Thursday, December 10, 2015

Winter Survival Tip!


It's been a while since I blogged, but I hope to be better about checking in. It is such a great way to keep an eye on our progress as well. Here we go:

So it is that time of year again, winter is on its way. I am not blanketing Pippi this year, and boy is she hirsute. I have never seen her have longer fur, and it's adorable. The last few winters have been bitterly cold, so this year I decided to wait for the worst days and only blanket her during those.
But after we ride she is a wet and sweaty mess, and drying her even with the wool cooler takes forever. So, as I have done the last few years, I use a hair dryer. Its works quick and the warm air feels great for both horse and rider. I use the hairdryer to warm the bit, gloves and helmet before the ride, and a nice warm blast down my shirt is also quite welcome. I have also used it to refresh my do a bit and get rid of helmet hair. If you decide to get one, buy one with the cool button as after a while the heating element gets very hot, and you can cool it down by turning it off for a few seconds. Also test the bit to make sure its not too hot before you bridle your horse.

 Here is a video of the Pippi eyeing the hair dryer during our fist run this year:


What winter survival tips do you have? Please share in comments. Thanks

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015

What have you learned lately? #thinkingthursday

On the Pippi - Dressage Paint Facebook Page we have something I call Thinking Thursdays; a day dedicated to learning something new about our sport. This week I would like to see what you have leaned lately, so please go to the page and share your lightbulb moment and learn from others



Happy Thinking Thursday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pippi smiling on command (briefly)


Was able to capture (briefly) Pippi doing her smiling trick on camera. Wish she would do it as well as she does normally, but the moment I start filming.......




Hope this makes you smile as well. 


Friday, May 29, 2015

Change is my only constant

We are not staying at the current barn after all. After seeing the damage in the back field, and pondering it all over I decided that I wanted to move. So we are moving today, to a Dressage only barn with what sems like excellent care. I am excited! I am about to get my life back!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Update!

The stables where we have been since last fall has decided to close only part of its facility, so the initial announcement was false. They are keeping their exterior stalls open, as well as the fields and the two outdoor arenas. Starting in June, the facility will be self care only, which means that I will be mucking, and feeding on my own.
Another boarder and I have created a partnership, and will be sharing the load for our two horses. I love the facility, it is close to my house, and even without an indoor it is great. I hope very much that it work out, and I am willing to give it a good shot.

Fingers crossed!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Horses make....


Horses make love greater,
days shorter,
nights longer, 
funds smaller, 
clothes dirtier,
the past forgotten and the future worth living for.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mothering Day

I wish this day happy was for all the women who mother, not just the ones that are called "Mom." My own children have been lucky to be mothered by a bunch of great women at one time or another, you know who you are and I salute you and thank you for helping me raise two great people. I also want to give a shout out to all the "Bonus Moms," like my daughter, who give their love, energy, time and caring as a bonus parent. Its a tough spot to be in, and I salute you.

Also, thanks to all the horses that make us better moms. You, our therapists and stress relievers, are much appreciated.



Friday, May 8, 2015

Park that Horse!

When Pippi tore that Tendon a few years back (September 2012) I needed to keep her happy, but staying somewhat quiet. There were months of rehabbing, and since I had little knowledge of how to occupy a horse  that could not be ridden (not that I knew how to ride then) I treated her like I would a dog. (DUH!) And we played games.
One of the games we played was the "touch game". I would hold up an object, and when she touched it with her muzzle she would get a treat. I then placed it around the arena, and she would walk and find it and get a treat. We progressed to me throwing it, and she would follow. The hope is that she will one day bring the item back to me, but so far that is miss and miss. Another "game" was the "Park Game." In that game I make sure she is standing square, and then I ask her to park and not move no matter what. I tell her "Whoa" with my arms up, then I touch her on top of her head and say "Park" and walk away backwards. Every once in a while she may take a step initially and I have to do it again, but once she gets the message she stands still.(is this fail proof? NO, but most of the time she complies, she is a mare....nothing is 100%)  I can run around like a maniac, and she will stand. I can leave the arena and she will stay where I parked her. 

