Thursday, December 05, 2013

Anniversary!

Hey guys!

First, I'd like to apologise to all my readers for the lack of updates. Unfortunately, I am not a blogger. I'm not used to posting updates regularly. Once I happened to stop for a couple weeks, I pretty much just stop. Maybe one day, I'll be able to remember what happened all those weeks that have been lost for now. Who knows? I have terrible memory :|

This will be a short update on my progress in horse riding as I'm sure you're keen to know lol. I've been bucked by 4 different horses by now. The first one was by Dibbie. Bucked me twice. For a couple months after that, my confidence had disappeared. He scared the shit out of me with that lovely view of the ground... No, don't worry, I never got bucked *off*. I managed to stay on all those bucks. I'm happy to say that I managed to get my confidence back in full force and apparently learned how to control the horses better than I used to, somewhere along the lines... o.O

Fell off (slipped off?) about... twice I think. Once when Ruby went too fast for me and I lost balance, and the other time when Prada tripped and I lost balance... XD I've had many other horses tripping since then, but so far, no more falling. Which is good. The ground has been soaking wet and I do not wanna be muddy... In Malaysia...

Maybe it was a mistake riding Ruby so much. She was really gentle and although had her naughty moments, she was very obedient compared to the other horses. These days, I'm finding it hard to get a horse to canter. Now sure why, but they just don't jump into a canter, no matter how many times I ask. They just trot faster and faster, and trying to sit a fast trot is extremely painful and tiring... Oh well, I'll get there.

I have sad news as well. On the 9th of July, Ruby passed away at 11 years old. She had colic and couldn't be saved. This was shortly after I decided to stop riding her for a while because I needed a break from her... And now that my riding has improved, it's sad to know that I can no longer try riding her again... Rest in Peace, dear Ruby. You'll never be forgotten.

On a brighter note, Massa has given birth to the first horse foal in the club! Previous attempts weren't successful. Royal never got to be a mother, poor girl. Joey is growing larger and larger every week. It's a wonder how quickly he grew from the tiny tottering little frisk. Unfortunately, the club doesn't know how to stop bad habits and boredom, so Joey has taken it upon himself to peel and eat the paint found on Massa's stall bars...

On to my birthday and anniversary! Today, a year ago, my parents signed up for DARC club membership and riding lessons for me. The very first horse I rode was MrT. I requested to ride him again today and it was a nice ride. I enjoyed myself and have figured MrT out haha. He is a very lazy horse... Even better though, he jumped a few times! There was a puddle of water in the middle of the track and everytime we got to that point, I'd kick him and say 'Up' as I was told to do whenever we had to cross poles laid on the ground as if an obstacle course. And instead of just trotting across, he jumped, silly boy. It was fun indeed. Too bad my father is too lazy to take new pics/videos. Sorry about that, guys...

I will not be updating anymore. Maybe I will once in a blue moon. But I wouldn't expect more posts from me. Thanks for following me on the adventures I've posted so far. Let's hope I'll have more! Love you guys!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Seventeenth Lesson ~ One-Handed Reining!

Interesting ride today. While not great, it was pretty knowledgeable and I'm happy. We got off to a great start. Rode Ruby again and got Badal as a trainer. He took on 2 other riders who were only riding for 30 mins. Went to the main arena again. And for the first time ever, Ruby lead the group! :o I was the leader, woot! He taught us the differences between 60, 15 and 10 metre circles. And he told us the names of the 4 different walk types. Didn't teach us how to do those 4 walks though lol. We did a few rising and sitting trots. I improved my steering using not the reins, but body language! My balance certainly improved loads. I could just tilt to the side and Ruby turns! I tried using my eyes and thought silently where I wanted to go and Ruby actually followed. Damn! If you told me that I would be silently communicating with a horse back when I first started riding, I would've called you insane.

Oh oh! I can also mount Ruby from ground up EASILY now :D Last week, I had a whole lot of difficulties. Ruby is slightly taller than D'Alonzo and Siti Mas and with those two, I already had difficulties pulling myself up. Just that slight inch of difference in height was enough to make me give up and look for a stand XD Today, I didn't even really try pulling myself up. I just got up. Easily. Damnit, I'm getting good at this B) And best of all, it was not once, but twice. (Badal wanted to check something about Ruby, so I had to dismount and mount again) So proud of myself. This simple accomplishment is HUGE for me. Climbing a horse using a stand makes me feel embarrassed for some reason. It's as if I'm telling the horse that I'm not good enough to ride it.

So during that 30 mins, Badal concentrated on the other two riders. The comments I got were all 'Wrong diagonal' and 'Stay on the track'. More compliments that I can ride without as much supervision as I used to need. All in all, I handled myself and rode Ruby very well. Then the 30 mins were up and the other two riders dismounted. Ruby and I continued... that is, until the gate opened to let the other two riders out. Ruby charged to the gate (canter) XD Silly mare. That's another problem with group lessons, me thinks. Because the other horse is done in 30 mins, the horse I'm riding tends to think it's session is over too. That's when Ruby just flipped out like last week. My gosh, she can be really stubborn haha. Just like me! What a bitch :D

Badal didn't want me wasting too much time trying to get Ruby under control again, so he took us to the O-ring (that's what he called it). On the way there, I asked if Ruby was a one-rein horse. He confirmed it and I asked how to use one-rein. Yep, it's exactly like neck reining, except that apparently, I have to maintain full contact. The reins still had to be taut and in 'sort of' a straight line to my elbow (since my hand now has to be right above her withers). It was pretty weird. I asked if it was like neck rein and Badal got confused LOL! Oh dear. Guess I'll ask Mazlan or Zoffer next time. Looks like Badal didn't learn all the terms haha. He told me to 'push' the reins to the right is I wanted to go to the right and vice versa for left. I didn't control Ruby that way very well. I think due to my inexperience and my confusion. My confusion is that if theres still contact, wouldn't pushing the reins to the right pull on the left side of the bit and tell Ruby to go to the left instead? Weird. I really do want to ride her on my own to test this out. Having a trainer around isn't always the best way to experiment, since he'd be wondering what the hell you're doing and then give you all sorts of other directions (like 'Shorten the reins!') =/

Well anyway, I practised two-point again. He made me stay away from touching Ruby's neck, so I learned even more about balance. Standing in the stirrups without any other support was a bit wobbly lol. I got tired from the effort and we walked to calm down. I practised the one-rein here. I didn't really know if I did it correctly =/ The O-ring only had one direction, one track. And I'm now using my body language more. Along with the confusion I mentioned above, one-rein is gonna take me a while to learn.

Then we cantered. Badal taught me even more about balance here. He made me sit straight up, since I had the tendency to lean back so that I don't bounce so much. I definitely need more practice here. And I need to find out how one-rein works with canter LOL! We didn't canter much. I changed direction and we found out that Ruby is pretty naughty hehe. The gate to the O-ring is near one of the corners. When we turn that corner, the first thing a horse sees is the gate. So when cantering, Ruby has the habit of riding straight into the gate because she wanted to go back to her stall XD This was where Badal wanted to check if it was me or it was Ruby. After cantering on her a bit, he confirmed that it was silly Ruby. Another volunteer trainer came by and saw. He told me that it wasn't my fault and that Ruby is just either uncomfortable on that side or just wanna go back to the stables. He also said that if I managed to nudge her with my right heel while cantering  round that corner and got her to stay on the inner side of the track, I'd be a very good rider. Hmm. Must try again. :D I'm finding it slightly difficult to use only one leg when cantering. Bad enough that I can't really nudge her with both legs, since they're kinda moving all over the place D:

Ruby also stumbled once mid-canter. I nearly got thrown again. Kept my seat and she recovered. Badal says it was because Ruby got confused with my steering. Maybe, maybe not. She could just have lost her balance. I dunno. We went back, untacked her and then Badal told me that perhaps Ruby is a bit angry/grumpy today because she didn't get to go grazing o.o Gosh, she has a temper too, just like me! We are way too much alike! >.< So I took a halter and lead rope then led her out to graze. That favourite patch of weeds mum and I found? It grew back with MORE weeds! XD Wow, they're fast growing grass. Ruby chomped like crazy. I didn't pay much attention to her chomping as I usually did, but paid attention to her body. I dunno, but suddenly I was interested in watching her muscles, her wound on her withers, her long neck, her hooves... wait a sec... is that blood on her fetlock? YIKES! She was freshly bleeding on her right hind fetlock. Poor thing must've hurt herself. She stumbled more than a couple of times while grazing too. She didn't lift her front legs as high as she should've. I hope her muscles are okay...

