Sunday, February 26, 2012

(New video, new horse!) Poco Bueno = Little Good… Yeah, I like the sound of that!

I have been trying so hard to get a nickname for this new guy… But they grow on me so it will take a few more rides I think before I can give Comanche a name like the Red Bullets J

I just keep seeing the above when I say Comanche so I am sure it will be replaced by some catchy nickname of his cuter faults haha :D

If my blog is going to have different breeds it should only be right that I start the hopping on um… Different breeds.

Enter the Quarter horse!

Weird... Not Quarter of a horse, the QUARTER HORSE! Runs a Quarter of a mile super fast,...


Now when looking at AQH’s to try for my blog experience I really wanted to stay away from the obvious crossovers. A friend of mine breeds these giant Quarter horses that have sires jumping 4ft and leading the dressage points for their breed each year… Have been inspected and registered by American Warmblood and on and on.

In reality this

Even though is by this on one side

Really is THAT from the thoroughbred side so… I mean we are dealing with already a quarter of a horse remember… How much less can we get? (bad joke on my part hardy har har)

If I went and rode one of those guys it would be a lovely example of what you can engineer in the horse world with any breed… But people like to generalize the Ranch style horses as not essentially dressage material (not going to go there because.. er they have a point). So I wanted to stick with as pure of a quarter as a quarter can be... Ugh um er...

My job is to ride, video, and represent the off breeds as best as I can… Laughing and pointing is fine by me if I cannot see it… Or hear it… Or sense it in a post… Actually just for my sensibilities, can we please refrain and only give backhanded compliments?

Like if you want to say, “That is some of the worst riding I’ve ever seen, and a trained monkey could do better.” Could you at least say it more like this, “Hi there, your riding is very different than anything I have ever seen … Have you thought about getting lessons from a trained monkey?”

Anywho, so I think of this guy when I think of my very youth with AQHA. Most of the very athletic big footed, big headed, and not always the most competitive at the newer more modern up and coming crawlers of the Western pleasure world type horses were by him.

Poco Bueno!

I rode and even started a few from this line, and I remember them being the more athletic and work minded horses of my short twenty years of saddle time. I also remember them having a stubborn streak a mile wide that was my first introduction to ask not tell ;)

Thank you, Spice! You taught me so much early on J

So when a friend of mine said I could ride her older style QH that reminded me of the athletic horses of my youth I jumped at the chance and even forgot my half chaps and breeches!

When I found out I would be hopping on to video no warm up (you know I leave those bloopers in for yur popcorn moments), and a saddle 1 ½ inch too small.. I said - ohhh could I!

This isn’t about perfection. This isn’t even about me making something out of myself. This is about me climbing aboard a horse standing still long enough just like it always has been.

Video to include middle of my ride on.. Then a rewind back to the start of the session at 9 minutes. Saddle nightmares abounding!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I wanna be a lemur too! Getting a little Zen ;) And my new Klassical trainer fakometer!!!


I totally loved a line from cotherhood. Someone in the hunter forum described themselves as still looking like a coked out lemur when he/she rode… I thought it pretty hilarious because there a times I look like a pot smoking sloth ;)



 “Huh? Whuh? Whats a medium…. *snort*, lengthen what? Duuuuudeee!”

I am watching my husband do pull-ups as we speak… Workout tonight? Naaaaah, I think I’ll vege in lala-blog-land.

Anywho, the latest and greatest love in my tv life is the show “Jockey”. Have you seen this show???!!!

It is now on netflix only two years late lol and I am totally hooked by these list of amazing things:

Number one! Jockeys have to be like 110 pounds

Number two! Jockeys have to like seriously be like 110 pounds

Number three! Like to ride horses and do their sport they have to be like only 110 pounds

There are other things, but this just boggles my mind. I begrudge my need to lose a few… Okay FINE, QUITE a few, but anyway I whine, moan, and basically sing angry songs in my head about the fact that I crave to eat cereal 10 times a day, and have pasta products as a main food group. I like soda and coffee, and then some tea to wash that down so basically any water that even thinks of hydrating this old flesh factory gets diareticted right back out. Healthy much!

I totally root for the old guys, and of course any of the lady jockeys! If the horses look even semi like my red bullet I yell at the tv shouting them to the finish line!

“Did you just see him bump?!”

“Weak riding…. WEAAAAAK RIDING!”

I try and act like I have a freaking clue, but really it’s such an interesting world with huge gambles… The only gamble in my house is if that sticky bun is gonna last another day.

