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9/4/2007 Equine Kingdom is acquiring a new horse! Tigger is a 5 year old Appendix Quarter Horse mare. She's been neglected for most of her life and doesn't trust people very much yet. She needs a lot of attention and love, and she hasn't been ridden very much. It's been over 6 months since she was last ridden, so she'll definitely need a lot of refreshers. She's not very comfortable around other horses, and she'd rather run away than fight her way out. She's 16 hands, dark bay, with a tiny snip of white on the side of her nose. She's a bit skinny, but we're pretty sure it's stress related. She'll be coming in the morning, and from that point on, Equine Kingdom will have a new horse to have a training weblog about! It'll start out just groundwork, but will eventually progress to riding and more advanced training as time goes on. Stay tuned to the updates on a regular basis!

8/28/2007 Roxy has been sold to a little girl who is absolutely head over heels for her! Yay Lillie! I'll be getting another lesson horse pretty soon. For now, here's a bit of a heads up on the lesson horse situation. Right now Dublin, Dandy, and Prissy are being used in lessons. At the end of October, my lease on Dublin will be up, and one of my other students will be taking over it, so Dublin will no longer be used in lessons. There is another horse coming to Equine Kingdom Riding Academy at the beginning of September, that may possibly get used in lessons ' however, I know very little about this horse yet. I cannot afford to purchase another horse for lessons right now ' hence, a fundraiser! After donations to the USERL, first we'll purchase new equipment for the arena ' new cones, jumps, gates/latches, equipment to fix some of the stall doors, and a few other necessaries that won't be too expensive. Then I'll start looking for another lesson horse!

It's been really hot lately, so lessons were kind of on hold. We have new students, and the horses are doing great. Prissy had a cough for a few days, but she's well over it by now. Dublin has definitely played her part in introducing new students to the fantastic sport of horseback riding. Kudos to all of my lesson horses!

8/15/2007 Not much else new going on at Equine Kingdom these days, that's for sure! The weather has been outrageously hot and completely unbearable, so although I've been teaching a lot of lessons, I haven't done very much riding at all. The motivation, for some reason, just isn't there! I can't seem to make myself move out of my nice comfortable, air-conditioned apartment in the middle of the afternoon to go sweat for an hour on top of an equally miserable, out-of-shape horse that doesn't want to be ridden in the first place. I try to get all my lessons done in the early morning and later in the evening when it's cooler, so that doesn't leave me a whole lot of time to ride for myself! When the weather gets cooler I'll spend more time riding, training, and just hanging out at the barn - it'll be a lot more bearable then.
7/16/2007 I've decided that it's about time to let Prissy do her own thing. She is a great lesson horse, trick horse, and sweetheart, but I am finally facing the fact that she will never be a Grand Prix jumper or dressage horse. Standing at only 15.1 hands and being as rough as she is, I don't suppose that should come as a surprise. I could hope though, couldn't I? But now I'm trick training her - her latest trick is acting ashamed. I have several students going to a show this weekend and next, but I'm going to refrain from showing until I have a horse that is worthy for me to show. I'm borderline too tall for Prissy anyway, and look sort of funny. I'll still jump her, but even that I don't know how to pace her or myself, or what form to be in, and whatnot. I know plenty enough to train the students that I teach - it's a good thing everyone that comes to me is either a beginner or intermediate rider, because I don't think I'm qualified to teach anything else. So ends the saga of training Prissy. I'll keep everyone up to date on her progress though, and her life in general.
7/3/2007 Two new horses to train! But let's not talk about them, since this is supposed to be Prissy's training log. So. To talk about Prissy. She got moved to Equine Kingdom Riding Academy, a small farm in Greensboro, about a week ago. She acted a little less than normal at first, it being a new place and new horses and all. Thankfully, she had Dublin move with her, so she stayed calmer with that. Once she got to know the other horses, she showed much more reluctance to leave the herd - even to the point of walking away from me when I went out to catch her for lessons. We've got an arena half up - we're fencing off part of the field for an arena. She stays in it just fine, and now that she's more used to the area, she's being her normal self for the students. If anything, she's even slowed down a bit! She's jogging very nicely, and her canter is remaining very slow. She's taught about five students to canter for the first time in the last week, and none of them had any problems! I'm proud of her. She does have directional problems at times, and unfortunately nothing short of a good thump in the side will change her mind. Do it once, though, and she doesn't try to act up again. So overall, things are good. We're going to a show in July, so we're gearing up towards that.
6/11/2007 I worked Dylan in the arena again today. From spending the time with him that I have, it's become apparent that he's pretty much comparable to a big, over-eager puppy. He doesn't know that he's not supposed to play around and do his own thing. He's doing so much better than he was when I started, though. He almost completely knows the "walk" command, voice-command, now, and will easily transition back down to the walk if you shift your weight back, pull on the reins a bit, and tell him to "walk". When he comes out of his canter (which by the way has improved many hundreds of percents), he always trots before he walks - so I have him trot halfway around the arena or so to let him steady his trot out, then ask for the walk. He'll canter almost instantly when asked to now, but when he does, he scoots his butt underneath him to start off. He's a lot more balanced now. And when he's cantering, all it takes to keep him going if you feel like he's going to go down to a trot, is a simple kiss or two. If he's trotting too fast and won't listen to cues to slow down, I give him something to think about - going over poles, over crossrails, in-between cones, figure eights. It really gets him thinking about his work and he smoothes out, really working on what I'm asking him to do.

6/8/2007 Well, Roxy is gone now....she's on lease for the summer to a girl in Pfafftown, about an hour from here, with intent to buy. I really hope everything works out and Roxy is a great match for this little girl.

For the past two weeks I've been working with Dylan, an 8 year old paint horse. He has a lot of issues...going too fast, not paying attention, having trouble focusing on his work, not turning. But all these things are curable and he's been doing so much better! I rode him Tuesday and he had very little problem turning whenever I asked him to, he stayed steady at the trot several times around the arena before offering to go faster, and he cantered when asked to (if a little bit too fast). He is rather terrified of traffic, though, so I've been working with him on that. Thankfully I have Velcro legs though, because every time I've taken him out on the shoulder of the road he does fine for a little while, then spooks and rears up and spins to take off for a hundred feet or so. I'm going to work him on the ground tonight to see if he's any calmer that way.

5/20/2007 Increased training and work with Roxy has proven her to be a fantastic little mare all in all. She'll stand in the crossties now, as long as you brush her lightly...she has thin skin and is sensitive. I found out that she's hard to catch in the pasture, so I've been turning her out in a round pen until she gets used to the idea. I finally got up the nerve to ride her bareback with just a halter and lead rope, and she did fantastically! She's jumping almost 2' with me on her now, and I've started training her on barrels. I've only worked her on them for two days so far, and we're down to 21 seconds. I'd like to get it down a whole lot farther than that, so I'm going to be working on that in the following weeks. More updates to come. She's doing better with the kids, and slowly but surely starting to figure out her role as a lesson horse.

She's for sale right now, unfortunately, as I'm not sure I'm able to afford keeping two horses right now. We'll see though; it all depends on how much I've got going on and how many lessons I can teach in a month. Boarding two horses and half leasing another one can take quite a toll on expenses, as I'm sure you can imagine.

5/3/2007 Still working hard out here at Still Water Farm...more students are coming every day, and if I'm not careful, I might end up with more than I can handle! I'm finding out that running a farm isn't all just riding and teaching....there's so much other work involved as well! I bought a new horse, Roxy, a 6 year old Quarter Horse mare, for lessons. She's quiet, but she has a few steering issues, and when I got her it was hard to get her to canter. However, now she's doing a fantastic job, and will canter almost right off the bat in either direction. We're still working on standing still in cross ties (in fact, she's standing there fidgeting as I write this), and going straight down the sides of the arena, but other than that she's doing a great job. Most of my kids love her, and she's really smooth. We need to work on her jumping, though, because she tends to run right through the poles or jump instead of picking up her feet and going over. I've been busy working on fixing her canter lately, though, but that's the next thing on the agenda.
3/17/2007 After having only ridden once in the last two weeks, I finally got a chance to ride Prissy last night. Based on her past history of being extremely hyper and misbehaved after going that long without being ridden, I fully expected to have a very spirited horse on my hands. However, except for a few minor moments, Prissy did really well. We started out just walked, working on flexion. Then we moved on to trotting...which I will admit, she had a bit of problems with because she kept sticking her nose out and popping her shoulder on the circles. I worked with her a good bit at the walk on bending around the curves, and then moved up into trotting again and she did a lot better. We jumped some, just small 18" cross rails and verticals, and she did really well...didn't over jump or bolt out. She kept cantering out of one of the jumps instead of trotting like I wanted her to, so I stopped her after every jump and made her stand, continuing that until she slowed down and trotted out. Overall our workout went off without a hitch and we're slowly getting back into the swing of things for the upcoming show season.
2/1/2007 Times to ride have been few and far between these last few months because of bad weather and utter lack of time to ride...however, Friday afternoon I got a chance to go out and ride. We kept it slow because Prissy hasn't been ridden in a while, and she tends toward speed when that's the case. Anyway, I let her loosen up at the walk until she was walking freely and could step out more, then moved up into a trot. She immediately tried to speed up, but I asked for a lot of walk/trot transitions until she slowed down. Nearly every time I asked her to circle, she'd speed up every couple of steps. I used both reins to regulate her speed, and made sure I was using my legs as well, to bend her around the circle and make it easier to regulate how fast she was going. By the end of our training, Prissy was trotting at a consistent pace in small and large circle, figure eights, and teardrops. It was there that we quit, on a good note. The entire workout was done without the use of a martingale, too.
1/22/2007 Prissy's started teaching students how to jump. Granted, the student is an intermediate rider with quiet hands that can easily follow Prissy's movements. Still, though, the first time Fran jumped Prissy she did very, very well. Prissy likes to run out of the jumps, instead of trot out like I really want her to. She wants to just go, go, go. When Fran jumped her, though, Prissy did the neatest little pop-over you've ever seen. She jumped about five times, and didn't have a problem even once. Funny, though, how whenever I get on her and start jumping her, she gets all fussy and quick and wants to just run right out from under me. I wonder what it is that I could do to alleviate the problem. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Prissy isn't spooky, she just likes to go fast (too fast) when she's jumping, and it's intimidating.
1/10/2007 Due to really bad weather lately, I haven't been able to ride as much as I'd like to. I've also been out of town...but all that ends this week, as I'm back in town for the time being, and all lessons start back up this week. I was going to ride earlier this week, but since it was late, I didn't. Instead I just went over to the farm and cleaned Prissy's stall and gave her a really good grooming. She got turned out in the mud and she was absolutely filthy. Because she tends to sink in the mud, her legs had about a foot of mud coated on them from the hooves up. I spent a good amount of time cleaning her and getting her all shining and clean again. I also got two tail bags for Christmas (thankfully, because Prissy ripped the bottom half of her last one), so I put one of those on her and she has flames in her tail now. :)

It's been about a week since I rode last, so I don't have any training news, to be quite honest. I have a lesson to teach tomorrow and then I'll probably ride if I have time, so hopefully this will be updated to a greater extent later on in the week.

12/28/2006 Training for the last week or so was hindered by my absence for four days over Christmas, but yesterday I started riding again, with a goal in mind. Relatives of mine got me the book 101 Jumping Exercises for a gift, and the book has an outlined plan in it for building up to jumping impressive obstacles. It starts with bending and square halts and steps up the pace to more challenging exercises. Yesterday I rode western, and Prissy mostly maintained good steady gaits, but kept wanting to go fast. As usual, that frustrated me, so we went out "trail" riding instead. By that I mean we went out on the roads of Jamestown. Only two incidents...that of a black dog all but attacking us, and then going off on a side path and seeing five white-tailed deer about fifteen feet away. That was pretty much the highlight of the ride. All in all it was uneventful though, but we had a good time. When we got back to the arena about an hour later I changed saddles and rode English, jumped Priss over a few jumps, and went in because she still wanted to run.
12/16/2006 Prissy has been doing really well for the kids, going slowly and doing almost everything she's asked. I wouldn't call her a dead broke lesson horse, but that's okay because they're really learning how to ride. All of my students are doing an EXCELLENT job, and I want you all to know that I'm really proud of you! You guys are what keeps me going, what keeps me teaching on a day-to-day basis. I don't know where I'd be without you all.

I rode Prissy only three times this week; I've been really busy and just haven't had the time. But both time I rode she did really well. The first time was after a lesson and we worked on bending, without a martingale, and Prisy did really well. She kept wanting to stick her nose out and pop her shoulder, but using my legs to keep her going in circles and figure eights really got her working and moving nicely. It's relatively difficult to get her in the correct frame, but once she gets it, she really moves out nicely and carries herself well. The second time was also after a lesson; it was western so I just left the western saddle on and switched to an English bridle. We worked on staying in a slow jog for a good while, and got some very nice downward transitions going on too. I'm content with the progress we've made this week, particularly with her getting new shoes! She'd worn the toes almost completely down on her last set. I guess that's what happens when she hasn't been shod since September... :) God bless you all.

