December 27, 2014

TOABH: I'm a Loser, Baby

This latest installment of Beka and Archie's blog hop asks:

Let's talk about your horse's biggest fail.  What did Thunderhooves do that embarrassed you, scared you, shocked you or just annoyed you?
I am happy to say that this year I didn't get embarrassed by Ypke!  I also didn't get launched!
But, alas, in past years getting embarrassed in a public setting was inevitable whenever Ypke was involved. 
At the time when this took place, Ypke and I were only kind of involved with 4-H. We went to the occasional ride meet, and I attended all the information meetings.  I had just switched groups and was rather excited to show off my dear Ypke. Without further ado, let's throw it way back to July 2012...

Norwegian Fjord
Story time!
It was a blazing hot July afternoon, and I was off to the riding practice. Ypke loaded within two minutes (score!) and we were off to the arena. We arrived 45 minutes early, so there was plenty of time to warm up and get used to the facility (double score!).

Wherever we go, Ypke always draws attention, something that my not-so-humble-never-fallen-off (at that time) self loved. Around that time frame, I thought that we were all that, and I was excited to show off our mad dressage skills.  I'm sure we were a sight for sore eyes: muddy boots, tank top, hair down, ill fitting helmet, mediocre equitation, out of control pony, and squeaky Wintec... Good ol' Wintec, you were such a trusty saddle despite your voice!

Squeak, squeak, squeak.

We were racing around the arena at an uncontrolled extended trot. The pony's head was sky high and I was on the incorrect diagonal, trying with all my might to slow her down.  After several laps around the arena and jumping out of the ring a few times, I finally managed to halt her. Immediately when I halted her she began to paw.  How cute, I thought.

After she quit pawing I rode her over to the roundpen where there was a lunging tutorial going on. I was so busy watching that I didn't even notice Ypke was pawing again until it was too late. As I finally noticed she was pawing and dismounted, a strange "not quite right" feeling settled in my gut. Right when I dismounted, she dragged and shoved led me about 15 feet away to an extra deep, sandy area of the arena.

Down she went. Straight onto the arena sand. Straight on top of her tack. She was rolling. I was flat out mortified as I watched, trying to get her up to no avail.   My cheeks were burning red with both anger and embarrassment after a man standing nearby began to snicker and insult us.  The same man who thinks he is an expert on all things horse and chimes in ALL THE TIME with very rude and idiotic advice.  Everyone watching the lunging session turned and look at us, and I was now beyond mortified.
Horse rolling
rollin' n' hatin'
She got up and shook herself off, resulting in a dust cloud surrounding anyone within 5 miles.  Luckily, the tack was perfectly fine! I miss that trusty Wintec, it went through heck and back that day and wasn't even scratched. That is the major pro of synthetic tack — it takes a lot to ruin it!

I got back on and we were off again; trotting madly around the dressage arena once again. There was one spook in which I almost fell off, but other than that the meet went well. During showmanship she rolled three times though. Everyone thought she was colicing, but she was just enjoying the hot sand on a blazing hot day.

Moral of the story: If your horse begins to paw on a hot day... or while they are in water... keep them moving forward!  Lesson learned.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that she threw a fit about loading, and we were there until 10:00pm.  Of course, horses who don't load attract major crowds... typically crowds who are extremely unhelpful.

December 26, 2014

Equestrian Social Media Link Up

Tracy had the great idea to start up a social media link up for us equestrian bloggers!  Here are my social media accounts for the blog:


December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!   I hope your day is filled with good company and good food :)

December 23, 2014

TOABH: Shining Star

This week, Beka asked:
Let's talk about the biggest achievements your horse has accomplished.  I'm not talking about you as a rider - I want to know what your ponykins has done to make you proud.  Is there a glorious satin collection, did he/she figure out some dressage movement that took months to learn, or are is it just a great day when your butt stays in the saddle?

