From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Ride!

Today I rode Jet for the first time in years. It felt amazing to be on him again! After we turned him out with Elsa and Biscuit for a few hours, I decided to go brush him and get him ready. I check all my tack to make sure it fit him and luckily it did! Bridle looked amazing, saddle fit nicely, girth was just the right size...everything was already to go!

I gave him a good brush. Mom had to hold him since Elsa and Biscuit went back down in the paddocks and Jet was still up in the ring and he was getting anxious. After a while he decided to finally stand still and let me spoil him. I curried, hard brush, soft brush, hoof pick, etc. He was nice and clean! Yay!

I then tacked him up and just looked at him for a minute. I was finally going to ride my boy again. I was extremely excited and ready to hop on. I walked him around once, tightened the girth, walked him a bit more, tightened it again and stretched his legs. Then Mom gave me a leg-up and on I went!

We immediately started to walk because I knew he needed to get his mind working again. Mom tried to take pictues but she, unfortunately, isn't very technologically talented so I didn't get a lot of good ones, but I got a few! I will send them from my phone onto here in a few mintutes when I am done typing this.

We walked around in the ring. On the rail, circles, diagnols, serpentines, figure eights, anything to keep his mind busy pretty much. At first he wanted to stick his nose out and up but I worked with him and by mind-way through the ride I got a nice headset out of him for a few steps at a time! I was very pleased since he hasn't been ridden in a while.

We walked, stopped, walked, walked faster, walked slower, leg yield, bending, rounding... everything for just a few seconds at a time. I looked over at Mom and said, "Can I trot him once around?" "Sure! Wait! Let me take pictures!" "...Okay Mom." So I waied for her to get ready and then asked him for a trot. We went a few steps then he decided that it was easier to walk. I asked him again with my body and voice. I decided not even to carry a crop. If you can't work with your horse to get it moving how you would like it to then obviously you aren't strong enough, the horse is physically weak(or lazy like Jet), or just isn't ready. I do carry it occasioally when I need to but most of the time I don't even bother. Gotta build up those legs muscles! Anyways... where was I? Oh! I got him trotting again and he gave me a lovely headset right away but he wasn't collected. I was perfectly okay with that since he is so out of shape. We went around twice in each direction and we are going to add a bit more trotting every day to build up his muscles.

I gave him lots of pats and scritches and hugs! I walked him around a few times just to cool him out (even though he wasn't even warm. We still needed to relax his muscles) After I hopped off I gave him another good brush and threw his blanket back on. We took even more pictures and then I brought him back down. It was such a good ride and I am so happy to have him back!

I have pictures that I will post of us rididng later! :D yay!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Turnout and Shopping Spree!

For my birthday and Christmas, my aunt told me that she would take me shopping for horse stuff! So today was the day we set up to go because she didn't have to teach any lessons. So at 10am I ate breakfast and got ready to go. We left at 10:30 and got there at 11. I was immediately put to work picking stalls, sweeping, all the fun stuff. Not... but I didn't mind because I couldn't wait to go shopping!

After everything was done and the horses were nice and cozy we set off for the hour ride to SmartPak Equine. I have NEVER been to SmartPak so this was an adventure on its own for me! It took about an hour to get there but time passed quickly because my Aunt and I just talked and talked about random things. I really enjoyed that because we never really get to talk and even though she is my aunt I didn't really know her that well. I mean I see her every weekend but I never sat down and talked to her like this, or even went anywhere with just me and her. So I liked having this experience with her and I hope to do it again someday.

The store was on the side of the highway pretty much and there was limited parking so we parked infront of the big sign xD As soon as we walking in the door I was in awe at the number of things in the store! I wanted each and every thing but obvisouly I couldn't get them all. We started in the clearance section to look around for anything that caught my eye. I didn't really know what I wanted so I was just looking for things that I could use/need. I walked around about 10 times looking at everything and thinking about what I wanted. Blankets? Nah, I have enough. Fly mask? Nope, we have a bizillion. Stirrups? Have enough. I just couldn't decide.

