2017 arrives, but it still feels like 2016

Whew. The holidays were a blur this year! The weather went crazy and almost everything got cancelled. On the Jellybean front, I rode her a few times and Ashlynn resumed lessons, but an exciting new opportunity came along, and Ashlynn is working on deciding whether she is going to permanently take on a new project:

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So this closes the chapter of Ashlynn and Jellybean. I think they both learned a lot, and I’ll be brainstorming about Jellybean’s next job. I might spend some more time riding her and take her to a few shows, or if the right person comes along I may lease her again. At this point, she has a great foundation. The biggest challenge to the interested rider is her sassiness. She needs a rider who will not tolerate her shenanigans.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on where the blog is going and what my thoughts are about it. It started as a great place to write about the daily accomplishments with Jellybean. She doesn’t really have daily accomplishments anymore (unless we count eating…). She will be turning six this year, and she is well into life.

I’m still working out how to balance running my new business (koenigediting.com check it out) and work at the barn and ride my personal horses. Its quite the challenge. While I’ve been riding twice a week or more, I haven’t had time to also blog about it. And sometimes riding recaps are hard to write. I like having a place to share pictures and videos, but I’m also posting a lot to instagram (@atindalla).

All this to say I’m not sure where all of this is going. So I might not write as much, until I figure it out. As always, thanks for coming along for the ride. Hopefully I’ll get a little bit of direction soon.

 

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Jellybean’s recent adventures

After the past two shows and Jellybean’s mostly grown up behavior, I was expecting a similar trip October 22nd at Topsider. Jellybean, however, had different plans.
The week leading up to the show, Jellybean became increasingly difficult to work with. I blamed the slightly cooler weather, and we worked through it. Then Saturday came…
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I arrived at the barn to find an adorable looking Jellybean sticking her head out of the stall she stayed in for the night. After putting her in the cross-ties, I put shipping boots on her and left her there to help the other riders find needed items. I returned and found that Maggie had put a blanket on Jellybean. At this angle, it fits, so I’ll let it look good.
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After everyone was loaded in their trailer, we went on our merry way to Topsider. Jellybean was content with pulling out her hay all morning. Katy, Olivia, Tyla, Hannah, and I studied our tests, as our rides were in the afternoon, and we also ate lunch.
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Soon enough, it was time to warm up. Jellybean was excited, so we walked around and did some trot-walk transitions to chill out. We had a few good canter transitions, then Jellybean was done with everything and started freaking out with every canter transition.
We chilled out for a little bit, then it was time for the Beginner Novice A test. Jellybean was wriggly as we walked in, especially by the judge’s stand again, and where the sun was shining in the arena. We trotted until the judge rang the bell and off we went. This test went well, as seen in the picture of the test below, except for one moment where we had “rodeo time.” When I asked for the right lead canter by the judges stand, Jellybean went sideways and we cut the circle nearly in half. We finished the test with a nice trot down the center line, and a square halt (even though it was slightly off the center line).
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While waiting for the second test, Jellybean figured out a way to amuse herself. First it was bit chewing, then flapping her lips.
When time came, the warm up for Intro C was rough with lots of head shaking and explosive canter transitions. She calmed down a bit and I thought we would be okay with the test…Oh how wrong I ended up being. Stepping into that ring, Jellybean was semi focused and after the halt, she slowly but completely lost it. I’ll let the video speak for me on this one.
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Overall, I would say that the show went okay. It also made me realize how much better of a rider Jellybean has made me, and how much she has to really work on.
Now for the schooling story from Sunday. Even though I am not going to do the High Point show in December, I went for the experience. This was Jellybean’s first visit to High Point and she did well, except for when there were ponies escaping riders. Then, Jellybean wanted to race with them as they ran away (we didn’t) and had to watch instead. She’s slowly learning her manners. When it was finally our time to practice, Jellybean was ready to go. We started with a small log type jump, which she went over easy-peasy. The next jump was a coop, which she also did fine at, and then we continued on to a bank.
At first, Jellybean did not want to go up, but after watching Joe and Knots do it she was fine. Then we had to conquer going down. Now, I’m not sure what exactly goes through a horse’s mind but I do know that going up should be as easy as going down. Jellybean disagreed, and we had trouble with going down for a bit before moving on. Knots and Amanda had to show her a few times before we got it.
We did another coop, then a green box jump. Surprisingly, Jellybean handled the box just fine. (from Amanda: the green box is probably the largest jump on course, and its the one that usually terrifies people.)
After doing the box, we moved on to a small wood jump (I’m not sure how to describe it?) When Jellybean comes up to a new jump, she first walks over it, then launches over the second time, then will relax and be fine with it…I, however, forgot the routine completely.
The first time, we walked. The second time, launch. I was not prepared and ended up in front of the saddle, holding onto her neck. (I do not recommend this position of riding at all.) After struggling to get back into the saddle, Jellybean shook her neck and I fell off. I’m tough and stubborn, so I got back on and watched everyone else finish. I couldn’t do much other than sit there since I was slightly dizzy and I couldn’t put my right leg in my stirrup. It ended up that I had twisted my knee, bruised most of the right side of my body, injured my lower back, and received a minor concussion. I should be good by next week and the adventure of No Stirrup November will begin again with the crazy mare. Wish us luck yall!