I didn't walk her too much due to the fetlock wound. Let her chomp until she was no longer craving for grass, then took her back for a bath. Today's bath, I learned that you should actually scrub her hard. Badal called it 'massage' lol. I thought all that flinching and shuddering was that she didn't like it, but according to Badal, it's just that the horse hurts from the rider bumping into the saddle all the time. That made sense, so I watched him scrub her again, hard. She was flinching all over lol. Kept moving away from him. He wiped her down and then applied meds on her fetlock and withers. The wound on her withers is DEFINITELY smaller. I'm so happy. They were HUGE just a couple of weeks ago and now they look SO on the mend! Yay! ^_^ Soon, I'd be able to scrub her withers too!

Badal gave me oil to rub into Ruby's mane and tail. He says the oil helps encourage the hair to grow longer. She has a really pretty mane, which I combed very nicely. Then I rubbed the oil into her tail and combed that too. The story of how Ruby's tail got so short came out. Badal says her tail wasn't combed and untangled properly, so the hairs tangled at the tip of her tail, cutting off circulation and causing the hairs there to tear off :( I looked closer at the knob and it was quite scary. It was white, smooth and REALLY bald. Didn't look like anything would ever grow back on there. I'm gonna try though. Ruby has become my favourite horse and I'm gonna do my best to help fatten her, heal her wounds and get her tail back! Of course, I won't be able to do much, due to not going to the club often, but I can try my best everytime I'm there!

Oh! I also found out that Ruby is 11 years old! :D She's pretty young! Next question would be if she's an ex-racer hehe. I put her back in her stall, fed her carrots, went on my rounds and finished the rest on her. She is SO pampered on the treats! I also, for the first time ever, saw her bob her head when I approached! :o She's actually been pretty... unemotional like. Dad described her as a painting where the eyes just followed you. But today, she's just proved that she can be expressive too! I also came back to a messed up mane... >.< Bad Ruby! Must've rolled about. Silly horses. Always rolling about after a bath >.<

Sorry about the lack of videos. The camera is not functioning right anymore. The display goes black often. Don't know if we're ever gonna get it fixed or buy a new camera... Hopefully, we get a new cam and it'll be mine ._. I SO want that Panasonic dual screen cam! As soon as I can, I'll try to take more vids/pics.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Riding vs Exams

A dilemma that all riders who're still students face. What would you choose if you had exams very soon? Riding your favourite horse? Or studying for your exams?

I'm not a smart person, academically. I'm not an A student and I used to fail all my subjects except Science and English back in secondary/primary school. I'm no longer failing, but getting bad grades is not uncommon. So I should be studying, right?

I stressed over this decision. If I stayed home, I would be distracted and would keep thinking about Ruby and riding. I would be more stressed, agitated and anxious than I already am. It has been a rough month. As mentioned in my previous posts, I encouraged mum to continue with her lessons even if I'm not going so that she could catch up with me. Unfortunately, it's human nature to get jealous. So if I didn't ride, I'd have all sorts of negative emotions in me, resulting in a VERY dark and depressing cloud over my head.

But if I went riding, I would be spending 12 hours +away from my laptop where all my studying materials are. I would be wasting time. My exams are starting on the 25th. I haven't started studying. I only have a week to cram an entire semester. Can I do it? Probably. Will I remember what I crammed? Not so much. I wanted to take these two Saturdays off from riding so that I could give myself a headstart, maybe avoid not remembering what I crammed into a cram.

But would I be able to even concentrate on my studies if I didn't ride? I would definitely regret not seeing Ruby for so long. I would regret not taking the chance to ride some more. Riding has become an addiction for me... sort of. I don't seem to get enough of it. Only an hour a week and in just two days, I'm feeling nostalgic again. By the time the next Saturday arrives, I feel as if I hadn't ridden in a whole year. Sure, I've hurt myself, nearly gotten thrown off more than a couple of times, had a tough time trying to get my muscles working from a couch potato state, all sorts of problems. It hasn't stopped me from wanting to ride again.

I gave up torturing my brain. My friends told me to go ride too. I needed a way to de-stress. I needed something to help take my mind off exams. I definitely needed Ruby. I lost this battle of pleasure versus work. I called mum and told her to book my session. Guess I'll just zombie through my exams as I did last semester... Except, I'd be happier thanks to Ruby. I've decided that if I don't finish studying by next Saturday, I won't ride next Sat. I HAVE to at least finish studying 3 subjects... At least I only have 4 exams this sem and already have one Distinction at hand...

At least my addiction would be slightly soothed this week... And maybe, just maybe, my self-challenge can push me to study harder before next Saturday...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Foooooaaaaal!

 So I finally got around to editing and uploading this video. This was after I fed Ruby all her carrots. I decided to hang around while waiting for mum to finish grazing Zidane. I didn't graze Ruby cause I was tired out and she needed to rest her wound anyway. There were a lot of times when I stepped away from B.B. and Mona because Mona bites. I didn't bother to smack her or anything like that due to her being a mother. I knew that it was more about her protective instinct than her trying to show dominance.

B.B., short for Black Beauty, is a really friendly little darling, hehe. I could pretty much stroke her everywhere. Touching her tail makes her flinch though, probably because she can't see behind her. Her mane is seriously soft, like down feathers or wool. And her tail, to quote the girl in pink (watch the vid), is like a feather duster haha.

I soon got tired and stopped taking vids. This was when B.B. decided to go under the bar LOL! Wish I was still filming! The filly got curious and went out of the stall. Mona got anxious and tried to follow by jumping over the bar. Unfortunately for her, she had no space, so her back legs couldn't go over the bar and she got stuck. I was looking somewhere else when this happened, so all this is guesswork. I only noticed when Mona clanged the bar from trying to jump over. I had to call a stablehand to help out XD

So that was how they both escaped. The moment the stablehand pushed the bar off and released Mona, they both zoomed off to a patch of grass near the gazebo where kids waited for their turn on the joyrides. I guess they don't get let out very often. Mona immediately started munching while B.B. pranced about with tail held high and all hehehe. Then the camera's memory got full and I couldn't take more vids :(

Mona continued munching away. I think her priority over food is higher than her foal lol. She couldn't be bothered about where B.B. went or if there were too many people near her. B.B. later came over to us and allowed us to pet and hug her. She's gonna be a great pony one day hehe. The kids waiting there all had fun. The filly looked as tiny as they were and wasn't so intimidating haha.

They were obviously ignorant though, because they started trying to feed B.B. with stalks of grass that they plucked up. She definitely tried eating! It was cute, watching her chew and chew and chew on the stalks of grass. I think one stalk actually disappeared into her mouth completely. She produced more green saliva than actually eating though. Was probably wondering what this new thing is that tastes a bit like mummy's milk, yet so different XD

It was nearing lunch time, so another stablehand came over, got hold of Mona's halter and led her back to the stables. B.B. leaped into a gallop, speeding off to the stables. That filly was so happy to stretch her legs! It was like watching Speedy Gonzales zoom around! Can't wait to see her take kids for joyrides one day xD


Sunday, March 10, 2013

No Pain, No Gain ~ Part 6

So I woke up this morning with my arms and shoulders aching. A horse is a horse, gentle or not, they have serious strength xD Ruby really tested my ability to pull on the reins. *winces from the soreness* At least my back doesn't hurt!