Ice pack losely strapped to hock. 
I can pack ice on a hock with polo wraps losely, and ask Pippi to park and she will not move a leg for 20 minutes!
On Saturday Pippi rolled too close to the fence, and in the process caught her hinds on the fence causing some gashes and some pain. Her left hock has had some heat in it, and so I have been forced to cold hose and ice it for the last few days. I am happy to say that I think the heat is caused by a golf ball sized bruise, but since her fur is bay there it is hard to tell. Either way the heat is slowly going away, and she has not been in any pain seemingly. That being said this is Pippi, so I don't trust her pain tolerance whatsoever as she is very stoic and wasn't even off with that tendon injury.

Parked

In the picture above Pippi has ice on her hock, wrapped with a polo wrap that is just tucked in. Even a small step would cause the whole thing to unravel, but she stood like that for 20 minutes until I unwrapped it and gave her the "release." She is not tied in the picture above, and doesn't even have a halter on. At one point she ran out of hay that she could reach, and gave me a look that clearly said "I' can't reach that so...." I kicked some over and she went back to eating. She took a good look at the contraption after I finished wrapping it on, lifted her leg but put it back after a reminder of "Park." 

I am so proud of my Pippi! The "park" command is really handy, and is a very good for a horses skillset. You never know when you might need to park your horse due to injury or treatment. Little did I know how great this skill would be, but I'm glad I didn't know what I was doing back then cause it turns out I really knew what I was doing. 
Ouchies! 





Thursday, May 7, 2015

Getting somewhere, one ride at a time.

After our last battle, I mean lesson, with Jennifer Roth, Pippi and I had our work cut out for us. We have got to get the tempo and bend necessary for Dressage. Pippi goes just fine until I ask her for a better bend and carriage, then she starts popping her head up and down like a pogo stick. It has been exhausting, and I was tired of constantly battling with her.

My nagging was just ticking her off, and I think in part that is due to my timing and aids not being clear. And that was made worse since her head bobbing was throwing me out of position a lot. So we battled, ticked each other off and got no where. I started toying with the idea of side reins, and asked a bunch of people (by that I mean ALL the bloggers at Horse Junkies United) and was given a lot of information. Most said "Try it!" and a few said "I dont like the use of gadgets." I had not been very clear in why I was asking, I just kind of said "side reins - yes or no?" So I pondered, and decided that I just didn't know. Then I received a message from one of our bloggers with a horse like mine. Stefanie and her awesome mare, Sandie, put my mind at ease. Stefanie told me why she chose to use the side reins to lunge in, and her reasons were the exact same ones I was dealing with. Sandie is a head strong little lady just like Pippi, and like Pippi she hates to be told what to do.

With mares like ours its a little like dealing with a man, they comply easier if they think it's their idea!

So I ordered a pair of side reins, and let them sit for a while before I pulled my Romfhs up and decided it was time. Keep in mind that Pippi has been ridden in martingales, the only one worried about this thing was me. I snapped them on, on the longest setting and asked Pippi to walk. Yeah, NO! she said. She was not going to go out on the lunge like that. So we walked side by side a bit, until she felt how they worked. Then she looked at me like "why did you make such a big deal about this?" and walked out on the circle on her own and basically started lunging herself. SHE WAS FINE!!!
Both sides of the donut reins are the same length. and they are on the longest setting. She is fine with it.

The picture was from when I first put them on, and she was convinced I had tied her up. Once she took a step she relaxed and was moving around fine. I felt bad, but Pippi didn't so I decided I was okay with this for now. I use them for 10-15 minutes at a time and Pippis muscles are strengthening without me on her back saying bend , bend, bend, bend, every few strides. So, you decide for yourself. Is a "gadget" not your style? Or do you think that the clear direction of a "gadget" may in some ways be kinder than constant nagging?

At this point our rides are easier, and more and more Pippi is saying "oh yeah I can do that" when asked to bend. I find myself sitting softer, and having softer legs, and staying out of her mouth more now that her mouth is not a constantly moving place. So for me it worked, for now......

Monday, May 4, 2015

To the max!

Just found out on May 1st that the barn plans to close May 31st! Yay - NOT! Such stress! I truly have no idea where I am moving Pippi, or how I am even doing it. Just want to scream!!!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Spooking Fool Acting Cool


Lots of noise at the barn tonight as they were working on the manure pile. Big trucks and two tractors and beeping and noise. I took Pippi in the indoor anyway and she was totally fine. 



I was very proud of her. She was curious but not at all bothered. Yay for progress! 