12/6/2006 Prissy is honestly the best lesson horse I've ever seen in my life. She is so tolerant of the kids on her, no matter who they are, and she's so good about working all day. She had lessons from 10 am to 4:30 pm today, with about a total of an hour and a half breaks in-between lessons, all told. So she worked for about five hours today and was still just as good at the end as she was at the very beginning. Good lesson horses are hard to find, or at least that's what I hear. She's so patient, so tolerant, and so willing to do whatever is asked of her. I might be able to teach at another barn here pretty soon, given the opportunity, God willing. I'm praying about this chance that may come across my path relatively soon...but I'm not sure how it's all going to work out, due to extreme busyness at work, teaching the lessons I'm teaching now, etc. I might be able to go out to a Christian riding academy and teach lessons there on weekday afternoons/evenings, with about 10 lesson horses at my disposal. There are miles of trails to ride on, and several riding rings, and much more. I would really like to go see the place and make an evaluation for myself. We shall see, I suppose. Please, if you're reading this, keep this decision in your prayers for me. Thanks, and God Bless.
11/25/2006 Yesterday Prissy and I jumped a larger jump than she ever has before - an 2' 9" oxer. She refused it the first time, and jumped it the second time. I taught a lesson today and then rode Prissy again afterwards. We didn't jump quite as high today, but Priss did a wonderful job on everything. She refused a couple of jumps, but for the most part she jumped without hesitation. I had a hard time keeping balanced over her while in the air, so I started getting in two-point position about a stride before the jump - that greatly increased my balance and our landing as well. Next thing we really need to work on is landing on the right lead. I'm doing better at letting her pace herself as she approaches and exits each jump, but it's difficult disciplining myself not to physically make her slow down. The jumps we worked over today were an oxer set about 2' 3" high, a brick wall/pole jump set about 2'6", and another oxer set about 18" high but about three feet wide. Overall, I'm really pleased with our workout today. I'd be very happy with such a repeated session next time I ride.
11/23/2006 Prissy and I had a wonderful ride tonight! Because I haven't ridden in several days, I didn't anticipate a good time at all...I expected her to fight me, speed up and go really fast, and not listen to my commands. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did she listen to me, but she didn't refuse to do anything I asked! So we did some walking, trotting (posting and sitting), and cantering, although not much cantering because I continue to feel like I fall apart at that gait. I got in two-point position once when I asked for the canter, and I felt like that helped my legs stay in position better than when I'm sitting. Wonder what that means. I jumped Prissy even though it was dark out (there's a light on one end of the arena) and she didn't refuse even once! I raised the jumps up to about 2'3", and even made an oxer out of one of them, and Prissy didn't hesitate even once. She flew over every one of them. She sped up a little coming out of the jumps, but I found out that she slowed down on her own...wow. What a concept...never thought of that before. She slowed down by herself without me really having to ask her to, and all of her jumps were beautiful. After cool-down, I took off my boots and stood up on her....inspired by one of my previous students, Annica, who told me that she has stood on her pony's back... :)
11/22/2006 Due to rain and thunderstorm-y conditions the last three days, I haven't been able to ride, or teach lessons. I'm taking the week off riding lessons because of Thanksgiving, and because I desperately need a break. I took off work for 4 days...starting with Thursday...and although I'll probably go crazy not having work to do, I think it'll be good for me. If the arena is dry enough tomorrow I might go out and ride, but I'll probably go out and clean Prissy's stall out at least. If it goes for too long it just gets really nasty.  I have a lot of schoolwork I have to do this weekend, so I may not ride much, and it's very chilly besides and doesn't want much for riding outside. Happy Thanksgiving to all!!! Remember Who has blessed you beyond measure this day, and don't forget to thank Him for it.
  11/14/2006 I've decided to become a better rider. In order to do that, I have to set goals. As of yet I haven't set any...but I will, rest assured of that. My stable schedule today was as follows: teach a riding lesson, ride a Friesian/ Thoroughbred cross named Dancer, clean out Prissy's stall, lunge Prissy for about 20-30 minutes (it was a training session, not a way to wear her out), ride Prissy, clean up the barn, lock up the barn and leave. I got mostly a good ride out of both of the horses today. While I was riding Dancer I felt like I was sitting really deep in the saddle, so deep that I had to really work to get up out of the saddle when I was posting. Maybe that's why I love his canter so much - it is so soft and floaty and you can sit it for days. After I worked Prissy on the lunge line I mounted and we had a decent workout - mostly working on slowing down the canter by making canter-to-trot transitions and stopping/backing/turning/cantering again. I didn't get completely frustrated at her, so that's an improvement on last night. :)
11/8/2006 Wow....I have hardly ridden at all lately. Things have just been crazy in my life-other-than-horses, and I just haven't been able to do as much as I'd like to. My riding lessons fall on Monday, Friday, and Saturday this week, so I've had three entire days off! I haven't had that in I don't know how long. I went out to ride tonight for about the first time in a week, and I felt like I was all over the place in the saddle and couldn't get my body under control.
I read something in a magazine the other day about someone that competed in a national competition - bridleless and saddleless. That's amazing! I'm going to compete in an open show next year, western walk-jog or western pleasure go as you please like that. I worked with Priss on that tonight. I got tired of feeling like I was riding poorly, so I took off her bridle and saddle and rode bareback with just a rope around her neck. We walked, trotted, cantered, jumped, etc. She did really really well...so I'm totally happy. Just gotta work on the speed a little and we'll be good to go.
10/27/2006 I ordered a training video about a week ago, and it came in the mail on Wednesday. I'm really excited about it, because it has a lot of good information on Resistance-Free training, and achieving flying lead changes, getting a horse to slow down, and spins. Last night I was had the whole ring to my self, so I took the liberty of going over every pole and every jump out there. There is a sort of large square of poles set up at one end of the arena, and the poles were skewed haphazardly about, evidently having been previously hit by a horse's hooves. Prissy and I walked, trotted, and cantered over them. Prissy even gave me two flying changes when she was going over them!

Really, though, the arena is far too cluttered to work very well. It's small enough as it is, but with the amount of poles scattered around it's really difficult to work. I think tomorrow I'll probably change it up a bit and see what I can achieve while everyone is at the show. ;) I started watching the video tonight, and I'm pretty excited to put a new plan into action. More updates to come!

 10/23/2006 Success! Turn on the forehand has been accomplished. The use of a dressage whip as an aid to cue her haunches over helps greatly, but Prissy mostly does a turn on the forehand when she's asked! Today's workout was wonderful, despite the chilly 40 degree weather. I worked Prissy in a martingale today, for a change of pace and to keep her head down as I worked with her. I worked on my sitting trot a lot last week, and I can definitely see an improvement now. I walked, trotted, and cantered without stirrups today, and noticed a significant improvement in balance. =) 

  Prissy was rushing out of every jump I took her over today, so I worked with her a little on merely slowing down, and also introduced a new concept to her today: haunches-in. Because she now knows the cue to move her haunches over (turn on the forehand), I tried this both at the walk and trot. The traversing on the track was easier to achieve at the trot due to the added impulsion of the gait. I worked on that only on the straight sides of the arena, and only asked for a few steps at a time until she turned her haunches out and kept her shoulders on the track. It was amazing! Goes to show what perseverance will do, I suppose.

10/18/2006 Turn-on-the-forehand is progressing nicely. As I open up the rein on one side of her neck and cue with the same leg, sitting slightly in the direction I'm asking for, Prissy will now almost always pivot her back end around her front end, instead of what we did at the beginning - she'd take a step backwards, I'd encourage her back forward again and tighten the reins so she'd know not to walk forward with the side-wards cue, and she'd start backing up again. Either that or I'd have her head all the way around by my knee to even get her to take the hint to move around her front end. She's getting it though. I added the use of a crop tonight to encourage her hindquarters to move over.

I'm ordering a surcingle, cavesson, and side reins from Country Supply, because I want to work on her form from the ground as well as from the saddle. There is much lacking, and a whole lot to be said for her position. We shall see. I'll update as the training progresses.

10/10/2006 I want to be able to get Prissy to do a half-pass, so I've been working with her a lot in the trot. Looking back, I don't even think we cantered last night. I had a lot of other things I wanted to focus on. Last night was mainly working on her bending around a circle and maintaining an even beat all the way through, and also a bit of turning on the forehand. She backs up unless I pull her head a little bit to one side and squeeze with one leg. Otherwise she just backs up, and it's frustrating. I need to work on her with giving from the ground before I ask her for that turn again. Before I will attempt asking her to half-pass, I want to make sure she can do the haunches-in, shoulder-in, turn on the forehand, turn on the hindquarters, circle keeping the same rhythm the entire time, and be able to spiral in and out without wobbling all over the place, and finally to be able to do even figure eights without falling out in the middle. She did really well last night; I'm pleased with her progress.

10/7/2006 I had to cancel all of my lessons today due to the rainy, misty, generally gray-gloomy skies. The good news is that I got plenty of sleep, and later on it cleared up just enough for me to ride for about 40 minutes. Overall I'm pretty pleased with how things went, but not completely. Prissy's foot is well healed and the limp is almost gone. We mostly trotted today; I wanted to work on her bending through a circle. Both of us started out a little rusty, probably because it's been about two weeks since I rode her. I focused on keeping my inside leg behind the girth and outside on the girth, made sure my hands were quiet, and was looking where I was going, and by the time we finished I had a beautiful circle going.

  Cantering, though, was a completely different story. I want to get Prissy to do a flying lead change. Problem is, I don't know how to do one or ask for one, really. I did some research on it, but I don't really know what it's like. So I tried what I've read, but except for one time all I got was a really fast, really lousy counter-canter. Not exactly what I was looking for. I think she changed one time, but even now I'm not totally sure. I'll just have to keep working on it. Riding lessons are too expensive, so I guess I'll continue to just learn on my own.

10/5/2006 Prissy is still a little sore but not nearly as bad. She can trot at a good pace now and barely bob her head.  I haven't ridden her for nearly two weeks; I've just been teaching lessons on her to kinda give her a break. All of her lessons have been walk/trot anyway, so it's not too strenuous for her. Hopefully this weekend I will be able to ride her a bit. I don't want to stress her out, either, by teaching on her AND riding her all the time. That's just not fair.

Her eye infection is back, too. Remember a year or so ago when her eye got all gunky and the vet had to come and flush it out, and gave me gross medicine to put in it? It's back. I still have the medicine, so I'm using that in the high hopes that it will go away quickly and without me having to call the vet. So that's the scoop on Prissy right now....

10/1/2006 Prissy has gone somewhat lame from her shoes being done...her foot got cut down a little too far, and now her soles are too thin (they were thin before, but now they're even thinner) and they aren't very tough, so she's tender-footed now. I'm going to be putting stuff on her hooves every day to get them healed so she can be ridden more easily. Talk about a mare that's all heart though...she'll walk, trot, canter, and even jump on a sore foot. Have you ever seen a horse with a bigger heart?

I'm teaching on another lesson horse now too, Kopper. People at the barn don't like Kopper, but I do, so I'm going to use him in my lessons since he never gets used. He's nice and slow for the beginners, but will go faster if you use a crop and more leg, and he jumps sooo smoothly it's incredible.

9/27/2006 Prissy finally got new shoes today, and although she was limping a little bit afterwards, she should be fine to ride tomorrow. One of my little students came out yesterday and practiced a lot on posting trot without holding onto the saddle, and without me holding onto Prissy. I tend to go around with my students until they absolutely prove to me that they can do things on their own, because I am completely safety-conscious and really don't want anyone getting hurt. I care too much about these kids for that! I'd rather stick next to them for a while and make sure they know what they're doing before I send them out around by themselves then just giving them a couple of lessons and flinging them aside like dirty clothes. I want to make sure they get a quality education...that's what I'm being paid for, right?
 9/25/2006 The horse show went sooo well! I'm so proud of Prissy. I took her in the ring during the lunch break to school her, and she didn't hesitate even once at any of the jumps, even though they were all new to her, and there was even a big brick wall that she jumped without hesitating. We entered six jumping classes and two flat classes. Going over those courses was fun, but tiring. The first three classes we didn't place...I know the first two jumping ones were because she was on the wrong lead coming out of the jumps each time, so we're definitely going to have to work on that. Also on trot/canter transitions, because those aren't very smooth, on her part or mine. That's good though, because I'll have something to work on her with now. Prissy will get new shoes on Tuesday as well, so she won't be missing a back shoe anymore. I showed her all day yesterday without a back shoe, and she's totally fine.
9/22/2006 I took a lesson on Dancer on Wednesday, and learned to release better and how to round off turns even if the horse is on the wrong lead. I've been feeling a lot lately like I'm falling apart when I'm riding, except when I'm jumping. I feel totally with it when I'm going over the fence, but other than that I feel like I can't keep my legs still, I'm leaning forward too much, etc. Part of that is because Prissy is so skinny...hard to keep my legs on her. She's so much fun to jump though. Hopefully I'll have some pictures on here soon of her jumping, me riding. Saturday should be a lot of fun. She lost a shoe the other day...actually, we took it off, but technically she lost it. She doesn't know where it is. She'll do fine without it, as far as I'm concerned. She's competed with loose shoes before and placed fine. I just hope we don't get kicked out of the jumping ring if she looks off a bit. That would stink royally, would it not?
9/14/2006 Prissy and I are in training for a show on the 23rd, at Steeple Hill Farms. We're going to show in jumping classes for the first time. Annica and Maddie have been telling me what I'll need to do at the show, like how to enter, how to approach the jumps, and the best way to score well in the classes. It'll just be a schooling show for the two of us, but it sure would be nice to come away with a couple of ribbons!! Maddie rode Prissy and I got to see someone else jump her for the first time...boy she's beautiful!! She jumps very well and looks good doing it, so hopefully she'll be a shoe-in for the winner unless my bad form messes her up. :) Prissy is going fine over anything I point her at, no matter how high or flashy, so I'm praying that everything will go smoothly next Saturday.

