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Monday, December 5, 2011

Jack's Review of the Eric Dierks Clinic

WOW, what a day I had on Sat!  Rugby, Wie and me were loaded up in the trailer and went to a place where I was ridden in my first clinic.  The whole day was a new experience for me.  It was my first time in an indoor arena. I really didn't think it was necessary because it was a nice day but I guess the ground was a bit frozen and icy out side.  Anyway it wasn't bad in there because I had my friends Wie & Rugby with me but there were two other horses in there that I didn't know.  Then I kept seeing horses moving along the wall and disappearing.  It was really weird.  I even tried calling to them a few times but nothing.  I was told that they were only reflections of the horses who were in the ring.  I still don't quite understand, something about mirrors.

Anyway Eric seemed like a nice guy and every now and again we would stand around and listen to him talk.  He was talking about riding the track, the balance, the rhythm with the correct amount of energy.  All I was thinking was how was I going to be able to do all that?  Then I heard him say that all of that was the riders job and that all I was responsible for was where I was putting my feet, the footwork.  Sounded easy enough, after all I have been to a horse show and didn't look at a single fence or knock one down. Well I found out that I've got a lot to learn and that just getting over the jump is just the beginning.  Now we have to learn to use the proper technique and using my body properly.  I'm not sure what all that means, but when I see Jackie bending over to pick up poles Kyle is going to have to remind her to bend her knees, lower her center of gravity (what the  heck is that?) and pick up the rail with he whole body and not just her arms and back.  How that is suppose to relate to me jumping correctly I don't quite know but the riders seemed to understand and I guess that's the important part, after all I'm only responsible for the footwork.

We started out trotting over four poles in a row and when I got to the first one I said whoa baby and stopped at the first pole because I didn't know how I was going to fit my feet in there.  Kyle encouraged me to go and I somehow got through the poles but not very smoothly.  We kept coming and Kyle was working on his job and then allowing me to figure out my job which as you recall was the footwork.  I actually figured it out faster that Wie (who has done this before) so I was pretty proud of myself.  Poor Rugby had never done anything like this before and it was pretty entertaining watching him figure it all out. Kevin did a nice job with him and Rugby relaxed and finished up the exercise really well.  After trotting the 4 rails on the ground Eric raised the 2 poles in the middle.  I didn't notice he had done that at first and hit one pretty hard and got off balance and out of rhythm.  Well I didn't like that very much so I was sure to check things out a little better the next time and didn't touch a thing and was able to keep my balance & rhythm better by using my body better.  Being in charge of the footwork was a little harder than I thought, but I'm figuring it out.

Next we trotted over a little gate in the middle of the ring, no big deal in fact it was a little boring, but I guess Eric wanted to see us jump a little fence before he started to challenge us a little bit.  So he raised the jump a little and again no problem, but apparently just getting over the jump isn't good enough. Now we all stopped and we listened to Eric described how all of this is like a dance and that we were going to learn the dance steps.  Again I wasn't quite sure what he was talking about but Kyle did and I guess that's what counts. 

Eric placed a pole before the jump that we had to trot over and I had to figure out how to fit my feet in there properly and jump over the gate.  The exercise was to again help us figure out the footwork  and after Kyle got me on the right track with the right balance, rhythm and energy he was instructed to let me figure it out with enough encouragement from his leg.  I'm really lucky to have Kyle riding me because he's really good at his job and that makes it a lot easier for me.  Some of the riders got a little out of balance and didn't maintain the track and their horses had a little difficulty with the exercise.

Again Rugby was a bit entertaining because he has such long legs he didn't think he needed to jump at all, he was just trotting over the jump.  He's like me though, after he hit it he didn't want to do that again so then he figured out what to do to get his feet out of the way.  Wie was pretty good but he wanted to get a little crooked to make more room between the rail and the jump so he didn't have to work so hard.  He got a little grumpy when Jackie told him he had to remain straight and work a litter harder.  But then he figured it out and made a good effort and looked really good and Jackie gave him lots of pats.  It was really nice to get fussed all over and told what 'good boys' we were when we did it right.  I kept hearing Eric telling riders to love 'em up.  I think I like this Eric guy.

After we figured out the pole we did a pole to an X to another pole.  Yikes now I had to figure out where my feet go immediately after I jump.  After a couple awkward attempts I got a lot of 'lovin' and got to take a break and watch the others.  After everyone had their turn, the poles were on the landing side were made into an X and I didn't realize the change had been made even though Kyle was trying to tell me by putting more leg on.  I got to say I did some unusual footwork.  Front feet over the jump, then back feet, bounce stride, then front feet, back feet over the second X.  Wow that was hard work,  I have to figure out a way to make that a little easier.  So with Kyle's encouragement I jumped the pole on the ground took a bounce stride to the X which I jumped then took a strong bounce stride and jumped the second X.  Everyone started to laugh and Eric made some statement about my dancing that I didn't really understand.  I didn't take offense to the laughing as everyone was saying what a good boy I was and I got lots of lovin'.  The next couple of times I smoothed things out a little bit and I was having so much fun I continued the bouncing and jumping even though there were no more jumps ;)  I was having fun and really proud of myself.

I had a pretty good break after that time because one of the horses was having a little trouble figuring it out.  That's when I realized that although we had plenty of breaks I had NEVER had a rider on my back for this long before in my life...whew!  So when it was my turn to go again and Eric had added a third fence one stride away from the second one I wasn't 100% mentally and physically there. I got in there and my legs were going every which direction.  I still managed to get through it in the right striding but even I knew it wasn't right.  That's when Eric and Kyle realized that I was probably getting a little tired but we needed to finish on a good note and I agreed.  So I came through it again, focused on my job and if I must say so myself jumped through the exercise brilliantly!!  Kyle immediately hopped off me loosened my girth and made a big fuss!!

I got to watch Rugby and Wie and because they're older than me they got to finish with a jump called an oxer. That's a jump that is wider than a regular jump; I've done those before and could have done that too but maybe next time when I'm not so tired.  Anyway not only did Rugby have his footwork down, for the first time all day, he really jumped and Kevin and Eric were happy and he got to quit and and get fussed all over too.  Wie was next and he really was making a good effort.  On one fence he jumped so hard he let out a grunt.  It was kind of funny.  Anyway he got lots of lovin' too.

The three of us learned a lot and had a lot of fun and can't wait to practice what we learned so when Eric comes back we can show him how we can dance like Michael Jackson (whoever that is).  While we were back at the trailer getting ready to go home I heard Jackie talking about how good all were but she kept saying that I was the STAR of the group.  I like how that sounds!

Jack


Wow, sounds like Jack and the boys had a really good time.  I'm jealous.  I was suppose to go to a another dressage show but there were so many entries we didn't get to go.  Oh well, I have been enjoying my mud bathes lately.

Jill









Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jack & Jill's Competition Debut

A couple of weeks ago I started getting my mane trimmed, my tail brushed out on a regular basis and in general getting some extra grooming.  Something about looking presentable for a show.  That's when I heard that Pip, me and the new guy Wie were going to a dressage show.  I wasn't sure what that was really all about; all I know is that Kyle was riding me more in the ring rather than on the trails leading up to the show.

So the big day came and Kyle got me ready to go by putting these big poofy things on my legs.  I don't know why, it wasn't a cold day or anything like that.  Then I hear that they were to protect my legs, not keep them warm.  The felt funny when I started to walk so I hiked my legs up pretty high and Kyle and Jackie started laughing. I said they felt funny not so funny!  Anyway Pip went on the trailer first then me and then Wie.  I really haven't officially met Wie yet as he lives in another pasture so it was nice to go for a ride with him.  The ride wasn't so bad and I didn't need those big poofy things on my legs that I heard are called shipping boots.