Stress is still affecting me and my poor stomach. Gonna have lots of pain this week :(

The wound from last week is healed, I'm glad to say. I still rode with a pad yesterday though lol. And I'm glad I did. Would've hurt myself again when Ruby nearly threw me off yesterday. I don't get the whole idea of having a raised pommel -_- Since it could hurt me, and I'm female, wouldn't all the trainers, who are males, be irked by those kinds of saddles? Makes me wanna bring along a thick woollen blanket to put on top of the saddle >.<

So it seems that my muscles are finally getting worked out. I like *thumbsup*

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Sixteenth Lesson ~ Runaway Ruby!

Unfortunately, today was my last ride for the month. Next week (11th) is my last week of classes in school. So next Saturday, I have to study for my exams instead :( Because of the way my exams were scheduled, my last exam is on the 1st of April. If I manage to finish studying before 30th March, maybe I could ride on the 30th. Who knows. Well, at least I had fun today!

We rode into the main arena again. This time, my trainer was Zoffer. First time! I guess he's an okay trainer. He had to train 4 riders at once though, and he might've been a bit distracted sometimes, but wow! He can definitely handle a big group! XD We did the usual warming up, rising trot and sitting trot. Ruby, once again, kept wanting to trot instead of walk >.<

Today, we learned to steer the horse with body language instead of the reins! It was pretty cool! Zoffer told us to tilt our shoulders and sort of look at him standing in the middle of the circle we used when we wanted to turn. I'm not very sure if I got it right though, since Ruby preferred to follow instead of lead, so it was easier for me. I'm still not too sure if it's easy for me to control Ruby because she accepts me or because she likes following. She's a weird mare.

Half an hour later, one rider went back, leaving the 3 of us. This was when all hell broke loose. That's the only way to put it XD The horses suddenly refused to go in the direction we wanted them to go. And no, the rider who went back was NOT the leader. Although she DID take the lead horse back to the stables. One of the riders was riding Mr. T. and he was in front. His rider couldn't control him well though, so when the 4th rider went back, they exchanged horses and that rider rode Daisy instead. I don't know what happened hehe. It was just chaos. Daisy and Ruby kept going back to the gate and just plain didn't want to ride anymore. 3rd rider (Farah) was riding Space U and he wasn't as excited. Then 1st rider gave up riding and went back rofl. Zoffer exchanged horses with Farah, so Farah rode Daisy and Zoffer got on Space U. Since all was chaos and the horses refused to go canter, Zoffer had to lead us lol.

We finally got some cantering done. That was the first time Ruby went on a fast canter phew! :o I was far from prepared and got left behind XD. Unfortunately, dad didn't take any videos, claiming to be tired, so you can't get to watch me nearly lie flat on Ruby's rump when she cantered hehe. Then Zoffer stopped because he wanted to see the two of us canter... And well, Ruby and Daisy just stopped too... And went back to being silly mares, going all over the place XD They both went straight back to the gate. Another trainer was there, so he tried to help us pull the mares back to our circles. Ruby circled around him again and it was a long while before he could pull them, yikes! They seriously acted crazy! >.< Finally got them back to the circles but they were still going all over the place.

And then Ruby took me by surprise. She suddenly charged off towards the fence near the gate that was facing the canteen. Even my brain was shocked, because I can barely remember what happened D: Usually, the horses, all of them, would do a fast trot into the fence and suddenly stop short. And this is usually enough to throw off quite a few riders, apparently. But Ruby, oh no. She CANTERED FAST into the fence, slammed to a stop and my butt left the saddle by a tiny bit. I managed to stay on though o.o That was all I remember. The sudden canter and the sudden stop. Know what happened that was funny though? When Ruby reached the fence, the entire canteen went "WHOAAAAAA!" XD It was a moment to cherish. What made me smile though, was my being able to stay on Ruby. It was a huge mistake on my part (and little did I know that it was more than a huge mistake, read on!) and it was like a victory for me to have been able to not fall off. Would've been painful as hell if I were to fall off over the fence... ouch...

Zoffer then decided that the mares were getting overexcited, so we had to force them to walk around the whole arena to cool them down. At the end of my first round with Ruby, she went into a trot then jumped right into a canter when I was still trying to get her to slow back down to a walk. Once again, becoming a runaway horse omg! She cantered straight at Zoffer haha. He had to wave his arms around to get her to stop. Good thing I was a bit more prepared though. And I didn't stop her canter because Zoffer told me to just let go and relax. After that, I couldn't get her to continue walking XD She just went for the gate and stayed there lol. Farah came back and Daisy too went straight for the gate, so Zoffer decided to just go back. Silly mares! Zoffer was so afraid that they might run off again while we were still on them, so he made us dismount. I think I'm getting better at recovering from shocks and strange happenings. Cause when I got down, my legs weren't wobbly! Yay!

Led Ruby back to the stables and gave her a bath. She was still acting silly though. As if she was grumpy or something. Refused to lift her left hind hoof for me to clean, threw her head up whenever I tried to pull her forward a bit more so that the extremely short hose could reach her rump, kept kicking her hind legs at flies, being very irritated overall. I ignored her and continued scrubbing, made sure she was clean, scraped off all the water then went to ask for meds to put on her withers. Took a comb too. I decided to comb her mane first cause it was all tangled up and I didn't want meds in her mane as well.

Then while I was working out all the knots, the same trainer who tried pulling Ruby and Daisy back to the cicles, came with a cloth and some greenish black pastey stuff. He and a stablehand looked at the wound for a while. I watched him wipe the wound with the cloth. Strangely, Ruby flinched. She didn't usually flinch when we put meds on her wounds... Then I found out why. The wound was brighter red than usual. Fresh blood with skin flakes peeling off around the wound. While the trainer applied the meds, he told me that the wound got rubbed and burst open. That was why she acted so bitchy in the arena. I must've bumped on the saddle too hard, poor girl. So I caused her pain without knowing it and she tried to throw me off for that. Sorry Ruby! :(

There is good news though. I DID notice that her wound is smaller. Previously, it was big and surrounded by horse hair. Today, I saw skin around the smaller wound. Which means it is definitely healing. And since I won't be riding for the next 2-3 weeks, she can go ahead and rest :) Hopefully, by the time I ride again, her wound is gone or became a very thick scab. The wound on her forehead is also gone. I had to search for it and found a hard scab. No more flies eating her wound on her forehead yay! The one on her hip looks more like a scar now. She's on the right track. I really really hope I didn't cause her wound on her withers to get worse. That would be sad and bad :(

I think the meds might have a cooling effect. I took her back to her stall and she seemed to have cooled down. Fed her carrots, went on my rounds, back to her to feed her the rest. Ruby wasn't the only one in pain this morning though. My gastritis problems are back due to stress from my assignments. This week was hell for me. I learned more than riding today. The gastritis problems I had when I worked for 3 months before college wasn't due to me not eating. I started eating like a pig when I started working. And this week, I realised that it really isn't due to hunger, but due to stress. Even my parents are seeing that I've been going through hell. To say the least, I was as grumpy as Ruby throughout the week. So after finding out that I rubbed her wound open, I definitely related to her grumpiness lol.

Due to my gastritis, dad told me to eat a carrot to absorb all the acidic juice. Now, I hate vegetables. I REALLY hate them. But I went ahead and chewed on one. A miracle happened. No, the pain didn't go off, but I suddenly found out why horses love carrots. XD It was an interesting taste. I realised then that all this while, I've been eating cooked vege. For a few years now, my parents and I have been going to a german restaurant for their set lunches. Tastes fucking good. And guess what? I LOVE their lettuce salad... First time ever. But again, it was raw. It wasn't cooked. The carrots were raw too. So I learned that I DO like vege. As long as they're raw. Hehe! I started taking a few more pieces. Ate them alongside feeding Ruby. So the both of us went *crunch crunch crunch* It was pretty cute :D

Too bad she doesn't know how to take treats from people's mouths though. That was so funny and cute. I tried giving her the last piece of carrot from my mouth and she DID try taking it, but it dropped out, oops! Hehe. So even through all that grumpy bitching, pain and random riding, I had a lot of fun. And I hope Ruby had fun too. She wasn't angry or anything or her ears would've been flat on her neck, right? A bad week turned out alright! I'm gonna miss riding so much :( It's gonna be tough, not riding for so long. YES I'M ADDICTED TO A SPORT D:

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Not The Pain I Wanna Gain...