8/15/2006 Three students rode Prissy yesterday, so she walked and trotted, halted and backed up for three hours, not to mention standing still six different times to be tacked up, then untacked, and repeated two more times. What a patient girl she is. She also had a lesson tonight, and did very well. Hopefully I will be able to ride tomorrow for a while, but somehow I doubt that will be the case, due to an extremely busy schedule (in other words, I have a date tomorrow night). :) Probably the earliest I will get to ride is Friday, since Thursday is when I'm celebrating my dad's birthday with my family. So Priss will get a nice rest, more than likely. She's been so good; she deserves a rest.

8/9/2006 Prissy has been so well behaved since she got her new shoes. She has behaved nearly perfectly for everyone that has ridden her. I haven't had any problem with her at all. She had four lessons this week, and I get to go ride her tomorrow, Friday, Saturday, and perhaps on Sunday as well. If there was a show this weekend I would want to go to it. I guess I'm not really prepared though. Prissy has been doing very well with her jumping...lately I've been working with her on turning tightly to come up on another jump. She does pretty well....she can either canter or trot the turn, and still make a fairly high jump. It's pretty cool. She's so pretty and so lovely and such a sweetheart....

8/2/2006 Thursday and Friday I rode Prissy and she wasn't very good, because it had been about a week or so since I had ridden her, due to the fact that her toes were getting really long and she started tripping a lot...she needed new shoes in a bad way. So she got new shoes on Wednesday, and when I rode her the next two days, she was awful. Then Saturday Eric and I went out early to feed the horses so that we'd have time to ride later before it got dark...when we finished, I rode first. Prissy was PERFECT. I mean, she was the best I can ever remember her being. I had no problem with her at all...it was a fantastic ride, and I felt so good afterwards. Then Eric rode, and he did SO GOOD!!!! He finally learned how to post the RIGHT way, and did so well! I'm so proud of him, too. He stayed in the saddle totally at the canter, and stayed upright and kept his heels down and everything. Prissy only had one lesson this week, so I've been able to work with her a lot.

Then today I rode and she did almost equally as well. We have jumped a lot lately, and she soars over anything I aim her at...I LOVE my horse!!!!

7/27/2006 Prissy has been doing excellently well lately. She gets turned out every day, she's fat and happy and getting lots of exercise. Usually she has about five lessons a week on her, and I ride whenever I get a chance. I rode last night and Prissy was having issues with speeding up and turning funny. We worked a lot of circles, both walking and trotting, until she figured out that I wanted her to actually BEND around the circle instead of going cockeyed around it! She kept speeding up on the straight-aways, but she finally settled down and worked for me sorta. I worked on two-point position for me, and standing in the stirrups at a walk and trot, and also worked on canter a little bit. If I haven't cantered her for a while, she gets to where it takes her about forty feet to stop cantering. I have to do lots of rollback, stop & back maneuvers to get her to the point where she'll stop almost on a dime as soon as I ask her to. Usually then her memory stays refreshed for a week or so.

6/29/2006 Today Prissy moves to another barn. She'll get to spend a lot of time with other horses, since she'll get turned out all night, every night, rain or shine. Well, I guess it doesn't really shine at night, but you get the point. Anyway. I've got about seven to nine students waiting for me to move so they can begin riding lessons...I need to contact all those people and let them know that they can schedule lessons now. Hopefully I will be able to earn a lot of money this summer from the riding stuff, and people will want their children/themselves to continue on past summer...once they get into it, it's hard to emotionally un-attach yourself!!

So yeah...I'm looking forward to a good time there. I will begin lessons hopefully next week myself, and I'm really looking forward to that. I can't wait to get some professional jumping instruction, and maybe some dressage too!!

6/23/2006 Prissy behaved very well yesterday. I actually felt like I was riding correctly, too, for the first time in quite a while. I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be in reference to her movements and where my body needed to be centered, etc. It was great! I felt very secure, and we moved together very well. My boyfriend, Eric, rode her for about an hour before I got there to ride, so she was already worn out. :) But he said that she was very good for him, too. That's a wonderful thing!! She has been sort of misbehaving lately. Not a good thing. I hope we'll be able to start taking lessons within another week or two. That would be awesome!

6/20/2006 Vacation Bible School has kept me from riding as much as I would have liked to this past week, but finally it's over and I can ride again. I went out to ride Prissy the last several days...Sunday night I rode bareback in the arena, at just a walk and job. Yesterday I rode for about an hour, and worked with Prissy on walk, jog, and lope. She still doesn't lope very well, and I have yet to figure out how to teach her to. *smile* She jogs really well, though, and usually stays pretty slow. I've been working with her on getting her to bend through her turns, because she tends to remain somewhat stiff through the ends of the arena, which leads to a not-so-straight going down the sides of the arena. I will be moving Prissy to another stable in about two weeks, where she and I will begin jumping and dressage lessons, along with Prissy being able to continue teaching others how to ride.

May 27, 2006 Prissy went in a show with Annica and Maggie last weekend, and they did a superb job! Annica came away with a second, third, and fourth place, and Maggie with two seconds, and third, and a fourth. We're all going in another show this coming weekend, on June 3rd. Eric, Bradley, and I are all going to ride Prissy. This is going to be a fun show...this one has games and races in it! I'm going to go out and work with Prissy a lot today, working on my balance with bareback riding for the bareback class, and also on getting her running and stopping really quickly. That's going to be so much fun! Training over all has been going very well....Prissy is listening very well and behaving almost perfectly. She's getting turned out more now, too, so that helps a lot.

May 15, 2006 I'm fine now....Prissy and I are getting along quite superbly, if I do say so myself! Unfortunately, though, Prissy has started picking up some VERY undesirable habits...like trying to bite people and/or horses when they go by, cribbing, which I have managed to stop, and kicking the walls of her stall. I believe I've managed to diagnose the problem, though. She's suffering from "vices of confinement". In other words, she doesn't get out enough. She's in her stall about twenty two to twenty-three hours a day, and if I don't manage to get over there, she's in there much longer than that! I'm going to start working with her more, and also she is going to be out in the pasture every night now. She will get turned out in the evening after being fed, or sometimes she'll eat with the other horses. Then when I go to work in the mornings, I'll bring her in and maybe groom her a little if I have time. Then she'll come back out in the evenings for a walk, or lessons, or grooming, or whatever I feel like doing, then when I'm done I'll turn her back out and the process will begin all over again. Hopefully it'll drastically improve her behavior. :)

May 6, 2006 Haven't been riding a whole lot lately, partly because I don't trust myself. When Prissy doesn't do what I want her to do, for some reason now I tend to get violently angry. So then I just stop riding her so I don't do something I regret. Some days she's perfect, other days I want to get forceful and make her do what I want her to do, instead of teaching her how to do it. Lessons are going well; Annica and Maggie will be performing in a show in a couple of weeks, and Bradley is learning very well how to post and sitting trot, and how to post without stirrups. Hopefully Prissy will be getting some new children to teach soon, too...she'd like that. I might go out to the barn today, but I doubt I will.

April 2, 2006 I hung out with Prissy for almost the entire evening. I went over there around six or so, and didn't leave till almost nine. I started out grooming her...she stood nice and still, and she's starting to shed her winter coat, so the ground was then covered in brown horse hair. After that I took her out into the round pen to clip her, since the horse show is this coming Saturday, and her ears looked horrendous....hair sticking out all over the place, like she was eighty years old. It took me probably thirty minutes to do that, since she's so fussy about her ears. I got it done, though, and it doesn't look half bad. The I washed her tail, and her face, and clipped her muzzle and head and eyelashes, and her legs too. I washed her legs, and the grungy spots on her, then braided her tail really nicely, then we went for a trail ride for thirty/forty minutes. Prissy was so good...she even jumped over a creek!! I'm so proud of her. When we got back I groomed her really well, braided her tail back up, and sprayed her coat with conditioner, so she looks good. I've got lessons tomorrow, and because of my new job, I'll probably be out at the barn every night now. Whee!!

April 1, 2006 Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to ride Prissy in the last several days, because of work, schoolwork catch-up, and all kinds of other stuff like car trouble. I'm going to go ride her today, though. And because my new job is located about a quarter mile from the barn, I'll be able to go over there and ride any time I want after I get off work, provided I don't have lessons. I'm going to go over there this afternoon, to ride and spice Prissy up for the show next weekend. The show is April 8th....we'll be showing in both English and Western classes....hopefully we'll do well. Ya never know until the day of......

March 30, 2006 The arena has been dry, the kids have been riding well, and we're all preparing to show once May rolls around. Life has been crazy for me mostly, so I haven't had the time to update EK like I'd like to. I rode Prissy on Sunday, the 26th, and she was an angel. I dressed out in my full show gear, just to get used to it again since it's been a year since I wore any of it. It still all fit, and it's amazing how much easier it is to ride in tall boots and breeches than work boots and jeans!!! Totally different feel, that's for sure. She was amazing, though...she trotted beautifully, with a spring in her step and stretching out, and her canter was slow and her head down. She walked with a sprightly step and didn't pitch a fit at all. Then Tuesday Annica and Maggie jumper her a little bit, and Annica cantered. It was Maggie's first time back on after breaking her arm, so she just took it easy for the most part. Annica though, boy, she was going all out!! John and Bradley had their lessons yesterday, and John rode in the arena and trotted a lot, and Bradley was brave enough to go on a trail ride with a bunch of other horses (all of them ended up acting up, and by the end of the ride all but one person was walking). It's all been going well though....I have no complaints!!

2/7/2006 Prissy had lessons again today. Annica and Maggie rode first, and they both learned a lot about showing today. I had them tack up Prissy entirely by themselves, with the only help from me being tightening the girth, since they're not strong enough to do it alone. Then I introduced them to what the show ring would be like, how to enter it, where to go, what to do and what not to do, etc. They both did pretty well, and followed instructions. Both of the girls are looking forward to showing in April at the Piedmont Saddle Club horse show.

Leslie also rode today. She worked on trotting and walking, and since she broke her tailbone awhile back in a fall from a horse, she's been recovering slowly but surely. All three of my students rode without a martingale today and did an excellent job. Annica and Maggie rode in the new saddle, the smaller one, so they had that to adjust to as well. As always, I'm proud of my students!

2/4/2006 Yesterday I went over to the barn, but it had rained AGAIN, so the ground wasn't really good enough for riding. I rode her for about five minutes in the least icky part of the arena, then took her saddle and bridle off and turned another horse out with her so they could play. The other horse rolled in the mud immediately and I had to hose him off and wipe him down before putting him back in the stall. Prissy ran around a lot. She has this absolutely beautiful floating-looking trot.....wow! What a show-off!

Since I didn't ride, I cleaned instead. Prissy has been really bored lately, by the looks of the corners of some of the boards in her stall...she's started cribbing!! ARG!!! NOT a good thing at ALL. I put some stuff in her stall for her to play with, and I'll go tomorrow and get some real toys for her, along with some stuff to spray on the boards to keep her from cribbing. She needs to get turned out more...but she doesn't. They keep neglecting to do so, especially since the pasture isn't closed in anymore since they started renovation. I'm really getting fed up.....and it's really, really frustrating. Arg. The strange thing is that I've gone out to the barn more while I'm working forty hours a week then I did when I was working only fifteen or twenty hours a week....go figure.

2/2/2006 I didn't get to ride for very long today, because I didn't get out of bed this morning and go ride before work, like I was originally planning to. I set my alarm for seven and got up, but changed my mind and went back to bed for another hour, then got up and went to work. I did go to the barn when I got off work at 5:15 though. It was almost dark when I got to the barn, but I rode anyway. I gave Priss a quick grooming and put the saddle on her, and put the stirrups back on my saddle (I took them off yesterday so I could use them on the child's saddle). I rode down in the outdoor arena and walked, trotted, and cantered Priss around for about thirty minutes. It was almost pitch dark by the time I was done, but that was okay, cause there was a light across the street that lit stuff up somewhat! I rode without a martingale again, and Priss did fine. I have to work somewhat to get her to stop as quickly as she does with one, but we're working on that. I've ridden her for four days straight this week! That's almost unheard of! I'm going to try to make it out there tomorrow after work, too, and then hopefully Saturday and Sunday too.

2/1/2006 Prissy was really good today. I went to the barn early, before Bradley rode today, so that I could ride as well. She started out today about the same as she did yesterday, although she WAS more willing to do what I asked her to do. We walked and trotted for a while, and cantered...she went nice and slowly at the canter as well, and didn't try to fly around the arena. I worked her without a martingale today, and she did very well. I hope she does that well when I show her in April!

Bradley had a lesson today, too. He has been sick with the flu since last week, so I didn't stress him out with a whole lot of trotting. He warmed up at the walk and then trotted a little bit, then we played games the rest of the time. He played "bucketball", throwing the yellow balls in the bucket. He did really well, weaving through cones, trotting back and forth, catching the balls, and making them into the bucket. Then we did a few more games, like weaving back and forth between the sides of the arena at a trot, colleting cones on the fence. It went really well, and he got to be the first one to try out the new saddle!!