After we got to the show at Chagrin Valley Farms, Wie and I were taken off the trailer, got our boots taken off and off we went to check out the 'scarey' indoor arena with the big glass wall at one end.  It really wasn't so scarey just something to look at and figure out.  I got to tell you, I've never seen anything quite like that before!  Next Jackie got Wie ready to ride and Kyle spent some time grooming me and I was told what a good girl I was to stand tied to the trailer.  I don't know what was such a big deal;  I had a big net thing in front of me with lots of hay in it so why wouldn't I just stand there?

From what I understand Wie was a little bit of a cry baby in his first test and jumped out of the ring but he was really good in the second test and Jackie seemed really happy with him.  I'm not sure why they are called tests or dressage for that matter; all I did is walk and trot around and do some circles and going across the ring and then I was done.  Kyle and Jackie were making such a fuss over me saying what a good girl I was and how pleased they were with my behavior.  I don't know when they're going to get it; that's just the way I am...no big deal.  I did overhear Kyle saying how much he liked me and my  attitude and that it would take a whole lot of money for him to ever consider selling me.He thinks I'm a going to be 'good one' and that he thinks I could be as good as Gus.  Well I already think I'm a good one and I don't know who Gus was, but from what I can tell he was a very special horse!  I think I like being compared to Gus.

After I was done, Wie and I hung out in the trailer while Pip did his tests.  I heard that he was a very good boy and everyone was happy how the day went.  Check out the video and tell me why this was such a big deal.  I hear we may be going to another dressage show and I might be able to do a test where I can do a little cantering.  Well I say it's about time!  And why does Jack get to go to a jumper show and I have to go to a dressage show?  Something about me being 'in foal'...

 

One more thing... if you hear something about a movie called "Jack and Jill".. don't get excited ; it's not about us but maybe someday ;)

Jill

Well just like Jill; I was getting my mane trimmed and my tail brushed and Kyle even used the giant sucking snake, I think they call it a vacuum cleaner, on me to get all the dirt off.   I must say I'm impressed at how much braver I have gotten; I can remember when Jackie tried to use that thing on me last spring and it about freaked me out!  I have to agree with Jill; those shipping boots do  feel funny and make you do weird stuff with your legs but in a couple of minutes I got use to them and it was no big deal It was just Wie and  me off to a jumper show at South Farm.  It sounded like fun and it was a nice day so the show was held outside instead of inside.  That seemed to make Jackie & Kyle happy but I have no idea why. I'm sure I'll find out all in good time; I always seem to eventually figure things out. 

When we got there Jackie had to go enter us and get numbers and that took a little while.  While we were waiting Wie started banging around in the trailer and generally being  being a bit of a jerk.  By the time Jackie got back Kyle had just about had enough of it and Jackie seemed more than a  little annoyed because apparently he had been very good at Chagrin a couple of weeks ago and in her words "there was no reason for his bad behavior".  Oh boy, glad it was him and not me.  Then I heard them calling him a 'dumb blood' and telling him that the 3 year old, that would be me, was behaving better than the 4 year old, that would be Wie.  I guess that was a compliment for me, but what do they mean about being a 'dumb blood'?

Anyway we both got ready and went past a nice big barn but there were a few kids playing on this thing where they were bouncing up and down and making a lot of noise.  I think they call it a trampoline or something like that. Anyway it did make both of us a little nervous.   When we got to the ring Kyle took me over by other horses and I just stood around watching other horses jump.  Meanwhile Jackie was riding Wie in the warm up area and he kept calling to me.  It was a bit annoying and more than a little distracting.  Thankfully when I went to the warm up ring he began to quiet down.  When it was time for Wie to go in the ring I must say I was impressed; he went in there and was all business... he never looked at a thing, jumped all the jumps and kept his mouth shut too!  So when it was my turn and I did my best to be every bit as good as him which, if I must say so myself, I was.  Then we got to do it again but this time the fences were in a different order. It was a lot of fun but next time I would like to jump a bigger  and  less boring fences.  Don't get me wrong; they were all nicely painted but no barrels or spools like we jump at home.  Then I heard Jackie say  that 'boring' is good for the first show.

Everyone was making a big fuss over Wie and me and saying what good 'babies' we were.  I liked the compliments but I really don't like being called a baby. If they didn't tell them I was a three year old they never would have guessed.  Anyway  I'm looking forward to the next show. It sounds like I had more fun than Jill ;)

No videos for me, but here is a picture of me.  Not too bad if I must say so myself.

Jack






 







Saturday, October 29, 2011

Latest Update from Jack & Jill

I think things are finally quieting down around here.  There was a lot of activity for a couple of weeks with the the event,hunter pace, and a jumper show and cross country pace competition.  Jack and I were suppose to compete in the hunter pace but Kyle wasn't feeling well and everyone else was too busy so we didn't get to do it. It really didn't matter because we got to go on the course on a different day.  It was a nice ride.

One day Jackie was riding me and she got all excited because I started going like a 'good little dressage horse'.  I don't know what she was all excited about; she should know by now that if you ask me to do something and if I understand what you're asking; I'll do it!  Anyway I hear that I'm going to a dressage show next weekend. I haven't a clue what to expect but I look forward to another new experience.  All I know is that since they decided that I'm going to the show Kyle has been riding me more and I have been in the ring more than going out in the trails.  Not so sure I like that.

That's it for me for now; I'll let you know how the show went.

Jill

Jill wasn't kidding when she said that things were really busy around here.  Jackie and Kyle were so busy I didn't get ridden a few weeks.  Actually I really needed the break.  All this training stuff was stressing be out and I started to grind my teeth to let them know. I wish I was more like Jill; she seems to take everything in stride.  Anyway they seemed to understand that I was worried about the bit because when Kyle started riding me again he put a bridle on me without a bit; it's called a hackamore or something like that.  I don't care what it's called; I'm just a lot more relaxed going without a bit.

We have been doing a lot of trail rides and doing more jumping on the trails.  One day Kyle pointed me at a big jump called a 'hogs back'.  A funny name for a fence and it doesn't look anything like the back of a hog.  Well I actually have never seen a hog, but I do't think it looks like this pie of logs.  Anyway I said 'whoa baby are you're sure?"  Jackie yelled at Kyle that I wasn't ready for a fence that big yet and Kyle said 'yes he is'.  So Jackie decided that Pip should go first to show me how its done.  Well I didn't want to disappoint Kyle and I wanted to show Jackie that I could do it ...so I jumped it way higher than I needed to.  Both Kyle and Jackie were all excited.  That makes me happy.  Since then I have jumped the show jumping course  and most of the Starter cross country jumps  I like jumping and I think I'm ready to try bigger jumps.



We have a new horse in the barn with a strange name; Wie. Not only does he have a strange name he is a different breed, a Hanoverian.  I don't know, he looks like the rest of the TB's on the farm.   Despite his name and breed he's a nice guy about my size and age.  I really like hanging out with him.

Wie and Me - hey that rhymes

While Jill is going to a dressage show I'm going to a jumping clinic!  All three of of us young guys: Wie, Rugby and me will be making a road trip the first weekend in Dec.  Here's hoping the weather is good, although I here we will be in a indoor ring.  I've never been in one before, but I hear that they keep out the with and the rain. I hope there isn't any snow like we're getting today.  I'm not quite ready for snow yet.

Well I be sure to give you an update after the jumping clinic in Dec.

