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Beth comes to visit.

So this week is a busy one for Dizzle. Nikki is in town and we are at Springfields for some training with her. Yesterday was a half and half, with Nikki riding first and then I lessoned. She was a lot harder on him this time, mostly because he is stronger now and she was able to ask more of him. It was pretty hard for him and he wasn’t always sure what she wanted of him since he was using himself in foreign ways. You could see he was frustrated at times. But Nikki is the best so of course he figured it out.

So earlier today, I had Beth Sabor of Holistic Essence come visit us. She is an animal communicator and also does massage. She I had her visit with Dizzle for a bit before his massage. He was so sweet with her. She said he’s is very happy with me. He is very eager to please and can get frustrated a little when he doesn’t know what is being asked of him. But that I understand him well and we are a good pair – he doesn’t feel pressured with me. He also said he feels pampered. =) (Of course I try my best to pamper him.) And that he wondered why I don’t visit him every day. (Unfortunately I can’t get there most weekends because of work. But I usually have someone ride for me – like Grace.) Then Beth went into showing me what I can do while I groom him to work his muscles and stretch him. There are photos below of Beth and Diz.

Then I had a lesson this evening. Great lesson! Lots of transition work. Like I mean lots. But it’s awesome. Diz rocks back and balances himself with all that work. We would walk over cavalettis, then halt, then trot away. Then we’d keep the trot and go over the cavalettis, then halt, then walk away. And repeat. Then we’d trot the cavalettis, halt, then trot a vertical, halt, then trot away. All sorts of combinations like that. We eventually got to jumping a course but every time he’d land on the wrong lead, we’d trot and pick up the correct lead right away. Tried to be as quick about the simple change as possible. At the very end, Nikki was like after the last jump, if he lands wrong, you are going to ask for the change. He landed wrong. It wasn’t pretty on my part. I needed to let go after bringing him back after the jump to allow him to make the change. So with Nikki coaching us through it, me letting go of his face and giving him a big kick on the left, he did it!! woo!! Super smooth. Didn’t even know he did it. Nikki’s cheering was my indicator. It was awesome. Great day. Tomorrow morning Nikki rides him again and then he goes home to Daybreak with the weekend to relax and ponder what we did this week. =)

Updates…

So riding has been going great with Dizzle. He’s super smart and when I ride, I dont feel like I’m even on a greeny anymore. The only thing that gives it away are the lead changes – or lack there of. But we are doing courses now and even did an oxer yesterday. Tomorrow he will go to Springfield Stables and we will work with Nikki until Friday. She’s back from MI and Betsy is off having her baby. So it’s good timing. I also just found out that Nikki got Geoff Teal to come do a clinic at Springfield end of October. So I’d love to do that with Diz. Slightly scary thought only because I was at the last clinic he did and Geoff can be a little scary.

Sidenote: Is it strange that I really like bathing and grooming Diz? I definitely take pleasure in trying to have a shiny well-turned out horse.

Hoping we have our lead changes worked out by then. Here is a pic of Diz in turnout yesterday.

Diz and I went to our first show together, and turns out this was his very first show ever. It was the PTS schooling show at Cross Winds Farm. I was unable to school him the day before because I had a wedding to photograph, but Grace was able to help me with that. We were entered in the Long Stirrup Hunter. =) Our schooling that morning was a little rough. Diz wanted to fall in real hard and cut off the ends of the ring and we were struggling with being straight and getting the strides. But it was ok. We were here for the experience.

Well it came time to show. And Diz was a rock star. We started with the under saddle class. My only issue was keeping him from getting behind the bit. Other than that, we did great and got a 2nd! woo! Then came time for over fences…. or teeny tiny x’s as it was long stirrup. But again, just here for experience. Our first round went great! I kept him from falling in, we stayed straight, and we landed on the correct lead so there were no lead change issues. We currently have lead change issues. Which will be worked on soon enough. Our only fault was that Diz knocked a rail down. How is it possible that he rubbed a rail when it’s only 6″ off the ground you ask? I dont know. But Diz is pretty good at that.

Our next round was ok. We landed on all the wrong leads and had to do simple changes at each end. Then our third round, our eq round that was unjudged, was perfect. We landed on all the correct leads, got the strides, stayed straight and didnt knock anything over. =) But it was unjudged so no ribbon. No ribbon in any of the o/f classes. But that’s ok. I was very proud of him. He was super chill and I couldnt have asked for a better ride from him. =) I’ve got some photos that Nellie took for me at the show below.

So last week we worked on picking our feet up over the small jumps and rocking back. We started Diz on a grid. Just 2 jumps to start followed by a 6 stride vertical. We tripped and trotted over that first jump quite a bit. But by the end, we were picking up our feet. Yay! The next lesson, we worked on picking up our feet again. Noticeable improvement right away. Diz remembers stuff which is awesome. We were picking up our feet right away.

We also went on our first trail ride last week. the temperature was awesome last week and the bugs weren’t too bad. So we set out on our own one night. Diz was a rockstar. He was on the buckle all the way down the driveway… which is really good because the bugs get really bad there and most horses flip out. But he was chill. He was super good the whole time. No spooking at all! He eyed up the garbage can, and there was a kid in a red shirt that came flying at us on his bike that make Diz do a little scoot, but other than that, he was amazing. Better than the horses I’ve ridden on the trails that have been doing it their whole lives.