1/31/2006 I got Prissy out today and she decided that she wanted to go really slowly, for some odd reason. Usually she wants to go really fast, and it's a chore convincing her that she needs to slow down. It was all I could do to keep her walking, and then took a lot of urging to get her to trot, and a lot to keep her trotting. I practiced my sitting trot for about ten minutes, just to work on my balance and such. That really worked my whole body, since I haven't ridden rigorously for a while, and my horse is so bloody rough at the trot!! But anyway. After about twenty minutes she started perking up a bit and listened to me a lot more. I cantered her a bit, and she likes to speed up going down one side, so I worked on quick stops and turns to slow her down. We trotted a lot and generally just worked really hard again. She didn't get sweaty today, but she was blowing by the time we were done. I had a lot of fun today with her, although today was more work than play...gotta get out of that mentality!!

1/30/2006 Priss did relatively well today, considering she hasn't been ridden for over a week, due to inopportune weather conditions. I worked her really hard, walking, trotting, and cantering for well over an hour. She didn't really want to work for me at first, and got a little ornery at times, but once I got her moving she pretty much settled down and went to work. I didn't do anything really fancy with her, just working on regulating speeds and I worked on my own abilities at the sitting trot, since Prissy is really rough at the trot. I also worked on staying sitting up and forward more at the canter, since I tend to lean back too much. I love my horse...I missed her so much last week!!!

1/25/2006 It rained AGAIN!!!! Can you believe this?? I'm so tired of rain ruining the ground....!!! Oh well, I'll shut up now. On the good side of things, my new saddle came in! I ordered a 14" English saddle for my younger students, who are lost in the huge saddle that I use for them on a regular basis. It's the cutest little thing....I ordered a saddle package, so it came with a bridle and bit, and a girth and saddle pad, stirrups, stirrup leathers, the whole nine yards. I went out to the barn yesterday to fit it all on her...it was so much fun! I've never had a new saddle before...they've always been used. Too bad it's too small for me... :( Just kidding. Prissy got a really good grooming and a face clipping while I was at it...so I got a couple of things done, despite the fact that the ground was so gross.  Not a whole lot to report at the moment....so adios!

1/20/2006 It rained again Tuesday evening, so the arena turned somewhat sloppy again. I taught lessons on Thursday as usual, and Prissy was really good. She had four lessons that day, and she didn't act up even a single time for any of the students. She trotted nicely, not too fast, she stopped when she was told to and went when she was asked to. I let all of my students work her a little over some small crossrails, about six inches high. She loved that, even though she didn't really get to jump them...she pretty much just walked and trotted over them. Her attitude improves a hundred percent when she's jumping...she absolutely adores the sport! I'm going to start jumping her more once the weather gets nicer, it stops raining, and I have a little bit more time on my hands. She had a lesson yesterday that lasted for about two hours, and that went really well too....Leslie, the student, handled her very well, going around tight turns through the cones, stopping, backing up, trotting, etc. Prissy has definitely had a good week.

1/18/2006 Priss was SO good today. I went out to the barn this afternoon to ride....it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, it was warm enough that I just wore a jean jacket over a t-shirt, and the ground was dry. I put two jumps in the arena to start with, to practice with. Priss was good for tacking up, and I walked her around to start with, and then trotted around a lot, working on keeping her at a steady pace. She did really well, too, with not speeding up too much and maintaining a steady gait. After I warmed her up walking and trotting, I walked her over the jumps....she was fine. Then I started trotting her over them, and she did really well! Honestly, I expected that she would run out, stop, jump too high, or run out of the jumps, but she didn't. I had trouble a couple of times with her going too fast, but very few instances. Overall, she did really well. She cantered at a nice rate of speed, jumped well, turned tightly, and responded to even the lightest touch. I had no trouble with her today at all. It was a very pleasurable ride, one that I hope will repeat itself tomorrow!

1/16/2006 It's been really rainy/sloppy lately, and it rained yet AGAIN on Friday, so I couldn't go on with my lesson on Saturday...poor Bradley. Still, the massive winds that the storm kicked up were a blessing in disguise, because they dried up the ground! The outdoor arena, which has been ankle-deep in mud and standing water for the past month, is now almost totally dry! Praise God! Now we can ride outside!

My best friend, Mandi, came to visit this weekend on her way back to college. She spent the night, and yesterday we went to the barn after church so she could ride. She has problems with her left knee that prevent her from mounting from that side, but Prissy was great and let her mount from the other side. We got lots of pictures, and those will be posted shortly... :) We had a lot of fun. I got on for about ten minutes and trotted and cantered Prissy around after Mandi walked her for about half an hour. I'm going to go out tomorrow and ride her for a long time, and start jumping her again. Updates on that later!

1/10/2006 Every time Prissy has a new student, she tests them. She will walk really slowly, just to see if they'll make her work more, and sometimes she'll stop to see if they can keep her going before she stops. When they ask her to turn, she'll see if they really mean it by turning her head but going in the opposite direction....she is testing them to see if they will figure out how to make her do what they want her to do. She's a great horse to learn on because she won't just do everything for you....she makes you work for it. She's a lot of fun to learn on, though, because she's kind and willing to do what you want her to do...as long as you communicate it to her properly. Personally, I think she's a lot of fun, and so do her other riders. Definitely a challenge at times, but a very good learning experience.

1/5/2006 I've been working with Prissy for the last couple of days on Parelli training methods...you know, yielding to pressure and all that. She did pretty well, but a couple of times I really had to focus on not getting upset or angry or yanking her around a little bit because she didn't understand what I was asking her to do. I need to just spend more time with her, period. She's a wonderful horse. She had three lessons today and did really well. She even did well trotting through all the muck on one side of the round pen! More later....

1/2/2006 Priss has really been acting up lately, as any of you that have been following this blog will know. On Saturday when I went out to ride, she was a pain. She really wouldn't do anything I asked her to, and she even bucked a couple of times (albeit half-heartedly). She's had major attitude problems when I ride her. She's fine with my students, but whenever I ask anything more from her she's a pain. I got tired of the attitude. I figured that turning her out with the other horses might help her, so I put her out in the pasture (where she's never been) with five other horses. She hasn't been out with other horses since I moved her to that barn back in June. I can already see an improvement in her attitude....she stands still to be tacked up. She got turned out again yesterday with them, too. I might go over to the barn today if I have time before work...although it's pretty gross outside because it's been raining.

12/28/2005 It's been really rainy lately (it finally dried up yesterday, but I was getting ready to go over to the barn and it started pouring down rain again), so I haven't been able to ride a whole lot. On Monday, though, I did get to ride for over an hour. I took Prissy down the road with the intent to go on the trails, but she boogered and just acted up really badly. I worked very patiently with her in the cul-de-sac at the end of the road for probably twenty to thirty minutes, intermittently trying to get her to go down the trail (it starts at the end of the road). She would take two steps past the pavement, then throw her head up and try to back up. I did get her to go down there, though, after a lot of time and patience, and she did really well from there on out.

We rode back in the fields and looked at the construction going on in the place of our old pastures. I worked her with trotting and cantering in a little grassy area that wasn't plowed through, and she did somewhat well. It wasn't the greatest she's ever been, but with the weather the way it has been, I can't expect too much from her. She's a great horse. She learned a new trick, too...putting her head on my shoulder when I tell her to. I haven't decided what I'm going to teach her next.

12/18/2005 Priss has been pretty good lately. I took her out Sunday evening and rode down the street, found a little area that was dry enough to ride, and walked and trotted her for quite some time. She started out really antsy, trying to go back to the barn and all that jazz. She settled down after about 15 minutes or so, though, and we really got to work. I worked her in a circle, and her circles were nice and round and she bent around them nicely. I'm proud of her performance. Then yesterday I went over there and rode her out along the road....she did well, because usually she spooks or refuses to go forward for a while, but she didn't pull that trick yesterday. We made it to another larger field, and worked their for a while. She kept wanting to go back, but I wouldn't let her. She settled down enough to jog on a loose rein a little bit, but she was trotting way too fast for the most part. It took a lot of half-halts to get her to slow down, and I had to stop and back her up a lot to get her to remember that I was the one in charge. Sometimes she gets up a full head of steam and just wants to GO...even though she's not supposed to. Oh well. I still love her!!

12/14/2005 Because of inclement weather and the fact that I'm now working a night shift at UPS, I haven't been able to get out to ride very often lately. I did find a large field in which I can let Priss run as much as she wants....which she undoubtedly enjoys. She has been having problems lately with her back legs locking up...I had to run her home the other day because she couldn't walk. She could only go at a canter and be able to maintain a steady pace. I don't know what the problem is. The same thing happened last winter, and I started giving her vegetable oil in her grain and the problem cleared up, so I'm doing that again to see if it does any good. I'm having her turned out every day too, because she just doesn't get out enough to stretch her poor little legs. :)

11/22/2005 I really need to start riding Prissy more....when I go without riding her for a long time, like a week with only my students riding her, she ends up being really bad the next time I ride her. I mean, she's really good for the kids or whoever is riding her, but then when I ride her, it really shows how little I've been riding her. I wanted to go on a trail ride yesterday, and she didn't want to leave the yard. Then going down the road, she was a pain when she kept trying to turn back. I had to get off of her to even get her onto the actual trail because she steadfastly refused to go past the little bit of water that blocked the entrance to the trail. After that she was mostly fine, except because it was really cold she kept snorting and blowing at everything....which got really really annoying. It just rained a lot yesterday, so the ground was pretty gross...there is an area behind the barn that is being developed where there is a really long flat stretch that would have been perfect for running on, had it not been all red clay and really sloppy from the rain. It was really gross. So yeah...it's all good.

11/14/2005 The last time I rode Prissy was Saturday (this is Monday). I got on her bareback in the round pen, without a halter or lead rope or saddle or anything. I was a little apprehensive because usually she doesn't do what I want her to do...she's a pain bareback because she hollows out her back and won't do anything. And she certainly never would have cantered before. So I was riding around on her, letting her go wherever, but making her keep walking. She didn't like it at first, but she got over it. She did so well, too...we walked, jogged, trotted, and cantered all perfectly beautifully and she steered and turned and did whatever I asked her to, without a fuss...and she kept her head down and relaxed the whole time, too!

Because all this was going so well, brilliant me decided to ride her outside the round pen. So I put a halter and lead rope on her and took her out on the road. She did fine....until I asked her to canter. She started cantering just fine, and I was fine too. All this time we had moved almost perfectly together, but she jumped sideways up onto the curb just as she started cantering. I lost my balance and went over to the left side....and couldn't recover. Over I went. I hit both my knees, my left hip, my left elbow on the hard ground, then my head bounced off the incredibly hard concrete curb. Fortunately, I was wearing a helmet. That's exactly why I stress that my students wear helmets!!!! I'm alright though...recovering. My neck still hurts a lot, and I have a couple of huge bruises, but hey...it builds character, right??

11/10/2005 Did the Friendly Game with Prissy today. She did pretty well...she's generally very tolerant of stuff being thrown all over her anyway. She was really good for the students this morning...she cooperated really well, so they all learned a lot. She got to run around in the pasture for a while too, and for some reason was really snotty to a gelding that she used to like. Don't know what's wrong with her. :) She's a happy horse, though, that's for sure. She's got the life of Mr. Ed.

11/9/2005 I'm looking into doing Parelli Horsemanship stuff with Prissy...she doesn't like being ridden bareback a whole lot, and can be a real pain sometimes. So, I'm going to work a lot with her on the ground. The only problem is, it takes so long to get over there, and gas is so expensive!! If I could, I'd be over there every day, cause that is really what it's going to take. However, with work and school and church, that's kind of an impossibility. I played the "friendly" game with her yesterday, and she did really well...stood still the whole time and let me rub my hands all over her. She was really patient about it.

11/5/2005 It's getting colder and colder, so Prissy is having blankets on more now. She's doing really well in lessons still, and I've been riding her occasionally as well. My boyfriend and I rode double on her last night. We tried it a while ago using a saddle, but that didn't work too well. It was cool though....I expected her to freak out a little, but she didn't. She was really good about it. She does have a problem with trotting bareback though...she never wants to trot or canter bareback with me on her. I have no idea why. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Oh well...she does it for the kids, and that's really all that matters. She has a couple of lessons this week, and that's about it.....

10/24/2005 Priss did really well with lessons today. Today Bradley, an eleven year old, rode her. He did really well...even though it was bitter cold and windy out. They both did an excellent job. They only walked for today, but learned to do figure eights, sit with the bareback pad, stop quietly, have soft hands, ask for transitions quietly, and more. I'm proud of both of them. Prissy is so patient, and she'll take you wherever you want to go....

10/20/2005 Prissy had two lessons this morning, both with sisters, Annica and Maggie. They both did an extraordinary job, especially learning how to stand in the stirrups! Both girls exceeded my expectations outstandingly well, and by the end of their hours both were able to stand in the stirrups without holding onto anything, and in turn steer around cones, stop and go while standing, and also to stand and sit at intervals to cones set around the arena at interchanging positions. Prissy was a very good lesson horse through all of these exercises, never once speeding up or getting fussy, even though the reins were really long and she pretty much could have done whatever she wanted. She went where they told her to and listened very well. It's so impressive to me that she instinctively knows who's on her, and can adjust her temperament accordingly. I love my little mare!!! She's so awesome!!! Come and find out for yourself!!!