Jack
 




Saturday, September 10, 2011


Since I didn’t get a chance to say much last time Jill said that I could go first this time.  All I have to say is that it has been a busy summer around here.  Things finally got a little quieter and a little cooler, thank goodness,  so Jill and I have been going out on trail rides almost every day.  Kyle usually rides me and Jackie rides Jill.  I think it’s kind of keeping the guys and the gals together or something like that.  I am really starting to enjoy these rides but to be honest with you; I wasn’t so sure in the beginning. There were so many things to hear and see that I was a little nervous.  Kyle keeps reassuring me that everything is ok and I’m starting to believe him.  I now know that the mud in the woods is NOT quick sand and that it’s ok to step in it.  I’ve also learned to be the leader too;  Jill and I now take turns going first.  

While Jill took a trailer ride to meet her “man”, I got to take a ride to the Buckeye Horse Park.  Kyle was taking Margee and Jethro to a show and he didn’t want one horse left alone in the trailer while the other one competed so I was taken along to keep the horse left in the trailer company. other one competed so I was taken along to keep the the horse left in the trailer company.  Hanging out in the trailer really wasn’t much fun so when they took me off to get one Magree off I refused to get back on the trailer!  They weren’t very happy with me, but come on, they took be on a road trip and I didn’t get to do or see much.

Road Trip - Margee is explaining things to me
Sometimes I just don’t understand people very much.  There were two people here that were all excited about Tintin but Jackie and Kevin seemed happy for them but kind of sad at the same time.  That’s when I found out that Tintin was going home with Amy and Meredith.  Kevin and Jackie were happy that Tinners was with some good friends of Jackie's and that Tinners had an important job to do.  I was curious what could be so important.  It seems that Meredith likes this sport of Eventing but she hasn’t been able to compete above the Novice level yet and Tinners was going to help her to move up the levels a bit like he did with Kevin.  I just heard that they went to their first competition together and Meredith’s first time at Training level and that they did really well and everyone had fun!!   Sounds pretty good to me…

It seems that Kevin was really missing Tintin and they found a young horse from the racetrack for him.  Boy is this new guy ever tall!!  But then again Kevin is a tall fellow so I guess it’s a pretty good match.  Anyway, Rugby is a very pleasant fellow and he fits in with the guys just fine.  And believe it or not, Jethro (the boss man) has been hanging out with me more lately.  Don’t ask me why, but it’s kind of nice. 
Rugby and me meeting for the first time.  That's me on the right
Well I hear things are to start getting crazy around here soon as they are getting ready for another ‘event’ at the farm.  I don’t mind so much except Jackie doesn’t have much time for us and she’s even been riding me a little which I kind of like.  Oh well, not much I can do about that. I am looking forward to the Hunter Pace, that sounds like it will be a lot of fun.

I guess that’s it for now. 

Jack

Jack has pretty much covered it all.  I have really been enjoying the  trail rides and Jackie seems to be enjoying them too (she's been riding me a lot lately).  I was suppose to go to a Mini Trial tomorrow for my debut at Intro, but Margee is scheduled to start at 8:30 and I wasn't going to be done until after 5:00 so they decided that it was going to be too long of a day to be hanging out in the horse trailer especially since Kyle has a lot of work to do around the farm.  So the debut will have to wait for awhile.  There's always the Hunter Pace ;)

Check out the picture of me in the latest USEA Magazine.  It's from the FEH class here in the spring.  It's kind of a little picture and they're calling me Key to the Stars instead of Jill so it might be hard to find it, but  I still think it's cool.  I hear it's my show name which is a combination of my mom's and dad's names.  I guess it has a nice ring to it.

That's it for now.

Jill

Monday, August 15, 2011

Catching Up & Jill's Big News

Well one thing is for sure, we’re not in Barnsville anymore where Jack & I spent the first three years of our lives!! At Harmony Farm we were turned out in a big pasture with a bunch of other youngsters.  Other than  someone coming to check on us and feed us some grain daily; it was pretty quiet.  Well Stone Gate Farm is much different.  Since I last reported in May (can you believe it’s been that long?) there have been all sorts of stuff going on like hunter paces, clinics, mini trials, camps you name it. On top of that all sorts of horses have been coming and going; horses in training, horses for sale, visitors etc.  I’ll try to give you a quick recap, but I really don’t know what all this stuff is all about but I hear that in 'all good time' I will understand better. 


Blaze & Kevin / Laura & Witchit at the Hunter Pace
First of all Kyle has been busy training a bunch of three year olds like me for other people but since they are guys they have been in separate pastures so I haven’t had much contact with them but I hear that Blaze went in the Hunter Pace with Kevin and Laura on Witchit (who was sold to Gabbie Van Scoy)  and they won first place!!  I'm not sure what a hunter pace is but it sounds like a nice long trail ride and I like those so Jack & I are looking forward to doing the hunter pace in Oct. Oh yeah, since my last post I have been started under saddle as they call it.  But before that Kyle worked me in long lines, I think that’s what they’re called. Anyway he spent a few weeks long lining me all over the farm. I even did a dressage test, cross country course and show jump course in long reins. I don’t know what the big deal was it was very easy and the jumps were so small I don't know how they can even call them jumps, I just walk over them. 

Now that I’m being ridden I can do all that stuff with a rider on my back instead of Kyle running behind me. I’m not so good at the dressage; I still really don’t like the bit in my mouth, but the other stuff is interesting and I even got to do “real” cross country jumps the other day.  They were making such a big fuss over me for going up and down a bank and in and out of the water.  I don’t understand what’s the big deal; Kyle asked me to do something and I did it.  They keep saying what a brave girl I am. I just didn’t get it until I went out for a ride with Jack. Jackie rode me for the first time (I think she really enjoyed me) and I was following Jack and he was being such a “weinerschnitzel” (that’s what Jackie and Kyle called him) because he had to take a second look at everything and was wiggling all over the place.  I’ll have to have a talk with that boy when I get a chance.

Check out the videos of Laura and me showing the D 1 kids how to do the Intro Cross Country course and Kyle and me jumping the bank and water jump.



                                                                                  



Monroe
I have some big news” to report; I’m going to be a mother!!  I know, I know I’m just a baby myself but I will be four years old by the time the little one comes along.  I really don't know how all this happened but I heard that they were going to breed Margee and that’s when I heard Jackie saying "ya know it's better to have two foals instead of just one; what about breeding Jill?".  Then she said something to Kyle that if I’m going to be as good as they think I am (well why  wouldn’t I be?)  he won’t want to take the time later to breed me. The next thing I knew I was on my way to Cool Springs Farm to meet Blue Ridge Monroe a handsome Connemara stallion.  He may be a small dude, but he moves big, has good bone and is very even tempered... all good things to cross with a TB mare.  They must be talking about Margee; I already have all of those traits!   

Unfortunately Margee wasn’t very nice to Monroe the week before I arrived and the last thing Monroe wanted to see was another TB mare.  So that’s when they decided to get the “man in the can” to get the job done.  Don’t ask... it’s rather personal.

Anyway the training is going to continue as usual though the fall and I might get to do a Mini Trial if I can get better in the dressage.  Then, from what I hear, I can be ridden all winter and into the spring and that they will concentrate on dressage.  There they go again, talking about that pesky dressage.   I’m not so sure about that …

Well that's it for now.  I hope they'll give me more alfalfa today, I really like that and after all I'm eating for two now.

Jill

Jack here.  With all Jill's news I think I'll wait until next time for a report but I am getting braver on the trail rides.

Jack




Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jack & Jill Make Their Debut @ the FEH

Well things have been really busy around here lately will everyone trying to get things ready for the horse trials.  I’m not sure what all that is but everyone was busy moving jumps into our pasture, putting flags and numbers on the jumps, mowing and a lot of primping up.  The primping included me so I looked nice for the Future Event Horse class.  I got my first bath, got my mane trimmed and whiskers clipped.  Any both Kyle and Jackie were saying how they couldn’t believe how much I have grown!!