40s, Clears, and Monsters

By Ashlynn
After riding the sassy red mare for this long, I have figured out a way to gauge her mood and attitude for the day. It’s either a thoroughbred mood, or quarter horse mood. TB moods includes wanting to be spooky, run and buck, ignore all aids, and overall be a brat. We usually work this out as we ride. Quarter moods are the more sensible ones, where she listens and responds with minimal sass, and everyone is happy.
Last Sunday at Pine Hill, Jellybean was in a quarter mood and handled her first horse trial like a champion. Despite a near collision in the warm up for dressage, Jellybean stayed cool and focused, and we went on to get a score of 40 for the test.
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Then we had to wait. Jellybean entertained herself by pulling the rest of her hay out of the hay bag, then we had to get ready for stadium. In the warm up arena, we stopped at each jump before going over—I just needed more leg. That’s always the answer, sit up and more leg. After going over each jump a few more times, it was time…after we waited for a few more riders to go. As we walked in, Jellybean was focused and ready to go. We ended up getting a clear round, and walked out of the arena happily.
After a long afternoon, a nap for Jellybean, and a relaxed warm up, it was time for cross country. Now, at this point in the day, Jellybean was tired of this. The sass was showing in near full force as we went out, and she was probably thinking it was plain stupid—why do this when she could be eating or sleeping?
The second jump we refused and then walked over/on. With leg, we went over the 3rd and 4th without any issues, and then…flowers. After the 4th jump, a simple log, there was a large jump off to the side with some flowers in it. Jellybean decided they were monsters out to get her, but after a quick argument she accepted I was right, they weren’t going to attack, and we made it past. Coming around the water, there was a large prelim jump with a shadow across our path on the right—it had to be hiding a scary monster! So we sidestepped forward and sideways to avoid it…then Jellybean saw a large sand pile to the left, and backwards we went. An older lady was off to the side, shaking her head at the baby horse shenanigans as we argued back and forth—I was pushing her forward with both legs and seat, Jellybean was going backwards and sideways. We made a circle, then finally darted between the two monsters, and continued on our merry way.
The next two jumps we went over fine, after jump six there was a bucket with some more flower monsters that we darted past, and then we came up to the last jump: going, going, STOP. We circled and attempted 3 times before the team behind us caught up and passed us, and then we had another refusal. As the golf cart drove up (most likely to tell us we were done), Jellybean decided the cart was scarier than the small box jump and we finally went over. Doesn’t that just figure?
Despite the x-country refusals and elimination, Jellybean survived her first horse trial and (99% of the time) behaved like a champion. Everyone was proud of her and I can’t wait to see how the next trial goes! There are some cool pictures from the show by the official photographer here.
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Weekend picture party

I’ve been posting a lot of pictures on my instagram (@atindalla) and the Diary of a Dusty Summer Facebook Page, so here are some of the recent highlights!