10/18/2005 I took a trail ride on Priss this morning. She glistened by the time I was finished brushing her, and I tacked up English and headed out. We went down the road and into the woods. I just walked her most of the time, and she was content to just plod down the road/trail at her own pace....she didn't even really attempt to speed up, even going up and down the hills back there. We rode out around the construction areas in Greensboro that used to be our pastures. It's pathetic...I wish it were still all woods and grass for the horses...but instead it's totally filled with dirt, piles of junk, and huge, heavy earthmovers. I rode up where they were working to survey what they were doing, and everyone was looking at me. I hope they realized that they were encroaching on my riding grounds. I was already not in a very good mood, so that didn't do a whole lot to help it...usually I could run out there, but now it's dangerous because of all the ditches...

10/15/2005 Prissy has been a wonderful lesson horse lately...she's been so good to the kids, and the adults that have been learning on her. She's patient, and she is so good when people are trying to learn on her...

10/01/2005 Priss has had a really bad habit lately of not stopping because she wants to keep running. So, today I decided that, since I had a little time on my hands, I was going to do something about it. I saddled up and went out on the road. We first conquered the slow trot and bending at the poll. We then made it over the curb to step down onto the street, and crossed the not busy intersection, and stepped up onto a curb that we previously hadn't been able to do. Prissy and I went down the sidewalk until we got to the guardrails - which Prissy is deathly afraid of. It didn't help that there was a muskrat in the weeds and dashed down away from the sidewalk. I didn't let her back up or turn around though...I made her stand still until she got over it. We rode down next to the highway where the do the billboard changes, and ran back and forth, showing off to all the people on their way to work. We trekked back the way we had come, and Prissy started acting up when I asked her to stand still so I could talk to someone. I tried out the trick I mentioned above (see Training Tip), and she did really well. She cantered instead of ran, and listened very well to my cues. Major breakthrough.

8/30/2005 Marty and I went riding today, out along the Boulder Road. We went yesterday, but only went as far as Chimney Rock road. Today Marty road Lady, a horse I've been training, and I rode Prissy. Prissy did really well. I've been working on keeping her head down and making her jog, and she did both very well today. She didn't spook at anything except culvert along the road, and she walked and jogged on a loose rein without trying to get away with anything. We walked both in the road and in the grass along the side of the road, and she was good either way. We walked back into a bunch of the industrial parks and she looked around a lot, but didn't act up at all. On the way back we had to go up a rise in the ground, and she jumped it, which I wasn't expecting...my feet came out of the stirrups and I ended up jabbing her in the side with the spurs, which she definitely didn't like! She started bucking half-heartedly, then stopped and was good from then on.

8/21/2005 Prissy has been a lesson horse lately...teaching beginners how to ride. She's doing really well, considering she's never done it before. She's very patient, and loves kids, so she's very quiet and kind to everyone. She does what she's told if she's made to do it, otherwise it takes a while to get her to do the right thing. It's easier for someone to ride her if they've already had some riding experience, but she's good just the same. I'm really proud of her. She really is a wonderful little mare.

8/8/2005 My boyfriend and I went on a trail ride yesterday with a bunch of the people from the barn...it was so much fun! We went all the way to Asheboro and rode through the mountains for about three hours. It was so much fun! Prissy had a lot of fun taking off around the trails, and we went up and down some really steep hills, and made a huge jump across a  hilly creek thing, and it was just so much fun! Priss plunged chest deep into a river that she didn't realize was so deep, and she forded creeks and stuff too. I'm so proud of my baby!!!

8/3/2005 Riding has been going fairly well, considering. Prissy got another pressure nail the other day, and is almost completely healed from that. I rode Huck, a disobedient trail horse, yesterday to try to get him into rideable shape. He did pretty well for the most part, but obviously needs a firm hand to work him and let him know that he's not going to win the fight. He bucked a couple of times but I stayed on, and he tried my patience more than once but never won. He's doing better after I did some groundwork with him and such, but so far....that's it in the Equine Kingdom horse world!

7/28/2005 Riding Prissy has kinda taken a backseat for awhile now...don't really know why. She got new shoes yesterday, and she's adjusting to her new home pretty well. She has developed a new funny habit of drooling water on people that are standing with their backs to her in front of her stall. It's quite a riot. We've gone on a couple of trail rides and worked in the round pen, she's worked with some kids, and we've just hung out a bit...nothing exciting, due to the extreme heat here lately. The temp is in the 100s. Yowie! Anyway, it's really hot out. I'm going over there in a bit to ride, though, and turn her out.

7/18/2005 I've been slacking lately in updating and even in riding Prissy. I've been working with a couple of other horses, Sapphire and Arapaho, and teaching them some stuff so they're more suitable for riding. I rode Prissy for quite a while today, though. We went on a trail ride along the road today back in the industrial parks and had a lot of fun. We found a big open space where we worked a lot on some cantering, loping, jogging, turns and stuff that we haven't had the space to do for quite a while now. That should be our regular place of working now. There's plenty of room to run, too. It was a lot of fun.

7/3/2005 Made the move to another barn...Maple Hills Stables. It's really awesome...the people are really nice and the barn is beautiful, and I can finally teach lessons! I've already got a few people that want to take lessons...hopefully once I start advertising I'll build a huge customer base. I rode bareback in the corral yesterday, and went on a really long trail ride the other day. I had to get off of her to make her go over a creek, and then she all but leaped across it on the way back. She was really good for the most part. I'm really proud of her. She's getting along with the other horses well, and enjoys her new home. (I think)

6/15/2005 Did more work today and worked in the indoor arena, since it was too hot to ride outside. The temperature was up to over 95 degrees, so I didn't ride for very long either. Nothing phenomenal, really...just walking, trotting, and cantering...the basics.

6/13/2005 Boring workout today, really. We didn't do anything markedly interesting, other than maybe working in the pasture to build up her muscle tone. Other than that there really is nothing interesting to report whatsoever. We walked, trotted, cantered. That's about it!

6/11/2005 My dad and I went over to the barn this morning to take videos of Prissy doing all kinds of stuff...you can view them farther up the page, and there're more of them on another page, whose link is at the bottom. Priss was so very good today. She was calm and collected and did everything right. It was soooo great! She was just absolutely fantastic. We jumped 2 feet and 3 feet and she didn't hesitate once. She just loves it. She only knocked the jump over once, and it was my fault for the approach I gave her. It sucked. But she's such a sweetheart. She's got such a big heart...she wants to make me happy!!

6/9/2005 It's so hot today...about 95 degrees, therefore I didn't ride. I did go over to the barn, though, and clean Prissy's stall and hose off her salt block, which was getting pretty nasty. So now her stall is neat and clean, and she got about half a flake of alfalfa. I lunged her for about ten minutes as well, and she had fun doing that. She's so calm on the lunge line, too. She'll walk, trot, canter, and stop on command, which is really cool. I also groomed her really well and made an attempt at taming her mane, which for some reason has been quite unruly lately. Her tail is all detangled too, and I clipped her muzzle, ears, and bridle path. She was SOOO good getting her ears done! I didn't even have a lead rope on her, didn't have her tied, and it took me about five minutes to do both ears! That is absolutely unheard of for Prissy! She's so awesome!!

6/7/2005 Haven't had much of a chance to ride a whole lot lately, with school and everything filling up my days, and Food Lion scheduling me to work so much. Prissy is doing very well, though. Yesterday was really hot, and she was really sweaty before I even rode her, but she was really good. Not perfect, but good. She went slowly enough for my tastes, and I rode in the indoor arena because it was so hot outside. It was in the 90s yesterday, believe it or not. So I thought I'd give her a break and ride out of the sun.

6/3/2005 Prissy did a lot better last night than the last couple of days. It rained all day yesterday, so we had to ride inside because the outdoor riding arena was absolutely soaked. She was pretty good, though. She slowed down a lot, and listened better. I didn't get to ride for as long as I would have liked, because they changed my work schedule so I worked 4 hours longer than I was supposed to originally. I won't get to ride today, either, so I'll just go over and lunge her so she'll get at least a little bit of a workout. Maybe I'll go put her on the hot walker so she'll be able to stretch a bit.

5/30/2005 Jumped Prissy thee feet yesterday!! She did so very well! I usually don't jump her that high because certain people are paranoid that I'm going to get hurt, but she loves it! She absolutely loves it! When we get a few steps from the jump her ears go forward and you can just feel her get excited! She does everything with her whole heart....she doesn't hold back at all! The jump is halfway up her chest and she'll still jump it like it's not even there! Although I have a hard time having good form when I'm going over the jumps because I've never had formal training, she's still doing fantastically. I'm really impressed with her. She won't even hesitate. The worst she'll do is run a bit after the landing, if you let her. Other than that she's wonderful!!!!!

5/26/2005 Didn't get a chance to ride today because I had work, and school....and besides, there's not really anything I can do over there until she gets new shoes!!

5/25/2005 Priss is doing good. I gave her a good bath the other day, so she's all shiny and beautiful now, and looks really good. The farrier is coming on Friday to give her new shoes, and I'm gonna start jumping her again, and working her a good bit. So that should be cool. My horse trailer is finally finished, too, so anyone who is looking for a two horse bumper pull trailer....I've got one for sale!!!

5/20/2005 Prissy is still for sale....no one wants to buy this gorgeous, awesome horse?

I've been out of town since the 6th, and got back on the 18th...went over to ride that night, and she was every bit as good as if I'd never left, despite not being ridden for twelve whole days!!! How many horses can you say that about?? She does need new shoes, though...it's been about twelve weeks. Shame on me....I meant to call my farrier before I left and set up an appointment for after I got back, but I forgot, and I'm having trouble reaching him...yikes. So yeah, she needs new shoes before I can ride her again.

4/30/2005 Didn't ride long....had a church social function thingie to go to. It was good, though...despite the fact that I haven't ridden Priss since Monday, and before that about a week, she was absolutely SO good!!! Loped, jogged, cantered, long trotted...you name it, she did it right off the bat....no lunging or anything first. Just got on and rode, and she was awesome!!

4/14/2005 Riding was short but sweet today. Priss behaved very well and did everything right, despite not having been ridden for four days straight. We rode indoors and walked, jogged, trotted, cantered, loped, ran as fast as we could, etc.

4/11/2005 The show was awesome! Prissy did fantastically in both English and western. She loped, jogged, and everything. We placed in English, three firsts, a second, a third, and three fourths, and in western we placed third in Egg and Spoon. We didn't place otherwise because I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to be wearing a short sleeve shirt...and no one bothered to tell me. Oh well, it was a good show anyway. I'm quite pleased.

4/6/2005 Riding was very brief today, because I had work until 8:45, then had to go pick my bro and a friend up. I cleaned Prissy's stall because I haven't done it at all so far this week, so that took a bit of time...then I cleaned her up and rode for a few minutes. She wasn't perfect, but she was good enough, especially after that trail ride yesterday. She loped once all the way around the arena at the same pace before I stopped her. That's improvement for you right there. And I got a couple more people wanting to know about her...even one lady who showed her when she was a three-year-old! She said she was good back then....if only she could see her now! People keep writing wanting to know why I'm selling her....I don't doubt why, because she's such an incredibly cool horse!

4/5/4005 Oooo we had soo much fun today!!! Not only did we work more on rollbacks and loping and stuff, but we went on a trail ride too! I rode Priss all the way over to the Piedmont Saddle Club, which is probably around five miles from the barn. That's where the show is going to be this weekend. She was so good, too! Didn't spook at anything, not even once. Not at traffic, barking dogs, goofy stuff on the side of the road, going over a bridge, trash cans, culverts...nothing. She was sooooo good! I'm so proud of her! When we got there I talked to some of the people. They were very impressed and thought Prissy was absolutely gorgeous. I don't have a ride to the show this weekend, so I had to see how long it was going to take. I told them that, and they offered to send a trailer to pick me and Prissy up. Wasn't that cool?? We ran a bit on the way back and had a lot of fun.

4/4/2005 More rollbacks. Prissy is finally loping! After all this time, she's finally, finally loping! Truly loping, too, not some fake imitation. She's going slow, and it's smooth, most of the time! The rollbacks worked!!! Hallelujah! Praise God! I don't know if anyone else could get her to lope, but I can, and that's all that matters at the moment! It's so awesome! She did so well! She's loping all the way around the outdoor arena almost a whole time without breaking gait or going faster, all on a loose rein! How awesome is that??? I'm so proud of her! She tries so very hard...she just hates going slowly. She tries for me, though, and that makes me feel great. This horse is truly the greatest on earth.

4/1/2005 Again, riding today was interesting. I did soo many rollbacks with Priss I'm surprised she didn't get dizzy and fall down. See the sections of the fence in the pictures above? We'd canter, stop, turn, lope two fence posts, stop, turn, and repeat, repeatedly. That got old, but it also got her to slow down and go a steady pace, loping most of the time. If we work on it lots and lots every day for the next seven days before the show, she should get it by next Saturday. Her jogging was really good, as usual. Other than that, the night was rather boring. We worked on patterns some, and that went pretty well.