So the big day came and it started to storm so we were told to wait for a while.  Kyle brought me down to the ring where there were a bunch of other horses.  I was really interested to see all the other young horses who came for the show.  One was a yearling filly who has the same dad as me.  She was very cute and very well behaved. Then it started to thunder and lightening again and we all took cover in the stabling barn.  I would have preferred to stay out in the rain but I had to stay in the stall.

The thunder and lightning subsided so we went back out.  There were a few ‘real’ boys there if you know what I mean and they made things a little exciting.   I just took it all in and was told I was a very good girl.  Finally it was my turn to stand in front of the judge (in the rain) and walk the small triangle and trot the big triangle.  I’m not sure what that has to do with becoming an event horse but at least it rained enough to have BIG puddles to show how bravely we could trot through the water.

I hear that I scored very well and that I tied with a big Holsteiner filly for first place!  The other horse won the tie, but that really doesn’t matter to me.  I was just enjoying meeting all the other horses.  If you want to see pictures of Jack and me you'll have to look for Key to the Stars (that's me) and Colinwood Super (that's Jack).  I was given a new show name which has both my mom's and dad's names:  Colony Key & Ask for the Stars.  I like that better than Ohio Rocket, a little more fitting of a classy lady such as myself.

After our classes were over it rained and rained even more and from what I hear everyone was bummed because they weren’t able to do the cross country.  If you want to hear more about the Winona Horse Trials and see some of the pictures go to the SGF Blog. All I know is that everyone seems to have more time now and Kyle is going to start riding me again if it ever stops RAINING!!

Jill
 
Well Jill pretty much covered it all except I got to stay up in my stall during all the storms.  By the time it was my turn it was just raining.  I have to admit I’m not quite as open to new things as Jill is.  All the activity and strange horses on the farm made me a little nervous.  I did settle down by the time I had to be presented to the judge.  I behaved pretty well but as I was trotting back towards the tent I wanted to slow down, but other than that I was a good boy. 

Jill doesn’t know this so don’t tell her but she scored two points better than me…  something about me toeing out a little on the right front.  Picky, picky, picky.

I’m glad that all this horse trials stuff is over so Jackie and I can spend more time together.  Don’t tell her, but I have been feeling rather neglected lately ;(  She’s out of town judging at an event in Wisconsin (wherever that is) but she promised to start spending more time with me when she gets home; I can’t wait.

That’s it for now.

Jack

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Royal Wedding and Rolex to Celebrate Jill's Birthday

Well I'm told that today is my birthday.  I'm also told that there was some Royal Wedding today and some big event in KY called Rolex!!  They both sound pretty important to me and I think it's only fitting that they both are happening on my birthday.  I spent a quiet pleasant  albeit a chilly day hanging out with my friends. I don't remember it being this chilly the day I was born.  Thank goodness it is suppose to be sunny and warmer tomorrow.

The big news, besides cantering with Kyle earlier in the week, is that they opened up another pasture with plenty of lush grass.  And because there was so much grass they decided to turn us all out together; all nine us!  I heard something about us eating enough of it so they don't have to mow it before the horse trials. Hey, we may like to eat, but we are not lawn mowers. I keep hearing things about this horse trials; I guess it's another one of those things that I will find out about in due time but there seems to be a lot of stuff going on around here trying to get the farm ready for it when the weather cooperates.

It was kind of interesting with all of us turned out together.  Kyle and Jackie seemed pretty happy that there was no drama.  Actually, with the exception of Diamond & Blaze, we all knew each other and if Diamond or Blaze got the wrong idea there were plenty of horses to put them in their place;)  I kept wandering off by myself to check out the new pasture with three little ponds in it.  Kyle calls me bold and independent; I say that's just me. To begin with we stayed in our own groups but after a day; we were all hanging out together. 

Jack and I are getting our feet trimmed again tomorrow so they look good for the Future Event Horse class coming up.  Kyle has been spending a lot of time grooming me and Jackie started to trim up my mane.   They're getting me all primped up for the big day.

That's it for now.

Jill

Happy Birthday little sis!  You may be bigger than me right now, but I'm still older. ;)

Jill pretty much summed it all up. Being out with the whole herd is nice and for the most part everyone is getting along. Blaze and I are becoming pretty good buds but I don't cling to him like I use to do with Jill.  I guess I'm growing up a little.  But this riding thing is a little confusing.  I was ridden with a bit in my mouth in a bigger area with this little white fence around it called a dressage ring.  Too many different things for me to deal with at one time.  I almost reverted to donkey mode.  On the bright side, I practiced jogging next to Jackie for the upcoming show and I did pretty good.  I hear there are seven horses in my class, the most for the FEH classes.  Jackie tells me she doesn't care how I place as long as I do my best.  I think I can do that. 

Things are getting pretty busy around her, it may be awhile before you hear from us again.

Jack

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Jack & Jill Gets Ridden Outside of the Round Pen

The boys and a Visitor
Finally a nice sunny day yesterday and a perfect day for Jack to celebrate his birthday and a great day for just hanging out and enjoying life.  Since we now have a new paddock fence we all can go out at the same time or if we have a visitor like we did last weekend he can go out for awhile without worrying about getting mobbed by the boys.  But yesterday Kyle and Jackie were busy putting up this little white fence (that certainly wouldn't keep any self respecting horse in) called a dressage ring and since it was a nice day and we really didn't want to come in just yet; they turned out the boys in the paddock and left us girls out in the pasture.  Well that was all well and good but what about nap time?  Well that's when we decided that a little sun bathing wasn't such a bad idea.

Girls Napping
We had all sorts of trailers coming in yesterday and I got to see a bunch of new horses and watch a few lessons but that got kind of boring so I went off with the girls to  munch on some more grass, take another nap and hopped up onto the bank to check out the grass on top.

It was well after lunch time when we were finally brought in for our breakfast!  But I didn't mind since it was such a nice morning albeit a little chilly.  I'm usually really good about going into my own stall, but when I saw that the door was open to the stall that has the straw piled in it along with the hay I took advantage of it.  You see since we have more horses than stalls right now I sometimes get put in the bedding stall while the night shift comes in and the day shift goes out.  The other day there was a miscommunication and I was left in the bedding stall for a couple of hours and I had the best nap on a big pillow of straw...so when I saw the stall open yesterday I took advantage of the situation and enjoyed the big pillow again!

That's me napping on my big pillow



Last night Kyle rode me again and for the first time I didn't have to be ridden in the round pen, yeah!!!  But since it was my first time in the open so to speak (we were in that funny looking little dressage ring) they hooked me up to the luge line.  It felt so good to be in a bigger more open area that I just trotted & trotted & trotted without needing to be reminded to keep moving.  In fact I even took a few canter strides ;)  I heard Jackie say something about me practicing my 20 meter circles.  Don't ask me what that was all about.  I guess like everything else I'll learn about that soon enough.  When we were done I gave Kyle a ride up the hill and he gave me bunches of pats & scratches and told me what a good girl I was and again kept saying how laid back I am.  I guess the 2 red heads he rides aren't so mellow ;)

Well that's it for now.

Jill

Well they say that yesterday was my birthday.  I don't quite remember what it was like when I was born except it had to be warmer than it was yesterday morning!  It sure was chilly in the morning.  But as Jill said, it was a nice sunny day and a good day to just hang out with my friends.  Yes you heard that right; I have friends now.  That little guy Blaze and I are hanging out together and playing and running around.  Some may say that I'm getting too attached because the other day when Kyle brought Blaze in I blasted through the new fence to be near him.  I won't do that again, that fence has a bit of kick to it that he other one didn't!  But since Blaze only goes down to the round pen to work and comes right back out again I don't worry so much anymore when he leaves.

