Monday, March 25, 2013

Our First Ride Together!!! (Pic Heavy)

This past Sunday, March 24, I rode Tia for the first time!!! I did something terrible to my back Sunday morning, and was on pain meds to help with the pain, so I had Becca lunge her and ride her first.

We started off lunging on the line. She was quite full of herself and was being quite nasty to poor Becca, so we free lunged her. Becca was at one end of the ring and I was at the other. This way, she could haul butt around the whole ring and we wouldn't be chasing her! And haul butt she did! She was feeling her oats yesterday! Bucking and squealing and running around like a reiner! Crazy mare!!

Hi Mom!!!

The plan was for me to get on her after lunging...that didn't happen. With my back bothering me, Roo and I both felt it was safest, considering her recent bucking fit, that Roo ride first.

Then it was my turn! I have resisted getting on her because I truly felt that I was just to heavy for her. At 5'7" and 270lbs, I figured her poor legs or back would buckle and we would look like a cartoon character splayed out on the ground!

But, in actuality, we looked like this!!!!

I have lost about 20 lbs, and even losing just a meager 20 lbs has made me feel a whole lot better. I knew that if I waited to be the weight I wanted to be, 200 lbs or below, before riding her, it would never happen - at least any time soon. Everyone was very supportive about me riding her now. She is a really nice mare, and as was pointed out to me by Roo, she trusts me more then anyone else. She took care of me. When I was nervous about the whole thing, she just went right along with it and made me comfortable. She never once offered to be nasty or resist what I was asking of her. I now know I can ride my mare, and NOT hurt her.

I will start riding her every weekend from now on. I am going to start working with her on halter/conformation as well. We will be attending the first Mounted Wanderers Show in May just to get her used to the different surroundings and the hustle and bustle. We may or may not show in halter, it all depends on how are work goes and if she is mentally ready for it.

I hope everyone is having a nice spring...

March 25 - Snowfall

Nikki and Ber Ber attended the BEST show yesterday as well. Every chance I get to photograph anything, especially horses, I take it. So to the Equestrian Center we went! Here are just a few shots I got yesterday. I am thinking about offering photo sessions for horse people, but I am not certified and didn't go to school for it. Not sure how that would work out for me.

Nikki and Ber did an amazing job! Luis, her trainer, rode for her as well, as she wasn't feeling all that great. Hopefully she is feeling better today!!!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Tia's Journey - 6 Months

There are no words to express the amount of love and joy I have for this mare. She continues to amaze me everytime I am around her. I am starting to let my guard down with her and just let her be her, which resulted in her coming over to me last night and putting her head over my shoulder and letting out a huge sign. I wrapped my arms around her neck and just enjoyed the moment...which honestly was a first for her and I.

We have a special bond, or at least I could feel that we have a special bond. But last night was the first night that she SHOWED emotion and shared that emotion through contact with anyone. The girls mess around and hug her all the time, just to show her that contact is ok, and sometimes needed. She showed me last night that all that we have all gone through to save her, all the time and love and kindness was well worth it.

A few pictures from yesterday morning. I was sitting on the ground just hanging out while the girls and the goats munched on hay...well, I was before they all mobbed me!

Nosy Goat #1

Nosy Goat #2

Munching on Hay

Why are you sitting on the ground Mom?

Cute nose shot Mom!

I shall breath on your lens and make you have to clean it! Muuaahhaaa!!

munching with Mia

The Three Amigas

My pretty girl watching me leave for the morning. 

I put together a video compilation of Tia's time with me so far. I hope you all enjoy it!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Obstacles

I figured I should probably update you guys on a few things...

We moved this past weekend...I am pretty sure I could fall asleep standing up at the moment. Moving is probably one of my most HATED things to have to do. Especially with a 3 year old! Thank God for wonderful daycare! (If anyone is looking for Daycare in this area, Janie has openings. CTR Daycare.) We have everything moved out of the old house. Half is in storage and half is in the new house. We are about 90% unpacked. I got home last night and William had reorganized the kitchen, which made me very very happy! All in all, moving could have been a whole lot worse.

I got my release from unpacking Sunday morning. At 7am I was headed to the barn. Yay for manure! I was really looking forward to seeing Tia and having Becca work with her again. It was cold, windy and again, COLD, but we pressed on. Everyone ate breakfast and out they went. I love seeing them all gallop to the bottom pasture, even if the poor little goaties can barely keep up. :) After cleaning stalls and throwing hay, I moved onto my next project. Setting up the riding ring...

I bought 12 8' landscape ties, to use for ground and jump poles, a large tarp with tent pins to keep it on the ground, 4 orange cones, and a bag of balloons and ribbon. 6 of the landscape ties are for the jumps. I told the girls they could paint them any color they like...we still need to get paint. Here are the jumps.

I placed the tarp in the middle of the ring at the flattest point and anchored at each corner and on the long sides with the tent pins. Then I took the other six landscape ties and made them into a trail obstacle since we already have 3 ground poles at the other end for walking over. The balloons I am saving for next time.

So we started at the lunge. Of course the tarp was going to eat her...

She did jog over it eventually and even cantered over it. At one point, she ripped a seam at one of the corners and I had to re-anchor the tarp. You should have seen the look on her face! Ha! Here she is facing her fear and walking with me over the tarp.

After we played on the tarp for a few minutes, we went over to the horrific orange cones. As she was lunging she flung one cone, with her back foot, about 10 feet away and then tried to kill another one by stomping on it. So we had a small session on "Cones are friends, not enemies" (If you have ever seen Finding Nemo, say that line as Dory!) and this was the outcome...

Yes, I am that weird person that sacks their horses out with ridiculous nonsense. I find it helps them accept new surroundings and scary things a bit easier.

I then handed her over to Becca...

Tia has a bad habit of not really picking up her feet, so she trips every so often. To help her figure out she needs to pick her feet up every so often, we had her walk over higher poles than just the ground poles. You would have thought her feet weighed 100 lbs each. It was quite entertaining!

Then we were on to riding. Becca hoped right on and off they went. This was Becca's first time riding Tia outside of the makeshift round pen we made before, so she was a little nervous. I can't say that I blame her. It was extremely cold, extremely windy, and she is riding a very green little mare in a huge open ring when she hasn't been ridden in over a month. They both did amazing. Her hip is looking wonderful. No more of the wincing sticking I was seeing before. She is still a bit stiff in her back end, but I think that is just the way she moves at this point. They walked and reversed and worked on picking up her feet over poles, doing the trail obstacle, doing the cones and then finally walking over the tarp with a rider.

I am so proud of both my girls. Tia doing very very well and has gained all of her weight back. I am estimating about a 300 lb weight gain at this point. I also think she might have grown a little bit on me, which I am totally fine with. The taller the better at this point.

I am still not at a weight where I feel comfortable riding her just yet, even though everyone keeps tell me to just get on her. And that may very well happen. It all depends on how I am feeling that day.

I ordered a magnet for my car and a stall sign for Tia as well from Custom Stall Signs. They turned out amazing!!!

I will leave you all with a picture I took of Tia on cross ties before her session on Sunday. Such a pretty little mare. An sometimes..just sometimes, she looks a bit like a horsey angel.