Ranger Recap: things are coming together

Balance, bending, turns, canter from the hind end? It’s all starting to come together. Without trying to recap my entire lesson last night, all I can say is that I wish I had media. It was seriously a good lesson.

We started at the canter over “the pile of trash” in the middle of the ring. Basically it was a bunch of poles and a gate that was propped up at a 90* angle against the out of the outside line so that you could jump it as long as you prepared properly from the left lead. We did this on a canter circle and while I thought my trainer was insane (my thoughts most of this lesson), the jump wasn’t hard at all as bending, turning, listening to my leg, were all in Ranger’s plans last night. The only issue we started off with was finding the right amount of power at the base. I just needed to add leg/squeeze at the base as the canter I had coming in was fine (yellow line indicated on poor version of course below).

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A really bad attempt to recreate the course… 

Next, we warmed up a figure eight over the straw bale jump (orange line) to the plain vertical (burgundy line) on the right lead. Of course, by this point, most of the fences were hiked up to 2’9″ which got in my head for a few minutes. I struggled with this even though this was the exercise I practiced almost exclusively last week. I saw my distances yet the first time, failed to commit and added. Then I committed, got the distance, then committed the same sin. It wasn’t so much that I lost my pace, but rather that I lost my line? And let Ranger drift in a touch which caused the chip. Once I fixed that, the line was fine.

Then, the insanity began.

Because my trainer is crazy, we started with the trash gate (yellow) roll back to the our green oxer (green line) around to the straw bales (orange line) this time jumped the opposite direction) bending line to the vertical (burgundy).

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PERFECTION.

Holy crap. With the trash jump, we needed to turn before the in of the outside line which actually wasn’t a problem and the green was lovely. And the bending line was perfect. Ranger, on the other hand, has been SO BALANCED and on his hind end, that he through in a full change along the way. Seriously, this horse just keeps getting better and better.

We repeated this course one more time, adding in the blue outside line before calling it a night.

But, I can’t even describe how amazing this horse feels these days. I did mention riding someone else 1x a month because it’s probably good for me, but, I don’t want to stop with Ranger because I’m having so much fun right now…

Hayley Horse Designs

img_0476I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been doing some belt making — it’s been taking over my life lately.

Anyway, I’ve sort of gotten my act together and at least gotten the shell of a business facebook page up with some merchandise available for sale. I should have more once I finish with a my last large order.

Anyway, if you are interested, take a look and follow Hayley Horse Designs as I’ll be posting additional items there (and maybe I might be able to convince some people to eventually model the belts so I can have better pictures).

If you’re on facebook, like/follow the page, if not, just take a look if you’re interested. If you’re looking for a belt, let me know and I can certainly accommodate more colors than are currently available.

 

Catch up…?

I’ve been feeling a little burnt out lately. In a fit of emotion (anger? rage? annoyance?), I decided I was going to delete the blog because, let’s be honest, besides my 3 commentators, I can vent to myself in another fashion. Michele told me I couldn’t and to take a hiatus. I’m still not convinced that keeping this blog is worthwhile as I have little to say, but… be warned it may one day disappear.

Anyway brief life in review?

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The most handsomest there ever was

My husband, being an idiot, gave himself a hernia pulling part of the culvert out/tree limb off the culvert (culvert=waiting game). He now can’t lift anything until he was surgery. Consult with surgeon? The 29th. Assuming surgery is scheduled soon after, we’re looking 4-6 weeks AFTER that… So, mid to late October. So all labor/lifting is falling to me… Like stacking hay… Just laugh. Really.

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barn kitten I almost stole…

Last week was a staycation. How I needed it. It was also Pony Finals. 2 things combined meant I got to ride Ranger. A lot. He was sick of me. But I needed barn time more than I can explain. I have no media. But had lots of fun. Was planning on taking husband out, but that never happened. Oh well.

 

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my favorite

Subi’s hind leg/ankle arthritis has been getting worse lately and he’s been super creaky and stocked up in the mornings. Sometimes it goes down during the day, sometimes not but the creakiness is always there. He is now the proud owner of Back on Track quick wraps and so far they seem to be helping. While I don’t want him to become dependent on them, I also don’t care if they provide some relief.