Warning: Descriptions might be graphic. If you don't like discussing the body, stop reading.

So the cut turned into a red swollen lump. Whenever water touches it, the sharp sting starts again. It stings worse when it's not water that touches it... Yes, going to the toilet is a pain. Literally. Mum and dad are saying to wear a pad everytime I ride... It's gonna be so uncomfortable... :( I should also pay attention to the saddles that hurt me. Maybe next time, I could request to have the saddle changed if I knew which ones just wasn't for me...

*sigh*

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Fifteenth Lesson ~ Getting To Know Ruby

 It was a meh ride. I got Ruby again, which is great. But once again, they scheduled mum and me together with the same trainer and Mazlan decided to teach mum. So I got dumped with another trainer and his riders. This is the funny part. Two trainers with 3 sets of riders. Two of the riders are sisters, I suppose. They were in the same timeframe or session slot (whatever you wanna call it) with one of the trainers. So about 30 mins into our lesson, they went back to the stables. The other rider was also 1 hour, so I joined her and her trainer. It is quite irritating to be in a group lesson where the group isn't your level or people you know. Like, I wouldn't have minded riding with mum, eventhough she only just had her 2nd lesson, because I would've been allowed to do whatever the heck I wanted (aka, canter). With this alien mix of riders, I couldn't just canter off. I had to 'follow the leader' throughout my session. Read on...

Today, I learned why I had difficulties controlling Ruby when in the main arena. She's a follower. When in a big area, she loves following other horses and seems to dislike leading. My entire lesson was done in the main arena today. For a while, I DID wonder why I was put to the back of the 'horse procession'. Then the other rider, being lower levelled than me, had difficulties controlling her horse, so asked if I could go ahead, since I was having such an easy time. I tried but Ruby refused lol. Trainer too said that Ruby doesn't like leading. Silly Ruby lol.

Now, while I figured out that the other riders were lower levelled, I did not realise that they haven't learned canter yet. They were still learning how to rise to the trot omg. This is after the two 30min riders went back. I knew those two weren't able to canter yet, but I got confused as to why we didn't start cantering once they were gone... Then halfway through, we stopped so that the trainer could tell the other rider how to correct her rising when the diagonal is wrong O.O Wtf... she doesn't even know to sit twice to get back the correct leads?! That was the basics of what I was taught when I first learned rising trot... Omg. The moment he taught her how to sit twice, I knew. I was going to be doing rising trot for the rest of my lesson. We did a few sitting trots, but so few that by the end of the lesson, my legs were wobbly and I wasn't very pleased. We did rising trot way too much. This trainer sucks.

I wasn't the only one not pleased. Dad got SERIOUSLY pissed when he saw that all I was doing was 'follow the leader'. (Hence, no vids today) I learned nothing except that the other rider was not my level, that rising trot fucking hurts when overdone and that the saddle I was using was DEFINITELY not for me. I was probably not very balanced in my rising trots either. But trainer ignored me except when telling me to sit twice every now and again. I wasn't his rider, amirite? Well, go ahead, ignore me! Only tells me that you think I'm too good for you... BAH! I did try correcting myself though. Kept my heels down as much as possible. Kept contacts pretty well. Controlled Ruby SO easily it's laughable when compared to the other rider (she kept going off track). I would've had a better time if I were self-riding and if Ruby didn't insist on following. Maybe I should request to be dumped with the Korean girls instead of some stranger. At least I *kinda* know the Koreans. We're such regulars at the club lol. And they're only slightly above my level. So I'll be able to keep up with them easily.

We went back, trainer says theres no need to bathe Ruby, so I immediately took her out to graze. Found a HUGE patch of weeds, where she enjoyed herself. Today, I had a smart idea. Put my bottle, the bag of carrots and my handheld fan in a sling bag. Carry it around :D I could drink anytime I wanted and I had a fan. I can feed carrots and pet at the same time now because the bag of carrots are in the bag slung over my shoulder ^_^ Went grazing and I had the fan turned on the whole time. Malaysia is fucking hot :( I was worried that Ruby would be scared of the fan, but she wasn't even bothered lol. She was more concerned with the vast amount of flies attacking her legs, wounds and rump -_- No need a bath, my foot!

When we went back to the stables again, I took her to the bathing area and asked one of the senior stablehands if I could give her a short shower to get rid of the flies. He says to give her a full bath *thumbsup* I scrubbed her down thoroughly, all the way to her hooves, got wet plenty myself, then scraped off most of the water. Went to find a comb and meds for her wound on the withers. Came back and found flies back again. This time, not all over her, but on her wounds. Shooed them, sprayed iodine and poured some kind of white medicinal powder. Patted them so that they became thick and stuck there and ended up getting some on my finger :D But that's okay, because I also found a small but deep wound on her forehead O.O It wasn't there last week! I wiped off the meds that got on my finger (can't be spraying iodine in her face!) into the wound and it was enough to cover it. Damn, those flies must've eaten her flesh :( Poor Ruby. I found yet another wound on the point of her hip, applied there too. The one good thing about those flies? They led me straight to her wounds, especially the tiny ones. Gosh, I hope the meds I applied to her forehead dries up and becomes bright yellow and the stablehands see that wound. I don't think they noticed it or they would've done something about it. I knew I saw fly veils hanging around! Maybe I should've attached one to her before going off...

The flies in that area is getting out of hand, I'd say. I've never seen Ruby get attacked by flies so badly before. In fact, most of the time, you never see flies around her. She gave off the feeling of being very clean. Any suggestions about what I can do? Should I go to the manager and tell him that he needs to fog the area? Sure, flies are normal in every stable, but they're harmful to both horse and human and when they get out of hand, you really need to do something about it. If I see that forehead wound still surrounded by flies next time I see Ruby, I'm making it a big fuss to the stablehands :(

One things for sure, Ruby is a greedy pig hehe. Whenever I feed her carrots, she'd gobble like crazy! And want more! And she KNOWS I'll give her more until I have no more carrots, that silly horse. XD Oh she's wubable. Theres also one other thing about her. Dad says that while I was giving her a bath, he noticed her watching me VERY closely. I walked to the left, her head followed me to the left. To the right, her head went to the right. As if she was keeping an eye on me, watching my every movement o.o Kinda scary when typed out, but wow. Damn smart and alert, that one.

Warning: Descriptions might be graphic. If you don't like discussing the body, stop reading.

So, I kinda hurt myself again. As I said earlier, the saddle was not for me. I'm not sure if it's because it's just the shape of the saddle or if it's because I'm not deep-seating. Or at least... that's what Zoffer said. That I don't have the deep seat. Well, what happened was that I found the front of the saddle, where the rise was, to be extremely sharp. And high. Everytime I rose to the trot, I'd slam into it. Everytime I sat after the rise, I'd slam into it again. It's not on purpose either, I'm just doing what I do in all other rising trots. But for some reason, this one really hurt me. When I went home, I found a cut. Guess where? On my hood. Yep. It hurts. Sharp hurt. Yes, people, wince with me. :( Right now, I have no idea if I can ride next Saturday. We've already booked, but if it's not healed by Thursday, as the previous cut did, then we'd have to cancel my ride. I WILL go to the club though. If only to spend time with Ruby <3

Sunday, February 24, 2013

No Pain, No Gain ~ Part 5

So after lunch, we came home. I updated my online games then went to take a nap. Turned into a 10 hour sleep. Woke up at 1.30am and with a badly pulled back... :(

Now, I can't sit or stand up straight. Everytime I move a certain way, a sharp twinge shoots through my back. It's sudden and seemingly random. And it fucking hurts. I think I might have sat the trot too much yesterday. Now I'm not even sure if I'm able to go to school tomorrow. Dad would force me to though, for sure. It's gonna seriously suck tomorrow.

*will be walking around like the hunchback of notre dame*

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fourteenth Lesson & Trail Ride!

