Mar. 23rd, 2009 08:58 am
velessa: (Horses - Jackson pretty)
Well, Jackson has a new home now. He'll be a lesson horse for Clermont Equestrian in Woodside, California, where they have jumping and dressage programs; it's run by a guy named Craig Clermont who was a Canadian Olympic Grand Prix jumper or something like that. Anyway it sounds like a pretty fancy place!

I intend to go visit sometime soon as I never got the chance to actually meet Craig. He came to see Jackson this weekend, but I was busy doing the birthday party thing with my family. My instructor called me that day to tell me he really liked him, and he offered to take him without a trial period; he came and picked him up on Sunday. So that's a big relief for me. He'll be in a good place and well taken care of, and I don't have to fret about how to keep him while trying to find a different home for him.

I'm a little sad to no longer have a horse of my own, but we never really clicked as a pair. Quite frankly I think we were both pretty much fed up with each other; I didn't trust him and he didn't trust me, and I felt no desire to ride him or even be around him. Next time I hope to get a horse on trial first and make sure it will actually be willing to accept my lead. I also think I won't get horse so big that I feel intimidated by it. I lost a lot of confidence from Jackson's bullying and rearing at me all the time, and I'll need time and a far more patient horse to get that back.

Still, I think this has been a good experience for me, one of those live and learn things. I learned a lot about what I'm still lacking as far as riding and horsemanship goes, and what kind of horse I really need and want in order to make the experience enjoyable. I got Jackson thinking I wanted a more challenging horse because an easygoing one would have been too boring, but I've definitely changed my mind about that. Being constantly challenged is nothing but frustrating and exhausting and no fun at all! I always felt more defeated after working with him than not. He was a completely different ball game from the tired old worn-out rental string horses that pretty much all my previous experience stemmed from, and he sure knocked me down a peg or two regarding what I thought I knew about handling horses! Turns out I'm nowhere near as stern or bossy as I thought I was or need to be, and I can be taken advantage of and intimidated far more easily than I thought possible.

To be honest I'm not sure I have it in me to be a truly domineering boss mare type; I'd rather have a horse that easily accepts a lower position in the herd instead of constantly challenging me and trying to take over the way Jackson did. Next time I'd like to know how a horse interacts with other horses...if I had seen the way Jackson immediately dominated all other horses he came in contact with, maybe I would have thought twice about him! Of course now I've started to educate myself on all those little things a horse does that you can't ignore or let him get away with, and I feel a bit better prepared to nip future problems in the bud. But I still intend to find a horse with a much more laid back personality, as well as get much more education on groundwork and manners. For now, though, I'm just going to relax and try to enjoy the free time I have again!
velessa: (Horses - Jackson pretty)
I've decided I definitely want to sell Jackson, I just don't see us working out in the long run. While I thought I wanted a "challenging" horse to ride, I definitely don't want a horse that's nothing BUT a challenge to ride! I can't see him ever really mellowing out to be the chill, hack-around horse I now realize I actually want (not for many years at any rate), and I simply can't justify throwing all my money away and not having any fun in the meantime while waiting for that to possibly maybe happen. Of course this is a terrible time to sell horses, and I'm not sure who would really want a huge, cranky 15 year old sort-of jumper/sort-of dressage horse. If worse comes to worse I may end up giving him to someone's jumping lesson program. Other options could be getting a month or two or training for him, or trying to put him at a sale barn, but those would be really expensive and not something I can really afford to do.

For the time being one of my instructor's other students (Kelly) has been riding him a lot, three or four times a week for me. She's currently between horses and looking for her next eventer, and she's riding Jackson in both dressage and jumping lessons. He definitely does not like dressage, but he does seem to enjoy jumping. She's all for continuing to ride him even when she does get another horse, and my hope is that him basically getting all this free "training" will make him more attractive for someone to buy down the road. I'm just hoping it's not TOO long down the road; I can't wait forever because I really need to move him to a cheaper barn. However, when I do that I will no longer have Kelly to ride him, and he won't be getting any better with me on him. I've decided I'll leave him where he is for about two more months, but after that I'll have to make that move.