One guy said he broke 30 bones! Another said he made like 6 million or something on a race! WOWOWOW!

Okay and because of this show I found another horsey love. I watched a dark mare run the track from last to win a breeders cup race and her LONG loping stride making it all look so easy… (chills) Anyway, I’d never heard of the mare but seeing that race I was super fan immediately… Little did I know that Zenyatta is quite the queen of racing including a horse of the year award… But all of that aside when I saw her notorious pre-race walk where she catlike jigs pointing her toes out like she is an incredibly dainty warrior… I was sold.

You can see it here J Not as jiggy but the long cat pointy toe walk is there.

This is where domination


 Absolute beauty J

She is quite the celebrity! She has her own facebook, diary updates, and her very own bronze statue at Santa Anita!… This lovely lady is also about to foal out and I can’t wait to see the first pics of the lil baby Zenyatta or Zenyatto ;)

I suggest you watchy watch this one (Jockeys) if you get the chance… It gives me some horsey pursuit perspective to be shoooore!

Moving on…

Okay, so I finally have come up with a way to identify the more Klassical versions of dressage… Whenever a trainer/clinician states they are “Classical” or especially MORE “Classical” than anyone who trains under the age of 50 years old, then you can use the following to identify when the ratio is more Klassictastical and majical then it is actual training J

So there is a big red line there that gives the reasonable amount of training to receive to put up with a “classical” approach.

If the clinician or trainer is on or above the line you are possible being taken by the charms of Sir Klassicalian!!!!

So examples…

Grey star = You are basic walk trot canter and trainer/clinician has an accent is male and trains from ground and you are in the no riding zone (buzzer sound)

Fakometer’s recommendation: Case klosed… Klassical!

Blue star= First level but has an accent and is male (pursed lips)

Fakometer’s recommendation: Too klose for comfort mate… Klassical!

Green= Congratulations you are doing something besides piaffe!

Fakometer’s recommendation: Good learnin ahead!

Red star= Extensions??!!!! Lots of room there for all kinds of Klassical tendencies…

Fakometer’s recommendation: Keep her trucking dressagiosa! You are gonna be somebody!

Orange star= Cape

Fakometer’s recommendation: Nuff said!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Swamps fixin to be full! WARNING! Evil ponies, high water, and boot camp ahead! (Plus a nifty video update)

I did another bit of the ole Zumba class again and tried a lil short 30 minute deal called boot camp where they unfortunately attempt to remain as close to the real thing as the class area will allow… I was sore from the “boot camp” workout for like… Well till now a week or so later.

I am posting my new video… Old news to me since it has been rah rah raining! For like ever out here… Can’t really complain since last years drought made hay the price equivalent of an anniversary diamond…

Er well if people would stop using it as patriotic art… Feed some animals and paint on a real poster board like normal people (shakes fist without much effort cause I’m still sore).

Anywho, Ginger is really coming along, well was at least she was before the deluge. The weather has really put a damper on all of my best laid plans to be somebody in 6-12 months but we have about 2 years stationed here and I don’t have a ton of thought to show immediately so… (cue music for Jeopardy… there let that play - on loop).

The video shows the attack of the evil miniature… He is short fat and rarely moves but... – Detour here.

The Red Bullet gets thusly named by me because after we had a pig visit the farm for a while and then disappear (er they eat stuff around here at farms… sorry) Gin seems to feel like the miniature that’s enclosure shares a fence line on one side of the arena is somehow related to the pig that used to end up in her shed eating her food and basically scaring the poop out of her and her neighbor… When he (the miniature we are talking about him again as ole what's his name but he tastes delicious is in piggy heaven) dares to move around in his own pen being that he is knee level and as wide as a 4 wheeler - there must be some ulterior motive to all of that tiny mouth eating he does on the grass! When he is not in the same spot the next go around of arena rail she demands to be able to stare.. Only that seemingly adds to the nerves about said killer pony and a couple of times we have left that side of the arena race horse style… Hey, she was bred for it remember!

So we have sorted it out to a degree, but there was the rain making rides days even weeks in-between causing the pony issue to be more issue than pony lately …. Guffaw!

No biggie, I ride at the far end for now trying to just focus on our connection… Oops, can’t fool the Red bullet and that evil pony has been more alive then fat sleepy/dead lately, “Whats his deal? Why can’t he just stay in his shed?” The Red bullet snorts this at me every other ride.

