Thursday, May 31, 2012


Camping for 2 days!!  Melissa, Kendall, Summer and I at Indian Creek.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Time with Kris - worked on moving the fore and hind from the ground, then the hind in the saddle.  Also played with the send on the circle.  Then rode up the driveway and let her leave on the trail between Jena and Sue.  She went alone and felt for Rio to hit a threshold.

I had Starlet for the lesson.  Starlet struggled to find a neutral and she worked hard to eat grass.  She got better and her mouth feels improved and less hard.  She's getting quieter in the bit.  We'll keep working on it.  These quiet sessions are doing her good.

Gem, for the first time since I've owned him (5+ years), called for us as we left.  He stood at the end of the pasture and watched us leave.  He was the there the whole time until we returned.  I've never, ever seen him do that.  I wasn't sure I understood it, but I thought it was probably because he didn't want to be left behind.  He wasn't calling for the horses and he wasn't happy when we returned.  So I finished with Starlet and pulled Gem out, tacked him up and took him down the rode.  He was happy and didn't think about home a single time.  It was so interesting!!  He wanted to go out and do something!

Monday, May 28, 2012


Trail ride wtih Gem and Jen on Oso.  Just did a loop in the neighborhood.  Gem was fanastic.  Finished with some jumping on Gem.

Then started working on online audition filming.  Z5 driving was a little rusty, but we got some footage for me to study.  I have a few things to develop with Z.  Lead by the tail needs to be more responsive.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Finally, the wind has calmed down.  I felt like I was getting a little sick, but that subsided today as well.

Rode Starlet.  Her mouth and feel with the bit were all but ruined by the person who took her for a few months.  I'm in repair mode.  Making a program of softness with the bit.  We did figure 8 until her mouth got quiet.  Poor girl - she's just thinking brace all the time.  She might be my dressage horse someday, but for now we've got to rebuild fundamentals.

Then played online with Z on the 45'.  Really focusing on the relationship and listening to her.  Her maintain gait needs practice, but otherwise, she's nice and soft on the end of the line.  I think we're getting close to filming.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Kris with her Billy Cook saddle.  Played with the send, also.

Rode Z for the lesson.

Played online with Z on the 45'.  Progress!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beginning of getting Liberty filmed with Z.  We have some things to address, but it was a great learning session for me as her human partner.  Jen was over and did some filming for us.

Monday, May 21, 2012


2 hours with Kris.  Went up the road.  Worked on figure 8 at the trot.  Played with moving the fore.  Then sideways from the saddle after leaving the property.  Rio struggled to move his hip to the left.  Hopped on him to help him figure it out.

Gem was a fantastic partner throughout the lesson!  so proud of him.  Did a 15 min dressage ride in teh arena afterwards.  Worked on light transitions and opening up the trot.  He did great.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Trimmed Ruby and Zari

Trimmed Z and played a short liberty session.  Very nice connection and great responsiveness.

Working on either connection, responsiveness or relaxation.  We had it all today.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Amazing day.  Connecting with Z, more ears forward than I've EVER seen.

Connecting with Gem and then jumping him for the first time over some of the higher jumps on my property.  I've always lacked the confidence to do it.  Big day for sure.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Lots of time with Z.  Building a connection!

Session with connection game, but modified from what I learned from Molly.  She's starting to consider asking questions.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Fantzy gets a great home!

2 sessions with Z

Connection game

Riding with contact and some posture

Sunday, May 13, 2012


a couple great days with Jinita at Nancy's.  Took Gem.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Prepping for Liberty filming


Played with Z in the round pen.  Looking for lightness and a connection.  Focusing on the shoulder and not letting it fall in.  Also practicing the draw... a LOT!

Trimmed Sky earlier this week.  He needed a good amount of rehab due to the time between trims.  He grows a lot of toe and had flared walls and laminae separation.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Phil checked:


Gem and Z needed some minor work.  Rain was good to go except for a hollowed out tooth that will probably crumble over time.  He didn't feel the need to pull it.  Fantzy will probably need some work done in the next round (6 mos).  Cowboy, Sky and Starlet were good.  Rio had a little work done.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Teaching a L3 student

Good session!  Worked on moving the fore and drawing the hind.  This student is very hard-working and has some nice things going.  Just a few holes to fill and they'll be in great shape for audtioning.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Level 4 Online with Z

It's been a while since I've played with Z online with good intention.  I've got the Parelli black string in my sights and I'm playing with Gem and Z to see who is more ready.  Z and I had a great session today!  We did selected canter leads from zone 5, sideways from zone 5 and very nice backups.  I started playing wtih getting her to jump 1/2 way over the barrel. That is incredibly hard for her!!  She can do it with a 1 ft high obstacle, but not a barrel.  I think she was starting to get the idea so we'll build on that.  We loaded into the trailer from the fender at a trot.  And I finished up the session working on the bow with her.  She's bowing all the way, so I'll transition that into laying down over the next couple sessions.  She's doing great.  Just great!  Probably ahead of Gem and I'll get to filming with her in a week or two.

