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 :(

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Missing Out...

This is torture. Having to go back to riding only once a week, I am now restless and upset :( Last week, I could ride Saturdays and Tuesdays. Now that I'm back to school, only Saturdays. I'm sick and tired of school, assignments, lecturers and my schoolmates. Horses are so much better companions. My classmates are just disgusting. And you know what's funnier? Horses don't even speak English. My classmates do and I hate listening to them... Surrounded by stupidity now :( REALLY not happy. I hope this doesn't add to my depression problems...

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Differences in Horse Gaits?

Wow, this is irritating. There are millions of videos on Youtube giving you 'how-to's to everything you need to know about horses and riding them... or so you'd think.

My parents are finding it hard to differentiate between a trot, canter and gallop. I'm having trouble remembering what the different types of each gait is and how it looks too. So off I go looking for videos. Simple enough, right? There SHOULD be a few videos on how each gait is different, and how each gait has different types of movement.

But no. Theres only ONE video that shows the difference in the trots and even then, it's not obvious enough for a non-rider to understand. Why in the world are people posting videos of them sitting on a still horse and just TALKING about it?! Is that going to bloody help ANYONE?! Hell no!

Is this a really difficult request? Just a series of videos to show the difference? I'm tired of looking already. If anyone has found videos on the differences between horse gaits, I'd be really appreciated.

~ An annoyed new rider

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Seventh Lesson Brings Unexpected Knowledge!

So I decided to brave it and go for a ride today. I'm glad I did too! Until now, no sign of anything red lol.

Today's horse was Dibbie. Once again, I had difficulties getting her to get into a trot and to stay trotting till I tell her to stop. I seem to have this problem with every other horse I've ridden... except the first horse (Mr. T, I think) and Siti Mas, both of which I haven't had the opportunity to ride on my own. Maybe it's cause I'm not a full rider yet? Maybe they're all testing me, to see if I could actually become a rider and be the one in charge? I'm not sure what to think. Next time I ride any of the 5 I've ridden so far, I hope things change. For now, I'm quite happy to switch between all the horses and see which I like best :D

Dibbie was pretty hard to ride. She doesn't respond to whip waving, whip tapping or even heel tapping. To get her to trot everytime, Mazlan (today's trainer) had to be the one waving the whip. He says it's cause she knows that I can't control her very well and so, she's bullying me... =/ Meanie horsie!

I learned quite a bit today! When the horse is walking, I've finally realised what a friend (Thanks for all the help, Jess!) meant when she told me that horse riding is also about abdomen exercise. Mazlan helped me understand what all the trainers mean when they say 'Relax' and 'Push with your back'. I could follow the horse movements really well now. Was almost as if I was swaying with the horse. I wouldn't say 'As one' yet, because I haven't gotten to know the horse well enough. I also learned to urge the horse into walking without words and without tapping. Just need to 'push' at the saddle :D I haven't been able to stop her in the same way, by just leaning back though o.o For some reason, she just ignores me when I try to make her stop with just my body language. Good news though, is that I'm paying a lot more attention to horse body language. I can now recognise signs of unhappiness compared to stubbornness and laziness lol.

There was a short moment where I did the sitting trot perfectly :o It was just as I was preparing to do the rising trot. My body was sort of like a snake and my butt kinda stayed in the saddle. It wasn't like before, where I bounced up and down like a doll. I think this is what Mazlan was saying about me needing to soften up. It's pretty amazing, what a short moment of not thinking about doing it can do. It was like automatic, as if it was by instinct. I really hope I can do it again on my next ride.

We did mostly rising trot today. Mazlan is really pleased with my progress, apparently. Other than my heels needing to be kept down (I might be having a problem with the boots for that) and the fact that I couldn't really continuously trot because Dibbie kept stopping, my rising trot is doing really well too! Although, for some reason, I was really tired today, even while riding, and that's not very often. I usually feel ecstatic enough to last me the whole ride and only start wobbling a few minutes after dismounting. I'm blaming it on my uneasy sleep last night :( I kept waking up every now and then. I suppose breakfast wasn't heavy enough either. Oh well.