3/31/2005 Riding today was...interesting, to say the least. Priss was very energetic, and raring to go. I didn't lunge her beforehand, because I knew she didn't need it. She wasn't spooky or jumpy or anything, she just wanted to run and not stop. I forced her to go slowly, though, but it was so very hard. She did not want to slow down at all. Her canter was fine, but since I'm trying to get her to lope, it's very frustrating that I can't get her to do it. Rollbacks work some of the time, and other times pull and release technique works. But no single thing works one hundred percent of the time. It got really old after a while, trust me. Since she wanted to run, and she can go for a really long time without stopping, I pulled her head in quite a bit and then wrapped the reins (western) around the saddle horn and just sat back and let her go. She cantered pretty nicely for a really long time. After our workout she was so sweaty I gave her a bath. And I wasn't in the mood to put up with any more crap from her, so I sprayed the hose in her face and she let me. She stuck her head up in the air, but she didn't protest anywhere near what I thought she would. I was really impressed with that...and now I can cite that as one more thing that she can have done to her. What a unique horse.

3/30/3005 Didn't ride today because I had school and then work at four....so the window there was very narrow. I got off work a bit early, but I took karate instead, because I still wouldn't have had time to ride. So Priss went without today. She'll live.

3/29/2005 I rode Priss western again today. She did fairly well...by the end of an hour or so, she was able to lope about halfway around the arena. We've got a show on April 9th and I'd like to show her in some western pleasure classes, so we've got a lot of work to do before then. Hopefully I'll be able to ride every day before then. I let Kristin, one of the girls at the barn, ride her for a while too, just to get her used to being ridden by someone other than me...since I'm the only person that's extensively ridden her, and she's used to me riding her. It doesn't take that long to figure her out...it just takes a little while to get used to her. She's a great horse, but she can be pretty stubborn. Her jog was pretty good today, and we worked on neck reining some more. She's been fairly decent lately, show material for the most part. Every horse has their days, though, just like us.

3/27/2005 Despite the fact that I've been gone for the last five days, Prissy was really good when I rode her today. She hasn't been ridden or turned out or even lunged, and she still went really slowly and everything. She walked nicely, and jogged, and even loped a bit when I rode today. She was really good; I could hardly believe it!! I'm going to go to a show at the Piedmont Saddle Club on April 9th, so we're going to be getting ready for that for the next couple of weeks. I plan to enter about 19 classes or so...good advertisement for selling her, anyway. I might have the announcer say that she's for sale if she does well enough, so that would be good. We'll have to see! :)

3/23/2005 Priss was good today....I rode her without the martingale, and she did pretty well. She had issues with turning correctly, but we got it after a while.

3/19/2005 Rode for about ten minutes today...I got off work 40 minutes early, so I had a bit of time to go over to the barn before I had to meet a couple of friends. I turned Priss out while I cleaned out her stall, then rode English a little bit. She walked, jogged, trotted, and cantered beautifully and slowly even, without a martingale and in sloppy ground (it rained a couple of days ago). It was really cool...she's been really good lately. I've had a couple of people write to me about the ads I've posted on horsetopia.com, but no calls.

3/15/2005 I started jumping Prissy again....she did so incredibly well! Not one single time did she spook, shy, refuse, bolt, or anything. She jumped crooked a couple of times, but that was mostly my fault. She hasn't been jumped for probably three or four months....what's to expect? I'm sooo proud of her though. She's slowed her canter down IMMENSELY, and she's so much a joy to ride now! I wish I could keep her...so badly. But I want a chance to work with another horse, and to train another one, and to teach lessons. I went to a tack shop today and put a flyer up there announcing her for sale...and put one up at my barn, and I'm going to put some classified ads up tonight online. We'll see.

3/10/2005 Didn't ride today; didn't have time. I'll ride tomorrow though and see if she remembers everything I taught her!

3/8/2005 Priss was good today...she was really great, really. She cantered pretty well, although I had to do a lot of rollbacks, but she settled down really nicely. I don't really feel like writing about what we did, so I won't. There will be plenty more later!!!

3/7/2005 Prissy is doing really well. My boyfriend and I went over to the barn again to take pictures, and got some really good ones this time. She really is a beautiful horse. I rode as well, and she was sooo very good. She performed perfectly...so we'll see what happens when I go over there in a little while here. I couldn't believe how good she was yesterday. She was absolutely, completely perfect...after only one day back on the job!!! Now THAT'S a horse for you!!!

3/5/2005 Finally got to ride Prissy again today, after two and a half weeks of not riding her!! It was really strange riding again at first, because I haven't been on her in so very long now. She did pretty well for not having been ridden in so long. We walked, trotted, jogged, and cantered. She kept wanting to speed up, even though before I tacked her up I let her run around the outdoor arena for a while. I had to keep doing rollbacks to get her to slow down. I finally stopped yanking on her mouth because I discovered hanging on her mouth wasn't doing a bit of good. I let the reins go mostly slack and just used spurs. She started responding pretty well after a while, so I put her up.

Prissy also got new shoes today. Jared Roundy, her farrier, and his wife told me that they would help me try to sell Prissy. They frequent Donnie Dickerson's barn, and they might be interested in looking at her. So...cleaned her stall and brushed her really well too. She's shedding big time, and the hair just keeps coming, no matter how much I brush and curry. It's awful!!!

3/2/2005 Today was rather good on the horse side of things! I cleaned Prissy's stall out really well, and she actually got a lot of shavings this week! I haven't been over to ride for a couple of days, so she was hyper when I turned her out. There were two other horses out there, so she had a ball running around and kicking her heels up and bucking and just having a grand old time out there. She had a great time. I brought her in a little later and gave her a really good grooming, ears to hooves. Then I lunged her for a while, and walked her out by hand, then jumped up on her bareback and rode her around at a walk for a while, since the arena sand was wet and gross and I was wearing tennis shoes. She was so very good. This horse is absolutely amazing. I wonder why I'm selling her....

3/1/2005 Once again, didn't go over to the barn. This was an absolutely hectic day...I'm lucky I even have a chance to update Equine Kingdom!!! Please, forgive me for not having anything to report on Prissy. I can say one thing though...she's getting a good stall cleaning tomorrow because I don't have work, and she gets new shoes (hopefully) on Saturday! I'm going to give her a good grooming tomorrow and turn her out to stretch.

2/28/2005 I'm not going over to the barn today, merely because the weather outside is really crappy...snow and rain and cold and slush....eeeew. Yes, there is an indoor arena, but the stalls are getting cleaned today, and the indoor arena is going to be full of people and equipment cleaning out the grungy stalls. So it's not going to hurt Priss to stand in her stall for one single day. I hope not, anyway. I might run over there after work tonight to check on her, but she should be fine. I have faith in her....

2/27/2005 My boyfriend and I went out to the barn today to take some pictures of Prissy for sale pictures. We brushes her really well so she was soooo soft and pretty. She looked really good. We took pictures of her just natural-like, then tacked up English, then western, then as I lunged her. She wasn't too energetic, which is kind of strange, considering how long she's been in her stall, not allowed to run around or even be ridden. Anyway, she was good. The new pictures will be posted on the picture page, which can be accessed by clicking on the pictures above.

2/26/2005 Turned Priss out today to stretch her legs while I cleaned her stall...she ran across the pasture, then settled down to graze. Her stall had lots of nice clean shavings still in it, so that was nice. I brought her in from the pasture a little bit later and gave her a really thorough grooming. I used the currycomb on her coat to really get all the long hairs out that she's shedding, and then brushed her with four or five different brushes of different textures. I then brushed out her mane and tail really nice, sprayed her down with ShowSheen, and brushed her down again. Then I trimmed her mane back since it was getting really long, then charged my clippers and clipped her eyes, muzzle, ears, and bridle path. She was actually pretty good about getting her ears trimmed, surprisingly enough. Usually it takes me about thirty minutes or so, but it took less than ten today. It was great. She looks really pretty now. I am getting ready to sell her pretty soon, so I need to do a lot of work on her to get her ready to go.

2/24/2005 Hand walked Prissy again for a while today...she was really good and kept up with me and everything. I cleaned out her stall and fed her and all kinds of stuff...and it's really late and I have homework, so I don't have time to write anymore.

2/22/2005 Walked Priss yesterday for a while. She was eager to get out and looked like she was feeling a lot better. She was more energetic and kept wanting to trot, so I had to keep holding her back. I wanted to turn her out into the pasture, but decided against it. Today the vet is supposed to come in the morning and check on her, and I'll get a diagnosis and find out when I can ride her again. I bought some fruit punch Gatorade for her yesterday and put it in a bucket with some water so she'll be able to get electrolytes for part of a supplement. I need to place an order for Vitamin E/selenium to keep her from locking up like that again. I'm going to go over later tonight, after karate probably, to take care of her and clean her stall, and find out what to do next.

2/21/2005 Prissy tied up yesterday...that's why there was no entry. It was really really bad....she couldn't even move her back legs...at ALL. Poor Priss. I stood in the middle of the arena with her for about three hours while my trainer called the vet and the vet came and treated her, and she couldn't even go back up to her stall last night. Poor baby. I went over to the barn today to check on her, and walked her around the arena about ten to twelve times...the outdoor arena, shown in the picture above this text. That took about half an hour or so, but I could tell she was glad to get out. I cleaned her stall and bunched up her hay and put her back in....happy horse.

2/16/2005 Riding wasn't that great today. I only had a little while to ride between school and work, and a lot of that time was taken up cleaning out Prissy' stall and cleaning up. She actually got a whole lot of shavings this week, so there are plenty in her stall...usually there aren't and she gets shorted! But anyway....riding was okay. I rode without a martingale for a little bit towards the end, and that went fairly well. I'm going to start riding without it more often to get her used to responding without a training aid. She wasn't that great today....she kept wanting to speed up and run when I wanted her to merely canter. She looked at the cinder blocks funny, like she's never seen them before in her life and something was going to jump out from behind them and take a chunk out of her.

What a goofy horse. I swear, she can be so frustrating!!! I'll go over and lunge her for a while tomorrow, then work on trick training and then ride...hoping to work some of the kinks out. She's a good horse, really...she's like me though....we both have issues!!!

2/15/2005 Didn't ride today. :)

2/14/2004 Today was reeeeeaaally interesting!! I didn't ride, but since it was raining and the indoor riding arena was being used because the people were doing the weekly stall cleaning, I took Priss out to the covered round pen and lunged her for a bit. I let her go for a little while as I went to try to find my lunge whip, which someone took out of the tack room!! Grrrr....heads will roll. I couldn't find it, so I went back out to the round pen and ran her around for about ten minutes or so, so she could get the kicks out.

Then I worked on trick training. I haven't ever been able to get her to nod yes when I prick her in the chest...they're supposed to reach their head toward their chest when you lightly touch them with your finger or something. Well, she always laid her ears back and snapped at me, so I kinda gave up. Well, today I decided to try again. It went really well, too! I could hardly believe it. She did really well....likes the treats, too. I use Quaker Oat Squares and Frosted Miniwheats. She loves them. So that was good....

Anyway, I looked at my watch and noticed that I still had about fifteen minutes in which to goof around before I had to take her back to her stall and head to work. So I decided to try getting on her bareback without anything to stand on. I've never done that before, because her back is about at my chin level, and usually I just park her next to the bleachers, walk up the side and slip on her back. I wanted to be able to get on her from the ground, though. So I started out just jumping as high as I could and trying to scramble aboard....didn't work. Then I tried bouncing first, then jumping.....didn't work. I tried pushing off from the wall...didn't work. I tried swinging my leg over her butt and pulling myself up....didn't work. After almost the whole fifteen minutes were up, though, I decided to do like they do in the old westerns and make a running jump. And what do you know, it worked! This wonderful, wonderful horse, though....this whole time I was yanking on her mane and bouncing off her sides, kicking her in the ribs and butt....she stood still as a statue. She didn't move even ONE HOOF. Now THAT'S a horse for you!

2/13/2005 Didn't ride today...shame on me. Today was rather icky, weather-wise. Rainy and dreary and...bleah. Besides, today was the day I celebrated Valentine's Day with my boyfriend, so naturally there wasn't any free time to go over to the barn, after two church services, job training, and dinner and a movie. So yeah...it was a busy day, even though I didn't go riding.

2/12/2005 Riding went well today...I rode outside since it was so nice out. It was about 56 degrees here today, even though it's the middle of February! We walked, trotted, cantered. Jumped a little too. She kept wanting to run after she came out of the jump, so I had to haul back on her as hard as I could a couple of times. I can usually overcome that after a couple of times of stopping her after the jump, turning and going back over it, stopping again, and jumping again. That usually works, but sometimes it's just such a pain. I tried using just the spur stop for a while and that worked.

When coming out of a jump after cantering over it, when we stop she skitters to the side a bit. That's really annoying, since she usually stops perfectly straight, even when we're working on a circle! But anyway...after jumping a little bit we went back out on the rail and she wanted to RUN. I wouldn't let her, of course. I made her walk all the way around the arena a couple of times, then cantered, stopped, cantered, stopped, and repeated until she slowed down a bit. That horse just wants to run, regardless of however much training she gets!!! It can be soooo annoying!!! If you have any tips, let me know!

2/11/2005 Riding went well today. Walked, trotted, cantered, the works. Nothing really interesting to report. My boyfriend rode tonight and is learning to ride Prissy western so he can show her some this summer.

Attention....I may have to sell Prissy, due to time crunch. Opinions would be appreciated...just write to me at salscorral@earthlink.net and let me know what you think. Is there anybody in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area that would be interested in paying me what this magnificent horse is worth?

