Seeing Jack and another good ride on Gatsby.

Sunday, 30 November 2014
I rode Gatsby yesterday (Saturday) and we had a really really good lesson! It would appear that last weeks riding wasn't just a fluke and that I can actually ride in an outline for an hour twice in a row! Can I make it three times though? It has taken me 3 years (roughly) riding at this stables that I am at now to get the feel of the outline and now that I have got the feeling it just makes so much more sense! 

We started up warming up in the walk, making sure to move long and low, making sure that I rode off the track and making sure that I was riding straight. I had to make sure that Gatsby's neck was not overly bent to the inside because he was trying to pull on my right rein to block my contact with it. I have to give him credit that once I got him listening he was very good and very responsive. We moved up in to the walk work quite early as Gatsby felt really nice supple and loose through his back, he was responsive, forward and listening to what I wanted! Straight away we picked up the outline, and we kept it, we even managed to keep it through out most of our transitions, a few of the upward trot transitions we lost it for about one stride but the rest were fairly good. I even have video proof. 

Again like last week I moved on to doing some work without stirrups and while I was doing work without stirrups I was also doing lateral work mainly shoulder in with small bits of leg yield at the end. Going to the left I was able to get a good response off my leg, but going to the right it took me a while to get him to make a shift with his shoulders and not just bend his neck which is what he was wanting to do. We did it in walk and trot. Our leg yields were fairly good, they were also a lot better to the left as I just got a sharper response off that leg and it can open my hips up a little bit more that way. I then took my stirrups back to cool Gatsby down, and boy did they feel short! I Felt like I should be jumping with them. I cooled him down and then it was time to get off him. 

I've even got some video proof for you all! Here you go guys videos include walk, trot, outline, leg yielding I think and small amounts of shoulder in. Enjoy :) 


I saw Jack today and he is doing really well, I love that I get to see him every two weeks at the minute, it is working out really well and of course I just love the time I get with him. Any time with him is better than no time with him! He's home in just over two months and I can't wait, the time seems to be going so fast now! It really is insane. Anyway I'm off to sleep now, cause I'm so tired. 

Until Next Time 
A Girl With A Dream - AmberRose. 

The List Part Two.

Thursday, 27 November 2014
So now it is time to look at other things that I haven't done but would love to do from the list :), as you saw in part one there is quite a bit that I have done but there's so much more to do and loads more horsey memories to be made. Pink things to do while riding. 

3. See how small of a circle you can trot without walking. 

4. Ride a dressage test, but replace all trot sections with canter, all canter sections with walk, and all walk sections with canter. This is something I think would be interesting to do, Gatsby and I do a lot of canter work, and I would love to be better at dressages tests so maybe switching it up a little bit would mean I'd ride a test easier. 

5. Attend a fundraiser or poker ride in your area. I wanted to do this with Gatsby last year, it was an endurance ride but I was unable to, hoping to when I have my own horse though!

7. Give a child who might otherwise not have access to horses a pony ride. More likely to do this when I have got my own horse. 

13. Give your horse a back massage. I think that Gatsby would enjoy this, but first I need to grow a little bit. 

17. Go on a beach ride. This is something that I have always imagined doing and hopefully one day will do.  

27. Find your horses favourite spot to be scratched. I'm pretty sure I know where this is on Gatsby but I need to double check, it normally sends him to sleep. 

28. Bake a batch of horse cookies for your horse and see if they like them. 

29. Use clicker training to teach your horse a new trick. Think this would be something that I did when I get my own horse. 

31. Pony another horse while you ride your horse. Another random thing that I have always wanted to do. 

33. Practice halt to canter transitions. Try to do these without trotting before canter, and without leaning forward or using spurs or a whip to get your horse to go. Something I have never even attempted to do. I've done lots of walk to canter transitions so I would love to try this. 

38. Video your next ride, and then video a ride a month later to compare. This is actually something that I am working on at the minute, but it depends if there will be enough light on monday to do my second video. 

42. Catch your horse without a halter. Something that will have to wait until I get my own horse I think. 

48. Ride in a parade. I do not know why I think that this would be fun to do but it is something that I would really like to do. 

50. Jump five bounce fences in a row - they don't have to be very tall. I think this is something that could really build up my confidence when riding and something that I would do with Gatsby or my own horse. 