One other thing I've learned today was pretty unexpected o.o Dibbie kept stopping at the start, not because she was stubborn, but because she had to do a short business XD Once she stopped, I felt her two hind legs spread out... Her entire hindquarters dropped a bit and a second later... the sound of water splashing into sand >.<

And at another point, she stopped in the middle of a trot. The moment I tapped her with my heel, I heard the sound of a splatter... Looked behind and her tail was held high... yes, she was doing a big business at that time! XD When she finished, she went back to walking. That was a weird but very knowledgeable event lol

It also looks like I have a designated trainer... sort of... maybe... I think... Both times that Mazlan taught me, he and his group of (we're guessing) volunteer trainers are always commenting on me being a fast learner and what Mazlan is gonna teach me next week o.O Does that mean Mazlan likes teaching me or something? lol. Well, he says he's gonna bring me into the main arena next week. Looks like I'm gonna be getting lessons on how the main arena works :o Yays! I seriously don't mind. Eventhough Mazlan seems to be attached to his phone like a teenager haha. With him, I progress REALLY well and fast. Distracted Mazlan or not. Maybe that's why they call me a fast learner :D

Dad says I need to buy a short whip and a dressage whip O.O I was like "Wat... why? I can just borrow theirs. I don't need a whip yet... Maybe when I can ride on my own without a trainer, we'll go get me whips, but right now, we really don't need to spend more..." I'm the one riding and spending all his money on riding gear + lessons and he's suggesting MORE unnecessary gear?! *facepalm* Sometimes, I don't understand my parents. On one hand, they complain about me choosing to love horses instead of the cheaper maintenance dogs. On the other, they're asking me to spend more... WTF?! -.-

Friday, January 04, 2013

Being A Girl Sucks

Might have terms and graphic descriptions that might turn your stomach.
If you're squirmish of reading about female stuff, skip this post lol.

So I'm actually supposed to be releasing the red fountain of life yesterday. Only time I experienced one of the symptoms I usually get, was on Tuesday... But no red fountain. And no other symptoms... WHERE ARE TEH SORE BOOBS?! This has me torn. My parents and I avoided booking a lesson on Saturday because I was due on Thursday. It's now Friday afternoon and nothing at all. Nada. Zip. Zilch. To call mum and tell her to book a session tomorrow? Or to leave it in fear of everything going downhill DURING the ride? *sigh* Just by being a girl, gives you stress. Don't like... :(

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Sixth Lesson! And a bad ride...

Happy New Year all! Sorry about the slightly late update. I haven’t been feeling very good. While this is probably the best New Year I’ve ever had, it wasn’t the best riding experience.

Today, I was scheduled with D’Alonzo again. And this time, I got to ride him. I was actually supposed to ride D’Alonzo last Saturday, but he was being very naughty apparently, and I was put on Mamat. So today, I found out what the trainers meant by naughty. I don’t think he’s naughty though. I’m not sure what his problem is. For one, the main body language I noticed while riding him, that told me it wasn’t just ‘naughty’, was that his ears kept folding back. Not totally flat on his head, but it constantly faced me, as if he was angry. The trainers told me to whip him really hard everytime he stopped moving and to jerk back on the reins if he fights back and bucks. But guess what I find? He moves faster if I only wave the whip around, anyway. And if I actually whip him, he bucks... There was even one time where the trainer took him by the bridle and whipped him 3 times... really hard. While I was on top of him, yes. Needless to say, D’Alonzo went in circles, trying to avoid the whip.