2/10/2005 Although I haven't ridden Prissy for a couple of days before today, she was really good!! Today is her 12th birthday...Happy Birthday, PRISSY!!! I love you!!! I pampered her today, but good....cleaned her stall out really well and put lots of nice clean shavings down, gave her timothy grass and about four different kinds of grain, cleaned her salt block, and groomed her really well. I put hoof polish/moisturizer on her and then rode for a while inside. She did her bending really well. Going in circles when trotting was really good...she curved around the circle like she'd been doing it all her life (well, in a way, I guess she has....). A friend and I went out to race in the pasture....Priss dug in and took off, like usual, but it was soooo funny....she kicked out after a couple of strides and nearly unseated me. It seemed like she bucked a couple of times or something, or maybe she tripped. Either way, I ended up sitting on her neck. That's the second time that's happened since I bought her!!! Anyway, I thought it was hilarious. At least I was wearing a helmet. :)  Life is great, is it not? Horses are awesome!!!!

1/25/2005  Sooo much fun today!!! Priss and I worked in the outdoor arena for a while, walking, trotting, and cantering. That got boring really fast, though, so we walked down the hill outside the arena to a big, flat, grassy pasture. Usually Prissy doesn't do very well outside the arena, but she cantered nice and slowly, trotted and extended, used her back end a lot, created a lot more work for me, and even spur stopped on little hills and stuff. After about fifteen minutes or so of that, I decided to let her run....which she hasn't gotten to do in a long time. Mind you, this pasture is LONG. I cued her to go and said "show me the meaning of haste" (Lord of the Rings: Gandalf to Shadowfax), and she absolutely rocketed away!! It was exhilarating. And soo much fun!!! We circled the pasture a bunch of times and careened around the tree at the end, building up speed again after we rounded the corner. I swear, if I had access to a racetrack, that horse would make a great racehorse. Yeah. She's that fast. What an awesome horse!!!!

1/24/2005  Haven't ridden yet today. Life has been so crazy lately that I find myself hard put to make room for my horse! I rode for a while last night in the 18 degree weather though...we had a pretty good workout. Walked, trotted, cantered, did bending exercises...the works. I have work in just a little while now, so most likely I won't ride today. At most I'll go over and lunge her for a little while, then go to work. Clean out her stall, maybe. It's such a pain taking all those blankets on and off every time!

1/18/2005 Didn't have a whole lot of time to ride today....I cleaned Prissy's stall out nicely and gave her a good grooming, then rode for about fifteen minutes or so. She did really well. She did her bending exercises nicely and without much fuss, and walked, jogged, trotted and cantered quite prettily. She responded nicely and didn't fuss at me at all. Kudos for her. When cantering, she didn't try to run or anything. She was snorting a lot, though, for some reason. I attribute it to the extreme cold conditions. I won't get a chance to ride tomorrow, most likely, but I'll ride a lot on Thursday to get a good workout in.

1/12/2005  It's been a while since I've logged any work on here...to say the least!! Aaaahh...six months isn't THAT long, is it?? Well, let me update you. I still have Prissy. She's been doing really well the last couple of months. I started stretching her out before riding, and that helped immeasurable well. She's been responding really well, slowing down too. She'll jog for just about anyone now, slowly. And her canter has slowed down a bit to the point where it doesn't look like she's running for her life. Man, can she run, too! Gosh! If I entered her in a race she'd probably do pretty well. She's that fast. She loooves moving out as fast as she can. I got the book Trickonometry for Christmas...and taught her how to "kiss" and "hug". It's pretty cute. I haven't had time to teach her any of the other ones yet. School just started Monday, so life is crazy.

6/26/2004 More groundwork today. We worked on moving laterally along the fence, which seems to be very difficult for Prissy. It was at first, anyway. After about three times in either direction she responded better. She's doing well with the command "up" to place her front feet up on a platform, such as the wooden bridge. If I say up, she'll put her front feet up and stop. I didn't even saddle her up today, I just climbed on her bareback like usual and walked and trotted around for a while. While on the ground we both went over the jump, but while I was riding I only walked her over it because she tends to jump really high and rush out of the jump when she's trotting over. Bending was a problem while I was on her today, so I had her stop so I could stretch her neck out. When I'm riding her in just a halter and lead rope, I can't get her to put her head down, no matter how hard I try. If you've got any suggestions, please let me know. I wish she'd relax more when I'm riding bareback. She usually has her head up. While she's on the ground I'm working on making her keep the top of her head at my shoulder level.

6/25/2004 Prissy finally isn't lame anymore! I walked, trotted, cantered, and even jumped her a little today and she didn't limp a single bit! She was rather rotten today because I haven't ridden her in so long, but we managed. I didn't use a martingale or spurs, because I consider both a crutch. I hate using either one of them, although they are handy. Still, I'd rather fix the headset problem to right way, and teach her how to stop on a dime without the spurs. She has a big problem with rushing out of jumps. She'll trot up and the start galloping out. That and she also jumps much, much higher than she needs to. I haven't jumped her regularly for a long time, so I need to get her back into a routine. We're slackers. I have been doing plenty of groundwork with her, and she's a lot better about behavior on the ground now. I guess these thing just take time.

6/24/2004 Didn't ride today. I had work all day, then karate in the evening, and I had people to work with. My boyfriend and I went over to the barn after karate to say hello, though. Yesterday I clipped Romeo, a four year old I've been training for someone, and he was such an angel compared to my freakazoid horse. He just stood there with his head down and kept trying to eat the clipper cord, even when I was doing his ears. Prissy gives me heck when I try to clip her ears...but we're getting over that.

6/23/2004 Prissy's finally almost all better. It rained outside for a while today, so I worked with her under a covered round pen. We worked on stand, come, and No for not grazing. She did fairly well, but it's definitely going to take some time. After the rain stopped we ran up to the round pen in the pasture and I got up on Prissy bareback with her rope halter on and a lead rope. We worked on the one-rein stop, where you disengage the horse's hindquarters. Then we worked on walked, trotting, and stopping smoothly. It was so good to ride her again! Most likely I won't ride her much beyond stuff like that for a while just to make sure she's healed right. I also have a horse I'm helping someone with, so that'll take some time, too. It's hectic having two horses to take care of!

6/22/2004 More groundwork today. Prissy hasn't been doing to well on her "stand" command, so we worked in the round pen for a while today on that and "come here" and "no" for eating grass. One of Prissy's most annoying habits is putting her head down to graze when I don't want her to. I got her to the point tonight that most of the time when I said "No" when she was putting her head down she'd bring it back up. Not all the time, but ninety percent of the time it was successful. She also stood still after she figured out what I wanted her to do. I'd s

end her off walking or trotting away from me and when I told her to "stand" she'd stop after a couple of steps. That was rather thrilling, because she stopped when I said "stand" instead of "whoa" like I usually do. I'm really pleased with how tonight's lesson went. Not being able to ride isn't all bad, I guess.

6/21/2004 Fortunately Prissy is much better. I turned her out tonight to graze and made her trot around a bit, and she didn't act lame at all. She looked so pretty, too. I need to take some more pictures of her to put on here, because I just want to show her off to everyone. She's being fed a new kind of grain....the barn switched recently, and for some reason I was never informed of that fact. She doesn't like the hay (it's poor quality), as evident that she pushes it in the corner and pees on it. She's consistently eating her grain now, though, which is a good thing. I got her a mineral block and salt block to lick, so maybe those are helping, too. I'll work with Prissy on the ground with desensitizing stuff until I'm absolutely positive she's not lame anymore, then I'll get back on and start working her again, although obviously easily at first.

6/20/2004 Since Prissy's been lame due to a pressure nail in her hoof, I've been working in the round pen with her lately. I've working with her on accepting foreign, scary items around her body, like a plastic bag on the end of a long pole, and a long pole touching all parts of her, and a blue tarp rubbing on her and her back. Eventually I'd like to get her to accept just about anything, and do stuff like enclose her in a tarp without her freaking out or anything. I'll get her to carry flags and stand on a pedestal and jump freely and stuff like that. Since I can't ride, I might as well do groundwork until she's better. And, as everyone knows, groundwork is the foundation for better riding, so who knows what could happen! The possibilities are endless!

6/16/2004 New shoes...hot nail. Prissy went lame for a couple of days because of a pressure nail in her foot, so I haven't gotten much riding time in. Monday I didn't ride at all because she was limping so badly, and yesterday I walked and jogged her a bit. I didn't want anything to happen because of her poor foot, so I didn't overdo the workout.

6/5/2004 I read an article recently in Horse Illustrated, one that talked about fixing the green horse's canter. Prissy's not a green horse, a veteran more like, but I still figured I'd try it out on her. She likes to speed up really fast cantering, so i figured it couldn't hurt to try. I did lots of trot-canter-trot-canter transitions, and at one point she even began loping!!! The horse that everyone swore up and down COULD NOT lope loped for me yesterday! She went almost two thirds of the way around the arena before I pulled her up. I was so thrilled! She slowed down her canter very nicely, too! She was definitely having a good day yesterday, but we'll have to see how today goes. A four year old gelding I'm training managed to finally buck me off yesterday and I twisted my ankle, so I may not be able to ride much. We'll see. I'm so proud of Prissy. She's such a sweetheart.

6/2/2004 The show went fairly well...except for the fact that Priss got on the wrong lead TWICE and I didn't catch it!!! She NEVER does that! I have no idea what happened! She wouldn't put her head down, either. She was great where it counted, though. We placed first in English Equitation. We had to trot to the first cone, make a circle to the right, change diagonals back at the cone, trot to the second cone, canter right lead from the second to third cone, then do a simple lead change and circle on the left lead to the left. She nailed it. The only thing we messed up was going on the wrong side of the first cone. I'm really really thrilled that she did so well in that class, because usually she's awful at patterns, especially with a lead change! Gaa! Anyway we're working on western pleasure riding now so we can show in the next show, both English and western. I can hardly wait!

5/28/2004  Show tomorrow! I've been severely busy the last week or so, getting Prissy prepared for the show and also training a horse for someone. Prissy has been quite good lately...she's cantering quietly and trotting nice and big. Someone put a fake wooden bridge in the arena the other day. I decided to work Prissy over it. She saw it, and, of course, spooked. I walked her around it for about ten minutes, then tried to get her to walk over it. She would stop right in front of it but refused to step onto it. So I got off and led her over it, and after that she was perfectly fine. She's been great over it ever since. I haven't been jumping her much lately, mostly because I haven't had the time. Taking care of two horses takes sooo much time, and I have other responsibilities, too! Tomorrow should be fun, though, after all the preparation. Prissy's getting really skinny for some reason, so I went to Farmer's Feed and Seed yesterday and got her a supplement called Annimax. She needs to gain some weight.

5/19/04 A couple of days ago I raised the jumps again...another half a cinder block's height.  I looked at the jump and I'm like...gosh, do I really want to jump that high? But hey, Prissy was willing, so I got on and trotted her up to it. Every time I raise the jumps she knocks her hooves on the pole or knocks the pole off before she figures out that she has to jump higher, but this time she knocked the whole darn thing over! Fortunately, she had splint boots on, so she did no damage to herself. Whew! Once I got the jump set back up, I got back on and trotted her around a bit, then headed for the jump again. She jumped with no hesitation! It was soooo high though and felt really weird. I was so proud of her! After that, though, she completely refused to jump that high again. Most likely this was because she had already been ridden for a long time...I lowered the jump then and she went over it with no problem, so I just quit there.

5/5/2004 Prissy is jumping two feet even now. Yesterday was the first time she's jumped that high, and I must say I'm rather impressed with how good she was! After I raised the pole up to two feet, the first time she jumped it her front hooves hit, but after that she picked up her feet to avoid that. She didn't knock the pole down at all or the jump, for that matter. I was really happy with her performance. She only refused to jump once, and I have no idea why she did. She just all of a sudden shied to one side. After that, though, I turned her around and she jumped it right away. Who knows what was going through her head. She's also doing a lot better with groundwork. She steers very well now and slows down and speeds up at my command. I'm so proud of my baby!

4/16/2004  Hmm...been a while hasn't it....last time I wrote was exactly a month ago! Prissy and I cleaned up on that show....four firsts, a second, third, and fourth. We only didn't place in one class. It was a lot of fun. I've been working on slowing her gaits down, and we have started jumping again...which is going very very well, I must say! She's very enthusiastic and loves jumping. She'll even go over oxers now and just about anything I ask her to! We've been back at it for about two weeks now, although I haven't jumped her for a couple of days due to weather conditions. All is going well though. I've also been using the round pen to teach her to "stand" on command, and "follow", and "come here". She's picked up "stand" fairly well so far and will even stand still (without me holding her) while I flick the lunging whip all over her body and around her and drag it on the grass. Today I rode her around bareback for a while with only a rope around her neck. Progress is definitely being made!

3/16/2004  Gearing up for our first show on April 3rd....that should be fun!! I got my show clothes last weekend so I'm all ready to go other than getting a stock pin....Priss has been really good lately! I've been working mainly on slowing her canter down lately because she likes to go really fast. For this first show I'm just going to show her in walk/trot classes, then progress from there. I've been working also on regulating her speed at the trot and loosening up her walk. Other than that everything is going very well! I may even begin jumping her again sometime soon!