I got ridden in the round pen again this week and Jackie just stood in the middle and didn't encourage me forward with that funny clucking sound or lunge whip so when I stalled out Kyle kicked me with his legs.  I didn't like that very much and I gave a funny little jump a couple of times until I figured out what he wanted.  So if Kyle closes his legs on me I'm suppose to go forward and if I don't he kicks me a little harder.  OK I think I get it, but I may need a reminder.  When we were done I gave Kyle a ride up the hill.  If you have ever been here before you know that is a pretty big hill and they were laughing at me calling me a drunk sailor.  I'm not sure what that's suppose to mean; I was doing the best I could.

I was going to get ridden in that funny little white fence yesterday too, but it was getting late and since it was my birthday I was told I could have the day off.  Then I got my favorite, rubs on my forehead and telling me I was a good boy even when I was just hanging out in the pasture.   I was a nice day; I really like it here!

Jack

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let the Riding Begin & Two New Horses Come to Stone Gate Farm

Sleeping through my first ride
Wow, I can't believe that it's been almost 2 weeks since we posted last.  Things have been pretty busy around here and then a lull in the action while Jackie was out of town.  But the new little redhead showed up and stirred things up a little. Then a small dark 3 year old gelding arrived the other day.  Since the mares and geldings go out separately I haven't had much experience with him other than him blasting into the wash rack where I was cross tied waiting to go out while the geldings came in.  That guy has to learn some manners!!

The first night Diamond (that's the redheads name, guess what marking she has on her head...original huh) was here she just got all of us running and running in big circles.  By the next morning I was whooped and that's when they decided to have Kyle get on me for the first time.  They didn't even wait for us to come in for breakfast and take a nap.  They said something about having to get going before it rained.  I don't care if it is going to rain; a girl needs her breakfast and rest but my vote didn't count.  Anyway it was no big deal, I almost fell asleep while Kyle was sitting on me.

After the short ride we came in for breakfast and I finally got to take my nap.  I don't know how long I was sleeping for when Kyle came in to visit.  He was scratching all my favorite spots when he got on me for the second ride of the day.  I didn't mind at all. Kyle says I'm kind of an easy going kind of  gal.  I like the sounds of that.

The weather was really nice over the weekend and we got to hang out and relax all weekend because Jackie was out of town and Kyle was busy with work and helping around the farm.  Too bad that nice weather didn't last.  Boy did it ever rain, that meant another couple of days off.  Finally today the weather got nice again and it was time for another ride.  This time the boys were out in the pasture and Jack came over close to watch.  I showed him how to trot around and around the round pen on the lunge line.  Kyle really seemed to be happy with me and again said how easy going I am.  I guess that's a good thing.

I hope I can get out of the round pen soon; it's getting pretty boring. At least it's back to boring in the pasture again as Diamond is settling inIt's kind of nice not being the new one anymoreAnd it's really kind of cool that I'm the biggest of the four mares and the only non chestnut!

I'm looking forward to another nice day tomorrow.

Jill

Things have been a little crazy around here with two new horses coming for training .  The new little redhead Diamond goes out with the girls so I have only had brief meetings with her but a new guy named Blaze (guess what marking he has on his head) has been added to the guy group.  He's kind of a cute little guy and I was hoping for a new friend but that's going to take a little time. He is a bit nervous being out with all the big boys.  I definitely can relate and I tried to give him some advice but he wouldn't let me get close enough so he could hear.  So when he was rolling I thought it was the perfect time to get closer but that little bugger got up from rolling and kicked me square in the chest.  Well that did it, I wasn't going to try anymore!  All I've got to say is that he's lucky that Jethro isn't here anymore, although Gopher did a pretty good job of taking Jethro's place if you know what I mean.  It's nice not being the new one anymore and finally I'm not the smallest in the group!  

I was ridden by Kyle again on Mon and I had to walk right past all the girls on my way to the round pen.  I wanted to visit but I had work to do.  I did a little trotting for the first time with Kyle and it felt kind of strange so I trotted a little slower than usual.  I was told I was a good boy and got lots of pats; I like that.  I got to watch Jill work today and she looked pretty good. She did a fair amount of trotting on the lunge line with Kyle.  It seems he likes Jill better than me, but I'm ok with that me because Jackie is my human and Kyle is Jill's. Anyway I did get to do a lot of trotting today and I even got taken off the lunge line and Kyle rode me around the round pen.  It actually was easier turning with Kyle than it was with the long lines.

I'm with Jill, the round pen is getting a little boring but it did have a nice big puddle in it today so that was fun.
I think they have big plans for us tomorrow as it is suppose to be a nice day again.

Blaze also got to work in the round pen today and he seemed pretty good although he has to work on that joining up stuff.  He's starting to relax a little and we're beginning to hang out together ;)

Jack

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Shout out to EN & Jack Has a Video Posted

I hear that  Eventing Nation ran a nice story about us and that's no April Fool's joke (unlike that nasty white stuff this morning). Jackie says that whenever EN posts a link to our blog we get a lot more visitors. Maybe you should become regular followers so you won't miss any of our posts.

Thank you Annie and EN. Go Eventing! I hear John ends a lot of his posts that way so I thought I would too ;)


                                                                Jill


Look at me; I'm almost all grown up.  Check out the video of  be being lunged with a bit for the first time.  Actually it's not the best example of my work because I was too busy trying to spit out the bit.  I'm usually much more forward than this. Hopefully Jackie will get a better one soon.

After the video was taken I worked with the long reins again.  I'm getting this turning stuff pretty good.  Then Jackie stopped me by the mounting block . Mounting what I ask?  Anyway she was way up high and leaned on the saddle.  I'm not sure why she did that but she said the it was to help me with the next step of my training. I'm not quite sure what she was talking about but it wasn't too bad.  The best part is that I got my favorite: rubs on my forehead and a lot of good boys.

Jack

PS - I just found out what the next step of training is... I gave Kyle a couple of short rides today in the round pen.  No big deal, a lot of rubs & good boys!!  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let the Cross Country Training Begin - So to Speak


Although Jack and I have not been going out together anymore we have been going out for long walks around the farm going through the woods, up and down hills and across a stream.  It has been really fun and I got to say, this is one pretty farm!  Check out the video of me  following Kyle down the bank back by the big pond that had a bunch of ducks on it!  I don't know what Jackie is laughing at I think I stepped down it with more style than Kyle did.
 
I hear we're going to have a new red headed girl coming next week so we'll be back up to 4 horses in our group again.  It will be kind of nice not being the new one for a change. I don't think she is going to be staying long, something about Kyle training her some. So far I think he's a pretty good trainer.                         

We got another vaccination with some plastic thing stuck up our nose and one more shot.  I think we are done with that for awhile. I'm happy to report that Jack learned his lesson from the last time and he was much better behaved.  If he would just learn that it is easier to do it right the first time he would be a lot better off. 
That's it for now.

Jill

Sun was a great day! I got to spend some time with two of my favorite girls.  First I got to go for a walk with Jill.  Since she hadn't been out for a walk before I led the whole way except when we got to the stream. Kyle wanted to see how she would do by herself.  I got to say I was impressed, she walked right through the stream. So I guess you're not suppose to jump the whole thing!  So I walked through the stream too and it was much easier that way.  We spent some time playing in the creek and munching some grass before heading back to the barn.