I also got her feet trimmed.  She's exfoliating sole like crazy so I'm betting I'll be trimming again in 2 weeks.  Great time with her!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Endurance Season 2012 Begins!!

Rode the Kenlyn today with my great friend, Melissa!  The weather was perfect and the ride was even more perfect.  My horse is not in top condition, so I wanted to take it slow.  I got a very late start leaving the house and was hustling to get registered and ready to ride.  We left about 5 minutes after the group and ended up going the wrong way for about 2 miles (1 mile out, 1 back).  We lost 30 -45 minutes but we were both planning to have a low stress ride and didn't let it bother us.

The first loop on this 25 mile race is about 17.5 miles.  This was a lot for Zarah and felt guilty for not having prepared her better.  However, she got almost all A's on her vet card (B for gut sounds) at the midway vet check and she seemed ok.  I got her a good mash and water and hay and she ate for about 45 minutes before it was time to go again.  

She did NOT want to go again!  She was very resistant and we had to have quite a discussion before we got going.  Kholo was the same for Melissa, unfortunately.  Once we got going she was ok, though.  Of course, she hauled butt coming back in on the 2nd loop and we did lots of cantering so we could make it in time to get a completion.  For the first time in my life, I got the TURTLE AWARD!  I was the very last finisher as Kholo pulsed down a few seconds before Z.  

I would do it all again.  I had a blast with Melissa, I love being with my horse, the weather was amazing and the challenge was awesome.  I'm looking forward to a great 2012 of 50's starting in July.  Z and I have some training to do!  

I love my life.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kris trimmed Cowboy's fronts.  He was worried about the herd and was tough to get trimmed.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

30 minutes with Gemini

He was the one that wanted to be caught, so we went and played. I'm building up for Level 4 filming and he's doing really well. Worked on draw over an obstacle then backing straight to it, stick to me at all gaits in zone 3 and 4/5 and sending with just a suggestion. He's having fun! I need to film some today so I can see how he looks in each moment and what else I can do to keep him engaged. He's a blast.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Checking out Cricket

Today I spent about 90 minutes with a very well-bred Thoroughbred named Cricket.  He sustained an injury about 2 years ago and hasn't had a job since.  He's a huge and very cool LBI and I am considering bringing him home to train and maybe later rehome.  If he's as awesome as he seems, maybe he can be my dressage horse.  He's got some good scarring from an injury that may prove troublesome for girthing, but we'll see.

Kris got Rain trimmed today, too.

A new horse in the barn

Enzo arrived today. Enzo is a Humane Society horse who was rescued from a starvation/neglect situation. He is not fond of people, but hoping he'll get a better look on his face over time.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Riding around with kendall

So fun! Trotting, cantering, going down the trail a bit with Kendall and our mares. Kendall loves riding as much as I do!

Put a little touch-up trim on Z afterwards.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Teaching and Learning

Helping Chrissy and Kris, Kristina watched
sideways on the ground. both chose to improve distance (gave them the choice of quality, distance, speed)
then isolating the ends
ended with follow the leader with lots of bending

Great day!

Z was a great teachers mount. Love her.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Teaching a new horse/human partnership

Today I helped a boarder with ground work. She was having some trouble getting her horse to move his feet more than her own. I hope I was able to shed some light on getting things going better.

Quick session with Gem on the ground, then some undemanding time with grazing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Trotting the property

Me and Kendall. We planned for 1 hour of trotting. Rain was tough for Kendall today and I'm guessing Rain is having a tougher cycle (spring menses).

Trimmed gem and touched up Z.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Horses for stress relief

I took a new role last October and it's been quite a challenge. I travel nearly every week and I have tough deliverables and prep-work for important meetings regularly. I won't say I regret taking the role because it's been a good push for my career and professional skills. Last week, I presented to 100 people - a big challenge for me.