I would have to say this year is extra significant in how proud I am of Ypke!  While we had a rather rocky start with some spooks and her almost tossing my sorry bum off on numerous occasions, there was a major attitude change in late spring.
No more of things like this under saddle!
In June - August we got extra serious about preparing for the week long fair (Ypke's first show ever).  Ypke was consistently being ridden five days a week and she was usually an angel.  She was always very willing to try anything and everything - even when she was hauled out to new locations.   Usually she wants to throw notable tantrums at least once  every few rides, but that hasn't happened in months.

Then of course, there was the fair.  Despite a tack changing disaster, me being a nervous wreck, and her being in an extra crazy, stressful environment at our first show together - she took it all like a pro - even during our first class when I rode like a sack of potatoes.   She never spooked, she never tried to take advantage of me, she was just a dream to ride.  We even did our dressage test in a bit she had only worn once (and disliked... but it was the only legal one we could find) and Ypke was seriously like a push button ride. 

Plus, she won grand champion in all of her classes besides showmanship... I have proof that for once we managed to get our act together!

Grand champion + blue flat in stockseat

December 22, 2014

December's 10 Questions

1. What size horse do you prefer to ride?
I feel most comfortable with shorter, stout horses (or large ponies).  However, I'm a touch over 5'9 and have very long legs, so I definitely look better on the taller horses.  Luckily Ypke is very solid as far as build goes at 14.1hh, and it works out fine. :)
My only riding picture from fair...
2. Do you school in tall boots or half chaps and paddock boots?
I usually wear Tredstep half chaps and Ariat paddock boots.  They are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and I don't care too much if they get trashed... my tall boots on the other hand...

3. What do you do with your ribbons after shows?
Since I don't show much my collection is pretty small: a little over 30 flats and a dozen rosettes.  I write the show's name, the class I won them in, the horse's name, and the date on the back of them.  At the moment they are tucked away neatly in a dresser drawer, but I hope to hang the rosettes up in my room soon enough. 

4. Do you ride/board at a large show barn or a small private barn?
Definitely small private since they are kept on our property.  You can see the barn via this post.

5. Have you seen a horse give birth?
 Yes, only once though!
The foal
6. What is your favorite breed?
I am obligated to say Fjords because I love Ms. Ypke and how cute they all are!  Second favorite is QH just because the ones I have ridden have all been so trusty and well tempered.

7. Favorite tack brand?
It depends on the item.  For bridles I have always loved KL Select and Otto Schumacher, for saddles I like County.

8. Would you ever buy used tack?
 Definitely just so long as it is in good condition.  There are some sweet deals out there for tack that is literally in brand new condition.

 9. Ever been on a carriage ride?
 Yep, a couple of times!  Lots of fun!

10. How often do you go to the tack store?
I go to the feed store every couple of months to re-stock the feed and shavings/bedding supply.  The nearest decent tack shop is over 3 hours away, but I usually end up there once a year.  I really just stick to online ordering from SmartPak!

November 9, 2014

The Dogkey

When I do spend time with Jethro, we usually have quite an adventure.  In fact, recently we got lost in the woods during a rainstorm on one of our walks.  However, that isn't the most exciting news of these past few weeks.  Get this: Jethro is actually a dog x donkey hybrid, aka a dogkey.  Dogkeys enjoy long walks, cuddling, and most of all: Frisbee.

Tricks to teach a donkey

Yup, I taught Jethro how to play Frisbee.

With clicker training.

In all of 10 minutes.

What a smart ass!

Being the easily amused person I am, I got to thinking about what tricks I could teach Jethro.  Bowing, sitting, and all those shenanigans are too mainstream.  Jethro is no mainstream mini.  Jethro is a sassmaster who needs to channel his sass by doing something outside of the box.  Jethro needs to play Frisbee.

I started out by just having him touch the Frisbee with his nose, just like targeting.  After he got that down, I threw the Frisbee and had him run over and touch it with his nose.  Cue a lot of treats, clicks, and praise.  Once he got this down, I had him hold the Frisbee in his mouth.  Furthermore, I threw the Frisbee and had him pick it up and bring it back. 


