Getting Official

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In case anyone is set up in such a way that they aren’t being redirected, my husband made me my own domain and a customized page at www.stampyandthebrain.com so please follow me there.

So Excited – A Contest!

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So I’m hosting my first contest on this blog and I’m so excited about what I have to offer. If only I could enter myself….

Up for grabs, 1 helmet monogram and a two pack of heat transfer monograms (which are perfect for use on breeches or your show coat) all from Relatively Stable.

My Relatively Stable helmet monogram - this is the 2" size on my IRH

My Relatively Stable helmet monogram – this is the 2″ size on my IRH

I’m so excited to be able to offer items as prizes that I have used myself so I know the quality and that others will love them as well.

2" show coat monogram!

2″ show coat monogram by Relatively Stable

In order to be entered to win, you must comment below and tell me what your dream tack or barn related purchase would be. No budget, anything you want that’s horse related besides a barn or the horse itself!

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Since rafflecopter isn’t wordpress hosted blog friendly, I will put the entries in excel and use a randomizer to draw a winner. Contest is open until October 31st at midnight. Good luck!

Hand Gallop Blog Hop: What’s in a Name?

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So the question asked was:

What’s the origin of your’s horse’s barn name and show name?

So Stampede first. I use his registered name for shows as well, and kind of wish I had used something else because I think it almost sounds rodeo or something. I think it would have been cool to give him a show name of “On Stilts” or something like that, but too late now. Anyways, Stampede is registered with the jockey club (I know, how is that beast a TB right?) as Gator Stampede. Obviously you now know where his barn name comes from. And when your horse is huge and gangly and tries to jump in your lap when he’s scared Stampede kind of fits.

So the name Gator Stampede comes mostly from his sire, Alota Gator Bait. As far as I can tell he never does much of anything but look handsome, make babies, and supposedly has a good disposition. His appendix cross babies are popular on the AQHA somewhat from what I’ve read.

Alota Gator Bait - so this picture amuses me to no end...

Alota Gator Bait – so this picture amuses me to no end…

Stampede’s dam was Virginia Cousin, an off the track TB who turned into a hunter in later life. From what I’ve been told she showed on the B circuit in my area in her hay day, but I can’t find any proof anywhere.

Baby Stampede with his mom

Baby Stampede with his mom

Here’s the link to Stampede’s pedigree if anyone is interested. I do think it’s crazy that somehow we got from some fairly well known racehorses to Stampede’s beefcake of a sire. Maybe I just don’t know enough about breeding! Either way Stampede turned out more slender like his dam but tall like his sire. How he made the jump from a 17.2 sire to his 18.1 self is pretty amazing to me as well!

On to Phoenix, who has a very unfortunate registered name that I imagine being said in a some kind of country accent somewhere – Fancy Quincy. The fancy portion comes from his sire, Mr. Fancy Bonanza, who I have talked about a bit once before. The article I linked in the other post is really interesting, as Phoenix’s sire was really a quarter horse kicked out of the AQHA for having too much white, and thus became a foundation sire of the APHA. I love this level of white, those AQHA people were crazy!

P's daddy - Mr. Fancy Bonanza

P’s daddy – Mr. Fancy Bonanza

Phoenix’s dam was Miss Quincy Mount, hence the Quincy portion of his registered name. I can’t find much info on her either sadly. Here is a link to Phoenix’s full pedigree though.

What I do love about the APHA, is that there is a picture of the horse with their papers. Who doesn’t love a Mr. P baby pic?

Baby Phoenix!

Baby Phoenix!

Obviously Fancy Quincy is not the kind of name I wanted to take into the show ring, and his barn name was already Phoenix, which fit him well, so he became Phoenix Rising, the mythical bird rising from the flames. Probably most people know what a Phoenix is at this point from the Harry Potter series, but when I was younger no one had a clue.

Phoenix Rising

Phoenix Rising

Survived another deadline

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So I pretty much disappeared as I got close to the October 15th deadline at work (all extended individual returns and many state business returns are due this day) so I could keep enough time for work and ponies. I left most of my posting to instagram (username is stampyandthebrain), so those who follow me at least knew I was still alive and around ponies at times, lol.

P loves to eat all the time

P loves to eat all the time

Phoenix has been doing well. I kind of scaled back a bit on the difficulty with him and I think it was a good move. He has seemed much more confident now that I’m just focusing on keeping him moving from behind and going around. At his age (25) I guess he’s allowed to have some limitations! Either way we’ve had some fun rides and enjoyed the fall colors.