Subsequently, I'm more stressed out these days. Now that days are getting longer and temps are warmer, I'm getting my butt out to the barn for more than just feeding and an occasional ride. I'm reminded how helpful it is to me to take this kind of time with my horses. Riding loosens my tight neck and shoulders from sitting at my desk with tense shoulders. Riding helps my remember to breathe and slow down. Riding gives me immense joy, gets me smiling again. Connecting with one of my equine partners can heal the wounds of the day... or even the entire week. So grateful for my horses.

Tonight I took Miss Ellie out front to put some time on in the wide open space. She was a rock star. She was calm and easy - no brace. We trotted and walked. She was a pleasure and I think she enjoyed the new environment. I had Kyle hang out with Rain while Ellie and I did our thing (figure 8's, trot transitions, etc...). Kyle just laid across Rain's back and stood still, hanging out. I think he was feeling the sheer joy of a horse, too.

Then, for the first time in months, I played with and rode my big boy Gem. What a PLEASURE that was! He felt great! He was soft and offered vertical flexion with ease. He gave me great canter departs and nice soft sideways. I've missed that horse.

Ellie will go home in a few days and I then will devote time to Gem regularly. He's a star waiting to get his chance to shine. I'm missing dressage, but I've made the choice to focus on endurance this year. I just can't do it all. His hock can't handle the rigors of dressage, but certainly we have lots to develop and he enjoys the time spent. So happy I have him in my pasture.

Got two of his feet trimmed (the lefts!). My plan was to do all 4, but I did the front and rear left side and ran out of steam. I know better. Should have done the fronts.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Riding around the pasture - FAST!

Touch up trim on Z

Rode Z with Kendall and Rain in the front, then passenger at the trot and canter in the arena. She was full of energy and go today! She wanted to gallop everywhere. :) I can't wait for the endurance races this season.

Kendall did passenger lesson on Rain in the arena, too. She loved it and you could hear her yelling, "This is soooo fun! I could do this forever!" while cantering around. Love to see her have so much fun.

Gotta get Gem trimmed and do some fecal samples.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

walking and riding

with chrissy and kyle
cowboy, rain, z
walked 4 then rode 2 back
rode cowboy a bit
chrissy did great
kyle walked rain some (i think he and Rain were not getting along great)

lesson with kris in the morn
she and rio did 20 mins of passenger!!
great, great sideways
figure 8
mounting is improving

rode ellie - great ride
lots of trot and feeling her move out
rope hack, want to get back to the bit
she's ready for more

Saturday, March 10, 2012

coaching and riding

Kris trimmed Rain today.

Tougher day with Rio and Kris - so much wind!
The arena was flapping, but the horses did ok.

Rode Ellie, also. She did great with the distractions but was not as partnered up as I'd like today.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

6 miles with Z

It's time to get serious about conditioning Z. With my walking, I have a lot of opportunity to bring her along and walk some, ride some. Today, I took her for 6 miles and I walked 3 and rode 3. I walked the first 3, straight out from home. I then got on to ride back. Well, Z had a little more interest in going home than I expected and I ended up with a lot of horse under me! I had Deuce and the sun was setting fast. For a minute, I thought I had gotten myself in a jam.

I called Steve to come get Deuce as I was worried about it getting dark and cars whizzing by on the dirt road. I then went to work on Z partnering up with s-bends and sidepassing. After about 1/2 mile, she was with me and good to go. We came home in the dark, but the moon was so full we still had a shadow. Z was so great after the initial few minutes and I just love that mare. I asked her to trot some and she went straight into her ground-covering extended trot. Boy, that mare can fly!

I had boots on her fronts - her frogs are a little unhealthy right now. Hoping to turn those frogs around quickly with white lightening gel treatments, trimming and keeping them extra clean.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Come on, SPRING!

The weather finally gave us a reprieve today. It was warm (about 50) and only a little breezy. The snow is finally melting and the horses are starting to shed. I had a little pep in my step! I maybe did too much, as I was absolutely exhausted by bedtime.

Started with a short trail ride with Kendall and Chrissy. Chrissy and Cowboy left the property confidently, but unfortunately the country road sights and sounds were a little too much. We only went about a mile before we decided to turn around. Z was excited but responsive. It was great to ride away after a few months of indoor arena and riding only on the property.

I trimmed Z's fronts and Ellie's fronts. Z is struggling with some thrush so treated again with white lightening and managed her frogs. Ellie has a very flat foot but some good structure to work with. I didn't get to her hinds as she was having a hard time standing still with the herd out of sight.