51. Make a nameplate for your horse's stall or paddock. I would love to do something like this for my own horse, I am a very creative person and think that something like this would be fun. 

52. Dress your horse up on the next holiday you celebrate. Hehe, well we are doing a calendar for Pony Club, so maybe now would be a good time to do it. 

59. Do a complete 360 degree turn on the haunch in which your horse's back hoof remains planted on the ground. This is something that I would like to do with Gatsby, I have done lots of work turning on the forehand but never done this before. 

63. Let someone else ride your horse - Something I will be doing when I get my own horse, one of the first people that I will have ride my own horse is Fiona! 

66. Trot ten steps, walk ten steps, trot ten steps, walk ten steps. Making sure to be exact. This is something that I am going to be trying on Saturday for my weekly lesson as it is going to really help with Gatsby's impulsion and it just sounds fun. 

77. Lunge your horse over a cross country jump. This just founds really fun to do. 

80. List five things that your horse did well at the end of your ride for a whole month. Don't list any of the weaknesses. This is something that I will be starting this Saturday. 

94. See if you can pick something up off the ground from your horses back. Hmmm.. This might be hard to do because Gatsby is 16+hh. Maybe if i could use a stick or something like that to help me out.

96. Ride as many Halt to trot transition as you can down the centre line. Something else that I plan to try out this saturday. 

108. Plan a pas de deux with a riding friend. 

111. Canter as slowly as you possible can without trotting or walking. See if you can canter so slowly that a person can walk or jog next to you on the ground. This might take a while because Gatsby and I have lots of energy and tend to be quite forward in the canter. 

121. Try to touch your toes while sitting in the saddle. Another thing that I would like to try on saturday I am pretty sure that I can do it, but I need to double check. 

122. Take a riding lesson bareback. Something that I have always wanted to be able to do. 

130. Open a gate on horse back. 

136. Go on a picnic with your horse. Saddle bags or a backpack can carry the food. This is something that I would like to do when I get my own horse on a nice summer day, not far from where I live there is a lovely park with woods and lakes, pretty view, nice food, good company and a wicked ride! 

151. Get involved with a breed organisation or local riding group, and do at least one ride as part of that organisation each year. I've always believed in helping out where I can do, I would love to get involved with a charity for horses and do fun rides for this, but this is something that I would do with my own horse. 

157. Consciously smile for five full minutes on your next ride. It's always good to be positive. 

167. Try polo or polocrosse. If you can't find a group to try it with or the right equipment, try broom polo! I'm always up for trying something new and different I have also always wanted to try and do Horseball. I've also been interested in trick/stunt riding. 

170. Stand on your horse. 

179. Fill a plastic cup with water and see if you can ride carrying the cup without spilling any water at the walk, trot, canter and back up. This is the type of thing that we would do at pony club with the younger kids and it would be so much fun. 

180. Teach your horse to bow. Some people don't like the idea of this but I think that it would be interesting.

183. Let your horse lead. 

188. Ask someone who watches you ride for advice to help you and your horse. You don't have to take it. My mum always watches me ride and normally gives me advice after a ride. But I do not tend to ask her for advice after a lesson maybe this is something i should do in the future. 

190. Enter a money class at a show. 

195. Ride your horse at a local cross-country course, even if you don't take any of the jumps. We do actually have a cross country course set up at the stables. There is also a cross country course at Broomfield College and for several reasons I'd love to take my own horse there. 

199. Take your horse's pulse before a ride, and after, and catalogue it for a month. Something that I have never done before, and that I think would be cool to do, it would give me a better insight in to how the horses body works. 

200. Lunge or videotape your horse to see if their hooves land heels first, flat footed, or toe first. Heels first landing indicates healthy travel. I think I would do this as a video, I would ask my mum to video me while I am riding Gatsby. 

202. Leg yield between two points and count how many steps it takes you.  Then repeat the exercise but try to do one less step, then one more less. Seeing how few you can do it in between the two points.   I do lots of leg yielding with Gatsby as part of our warm up, but I have never tried experimenting with the striding. Maybe this is something that I should do to experiment.

210. Free jump your horse through a jump chute. Make sure the strides are set correctly for them. I would love to try doing this myself, I have seen my riding teacher do it with Pumpkin but never tried it myself. 

