Friday, February 17, 2012

My personal playground!

It's been a good couple of days for horses :) Thank goodness, after all the stuff last week!

Since last Saturday, I've was trying to find a new place to keep Snickers and Flash. I posted a couple of things on the bulletin boards for the Meetup group as well as SWIT&DR. I didn't get any replies from SWIT&DR, but I got a couple of responses from the Meetup group. One of them recommended checking out Dusty Acres, and I called them that night. They have pasture for $105/mo (cheapest I found!), three round pens, an outdoor arena, and even an indoor arena! Plus, it's got direct BLM access, so I could trail ride whenever I wanted to, though it's mostly just flat desert. But it looked pretty good! Susan, the owner, was going to come Tuesday (the next day) to pick up my boys! However, she ended up running late and I has a bit of a tight schedule, so she came and got them after my lessons Wednesday. Turns out her stablehand, Oscar, is a guy I worked with when I was mucking stalls when I was 15 haha. Small world! But anyway, things worked out really well. She even picked up my strangles vaccine for me and is going to do their vaccinations. The "resident vet" is actually my vet, Doc Woodington - he makes regular trips out there to do stuff for a lot of the boarders all at once and I got on his list for shots on March 4. Susan also took the rest of my hay - a ton and a half - to pay for the first month and a half for boarding, so that was really good. She came and got it tonight :)

I didn't actually go out to see Dusty Acres until last night, a day after they brought Snickers and Flash there. They put them each in their own outdoor stall for now so they could get settled in, and she's going to turn them out in the pasture with other horses tomorrow. I walked flash around the indoor arena and of course he was fine. Snickers did better than I expected him to, but was still a little spooky (little for him haha). I did end up riding him, briefly in the arena, then down the round pens, and we did a little work in the roundpen. As I was making my way around I asked some of the other boarders about where stuff was and how things worked, and I was still a little confused so I called Susan that evening. Turns out I'll need to get all my own stuff, like brushes, a lunge whip, a saddle stand, etc. But that's ok, they're not all that expensive. At least now I know where I'm at!

I went out there again today and spent a lot of time on Snickers. It was about to get dark just when I got there - I love having a lit indoor arena! I was able to ride until well past dark - I'll just need to get a flash light for walking the horses back and forth from the pasture because it's very dark back there. One benefit I didn't think of with boarding was having other people around to help me figure stuff out with the boys. I was struggling to keep my seat on Snickers in the English saddle and getting him to be soft and drop his head at the same time, but there was a girl there, Stevie, that offered to help. She traded me horses and set up my reins like draw reins and worked with him to drop his head. She did a really good job with me and showed me how to hold his head and post. She changed the reins back to normal and showed me a little more, then traded me back. Snickers and I did a lot better after that. I'm going to have to get used to his faster movement (at least for now) and post, but once I get that down, we'll do pretty well together. I was really glad for her help because it could have been pretty frustrating working with him without it.

Snickers does need to calm down, still. Maybe it'll help to have him out in pasture so he can get some more energy out, but we'll see. Definitely some consistent work though! I did work with Flash, too. I was just going to brush him, but since he's been cooped up in a stall I lunged him on the lead rope. I'm going to need to get a lunge line so that I can lunge in the arena after dark. For his first time lunging on a line, he did excellent and figured it out pretty quick :) He was really calm the whole time, though Snickers was whinnying over and over and Flash was winnying back quite a bit - I'm glad they like each other and are excited to see me when I come :) Hopefully that means they'll be easy to catch even when they're in the pasture! Anyway, after I exercised him some I brushed him down really well and took him back to his stall. I'm hoping to get a chance to go see them tomorrow again, but if not, I'll have all Sunday afternoon since I got it off :)

There were two more major events this week. First, on Monday, I went off a horse for the first time in years! I was loping on Snickers in the arena, and he felt really funny under me. I don't think he bucked or anything, but something he did (I'm thinking he slipped) unseated me, and then he stopped cold, and without my seat I went right over the front and landed on my left side. He'd turned right so he didn't come anywhere near me and just stood on the other side of the arena until I came and got him. It took me a bit cuz I was winded pretty bad. The marks on the ground looked pretty funny because you could see the "slip" skid mark, the dead stop marks side by side, and then my body print all in a row. Of course, it was the day my camcorder was dead and the first time I rode him without a helmet. I'm not going to ride him without the helmet anymore! Especially since this was all in Melinda's Western saddle that I stick in really well (usually!) and now I'm in the English that I'm much less more unstable in. It's a good point to tell my students, too, why we don't lope! It's so much easier to have something happen! But oh well, I'm not sore anymore haha. Though it really sucked to get the sand out of my eyes during class Monday night! and my arm... and cheek... and ear..... and everything else on my left side....

The other thing that happened is way exciting - I sold my piano! So now I have the money for my endurance stuff! I called Shelley at Legacy Thursday and, since she was going home before I could get there, we met today to get all my "starter stuff" for endurance. I got straps for my stirrups, a full bridle and reins set that's way cute with flowers and everything, a lunge line, a girth strap, shin guard things that I have to wear, a martingale for training, soft cotton roping reins for endurance..... And I'm sure a few other things. I ended up having to exchange the straps for longer ones later and returning the roping reigns because I'm getting a blue pad (they don't have purple) and I want to get blue reins to match. So they're ordering me blue reins, a blue pad, and a sponge. We decided to hold off on the heart monitor. I'm going to take the martingale back tomorrow, too, since it was $100 and it seems that draw reigns will work really well. For now, I'd rather spend that money on something else - like grooming supplies, saddle rack and the other stuff I need now that I'm all on my own, and a pack for the back of my saddle! However, since it's my birthday tomorrow, I'm going to have to wait to buy anything else so Trevor has a chance to buy my gift haha. I'll go back and get the tack set and whatnot soon, though, if he doesn't get them for me. I just thought I'd give him a chance haha. Anyway, Shelley was awesome and spent an hour and a half with me today picking out tack. She gave me a couple of hugs when we were done and told me how excited she was for me :) I can't wait to get my new pad and matching reins, and especially to get going on endurance!

Anyway, so that's about it! It was a good week, and I really feel like I've got my own little playground at Dusty Acres with my two boys that are everything I could ask for (especially with my budget). I can ride anywhere and do anything, and I've got two very different horses to both challenge me and to enjoy myself with :) Things are good!

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