When we got back to the barn Jill went in and I got turned out.  I noticed that Laura was riding Kat in the dressage ring.  I let out a whinny and ran down to join her but decided against it since I would have to pass near the big boys. I ran down several times and at the last minute ran away.  Finally I got brave enough and went down and the big boys didn't bother me at all; they were too busy trying to find grass to munch on. Anyway when I got down there I just followed and followed Kat as she was being ridden.  After all that running around I got a little warm so I had a great roll in the sand and another roll and another roll.  Finally I decided that I would just eat grass instead of following Kat all of the time.  When she was done I followed her over to the bank jump & I followed her up and down like I did with Jackie the other day.  Kat & Laura tried to get me to go down the bank into the water but I wasn't too sure about that but I did follow them into the other water jump.  Then they tried to get me to follow them down the bank into the water jump again and this time I did it.  That was fun!!  The rest of the day I was out with the big boys and I'm beginning to get use to it, but I still spend a lot of time hanging up around the barn by myself but closer to the girls.

Yesterday was another good day as I got to go for a walk with Jill again.  But before we got to go for a walk I had to learn another rule. Apparently it is not acceptable to get all excited when Jill leaves the barn before I do.  Sorry, I just couldn't help myself !  Anyway we had a nice walk and did a different bank jump.  It was a little bigger than the one I had done before and I figured out that it was easier to jump up with my hind end rather than try to walk up one foot at a time.

When we got back Jill went in the barn and I stayed out with the guys. I actually was looking for them in the pasture and when I located them I took a canter down to be with them.  I guess they're not so bad.  At least out in the pasture when the make a face at me I have a lot more room to get out of their way.

We were way out in the back of the pasture when I noticed Jackie & Kyle coming down the hill with Pip (my new friend) and Margee.  I could believe my good luck, I hadn't seen Margee in quite awhile.  So I started following her around like I did with Kat the other day, but when I got too close I was chased away by either Kyle or Jethro.  That didn't deter me, but I was a little more careful not to get too close.  Then when Kyle rode Jethro I followed him around too.  I'm not sure why but I did.

That's me in the middle
I spent more time hanging out in the pasture with the guys than I did hanging up around the barn to be nearer to the girls.

Jack
  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jack & Jill Go Their Separate Ways

Wow, I can't believe that it has been almost 10 days since we posted last.  With the nicer weather everyone has been a little busier especially Jack.  I kept hearing about Jack doing this and Jack doing that and it was getting a little annoying; I could do all that stuff too if Kyle just had the time to do it.  So last Sun I showed them all.  I worked in the round pen with a saddle on while there were three ponies in the ring right next to the round pen without getting distracted.  Well maybe a little but there were three of them and they didn't look like any horses I had ever seen before. First of all they were all small and odd colors; one was black and white, one had spots all over it (I hear they call that one a POA, what does Ponies of America have to do with spots anyway?) and one chestnut pony with a pretty almost white mane and tail, I think they call that flaxen. Jack has never done that before.  Then when we were done I followed Kyle up and down the bank jump and into the water jump and I did it three times and Jack only did it once!  So maybe Jack is getting more training time than me, but I don't need it because I learn quicker and I don't get worried like Jack sometimes does.

The other day Jack laid down in his stall and rolled and rolled until he got cast.  I couldn't see what was going on but it sure was noisy. Jack &  Jackie both seemed a little concerned and she was happy that Jack was able to take care of things on his own. I don't think that would ever happen to me so because I'm smart enough to roll in the middle of my stall.

We all got something called coggins test the other day.  I'm not too sure what it's for but I hear we need to have it done and then a couple of days later we got vaccinations to help keep us from getting sick.  It wasn't bad, just a prick and I was told I was a good girl.  I don't know what the deal was with Jack but things didn't seem to go  smoothly for the coggins test and things got  down right ugly for his shot a couple of days later. Dr. Dave sounded really irritated and was making some comment about Jack being the instigator of our late night escapes and then said that Jack could go if he kept that up. Go, go where? What did that have to do with getting a shot anyway?  I don't know, but Jackie definitely wasn't happy with that comment.

Up until that morning we had always been very careful to be back in the pasture by morning and we only did it a few times.  Unfortunately for us they came out to the barn earlier than usual that day and we were busted as we hadn't snuck back in yet. That's when I heard that since Jack was the instigator he had to learn to respect the fence and that he and I were not going to go out together anymore so we couldn't get into trouble.  I thought that last part was a little extreme but at least I got to stay with Kat & Margee.  I do feel kind of sorry for Jack though.  He doesn't seem very happy being out with the big boys.  Don't tell him I said so, but I kind of miss him. 

On a brighter note; our Jockey Club papers arrived in the mail today! So it's finally officially official if you know what I mean.

Hope it warms up a little, it's suppose to be spring isn't it?!

Jill


I think Jill is a little jealous because she hasn't been able to go for walks around the whole farm like me. It really is nice and I even got to go into the woods some more. I was much better about crossing the stream the second time and other than almost jumping on Jackie as I cleared the stream; I was walking right up there next to her, not behind her like I usually do.  We even practiced jogging in hand a little.  She said that I need to do that for the Future Event Horse class in May.  Since it is a class for future event horses I wonder if I get to show them how I can step right up and off the bank jump and go right into the water.  Jackie said something about Lucinda being impressed.  I guess she's some famous event rider who comes here for clinics every year and she has horses practice walking up and down banks just like I did but with riders on them.  I got to do the bank and the water jump again on Sun and it is a lot of fun.  I don't know what the big deal is.

Since it was a nice day and all the big boys were out in the pasture Jackie turned me out with them for a couple of hours.  It wasn't bad until they all decided to come back up to eat at the round bale that things got uncomfortable. They still aren't very nice to me and I decided the best thing to do would be to blast through the ribbon gate and just leave. Once I got out there all by myself I didn't know what to do so I just ran and ran and suddenly it hit me, I'm all by myself and I don't know where I am.  I managed to find my way back and just as Jackie was rounding the corner of the barn I ducked under the fence back into the pasture & she put be back in the barn.  Whew!!

Since I discovered that  it was pretty easy to blast through the bottom ribbon and duck under the top one Jill and I snuck out a few nights while Jackie was out of town.  Somehow Kyle knew we had gotten out.  He said something about leaving evidence in the back yard.  Anyway he put up metal gates and we stayed in until the other night and that was when we got busted.  Then we had the disagreement about the shot and then I heard something about learning respect for the fence  Somehow that fence that I usually just blast through zapped me when I put my nose on it.  I jumped back and trotted away.  I couldn't believe what just happened so I thought I would check it out again and I got zapped again. I decided that I better just stay away from the fence but that apparently wasn't good enough.  Jill and I aren't allowed to go out together anymore because we were getting into too much trouble together.  Not good, not good at all.  Thank goodness the training went well to save the day.
 
Today is the second full day out with the big boys and things aren't going much better.  Pip will play with me a little, Gopher usually ignores me,  Tintin sometimes chases me with his ears back and Jethro, well lets just say that Jethro is the boss for a reason.  So I spend most of the time but myself and hanging around the barn in hopes that I can go back in.  When the horses go out in the pasture I go over to the round bale and eat while I can.  Laura came out to ride Kat & I just had to give her a little nicker when I saw her and then I stood on top of the hill and watched her as she was ridden.  I can't believe I miss that cute little mare.

Jackie assures me that I will eventually make a friend or two and that things will get better when Jethro leaves in a couple of weeks.  They say he's going out for trial to see if someone wants to lease him.  Here's hoping that he won't be coming back.

Any way, the training was interesting today.  Jackie used two lunge lines on me today.  She called it long lining or something like that.  At first it was a little confusing and I almost got tangled up a couple of times but then I got the hang of it and I was trotting around the round pen and changing direction at the trot and being told that I was a good boy.  I like that ;)

One more thing, I don't know what Jill was talking about me being cast the other day;  I just got kind of stuck when I was rolling and I had to push against the wall really hard with me feet so I could get up.  Yeah it was a little noisy and to be honest with you I was a little afraid that I wouldn't be able to get unstuck, but I managed to figure it out.

