Equestrian Journey Blog Hop

Equestrian Journey is hosting their first ever blog hop!  The question is: what will you NOT do?

This is funny. ¬†I’m a really fussy, particular person, especially when it comes to Murray, so it’s hilarious that I can’t really think of things I won’t do with him, or horses in general. ¬†Though now as I write this, I am thinking of a few things that Murray has taught me to do (or perhaps simply reminded me are characteristics of good horsemanship). ¬†Writing this, I’ve thought of a bunch that are pretty standard: I won’t ride without a helmet, and I won’t teach my horse to rear, he doesn’t need the excuse. I probably shouldn’t ride without a vest, but I still have a little vanity. ¬†I won’t run or yell around Murray or other horses — SURPRISE! — yes, this is simply a face of good horsemanship, but I find it can be ignored when surrounded by really rock-solid horses. ¬†My horse is not rock solid. ¬†I do not do these things around him or others. I won’t stop my horse from peeing in the barn aisle. ¬†Why would anyone do that? So mean. Let the pony pee and deal with the clean up after. ¬† I won’t listen to music while I ride, and I won’t make excuses for myself trying anything other than my hardest.

quarterSo fussy that I made my own quarter sheet when I couldn’t find one to match my specifications.

Here’s one that might be a little off from other equestrians: I won’t put my horse into training where I’m not riding him. ¬†This goes more so for Murray than other horses, and it’s¬†not because I think I’m such a fantastic rider that I don’t need a trainer to fix things. ¬†I would be more than happy to have training rides, and if I’m out of the country or injured or something, of course I would put Murray in training so he stays in work. ¬†But if I’m able to ride him, I want to be riding him during training. ¬†In the end, I’m the one who needs to know how to handle my horse and solve problems wit him, and I don’t think that having someone else ride him for a long time does that for¬†me. Murray is smart enough that he knows who he does and doesn’t have to behave for, and I want him to behave and work well¬†for me.

ee721-download_20140428_192928Yep, I actually want to ride through this.

Last but not least: I will not be a tack ho. ¬†What!! What betrayal is this? ¬†A horse-girl who doesn’t want to hoard tack? ¬†You see, I only have one horse, and in my life it’s unlikely that I’ll have more than one or two at a time. ¬†As far as I can forsee, that is. ¬†And honestly, it’s just not my style to keep a bunch of stuff I’m not using around. ¬†I only need two bridles, three at the most, so why would I keep extras…. sure, my horse might outgrow things or need new things, but I’m not going to keep old stuff around just because. ¬†I’ll sell it (to fund the purchase of newer, better things!) or give it to friends or charity. Makes much more sense to me. ¬†And then, all my stuff will be nice and neat and clean. ¬†Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t have one of¬†everything that I need… I just don’t have multiples.

Now, as some others have done, one thing I will do that other riders may not.

I will insist on using positive reinforcement training to get Murray to a place where he’s comfortable with tacking up and for other tricksy fun things. ¬†Negative reinforcement and punishment hasn’t helped him so far — he’s had years of it already — so positive reinforcement it is. ¬†And on the tricks front, well, Murray is a very clever young man and if I can teach him to use his body more correctly at liberty, I’m sure that will translate to riding. ¬†I don’t care how ridiculous it seems, he likes it, I like it, and we have fun!! ¬†And I honestly think it improves our communication and relationship, so why would I not?

Wordless Wednesday: Pony Play Date

Wednesday is normally my jump lesson day, so I often call it Hump Day Jump Day. Alas, lessons were cancelled today for inclement weather — the rain was coming in sideways in the indoor! ¬†Because of this, of course, the sun was shining as soon as I got to the barn and stayed that way for a few hours. ¬†So T and I had ourselves a little pony playdate with Murray (mine) and Connor (hers).

Murray catching the big air.


IMG_7802 IMG_7803Connor doing the same.

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Please ignore that my horse is a filth monster.

IMG_7843Since I only ever ride the guy and never see him work, I’m fairly terrified that Murray is a hideous mover. Fortunately, he seems pretty cute here!

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Our barn has become beautiful lakefront property thanks to some much-needed California storms!!

IMG_7949My Ellie Swamp Monster in action in the drainage ditch.