Furthermore, once I do find Jackson another home, I'm going to hold off getting another horse for a while. Instead I'm going to take more riding lessons and possibly lease a horse in order to get a better idea of where I really want to go with my horse hobby, as well as work towards becoming a better rider. I'm also considering going back to school (and studying something that would actually be USEFUL for getting a real career; kids, don't major in liberal arts!), and not owning a horse would free up a lot more time for me to do so.

Anyway, the point of this post was to share some video clips of Jackson being jumped the other day. His previous owner said she did a lot of showing with him in jumping, although I have no idea at what level or for how long or even if he was ever taught how to jump in the first place. So he's now getting refresher work with Kelly. )
velessa: (Horses - Jackson pretty)
It's fricking HOT here. This heat wave is breaking temperature records and everything. I haven't ridden for the last four days because it's just too hot to move; I barely have the energy to clean Jackson's stall. The power went out at work for about an hour on Thursday probably from all the increased energy demand for A/C. Our townhouse is actually too warm upstairs even though it's almost always too cold in here, although the downstairs stays cool no matter what. Unfortunately both bedrooms are upstairs, and the master bedroom has a vaulted ceiling, so there's no good way to cool it down. We put out A/C unit in the much smaller guest room and have been sleeping in there.

When my friend and I were getting ready to leave the stable on Friday, I heard a loud screech and turned to see Duchess, the barn cat, running by with a struggling bunny in her mouth. We followed her into the barn where she had dropped it; apparently it was still alive enough to run and hide. We caught it behind some feed bins and were going to give it to our office lady since she likes to take in needy wildlife, but she wasn't home. I took the bunny home and figured I'd bring it to her the next day, assuming it survived the night. It was alive early the next morning, but when I was ready to leave later I found it had died. =( The cat must have landed a good bite, in which case it had no chance to begin with; we'd been hoping maybe she'd just grabbed it but didn't break the skin, since we couldn't find any fang marks. Poor little thing.

Saturday night Josh and I went to see Iron Man. I was hesistant, although I'd heard nothing but good things about it. I didn't know what it was about really other than some comic book movie, which for the most part I am not a fan of (like the Spiderman movies? Ugh). I didn't know what the Iron Man comic was or what it was about; from the little I'd seen of it I thought it looked sort of like Robocop. I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was actually a very entertaining action movie! I love action movies. It had a lot of amusing parts as well, which was cool, because I didn't expect it to be funny. Robert Downey Jr. also turned out to be a great actor, another surprise to me because the only thing I knew about him is that he's some drug addict who's been in and out of jail a lot; I'd never seen him in anything before. I'm now looking forward to the sequel. The next movie on our list is Indiana Jones; I just seriously hope George Lucas didn't fuck up another great movie legacy like he did with Star Wars.

The movie turned out to be pretty long, so I didn't get much sleep last night before going to work early this morning. It was hot and awful, but at least that meant we weren't busy. And we were having a vaulting show, so there was something to watch. Also, there was a lady from a magazine called Horse Connection there who was doing an article on wine and horses, so she came to a pretty appropriate place considering we're both a stable and vineyard. Anyway, she wanted to get some pictures of someone riding by a plaque we have next to one of the barns (I've never read it, actually...I think it says something about the history of the farm maybe). All the other staff were already out on trail rides, so I agreed to do it. I jumped on our most "photogenic" (i.e. spooky; his ears are always pricked forward!) horse and posed for a few pictures. Don't know if they'll use any of them, but she said she'd let me know if they did. So maybe I'll be in a magazine, haha. Later in the day she came back again to talk to us and took a few notes. I'm curious to see what she writes.
velessa: (Horses - Jackson pretty)
And because most of you don't seem to be on Facebook, otherwise you'd have already seen all of these!

Some random pics of Jackson )
velessa: (Horses - Jackson pretty)
Time for a new icon, hehe. =)
velessa: (SpongeBob - eager)
I'm now the proud owner of Dublin Your Change, aka Jackson! ^o^

Tonight I went up to pay for him and finalize everything. He'll be moving down to Garrods on Sunday. I'm so excited! I've been waiting 27 years for a horse of my own, and now I finally, FINALLY have one!! My life is complete. =D

Hmm, now I won't know what to wish for anymore when I blow out my birthday candles...every year it was always the same wish, to have a horse!


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