This weekend our sweet Bear turned 1 year old! In addition to that I got to jump my friends young Berlin stallion. OMG so fun! He has a rocking horse canter and is a total blast to ride. Getting to ride him reminded me why I need to ride a variety of horses. Annie has a very very different way of going and if I want to continue to improve as a rider I need to get out of my comfort zone. You might be thinking that I own a variety of horses but since one isn’t under saddle and the other doesn’t jump I am not getting much experience on other horses over fences.
How often do you guys get to ride different horses? Try to do it as often as you can or stick to what you know?
I was going to tell you guys about my exciting weekend today but first I wanted to share a couple of awesome ginger horses that are for sale. One petite mare and a very solid gelding! If you know anyone if the market please let me know and I can pass it on to the owners.
First up is Annie’s full sister! She is 6 this year, stands 15.2hh, and retired from racing in Sept 2016. She has been restarted lightly and is being used in some novice lessons. She is RRP eligible and if she is half the star that my sweet nanners is you won’t want to miss out! Asking price $2,500.Next up is the 14yo Wunderstern. This big loveable gelding lives at the barn that I board at. I can personally attest to just how much of a gentle giant this horse is. He is a true steady eddy and is the same horse on and off farm, with and without regular work. He is schooling first level dressage and has show experience in dressage, hunters, and jumpers. At 17.2hh he could be suitable for a taller than average rider but I have easily piloted him around and he even gives pony rides! Check out his ad here for more information. Asking price $9,500.If you or someone you know might be interested please let me know. Happy Monday!
I posted last week about my DIY jump stick and a few weeks before that about using wine bottles as a unit of measure. This week I have been thinking about how you develop your eye. What I mean when I say that is knowing how tall a jump is without having to measure – or knowing about what a certain height should look like. Above you can see that Game Time MS is jumping the bejesus out of a 4′ jump.
Practice makes perfect comes to mind but I think there are also ways that you can easily determine how big something is – especially when you train yourself to recognize how tall most standards are – 4′, 5′, or 6′. Almost all of the standards at the barn I board at are 5′ tall with a few 4′ thrown in there. This means that the top hole is 5′ and it is relatively easy to figure out what height you are setting by understanding that each hole is 3″. Luckily this is transferable to almost all standards and now I am getting a bit better at gauging pictures as well – with exceptions because sometimes the description just doesn’t match.
- 5′ – Top Hole
- 4’9 – 2nd Hole
- 4’6 – 3rd Hole
- 4’3 – 4th Hole
- 4′ – 5th Hole
- 3’9 – 6th Hole
- 3’6 – 7th Hole
- 3’3 – 8th Hole
- 3′ – 9th Hole
A 4′ standard makes a 2’6 jump look bigger than a 5′ standard and vice versa. I normally try not to focus too much on how high the jump is but since I school alone so often I have to make sure that I am setting to height so that I am not just schooling 2’6-2’9 at home and then floored when the jumps are set for competition at Novice height.
think it is important to keep in mind that most standards are drilled for 3″ increments and not meter heights so referencing the above chart you might be an inch or so off occasionally.I think it is important to keep in mind that most standards are drilled for 3″ increments and not meter heights so referencing the above chart you might be an inch or so off occasionally. Novice is 2’11 or .9M and I have been trying to more consistently school 3′ at home this month.I need to break free of the grid though and see how we do back over a course at height again since our first show of the year is in 2 weeks and we haven’t been out since Feather Creek in October. In a magical fairytale land I would have the money to give a pro the ride on Annie and see if she could do the YJC 5yos but I certainly won’t be piloting her over 1.20m anytime soon so that probably isn’t going to be happening. A girl can dream though!
How have you guys developed your eye? Do you know how tall your standards are? Do you just let your trainer set the jumps and go for it?
Riding green horses is a lot like riding a really bumpy roller coaster. One day you are on top of the world and the next you can feel like you are in some kind of horror movie. Annie is definitely one that can throw you from a super high to a super low in a matter of minutes.
Jumping this funny creature literally makes me feel like I can do anything. Flatting said creature makes me want to simultaneously cry and die at times. After our last HT in October we started making breakthroughs. Annie started to become more consistent in transitions and she started to accept a more reliable contact (aka I started to ask for it with my leg on). That said I haven’t been able to schedule a lesson for literally months and haven’t really seen myself ride either. Video is your friend people. I am amazed by the things that I do and am not realizing until I see them in videos or pictures. Until I can get more regular lessons and my SoloShot arrives I plan to prop up my phone whenever I can.
That said when I look back to where I was just a year ago I cannot believe how far Annie has come. She is now the horse I don’t hesitate to let a 9yo get on, hop on after weeks of minimal riding, and I know that at the drop of the hat I can throw her on the trailer for a fun adventure. It is easy to get caught in the ruts when things aren’t progressing as you would like with a green horse but it is so important to be able to look back on your progress and recognize the small wins! Anyone else feel this way? It is an adventure but I wouldn’t trade the past year with Annie for anything!
I have now had my Do or Do Knot Rope Halters for a few months and I have to say that I love them. When Houston was a young twerp he lived in a rope halter as I felt that it gave me a bit more leverage without being as harsh as a chain. I hated having to tie it though and always went back to a normal halter. I started looking around last fall for a more convenient rope halter and found this brand among all of the other crazy priced options.
Price: $16 to $40 (basic no hardware all the way to a wrapped noseband, side pull rings, a crown snap, and a breakaway tab)
Review: When I saw the Do or Do Knot had rope halters with snaps AND breakaway tabs I knew I wanted one. Houston still sometimes needs a little extra reminder that he is not a big goofy dog on the end of a leash. I also was really intrigued by the option to be able to use the halter as a side pull. Lindsey, the creator, offers great customer service and worked with me to get the right sizing for each of my horses. Bonus is that the crown of these halters is somewhat adjustable so I can make my black halter work for Luna as well as Annie.
Another thing that I think is awesome is that you can choose from a variety of colors and size options to get the halter that works best for you. Additionally these halters are made with a really high quality rope that is smooth and comfortable for your horse.
Bottom Line: If you like rope halters but prefer the convenience and safety of a traditional halter you should check out Do or Do Knot. My halters have been very abused and hose off great. Not fancy but for a rope halter I think they are a great option!
Do you guys have halter types and brands you really prefer?
My barn owners always joke that they made me sign two liability waivers… I am not crazy really… But I do make my horses deal with a lot. Well adjusted citizens people – that’s what our horses should be!
Sometimes that is getting on my then 4yo TB bareback or getting on Houston bareback with halter. Other times might be when I attempted to plank on Annie – honestly not sure why that was even a thing I wanted to try.
Last fall I really wanted to teach my horses to go with a neck rope. I jimmy rigged my own by attaching the hook end of a rein to its own buckle and off we went. With tack and a bridle – I don’t have an immediate death wish! With Houston going to AL and show season wrapping up for Annie and then the holidays the idea went onto the back burner.
Then a few weeks ago Amanda shared a picture of Henny wearing his neck rope from Reins for Rescues and the idea sprang back to my mind. I finally made the purchase when Kristen sent me a coupon code she saw on instagram.
It will be slow going and who knows if I will ever be ballsy enough to actually lose the bridle but I am looking forward to getting my Navy R4R neck rope! Have any of you guys trained your horses to do bridleless? If so how long did that take for you to be comfortable?