Donkey playing Frisbee. Not something you see everyday, huh?

October 18, 2014

Saturday Stills: Groundwork

Horse extended trot
Free lunging/roundpenning

Lunging your horse
Lunge line
Desensitizing your horse
Desensitizing to rustling

Clinton Anderson yielding the hindquarters
Yielding the hindquarters

October 4, 2014

Clicker Training with the Whips-a-Daisy: Targeting

Part II of III in the Whips-a-Daisy series
Part I can be found HERE

For Jethro's training session with the Whips-a-Daisy I decided to work with him on targeting.  For those of you not familiar with targeting, it is a tool that clicker trainers use to be a "safe place" for their horses.  How it works is you choose a target (in Jethro's case, the Whips-a-Daisy) and start out by having them touch their nose to it, and in turn they receive a click and a treat.  Since they actually want to touch the target, it is useful for getting your horse over "scary" things. With Ypke I have successfully used targeting for crossing bridges, tarps, water, etc.  As they get used to things, you no longer need the target for that specific thing.  This was Jethro's very first targeting session.
Jethro getting used to to the whole targeting thing
As you all know, Jethro is just a baby and isn't even a year old yet.  Just from what I have observed from dealing with young animals of any sort as well as humans, babies often times don't have the largest attention span and get bored quickly.  Jethro has been known to get bored very easily, and I think that the unusual appearance as well as noise of the Whips-a-Daisy was rather intriguing to him.  He marched right through a thirty minute session and was focused on the task at hand for nearly the whole time.
Learning how to cross the tarp
I decided to teach Jethro how to cross the tarp, something he has never done before.  At first he was pretty scared, but once bringing out the target he was much more willing to cross.  Soon enough, he had it down in no time!

Crossing the bridge
One of the things I like about the Whips-a-Daisy is how convenient it is.  Many people use miniature cones for targets, but in my opinion they can be a bit of a hassle if you have to frequently pick them up and move them around.  Each Whips-a-Daisy is an ideal length for keeping the animal out of your personal space bubble, but yet at the same time not TOO far away.

Loading into the trailer
Jethro's targeting session went very well, and I am excited to see what else I can teach him with the help of the Whips-a-Daisy.

Jumping the railroad tie
The verdict: Jethro jumps with joy when he sees the Whips-a-Daisy! :)

**Disclosure: Whips-a-Daisy sent me their products free of charge for review purposes.  While I did receive these products at no expense, all thoughts expressed in this review are based off of my own experiences.  Despite my experience being positive, I cannot guarantee their products.**

October 1, 2014

Perfect lil' Pony

Ypke has really been about as awesome as can be lately.  Ever since fair, there has yet to be any major disagreements between us (of course, there is the occasional small thing). It has been super nice to just enjoy riding instead of finding myself getting into a bickering fest with her every 5 seconds. 
Fjord horse

For the longest time I actually dreaded having to go and work with and ride Ypke.  I was constantly scared of the possibility of her spooking, me falling off, her taking advantage of my nervousness, etc.  Riding is supposed to be a FUN time, not a time where you are terrified of becoming roadkill.  From the second day of fair through the present time I haven't been filled with fear being around Ypke, I have been actually been ENJOYING myself.  Can you imagine?  Someone actually enjoying being around horses?  Impossible.

I have noticed that not being a tense mess has actually helped my equitation a lot.  My leg is getting much steadier, my shoulders are a lot farther back (still have to work on them though), my arms are no longer as straight as boards, etc.  Now that I am actually relaxed I can look half decent in pictures.

Since suddenly becoming a heck of a lot braver, I have been living a life that the old me would have considered, "quite reckless."  I ride her around hands free, I have been practicing neck reining on a loose rein the majority of our rides, etc.  I have also been working with her on things I wouldn't have normally done such as leg yielding, which she can be quite the whiz at.

Unfortunately, now that summer is over I am a busy person now.  I have only been riding once a week, and the pony has become quite fat. 