212. Practice relaxation exercises such as controlled breathing during rides so you can use the skills during more stressful rides when you want to. I think that in the long run this could help with my jumping as that is when I get the most tense. 

213. Try Pole bending with your horse.  I have done this before, but last time that I did it, there was cones on the ground so I'd like to try it with poles instead! 

There are lots of other things still on the list that I will be posting about in the future, whether these be things that I will never do or things that I might think about doing in the future but know that I need a lot more work before I decide to do them but stay tuned and I will let  you know what those things are. 

Until Then 
A Girl With A Dream - AmberRose. 

The list Part 1

Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Well I was reading a really interesting post that can be found here on Equestrian Journey's Blog and thought that I might have to copy the idea of the list, as with only being at my stables two days a week while I'm at Uni there isn't an awful lot horse related going on. There is 214 things on this list and first i'm going to put the things that I have already done! 

2. Canter straight between two poles set parallel on the ground, make them as narrow as you can. This is something that I have done with Gatsby and other horses, I did this recently with Gatsby to work on my straightness when jumping and making sure we would get the right stride in canter before putting the jumps up. 

8. Ride in the rain, intentionally. Living in the UK it rains a lot so if I stopped riding just cause it rained I probably would not do that much riding!

10. Try riding in a new saddle. On Gatsby alone I have rode in three different saddles on him, when Riding Vettie and Mr Tubs I ride in a Sue Carson Dressage Saddle and I have to say that I love this type of saddle. 
Riding in Vettie's dressage Sue Carson Saddle. 

11. Place two poles on the ground a fair distance apart, then see how many strides and then how few strides you can ride between the two. If it helps you, you can have someone help count the strides from the ground. You can do this in walk, trot and canter. Done this mainly in canter, the most recent time I did this it was on a circle with four poles, 1 each at the main points of the circle. 

12. Ride Someone else's horse, even if you have to pay to do it. I don't have my own horse yet. So ride Jenny's every week (Gatsby), I've also rode Fiona's (Vettie), Elaine's (Mr Tubs) and before they passed away Kelly's (Rascal and Leo). 

20. Try doing an 'around the world' while someone holds the horse. This is something I used to do a lot as a kid but have tried recently with Gatsby. 

24. For one month, keep a diary chronically any and all rides you have with your horse. This blog was first made to track my riding progress on my journey to getting my own horse so up until this year 99% of my rides are on here, this year with so much going on I've been a bit slack but I'm back on it 

25. Learn to wrap polos correctly. All I'll say is Pony Club :D. 
These were bandages but it was the only photo that I have got. 
26. Explain to someone who knows nothing about horses something you are working on training your horse. Check to see if they understand. Well I frequently try and do this with Jack, he always asks what I'm doing in my riding at the minute and if it's something I think he won't understand I do try and explain it better to him but he still thinks dressage is 'showing off for horses' and dressage with music is 'showing off for horses to music', My boy makes me laugh :D. 

35. Ride through as many puddles as you can this winter. Just because it's funny when Gatsby sees his own reflection. 

40. Take an artistic portrait picture of your horse. I do photography at  uni… 

54. Ride a dressage test that you've never ridden before. Dressage tests are available online for free. Done this with Pony Club on the Dressage Rallies to improve my riding. 

56. Have someone lunge you on your horse, so you can practice your position without having to control the horse. Done this with Vettie, this was also the first time that I cantered Vettie. 

68. Halt without pulling on the reins. My riding teacher is all about using you're seat and position to do everything! 

73. Ride as deep into the corners of the arena as you can. Another one of my riding teachers favourite things to do. 

83. Apologize aloud to your horse the next time you make a mistake. Every time I do something wrong that really effects Gatsby you'll here me go 'sorry Gats'.

84. Do medium or extended trot down the long wall of the arena, and as you enter the corners of the arena collect and compress the trot as much as you can, carry it through the short wall, then return to medium or extended trot on the next long wall. Yep, done this with a few horses it really gets Gatsby listening and my aids to be a whole load more precise. 

87. Ride your horse in their turnout field. We put jumps in the field this summer and it was amazing! 

93. Get on your horse from the wrong side. Had to do this for one of the pony club tests can't say i particularly enjoyed it though! 

95. Ride in the dark. Used to every week during the winter at Broomfield on a wednesday night. I think there is something relaxing about doing it though. 
I sure do miss riding Thomas!