I see this'

But she sees this '

 Sigh, “Look Ginger, he is a tiny menace to society. NO doubt he is planning the assignation of every quick and feisty redhead in the barn as well as something innocuous like world domination, BUT, and this is a big BUT! Ginger, are you listening? He is about the size of a golden retriever, and you have shown quite clearly I might add dear girl! That you can outrun him and with style.”

Another snort and we are in agreement moving forward, but it takes a few silent arguments of this nature to get the point made… ON both sides ;)

Now another phenomenon beside homicidal miniatures… My outward pointing toes (dun dun duuuuun Jaws music please). I am trying to remain loose in my seat but the parts that are supposed to tighten up seemingly are resistant to doing so much erm, work? And here I thought that my two Zumba classes would have put my riding level GP by now?!! Well at least PSG…. I mean I jumped around for an hour each for GOLDYLOCKSGYM sakes, and I demand results or I’m going to eat a cheeseburger right this instant! As well as last night.  

But alas, the muscles are not enough, and the loose is becoming better, hence the loose is out weighing the strength… In time, in time (sigh sigh sigh grrrrrr jump jump- bootcamp pushup pushup zumbaaaaaaaaa).

Video to include my entire blog but in 10 minutes… Yes, you could have skipped to this part instead of listening to me blather but you are either related to me or I have asked you recently to read my blog and you feel obligated in some way to actually do it.

Love you Grandma!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Greeks can Cha-cha too! (The chronicles of the Zumba rider continues)

I think every rider has seen the ancient horse statues as a symbol of partnership through the ages… Like crop circles in a field, they provide a certain validation. We are crazy… But we are not alone J Not in this world and not throughout history.

The greek’s have the horse thing covered… I mean Alexander the Great sets the war horse tone with his Bucephalus from ancient times and his horsey relationship is well documented… Even the greek word praus is where we english speaking peeps get the word meek from - meaning power under control (in context with animals particularly the taming of a high spirited horse). 

One put it: Harnessed power but never forfeited.

I kinda like that!

An oh so interesting thing to think about, since we riders completely understand when we have more power then control and vice versa

We aim to find a balance, or at least a close version of it. The goal of a ride is to end up getting off on a good note… But some days we get off with a pasted smile while the inner child with Olympic dreams cry's a tiny yell of defeat and dies a little more.

Dramatic>?!???? Do you KNOW any actual riders? I think I am mellow… By standards (cough).

Anywho, I do have a new video of me and the Red bullet.


I’ll get to that…. For now I am updating you on the Zumba soggy bottom saga. Now say THAT ten times fast ! It’s cha-cha-riffic and the only way to get a room full of grown woman shaking their ta-ta’s in the name of health without having dollars thrown at them.

Don’t worry guys! (like guys read this)

We think we look like this

But actually we look like this

N—ooo --- ooo --- t pretty, eh?

Oh, I have so much to blog about lately. Klassical dressage, wessage, pony envy, and BB boards that need a “Stop the insanity clique”.

Alas, only so much time - back to the jiggling.

So the very same day I put my foot down (resounding jiggle), I checked my gym schedule to see that very eve there was a class… 2$? Who cares if I already pay a membership… Sold!

Now, my first instinct was to invite everyone I knew to come with because I hate doing these very social but awkwardly so events. I wanna meet you and see you sweat- in that order.

My friends were supportive:Last minute invite to go workout at the gym when I am supposed to be eating dinner with my family? Sure! You can guess how many people offered to come with me…. Zero or cero ? Spanish in the name of Zummmmmbbaaaaaaaaaaaa!

It doesn’t hurt that everytime I hear Zumba I think Simba from the Disney movie The Lion King where Mufasa yells SIMBA!!!!! Before falling to his death… Well I usually change my thoughts to the Hakuna Matata song at that point as I did when I was a child watching that horror scene blocking my thoughts subconsciously of my own death and that of my family with songs about “don’t worry for the rest of your days!” Lifes lessons in cartoon… Who thought of this?… Bambi anyone?

So the class begins with an energetic tiny woman who kills the lights (thank God) and hits the music…. Cha cha! Everybody! (rolled r’s)

Shake this and shake that, jump jump jump, and even turn around a lot of times so the people in the back of the room get their chance to be up front exactly where they DIDN’T want to be… Ugh! No winning with my stay at the back routine this time. Can’t fool you tiny energetic woman with hips that shake like a salt shaker!

Thankfully my previous dance classes helped me stay in time and in line… Er NOT! I was floundering around cha’s and ta’s since it is simply a follow along and eventually you will get it type class. Eventually.  IF not drop your 2$’s in the jar and hit the road jack.