September 20, 2014

"Train without pain" Whips-a-Daisy

[Note: The Whips-a-Daisy is newer to the market, and the company sent me three of them in different sizes to review and test out.  This will be a three part series: The review itself, a training session w/ Ypke, and a training session w/ Jethro.]
As you all know by now, I am an avid clicker trainer and am not a fan of the common "get rough and tough" training attitude that many people adapt to whenever their horse (or donkey) acts up.  When I found out about Whips-a-Daisy and their epic slogan, "train without pain," I knew right away that they were my kind of company.

The Whips-a-Daisy comes in three sizes: bat, training/dressage, and lunge.  Originally the plan was that they were just going to send over a training size one, but they kindly threw in the other two sizes as well!  They are super nice people and you can tell just from talking to them that they truly believe in their product and think about things through the horse's perspective.  On top of that, the products arrived within a week.  Great people + speedy shipping!

Now, you are probably looking at the picture above and thinking that it looks rather unique.   Your normal whip is typically black and "bland" looking if you will, and they also don't make noise until they make contact with the horse.  On the other hand, the Whips-a-Daisy is the exact opposite, it presents a noticeable visual aid and the streamers on the end make noise without having to come in contact  with the horse.  On top of that, I also did a test: I smacked myself on the leg with a normal crop (not as hard as I could) and then repeated the same thing with the Whips-a-Daisy (using a lot more force than the with the crop).  The crop provided my poor leg with a momentary sharp pain that lingered for a couple of seconds while the Whips-a-Daisy didn't even come close to hurting the slightest bit.

The Whips-a-Daisy seems to be a well made product for sure!  It is comfortable to hold and not awkward to use.   The streamers are well attached and don't look like they have any intention of falling off.  

On top of being a well made product, it also serves as a magical wand.  The purple Whips-a-Daisy I was sent was able to turn Jethro into a purple fairy.  

**Disclosure: Whips-a-Daisy sent me their products free of charge for review purposes.  While I did receive these products at no expense, all thoughts expressed in this review are based off of my own experiences.  Despite my experience being positive, I cannot guarantee their products.**

September 15, 2014

Colorful Equine Custom Fly Masks

Last week Colorful Equine kindly sent me one of their fly masks.  It was super fun looking through all of the possible customization options, and it was difficult to decide on just one mask.  With 47 trims, 10 meshes, and 10 "Dazzle Me" patterns to choose from, you have 4700 possibilities to choose from.  Decisions, decisions! 

After a lot of thought and some concern over what I should choose, I finally reached a verdict.  The next day (Friday) I received an email that the fly mask had shipped, and on Monday afternoon it was delivered!  All I can say about that is wow seeing as how that is insanely fast for any item, not to mention a customized item.  On top of that, the owner of the business replied to me via email with lightening speed.  Really, this is just a speedy business.

Custom horse fly mask

Once it arrived I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened the package.  Things had been going so great, and I was worried that the mask might not live up to the awesome customer service.  Upon opening it up, I was pleasantly surprised!  The fleece is very soft and I felt myself getting the urge to bury my face into it (yeah, I'm weird like that), it reminded me of a fuzzy onesie that's fresh out of the drier... so soft and warm, oh-so soft and warm.  On top of that, the mesh seems to be of good quality and the stitching seems sturdy.

As far as sizing goes, I would say it fits her just as well as her other fly masks.  My one small complaint is that it gaps out some near the ears.  That being said, if you know in advance that your horse has a unique shape, Colorful Equine will tailor the mask to fit your needs.  Just send them your horse's measurements.

Custom horse fly mask

This mask is really just too cute, and it will be her official show and photoshoot fly mask.  Ypke is rather rough on her turnout gear, and I am worried that this lovely thing would get stained if it was an everyday mask (pasture pictures were taken purely for modeling purposes).  Due to this, I can't comment on how durable it is, but it is definitely very solid as far as stitching and quality of the materials.  My main concern is just staining! I would rate this a solid 4.7 out of 5, Ypke approved!