This morning was Dizzle’s last day of boot camp at the 5-star Springfield Resort. haha… Automatic fly sprayer, auto water refill, super big stalls with windows, footing to die for and grooms that gave him the best care I know of. Don’t get me wrong, Daybreak is a really nice barn, but Springfield can put anyone to shame. It was a good trade-off for him though since he had to work so hard this week. Work hard and get pampered. =)

So this morning was Dizzle’s last ride with Nikki until August. It went really well. Nikki said he has learned so much in 3 days and is smart as a whip. She said he felt so different already compared to her ride on Wednesday. =) She talked me through her ride on him so I knew what she was doing and why. She also gave me things to work on this next month of July when I hack him. Of course I’ll be under Betsy’s care as well, but Betsy cant ride him and it’s great having this information from Nikki. So things to work on…

  • Getting him long and low but then also collecting him and working the transitions to keep him light in front. This will build his top line.
  • Get him to use that left hind to strengthen it.
  • Adding steps on the line to get him rocking back on his hind.
  • Out in the hay field, trotting and cantering up the hill and walking with halt transitions down hill.
Beto also gave me some tips for grooming. He pointed out the areas that need to be scrubbed really good. And to let them know if I need any help because they would come over. Nikki also said I can get some apple cider vinegar to go over his saddle area when I don’t bathe him. I also have Bigeloil that I can use. Let me tell you though… those guys can really shine up a horse. Dizzle is super silky right now. Love it. Here are some links to videos from today:
Click here – for cantering and a lead change
Click here – for cantering the line off the right
Click here – for cantering the line off the left

Field Trip!

So Nikki is on her way to HSBB for the entire month of July. And of course Betsy can’t ride right now due to the fact that she’s about to have a baby. So before Nikki ran off, we packed up Diz and took a field trip to Springfields for a couple of days. Nikki will get in a training ride or 2 and I will lesson with her on him. So today was the day! =)

From what I heard, Diz was much better about loading the trailer than last week. And when he got to Springfields, they put him right in the pasture to eat. Later in the afternoon Nikki did a training ride on him. She said he needs a lot of transition work. He listens well to your voice though. She also said he’s very weak in his left hind. So lots of pole work and transitions. He was a very good boy for her and he was learning right away from what she was telling him. Looking forward to my lesson tomorrow. Here are some photos of their ride.

Quick update

I hacked Dizzle last night. I’m getting better at figuring out the steering at the canter. So that’s good. =) I also did little bits of shoulder in and leg yielding. We actually had some real jumping going on in the ring too and of course Dizzle didn’t care. =) Very happy about that. I stopped at Target before riding and picked up some apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, and corn oil. After our ride I made him a little fruit/veggie salad. I’m thinking he enjoyed that. I’ll be out again to hack tonight after my lesson at Springfields. I’m hoping to take a field trip to Springfields next week before Nikki leaves for Traverse City for the month of July. I’d like her to do a training ride and also give me a lesson on him. Seeing as Betsy is about to have her baby, she can’t exactly get on Dizzle. So having some first hand guidance from Nikki will be great in addition to working with Betsy.

So yesterday was Dizzle’s first full day at Daybreak. I stopped in on my lunch hour to visit and see how he was. I got there just as they were turning him out. He trotted away once released, for about 20-30 feet, and then stopped and started eating grass. He was pretty happy out there. He had a huge grassy pasture all to himself.

After work, I went to Springfields first for a lesson with Nikki and Levi. it was a good lesson. They have all been good for a while now. =) But we did some ground work that is harder for Levi but he’s strong enough now that we can ask him to do it. We did some shoulder in, haunches in, and counter canter work. Then we did some jumping. We did more of a hunter course with outsides and diagonals. But one of the diagonals was an in-and-out followed by a liverpool 4 strides after. We struggled to get the 4 strides last week. But Nikki had us doing a variety of things to prep us for getting the strides. Long story short, we totally got the strides and I even had to hold him a little. =) Good stuff.

Then I was off to Daybreak for my lesson on Diz with Betsy. It was pretty lively there at first. Lots of Betsy’s people were there to welcome us and meet Dizzle. I tacked him up and we were on our way to the arena. Inside we had patti with one of her girls on Grace and the lunge line. Then there was Liz with a beginner on the other end of the arena with a lunge line. Then there were 2 or 3 others in there hacking. So there was a lot going on. Dizzle was a pro. No reaction to other horses passing or coming head on or too close. He also totally ignored the lunging kids and lunge whips flying. Everyone was super impressed that he was perfect having just arrived. Everyone is really excited that I found a really good horse.

So we did some work at the trot with circles and poles. Then we did some cantering. He was easier to steer this time at the canter. But I really need to use my body to make sure he knows where we are going. At the end we worked on trotting into a line of little X’s. Really had to leg him through the first X to make him canter away and over the next one. This will certainly be another great learning experience. I go from Levi, who I’ve got a great partnership going with right now, to the baby horse that is green. So I’m trying to channel my Gravano days. Although I was certainly not the rider I am now that I was back then. So it’s all new again. But awesome, and I totally look forward to accomplishing all the little things to come with Dizzle. =)