Then I started to look at the apparel section. I only have tall boots because I outgrew my half cahps and paddock boots so I decided to look around in those departments for new paddock boots and half chaps. I found some really nice Saxon paddock boots that were on 75% clearance! SCORE! I got them for $10 :) My Aunt came over and started to look at the half chaps. Tall boots, pants, half chaps, and show coats never seem to fit right because I am so darn tall and skinny! We found a pair of really nice suede half chaps that were Small Tall! Yay! And on 50% clearance. Gotta love SmartPak! So we got those for $50. I love them! My Aunt and I continued to wander throughout the store. She came across a belt and asked if I wanted it. I looked at it and I loved it! It has a silver buckle and design around the belt. It was originally $44 but we got them for $22! We were on a roll!

I was satisfied for getting myself things so I decided to look for things for Jet. Hmm... didn't need bell boots, I have splint boots, all set on blankets, have tons of brushes. I was stumped. Upstairs in the clearance I saw a nice breakaway turnout halter but it was too expensive. $60 for that? Really? Anyways... I decided to look to see if there were any cheaper ones in the regular halter section. My Aunt found and amazing hunter green, adjustable breakaway halter for $25! A bit on the pricey side for me for a halter but we saved so much on everything else so we got it! We looked around a bit more and I was satisfied with what I got and my Aunt was satisfied with what she got.

We then decided to go to Dover so I could spend some Christmas money. It is only a few minutes down the rode so it wasn't a long ride. We got there and looked around a bit. I went to the Bargain Basement but there wasn't anything that caught my eye. I looked upstairs and wandered around a bit. I found a $4 mane brush that I am going to need to make sure his beastly long mane doesn't get tangled! My Aunt called me over to where she was and said, "I know what you need! A boot jack for your tall boots so you don't have to torture your siblings to take them off!" That was exactly what I needed! I never even thought of it! So I snatched that up for $10. I looked around a bit more. I looked at the saddle pads and found a nice white one with a hunter green trim for $18. I think green looks really nice on him so I got that too :) I kept on wandering and I decided to get a lead ot match his halter. I found a nice cotton one with a chain that I got for $9. Woot! I was all done. Didn't need anything else! We checked out and I guess the saddle pad was on sale for $10! Yay! More savings!

I paid $40 towards everything I got and I was so excited about it! I couldn't wait to go home and show everyone! I am home, and showed them. They were like, "Holy moly! It is like Christmas for you all over again!"


While I was gone, Mom turned Jet, Elsa, and Biscuit all up in the ring together to see how they got along. Elsa and Jet absolutely LOVE eachother. It is hilarious! Biscuit sorta half-heartidly charged at him twice and Jet was just like, "What are you doing there pony?" So Biscuit retreated and decided that Jet was a friend, not foe. All went amazingly and they hung out up there for a few hours! Biscuit would follow Elsa who was following Jet so they are all one big train! lol. Once the ground unfreezes we are going to take out the middle divider in the paddocks to make a big one! Yay!

I am going to go out and brush Jet now. Post later! :)

Comment please!

-Emily and Jet

Friday, January 29, 2010

First Comment and Follower :D

Thanks Sara! Sara also has an amazing blog that everyone should check out. It is about her and her horses Ben and Belle :) I read it everyday, several times a day! It is!

I will post pics of me riding Jet as soon as we get him in shape again! He has been a pasture pet for months so once he settles in it is conditioning time!

He's home :)

Jet is now here! Mom called at 4:30 saying she was on her way home with him so I got everything ready for him. Last minute preparations, such as filling water buckets, were made so he would be nice and comfortable when he got here. Got another call at 5:20. She was only 10 minutes away! I got a lead rope ready and sat at the door waiting to see the trailer pull up. Unknown to me, she was taking the other entrance to our rode so I didn't see the trailer... but I saw Elsa bouncing around so I looked outside and BAM the trailer was here! I ran down with the lead rope and said hi to him and clipped the lead on his spiffy new leather halter (with a nameplate that has him name).

