Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Weekend Roundup

Izzy and I did some fun exercises this weekend. We set a line of four trot poles with opposite ends raised about 6" on blocks for trot-through cavaletti. Next we had a series of poles set like this:

Basically. Four poles, in that shape, inside ends 20' apart.

Finally, I set a little grid. There was a trot pole going in to three crossrails set one canter stride apart with a placing rail between each one.

The results: Izzy needs work on cavaletti. She sees all the rails and her little eyes kind of bug out, and she tries to just leap the whole thing. Seriously. I slowed it down and walked her through it, which was ok, but then she took a bunch of the rails down. Sigh. Pony mare... I didn't push the issue, but we'll continue working on this.

The "star formation" of poles was great. Hard, but great. It really forces us to balance, prepare, and focus as we walk or trot through. We can do it, but I want to work on refining the exercise so that we hit the exact center of the poles each time.

And the grid? Fabulous. Izzy has it figured out and I think she enjoys it just as much as I do. Maybe later this week we'll use it to jump more than crossrails.

On to other things... I had a talk with my husband, in which he told me that he'd rather pay board himself than have me keep working at the barn. (Yikes. He is NOT a horsey guy.) Basically, it's time consuming and takes away from other things he'd rather I be doing, so it's worth the money to him. I have no intention of asking him to pay for anything, but I want to head in that direction. I'm semi employed, at least for now, and it'll be tight, but I can do it.

I'm not sure what that means for me. I'm going out to check out a boarding facility with turnout this morning, but it's a primarily western place. That's fine, except the availability of jumps and lessons where I'm at now is huge for a person without a trailer. I'll check around, I guess. I'd like to be where I'm at now without working and with turnout, which is theoretically on the horizon, but with the pace that things are moving, we could be talking about years. Seriously.

Hopefully I'll have better options to talk about tomorrow.


  1. The star pole exercise is a really good one. She'll probably figure out what to do with the poles once she's done a bit more.

  2. good luck! I feel you on the jumps/lessons/no trailer. it will become an issue at some juncture in my life (hopefully sooner rather than later).

  3. As someone who spent a LOT of time barn-hunting, I have some tips for you -- ask around at feedstores (and look @ the bulletin boards there), ask your vet & farrier, look at any local horsey publications (here, the local trail riders association has a small publication, for example) and just get in the car and drive around. You would be surprised at how many places (including the barn I finally chose) I found just from driving around. I also met some really cool people, too -- I drove by one gorgeous place with huge green fields, stopped to see if they boarded (of course not!), but the owner turned out to be the owner of a small feed store and he has become one of my go-to people for all things horse-related.

    I think I looked at something like 14 barns before I finally found a place that I liked. It doesn't have all the ammenities I wanted (no sand ring, no arena lights), but the care is second-to-none, the stalls are cleaned 2X/day, hay 3X, several hours of turn-out every day (a lot of barns don't turn out or clean stalls on Sunday -- ??), no limit on grain & no restriction to certain brands of grain or types of hay, hooves picked daily, full jump course, semi-reasonable board rate, etc., etc. plus it's about 2.5 miles from my house (score!).

    So, it might take you a while to find the right place for you, but it's definitely worth it! I'm sure that having turn-out will be so much better for Izzy in the long-run. Plus, not having to work at the barn will be better for you; going to the barn JUST to play with your own pony is so much better! I've got my fingers crossed for you. :-)

  4. Super advice from Frizzle.

    The turnout deal is so important. I find it hard to believe setting it up is not a high priority at your barn. Once the barn was ready, I would have put in the turnout. As a matter of fact here, I think my turnout was ready before the barn.

    I feel so sorry for horses that do not have regular time to play and "just be horses."

  5. If you like everything else about the western place, perhaps you could coerce the husband into donating some of those funds towards building a few basic jumps =) tell him it's a one time outlay =)

  6. Yep, I am having barn issues as well. Mine are way different but one thing we had in common was a lack of turn out. I only endured limited turn out for a month but my horse was so unhappy. My next barn was chosen because of the green pastures. Stalls are for people and pastures are for horses. I feel you on not having an instructor or a trailer I am now in that situation but seeing my pony contently grazing in a herd is priceless.


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