I can’t bring myself to whip a horse hard. I just can’t. In no way is hurting a horse to make him obey is necessary. I don’t know how they do things when training a horse, but D’Alonzo has been riden MANY times, by MANY riders. I’m pretty sure he’s already trained. And if ALL of those riders whipped him hard... Ouch :(

Another reason why I think D’Alonzo just doesn’t like being riden, is when the trainer guided him out of the ring when my session was up. I thought I was supposed to dismount and lead him back to the stables, but D’Alonzo just continued walking and I kinda rode him back. And the strange thing was, whenever he walked in the ring, he walked really slow. But once on the track back to the stables, he sped up o.o The walk became an active walk, as if he was eager to get back to his stall.

All I can say is, whatever I learned on Mamat with Mazlan, the Saturday trainer, has gone out the window... well, kinda. D’Alonzo stopped very suddenly a lot. Everytime I was ready to practice whatever Mazlan taught me, he stops. Everytime I’m ready to stop, he doesn’t stop. And then there was the problem with the trainers. The trainer I was scheduled with today, wasn’t feeling well. So I had to wait an entire half an hour after my session was supposed to start, for another trainer to take over. Everything went okay-ish... until he shifted me to the main arena ring. There was another trainer there with 2 riders. Mother and daughter, I presume. He shouted over to my trainer and all of a sudden, I was made to join the 2 riders. My ride went downhill. Not only could I not do much, because all D’Alonzo had to do was follow the other two horses, but the trainer spent most of the session observing. All we did was rising trot and a tiny bit of sitting trot. My progress suddenly depends on the other two riders. If they couldn’t keep up, I’m forced to stop. If I couldn’t keep up (due to a slower and stubborn horse)... well, I fall behind. I definitely do NOT like group lessons. Nothing went right today. It was not a good day at all.

Good news though, I managed to mount from ground up again :D This time, trainer taught me to stand next to the horse shoulder and twist the stirrup around. I guess D’Alonzo is also a smaller horse. I learned a tiny bit more about control today. D’Alonzo doesn’t seem to have common sense o.o He went off the track quite a lot. Mamat followed the ring well enough, but D’Alonzo acted as if he would slam into the fences if I didn’t direct him away. I think I’m doing quite nicely in turning a horse around too. I find that tiny gentle pulls on the reins is perfect when doing slight turns. Longer gentle pulls when making a sharper turn. I also understand what the trainers mean by looking up and forward. It takes a few seconds for a horse to actually make a correction when following a path. So looking down at the immediate track isn’t exactly going to help. The trainers didn’t make much comment on my posture when doing the rising trot, so I guess I’ve managed to improve there. I’m pulling my shoulders back and putting my heels down a lot more, since I wasn’t gonna be getting reminders, what with 2 other riders to care for *rolleyes*

I can feel myself softening when doing the sitting trot, but I can’t seem to keep my hands still o.o They jumped up and down along with me! >.< Meh, I want to ride Mamat again, with Mazlan teaching me. :( There were so much bumping on D’Alonzo that my thighs are sore and bruised now. *sigh*

Oh, and I got more pics :) I’m working on creating profiles for the horses so that I can recognise them. Right now, I can’t tell which is Ruby and which is Royal ._. Both are dark and both don’t have distinctive markings. Siti Mas has some very very VERY light brown patches on her neck and body. Other than that... complete brown horse. Oh dear =/ They also repainted the stalls, so the names were removed. I’m gonna have to wait till the names are put back up to get more pics.

Oh yeah! Was a bad day for the parents too, imagine that XD Dad has been happy to go to the club for one thing, and one thing only. Nasi Lemak LOL! It’s a Malaysian dish, google if you’re interested. Unfortunately, they only sell Nasi Lemak on Saturdays haha! And for mum, she was looking forward to eating Maggi Goreng (Fried Noodles), Indonesian style. They cooked her dish... and sent it to the wrong family... That family was so stupid as to eat the extra dish anyway. And the cook finds out that he was out of noodles and mum couldn’t eat! Hehehe, there was no breakfast for the parents today xD