97. Try to touch your horses ears while you sit on their back. 

101. Take a picture or video while riding your horse.

102. Set four poles equidistance around a circle. Practice cantering around the circle, over the poles, in an even stride. See earlier about shortening and lengthening strides between poles. 

104. Jump your horse over a small jump, then have them step over the same jump without jumping. Frequently happens but this is normally Gatsby's way of saying 'come on amber lets make it bigger'.
Can not find the trot photo, but here was the first time that we jumped it. 

117. Drop your reins while trotting and see if you can maintain a consistent trot rhythm without them. I also do this to see if Gats will stay in an outline on his own, self carriage.

118. Give your horse a full body bath. Pony Club last summer. 

125. Ground Drive your horse. Done this with Taz during Pony Club.

128. Laugh out Loud.  All the time during my lessons :D. 

129. On a 20m circle, leg yield in to a small circle, then leg yield back out to the 20m circle. Not done this in a  while but have done it with Gatsby to get him really listening to my leg aids. It is NOT easy. 
142. Weak a riding helmet every ride. 

143. Do sitting trot with no stirrups. Done lots of it but can't say that I love it, but I do enjoy cantering without stirrups!
Preferred my canter picture without stirrups. 
153. Hug your horse! All the time, I love Gatsby! 

158. Ride in front of a mirror. Broomfield had mirrors in the indoor school, hoping that we are getting mirrors at my stables this time. 
Excuse my really shocking riding! 

161. Ride a square shape (best done in walk or canter), instead of arching through the corners, turn your horse on their haunch so they swing their forehand around as if in a pirouette. Done this but turning on the forehand as well. 

182. Choose one thing to never do with your horse, then never do it. Never ever teach a horse to rear up, it's dangerous and unsafe for who ever rides it. 

198. Body paint designs on your horse. I have painted all Gatsby's bones on to him twice. 

206. Run beside your horse in step with them to see what their stride is like for you. I got bored one day and was told to keep Gatsby warm while we changed his saddle. Also done this while leading at the Pony Club evenings. 

208. Identify one thing that is unique and special about your horse. He knows better than I what I can and can't do and he will tell me, and if he KNOWS i can do something he'll push me to do it. He believes in me. 

214. Do that thing that you've always wanted to do with your horse. Each and every time I ride finish on a positive note, set my self small goals for during that lesson and complete them during that lesson. It helps me to feel like I've accomplished something and never finish a ride feeling disappointed, even if I have to go back and do something simple that's what I'll do. :D. 
Always end on a good note, see smiles all around, though i'm not sure what Gatsby is looking at. 

Next Time I will make a list of things that I want to do off the list. 
Until Then 
 A Girl With A Dream - AmberRose 

22nd November 2014 - Riding Gatsby AND….

Saturday, 22 November 2014
Hiya Everyone, 

Well it's been a while since I post but things have been really hectic, between Uni and Riding there is not much time for anything else. So first of all I thought I would tell you all about riding Gatsby and a special surprise ;). 

Well i started off my lesson riding my all time favourite Gatsby, we decided that we were going to work on riding without stirrups as this is something that I was doing a lot of but haven't done in a while and seen as I'm feeling a lot more confident I decided that it was time to do it again and I have video's for you all :). We warmed up in walk and trot, doing small amounts of leg yield and working on keeping both Gatsby and I straight. The outline came a lot easier this time, and we managed to get it in walk and trot and best of all we were maintaining it through transitions and for the majority of the hour. (See the video's below), 

Then after riding Gatsby I got a ride on the lovely horse that can be seen below. This is Mr. Tubs who is Elaine's horse. He is a lovely cob with a great temperament and very forward. He is a completely different ride to Gatsby and in many ways I find Gatsby a lot easier to ride than Mr. Tubs but I do enjoy riding Tubby, he's great. We got a few moments in the outline but I just need to adjust more to riding him, he's the type of horse that needs to be rode a lot straighter, he tends to drop out through his right shoulder. We even did a small amount of trot (but I didn't get this on video).


These two horses are so very different to ride but I really enjoyed it. Elaine and I have even said that we will be swapping more often, so we both can get used to riding other horses. I think it will be really fun and next week we will be working on canter work. 

Until Next Time 
A Girl With A Dream - Amber