I hope Jackie has time to take me for another long walk again; I really enjoy those walks.  Besides that; it will get me away from the big boy for awhile. 

Jack

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Training is Going Well

Jill Waking up from a  a Great Nap
Since Kyle is visiting a friend today Jackie decided to work with me to see if she could get me to 'join up' better.  We worked in the round pen for awhile and I guess I kind of did 'it' but she made some comment about Jack being better at 'it' than I am.  Doesn't she know that I'm a strong independent young woman and Jack is,  how should I say this ...a little needy?  I mean come on, while I was working in the round pen I could hear him calling for me.  If that isn't needy I don't know what is.

Laura came down to ride Jethro as I was finishing up in the round pen so I got to hang out and watch him go.  It was the first time that Laura every rode him and they looked pretty good to me, but what do I know?  Then we went back to the barn together, kind of, Jackie kept stopping me and telling me to quit stepping on the back of her boots.  Picky, picky picky ;)

It was a nice warm day and I took a nice long nap in the afternoon.

Jill

I enjoyed my day off but to make sure I got my grooming I rolled in the mud on both sides!   It worked, I got an extra long grooming yesterday.  Jackie was right the day off to think about all that has been going on with my training lately and I think I'm getting it where this training is concerned.  I think I had my best day yet!  We always do something a little different along with a review of what we have already done.  Today I got the saddle put on me before I was worked in the round pen.  I walked all the way down the hill with the saddle on like a prefect gentleman; no refusing to move, no trying to get ride of the saddle, and no calling. 

We only had to practice a little voice commands before I joined up.  Jill has this all wrong, it's part of being willing partners, it has nothing to do with being needy!  I was simply calling words of encouragement while she was working. Anyway after our short and sweet work in the round pen we went for a walk along the same route we did the other day but I was much more relaxed and really enjoyed myself.  In fact I even got to stop at the water trough by the stabling barn and got a good long drink of water. All was going well until we took a left and headed up into the woods instead of taking a right and going back to the barn.  The woods wasn't so bad, it was the steep short hill through some really deep mud and over the stream that I could have done without.  When we got there Jackie told me to wait until she got to the other side, something about not wanting me to jump on her and knocking her into the mud or the creek.  I don't know what she was worried about; I had no intention of following her.  Well Jackie was on one side of the creek and I was on the other, what was I to do?  I wanted to be with her and wanted to trust her, but I just wasn't sure.  I backed up and took out the slack of the lunge line and Jackie joked that she really didn't want to cross the creek and the mud again.  She told me to just come over it was no big deal.  Since I didn't plant all 4 and refuse to go like I have done recently she just patiently waited for me to figure it out on my own.  I was a little nervous sliding down the hill in the mud and when I got to the creek I took a gigantic leap and didn't touch a thing!  Jackie praised me and made a big fuss and said that was good enough for today. 

The rest of the walk home was pretty uneventful but Jackie kept complaining that I was walking on the back of her boots.  I don't know, it seems to me that if she has the same problem with both Jill and me; maybe she's the one with the problem and she's walking in front of our feet.  Just saying ...

When we were almost back to the barn I looked down the hill and saw Kat being ridden in the dressage ring and  I couldn't help myself, I had to give her a shout out.  But that was the only time I opened my mouth the whole day; much improved over the last time.

One other thing I learned today; I'm suppose to keep walking while I'm pooping.  You've got to be kidding,  I'd like to see her do that!  So rather than walk and poop; I waited until she stopped for a break & then I took care of business.  I did that twice.  Pretty smart huh?

It was not only a beautiful sunny and warm day; it was a good day of training and enjoying life ;) I wonder what she has in store for me tomorrow?

Jack

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jack "Joins Up" - Jill is Still Working on It

After a brief break from the training due to snow the training has continued.  Jackie has had more time than Kyle so I have been worked in the round  pen four times since the last post.  The round pen work has gone well but there have been a few problems getting to the round pen.  The next time we went to work in the round pen after a few days off we had to go through the paddock where the the big boys were eating hay & they all came over to visit.  I decided that I wanted to stay with the guys and planted all fours and when Jackie put pressure on my nose for me to get a move on I stood and my back legs to show her I didn't appreciate it.  Well I forgot that was against the rules and I got a reprimand and when I refused to go forward again I was made to go backwards.  I finally realized that it is better to just do what is expected of me and I walked down the rest of the way without further incident although I did call to the horses a few times.  After working in the round pen for a little while I 'got it'; I did what they call 'joining up'.  I wanted to join Jackie and I would follower her wherever she went.  When she stopped I stopped, when she turned I turned,  when she backed up I backed up;  I just wanted to be with her.  I'm not exactly sure why, but it was pretty cool. When we were done we went for a walk in the pasture and it was nice just hanging out together. So the session ended on a really good note, so I thought.

When we got back to the barn Jackie said if I wanted to hang out with the big boys so badly then she would give me my wish and she turned me out with the guys while all of my regular pasture mates were in the barn.  Whoa baby, I really didn't mean that I wanted turned loose with them and asked to go in the barn.  Jackie laughed and said 'you asked for it, you got it' and left me out with the big boys for a couple of hours.  She kept checking on me and I kept asking to come in because the boys weren't being very nice to me, especially that Jethro who kept reminding me that he was boss.  Finally I got to go back in the barn with my friends. Whew, glad that was over.

The next morning we were going to have another training session but this time I wouldn't even leave the barn because Jethro was right outside the door and I didn't want to get near him.  Jackie couldn't believe that I hadn't learned my lesson yet and was more than just a little annoyed.  She decided that I was going to have to figure it our for myself this time.  She went out the door and wrapped the lunge line around a post and put a steady pressure on my nose.  I thought of going up but I could have hit my head on the ceiling.  Once Jackie chased Jethro away I decided that it was safe to come out of the barn & I better move it along.  I stalled a couple of times when I had to pass closely by the other guys but I 'm learning the rules and walked the rest on the way down the hill with no incident until I saw something sitting on top of a round pen panel.  It kind of spooked me but curiosity got the better of me and I walked right up to it to check it out.  It turns out that it was the saddle that had been put on me a few weeks ago in my stall.  Every time I went past it I  wanted to check it out.  I 'joined up' quicker that day and then Jackie decided to put the saddle on me.  She let me sniff the pad before she put it on me and then the saddle; it wasn't too bad.  Then she sent me out to trot around again and OMG it felt funny and all I could think of was getting rid of it.  Jackie laughed and sent me forward and made some comment about me looking like a rodeo horse.  I got use to it and settled down & we called it a day.  We finished up with a walk around the pasture.  It all ended up pretty good and Jackie praised me and said how pleased she was that I didn't even whinny once!