**Disclosure: Colorful Equine Custom Fly Masks sent me a fly mask free of charge for review purposes.  While I did receive this product at no expense, all thoughts expressed in this review are based off of my own experiences.  Despite my experience being positive, I cannot guarantee their products.**

September 14, 2014

What time is it? Adventure time!

Jethro is seriously up for anything — be it being brushed and cuddled with, getting dressed up as a fairy, or going on a fierce adventure through the elements. Allow me to tell the greatly exaggerated story of Jethro's Journey.
Miniature donkey

It started out as a normal walk, and we kept to the trails as usual.
But alas, typical routines are boring, so we decided to go off the beaten path.

Miniature donkey

We ended up in a deep, dark, heavily wooded forest. Despite getting lost, Jethro bravely marched through the thick underbrush without a care in the world. 

Miniature donkey

We came to a ditch that had to be crossed and stairs that had to be walked up, and the brave little donkey did just that.

Suddenly, we realized that the stairs went off to Lala Land and we fell ran down a steep, grassy slope.

Miniature donkey

As we were running uncontrollably down the hill (read: Jethro was galloping and bucking about and I was getting dragged by the 100 pound beast), it struck me that at the bottom there was a 10' cliff that ended in jagged rocks before becoming a raging river.  Whoopsie.

Miniature donkey

I slammed on the brakes and with all my strength reeled in the dreadful donkey.  We charged up the hill (read: Jethro galloped and bucked about up the hill while I was getting dragged) only to find ourselves in the middle of a lush field.  The little donkey was shocked and dove right into the grass.

Horse rearing

But then the human made him go home and the donkey became dreadful once again.

September 6, 2014

Soul selling and other shenanigans

Really, it is no lie that Ypke was awesome at fair as far as riding goes. That said, there was one huge tad issue though that posed a threat to the general public's safety — she refused to enter the barn.

I can't say I blame her — the barns were HOT even with all of the fans, and she had never been stalled for a week straight before. In true Ypke manner, she adamantly refused to do something she didn't want to do. Seeing as how we were constantly taking her in and out of the barn, we had a problem on our hands.

Throughout the years of owning Ypke, I have found that she is a very intelligent beastie who senses patterns easily and knows how to put two and two together. This proved to a be a problem when all 1100lbs. of her decided to go barreling back 30 feet into a sea of people... all in an effort to avoid the dreaded toaster.

First we did a simple trick: having her follow a steady eddy horse nose-to-tail.  It worked...once.  Then the madness of her flying back happened.

Then THEY came, like vultures swooping in to devour some sorry animal. By "they," I mean the people who think they are God's greatest gift to man kind — the wannabe trainers who get all up in your face with their "training" advice.

It is almost like people just assume I am a complete idiot who hasn't tried any common sense tactics, and I received many:
"Have you tried having her follow another horse?"
"Have you tried treats?"
"Have you tried lunging her when she doesn't go in?"
"Have you tried backing her in?"

I also received many comments such as:
"Just use a whip!"
"If nobody was around, I would give her a beating she would remember."
"Have you tried a stud chain?"
"Don't let her back, PULL!" Hahaha, like I can out-muscle a Fjord of all horses.
"You will never get her in."
"You aren't being tough enough with her."

Then of course, the one I always dread:
"Let me try!"

To up the ante, there was constantly children surging up behind Ypke wanting to meet the horse from Frozen. The inattentiveness of some parents never ceases to amaze me.Yes, let your kids try to run underneath a misbehaving horse! Great idea! Then, of course, there were some snobs standing around, enjoying us struggling to get her in the barn. Fun! Luckily my 4-H group is awesome, and they really did help us out a lot.


After a while, someone brought out this epic sweet feed that is practically like crack for horses, and Ypke waltzed right into the barn. She wouldn't go in for her usual grain, peppermint treats, carrots, apples, or hay.  However, she was willing to sell her soul for this mystical brand of sweet feed. Yup, I found out the source and proceeded to stock up on our own supply!