Beautiful views from the pony

Beautiful views from the pony

Stampede’s back seemed to be improving with my lunging and focusing more on trot work than canter, but he went all wonky on me yesterday. He’s not lame on any leg but he’s moving with a short stride so I know it’s his back.

 

I guess it’s good I already have a vet appointment set up for him with a new specialist in Michigan (not at MSU) on Thursday. We will see what his future holds shortly. The vet sounded optimistic that I have several options left, but agreed to let me know if I should be moving on to another horse instead once he examines him. Pretty much every vet I spoke with (and there have been several) has not wanted to recommend surgery. Evidently there is a lot of uncertainty about long-term stability of the spine afterwards. So cross your fingers for some good answers on Thursday!

Stump <3

Stump❤

I’ve been going crazy with monogramming things too. The items below are from Relatively Stable on Etsy. The two monograms I got were great quality, much better than the items I got from personally preppy. Both of my helmet monograms had already started peeling off, so I ordered one helmet monogram and one iron on monogram from Relatively Stable. Here are the results:

I love the diamond shape and the way the blue stands out on my grey helmet!

I love the diamond shape and the way the blue stands out on my grey helmet!

The helmet monogram went on much easier than the first one I had from personally preppy. It stuck to the helmet completely after a light rubbing and the backing peeled off easily.

Show coat monogram!

Show coat monogram!

Now that I have the most expensive show coat I’ve ever owned that is stretchy and amazing I wanted to put my name on it somehow. This iron on monogram went on with just 20 seconds of ironing and looks so sharp! So check out Relatively Stable on Etsy, there are many different items, including some beautiful painted brushes that I’m already lusting over.

So I had ordered iron on glove monograms from personally preppy back when I got the helmet monograms and since I never iron I hadn’t put them on. I took the chance and put them on my new every day gloves. They do look pretty sharp, but I had to leave the iron on each one for 2 minutes and it melted my gloves a bit (you can see the big H of the heritage logo looks different closer to the monogram due to melting). They also suggest that you press the iron on slightly after removing the backing and doing that made the circle go slightly wonky. I do like the look, but I will search elsewhere for something that requires less iron time so I don’t melt anything in the future.

New gloves with monogram in action

New gloves with monogram in action

I’m off work this coming week, so hopefully i can get some extra posts in this week. I also think I have a surprise coming for you guys!

Getting it together

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It seems like both of the ponies are getting back on track. Overall we had a pretty good week.

Monday I hopped on P bareback and we had a nice quick hack, he was very good.

Tuesday night I had a flat lesson on Stampede. First ride since starting the beast on muscle relaxers and he felt much better. He was being cooperative and I worked on getting him to relax and use his back. I’d say overall it was a pretty good win.

Wednesday P and I rode in one of the rings. I took the focus off being forward and instead worked on bend. I am thinking that maybe I pushed him too hard last week, so I wanted to go back to something more basic and relaxing. While the trot work was pretty nice, he reverted back to being quick at the canter. I tried to do lots of half halts to calm him down but he was blowing through my hands a bit.

Handsome Mr. P in his sheet for the first time this fall

Handsome Mr. P in his sheet for the first time this fall

Thursday I was running late again so I decided Stampy could use a lunge in the Pessoa knockoff rig anyways. Of course it started to rain as soon as I got out to the ring and I had left my rain coat in the barn. Stamp and I toughed it out though and he was great to the left. Soft without being too lazy. To the right he was a bit more tense and really struggled at the canter to pull himself into a package. Once he was successful for halfway around at the canter we went back to trot and finished up as soon as he relaxed and started to use his back again.

Friday I decided to try P in a waterford D bit to see if that would help with him grabbing the bit coming home. Not sure if it was luck but he was great. When he would try to get quick at the canter (always coming home) I would half halt and he would respond right away. I will definitely try this bit again and maybe buy one if it turns out to be more than coincidence.

My view giving the handsome stamp kisses

My view giving the handsome stamp kisses

Saturday Stampede and I did a flat lesson again. This time we ended up indoors, but he was still pretty good. Trot was improved from earlier in the week, getting back to his normal feel. Canter is rough indoors since he’s so big, so I always struggle between packaging him and getting too much in his business and making him mad. Overall a good ride, I was happy with my pony.

Today P and I had a nice hack in the field. I completed my test for a starting time for Two Pointober. My back has been bothering me the last few days, so I went until it was screaming. Made it over 5 minutes, so I was happy with that considering.

Start time for Two Pointober

Start time for Two Pointober

I also lunged Stampy in the rig again today, this time in the indoor. I must say he was fabulous. No he’s not always on the bit and using his back, but I’d say he was about 92% of the time today. He stayed calm and responsive, even with ponies all around the indoor. Good Stamp!