Good thing was, I was so busy jumping around and around in the dark room to the actually pretty motivating music, I had no time to think about much else then the calories I was burning.


My horsey and her back will thank me!

But then the strangeness begins… The music changes and another person comes mysteriously to the center of the room... She begins a slower more sensuous dance… Belly dancing>? I am checking around to make sure one of the Zumbaist haven’t gone postal. Like maybe one of the suburbanites have finally cracked. One too many pop tart requests at the Smith house this afternoon and Mr. Smith is late from work again since that new receptionist with the body of a fourteen year old started, and she has decided to take it out on all of us Zumba enthusiast because we embody the sexy and foreign (obviously)…

Okay, anyway, no one is freaking, so she must be part of the regularly scheduled program, and apparently everyone gets these nifty jingly waste bands decorated with flashy jewelry and things that make bell sounds to put on for effect. Er… You all have them? Im the only one who does not? You want to know if I want to borrow your’s? Um, maybe next time, I’m still new at this (and incredibly unsure if I want to wear a harem girls outfit to work out, I mean I just met you people)… Besides it may clash with my nike wear?

So after a song or two of this it becomes okay, or maybe I am too tired to protest at this point, hence it being towards the end of the class. But then suddenly we went back to more jumping and sweating.

At the end of the class when you are partially delusional from your brain being sloshed around Zumba style you are able to purchase one of the fancy shmancy get ups to be your own private harem girl at home (nod).

Ohhh could I!???

Plenty to like and I will be returning as it is a very fun cardio class that keeps me moving-harem outfits notwithstanding J

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Zumba for Black Beauty!! Video time... Er yay?

Did I promise the good the bad and the ugly? Yes, well yes I did.

So I set up the new camera in the arena… Pointed not quite right, and then ran a “test run” by hopping on directly without warm up or anything to just see what we would get.

No edit other than parts where I am completely missing from view…

Now mind you, for the Red bullets length of time back under saddle she is actually doing everything I could ask of her…. That was the not the problem.

Aside from my obvious inability to film myself without cutting half of the ride off, I noticed something.

Something kinda bouncy… Kinda opposite of firm… Kinda round…

Cue scary music.


Between weather/job pushing my riding back to weekends and my own sudden interest in cereal at midnight… I’ve have managed not only to pack on a few, but also to let it get as jiggly as a gummy bear on a hot day… Doing some hip hop.

More cushin for the pushin…. Well the red bullet would say leave all that rap video shake for the bedroom. If she has to carry me around on her back, then maybe I could do a sit up more than to get out of bed.

I joke, I joke, but let us take a little detour shall we?

Ginger came to me as the good ole gal. She is just kind and generous and even though she can be bit HIGH OCTANE at certain moments, her overdrive is hardly a shortcoming.

But the strangest thing is every time I say her name I am reminded of the Ginger in Black Beauty. That movie impacted my life at such a young age like none other. Horrified, I would still watch it… And the scene of the dead Ginger on the cart haunts me to this day…. Well that and the naughty pony and evil children with whips.

Years later to get a horse uncannily close to what the Gingers used look like, as well as have her be an older horse that’s had so much life before her (of course this Ginger was well cared for). Full circle I’d say, and for some reason it gives me such a soft spot for her, being that this is the life the fictional ginger should have had.

And we intend to keep it so ;)

Some quotes from the author:

“Oh! if people knew what a comfort to a horse a light hand is...” 
Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

“we call them dumb animals, and so they are, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words.” 
Anna Sewell, Black Beauty

“My troubles are all over, and I am at home; and often before I am quite awake, I fancy I am still in the orchard at Birtwick, standing with my friends under the apple trees.” 
Anna Sewell, Black Beauty [With Gold-Toned Horse Charm Necklace]

I choke up quite a bit at that last one… If you know the book or movie you do understand I would think.

Anyway… To make things happier again… Onto the Zumba part in all of this.

So since I am all about fair to the horse, fair to the rider… I needed to work on my seat, and not just by sitting on the poor beast some more (frowny face).

So diet? Yeah, I guess. Exercise? Okay sure but what?

I begrudgingly pull up my local gym calendar to find all sorts of fun classes that sound interested but really boil down into, “We have to make kicking, jumping, and laying on the floor in various dirty positions sound cool so we give it a foreign spin by using names like Pilates, Yoga, Kickboxing, and Zumba.”

Ohhhh Zumba.. That sounds foreign enough for me! Sign me up!