It was a great ride today! :D Mum didn't mention Ruby when she booked for today's session, so I got scheduled with Sharukh. He's okay, though a bit grumpy, imo. Today though, he wasn't feeling so well, so I had to switch with Siti Mas. And with her, I learned to be firmer :o The trainer told me to whip harder because the horses aren't feeling my taps, so I tried whipping a bit harder today >.> Sales assistant who sold me my whip also told me that my whip was made more for sound, so I wasn't as worried about hurting the horse too much.

And well, it worked. I got Siti's attention *nod* Too bad she was still lazy though lol. I could tell the difference between her and D'Alonzo. Alonzo would stop VERY suddenly, as if trying to unseat the rider. Siti Mas would slooooooooow to a stop lol. That's when another rider came into the ring we were using. Mazlan wasn't around again, so I got back the same trainer as last week. He seems to like teaching 2 people at once haha. I don't mind so much though, because I've gotten to the point where I don't have to be watched constantly by my trainer. And guess what? The other rider came in with Ruby! :D I was a bit disappointed to be riding with Ruby but not on Ruby... until the other rider said something (couldn't hear) to my trainer and he answered very loudly "Ruby is a good horse! Ask her!" and pointed to me LOL! Trainer went on to telling him that I really like Ruby. Guess the word went round, hehe xD Then trainer surprised me by asking if the other rider wanted to switch horses with me... Obviously I agreed when the other rider said okay! XD

According to dad, the other rider was pulling really hard at Ruby to get out of the stables and she refused to move. After riding Ruby twice though, I knew she was like that hehe. She loves her stall, but she also has a lot of energy. So she likes the freedom of running off and returning to her stall whenever she wants. Just gotta dangle a carrot in front of her and she'll follow you, muahaha :3

So what started off as a strange and lazy ride turned into awesome. I got on Ruby and I immediately felt at home. I love how Ruby listens to me very well. I don't need a whip really. And I DEFINITELY don't need spurs (dad keeps asking me if I wanted them >.<). All I need is to keep a whip at hand to wave at her if she doesn't want to move. She keeps wanting to trot instead of walk though. And unfortunately, I find that quite tiring xD But she's giving me the motivation to get stronger. *nod*

I practised my rising and sitting trot with the other rider. Trainer ignored me quite a bit and concentrated on rider 2, but I took that as me doing pretty well and continued doing whatever I was doing :) When trainer said to start cantering, I went right into it happily! Hehe, I still have a lot more to learn about asking for canter though. I'm finding it quite hard to kick when sitting a very fast trot. I bounce too much and the chances of me losing my balance is a whole lot higher, which makes me lean forward, bringing my legs up behind me to kick the wrong spots =/ I'm getting better, but I still have lots to improve. Any suggestions on the trot to canter transitions?

Another problem I found today was my new boots making me feel funny. They were comfy, real comfy. As if I've been wearing them for months. But it was a bit hard to put my weight on my heels as I should. And all of a sudden, I couldn't tell what stirrup length was comfortable. I ended up having sharp knee pains again. But if I lengthened them, the stirrup metals would slip around under my boots instead... Wow, breaking in leather boots must be tough >.<

At one point, I lost my stirrups while cantering and while I wasn't very worried, my trainer started screaming at me to put them back in haha XD At 3.35 in the video, you'd see me smiling and trying to put my feet back in the stirrups. Trainer acted as if I was gonna fall right off, haha. Guess he wasn't around when Mazlan was training me and I cantered without my stirrups! :D

About 30 mins later, shortly after the other rider went back to the stables, my trainer asked if I wanted to ride around the club. I told him that it would be my first time and I could try. We went back to the stables and I waited on Ruby for him to get a horse. This is where I had difficulties with Ruby. She wanted to go back to her stall pretty badly. Had to pull real hard on the reins to make her stop, and yet, she couldn't stand still. (Later, I concluded that maybe she wanted to go pee lol) I really pulled back here. And had to keep pulling so that she didn't run off to her stall... Trainer then came out with Dong, the club's only Arabian, and we went off. It was fun! Though, trainer wanted us to walk first, Ruby refused and continued trotting o.o The more I tried to get her to slow down, the slower her trot became, until it was as if I was doing a piaffe instead bwaha! We decided to just let her trot as long as she didn't cut in front of Dong and my trainer. Since it was such a slow trot, I just sat it out.

Then trainer and Dong went into a fast trot and without prompting, Ruby followed. I had to start rising lol. This was where I had the most difficulty with my boots. They kept sliding into the stirrups. I had to do a few two-points just to get them back on the balls of my feet. Trainer says next time, we'll go through the hills and after that, through the nearby houses! :o Can't wait! We went round the club twice, then turned back halfway through and went back to the stables. (My hour was up) I got down on wobbly legs, then led Ruby to the bathing area. Apparently, she had another ride later, so.

Fed her some carrots, went on my carrot feeding round, then back to her with the rest. And wow, did she gobble! Dad said she snuggled up to me a lot too. Hehe, I definitely felt her pushing her head against me quite a bit. She couldn't stop munching and asking for more! This was while another trainer came to un-tack her, wash her legs and wipe her down o.O So I asked what's up while he was getting a halter and exchanging it for the bridle. He then told me to take her grazing :o Damn, I agreed immediately!

And so, mum took Zidane, the horse she had been grazing for a month or so and we went in search of grass together. I now know how fussy Ruby can be :D She only munched a tiny bit at the long grass we call 'lalang'. She pushed me here and there with her head lol. There were also times when she just stood there and it seemed as if she was looking at me. I would ask her 'What do you want?' and she'd push my arm in a direction she wants to go, haha. We seem to be getting on really well. We stand nearer to each other now and she seems very comfortable with me. Then we got to a patch of weeds where it looked like 3 leaf clovers, she started munching nonstop. Fussy eater... just like me! :o She'd chew off all the leaves and spit out the roots!

I'll have to look for another patch of weeds next time we graze though. She kinda finished that particular patch :D It's all uprooted roots now. We went back to the stables and I proceeded to put her in her stall. This was the funny part. I took off her halter, turned around to hang it on the appropriate hooks, turned around and she was doing her business XD Hence why I thought maybe she couldn't keep still because she wanted to go! I've never seen her pee anywhere else, while other horses seem content to do it anywhere theres sand *facepalm* Again, fussy? Just like me LOL! I hate public toilets, even the school's! I'm happier at home XD

I fed her the last two carrots, then went off with mum to eat lunch :)


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thirteenth Lesson & New Boots!

Today’s ride was... meh. Although I managed to get scheduled with Ruby again today, I didn’t get to ride her. Either the wound on her withers got worse, or it’s on the verge of healing and they don’t want a rider killing it. Mazlan was also not around again, so I got another trainer.

It definitely wasn’t very satisfying a ride. I had to change horses 3 times. First horse I rode is called Space U. He was okay, but his trot was REALLY rough. In just about 3 rounds of rising trot, I was exhausted and breathless. At that time, D’Alonzo was just finished with his riding session and was walking back to the stables. My trainer decided I ride him instead. So I switched. We didn’t have a mounting block nearby though, so I was made to force myself up into the saddle XD It has been ages since I last mounted from ground up. Took a while, but I finally managed to pull myself up. As the first time I rode Alonzo, he was stubborn and a very angry horse to ride =/ Although he trotted and listened a lot more than before, he decided to stop listening halfway through when I started asking for canter. *sigh*

My trainer was training another rider with me by now. She was riding Alvarro but switched to Daisy. After a bit, when it seemed as if she had difficulties controlling Daisy and I had difficulties with Alonzo, we both switched horses lol. So my third horse was Daisy. She’s okay, I guess. Again, I had to force myself up into the saddle. It was easier though, lol. Alonzo isn’t all that much taller, so I think it might be because I got more familiar with heaving my weight up XD Daisy’s trot was fine. Her canter was smooth. Only problem is her insistence to go back to her stall. Everytime we near the gate, she’d ride straight into the gate and stop HARD >.< As if she was expecting it to open for her. Silly mare. She’s also very... excited? It was a bit harder getting her to stop and stand still compared to other horses. She would jump into a canter without the usual prompting too.

