About Me

My photo
USDF Region 1, United States
Rigitta is a 2005 Lipizzan mare,(Pluto II Dixana x Rheia), that I finally found Dec 2010 after a 2 year search for a Lipizzan. Many adventures and new found friends later, Rigitta and I begin our partnership and eventual dressage competitive career. Rigitta has not been started yet so this will all be from scratch just like my 2007 Dutch Warmblood, Cedar(Theo), has been. I am an over 50 Adult Amateur Dressage competitor. I am a supporter of the Nokota Horse and have owned several. ... www.nokotahorse.org ... Amy Dragoo is helping me with my Blog photos. Majority are from her. ... AK Dragoo Photography, LLC ... www.akdragoophoto.com ... You can follow her Blog here: http://akdragoophoto.squarespace.com/view-all-posts/ ... Also a shout out to Sarah Casey and Waltzing Horse Farm Berlin, New York where I got Rigitta ... http://www.waltzinghorsefarm.com/ ... Make sure you click on "older posts" at the bottom of the page to see everything that has been happening since the beginning of the adventure!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Long Lining Day 2

These are just at the walk.  We also have a great time trotting with me jogging behind, doing circles ,figure 8s, serpintines, transitions, she is fun and seems to enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Long Lining and other Fun Things Today

Anecia is taking a brief  "vacation"   (-:    and I am keeping Theo and Gitta worked for a week or 2 starting today.  Theo I can lunge and ride, but I will stay off Gitta unless someone is around to help. So Long Lining is on the agenda  to help with the turning and brakes training.

Well you woulda thought she had been doing it all her life.  There was a lesson going on in the round pen so the large ring was my only option and considering the ring was already occupied by a small child on a small pony, a stable apprentice on her 'free' ride and someone who trailered in with an OTTB I was a bit concernd how Gitta would handle all the commotion, but she said... Nyeh... they bow down before me... the riff raff I have to deal with... not even worthy of her notice.

I first lunged her in a corner both directions,  then on went the long lines and I lunged her from the long lines on the bridle, w/t.   No problems, she turned and whoaed like a champ on the circle.  Then off we went, just at the walk, with me driving her around the ring, turning, whoaing, standing still, going straight, doing figure eights, circles.  Steering towards, by, around and away from the other horses.  She was very attentive to what I wanted her to do.

I hadn't expected her to do anything naughty, but I had expected her to be confused and take a bit of time to figure out what to do.  I continue to be impressed with her mind and interest in doing anything asked of her.  Great work ethic and  Easy peasy, no muss no fuss.

I lunged Theo and then rode him and what a difference 4 months makes.  He  rode like a "real" horse unlike the baby I rode all last November.  He has been under saddle with Anecia for just 3 weeks after 3 months off.  Really working through his back and from behind.  Canter to the left was very nice.  But canter to the right got a big zero.  I couldn't figure out how to help him with that.  Anecia needs to give me some pointers.

So much fun working with both my kids today.  I am excited to have some time in the saddle with Theo this early, an unexpected treat. Anecia has him in training at least through end of May and hopefully through end of June and then I need to take up the reins.  Gitta will be in training through end of April and then I pick up the reins to continue her training, she is going to be very easy.

She has an off farm adventure April 2nd at the Blue Goose Schooling show to hang out and lunge in the warm-up.

 The adventure continues!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gitta's Tiara

My Niece Erin asked for a photo of Gitta's Tiara.  Once she is well started under saddle it will go on her bridle as the brow band

Gitta is undersaddle since Sunday the 20th.. but on a lead rope, until she learns to steer , go off the leg and whoa from the seat and hands.  Then she will go on the lunge.  No time table for anything so Gitta can let us know when she is ready to take next steps.

Mounting on/off on either side doesn't bother her or the weight on her back.  But she is very sensitive/goosey to the leg moving around on her and going off and on.  Same concern she had with the milk bottles.  Tincture of time!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More Bottles and Crupper ooh la la

Third day with the bottles and second day with the crupper.  Crupper has been no trouble for her at all and has fixed the sliding saddle issue perfectly.  Anecia's daughter Melanie, is going to bedazzle the crupper this weekend to match her browband.  If she has to wear one at least it will sparkle!

Still an occasional single minor issue, yesterday and today, with the bottles, but when I say No sharply she stops and goes back to ignoring them. At this point she is not scared or worried about them, she just gets annoyed if they really start to bouncing on her hips.

I tried a Wintec Isabella on her with the extra wide white gullet bar (36 CM) and it fit perfectly. YAY!  I will go with that for the time being as it is the most economical solution until she muscles up.  Next year I can decide if she needs something else.

Photo below is with 4 bottles, the crupper and the 34 CM Duett that is too small for her.  I had her wolf teeth out yesterday so no bridle for 2 - 3 days.  Anecia starts her tomorrow!! Big girl stuff starts.