Birthday Banana

On your birthday its fun to try something new. This year on Pippis 10th Birthday she tried a Banana, and she liked it. Gobbled the whole thing down.

Three days later she tried another, and refused to open her mouth. It's okay to change your mind!

Changed my mind - NO bananas!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Selfies" are hard!


Pippi still has a little heat in her hock, so we are spending our time cold hosing and walking about. Today she kept putting her head over my shoulder giving me little hugs while we were walking about in the indoor.  Tracy over at Renatus' page takes great selfies, and I thought how hard can it be? (Tracy is adorable, Renatus is stunning, so that helps!) I hate pictures of myself as a rule, but I am trying to get over that. The pictures I have of my mom are very precious, and I bet my kids would like to have pics of me too ( I know my daughter would as she moans about the lack of pictures I take all the time!)  

So I picked up the iPhone and started trying to figure out how to get both Pippis face and my own in the same shot. The moment the phone came out, Pippi was no longer interested in hugging me. It now became a game to stop moving until I lifted the phone, and then quickly move out of range. I took a host of pictures, a sampling you can see above, I took 14 pictures, and I like 1!And that is not my favorite of Pippis. I don't see us doing more of these anytime soon......

Making some changes

I made the decision to change the name of the blog and Twitter to better reflect what I actually do: Ride Pippi in Dressage. Hope you like it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sometimes the right person wins

http://sukithehorseburnsurvivor.blogspot.com/

Above is a link to the blog for the winner of the saddlepad I gave away for Pippis Birthday. Suki survived a barn fire, and you can read all about it at the above link. I could not be more pleased to give a gift to someone. The Owner said that she hopes to get Suki under saddle this summer, and I am thrilled that she may be wearing my sparkly pad.

I hopw she doesn't mind that I stole her photo (if you do please tell me), but I just had to show this horse. Madam Suki in all her beauty:

What a stunning Lady she is - Amiritta

Monday, April 20, 2015

We have a winner!

The winner of the Pippi Birthday Saddle pad give away is: @amiritta!


I used the Random Number Generator and #7 won! Congrats! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pippi celebrates her birthday

Today April 19th is Pippis 10th birthday, and we celebrated like we always do with a song and some yummy fruit. 


You can see video of her enjoying her Apple on you tube. 

The birthday was not all we wanted it to be because Pippi sustained some deep gashes in her hinds Saturday. She rolled too close to the fence, and got her legs stuck between the boards. I hear she kicked the heck out of the fence and we are lucky this is all she did.
Poor Pippi! So today we spent the day cleaning and cold hosing and icing her legs. Thank goodness for the Ice Horse tendon wraps. I love them and have been using them creatively all day. 

I recommend them highly! 
Pippi did get a massage today though, and since she was sore from our lessons she loved every second of it. Thank you Brooke! 
I will be going out before work in the morning to hose her legs again. There is still some heat, but not much swelling. Let's hope she heals quick 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Still Loving Lubrisyn!

Just wanted to give you all an update on how Lubrisyn is working for me. I LOVE IT! You can read all about how I got started here.
At this point I take on teaspoon full per day, and my knee feels great. No more popping sound, and no more numb toes after riding.
Pippi has been on the Equine version, and it seems to have made her softer and more able to extend in each gait. She did not have a major issue before hand, so its harder to see superb benefits, but she is just smoother if that makes sense.

I on the other hand feel great. One of the benefits that I didnt pick up on right away, is my new found ability to move my seat bones one by one. Did you know you are supposed to be able to do that?

I always had a hard time with that, as I felt my hips were locked, but now I can shift weight and thereby help Pippi. YAY!

So there you have it! I am a lifelong fan of Lubrisyn HA.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Pippis 10th BirthDay -and a BDay Give away!


Pippi will be turning the big 10!! this year on April 19th. In order to celebrate I will be doing another give away. I KNOW! Isn't that exciting?



All you have to do to win is follow @2PointBling on Twitter and Give me your Twitter handle as a comment to this post, Easy Peasy!  (and live in the continental USA due to shipping, sorry)

What do win? What can you win? WHAT WILL YOU WIN?

You win THIS!!

This is a bright peach Dressage pad with that design (on both sides), and a few Swarovski crystals for good measure. Cool Huh?