As of an hour ago, my trailer has new tires (thank you mom). So, Batty’s vacation is OVER and we’re going to get working. Work may be ring work or trail work, but it will work of the light variety. Vacation is OVER. FYI, driving a trailer through Newark, DE during roadwork is NOT FUN. Especially when the road is full of cones, flaggers, and is one way thanks to paving… I tried to take it somewhere else, but they asked that I remove the tires before I brought it in and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around HOW I was going to haul a trailer in without tires that I hung up…

Anyway, that’s the current happenings here. There’s also a lot of belt making going on, but I’ll save that for another potential post when I have my facebook page/website up and running…

 

 

 

Customer Service.

This is a whiny post because I’m super spoiled as a result of certain companies’ business models and as a result, I have unrealistic expectations. But, when products arrive damaged, I don’t want to have to jump through hoops for exchanges or refunds AND I want my money back, ALL OF IT. Especially if you want to keep me as a customer. 

I think I’m spoiled by so many places with such wonderful customer service that when I have a less than ideal exchange? It leaves me going, “huh?”

You see, I HATE paying for shipping. I understand it’s a necessary evil, but I hate paying for it anyway… Still, what I needed I couldn’t seem to find at my usual go to places: Chewy, Amazon, Riding Warehouse, or even SmartPak or Dover (or BigDees where I ordered the supplement from). So, I ordered it from Jeffers.

NOT Batt’s response to medication dosing… 

You see, I ordered a liquid supplement from Big Dees for Batt (Respi Free) and it’s best fed oral via syringe. So, instead of using my typical large syringe, I decided to order a feeding syringe as recommended to ensure I actually go it down his throat (and not on me like this morning — most went down his throat… Or the morning some went in my mouth because he tossed his head up faster than I anticipated).

After arriving via slow boat from Alabama (not Jeffers fault, I could have paid for upgraded shipping, thankfully I did not), I sat perplexed wondering why the metal part didn’t exactly fit even after the portion for the needle was removed (basically, the threads didn’t line up–they were for a different size). I called, expecting it to be resolved immediately. I deal with Chewy all the time and lately, some lemons from Amazon have been handled the same way.

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NOT innocent. Was less than happy that he needed ventipulmin AGAIN and Respi Free this morning… 

The verdict? I could mail it back and one the received it, they’s send me a new one. This process could take up to 2 weeks (or longer considering the long boat from Alabama). Or I could keep the defective product. Eventually, I was offered a refund. I took the refund and was told there was no need to send it back because since it was defective, they couldn’t resell it. Great. Expect a refund. Several days later? Still no refund. I finally receive an email asking if I removed the metal cap for the needle. YES. This is why I called in the first place! The threads don’t line up with AND without that cap. Refund issued.

All in? I’m out $6 for shipping for a defective product that arrived broken. And had to buy a new one from another company (smaller, but it works).

I understand that they didn’t want to eat the shipping costs and someone had to pay, but… I’ve been spoiled by GOOD, wait, EXCELLENT customer service that this just rubs me the wrong way. I love paying money for broken products!

Thanks Jeffers… I’m not sure I’ll be shopping with you again.

On a related/unrelated note, anyone used a drench bit/halter?

Ranger Recap: redemption

I never quite figured out how to write about my last lesson and then instead, I wrote about all this other drama.

Long story short, I never quite clicked with Ranger 2 weeks ago. It had been a few weeks and everything felt off and I just was really hard on myself the entire lesson. I rode with a mother-daughter duo and they were great and commented (separately) after the lesson that they’d never seen Ranger so put together or go so well, but I just never on that lesson. Towards the end we sort of got it together, but I couldn’t really keep him packaged, moving from behind, AND not get my hands overly involved… I never felt like I got that bouncy canter either… So, I was either too slow or too fast. And then I never recapped.

I had the opportunity to ride over that weekend and used my water bottle and phone for some media so I’ll try put that in throughout this post even though it has nothing to do with this week’s lesson…

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So much pizza from a meet up with Emma and another friend the other week!

