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!


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...