Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Consistency Leads to Change

I believe my post title is actually a lovely play on words (I didn't even mean it that way). Granite can now do flying lead changes (ok, only from right to left, but still). And that's because I've been able to put in at least 5 rides per week (and even more pony visits) since Granite returned from summer camp with Aunt Jen. We have been working on transitions and lead changes and practicing over-fences, riding outside of the arena and working without stirrups. I'm seeing progress in Granite daily and progress in myself and my abilities. I am, of course, supplementing my in-saddle strength building with lots of cardio and strength training at home and trying to maintain a restricted diet to trim some unnecessary weight. Jen came by last weekend and gave us some pointers and took some snap shots:

Long and LOW

Stretchy trots

Some balanced canter. Still working on getting him soft though.

Jen introduced some "scary" elements to our jump schooling.
He was convinces that he was being asked to jump a GIANT monster.
I'll be procuring some flowers shortly to incorporate.

Saddle pads don't scare Granite... any more

 Schooling at about 2'3 - 2'6 regularly. Don't ask me whats up with my lower leg. 
It needs help. No stirrups at least once a week.

So the reason Jen came to visit this weekend was to drop off her trailer so that our lovely barn owner and I could do some practice with loading the stubborn beast and get OFF THE PROPERTY. To trails, and eventually, maybe... a horse show. We took advantage of it last night and hauled Jazz (BO's Paint mare) and G about 4 miles down the road to a really nice county park with 6 miles of bridle trails.

It took about 30 min to coerce the horse into the metal box.... but we got there.

Waiting to be saddled.

Jazz and Granite are ready to ride!

That's MY kid on an off property trail (leading none the less)

Took about 15 minutes to get him back on to leave the property.

And then.... THIS happened.

Top 5 scariest moments in my life. Looking in the rear view on the way home and NOT SEEING THE TRAILER. It had come unhooked and the wires and the left side of the truck/ left tire was keeping our unattached trailer with 2 horses in it from passing the truck down the hill.... I unloaded in the middle of the road. BO couldn't take her foot off the brake or the whole thing would roll. Some kind gentlemen stopped and helped me get giant rocks under the tires (while holding 2 horses on the side of the road) so the BO could move the truck to get it re-attached. The horses loaded back up after we got the trailer out of the road (only took G 5 minutes this time... can you believe?!). We made it home safely. The truck could have been in better shape but both horses were safe and absolute ROCK STARS! We were so fortunate! But, I feel SO guilty because the BO would never be borrowing the trailer if it weren't for the sole purpose of hauling MY large beast that won't fit in HER trailer. We think that the truck ball was probably just a bit smaller than the hitch and it came unhooked over a speed bump (that we took at a snails pace.... but nonetheless). Anyway, we are safe and the horses were fabulous. Crisis averted. Just a deductible to deal with.


  1. That's terrifying! I'd hate to know what the other four scary moments were. Glad everyone came out ok (aside from the bumper).

    Granite is looking fantastic btw!

  2. Wow! Terrifying! Reason #879 why the FIRST thing I did when I bought my trailer was buy a break-away module! ...and then weld on two SOLID break away chains! Sorry to see the damage to your truck, but at least it's not the ponies!

  3. I love the the jumping photos. You guys are looking great. The trailer thing is super scary!!! Glad G loaded up nicely again after that happened.

  4. Yikes! Glad you are ok and it does look like G-man was a superstar trail pony.

  5. Holy. Cow. What a terrifying moment. Glad everything turned out ok and just minor damage to the truck.

    Also, Granite looks FANTASTIC. I have just loved watching him grow up. He looks so mature now!

  6. Yep... It is going to take some serious xanax to get me to want to put my horse back in any trailer. What could have happened keeps running through my mind. How trusting that he willingly jumped BACK in the metal box after that! Good Boy.

    Thanks for the positive comments about my sweet boy growing up so nicely. I'm really proud of him. I know he is 5 and there are SO MANY 5 year old who are much farther along, but considering I've only paid for about 3 months of training over those years and the rest has been me and my horse-smart friends working with him despite busy lives, I have to say I think he is doing wonderfully!

  7. yikes! glad that you guys are all ok!

  8. Hey, trailer/truck nerd here. Its unlikely that there is a size discrepancy in the truck ball and trailer hitch. Those come in two sizes, 2 5/16" and 1 7/8. Anything hauling the weight of a horse, will be a 2 5/16". What probably happened is that there was an additional latch on the hitch to lock the trailer onto the ball. Seeing as it was a borrowed trailer, these nuances are very easy to forget. Please please make sure that you or whoever is responsible for hitching up knows exactly how to deal with that exact set up for your safety, your horses safety and the safety of the other drivers. Glad to hear it all worked out :)

  9. Oh my!! Glad to see that there wasn't anymore damage (other than the truck, but that can be replaced). I'd be interested to see how Griff loads now after that hairy moment.

  10. awesome photos... you guys look great.... glad to see that didn't end worse than it did

  11. hi from Italy, I'm a show-jumping rider.
    what a nice blog =)
    keep in touch: http://www.iconadeironchi.com