I then rode Ellie in the indoor. She was full of energy and again, worried about the herd. She actually reared with me in the saddle for the first time. Surprised me! I brought the herd closer with some hay outside the indoor and we were able to have a better ride. We worked on the trot and circling and figure 8's. I thought she'd be going home today, but looks like she's here for a few more days. I will ride her some more while she's here. I want to build on the new attitude she found after yesterday. I had to hop off after the rearing and do some focused ground work. She worked up quite a sweat, but her idea of partnering with me was much better and she was ride-able.

After that, Steve and I fixed fence so I could re-open the west pasture. It's been closed due to down fence for 2 months. There's still 1-2 feet of snow in that pasture! This will be a huge melting week.

After all that, I had my 4 miles to walk for Avon training. I was so tired, it was more like a stroll. But I did it! Great day.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Got Rio and Cowboy dewormed with Equimax. Should have done this weeks ago. Realized today that I bought it but forgot to administer it.

Applied thrush meds to Rain, Gem and Z. All 3 need a soak - which is no surprise. The ground has been the worst I've seen it since moving in. So much snow and they are living in a small area, off the track. Need to do some trims and soaks this week.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A quick play on a windy night

Kendall, Rain, Z and I played in the indoor after chores tonight. I did a little groundwork with Z while Kendall rode Rain bareback. I played with FLC's and sideways. I hopped on Z for a few minutes bareback, but the temps were so cold we didn't last long. Short session, but fun with Kendall on her horse.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What a GREAT day...

Finally, some horse time.

Taught Chrissy and Kris together on Z. Sideways, figure 8, then riding.

Then Ellie with the bit for the first time. She was a little bothered, but we worked through it.

C'mon Spring!!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Coaching friends

12 degrees today... Oh my... that's cold

Some friends came over today and we played with our horses in the indoor. I coached them
just worked on "hunting for the answer" with the send. Then played with sideways toward with Molly, using driving game and motivating the hip toward. Amy was trying to use the stick on the opposite side of the horse, so I showed her the driving game (rhythmic motion to motivate) with body language asking the hip to come towards. She had it in no time.

I had Ellie with me for this time with my friends. Ellie is thin again! I thought she was putting on pounds, but today she looked ribby. I have to tuck her back in by herself so she can get plenty to eat. She did well with the group in the arena, but we didn't ride.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Legacy of Legends

I had a great weekend with Kendall in Las Vegas. We flew out to see A Legacy of Legends, a tribute to Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt. The event featured colt-starting with Buck Brannaman, Peter Campbell, Martin Black. It also showcased Betty who's a dressage rider (can't remember her last name), a woman who has mastered jumping and Jatin Lord, a reining performer. All the clinicians were students of Ray's and/or Tom's. Betty did dressage in a bosal, which was just lovely. Buck got a jumping lesson on a warmblood in an english saddle, which was a treat to watch.

Marting and Wade Black were especially impressive. Wade started his colt and by the 3rd day, he had the colt on a cow and was roping off of him. I was super impressed with his feel and method.
I will be going next year, but maybe w/o Kendall. She got a little bored and I only saw about 1 1/2 days of the 3 day event. However, Kendall and I had a blast in Vegas!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Trotting in the play area

What a great session! Ellie is becoming more and more confident and understanding! I had her push Deuce around tonight, too. That is very tough for her, but she started to get a small glimpse of what I wanted and tried her best.

We did lots of snakey bends and trot departs.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Leaving the arena and taking Z for a walk

Today, I rode Ellie outside the arena with Kendall babysitting. The weather and footing have been so tough for getting good work done with Ellie. We've stayed in the indoor most of the time and I really want to get her going outside of that building. I walked and trotted her around the outdoor with Kendall and Rain helping us out. Ellie felt good and ready for more. Kendall, on the other hand, doesn't have a lot of patience for babysitting. She really wanted to take off and cover some ground but Ellie and I weren't quite ready for that. Next time...

I also took Z on my walk today. We went 4 miles and Z was happy to just mosey down the road with me and the dogs. I'm hoping to get her on some of my walks and help get her ready for endurance rides this season. I have a lot of miles to walk, but I also need to get Z ready and fit. Hope I can figure out how to get both done together - at least sometimes.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Out go the LIGHTS!

Rode Ellie while I coached Kris and Rio today. Ellie was a great trainers mount. She's coming along very nicely.

For Kris and Rio, tracking their programs:
sideways #4
figure 8#2
passenger #1

In the middle of the lesson the lights went out. Luckily, everyone stayed calm. The generator ran out of gas! It was absolutely pitch dark, but it was great to see how calm we all stayed. It could have been a mess.