The next day Walt (the farrier) was here to do the other horses feet so all of the horses were in the barn.  I went out right past Walt's equipment and truck without a problem.  I did let out one little whinny because I felt all alone with everyone in the barn.  Jackie reassured me that I wasn't alone because she was with me & she was right.  A good day in the round pen, only a few bucks with the saddle, spent a little time on the lunge line for the first time and an extra long walk in the pasture and I followed her right over a log.  A good day ;)

That bring us to today.  A little out of the routine to see what I have learned and to give me a new experience.  I didn't like the sounds of that, but so far Jackie hasn't steered me wrong.  Jackie came out to the pasture and put a halter on me and went down to the round pen while my pasture mates were still turned out.  I was walking very willingly and Jackie was pleased.  Jill followed me most of the way down and then ran back to the others.  That got me a little excited and I was firmly told that I needed to listen and then she talked to me in a reassuring tone of voice and helped me to relax and I was a good boy and got my face rubbed (my favorite).  Good work in the round pen, I wanted to start our all 'joined up' but Jackie insisted that I practice learning my voice commands for trot and canter.  I'm getting pretty good at that and no bucking with the saddle today.  Since the horses were in the pasture, Jackie decided to take me for a walk outside the pasture.  I walked right through a big puddle, stood politely while Jackie opened the fence and then closed it again.  Then it hit me,  I wasn't in the safety of the pasture anymore.  I started calling for my friends but I did NOT stop, I kept marching right along next to Jackie.  Jackie kept complaining about me getting in her space and screaming in her ear.  Sorry, I couldn't help myself, there was too much to look at and I was nervous. We finally got to a trail that was just on the other side of the pasture fence so I began to relax and enjoy the walk a little more until the ducks flew out of the pond.  Jackie laughed and reassured me that was normal and I settled right back down.  When I got to the top of the hill where I could see the other horses they gave me a little whinny to welcome me back, even Margee ;)  I had to go through the back yard and I walked right past the mini excavator without even talking a look. Whew, back to the barn safe and sound.

I was turned back out with my buds while Jackie cleaned the stalls then we all were brought in and Kyle took Jill right back out to work with her and Jackie turned out all the big boys.  For some reason that really bothered me today (hasn't bothered me before) and I made a big fuss.  I guess I was a little stressed out from the walk outside the pasture today.  Finally Jill came back, I got fresh bedding, took a good roll and everything was quiet again. I think I heard Jackie say that I needed a day off tomorrow so I would have time to think about everything that has happened that last few days.  Sounds good to me, but I hope I still get my grooming.

Jack

Well I haven't been nearly as busy as Jack; I have only been worked in the round pen twice.  I don't have any problems walking down to the round pen although I do have to be reminded to be polite and not get in too much of a hurry and get in Kyle's space.  The saddle was no big deal, no rodeo bucks here just a few kicks.  I must say I don't quite get this 'joining up' thing and when Kyle acts like he's part of my herd I act like I do with any horse who is trying to herd me around and I pin my ears and open my mouth.  Well that boy has some spunk, he came right back at me.  I have to respect him for that.  When he was visiting me at the feeder last night I reminded him to stay away from MY hay and pinned my ears and came at him with my mouth open and he put his arms up and accidentally whacked me in the face.  Whoa baby, that was a wake up call, he's a human not a horse; he's not going to take me food.  Boy am I embarrassed ... sorry Kyle; it won't happen again.

After working in the round pen today we walked back up to the barn a different way and we went into the water jump.  No big deal, I just followed Kyle in.  He tells me that I'm going to be a good event horse because I'm pretty brave.  Well I think I would have been a pretty good race horse too.  I just found out that my big brother Heisman Star, won a race the other day.  Way to go bro!

That's it for today.

Jill

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Let the Training Begin ... Round Pen 101

Jack here, I get to go first today because I got to work in the round pen a day before Jill.  Let me start by saying that this was the first time that I had been led that far and the first time that I went anywhere without Jill.  I had to go past the big boys who were out and I had to stand and wait while Jackie opened a gate and  then we had to walk down the big hill that was kind of slippery because of all the rain we have been having.  I stopped a couple of times to check everything out.  Jackie asked me to continue and I did and she told me that I was a good boy and she was happy I wasn't acting like a mule.  I don't know what she was expecting; I haven't done that mule behavior in quite some time.  She also seemed surprised that I wasn't calling for Jill.  I am almost 3 years old, what does she think I am, some sort of baby?

Anyway we got down to the sandy rings and the footing was much better.  Then I was taken into a round pen (didn't look very round to me) when after a couple of laps around the round pen I was unhooked and I could trot around.  Actually it was nice to move without worrying about slipping; I just wish I had more room to really run!  To start with I just trotted around and Jackie seemed really pleased with the way I was moving.  She made some comment about me being free in the shoulder and easily over tracking by 2 hoof prints.  I haven't a clue what she was talking about but she seemed pretty happy with it.  When Jackie's happy I'm happy ;)

After a little bit Jackie started pressing me a little more to change direction and canter some.  It seemed like a big game so I let out some pretty good bucks; the leap up with a twist.  Jackie was impressed, but she also seemed a bit concerned.  Not sure why.  All of a sudden I heard the mini ho starting up by the barn and I had to stop and watch it and for some reason I let out a big whinny.  Jackie laughed and after a little more work decided that I had enough for the first time so she hooked back up to my halter with the lead rope and we walked back up the hill to the barn.  I was much more willing to walk back to the barn, but I had to be reminded to stay out of Jackie's space.  Doesn't she realize that she's my security blanket?

The next day it was Jill's turn.  She didn't have to worry about gates and stuff like that because Jackie was there to close the gates while Kyle led her.  From what I hear she led down to the ring with no stopping and no whinnying either.  She was pretty good in the round pen but she really wasn't paying much attention to Kyle.  Apparently she wasn't ready to 'join up'.  I hear that is something that you're looking for when you do round pen work, I guess I didn't do it either.  I still don't know what it is, but when it happens I think I'll understand better.  Anyway Jill got hot and sweaty and went down to roll but she didn't get to enjoy it because she was too close to the fence and they were worried about her getting caught in the fence.  On her way back to the barn Kyle practiced stopping and starting with Jill because she sometimes wants to go too much some times.

Kyle had to go to work when he was done with Jill so it was just Jackie and me today.  For some reason I just didn't want to go down the hill today.  I don't know why but I just didn't want to go down the hill so I told Jackie by planting all four feet and refusing to move.  She asked me nice to get a move on but I stood my ground.  Well I guess that was the wrong thing to do.  She tapped me with the end of the lead rope and I ran in a small circle and stopped before I slipped and fell and I planted again and she called me a mule!#$@ I didn't like being called a mule so I went a few steps before stopping again.  This time she called me a cow and she said that she can play this game too and she just planted like me but with pressure on my halter.  After a little bit the pressure on the halter was getting uncomfortable so I jumped up in the air to relieve the pressure.  WELL ... I was told in no uncertain terms that rearing was against the rules and that I better shape up NOW.  I did as I was told but now I was upset because I got into trouble.  Don't ask me why I did it, but all of a sudden I found myself letting out a cry for help.  Jackie laughed and rubbed me and reassured me that it's not big deal and I should chill out.  Easy for her to say.

By the time I got to the round pen I was already mentally whooped so Jackie took it easy on me.  She shot a video of me but I hear it didn't turn out maybe next time.  She did manage to get a picture of Jill though.  What work we did do in the round pen really helped me to relax and when I was done Jackie worked with me on my leading, backing up and moving when I was asked.  We practiced that ALL the way up the hill.  I did not have to be reminded to stay out of Jackie's space and she was really happy with me and gave me lots of rubs and good boys.  I think she has forgiven for my earlier inappropriate behavior.  Next time I will be better but that may be a couple of days, more rain ;(

Jack

Jill - First day in the round pen
Well I must say that my behavior was much better than Jack's.  He's such a drama king sometimes.  I don't know why he made such a big deal about walking down the hill especially since he did it the day before.  Oh well, not my problem.  I thought it was a nice change of pace and a chance to move around on good footing.  I just wish there was good sandy footing in the whole pasture like there is in the round pen so we could really run.  I guess we wouldn't have any grass to eat if it was all sand but I'm getting tired of the rain always messing things up. Right now we're locked up in a smaller pasture so we don't mess up the big pasture. 

One more note; Kyle put a proper saddle today.  It was a little heavier but still not a problem.  He said that next time I do round pen work he's going to put the saddle on me so I can get use to it .  So far this training stuff is going pretty good.

Jill