August 25, 2014

Ponytail Products

As most of you know, Ypke and Jethro went to the county fair last week. Ponytail Products kindly sent me their Show Pony Shine (a high gloss serum for manes and tails) to glitz Ypke and Jethro up for the special occasion. I really like clean, shiny ponies so I was interested to see how spiffed up I could get these two.

The packaging is quite simply slick and elegant. The scent is absolutely lovely as well — definitely a relaxing aroma. To up the ante, they also use human grade ingredients. In fact, after reading the ingredients list you don't have to search up words on Google!

ponytail products

Ypke's coat itself is always super shiny, but her tail and forelock tend to be rather frizzy and dull. I figured that she would be an excellent horse to put this product to the test. I poured the serum onto my hands and began to rub it into her tail and was pleasantly surprised. You know how sometimes when you get conditioner/shine serums on your hands and they begin to feel super sticky and disgusting? This was definitely not the case! It easily soaked into her tail, and I hardly had any left on my hands after I rubbed it all into her hair. Plus, my palms felt super duper soft afterwards — this stuff is practically lotion as well!

I did notice that her mane and tail were a lot less tangled and frizzy, and they had a bit more shine too.

long horse tail

I decided to test the product out on myself as well. After a long day of showing at the fair, I had to give a public presentation, and my hair was an absolute disaster. It was tangled, sweaty, and smelly — just great! I used a small amount of the serum and massaged it into my hair. The tangles literally disappeared and my hair was shinier and softer than usual. Don't confuse shiny with greasy — it did not make my hair greasy/stringy in the slightest bit. I got the highest score possible for physical appearance/neatness, so the product must have done something right :)

Furthermore, I also decided to test it out on my mom's horse. The left picture is before and the right it after. The pictures speak for themselves!

ponytail productsponytail products

**Disclosure: Ponytail Products sent me the Show Pony Shine free of charge for review purposes. While I did receive this product at no expense, all thoughts expressed in this review are based off of my own experiences. Despite my experience being positive, I cannot guarantee their products.**

August 24, 2014

We are the champions!

Well that happened!
Fair is over, and I survived.  It was hectic and completely tiring, but worth it.  A lot happened, and I will leave you with this recap of the classes before I relax.  More to come!

Haul in - Two hours for Ypke, 2 seconds for Jethro.

Jethro's Green horse showmanship - The little man did AWESOME!  He was on his very best behavior and did everything great, but I forgot the pattern and screwed up a bit. Despite that, we walked away with a grand champion rosette and red flat! Even though we were the only pair in the class, I do think that I deserved the red flat and he deserved the grand champion. He is an awesome little dude.
What a dandy
Jethro's costume contest - The 'lil man dressed up as a manly harvest fairy and won the special award for his personality and a blue flat.  He is one of the first, if not the very first, donkey at our fair and everyone was obsessed.  We literally had to bulldoze our way out since there was a sea of people waiting to meet him. Little kids were running up behind him while waving balloons and screaming while others pulled on his ears and tail. The little dude was so tolerant and just stood there.

Ypke's showmanship - Let's just say that I was "that person."  It was awful. She was prancing around every which way, neighing, and was not listening to me at all. I was very confused about the pattern and freestyled it. I knew we didn't stand a chance at all, so I was just like, "Screw it, this is how it is going to be," and went this way and that during our pattern. Unfortunately, the judge just couldn't follow the greatness of it all and we came in ninth out of eleven. I don't know how people managed to place below us, but whatever.