With all the time wasted on switching horses and with D’Alonzo being so stubborn, it wasn’t a satisfying ride. At the end of my hour, I was still restless. There was no bathing today because Daisy had more rides scheduled, so I just fed carrots to the horses in the stables. This is the cute part. The club has a 5 day old pony filly :D According to the stable hands, the filly is 3 months premature :o Also, the mother bites lol. So when I approached, the filly trotted up to me. Couldn’t do a normal pet too! Had to use my index finger to pet the filly on the muzzle :D She was SO tiny. Entire head is only as long as my hand to elbow! Poor thing though, doesn’t know how to suckle from the mother. They had to milk the mother into a bowl and feed the filly that way D:

 The club also has 2 new horses! Lavender and Harmony. One is white and the other is brown with a white streak on her head. I’m not sure which is which yet. We’ll see. The brown one didn’t know how to eat carrots though wtf o.O

This was when Ruby decided to slip past the stable hand that was mucking out her stall, hehe. She trotted out and went her way. Then she came all the way back into her stall. So damn smart. According to mum, while I was riding, Ruby was prancing and pacing round and round in her stall. So I decided to take her out for a walk and to graze a bit :) Really smart mare. After the walk, I was FINALLY satisfied and tired out, so we ate lunch and left.

And now, I shall tell you about my insane father. Mum wants to start riding lessons herself. So we went gear shopping again after lunch. Unfortunately, while trying on the boots and chaps, mum finds that her ankles and calves are too... large for normal sizes o.o If she got sizes a bit bigger, they’d be too long for her lol. She’s stubby and short! D: So she had to try on my boots. And it fits perfectly XD Cause I’ve already expanded it, so. We wanted to get another new pair, same brand and same size, but the shop ran out. So I had to try on other boots... again. I ended up not liking any of the cheap ones. Then I tried on the leather boots with laces. FUCK IT WAS SO COMFY OMG XD Ariat Women’s Heritage III Paddock Boots. RM 480. Hehehehehhehehehehe. Dad was like “*sigh* Okay, fine. >.<”

And so, I have new leather boots that would probably last me 5 years *nod*. Then we went hunting around to leather tailor shops to see if they could make chaps for mum. They only made full leather though, which is way too hot for casual riding. We ended up going to the horse tack shop I mentioned some time back, where the boots were damn expensive according to their website. The stuff there isn’t all that expensive though, it seems. Theres like a WHOLE lot of variety, ALL kinds of things sold there. And guess what? They ordered a bunch of chaps in “Malaysian size” which fits mum perfectly XD Guess theres a lot of people who’re short and stubby too, bwaha.

Dad insisted on buying me a whip, so I now have my very own whip too. My parents are like “Well. Since you’re now taking riding seriously, guess we’ll have to buy serious tack too...” All I could think of was this: If I weren’t serious, I wouldn’t even have asked to buy riding gear, damnit! XD Time to break in my new boots!

Oh btw, no vids or pics this week. Dad got angry when he watched me try to ride D’Alonzo and he didn’t take any vid or pics. I hope next week is better. :(

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Deliciously Painful Chinese New Year

My shoulders and arms, especially my biceps, hurt like hell. But you know what? I don't fucking care :D And I don't care that it's Chinese New Year. You know why? Because this pain is fucking worth it. I'm actually tempted to go riding again on Tuesday.

For people who think that pain during an awesome holiday/festival sucks: When the pain comes from horse riding, it's just way too worth it to give up. Oh yeah, did I mention that my butt (near my tailbone) hurts too? :D Cantering is hammering at my butt muscles lol

Yes, I realise how masochistic I'm sounding right now. *puts on her cool sunglasses like a BAWS*

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Twelveth Lesson & A Happy Trainer?

Today was fun :D Not a great ride, but I had fun. Mazlan and I was in a good mood hehe. All my mistakes were turned into grins and giggles!

Ruby wasn’t as obedient as she was last week. We went into the main arena first and she kept moving away from the track to join the other horses o.O Why do they all do that? Every horse I’ve ridden in the main arena pulls away towards the other horses. Is it that ‘herd’ mentality? I dunno, but it makes for difficult controlling if the horse refused to stay on OUR track. We decided to shift to one of the lunging paddocks instead. Did a few rising trots, then Mazlan wanted to see my sitting trots. He was really happy and satisfied with my progress, apparently :o He kept saying ‘Yes, yes!’ when I could sit the trot without freezing. That was certainly awesome! I found out that sitting trot needs a slow and very gentle trot or I’d be bouncing anyway.

We shifted to the oval ring again. This ring seems to be a favourite among all the trainers lol. I guess it’s cause it isn’t as boring as a lunging paddock. Here, I practiced sitting trot some more. Dad didn’t record any of my earlier sitting trots though. Then another trainer walked by and told Mazlan, “Last week, she could canter!”, to which Mazlan was surprised then told me to try it out XD I guess that trainer saw me last week, hehe. Yikes, all of them know me already! >.<

So I did the canter. It wasn’t as awesome as last week though. It was easy, getting Ruby to canter, last week. I think all the trainers have a different style of asking for the canter. Mazlan’s way is to push the reins forward when asking for the canter. Last week’s trainer told me to do rising trot, come to the corner, sit twice and kick hard. I didn’t get as much response from Ruby today. Took a bit to canter and then she’d slow down and stop everytime we reached where Mazlan was standing, as you’ll see in the video.

Mazlan also told me to try searching for my stirrups without looking XD That was funny. The stirrup was twisted, so I just couldn’t find it lol. It’ll take me some time to make searching without looking a habit lol. There was a couple of times where I concentrated so hard on searching for my stirrups that I didn’t pay attention to the canter >.< But Mazlan was definitely pleased. Cause I lost my stirrups while cantering and couldn’t find them again. Ended up cantering without the stirrups haha.

Two other riders came into the ring (again, lol), so Mazlan shifted us back to the lunging paddock. This is where I had real difficulty asking for the canter. I also kinda lost my balance completely o.o It was probably the extremely fast trot though. Looks like I still have work to do :D

Bad news, upon leaving the paddock when my hour was up, Mazlan didn’t push the gate far enough and it swung back... Guess where it hit? :( My left knee. HUGE metal thing swinging back with force? OUCH! The bruise isn’t just black now. It’s a swollen red lump with a black line below it... *whimper* That blow was really painful. It numbed up and faded off in time for me to give Ruby another shower though.

And this time, I showered her myself, ALONE XD It was amazing. I brushed her down soooooo well. Took my time in reaching every part of her :D And after that, one of the trainers told me to rub oil into her mane when I asked for a comb :o And then, the trainer told me to apply some green paste thing on Ruby’s wound. It was slimey and yuck! The paste turned out to be like paint, it didn’t wanna wash off my hand! Dad suggested I scrubbed my hand with the brush used for Ruby lol. It worked, but yuck! XD I think I prefer that spray my trainer used last week! I covered the wound real well though. I don’t think the flies like that paste, which is a good thing. Less flies near a wound, faster it heals.

After that, it was carrots time and then I led Ruby back to her stall. ^_^ I think she was happy to receive all that attention lol. Though, she was definitely a bit more hyper today than she was last week.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Dark, Darker, Black?!

Wtf. I looked down at my arms and guess what I saw? Two lines on each of my arms. At the middle of my biceps and slightly below my wrists.

I'M GETTING DARKER NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO D: And my tshirt and gloves has been creating lines! My arms look so funny now! >.<

I guess it's time to find arm covers >.> MORE gear... which is not made for riding really... Yeah, I had to buy ankle supports just to pad up the empty spaces in my boots...

*checks her face* Omg... My neck is this DARK pillar on my shoulders... MY SHOULDERS LOOK SO WHITE NOW! O.O Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy...

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Eleventh Lesson ~ The Best Ride Ever!

WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO! Had a BLAST today! 8D Best ride I’ve EVER had! EVER!