So help me celebrate Pippis fabulous 10th Birthday on the 19th! I will randomly select a winner in the 20th. Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

First Hottt! Day!

It was 80 degrees here yesterday, and quite muggy. The sun was shining, but it was clear that a storm and rain was heading in so after work I hurried to the barn. I really wanted to ride outside in one of the two large outdoor arenas (the reason I board there really!).
After tacking up one of the other boarders kindly moved her mare from the jumping arena (she was just turning her out), and Pippi and I entered. The surface was really hard after the recent bad weather, and it had not been worked up at all. After lunging in both direction, which I always do to check Pippi out and let her get her crazy out if need be, I mounted. Pippi was not super forward on the lunge, but once my butt hit the saddle it became clear that I had some power underneath me. After trotting for quite a while in both directions, and holding Pippi back I decided to let her go, and Oh Boy!

I really didnt like the surface in that arena, so after another boarder was done in the flat arena I chose to ride over there hoping that some of the power was Pippi not liking the surface. The other boarder left the gate open, and since I was mounted and the gate drags I could not close it without getting off. I decided to leave it, and see how Pippi would act with me riding by it. Once I came around the other side I saw that the gate there was open too. Since many dressage arenas are open I figured this was a good test for us, and left them both.

We are still working on soft bends, and straightness, and so we trotted around and did lots of voltes, circles and serpentines. Pippi was still very strong, and broke to canter a few times. When I let her canter, it was incredibly powerful. Not at any time did I feel out of control, but boy did she fly! I was very proud of my ability to slow her canter, and when asked ( I did have to really ask) she came back to me. The difference between the canter on the long sides versus the short sides of the arena were huge! And it was a thrill to know that I had a working canter, and an extended canter, and that the difference was so clear. I wish someone had filmed us, because I would have loved to see if it looked like it felt.

At this point Pippi was hot and sweaty, and the flies were bothering her. Ever the queen she was throwing her head up and down, and ducking and acting a nut. I made her work anyway, but the fun was over. I will be giving her a hair cut this week. I love her mane, but the length and thickness add to Pippis discomfort and makes her very hot. So its coming off! I have a lesson with Jennifer Roth again on Friday, so I will try to get it trimmed ahead of that. I really dont want to, so I may either wait to the last moment or get it over with asap.

Here is the hot and sweaty Queen:




Thursday, March 26, 2015

Twitter is THE BEST!

@Goal4Pro on Twitter posted today: "Reply to this with pics of your horses and I may just sketch them today :)" Well , you saw the great picture I took of Pippi last night, so I quickly twittered out (is that a real term?) that picture of Pippi.
and Look what was Twittered back to me:


Isnt that just awesome! What a talent! So please head over to https://goalforpro.wordpress.com/ and check out what other talents this great gal has. 
This is the picture I sent. 


And you guessed it! This will be stitched as a new pattern for sure! 

Pics from yesterday.


Had to start out with this great photo from last night. I was so excited when I realized that I captured Pippis sweet nature so perfectly. She was mugging for the camera to get a treat, and was hot and sweaty from our ride. She is a Beauty!

In this photo we are trotting, which is a gait that I feel very comfortable in. The new saddle is helping me keep my position and I am finally getting to the point that my hands are quiet. 
Here we are cantering, and this is where I need some work. Pippi tends to bank a bit in right lead, and so I tend to lean in. I also bounce way too much, and although stable my hands are not following like they should. Since I at this point have access to a lot of great riders, I have reached out and asked advice from them. Even sent some video snippets to one and will share the insights with you when I hear back. If you have any advice or experiences please let me know. 




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring showers!

It was a warm day here yesterday, so after work I rushed to the barn and gave Pippi the Spring shower she so bad needed. She was filthy, and it took a while but she was felt great afterward. Looked pretty good too. (There were 4-wheeler and dirt bikes being ridden close to us, so I took the precaution of the chain for going outside to dry off in the breeze.)
4-Wheelers & Dirt bikes - Oh my!
Took a while to clean and brush this out!
Still a few stained spots for the next shower
Lots of noise over there.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Contest - Win a custom set of Stirrup Iron Covers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Stirrup iron covers will look like these, but will be customized. You will have your choice of  Embroidered letter and color of fabric. 
Please click the link above (Rafflecopter) and enter. 
Good luck!           
(Contest open to those living in the continental US only, Sorry)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Boys Ride too!

