Monday, May 9, 2011

I Love the Arena!

I thought it might be fun to show a picture of the farm. The layout is pretty interesting, so rather than trying to explain it (most likely unsuccessfully), I'm going to use Google Maps to assist.

A picture of the farm courtesy of Google Maps.
The road would be on the left side of the picture, and you can see the house (complete with pool) and barn directly behind it. The big arena is quite noticeable, and even though it's close to the road, there's quite a bit of a drop into the arena. It's nice because the traffic is up above and not much of a distraction (unless someone honks, as one loser did today). There's a small, fenced in area that I have to walk through before I can get to the arena and I'm not really sure what its purpose is. To the right of the arena is the biggest pasture. The BO's horses, Quill and Trudeau, live in there and can walk up to the arena if they so desire.

The fenced in area in the top left of the picture is Lilly's pasture, and next to it is where Jack and Dusty live. Jack and Dusty have access to the other pasture below theirs, but it ends at the pond and we're not sure if Lilly would try to escape by swimming for freedom or not. So she has to stay in the upper pasture. The fenced in area near Jack and Dusty's pasture houses the round pen... and that's about it! It's a wonderful place to board. :)

Lilly seemed to be a lot more calm today. I think she's finally settling in. Jack and Dusty were hanging out by the fence and Lilly was off on her own grazing. She even walked over to me in the pasture when I went to bring her in for our ride. Until today, she didn't care less about little old me.

We rode in the arena for the first time today and Lilly did quite well. There were a few issues, but we were able to work through them fairly quickly and without much fuss. I wasn't sure what kind of horse I was going to have today, but I went out with a positive attitude expecting her to be a good girl.

Immediately after I got on, Lilly let out a big, loud whinny but I got after her right away. Quill and Trudeau came to the fence to watch us ride and that turned into a bit of an issue because she wanted to keep her eye on them. I made her do some serious work to get her focus back on me and really only had to work her like that for a few minutes before she was ready to focus again. I was quite pleased with how quickly she was ready to move on.

Once the boys got tired of watching us, they left. This was probably about half way through our ride and I heard Lilly start to sneeze. During the sneeze I heard a squeal/whinny start to come out. If she thinks she can hide her whinnies in a sneeze, she's sadly mistaken! I'm guessing this was because Trudeau and Quill had made it half way down their pasture and she wasn't happy about them leaving her. I got after her for that one too and it never really progressed past the initial squeal. That was the last I heard from motor mouth for the rest of the ride.

She was quite a bit better before the boys left the arena. Once they left, she got faster, had a lot more energy, and wasn't as focused. I channeled my inner Alex and used the opportunity to my advantage. We worked on cantering figure 8s, practicing simple changes in the middle of the circle. We did quite a few of them until I felt her starting to get tired and once she wasn't carrying herself very well we moved on. It is SO nice to have a big arena with nice footing. We have a lot of room to do figure 8s, serpentines, and we're not always coming into a turn right away.

Her trotting was super nice today. She was very soft and very round, and would slow when I asked and also speed up when I asked. We worked a lot on 'stop, soft, back, soft' and she was really anticipating the whoa. That has got to be the best exercise EVER for her.

We had a couple deer flies harassing us during the ride and she HATES bugs. We had a few issues there, but I'm going to order her one of those fly masks you can put under your bridle in case they're a regular occurrence. I was bitten twice on the back of the arm and it puffed up like a marshmallow.

All in all, a great ride today!


  1. I put Paj's regular fly mask right on top of his bridle. It's not pretty but it works just fine.

  2. Yeah!! Sounds like great progress. So happy to hear that Lilly is settling in well. I think you found an awesome place to keep Lilly!

  3. It sounds like you have really found Lilly's buttons and are not afraid to get in there and use them. That's SO awesome! Keep on with the great progress!

  4. It feels wonderful going to the barn... there's just this sense of peace and relaxation while I'm there. :)

  5. ROFLMAO "Channeling inner Alex"

    I'm SO glad the exercises we have been working on are helping!!

  6. I need a bracelet that says WWAD... What would Alex do? :)