And not to be forgotten is Theo  who is being a star.  I got to watch him work this morning.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More work with Strange things

I was trying different saddles on Gitta 2 days ago and one did not work out quite as planned.  It slid up on to her withers and the stirrups were flipping onto her shoulders and she had a melt down.  I had to go over everything in my mind until I realized what caused it.  I switched the saddle with the lunging cavesson and everything was fine. 

The next day I spent some time trying to find where and what the trigger points were and it seemed to be things flopping around on her shoulders.  With some slow work I was able to get her to accept my riding  helmut bouncing off her shoulder at walk and trot.  That was all I had with me that night.

So this evening I brought the milk bottles on stirrup leathers and went to the round pen. After going through the  plastic bag work again that she knows, I switched to the milk bottles.  Different sound, feel and look to them and she was not happy, so I started fromm the beginning with them in my hands and working with her all over her body until she accepted them bouncing off of her standing still.

Then I secured them to the front of the saddle on both sides and we started on a small circle at the walk, switching directions every couple of minutes.  That took about 6 minutes for her to accept that.  Her only reaction was to look sideways at them and freeze when they got to swinging.  Once she stopped those reactions,  then started with some trot steps.  After 20 minutes of slow work and giving her time to figure it out and think it through she was trotting both directions nicely.  During the 20 minutes she attempted a melt down twice but with a quick snap of the rope on the rope halter and a sharp "NO" she stopped and went back to being okay. 

So I found I can switch off the reaction and she goes back to business. 

After ten minutes of not reacting, trotting relaxed and forward switching directions 4 times I called it a day.

Lot's more work ahead with things hanging off the saddle!  But she is staying true to form and does accept things if you give her time and don't surprise her.

And we decided I should put a crupper on her to keep the saddle from coming forward.  The search for the right saddle will be another adventure I am not looking forward to!  My 34cm Duett fits the best but does still slip forward a bit.  Right now she is like a slippery sausage until she builds muscle, she does have a wither.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Julio Mendoza Clinic at Four Winds Farm March 12 - 13


I had the pleasure of riding for Julio Mendoza at a 2 day clinic march 12 - 13. It was held at Melanie and Tom Adam's Four Winds Farm in Whilte Hall,  Maryland.  I rode Melanie's 9 yr old Lipizzan mare Cassurina.

After not riding all winter it was a shock to my system!  Though I did go down and ride Melanie's horses 2 weekends before the clinic to get some feel for Cassie.

My goal was to spend the 2 rides understanding how to work with the baroque horse and how to get them to work up through the withers from the hind end and not be jammed up in the neck.  Julio works with all types of horses but does specialize in the baroque horse.

It was fun and Melanie always does a nice clinic for riders and auditors with breakfast, lunch and a cook out.  riders get a small gift.

Julio was a lot of fun and a very personable clinician and easy to understand what he wanted.  He also went out of his way to explain to the Auditors what he was doing and what results he was looking for.

Hopefully Julio can come back in May and I can bring Gitta.

Week 3 Training Update

Wow how time flies and I have been busy.  Theo and Gitta moved on Feb 26th to Second Nature Farm. Both went right to work the next day.  Gitta had her melt down in the first 2 days, Theo decided to wait until week 2.  But all is well now.  Anecia is doing all the work with Theo thru May at least and I am doing the ground work with Gitta this month before Anecia takes her for one month.

Week 3 and Gitta is lunging nicely in the big ring in side reins and tack. I have sat on her twice and tonight Anecia lead us around the whole ring at a walk for a few minutes.  No problems.  She is ready to do more.

Gitta is thriving on the work and the attention. She really has the "fire" in her belly to be a performance horse and has the attitude and confidence to get right to it. 

All we have been doing for 3 weeks is lunging and I sit on her once in a while. I love watching her on the lunge, she has dropped her head and has a nice long arch to it, is working more through her back.  I can change her tempo and do walk to trot transitions. She also has a nice balanced canter.  Even when she is in a nice balanced collected trot she is overstepping and has a bouncy suspension.  She floats with a capital F.

Not bad to get all that in 3 weeks, oh the joy of a 6 yr old horse that has it's brain in place and it's physical development matured!

Poor theo will need 2 more years, he is growing again and is 16.2 plus.  I swear he will be 17 hands.  My Mutt and Jeff horses.

An interesting thing about my relationship with Gitta.  I can go right out to the field and halter her with no issues.  Everyone else she plays games with.  Except for my 12 yr old nokota Cody, I have not had a horse bond to me that directly.

I feel that the Magnesium has made a huge difference in settling Gitta and will continue her on it.  If she needs anything else I will put her on Depo.

So what is next.... 

She gets her wolf teeth out and teeth floated this Friday

Anecia is going to evaluate where she is next week and if she is ready to really have her under saddle training then it will begin from there. I think she is, but we will see.

I need to  find a saddle for her as the 34 CM Duett  Encore is too big. Dang.

She has her USDF and USEF Lifetime Numbers and I am waiting for the USLR registration papers to send to USDF All Breeds.

It has been very easy, she is very happy and content.