We were reunited with Mikey for this week’s lesson. I always enjoy riding with Mikey as we tend jump a little more AND get much needed breaks. In addition, I’m not complaining, we ARE challenged more.

We started off with a lot of time on the flat. Just trotting around, using the ring, remember (me) not to look too far ahead. I sort of have this problem where I twist my head/upper body trying to look too far ahead sometimes? So, I focused on trying to focus just between Ranger’s ears. Then we did a whole hell of a lot of sitting trot to get me straight. It appears when I DON’T fight it? I’m fine. When I do? hahaha… To the right, sitting trot wasn’t an issue, the left? Took me a while to get there even after a really nice sit trot the other way. One day I’ll learn. Cantering right was decent and I managed to package him up pretty quickly. Found pace, then worked on bending, impulsion, and all of that to make sure impulsion is coming from behind. Of course, every time I add bend, hand, etc., Ranger takes it as a cue to slow, but we’re getting there and I’m able to add pace more quickly/directly. The left was a little better, but more of the same.

We started off with a figure 8 of sorts, inside single gate around to the bending/broken line in a forward 7 (we did this continuously ~4x). The gate was fine the first 3 times, though around the corner, approaching it, Ranger had the habit of trying to “drop and drag” which forced me around the corner to do some adjustments. As for the bending line, I was turning a bit late for the in which made the line harder as  Ranger doesn’t exactly bend well — he’s about as flexible as a 2×4… On the 4th time through, Ranger suddenly required NO adjustment around the corner and I stopped riding (he also had been getting a little… strong? approaching the single and I had been checking to ensure that he didn’t drag me to the fence). As a result? Well, we took a superman flyer over the inside single… Who knew? Lol. After a halt and back, we restarted, I rode, and we rode to a respectable distance WITHOUT dragging me, and proceeded to once again, screw up the bending line (it was fine, but I turned late again and made more work for myself).

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After a quick break, we moved on to the following course of bending lines: straw bales to out of the outside line (7) around to the plain vertical to the in of the outside line jumped backwards (forward 7).

And this is how I nearly impaled myself on a fake tree and Ranger saved my butt.

You see, Ranger had springs. Serious springs. We jumped the first fence and instead of steering to the second fence, I decided to adjust my stirrup. Then I was approaching the fence I thought, shit, I think I need to go around. Let’s go to the right. No! To the left. No, that’s the standard! Then, Ranger, bless his heart, just said, “why don’t we just go over, you idiot?!”

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“mapping” my ride… Go make sense of this… 

So, despite me not steering, just carted my butt over a 2’9″ vertical… See, Ranger has a LOT of tricks (stopping is NOT one of them thankfully). The main one? Going around fences when you don’t steer. And here he saved my ass. Why? I have no clue. But, last night? That horse just took care of me… All the cookies in the world.

So, we started over, I kept my leg on, and we did the course with out ANY issue. Lol. No fear of impalement on second attempt. 3rd attempt? That 7 became a 6 and SPRINGS started doing the horse show strides..  he was feeling good. We had to hold for the 7 for our second line. We had power.

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We end with the following course: straw bales jumped the opposite direction (away from the out of the outside line) around to the outside line, around to our original bending/broken line (the out had gone up to some big oxer… to which I was asked if I was comfortable jumping it or if I wanted to stick with my other line… I decided to try), to the straw bale to the out of the outside line to end. Before I started, my trainer’s daughter asked if Ranger could jump that high. The answer was yes, but it made me laugh. Obviously he doesn’t jump high with anyone other than me and rarely jumps the large oxers. It’s funny though. 2’9″ now looks normal and while the oxer looked larger, cantering up to it, it didn’t look that impressive.

img_1143So, the course started off well enough, the straw bale jump was easy, though our change after was slow which made the approach to the line feel less smooth than I’d like, but it was fine. The line was good, but I did have to hold as Ranger was jumping the crap out of everything and covering ground like I’ve never felt. Then FINALLY remembered to look and turn a little earlier to that stupid line and we nailed that turn and line (though I had to remind him we weren’t leaving out a stride on a going line) to the oxer — which Ranger flew over because he was in SUPERHORSE mode  and continued to the final bending line — again moving up for the 6 because why hold?