What a big nose you have...

What a big nose you have…

The plan for Stampede is to continue my extra focus on building back strength (by lunging and doing his stretching exercises more frequently) and not jumping for a while. I am waiting on my more recent x-rays from MSU (they only mail them) so I can send them off for a second opinion on treatment options. Either way hoping for an answer on whether we have any other doable options for keeping Stampede comfortable as a riding horse.

P grazing with his girlfriend Willow today in their matching Rambo Helix sheets

P grazing with his girlfriend Willow today in their matching Rambo Helix sheets

September’s 10 Questions

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Here are my answers to L’s most recent 10 questions.

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  1. Is there something you don’t like about your riding? My main annoyance is how much I always look like I’m slouching. If my shoulders aren’t perfect it looks bad since my upper body is normal sized and my legs are very very long.
  2. Does your horse buck? Under saddle P has never offered any kind of buck or rear in all of our years together. Stampede usually only bucks when a horse fly is on his butt or if he is angry that I hit him with a crop during the winter indoors. Stampede is much more prone to rearing though, although they are really just little rear hops. Usually happens when he is scared of something and I won’t let him run away.
  3. Is your horse head shy? Neither horse is head shy, although P does have an ear his is scared of me clipping. He was obviously ear twitched before I owned him and again while he was away from me because he got over it while I owned him the first time.
  4. Favorite barn chore to do? I like feeding the horses just because I love the peacefulness when they are all chewing away on hay and the barn is quiet.
  5. How many times do you ride a week? Every day, so 7 to 8 times.
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  7. Who is your favorite pro rider?  Beezie Madden
  8. If one pro rider could train you for one day who would it be? I’d probably go for a pro rider who is involved in hunters. Someone who could help me get the best out of my horse for the show ring.
  9. Favorite Facial Marking? I love when there is a lot of white. P has a striking wide blaze but I love Stampede’s long heart shaped marking as well. My first horse had a blaze as well, probably 2/3rds of the width of P’s.
  10. Leg Markings or No Leg Markings? White on the legs of course! I actually like Stampede’s short socks because they are easier to keep clean, but P is beautiful when he’s all clean.
  11. Ever broken anything falling off? Arm very badly when I was young (both bones in my forearm and at elbow which required surgery), then both parts of my collar-bone with Stampede and the sink hole back in 2007 which required two surgeries to fix. You can read about my collar-bone injury in the about Stampede section.

Ebbs and Flows

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I had some good rides and some rough rides this week. It was probably one of the most extreme weeks I’ve had in a while.

Stampede started off the week with a good lesson. He was quiet on the flat so I decided to jump a little. The jumping wasn’t anything spectacular, but not bad for over three weeks of not jumping and only being back in work for over a week.

Forgot my jacked in the ring after my lesson with Stamp Tuesday night so I hopped on P with some lead ropes to go get it in the dark.

Forgot my jacket in the ring after my lesson with Stamp Tuesday night so I hopped on P with some lead ropes to go get it in the dark.

Evidently I overdid things with him Tuesday, because on Thursday he was a terror. I was out-of-town for work training Wednesday to Thursday evening, so I had rushed out to the barn with husband in tow to get a quick ride in before dark. Stampede was tense and spooky. He found a ton of spots around the ring to take turns spooking at and when I would get after him he would do his patented rear and turn to try to run the other way. Nothing I tried seemed to relax him and at one point I just got off and dragged him to the side of the ring and made him stand. After that break he was manageable when I got back on at least, but it still wasn’t pretty. I also didn’t appreciate him scaring husband who I have a hard enough time getting to come out other than shows as it is. Sigh.

So on Saturday I decided to try to guarantee a good ride for Stampede while trying to get a gauge on his back since that’s usually the issue when he gets really difficult under saddle. We did our usual walk warm up for 10 minutes then proceeded to trot for 25 minutes with a few walk breaks. He didn’t feel that good to the left, definitely a bit sore to start and wanting to spook at some things. I just kept him away from the area he was being dumb about and tried to get him to stretch. Going right he felt normal and good and wasn’t spooky at all. I could still feel some stiffness when I went back left again, so I really focused on letting my hands go and pushing him forward. He got some pretty good trot by the end, but nothing like he can do when he’s up to par.

Who doesn't love some grass

Who doesn’t love some grass

Decided to give the boy a few days of Robaxin starting tonight to try to get things going again. Always seems crazy that he could lose muscle tone that fast and get this sore, but he really struggles after time off.