I talked to him and pet him and mom said, "Tell me when you're ready!" "I'm ready!" and off he went like a gentleman. He looked around a bit and saw Elsa and eargerly walked up to her. I brought him into the paddock and unclipped the lead then walked out. I clipped the gate shut, then tied it with 2 lead ropes. He is a master at untying knots! He is separated from Elsa and Biscuit; well for now anyways. If all goes well they will all be out in 1 big paddock. Him and Elsa walked up to the fence and sniffed mare squeels. Wow! That's a first! Then, after he walked around a bit, they came together again and started scratching eachother's whithers! I think they remember each other :)

I then let Biscuit out of his stall (he was eatting his dinner) and let him go meet Jet. He was more interested in eatting his hay so I led him over to the fence so they could meet and Biscuit actually likes him! No squeeling, no kicking, not bitting. Nothing. That sure is a relief!

I will take pictures tomorrow and post them on here! I'm off to go back outside to pet Jet! I might post again tonight, maybe not.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jet is coming home TOMORROW!

My mom will be bringning the trailer to work tomorrow since she is closer to where Jet is than at home. So on her way home she will go pick him up and he should be here around 6-7pm. It will be too late to really do anything with him so I will just let him settle in until Saturday when I can reconnect with him! I will take tons of pictures on Saturday and I will be sure to post them on here. We need a picture at the top and one above the "About Jet" section. I will keep you updated!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just testing out to see if I can update my blog from my phone! If this works, you can plan on a few posts a day :)

Let Me Introduce Myself

Hello! Welcome to my blog! My name is Emily and if you decide to follow this blog you will get to know me very well. I am a horse-lover, always have been. I started riding when I was about 6 when I took care of my aunt's friend's pony for a summer and learned to ride it. From then on, I was sick with horse-fever! I began taking lessons a few years later and since then I have been with 3 or 4 instructors that have all contributed to where I am today. I mostly ride Hunter/Jumper, dressage, trail ride, English Pleasure, and bareback (fun stuff!). I love to ride with my friends and I am lucky to have a lot of horse-crazy ones where I live! I go to an Agricultural high school and plan to major in Large Animal Sciences next year. I am a straight A student (and plan to keep it that way). I love to enjoy my free time drawing, reading, riding, running, eatting, or blogging! I currently have two horses.

First, let me introduce is She's Something Else, "Elsa". 15.1hh grey Thoroughbred/Lippit Morgan mare cross. She is 12 years old and currently being trained dressage.

Now, Biscuit. Biscuit is my little pony that I will love and cherish forever. You can never frown when he is around. He is just too cute!

Now... I have to play the waiting game. My first horse (well, second if you count my old pony Mason, but he was a pony so technically not a horse) Jet is returning to me. We got Jet off-the-track when he was three years old, however we were told he was older than that. We broke him to saddle and my mom started to train him but felt that I should have him as my own horse. I learned alot from him. I also built up a ton of leg muscle! I can already feel my legs the pain my legs will have in the future. Lazy horse! Anyways... I trained Jet walk, trot as best as I could but and I cantered him once or twice but I was bored. I didn't know how to train anymore than I had. So, my mom felt that it was now best to give him to a new home. A wonderful woman came down to look at him and took him home! He has since been trained to Training Level dressage when he was not injured. He is a big goof ball, that's the only way to describe him. He is such a love-bug with an amazing personality to match!

The only reason I am getting him back is because my old Standardbred, Blue, did not get along well with Elsa. My mom was worried that if he got in with her again... that they would get into a very violent battle. I love Blue, I always will. He was a pacer, Jet is a trotter. I taught Blue how to trot but he wasn't always consistant. He also had pinfires, splints, and more so I felt that for the benefit of both horse and human, Blue should find a new home as a trail horse. He is now only 20 minutes away and my best friend lives right down the road from him and she checks up on him for me occasionally.

Jet should be coming home this weekend if all goes well! Today we got him a leather halter with a nameplate that says "Delphi's Spectator" next line just says my name. I like it and I am sure he will look handsome in it :) As soon as he comes home I will post pictures of him on here for everyone to see!