I got scheduled with Ruby again today. Thankfully, she was free, haha. Mazlan was busy again today. Or maybe he didn’t wanna teach me again? *shrug* I dunno. I got another volunteer trainer, don’t know her name. Was supposed to be Rony, but I guess he was busy too.

Ruby was a bit hesitant in coming out of the stables. Or maybe lazy? Stubborn perhaps? No idea. I fed her a couple of carrots and eventually, we got her out. I mounted her and expected another stubborn horse that wouldn’t move at the heel tap (I forgot to get a whip). But she was pretty willing. We walked around the ring, warmed up and got ready to ride. And what a shock, I only needed to tap her once and she went into a trot. She didn’t stop trotting until I reined her in or she felt me getting breathless too. First time that happened! My trainer watched my rising and sitting trot and was apparently satisfied. She didn’t give me many instructions. Not once she mentioned my heels, had to remember that myself.

Then she told me to do the two-point and taught me how. It was a bit choppy at first (as you’ll see in the vid), but I didn’t realise that I was supposed to hold onto the horse neck to balance anyway lol. It got better later and it was awesome! A bit difficult steering when holding on to Ruby’s neck though. Might need to watch a few vids on two-point and work on that part. But it was definitely awesome :D

Later, my trainer decided that I should try canter. Was nervous at first. And it was tough trying to kick Ruby hard when turning the corner to start the canter. Took me a few tries. Then WOOSH we were cantering 8D Took me a while to figure out how to sit a canter without killing my butt, but I finally realised what everyone meant by leaning back when cantering. My butt sort of slided in the saddle when I leaned back, instead of bouncing (or ‘scooping the saddle’ as this vid calls it). Following the rhythm of the hooves was really easy. Only problem I found was my legs not staying as still as I liked and my feet not staying in the stirrups. Really need to work on that D:

But anyway, cantering was THE BEST! I praised Ruby all the way! Petted her neck a lot, encouraged her to keep going, etc. When cantering, there was one time near the end of our ride where I urged her to keep cantering, tapping her with my swinging legs every now and again, saying “Canter!” and “Good girl!” immediately after. We went round the ring about 3 or 4 times. Then she had to stop =/

Not because of me or her. Because two other riders and their trainers decided to share the ring with me lol. The two riders had their horses walking side by side in front of Ruby and I. She slowed to a trot. Smart horse, that one *wub* But despite the other two riders blocking/getting in my way, the ride with Ruby was just heavenly. Cantering made me REALLY breathless but omg I felt sooooooooooo good! I was parched and my throat really dry, but I didn’t care. I was concentrating on Ruby and the track in the ring :D

Once my hour was up, we went back to the stables and I got down. Seemed more like I stumbled down though XD Legs were sooooooooooooo jelly and wobbly! Then we took Ruby to the bathing area and I got to bathe a horse with long mane, finally! xD Ruby was the 2nd horse I bathed. Brushed her down real well, scraped off most of the water, brushed her gorgeous mane and watched my trainer spray some meds on the sore on her withers, poor girl. I fed her a few carrots, then left her to dry off while I fed the other horses in the stables. They all got 2 pieces from me, no more XD The rest I saved specially for Ruby!

I went back to her, finished the bag of carrots, checked to see if she was dry, then led her back to her stall. She was amazing from start to end. So quiet and docile... And smart! I don’t know, I just get the feeling that she’s extremely smart! I just might have found my fav horse for the moment :D We’ll see. I asked if I could be scheduled with her again next week. Apparently, she’s not a beginner’s horse. Sulaiman, the... manager? told us that Ruby is for advanced riders, but if I’m learning to canter, I could ride her hehe. Hmm, that’s probably why Ruby got switched with Flicka in my Ninth Lesson. Hopefully I get her and we get to try riding in the main arena. Then I get to test out steering with her. The ring was pretty straightforward, so I didn’t need to do much steering as compared to in the main arena.

Today was just splendid. *nod* Oh, and enjoy dat short tail XD Ruby’s tail is just SO cute!


Sorry about the extremely short scenes near the end of the vid. My parents are silly. Just because there was a tarp and some trees in the way, they didn’t want to continue the vid. It’s no wonder why they missed taking a vid of my first canter! :( I would’ve loved to see my first canter! So unfair. I did so many canters too! *sigh* And sorry for the blurness in some scenes. Parents zoomed in way too much -.- I need a machine that takes videos for me, zooming in when necessary and zooming out when not and following my movements steadily... Would be able to take of the entire hour then...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tenth Lesson & Feeding Time!

Had a terrible ride today. I got scheduled with a horse named B.J. He’s pretty tall and bony. Was also given another trainer, Siham, Zoffer’s wife. Looks like Mazlan has been busy lol. Anyway, according to her, B.J. is one of the most gentlest horses in the club and all the ladies love him. Also the fastest horse. Well, my ride was definitely more than bumpy and fast.

Siham nitpicked on my sitting trot and my heels. I have no idea why. She kept scolding me, saying that I was bouncing. I get that, but she wasn’t exactly trying to help me relax. She was constantly shouting at me about keeping my back straight and heels down. Even mum told me that when she walked pass the paddock I was riding in, she could hear Siham screaming “Heels down! Heels down!”. How the hell am I supposed to NOT freeze when it fucking hurts and when she’s a screaming banshee?!

B.J. was okay, but I don’t think he’s a suitable horse for me. He moved way too fast for me to sit the trot properly and the longer we rode, the worst it got. He had a very sharp sort of spring in his step too. Everytime he did an active walk, his head would swing side to side as if a puppet controlled by a puppeteer... o.O All in all, it felt like I was bouncing on a rock instead of a saddle. And for some reason, that saddle was stupid hard. I now have 2 HUGE and BLACK bruises. Guess where they are? One on each of my butt cheeks. Sitting is so painful. Next few days is gonna be hell...

My parents finally took videos but they’re all short and spaced out. I suppose it got pretty hot to stand there for longer than 5 minutes >.> Had to edit them to put them all into 1 video. And I gotta say, throughout all the vids, I could see that I was extremely uncomfortable.

After the ride was thankfully much more pleasant though. I took my time in taking pictures and petting the horses in the stables. Took so long that it got to feeding time lol. Yes, for the friends who have been asking, they’re being fed every afternoon. I doubt the club would starve them in the mornings and nights too, so it’s quite probable that these horses have Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. No, they’re not just fed with grains. I saw a whole lot of variety in pellets, grains, possibly oats and a few other weird looking stuff... I’m no expert in horse feed, kay. :P

Thing is, I watched the trainers carefully count pail after pail of different horse feeds into different buckets. All the buckets had the horse names painted on. And every horse had different combinations of the feed. So I’m quite inclined to think that all of them are pretty skinny for horses because of the little or lack of pasturing.

I got down most of the names of the horses, finally. In time, I’ll be able to name each individual horse just by a glance, phew! Feeding time was pretty funny lol. Horses sure are pigs XD While the trainers were pouring the feed into the buckets, all the horses had their heads and necks directed towards that feed store... erm big room? Some waited patiently, allowed me to pet them, etc. Others were dancing around, waiting veerrryyyyyy impatiently for their food haha. When the feed were finally given out, mum approached one, Shiva, he attempted to chase her off as if to protect his feed. That was adorable, hehe. Lunch was timed to exactly 12pm. Pretty cool.

