Monday, December 29, 2008

Back in the saddle again!

After a good 2 weeks off, we are up and riding again. Today I rode outside and Nik was nice and forward. We even worked on W-C transitions and lengthenings. He was a joy to ride.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

FAbulous Ride

We did our first walk-canter transition. Basically off the voice but he was willing to try. We've been working as starting SI, LY away and towards rail, lengthening, canter forward and back, med walk to free walk and back, stretchy circle.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

2 Great Lessons

Had 2 really good lessons this month. Nik was very good and forward. (so it was 30 degrees, windy and dusky) Some notes: Keep off inside leg, more responsive to leg aids, no potty breaks, leg yield then straight then LY, rt hand down, sit still with upper body, few strides of lengthening,
start ly against wall at trot, start moving shoulders for SI, work on keeping weight in contact and stretching into contact esp. in downward transition, try work in hand to get more responsive, keep legs relaxed.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm a BAD boy

Well today, Nik decided again to stand in the water trough and mangle another water heater. Not only that but he also stepped on one of the cats. Thankfully the cat is fine.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Enjoying the weather

Nikolaas' canter has really improved over the last month. Lots of trot to canter transitions. The crisp air gives him some extra impulsion.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

First Ride in 2 Weeks

Nikolaas is all better! I did a light outside ride and he felt great. During our 2 weeks off I took some photos of the farm to keep myself busy. Here is an artsy close up shot.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Coughing Brook Farm

Tiki came home a couple of weeks ago from the Gladstone CDE and must have picked up a virus. It managed to spread to Nik and Kade. Nik has been off work for 2 weeks and still has a slight cough so I will wait alittle longer. The good news is we have found a digital thermometer that takes a temp in 8 seconds. When you have 3 sick horses it is very handy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Update photo

Here is a recent pic of Nik from a video. I have been riding outside for all my rides. Yesterday he cantered on the track for 1/4 of the way around until he started going alittle too fast for comfort. He can canter all the way around the dressage arena and driving arena. His strength is improving!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Super BIG Brag

Nik went to his first schooling show today. Intro A and B with 69% in both. He was calm, relaxed and just plain fun. I was so proud! The only problem we had was he was afraid to back out of the trailer. We moved the divider and he contorted himself out.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Nikolaas made his grass track debut today. We trotted once around in each direction. He was alittle scared but soon calmed down. I was so proud!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Riding in the "Real Dressage Arena"

Nik is going nicely and has graduated to the unfenced real large dressage arena. We have even attempted to canter a 20 M circle. It wasn't really a circle but he did complete it! Today after our ride I walked him on the woods trail and trotted him too. He was perfect. He is leg yielding nicely and cantering longer distances without constant reminding from me.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lesson during aThunderstorm

Had a fine lesson today in the indoor and of course it was raining and thundering. Nik as usual took it in stride and was perfect. Some reminders to work on:
Leg yield at trot, come down to walk if not responding
shallow serpentine
stretchy circle
TOF off left leg walk forward during
Use the Verhan saddle.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nik's New Friends

After Chelsea pony had to be laid to rest last month, someone offered us 2 donkeys to keep our horses company. Introducing Omar and Milton. Our new welsh cob, Kade, arrived last week too and all 4 are getting along perfectly.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Nik is starting to look like a dressage horse

Nik is starting to become rounder at the trot and he is trotting nicely forward. He is really coming along. He is starting to canter but he doesn't want to go very far yet!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

First Tail Ride

Nik has been going well in the outdoor arena so I decided it was time to venture even farther. Ari rode Tiki and I rode Nik. Nik actually wanted to lead! He didn't spook but was looking about at times. We did our little walk thru the woods and on the grass track and came back. Then I rode him with Tiki in the ring. He has never been ridden with another horse. He was pre-occupied with Tiki. Did I mention he is in love with her? So it did take some effort to get him to pay attention to me. Good learning experience.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Moving right along!

