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Once a horse woman, always a horse woman

When I told people I wasn't going to be riding in Auckland many people commented that they were sure I would start riding again one day because you know "Once a horse woman always a horse woman". I agreed with them thinking I would start riding again when I was in my late 20's or something but a higher power decided differently for me.

Since leaving Taumarunui and not being able to ride I've gotten kind of depressed. My zeal for life vanished you might say. I'm not a naturally depressed kind of person. I've always been happy and upbeat and depression has never touched me. But since "giving up" riding I've been down in the dumps. I felt like I had lost a part of my identity. Because I had always been a horse rider and now I wasn't. It all came to a head one day when mum came home with the latest Horse and Pony magazine. I refused to look at it for a couple of days because I wasn't riding any more and what was the point. But that shiny magazine sitting on my desk just beckoned me over. Finally I opened it and promptly burst into tears. It was then I realised I just couldn't give up riding with out a fight. It was my passion.

My good parents had said they would pay my Pony Club fees if I wanted to start riding again. And then a Pony Club friend offered me one of her horses for the season. I went to look at him on Saturday but still quite hadn't made up my mind when I went to a party for her that night. All the rest of my PC friends were there as well and I got to talking to one of them about coming back to Pony Club and how I was looking for a horse. She told me about a great horse she knew about that was in my price range (not very much) who would be perfect for me. The owner was looking for someone who would make him their "No.1" horse.

Anyway I got onto the owner last night and she told me all about this great horse. His name is Jack. He's a 15.2, black thoroughbred gelding. Hes also only 10 years old. He's a been there done that horse but has been out of work for the past few months hence the good price. She has had him for a year but has only done bits and bobs with him because her first priority has always been University and now that she is getting a full time job she just wants him to go to a good home where he will be the "No.1" horse. He sounds perfect and I'm going to see him on Monday! I am so excited. I really have a good feeling about this horse so hopefully things will work out with him. Wish me luck.

Also I've been struggling with what to do next year. I knew I didn't want to go back to full time employment and wanted to study... but what? I had been thinking about going to Telford Rural Polytechnic to do Equine Studies but the accommodation costs would have been beyond my budget so that was a no-go. Thankfully I found another course in Palmerston North at Kyrewood Equestrian Centre. I've applied for the Sport Horse Course and everything looks like its a go ahead at this point in time. So hopefully everything will work out and I'll be studying what I love best next year!

So that's it. I am back for good! Since making the decision to come back to riding I have been feeling a million times better and I can't wait to get back to Pony Club! Now to find a job to fund my passion.