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Hanging out with Jellybean bareback!

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Gracie’s cut is almost healed, potential proud flesh aside.

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Vinny is such a good boy.

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Ashlynn and Jelly at Pine Hill Oct 2

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Ashlynn and Jelly at Pine Hill Oct 2

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One of the nemeses on XC at Pine Hill Oct 2

Stay tuned for a show write up! Ashlynn has promised me one very soon 😉

Jellybean News

Hello all! It’s Ashlynn, back with some Jellybean news.
I’ve been on vacation, and am currently on another right now. While I’ve been at home, though, exciting things have been happening in Jellybeanland. As an overview: lease began, new training, and tricks.
After the first vacation, Pony Club camp, and a show with Tank, I started helping with barn camps and riding Jellybean. We also signed a lease, which means I have a lot more riding time with Jellybean. On the flat, we’ve been working on listening to my legs more, especially my right leg, and using the outside rein. We tried to figure out poles, and we pretty much have them down for the most part…I think. Our current training goal is to prep for an event this fall. Our other long term goal is to master flying changes. This will take a bit, as it does need some foundation work first.
Since I have more time with Jellybean, I have also decided to teach her some tricks. I have started to teach her how to “hug”, and more tricks will come soon. It was fun to teach her, after she understood what was going on.
Hopefully, Jellybean is being good back in Texas. When I get back, I will start to post more as we progress with our goals.

Business as usual

Lots going on right now!

Ashlynn is leasing Jellybean and getting in lots of ride time. Before she went on vacation at least :p

Knots and Gracie have moved into the barn, since they both suffer from being easy keepers. This is actually somewhat counter-productive, since camp kids are constantly feeding them treats. Lets be real, I’m constantly feeding them treats. Sigh. They approve.

Knots didn’t work too hard after the show, but he did have a standout lesson in the last week where he actually lengthened his canter in a grid without rushing. Also, I uploaded the terrible video of my run out at Pine Hill. The ugly right?

Gracie has gotten some love from some of the barn kids. Including some jumping

We also took a lovely trail ride this weekend. Jellybean was the horse of choice for one of the instructors that doesn’t have her own horse. Jellybean just cantered along and did everything she was supposed to.

That’s not entirely true. She did spend half of the ride plotting to kick Vinny, and almost succeeded in breaking my knee cap. Luckily Vinny moved over quick enough, and I paid better attention.

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Horses are such fun 🙂

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Rain, rain, and some more rain

Writing this blog has given me an interesting perspective on the rain, especially as I can look back and see what we were doing this time last year. Which was watching it rain. Apparently this is the monsoon season here.

The barn hasn’t been hit terribly hard, or maybe we have finally reached the critical level of improvements. The new arena sand is keeping the big arena rideable. The ponies are spread out a bit more, so there is a bit less mud. We added more sand to some paddocks and moved horses out of others. The barn is sporadically flooding, which we still haven’t figured out, but most of the horses aren’t in hock-deep mud.

There has been some sporadic riding when it dries out for a few days. Knots has gotten the most attention, and Jellybean has been ridden a few times. Hopefully the weather will be clearing soon, because its summer camp time! Kids all day! I actually have a great time with summer camps, and with the completion of my two TAMU jobs, I’m hoping to have a bit more time to get ready for some horse shows.

It looks like Jellybean isn’t going to make it to Pony Club Camp this year, Ashlynn has the opportunity to take a more seasoned horse. Tank is a pro at pony club (year 3!!) and she will be able to take the lessons learned from Jellybean, ride Tank, and then start working with Jellybean more.

I’m trying to get ready to take two (!) horses to Pine Hill in July. Vinny is a big handsome percheron/arabian who is going green-as-grass and Knots and I are going to run beginner novice again. I’m working on some major conditioning for me, two horses in 90+ heat is going to be a challenge.

Anyways, long ramble. I’m hoping the weather relaxes and we can all actually ride.