Saw this meme on Facebook today, and I didnt like it the way it was. So I made a quick change, and I think its better now. Boys/Men ride too, and they are and should be inspired by girls/women.

The Key to my Knee - THIS fixed it!

As a stated in an earlier post I have struggled with pain in my knees for a long time, especially the right knee. It was bone on bone grinding, and it sounded like I was using a nut cracker. After a few minutes of riding, my toes and half my foot would go numb, and I would lose my stirrup. When dismounting I would do so gingerly, its amazing how quickly we make adjustments in how we move, which in the long term may cause other issues. Last spring and summer I tried very hard to work out, doing weight training, but found that my knee just could not handle it. When fall arrived I even had issues walking my regular three mile route. Skiing has been out of the question the last few years; I am Norwegian, we have to SKI!! I was getting very discouraged, and in January of this year I saw an Orthopedic Doctor who told me that my cartilage was pretty much gone and that I was looking at knee replacement. Not now, because I am too young for it ( I am almost 45), so I would have to wait. I was feeling pretty low.

Then one day I saw Pam Stone write about Lubrisyn HA, and she raved about what it had done to for her. I checked it out at Lubrisyn, and read all that I could find about Hyaluronan.  The science stuff here. I couldn't find a reason not to try it. When I read that I would feel a change in 7-10 days and it would cost me less than $35 (Amazon) I was in! I mean, what did I have to lose? So I made arrangements to get the stuff, and since it arrived so close to February 1st I decided to start it on that day.
Here is video of my knee on February 1st:



It sounds terrible doesn't it?

Now for my knee one month later:




After seeing that and hearing the difference, do you even wonder why I would tell the world to give this stuff a try?

I take 1 small tablespoon of the gel every day. One per day! It has a sweet taste, and its about the consistency of hair gel. After 6 days I swear I felt changes going on in my joints, it felt like they were spreading or swelling. Nothing painful, in fact so subtle that I kept questioning it. At that point I was not convinced that it was doing a thing. A few days after that, about day 8 I had some soreness in the tendons behind my right knee. Again, nothing major, just sort of "whats going on there?"
A day after that I was dismounting from riding Pippi, and I noticed that I just kind of flipped my leg over the back of the saddle and jumped to the ground. I was in shock! I was alone in the barn, and with Pippi staring at me I did some knee bends and realized that my toes were not numb and my knee just felt ........perfect! I bounced up and down, crouched and rose and smiled from ear to ear. My knee was feeling really great, or to be more accurate, my knee felt like nothing. I bent it with all my weight on it and nothing. It was fine, better than fine, it was nothing.

I have felt improvements in my hands, my other knee and neck as well. And I intend to take Lubrisyn forever. I also gave the Equine Version to Pippi, and that was great too, but that is a blog for another day.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Stumpy snoring away

Thought maybe it was time to share my other furry with you, Please to enjoy, my pal Stumpy:

(make sure you have the sound on)



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Links to your blogs please

I made some changes to my blog, and lost all my faves. Please comment your URLs so I can find you again. Thanks

My knees! They used to hurt!

I have struggled with pain and grinding in my knee for years. In 1996 I fell at a playground and had it partially out of the socket, and ever since then it has been a huge painful hassle. Riding has at times been quite painful, and it left my toes numb which made me lose my stirrup a lot. I bought the flex stirrups and it helped, but my knee still hurt and throbbed. I saw an Orthopedic Doctor, in January this year, who said I had virtually no cartilage left in my right knee, and was looking at possible knee replacement down the road/ They do not do those at my age (I'm 44!). Not great news. I kept riding of course, it's what we nutty equestrians do.



Here is some Video of my knee on February 1st 2015: (Turn the sound up, you will need to hear this, and yes that nut cracking sound is my  right knee)







WellI found a product that has changed my life. Stay tuned for video of what my knee sounds like now, and information on what fixed it. I am telling everyone, everywhere I go, all day long, about this product because it has been that great for me.

Pippis 50 shades of grey.

Pippis 50 shades of Grey - Horse Junkies United

I posted an article recently on Horse Junkies United that you might like. Its all about Pippi and her grey tabby cats.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My favorite winter pic of Pippi

I showed you mine, now show me yours! Please post your fave winter pic of your horse on your blog, and send me a link in comments. Can't wait to see them