Seriously, this horse. He’s amazing! I made the decision not to try anything again because I couldn’t ask for more. Was I perfect? No. But he had springs and gave 1000% and why try and beat that? All the cookies in the word.

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“a creature from outer space living in the dog bed, begging from a bell rub” — the lasagna

Hey blogland! I Need Help!

Hey blogland.

I was going to post about Ranger today. Instead, I have to see if, in the collective blogland, someone knows someone or something about erosion or the EPA or environment and could help me.

See, just about 8 year ago, I bought my house. And, turns out, there was a really large pipe in the back yard. Like 30 feet long. And there is no permit. The EPA found out (thanks to a neighbor) because the township didn’t care about it.

We found someone to remove it. Then he fell off the face of the earth. Then January we found someone else, but we needed to find a neighbor’s property for access. This is hard when we’ve never met the neighbor’s (back up to us at the edge of our 4 acres) and you have to drive to get to their driveway so it’s about 2-3 miles to their house by car. I mailed a note, but never heard anything. The one guys wife died so that might have been it? The other property the owner doesn’t live on the premises and there are tenants. Plus there is a minor issue of a STONE WALL. But, evidently this is my problem. Do you all know how expensive it would be to remove a 100 year old stone wall?

But now we’ve waited too long. And they’re mad. Because I should never have listened to their advice. Or ended up in the hospital nor should my husband (it was a bad spring and summer with 2 day long ER stays and 3 weeks of still being sick for me). But, I angered the PTB because I can’t be slow but they can wait 4-5 weeks to respond to me or not respond at all…

Anyway, if we can find access (we’re going to try and locate the neighbor and/or send a certified letter), the excavator can remove it. But, now the EPA wants:

Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.

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Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (or E&S Plan) is a site-specific plan consisting of both drawings and narrative that identifies methods which will be used to minimize accelerated soil erosion and sedimentation (deposition of soil) before, during and after earth disturbance activities.  It is a means to minimize the amount of soil (dirt) that could get washed into the stream during the excavation work that will be done during the removal of the pipe and boulder obstructions in the stream.

An E&S Plan could include methods such as a sandbag stream diversion, silt fence, filtersock, etc.  Whomever will be doing the work to remove the obstruction will be responsible for following the Plan.

Does anyone know who or how I get that done? Anyone have experience? Can anyone help me in anyway so I can stop have a nervous breakdown?

The Batthorse is BACK!

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Red ears!

After not having ridden in 3 weeks, the drought ended Friday. And then the storms came. 4 rides in 3 days? Who am I?

My weekly lessons on Ranger started back up Friday night (thanks to horrific weather and flooding on Thursday) but I’ll save that recap for it’s own post. Still unpacking a lot from that lesson.

Saturday, however, introduced a different ride.

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I’m a little confused. Why is a piece of copper in my mouth? Retired here! — Batt

After nearly a year off, Batt returned to work. My trailer still needs brakes and I’m still trying to figure out if he needs medication pre-ride but I’d rather experiment at home vs out on the trail or when hauling out. And to be honest? I’m still not sure. He coughed some, but not at the walk and really not at the canter. Mostly at the trot and mostly when he was winded or annoyed. Verdict still out.

Coughing above but then downhill 2 seconds later…

I’m assuming he’s resigned to his fate? Or trotting downhill as to the right…

However, cantering was a bit more exciting… a quick “attempt” to “buck” me off was the only fireworks in 2 days (videos are from Sunday’s ride, but he did the same thing on Saturday). Fat quarter horses can’t buck.

Much better. We need to work on straight but…

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So out of shape! We did next to nothing Saturday… 

Right now, I think he needs endurance more than anything. He’s still on steroids and I’m planning to try Respi Free and possible Air Power. But, he’s 100000% fat and out of shape… The heavy breathing I believe is more endurance than heaves.

