Sunday, April 22, 2012

Double Dinah

Dinah has been coming right along in her training. She got her feet done last week and she also had a visit from the chiropractor. In addition, my friend Laura came over and helped me work on double longing with her.

Her feet look great thanks to her great farrier Darby! She was very good throughout the process, and her hoof health is improved. I was unsure about putting shoes on her at first, but now I am very glad that she has the protection of shoes.

The chiropractor said that Dinah looks great and has gotten a lot of muscle since she saw her last.

The double longing was a great skill to work on with Dinah. Thanks to my friend Laura for helping me with it! The way that we did it was we put a longe line through the outside stirrup and attached it to the outside bit. We also attached a longe line to the inside bit and Dinah was wearing side reins. This method of longing is really good because you can basically ride them from the ground, with an inside and outside rein, but you can see the horse so it is easier to make adjustments. It is hard to keep contact with both longe lines, but it definitely was helpful to keep Dinah from falling to the outside and to help with her balance. When I rode the day after we double longed her I could feel a difference, especially tracking right, her more difficult direction. A great training tool I would like to practice more.

Last Friday I took Dinah on a big long trail ride with Jules. It was a much more technical ride than Dinah has done before, with 2 big downhills and 2 big uphills. She was fantastic on the trail, we trotted and cantered! At the end she seemed to get very tired so I got off and handwalked her for the last little part of the trail. I did this to make sure we didn't over do it and also to help her cool down because it was really hot that day. I am planning on taking her on this trail at least once a week until the competition because it will be excellent for conditioning. I was very happy with her behavior out on the trail.

I am hoping that anyone who has friends in southern California can help spread the word about Dinah and connect her with anyone who would be a good fit for her. I really like this little mare and I want her to find a great home. I think she will be a great trail horse and a wonderful arena horse with continued training. She is so smart and such a fast learner. I am taking her on a field trip to Morgan hill tomorrow to stay at a friends ranch, practice trailering, riding with music and begin to work on her freestyle.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Dinah has been doing very well over the past few weeks and we have accomplished many of our goals. I have been riding and longing her almost every day. I am still working on her balance and rhythm and trying to get her more consistent. At this point, the more I can ride her, the more prepared she will be for the competition.

I have also taken her out on the trail three more times and she handled it so well. The first time I took her on the trail with a woman named Jules and her horse Jade. We went on a short loop that went out the front gate on pavement, met a trail, and then looped back around the back of the barn. We mostly walked and trotted a little bit. Dinah followed Jade at first, and then we practiced riding side by side and at the end Dinah was even the leader! I think she will be a great trail horse. Jules was very impressed because there was a plastic bag on the trail, and she said her horse used to be very afraid of things like that, and Dinah walked past it without a second thought. She is very brave out on the trail. The only thing that concerned her was the metal grates that are on the road for drainage, which I thought was smart of her to be concerned about. The second time I went on the trail I went with another lady Jane and her horse Sheeba. We went on the same trail as I went on with Jules, except the opposite direction and Dinah was great. I even had to get off her at one point to move something off the trail, and I got back on her from the ground, which I had never done before and she was awesome. The third time I went out with Jules on a different trail and we cantered out on the trail. Again Dinah was very well behaved.

My friend Laura brought over her trailer so I could practice loading Dinah in the trailer. She followed me right in!! Such a brave little horse. I also have continued to work on getting Dinah to go over all the obstacles at mvr. I taught her to stand on the pedestal and also to walk through the cowboy shower. The cowboy shower is an archway with plastic pieces hanging down that the horse has to push through. At this point i have to move the pieces out of the way and Dinah will walk through, but I still think thats pretty good. :)

I have been working a lot on her canter on the longe and on her back. The left lead canter is getting pretty good, but the right lead still needs work. She really throws her shoulder out when she is tracking right, so I need to work on that and getting her legs aligned so she can be balanced. Turning right on the right lead canter is still a bit tricky, sometimes we get very close to the fence!

Overall she is doing really well, I really hope she will find a great home when this is over. She is a fabulous little horse. Next week she gets new shoes and Darby got me a dressage lesson for my birthday, so that is coming up soon! As always thanks for reading and enjoy your horses!!

I am going to list the requirements for the competition because a lot of people have been curious so here it is
Handling 10 points
Trainer must release and rehalter horse in round pen
Conditioning 10 points
Body condition - health and muscling of horse
Pattern class 40 points
Walk, trot, canter, change directions on rail, stop, back, pivot, lead change
Combined leading and riding 40 points
Walk trot stop back
Walk over log pole
Walk trot between cones
Reverse through shoot
Pick feet, brush horse
Load in trailer
Circle left and right
Walk over bridge
Lead change
Pick up and carry item
Drag item
At best competition - 90 seconds to show horse off
Rural trail 100 points
2 hours
Rocks, up and down steep hills
Dismount and mount on trail
Cross draw or bridge
Walk trot canter
Urban trail 100 points
Crossing street traffic noise
Live animals river beds crossing creeks
Walk trot canter
The top ten of these competitors will move on to a 3.5 minute freestyle competition judges on
Overall horsemanship 30 points
Artistic interpretation 30 points

It's a lot of stuff to learn huh?!?!