Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Heart to Horse Box Review

Since Cupid and I don't really have any training notes, I thought I'd do a product review on the mystery package  received in the mail this week - my sister surprised me with a Heart to Horse Box.  This is similar to the monthly subscriptions they have for snacks and beauty products just with horse stuff!  In addition to the products, each box makes a donation to a horse related charity!  My box donated to "Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue." 

The box included the following:
-Mrs. Pastures horse cookies: Cupid loves these treats!
-Cowboy Magic Green Spot Remover: Luckily Cupid's dark coat doesn't really show green spots, but it might be good for his sweat stains.
-Mane/Tail brush
-Wine Down hoof pick: It's a hoof pick and wine opener in one!  I'm not a wine drinker so I may regift it to someone who is, or just use as a hoofpick.
-German horse hair jewelry kit: Make your own bracelets or keychains from your horse's hair.  I'll have to try it out when I pull Cupid's mane in the spring!
-Wine bottle gift bag: It was a pretty burgundy with gold horses, and nice and thick good quality.  I used it to give my best friend a bottle of champagne.
-Wave Fork tine: This is kind of weird, it is a replacement tine for a wave fork pitchfork.  Since I don't have that pitchfork I won't really get much use for it.  The only flop in the box.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

The weather continues to be cold and rainy.  Though I have been able to ride consistently, we have been taking it a little easier.  We aren't really working on anything new right now.  Some days when the weather is particularly bad the horses don't get turned out, so I just try to get Cupid out of the stall and moving a little.  He remains pretty lazy even when he's been locked inside! 
We need to suit up in our rain gear just to get to the covered arena!

Yesterday we got a break in the rain so I did a little bareback (with pad) ride around the property.  There were some very muddy patches, where I thought to myself please don't let me fall off right here into this mud pit.  Luckily I didn't.  Cupid had one little spook, I think the wind picked up a tarp and it startled him and he started trotting away.  I got him back to a walk and then stop, and made him walk back towards it a little, giving him lots of pats.

Today we had a flatwork lesson.  Mainly worked on our canter transitions and leads.  My trainer also made me trot around in two point for a few minutes, a good exercise for my legs.  Apparently even in two point I let me legs slide back.

On Christmas morning I will go out to see Cupid and give him lots of treats and tell him what a good boy he is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Taking it Easy

It feels like Cupid and I have been taking it a little easier the past few weeks.  I thought if I moved him into the barn then the weather would stay nice to spite me, but that has not been the case.  Luckily we have the covered arena to ride in, but it's still not pleasant dealing with the cold and mud.  The pasture is becoming a bit of a bog, and there have been a few days when the horses didn't get turned out due to the weather.  Cupid gets a little stiff from standing around, but thankfully he does not seem to get hyper.
Nice and cozy
I hate mud!

Although I love the closeness of riding bareback unfortunately Cupid is just not that comfortable.  Our new bareback pad seems to be a good compromise.  Sometimes when I come out before work I'm pressed for time, so I just put the bareback pad and bridle on and ride him around the property for 20-30 minutes.  Sometimes I just put the reins directly on the halter, but lately we've been working on the contact with the bit and I figure that's something we can continue to work on even outside the arena.  With the pad I've even done a little trotting.  It also came in handy when Cupid got startled first by a mail truck that came whipping around the corner up the drive, and then a worker popped out of the hay barn with a shovel over his shoulder.  Cupid is not spooky, but he did shy sideways a little.  But he was good and didn't do anything too crazy, and the suede pad helps add a little grip!
Bareback pad

Monday, December 7, 2015

New Toy

We've had some very cold days.  According to my thermometer, some mornings have been in the low 30s.  Since it is supposed to be a very wet winter, I decided to move Cupid into a stall for the winter.  He will still go out to the pasture with his buddies during the daytime.  I got some toys to keep him from getting bored.

I was out of town for a few days, and my trainer suggested he ride Cupid while I was away.  I was hesitant because he hadn't ridden Cupid before and I wanted to be there the first time.  In the end I relented, though I was a little anxious.  I didn't want Cupid to be confused, or punished for something I inadvertently have trained him to do!  But it sounds like things went pretty well.  Our trainer said he focused mainly on riding with more contact and getting Cupid to accept it, since I have a bad habit of riding with open hands and loose reins.
When I came back I tried to focus on my hands and arms.  Cupid did seem soft, we had some nice moments.  But I have been riding incorrectly for a very long time so it is going to be hard for me to change!