We mostly walked with some trot laps and a few canter sets to make him happy. And took a cool down walk through the neighboring development to make him happy — he stared longingly at all the driveways he couldn’t explore and shuffled his feet. And in the end was soaked in sweat. Getting back in to shape is hard!

It’s even harder when your MEAN MOM makes you work 2 days in a row…

 

 

Insanity.

Not much to update on or rather not much I’m choosing to update on. Drama in my life right now is pulling all my emotional energy.

But, Batt is chugging along. My car (last Tuesday’s drama involved a failed inspection thanks to a rodent chewing through a fuel line[unexpected] AND new brakes[expected]) is back to being alive. I still need new trailer tires and now that Batt is sort of breathing, I want to start riding again. (Trainer is showing with clients so no lessons last week and this week)

But, since I don’t feel like updating on anything else, here’s a short little video of my idiot horse. Saturday afternoon we had a crazy storm. The humidity dropped. Then another storm was rolling in. Bugs got really bad and the humidity increased dramatically in about 20 minutes. Subi wanted in NOW. This is how we respond to having to wait for evening chores to be finished…

Idiot.

Ranger Recap: Angry horse and Brain=FRIED

3 posts in one week? WHAT?

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Batt doesn’t take very good selfies…

First off, thanks to everyone for your support for Batt. He’s doing OK though I heard him cough this morning… Ugh. I’m going to need more ventipulmin soon so I have a call into the vet for it. Hopefully I can get a refill today so I have an extra bottle in hand vs risking an emergency vet call this weekend (I shouldn’t need it until Tuesday, but I don’t want to risk it).

My lesson last night was…interesting.

We did a lot of work on the flat, really trying to get a nice, round, uphill trot that encouraged Ranger to use his hind end like he does at the canter. I started off throwing away the reins so that didn’t exactly help… We did get there in the end.

Then at the canter, where last week I had too much input, this week, I tried to correct

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Subi’s selfie game is MUCH stronger

that and didn’t give enough. Ugh. I can’t win!!! So, I did try to change that and ride providing a little more input and use more hand. Seriously. I can’t win! We also introduced more circles, riding a large circle into a small 10m circle at the canter which actually worked once I had the right amount of control and use of my outside leg…

Next? The most god awful exercise ever. Well, almost ever.

Basically it was 3 bounces. Flowers (2 ft skinny flower box) — large crossrail — flowers (again 2 ft skinny flower box) on a diagonal. HARDEST. MOST IMPOSSIBLE. EXERCISE. EVER.

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These boys like to go inside the second the weather is less than ideal.

We struggle with this evil thing forever as I fought to use enough right leg and both hands to keep Ranger straight. It took us about 10 attempts before we made it through the first 2 parts (we did manage to walk over the first 2 parts a couple of times too) but then still failed the out another million and a half times and Ranger was PISSED. I could tell you the point of all of this but I had such an ANGRY HORSE who I managed to try and keep from bolting and dragging, but… after we got a guide pole next to the out, we did get over it, but… he was ANGRY. And we almost bolted a few times…

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Acting innocent… And begging for peppermints.

From here we ended with a figure 8 over an inside single around to an our inside broken line (we went around about 5 times). The first time, my canter was too slow and while the distance was nice to jump 1, everything fell apart to the line and we got slower and uglier and angrier. I tried to get more pace to the first fence and I did, but the distance wasn’t quite as nice and I still screwed up the in of the line and the rest of it wasn’t much better. Continuing around, the single got better and I stopped thinking about the last exercise, but we took a flyer to the in before surviving the out… Finally we put it together for the last 2 times through and had the pace, which allowed me to focus on the turns which allowed the distances to be there.

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Ranger says, “see ya!” and Coco stays to see if I have more treats…

The humidity was awful and we ended at that point. It probably took about 4 repetitions before Ranger let his anger over the previous exercise go and actually started listening… If it hadn’t been so hot, I’d had cantered him around a few times just to get his focus back on me, but… Oh well.

It was just one of those days. Angry Horse days.

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Photo wall at work