Ypke's walk/trot English equitation - I went through heck and back getting into that class. The cheek pieces on the headstall somehow got twisted and Ypke had a meltdown over that. I had to do an emergency bridle change, and then she got loose. Luckily a kind lady helped me out, and Ypke didn't go far. I was a complete mess after that ordeal and Ypke was being high-strung, but luckily my trainer swung by and really helped me through it. With a mere two minutes left before the class, I quickly warmed up,and completely forgot to put on my gloves and ratcatcher/collar. Oh, and I also dropped my black show coat in the dirt, so I guess you could say I looked like a ratchet mess going in there.  
Once in the ring Ypke was a little superstar, and everything went smoothly with no issues. The judge docked me down for "inappropriate apparel" (missing ratcatcher/collar) and picking up the wrong diagonal once. She also said my legs were rather far behind me. We pulled away with a grand champion rosette and red flat.

Pretty much my equitation was bad, my apparel was a mess, and Ypke did great.

Ypke's walk/jog Western equitation - This time I was against numerous other people. I rode Ypke in her snaffle with two hands and thus was marked down some points right from the start. When we were asked to trot our horses, Ypke stopped and urinated. What a great way to start a ride in the ring!  Luckily we did great after that and nailed everything. Ypke did a great slow western jog and completed the pattern flawlessly. We won a blue flat and grand champion. To make it sweeter, I wasn't nervous at all during this ride.

Dressage - They ran this way ahead of time and I had all of 5 minutes to tack up, get dressed, and head to the ring for our Intro B test. I rode her in a French link snaffle that I had only ever ridden her in once (and it went AWFUL that one time). I didn't get to warm up at all and pretty much mounted up and went into the ring immediately. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous at all.

Ypke really wanted to move out, but she was listening well. The judge said we had soft transitions, quiet cues, nice impulsion, and were overall very straight (also- my leg was not too far back behind me!)  However, we do need to work on adding more bend in our corners and circles - something I have never really thought about or focused on. We received a blue flat and grand champion.

Photography - I won reserve grand, the special award, and the fair theme award. All of my other photos received blue flats.

Public presentation - I did this on therapeutic donkeys and received a blue flat and grand champion.
Gosh, I love this horse

August 12, 2014

Ypke is the best!

I couldn't have asked for a better horse last Thursday at our 4-H ride meet! Here is a brief summary of it all.

Our first showmanship pattern was a complete fail, mostly due to me not giving clear instruction of what I wanted — I pretty much relied on her to figure it out.  During our second try I actually communicated to her what exactly I was asking, and she did very well.  Communicating works wonders.

For riding this time I was much less nervous.  It seemed like Ypke felt that I wasn't about to puke out of nervousness, and she really had a "go with the flow" mindset.  There were eight other horses in the arena with us, and she didn't get distracted once.  She was listening super duper well and did everything (be it halting, backing, changing directions, circling, moving out, or slowing down) right when I asked.  Yay, Ypke!
I finally have proof that I do actually ride Ypke - YES!

Towards the end of the meet we worked on patterns.  Our pattern was the following: Pick up a slow jog at Cone A, pick up the pace/move out at Cone B, halt at Cone C, back up four steps, and head back to the line.  To sum it up real quick, we did the pattern amazing!  Usually it is just okay and we have a brief disagreement, but this time it was actually great.  Ypke is usually extremely impatient and hates waiting in the line, but she was more than willing to stand there patiently today.

There was also a shocking twist at the end.
*drum roll*
She loaded in under 1 minute!!  She just hopped right up into the trailer and didn't throw a tantrum when it was time to leave.  I was seriously in disbelief.  Usually it is at least a 1.5 hour struggle, but Thursday was a whole different story.

It was almost as if I had a different Fjord. 
Also, fair is next week, so you won't be hearing from us on here until is over.  August has been such a busy/hectic month this year, I will be relieved when it ends.  Ypke and I will be doing showmanship, walk/jog English equitation, walk/jog Western horsemanship/equitation, and the Intro B dressage test.  Jethro and I will be doing green horse showmanship, the costume contest, and the in-hand obstacle relay.  While there will be no blog posts, I will try my best to keep their social media profiles active!
Facebook page - The Moody Mare
Jethro's Instagram - @jethrothedonkey
Ypke's Instagram - @themoodymare