Hey yall!

Welcome! My blog is about 2/3 OTTB retraining and 1/3 newbie eventer (former hunt seat/equitation girl). Please follow along with my experiences, share insight, and enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Brant Gamma of Brant Gamma Photography came out to take photos of my horses this past May.  Here's some of my favorites!!! Thank you Brant, I love them! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 13th

My Chickerbee and me :) 
Chick and I took advantage of "No Hunting on Sundays" to trail ride around the new property.  We have "no hunting/no trespassing" signs posted, but I just get nervous about it so I try to refrain from riding out there when hunting season is going on.  But today we went out to ride around and explore some more.  He was great and we had a really nice time finding new places to ride.  Its so crazy considering how incredibly spooky he was in his younger days. I am still hoping to bring him back for one more show season next year.  He's such  classy horse and he is LOVING being back in "training".

I rode Lego next and he was great! We rode for probably 40 minutes or so, cut short due to darkness in the hayfield today. We again did a gazillion circles both directions, transitioning, changing directions, etc.  I used my mom as our cone this evening so she could watch and critique.  She suggested when I am going to the left that I make my circle larger, as he was leaning in on my inside leg so much (and I simply could not get him to straighten up).  We did that and it was much better, I supposed he just isn't ready yet for the same size circle as on the right. We'll keep working on it though! Each time I changed directions he got a little better, maybe its starting to sink in?

I did some work on the collected sitting trot, which still confuses him and I can tell he isn't sure about it...but I try to stay very positive and as soon as he collects and relaxes I praise him a ton.  At the end of tons of trotting in circles I took him out into the field away from everything and worked on large shallow serpentines.  To my surprise he acted like he was actually understanding what I was asking with the change of bend! It was awesome! I did just enough of those and then we finished up and cooled out.

November 12th

Fuzzy Chick after our ride
Lego was great on Saturday-we stayed with our plan of taking a step back in our training to really reaffirm our foundation of bending.  I know its going to be a while before he's where I want us to be and I really need to focus on being patient with him!! He has these moments of awesomeness when I get so excited ad start planning the next show we are going to do and how great it will be...but I need to keep my head out of the clouds and focus on what needs to be done and what else I need to teach him...which is a lot!

I am planning on taking him on a trail ride with one of my old friends in a few weeks.  I have been taking Lego out of the pasture ring and riding him in the open hay fields to get him used to not being confined.  Usually he's really good, no problems.  Every once in a while though I think he sees all the grass stretched out in front of him and remembers his turf course racing days and just flips out in excitement.  He's getting better as I ask him to focus on smaller tasks while we walk and trot around to get used to things.  If I keep his mind working (which isn't difficult to do...I am positive he wouldn't be able to walk and chew gum at the same time if he were human), he does much better.

I used my sweet yellow lab as a cone and made her sit in the middle of our riding area so I could do TONS of circles around her to work on Lego's bending and flexibility.  After our warm up we probably did a large lap or so around the area in both directions at the trot then brought it in for about 5min each direction of 20-30-40meter cycles.  I intermixed transitions as well.  I tried to really focus on my own position to make sure I was being clear in asking for a bending horse.  I have found that he really responds well to a balanced seat, keeping weight in the outside stirrup and staying up tall.  Of course, all horses do, but I just wanted to include this in case a few years go by and I get another new OTTB and I forget that. ;)

I rode Chick as well around the farm...but he's so perfect I don't have to go in detail about it :)

November 9th

Wednesday was gorgeous so I took every advantage of the nice weather to ride the horses.  I rode Lego for about 45 minutes.  After our breakdown this weekend I decided I'd take a step back and go back to our foundation of building up flexibility and roundness through bending.  I decided not to canter him, but to instead work on circles and bending at the trot.  He is still definitely more stiff on the left side than the right.  I have to keep reminding myself that I shouldn't compare him to Chick.  Its like a parent who compares their children....it doesn't really work and most likely sets you up for trouble.  I need to work on comparing his progress to where we were instead.  What is good for Lego, not what Chick can do.
So on that note, we'll take a step back for a few weeks and reallllly focus hard on bending.

I also rode Chick, though not for long as I had to get to work :(

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 7th

Our streak is over. We had this great streak going where Lego has been sooooooooo great. Until Sunday. He suddenly forgot he had any knowledge of having a left lead...!?! Seriously. So that ride quickly spiraled into a different direction from where I was thinking and we ended up having a little "come to Jesus" meeting. I had planned on doing some flat work and then popping over a fence or two and working on stride adaptations. Once we started having trouble with the lead we worked on that for the whole rest of the time. It was verrrry difficult to keep my cool and stay focused on consistency. He definitely was pushing my buttons! It didn't help that he was still pretty pokey and I was tired from some of my gym workouts. We finally succeeded and I cooled him out.

Ride time: 1 hr 15min

I also rode Chick, and he was super awesome...as always! :) He and I rode for about an hour.

{Lego was confused about why he had on Chick's cooler}

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I've been riding most weekends and Wednesday's on Lego, and often on Chick too.  We've done lots of conditioning and still have been working on bending, stretching, and relaxing while still moving forward.  As expected, that seems to be the longest process.  Lego is doing so great though, he is so willing and really loves his new job.  I think he still is a bit confused about where his competition is though!! :)

He loves trotting over poles and I try to do that as often as I can.  We do tons of circles and lots of changes of direction.  A few weeks ago we had our first time jumping (well, technically he jumped over the poles the first time they appeared in front of him, but this time it was over an actual jump).  We set up a small crossrail and began with walking over it, trotting over it, and finally cantering over it. He is doing so well with it.

Here's a video from yesterday of us trotting poles, cantering both directions, and cantering over a crossrail. He was a bit pokey-tired from his workouts this week.  Enjoy!

lego11/5/11 from k Tice on Vimeo.