Well, enjoy the horrible video lol.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

No Pain, No Gain ~ Part 4

My biceps hurt. Stinging joints have turned into numb muscle pains :( Although, I kinda prefer muscle pain. It's not as sharp as joint pains. Being able to sleep off the join pains was awesome lol. Still! Of all muscles to hurt, why my biceps?! D: *sigh* I guess it's gonna keep hurting for a looooooong time more. Cons of being a couch potato >.>

Also, my dad showed me a picture of a Gypsy Vanner earlier. It was the usual types, horse cantering with wind spreading out the Gypsy Vanner's ridiculously enormous mane and tail XD And the fetlock feathers are puffy and look more like the trousers of the flower power age... Guess what he said? "This is your horse"

My reaction: O.O with a jaw drop. I have no idea what he means by that. I don't think a Gypsy Vanner can survive easily in Malaysia. Unless all hair is shaved off, in which case, the horse loses its beauty... I'm not sure why my dad would want me to get a giant complete with a whole lot of hair... I suppose he was joking, but who knows with him. There were many times where he sounded like he was joking but he actually did whatever he was supposedly joking about. I'm not saying I don't want a Gypsy Vanner, but I'm being realistic and practical. That's like saying I want a Siberian Husky and he gets me a Saint Bernard instead >.<

Would be tough enough to keep all that hair groomed, let alone keep that giant fed, cool and happy!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nineth Lesson!

I had a weird day today. Or maybe everyone is just distracted lol. It wasn't a very bad day, for sure :D

I think I can expect all the horses to 'misbehave' on my first ride on them. Scheduled with Ruby, but rode Flicka today. Apparently, he's a really easy horse to control and a very good boy. But he stopped a lot, bucked a few times (or is it called pig root?), didn't trot when asked to at first, etc etc. Trainer says they're testing me, and I suppose they are. Silly horsies xD

So at first, Flicka stopped everytime I tapped him with the whip, which is kinda weird lol. Needed Mazlan to slap his whip on the ground before Flicka trotted. After a while though, seems like Flicka trots at a few heel taps. I really do hope it was just him getting used to me and not because the front horse started trotting ._.

Oh yes, when I was brought into the main ring, I was told to join the 2 Korean girls who go for lessons at the same time I do every Saturday xD Zoffer is their trainer and since Zoffer and Mazlan are friends, well. Both trainers for 3 students LOL! It was pretty fun joining them, tbh. Maybe it's because one of the girls is a bit whiney and baby doll kinda person XD I think it's more because the trainers are just as fun though!

After my ride, I got to give Wind a bath again. Unfortunately, since Zoffer was busy (he was the one eager to teach me how to bathe horses lol), I was taught by one of the stablehands and he didn't teach me shampooing lol. I also stepped in Wind's shit while giving him a bath! D: Dang horse >.<

After his bath, I took him back to his stall... and didn't have the strength to latch it back properly :D He managed to push his gate loose and proceeded to groom the horse next to him, Messi I think hehehe. Another horse managed to get out of his stall too lol. It was while I was feeding the horses carrots, he suddenly appeared behind me... was pretty surprising! He's the one with a really huge swollen fetlock and was always laying in his stall when we visited the stables. I suppose he's feeling much better now!

As for what I learned today, I learned that my sitting trot is DEFINITELY improved. I was so bendy! XD But I think my rising trot needs work. Everytime I try to rise, I had to bend forward to push myself up... That's not good! :( Still need to find something to pad up my ankle area inside the boots too. I'm thinking maybe ankle supports. Sponges did not work at all lol.

Flicka also managed to scrape my right leg on the fence. He kept refusing to change direction and turn around. Had to pull him till his nose was at his shoulder >.> I suppose he couldn't see and so walked sideways into the fence. By tonight, there will be a HUGE black lump on my shin *ow*

Scolded mum today haha. She took a horse out to graze around the perimeters of the club. And she still had plenty of time  to take a video! But she didn't for who knows what reason. Both Mazlan and Zoffer say I lean forward a lot. My mum agrees wholeheartedly. Guess what? I don't feel like I'm leaning forward at all. To me, that position is what I feel as sitting straight. When they tell me to lean backwards so that I look like I'm sitting straight, I feel like I'm gonna lay down on top of the horse rather. I need videos to tell what my progress is and to see  what the heck everyone is talking about! Mum says I can imagine how I look and I can try forever, but I'll never actually know what everyone is trying to tell me. It's really frustrating when my parents just don't understand anything I say :( If I could, I would've just put the camera on a stand, set it at the side of the ring and recorded -.- Mum is all like "You're not proficient in riding yet, why should I take a video?" She makes me wanna headdesk. I'm not looking for a perfect video, mum! I'm not in a competition! I wanna see my own fucking progress! :(

Meh, other than that video argument with mum, I suppose I enjoyed myself today. I definitely can't wait for next Saturday lol. Also, my joints. They're killing me. D:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

No Pain, No Gain ~ Part 3

So I woke up today with a hand on my back like a pregnant woman. Not because of a heavy belly, but because my back HURTS LIKE FUCKING HELL OMG WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS?! *sob*

Everytime I move slightly, it hurts. I even got the strange yet funny idea of borrowing mum's waist brace thingy (to make her look slimmer) to see if it could... well, brace my back. Didn't work >.> It was a size too large for me...

Took 2 painkillers already and it still hurts ;( When I started riding, I expected to get leg pains, butt pains and even arm pains... not back. This sucks ;(

On another note, I found a contradictory poem (to this post) on Facebook. Beautiful though.

-----

To Harmonize
Poem By Sarah Ackerman, 14, from Sheridan, Montana

My footsteps echo powerfully as I run toward the barn. I quickly grab the bit trying to keep it warm.
I see them all grazing in the pasture, I try to grab him but he is much faster.
His silky Black coat shiny and bright, He runs round the pasture like a colt in delight.
When he finally comes I slip the bit in his mouth, I step on the log getting ready to mount.

We trot over the pasture with graceful ease, we break into a canter and I feel a soft breeze.
I feel like we’re one, the speed that were at.
His hoof beats are fast, And unrelenting he doesn't stop, he's never ending.
My heart beats fast, but I’m unafraid, the world around me seems to fade.

The riding takes away the pain, I feel alive and free again.
Our souls now have a deep connection, he's filled my life with a small perfection.
The motion of his powerful legs, seems to take my breath away.
His hooves they kick up snow and dirt, riding takes away the hurt, the pain, the agony I have felt, the broken hearts that make me melt.

Our harmony is unbreakable, out love is unshakable.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Lesson Number Eight & Bathing Time!

I had a good ride. Wasn't great though. Today, Mazlan wasn't around. He went back home to Penang, apparently. So I had to train with Rony, one of the club's own trainers (not volunteer). I got scheduled with Wind. Yeah I know, finally, an actual horsie name XD

Wind is a pretty skittish horse. He couldn't stay still when I tried mounting him (damnit, he was as tall as Dibbie!) and he speeds up by a lot when something scares him. A plane flew past at one point and that buzzing sound made him go into a canter ._. I lost balance but managed to rein him in lol. He didn't stop entirely either =/ I can't seem to get him to fully stop. He's just sooooooooo nervous lol. He's also really REALLY sensitive. I've never seen any of the other horses try to shake off the flies as much as he does. The moment a fly lands on his neck, he shakes. Throughout my ride, he constantly shook his head, kicked his hind legs, whacked his tail at me, shuddered under the saddle... *sigh* It's not that Wind is a bad boy, it's just that he's really distracted lol.

I didn't learn much. Kinda lost my balance today. Not sure why. It's like I went back to my 3rd ride =/ Kept leaning forward and everything. Trainer says my rising trot looks good though. That only thing I need to work on is my leaning forward >.< I still haven't found out how I did the sitting trot the last time :( So all in all, bad balance. Also, I have no idea why, but the saddle kept hurting me ._.

Most fun part though, was the bath :D Zofer, Mazlan's friend (the trainer who told me that I'm a fast learner lol) pushed me to learn to wash a horse, so I was like "Of course! I'd take what I can get!" hehe. I got so wet XD And yes, I know how dirty that sounds. I didn't learn shampooing though. Zofer said that's for next week. All we did today was spray Wind's legs, then body and neck, then under his tail haha, with water. Rubbed him with those therapy bumps thingies while spraying. And after that, scraped him off with a wiper blade thingy to get rid of the access water. The bath was seriously awesome. And after that, I fed him lots and lots of carrots :D He gobbled them up so happily lol.

I hope to bond a bit with all the horses there. It'd be really nice to see which horses would be amazing after bonding and which would still be horrible lol. Also, mum didn't feel well today, so no pics or vids, sorry :(