3/10/2004  Prissy has been doing well lately, although I haven't been able to go over and ride for the past two days because my car has been in the shop being repaired! I got permission to ride her on the trails the other day and for the most part she did really well. We walked mainly, just to get a feel for the area by ourselves. We could still be seen from the stables so if anything happened we'd be seen. Anyway, we walked around in a partially wooded area for a while, weaving in and out around trees and walking over sticks and logs. Then I steered her over towards a dirt bridge that goes over a small slushy stream. However, neither of us realized that the innocent looking grass we were walking onto was a mud pit! She started slogging down and really having to make an effort to pull her feet out, so I let her canter out of it onto higher ground. I stopped and made sure she was okay, then we headed back around the pond and up the hill to go back to the barn. I asked her for a canter halfway up and she bolted....if I hadn't been wearing my spurs I would have had a heck of a time stopping her! Thank the Lord I did, though.

3/3/2004  Show coming up! I've been training Prissy and working her consistently. She's doing really well. Lately I've been using her as a lesson horse for other people to ride on...my boyfriend is doing really well and is cantering already. I rode today and worked Priss in the ring like we were in a show. She did really well. I also took her out for a trail ride later for a bit of a break from the monotony of arena work. She did really well.

2/7/2004  I took the martingale off Prissy and whenever I asked her to walk or stop from a canter she'd stick her nose up and out so I couldn't get any leverage on the reins. For a couple of days when I did have the martingale on her I was working on sliding stops, and she did really well. I've been cantering her, stopping her, backing her up (so she'll use her hindquarters to stop more), turning her around, and then cantering off. Now even if I'm not working on that she doesn't do her little trot step thing before cantering. She'll go right into loping or cantering now. I asked someone what to do about her headset, and was told to roll my heels into her because she had been taught to drop her head at that signal...and what do you know, it worked! She'll back up with her head lowered now. Also, I had someone helping me the other day about her headset when she's trotting and walking, and was told that she's really stiff in her neck so it's difficult for her to bend. I had her doing stretching exercises and she has been doing really well. She worked like the show horse she is today, finally!! I hope she stays like this. Usually it takes about an hour to get her in form for really working....she's stubborn like me.

2/1/2004  For the last several days I've been using a martingale on Prissy with the Kimberwicke bit, because she started throwing her head up when I asked her to stop, then I couldn't back her because she had her nose sticking in the air. The martingale fixed that. She's been behaving perfectly the last two days. I've been training her to respond to my cues without reins at all....eventually I want to be able to ride her inside and out without anything on her head. I'd love to just be able to get on her out in a field and ride.....if only I could get up on her....she's so tall!! She does very well with both up and downward transitions with merely a shifting of weight and a voice command for going down and subtle cues for up. When I let the reins out to the very end she drops her head and lifts her neck, too, so her strides are very free-flowing and relaxed. She's moving very well and one thing I've been practicing over and over again is the canter transition from walk or trot. Going counterclockwise she's really good and will pick up the canter from a walk or standstill, but she's a little rougher going clockwise. She always takes at least three or four trot steps before cantering, and then we go halfway around the indoor arena before her gait smoothes out and she gets settled. But we're working on it, and she keeps getting better with every passing day.

1/26/2004  I've been turning Prissy out regularly the last couple of days so she can work the kinks out by running around and kicking...she has had the greatest time. I "joined up" with her twice in two days and also made her run around the round pen for about ten minutes. She calmed down considerably and as a result responded much better to my aids. I haven't been able to ride for the past two days because of the treacherous roads due to snow and ice, but the last two days I rode her I got her to both trot and canter right past the cinder blocks that usually worry her so much. What a breakthrough! I was so pleased. I'm still working on her canter...she'll canter slowly but when she starts out it's almost not even a canter. It's an impossible to sit three beat gait that is so incredibly rough. It's almost half-trot, half-canter and I have GOT to figure out a way to get her over that. It takes a while into the workout to get her to break gait immediately when I ask her to, but usually she does it when I ask without fuss. She has improved so much since I started riding her in the Kimberwick bit...which by the way I finally ordered one of my own so I don't have to use my trainer's anymore. I can hardly wait for it to get here...

1/21/2004  Because of the cold Priss is spooking at everything...it's rather a pain. I rode her in the indoor arena yesterday and she did fairly well. She didn't want to stay collected but she did slow her canter down quite significantly. She's almost loping now, finally, and starts cantering right from a walk without trotting most of the time. She's becoming quite responsive to aids and isn't quite as stubborn as she used to be. I'm going to try joining up with her again either today or tomorrow, or both. It depends on whether the round pen is dry or not. She's having real trust issues right now and I'm having trouble figuring out how to handle them. Other than that her training is coming along quite nicely...I'm hoping to show her in the spring and bring her back up to par as the best show horse in the barn.

1/14/2004  Priss was really good today...I've been riding her with a Kimberwick bit and she's been doing very well. She occasionally had a problem with throwing her head up because I probably jerked on her mouth, but other than that she was pretty good. She is, for the most part, over her gross fear of the cinder blocks that sit on the other side of the fence along one side of the arena. She looked at them funny a couple of times, but only skittered away from them twice. We've been working on collection, and I've been working on getting her to slow down. She likes to trot fast, so I've been working on slowing her trot and jog down, and it's going very well. Also she usually doesn't carry her head vertically when she's cantering, but she is getting soooo much better. And now she's cantering much more slowly too. She canters right when I ask her to, mostly, instead of speed-trotting first. I let her run today because she just wanted to go. She had great fun doing that....so anyway, training is going quite well. I can hardly wait to see how we can do in upcoming shows in the spring!!

1/12/2004  Prissy got to work in the snow for the first time yesterday. She looked at it like there were space aliens on the ground. It was pretty funny. She worked well outside though. She cantered at the correct speed, and when my dad rode her she listened to him and actually jogged. Usually he just lets her take off with him, but this time I made him walk, then trot, then immediately walk again, then trot, then walk, a bunch of times, and it started her listening to him. He got her jogging for a little ways and now knows what it feels like to do the right thing. She long trotted beautifully and cantered correctly, but then when we went out the gate to go back to the barn she spooked at who knows what and took off. It took me less than two seconds to calm her down and get her standing still, but that was kinda weird. I still have no idea what she spooked at. Usually I make her stop and stand still at the open gate before I go out, but I didn't do that this time. That may very well be the reason of her spook, because I trotted her up to the gate where my dad was holding it open. She walked out and then spooked at something. I'm glad my dad wasn't riding her at the time!

1/10/2004  I finally got to ride Prissy again today....it's been four days now since I last got to ride her, because of my teeth! My dad, who is just learning to ride, rode her on Thursday evening, and it snowed really hard yesterday so I couldn't go over to ride. But today I got back on and rode her in the indoor arena...she did really well. I mainly worked on regulating her gaits and keeping her collected. I had to really make an effort to slow her down when she was cantering, because she likes to take off. Sometimes she trots really fast before she canters, if I don't give all the right signals. I had to concentrate on giving every correct signal before asking her to canter, and usually she did it correctly. I made like we were in a show and had her walking, trotting, long trotting, cantering, and backing up. She usually swivels her hindquarters to the right as she's backing, and it takes a lot to keep her from doing that. She did really well overall though. I was satisfied with her performance today...we didn't work for very long though because I didn't want to mess up my mouth by riding for too long. All that posting and her rough canter rather bumps my mouth around more than I'd like....

1/8/2004  I didn't get to ride yesterday because I got my wisdom teeth pulled...but the last time I rode Prissy, Tuesday, went incredibly well. Steve, my trainer, suggested that I use the bit that he had previously showed her in, a correction Kimberwick bit. I put it on, and unfortunately the bridle was too large so the bit hung far down in her mouth. He said to try it out though, so I did. The difference in her demeanor was absolutely incredible. I hardly had to touch the reins at all for her to respond. I can hardly believe it! I wasn't too happy about the fact that I finally got her working right for me, and now I can't ride her for a couple of days because of my mouth. Yeesh. Amazing how things happen that way, isn't it? But anyway...I had her cantering at the correct speed, she held her head in the right position without constant reminder from me and the reins, and she stops just about on a dime now with very little pressure on the reins. She was working absolutely beautifully for me! It was great!! My dad is going to go over with me tonight and ride her since I'm not allowed....hopefully I will be able to get back on her tomorrow though because my mouth won't hurt so much. I can hardly wait to see the difference with this bit if I ever start jumping her again.

1/5/2004  Yesterday Prissy did very well....at last. When I first started her out there was a whole side of the arena that she didn't want to walk down because there were imaginary monsters in the woods. One of the other girls walked down the side ahead of me on her pony and Priss walked calmly behind her, and finally after that she was pretty much okay. She even walked and trotted quite well past the row of cinder blocks she hates so much! After I got her behaving correctly we were working beautifully together. She was long trotted and cantering nicely and I made out patterns like we were in a show and she behaved just perfectly. I was using a Tom Thumb bit on her but without the martingale I usually use. She did pretty well, considering. I need to start using a snaffle bit on her though, because that's what I'm going to need to use in the shows I'll take her too. I've got a twisted wire snaffle that I used on her for over a year but with the martingale. Now she likes to stick her nose in the air a lot and it's harder to collect her because we don't have much connection with the bit. So we'll work on that. That's what I'll end up working on today when I go over to ride....if I have time. That should be interesting.

12/31/2003  Today I 'joined up' with Prissy for the second time...she did really well. I had to canter her so long in the round pen though that she was really tired by the time I joined up with her, and I had a lot to do so I didn't even saddle her. I just put her bridle on and rode her bareback for about fifteen minutes. She did really well though....I rode her over the poles at a walk and trot and moved around and sat in different positions on her back so she'll get used to stuff like that. She had no problem whatsoever with any of it. And I also worked on doing the subtle cues like shifting your weight and she responded very well to that. Overall I'm quite please with today's workout. I got her a new bridle tonight too...it's a dark brown English bridle that matches her saddle. I can hardly wait to try it out on her tomorrow! I'm going to try her in a twisted wire snaffle tomorrow, which is the one in the picture to the left. I've been working her in a Tom Thumb and she's doing well so I want to see how she'll do in the twisted wire again.

12/29/2003  Prissy improved drastically today....she went over the jumps with almost no hesitation whatsoever and jumped cleanly and correctly and I had no problem staying in the saddle at all. I rode her over a small crossrail at first, then a larger one, then raised the small crossrail up into a vertical and she did wonderfully. She only balked at one of the jumps but after I lowered it she went over it, and then when I raised it again she went over it. Later though my parents told me that I'm not to jump her anymore because it's too dangerous for her and me...so I need to figure out another riding discipline to try her out with. If you have any suggestions other than Western pleasure or barrel racing or pole weaving or racing, let me know please!!  salscorral@earthlink.net

12/28/2003  I worked Priss on flatwork mostly today and she did really well. She responded very well to both my hand and leg cues. I got her collecting nicely and long trotting beautifully. Her canter is still way too fast...I need to add some spice to her workout and mix up her mind so she doesn't know what's coming next so she'll have to listen to me more. After about forty minutes I set up a small jump about a foot high or so. She would NOT go over it. She ducked out every time. A lady who was watching me gave me some advice on what to do, such as use a crop to keep her from ducking out and placing poles on either side of the jump to further deter her from running to one side. That worked and she finally started popping over the jump and nearly launching me into outer space in the process (I was having a hard time staying in the saddle). I know the proper jumping position, but it seems like I can never stay in it while she's jumping so big. She usually jumps about two feet higher than she needs to and I come out of the saddle every time. Also she takes off every time she lands and just wants to run. A couple of times today she set herself up for the jump properly and cleared it with no trouble and my seat was fine...it stayed in the saddle and I hadn't a bit of trouble. I figured out partly how to keep her from running out after she jumped...she was expecting me to let her lap the arena before making her jump again but instead I made her circle and retake the jump a number of times. Her canter slowed down almost to a lope and she even trotted some of the time, which is nearly unheard of!

12/25/2003  I decided to warm Prissy up to the poles again before trying her over any more jumps...I figured maybe I was pushing them on her too soon and needed to work her over poles more before I asked her to jump. So I set up five poles four feet apart for trotting. Then I walked and trotted for a long time, working on bending exercises and such, then trotted her over the poles. The first time over she didn't want to go over but walked over them almost without hesitation. The second time she trotted into them and walked out. After that she was fine though, and hardly hit the poles at all. So that was going really well...she didn't break her pace or speed up or slow down or anything, so I was really pleased that. After I'd been riding for about an hour I hopped off of her and used two of the five poles to set up a crossrail with the 'x' about a foot and a half high. This was about    15-20 feet in front of the last of the three poles. At first I thought she was going to go over it without fuss, but noooo. She trotted nice as you please over the poles and stopped dead in her tracks. The second time she did the same thing but then walked up to the jump. The third time she popped over it, and after that she was fine and did it without hesitating or dumping me off. After about eight times she jumped crooked and hit the poles and knocked the jump over so I walked her out and we were done. So that was a really good workout. I'm very pleased with her performance.

Merry Christmas!!!

12/23/2003  I rode Prissy again yesterday.....she did the same thing she did yesterday only I set up three jumps that were higher than I normally use and she acted like she was scared of them!! There was one jump she absolutely would not go over...she was so adamant in fact that at one point she even dumped me off rather than go over! I cantered her up to it and she stopped dead and threw her head down just as we reached it and I was going up into two point position. I was sitting back up when she took off sideways to the left, throwing me out of the saddle. Skitzy horse. I got her over the jump finally though.....by no harsh means either. And after that she was fine. She had no trouble at all after that. The only problem I can foresee is that she'll do that at every new jump she sees and that could get hairy in the show ring, you know?

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