riding horses in heat
Horses, Every Day

Breeding Season

Started a while back, full speed now.

The barn I’m at is a breeding barn.  Four stallions, with a total of four mares to be bred this year.

With the last colt sold before the end of the year, the rest of 2017 will be completely without babies/young horses.  That’s the first time I’ve seen that at this barn.  2018 will be different though…

broodmares in pasture

Breeding is done by AI.  At least one of the mares will be bred to an outside stallion, who has his own show schedule to consider and shipping times that have to work out.  Heat cycles have to be determined just right.  Having a stallion at home makes that pretty easy.

barn reflecting in pond

The barn, in the pond.

Botijo is the sweetest stallion, always manageable, and gets to go see his mares often this month across the fence.  Prancing and talking to them.  With that, it doesn’t take long to see if any are at a “good”, or “getting better”, point in their cycle.

Lots of mane shaking, squealing, and high energy on his part.  The mares, at least last week, not so much…  No interest yet.  The only one, calling and posing and in general feeling conflicted..?

Gray mare.

Nope, she’s not invited to party.

riding horses in heat

Yes we still ride! Fingers crossed she’ll always be easy while in heat.

Thanks to pneumonia, not the flu, there’s some new fresh tweaks to the homepage, menus, and pages now.  Almost done and back out now!  Ride when you can!

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play day with horse in arena
Ground work

Cross Training

It didn’t go exactly as planned.

Thought she’d have a blast with this toddler tunnel.

play day with horse in arena

Instead it became the weirdest walking exercise.

walking horse over obstacles

Even the dogs at the barn thought it was a strange and nothing to play with.

We have a show planned for next month so maybe we should buckle down and focus on that.  Stop clowning around and wasting time 🙂 .  This time, she’ll go First Level Test 2.  Counter canter doesn’t sneak in until Test 3, so we should survive.

horse jumping over tunnel obstacle

It’s not necessary for the handler to jump too.  Who does that?!

Seriously, we’re going to practice All The Things for this showfocused.  (But first I have to get rid of this flu that has kept me on the couch for 4 days now!) With no distractions, so she can come in with the right mindset, settle in to work quickly, and pull it all off as easily as an Intro Level test.  (Right.)

No goofing off.

Just maybe some Horse-Jogging.  Yes, it’s a thing!

running with horses

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elinor yee
Every Day Training

One Of Those Sick Days

Suddenly couch stuck.

Some cold, or respiratory thing, or some other unnecessary road-block to fun.

Not sure who ordered it.  Sure wasn’t me!  Because I’m stuck at home for a bit, today is another photo bomb.

balancing the canter in the corner

not stepping under in canter

She has both filled out with muscle just a little, and gained some more power on the trot diagonal.  It doesn’t fizz out half way anymore.

increasing tempo in trot on diagonal

gray horse cantering on long side

After babying her for so long with just short periods of sitting trot, it’s time for her to accept working like that too.

Accept is the key word there…  Her go-to move is to immediately resist as long as it doesn’t feel exactly right to her.  If I ever needed a horse teaching a more following seat and hip joint, she’s it.  So, hmmm, thank you?

collecting the trot

Stay well, and have a fun weekend!

elinor yee

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cross bred andalusian mare
Every Day Training

Pictures As Promised

Here’s where she is in the training.

Or, full disclosure, here’s where she is for 3 seconds in the training!
horse trotting through corner

The canter is really coming along, which is so encouraging!  Right now our problem is to stay within the set tempo.

Earlier, she’d rather not bother to canter much at all.  Now, she’s gotten stronger and rounder over her back, and has decided it should be done with gusto, faster and faster.  Or yeah, not-at-all-thank-you-very-much-I’m-stopping-alltogether-now.

gray dressage horse cantering

Have to regulate it just right.  Last week, that seemed like it would take forever.  She hated it.  Then Friday I tried some (almost) serpentine work just for kicks and she stayed so soft and controlled through the turn on both leads.

Thrilled with her!  Paying NO attention to transitions that time.  Would have been too much…

trotting with young horse

improving trot on diagonal

Trying to leg yield both to, and away from, the rail.  Sometimes it works.

starting leg yield with young horse

Another great thing (but at the same time challenging for now.) is a huge amount of blow/snorting during the canter.  She used to be quiet, never breathing all the way through, not truly releasing and giving the feeling she was working in it.

Several rides she’s done so much relaxing and blowing that we completely fall apart and have to start over.  Very good problem to have!  Just need to figure out how to allow it to happen and carry on, earlier.

Fun times!

cross bred andalusian mare

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boy with horse
Horses, Every Day

Boys Filming At The Farm

Springbreak.  Boys came out to visit the farm.

The baby rabbits had grown up a lot in just a couple of months.  Bunny snuggling is always good.

holland lop bunnies and boys

Meeting the sheep and lambs that took over the stall for a few weeks, after the piglets moved out.

white lamb

Maybe not as snuggly.

boys feeding sheep

Gray mare likes this guy!

boy with horse

We had a good morning.  They promised to be good, not break anything, and take a lot of pictures.  Which they did – more or less focused.  Sometimes even of the horse.  Between macho selfies.

making a selfie

difficult taking pictures of horses

hard to take pictures in indoor arena

Plus pictures of grass and rocks.  And other pictures like this.

previewing pictures on camera

I really, really love my boys.They make me laugh every day!  Sure, they’re not all that great for video making yet.  Mostly because horses aren’t all that interesting to them.  Here’s their compilation – must view with sound ON.

Next up – some much better pictures from this schooling session!

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classic barn
Horses, Every Day

Spring Break!

Just when you thought you’d give up altogether if there’s just one more post with a pasture picture.

Here you go 🙂

horses shedding in spring

Couldn’t help it.

It’s not all that easy to get ridden pictures on your own, but you already know that.  Here’s what you get today –

Valiosa, before I butchered her mane again.  We’ve set a record for crazy mane cut now.  Poor thing.

long mane

The barn, late morning.

classic barn

It is spring break for my boys, so in a few days I’ll have some ridden pictures for you again.  It’s been a while!  We’ve continued to work on all the squiggly things.  Some are, possibly, less squiggly.

Valiosa has mysteriously improved her canter to where it’s now her best gait.  Not sure what happened to the trot.  The walk, just forget it.  Good times!

improving the canter

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riding out in the grass
Horses, Every Day

April, and we’re still here!

Rains continued in California in March – wonderful green areas everywhere for longer than usual!

I’m happy to be at higher grounds and able to train at this barn, so we’ll stick around for a while.

upscale barn

Continuing on with barefoot on all four – very careful with any “off-road” outings.  Just a bit here and there.  Very happy with the bare feet!  Getting there has been easy so far.  Twist my arm a bit and a write-up on the transition is all yours!

riding out in the grass

That ride in a borrowed bridle.

About the earlier shout-out on the Verbindend:  She’s had it for several weeks now, and yep, absolutely it’s on the list of approved bits to show dressage in!

So, finally, there’s enough tack!

Said no one ever.

dressage bridles on tack wall
These are not all mine. Promise.

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