So sad how early it is getting dark already

So sad how early it is getting dark already

I wrote about my rough end to my ride on P Monday already. My friend’s mom rode him Wednesday when I was out-of-town. I was hoping for a good ride Friday after my blah ride on Stampede the night before, but it was not to be. P was just insane. There were show jumps in the one ring and some in the field for a benefit our barn hosted on Saturday (Canter for the Cure – raising funds for pancreatic cancer research) as well as lots of bugs out, and he was just ready to go. Really P’s only vice while riding is that once he gets nervous and/or excited he’s hard to get to relax. So I tried letting him run around a bit, I tried making him go slow, nothing was really working. I generally avoid riding the older gentleman on a lot of circles, but that was the only solution that worked. So we rode on a circle a lot and he finally got manageable enough for me to call it a day. I hadn’t planned to ride him for an hour though!

New view while sitting on Mr P :)

New view while sitting on Mr P🙂

Today I was hoping that sane Phoenix was back and he didn’t disappoint. We had a nice easy flat in the field with friends. Here’s hoping the boys will continue to get back on track next week!

Barn kitty doing yoga today

Barn kitty doing yoga today

As the hoof grows

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A collage of Stampede’s right front hoof as the hole from his monster abscess that popped in February grows out.

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I’ll be so glad when this thing is all grown out and the pony has a normal looking hoof again. At least it doesn’t bug him.

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Had a great start to my ride on P this evening as he was soft, bending nicely, and being generally easy to ride. Sadly, he decided to be annoying after the other horses in the field went in and go fast when headed towards home so we had to do some more extended schooling. Kind of a bummer to finish a ride that way, but we did do some nice turn on the haunches, turn on the forehand, and walked back and forth over some cavalletti poles in the ring to cool out.

200th post

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I meant to come up with something cool for my 200th post, yet here I am about to tell you about my rides this week instead! I know you are excited! I need to think of some cool contest to do coming up. I’m open to ideas!

Three pups in a row :)

Three pups in a row🙂

Monday the Stampede got back to work after his two-week siesta. I was lucky to get a ride in since it was raining and the indoor was (and still is) full of temporary stalls. The pony and I were definitely damp after our ride but other than some tense moments tracking right and going by the scary part of the ring he was great for having some time off.

Alert pony

Alert pony on Friday

Tuesday I did a flat lesson on P. The footing in the ring was not very good, a strange mix of hard in spots and squishy in others, but we toughed it out. Trainer got after me for my Phoenix habit of not keeping my elbows in. It’s funny how you can have different faults on different horses.

P after his bath on Saturday

P after his bath on Saturday

Wednesday Stampede was at it again. He was very heavy in my hands, which usually happens at some point when he gets back to work after a break. I was riding a fine line of keeping him moving from behind without hyping him up. I still kept things simple and overall it was a progressive ride.

Love the shadow

Love the shadow

Thursday P and I went for a bareback ride in the field. The pony was feeling good, weather in the 60’s with a breeze always energizes him. We ended up working for quite a while and he did require a couple of reminders to slow down a bit. Can’t complain that the pony was feeling that good though!

Field is looking gorgeous

Field is looking gorgeous

My Friday ride with Stampede was a bit rough due to some outside factors. I left work early so I got out to the barn in the late afternoon. All of the horses had come in from turnout and no one else was riding. Stampede was not feeling super brave about being alone, so just getting around the ring was a challenge. We spent a lot of time on a circle, making it bigger and smaller to keep the nervous pony attentive. Oddly enough he focuses better at the canter, so we were able to end on a pretty good note.

Stampede after a bath on Friday

Stampede after a bath on Friday

Saturday Mr P was at it again. We put a saddle on and got to work in the field after a walk through the trails. After a brief discussion about appropriate bend which involved some avoidance trantering P was awesome. Nice forward trot, relaxed canter. A good day!

Saturday trail ride

Saturday trail ride

Today Stampede and I got to brave some crazy wind for a pretty decent ride. His trot felt close to his usual more automatic movement with head set and pushing from behind. He seemed to wear out fairly quickly at the canter, maybe because I didn’t take a break between directions. I need to get him moving extra forward again at the canter, but I want to give him some more building rides first. To finish up, we went through this grid of cavalletti that was already set up after my friend lowered them for us. It was three poles at the lowest setting set as bounces, one stride to a raised, then a bounce to the last raised cavalletti. The first time Stampede was nice and quiet but I had cantered in and didn’t get the best distance in so he had to adjust. Second time he was being spooky about his scary corner so he rushed. Third time I trotted to the first pole and he went through nicely.

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