Video to include us settling into work at about 2 minutes if you want to skip that… Or to skip the entire parts where I remain jello and go to another thinner more refined rider video… Be my quest ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

We don't always do the ride thing... Learning under fire!

So if you see (yay) in this post… Picture sarcastic  and monotone. (yay)

Okay so usually this comes with pictures, and an update on progress, but we have had rain… And I have had lots of coffee so musings is all ya get (yay)

But I did ride tonight so…. Imagine me, the lights (it was after 6 in the winter so it may as well have been midnight), and Ginger…. Oh and this is after two weeks of sitting so… (another yay)

We have been using a new fangled gadget (will do an entire post about that later with pics) and it has been doing lots on the lunge that I can see in terms of stretching… But I wanted to get on and do some stretchin–stretchy–stretcherton tonight…

That went from maybe, to a um after I warm up?, to a PROBABLY NOT BUD!

Basically my horse was rubbernecking at the rail like she’d seen an accident three car lengths ahead and if she was an eye witness to the carnage it wouldn’t haunt her or her kids in the back of the van for the next five years… Ten if she had a healthy vivid memory…

Sorry where was I?

Oh yeah, we would get a long thoroughbred neck to the left, then back to her regularly scheduled bending program, and back again. So I did whatever any good adoring dressage fan would and asked myself, “What would Carl Hester do?” I know it used to be Anky but she is out… I mean what was with that whole Rolkur thing right? Okay, okay, I know I would give half of my brain matter to be able to ride with a tenth of her ability… Helk I’d even Rolkur little puppies at the pound if it would mean… Kidding folks, kidding!

Wait where was I? Okay, so I was just going to stray away from my usual warm up tonight. The warm-up where I wander around on a long rein amelessly practicing bicycling backwards to loosen up.

Instead tonight we needed to get busy… Or we were going to end up with a “situation”.

So trotting off we go… A red pogo stick and the stiff paranoid rider on her back. The paranoid part comes from the fact that while my horse may be ignoring the shadows, noises, and various things unseen at the present… Because of her energy level I assume that if I spot the invisible ghost in the trees before she does, I’ll somehow be able to stop her from seeing and reacting to its malicious gaze.

Crazier things have happened… No really (yay)…. That one was just to make sure you were paying attention.

Okay so I am all about posting the trot… Especially because my horse is still fitting up…


I’ve always felt that posting the trot is imperative to an unfit or young horses development. In reality it all boils down to this. My fat ammy booty is ½ of the time off of my developing horses back. Essentially it is a break from me 50% of the time at one gait. Any kind of break you can give the poor horse yolked into helping you learn is A okay in my book.

I crack myself up… Get it? Booty crack….(LOL!)

But tonight… I felt that any space between me and my horse would only create room for more error, error as in if she decided to leave the space we occupied, I would error in being able to transport with her… Don’t forget there are ghost (nod).

So I sat - Cue the pulling out of hair by every classical rider who is view this. I. am. Sorry.

Look I prayed to the core gods, and asked for super strength to sit as gently as possible… But I sat.

Shwew, now that I’ve shared that little nugget of insanity, I can continue.

The good news is that the giant man aka Ary the Friesian has really worked on my ability to find a nice balance without plop plop plopping on the surface of my saddle, and so even though you’d expect my horse to go super hollow, run for the hills, maybe even post about me on the dressage boards… She actually settled nicely into work after about 5-10 minutes of the tiny mince steps. I kept a very close leg and shorter reins then usual asking for forward into contact and just ready with an even more forward hand whenever she decided to stretch a little.

Reward, reward, reward…. Sometimes I say it allowed while riding that giving of the rein and I say good reward J

Now the tension I have found if you are brave enough…. Come on now, we all have had those MAN UP rides where we had to pull on big girl panties, or breeches what have you…. But if you are brave enough you can use the tension to spice things up a bit.

Walk to canter transitions? No problem. Shoulder ins with energy in the hind leg? Of course!

So we utilized the excitement…. But I wont lie… It took oh about every other stride of me remember to give my inside rein… And even then I felt EVERY mistake that I made with my heightened spidy senses alive and well when I expect my horse to go rocket pony at any minute J

So eventually I had to apply the leg a bunch at the canter as she burned all of her energy offering larger trots with more active steps and biting off more than she could chew essentially fitness wise.

So much so that her halts were on the forehand and lazy by the time we were done…. Had to address that little issue with a walk through the halt a few times…

Tada! Nice late night ride…. And you all thought the mighty TB didn’t have it in her J