Kris trimmed Rain before she left.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lessons and Playtime

Today was a great day. Had a coaching lesson with Kris and Rio. They are making huge progress with every session. Today was mounting session #2, Figure 8 session #1, and sideways session #3. The next lesson is slated for riding.

Had Gem with me to coach Kris. He had a serious need for attention today! I tried to play with him while I helped out Kris, but it was tough. He gave me some gorgeous COD's though and a couple at the canter. We also did some nice figure 8's at the trot on the 22'.

Then I played a little with Ellie and we rode around the indoor. Chrissy was there with Cowboy and Kendall had kids over, playing in the sand. It's just been so windy that the indoor has become a place for playtime for kids AND grown-ups! I worked on Ellie's forward when asked and worked on trot. Her feet got stuck a couple times and I wasn't sure if she was worried or just not feeling energetic. Either way, I took it slow and tried to build the communication.

Kris got Cowboy and Ellie trimmed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Coaching and riding Z

Had a great day riding in the indoor with Melissa, Summer and Kendall. The wind was obnoxious and Kendall got a little worried and didn't stay on long. Summer rode her brand new mare (nice mare!) and I rode Z. Melissa and I played with yo-yo and building trot departs. I tried to give Summer some good tips and at the end, Melissa and Summer did passenger lesson at the walk and trot. Summer had never done that, so I hope she really learned something.

Z and I had some nice moments and I just had her in the rope hack. She seemed to enjoy being the chosen horse today. I need to get her moving and start working on her fitness.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday night riding!

Kendall and I ducked into the indoor for some Friday night riding time! I had Ellie and she was on Rain. We were going to ride out front, but the sun was going down so fast. I did ride Ellie for a few minutes in the play area and she was feeling great. But the sun was tipping it's hat so fast, we decide to head indoors.

Ellie did nicely and she's becoming very calm about the whole deal. Riding, mounting, the indoor, it's all becoming a breeze for her. I'm pretty pleased with her progress! Played with figure 8, follow the rail and backwards.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Playing with Gem in the indoor

Played with:

Figure 8
change of direction
stick to me from zone 3

He was very worried about being away from the herd in the indoor. He was listening and trying but very focused elsewhere. I kept him playing until he was calmer and more confident. Hopefully next time is better.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kime teaches at my place

What a fun day! I had a group of 5-6 riders in the indoor for the first time. The sand was just delivered a few days earlier and wasn't yet groomed. We used it as terrain and made the best of it. I started with Gem. He and I did not have a good connection at all. I was so distracted and sometimes I feel like Kime is extra hard on me. Being the host adds a tough element. I also was coping with a friend feeling left out and we were texting. It was just a tough morning. After a break, I pulled out Ellie. My goal was to work on colt-starting with Ellie with Kime's coaching. Ellie felt good and was dealing with the big group quite well. She was glad to be with Kade, too. Kime had me ride her as another rider would trot off in front of us. The idea was for Ellie's trotting to be her idea - following the horse in front and pulling her into the trot. I was not to ask for it at all. I had no doubt that this would work, but it was a tough lesson as I couldn't hear Kime well and we were following Lexi who was obviously giving Ellie "get away" messages. Eventually it worked, when we put Kade in front instead. Ellie's trot was forward and free. It was a bittersweet lesson, but I was glad for the time with the group and getting Ellie moving out like that. It gives us another thing to play with and progress from.

Fun day in my amazing indoor arena. I'm a very fortunate girl!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

More time with Ellie

She had a few days off because of my work travel, but today we went in the indoor and got some trotting work done. She's getting more balanced in the larger space. It started off a little slow because Sky was running around outside the arena and whinnying. Rain and Kendall were in the indoor with us and not sure which mare he was talking to. Either way, we had to ride for a bit and work out the worries before I asked her for trot.

She has a nice stride in the trot and covers good ground! It's a bigger trot, too. It started snowing while we were riding and the wind picked up a little. Luckily, that didn't cause much concern. I was happy with her progress today. We finished with some indirect and direct rein.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ellie's first Follow the Trail!

Rode Ellie in the indoor with Marla, Chrissy and Kendall today. Chrissy rode Cowboy a little, Marla led us around on Z and Kendall rode Rain. Ellie and I followed and sort of mimicked a trail ride scenario. Ellie did great following them and this was her first ride with other horses. She was calm and pretty easy-going. At one point, the herd outside the arena got restless and that definitely caused Ellie some concern. I hopped off to be sure we didn't have a huge train wreck with all the horses and riders inside. After things calmed, I got back on and rode her a little more.

She's doing really well and she's ready for the trail.