Nik is really learning. He has such a wonderful attitude. Could be alittle more forward in his thinking but his overall demeanor is great. We have graduated to being able to ride in the whole outdoor arena even the scarey area way at the end. I am also cantering him outside. He can't canter for a long distance yet but he did canter the other day with just voice! I am also working on turns on the forehand, off the left leg he is great off the right leg he isn't very reponsive yet. Overall he is coming along. I'm riding 4 days on and one day off. Alternating inside and out.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Update: CANTERING undersaddle

It was a great day us today. I cantered Nik for the first time undersaddle. He picked it up in both directions but only cantered for about 20 M. But he was perfect and it was a great first time. I also started him trotting over cavaletti again and he seems to enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Nik has been coming along very well. We should be able to canter undersaddle later this week or next. He is doing well cantering on the lunge. He can almost do a full circle! Bob lunged him before I rode him and really got him listening. Nik was very forward and reponsive. Ari watched me ride him last night and she was impressed that he was going so well. Our immediate goals are 1. cantering under saddle 2. learning to bend and move away from the leg 3. rounder outline.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Good Week

Rode outside a couple of times, 2 days off, lunged some. Worked on Cantering on the lunge. We did it out of the corner and down the long side and that seemed to work. He is gaining strength and balance.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

He's getting it!

Last night I did a lunge session with sliding side reins. They worked better than the side reins. We worked on cantering and got a few strides. That's our next feat to accomplish.

Today I rode inside as it was very windy. He has improved so much! We steered with a light contact and he went forward nicely.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Video Outside

We had great weather and enjoyed another great ride outside. Bob also led us around the farm. Nik was tense at times but calmed down after awhile.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Another beautiful day

Rode outside again. He was nice and forward but he did try and go out the gate when we trotted by. Bob then lead me around the outdoor unfenced dressage arena. Nik was alittle scared but he behaved himself. We will try and do more outdoor excursions.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Beautiful weather

Monday I lunged and today I rode outside in this beautiful weather. He behaved perfectly.

Last weekend Tiki had her first CDE of this year and at a higher level, preliminary. She was really good in the dressage phase, needed energy in the walk and her rein back was bad. Probably the best she's ever done. Bob had one cone down in the cones, usually he goes clean. The marathon was tough as the first hazard was water. She stalled and we took forever to get through. Hazard 2 and 3 went well. Hazard 4 she stalled again got hung up and then we went thru a gate that got us eliminated. Hazard 5 she did well. So we have alot to work on, but considering it was the beginning of the season we were happy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Excellent ride tonight

Thurs. night I had a great ride on Nik. He was very forward and willing. We're off to NJ on Fri. for a CDE for Tiki so Nik will have a few days off.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cantering on lunge

We rode outside the day after the first time and Nik was perfect. Then he had 3 days off .Today I lunged him and Nik cantered in each direction. YEAH!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

First time Riding Outside

On Friday, I lunged Nik outside and he was very comfortable so I decided to ride him. He was very good. I kept it short, he went forward and steered as best as he could.

Friday, April 25, 2008

First time riding at night

Tonight was the first time I rode Nik at night with the doors open in the indoor. He did very well and after a couple of slow times around I got him moving forward enough to even do a circle and diagonal. He was excellent.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Love is in the air

Nikolaas has more than brotherly feelings for his sisters and now has to stay in his own paddock. The girls are in heavy heat cycles, even 34yo Chelsea. We had the vet out to check his hormone levels.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First Lunge Outside

After a nice forward ride yesterday, even trotting on the diagonal to change direction, I decided to do a lunge day outside. He was very forward, using his big boy trot with some bucks and cantering. When I changed direction he settled down nicely and stopped when I asked! Plus it was a beautiful 70 degrees out and the horses are shedding like crazy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mastering the Forward button

Nik has been doing really well, picking up the cues to stay trotting and not stopping. He is funny, he usually poops twice and sometimes stops to pee. Anything for a break. Today Bob led me around the outdoor arena. He was very good, had alittle spook from the cat rustling in the leaves but then was fine.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nikolaas Canters on the Lunge

Nik was so forward today that I actually got him to canter on the lunge line in both directions. I did have to chase him into it and he had an awesome extended trot. He was such a good boy!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Still working on forward

Our main theme has been forward. He has made some improvement but needs alot more get up and go.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Working on Forward

Friday,Sat and Sun. we worked on going forward on the lunge and riding around the ring. Monday I just lunged and he was better about trotting forward and not stopping. Tomorrow he will have off.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

One step forward, 2 back

On Monday, Nik was having an out of body experience and decided to gallop off to the other end of the arena. He still doesn't have great brakes so it was quite an adventure. So Tuesday I lunged him and Wed. I lunged and then rode again but Bob kept us on the line. He was fine and we will resume solo riding later this week. Babies!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The 40mph winds are over

Nik has had 3 days off due to gail force winds. Today I rode him solo and Ari took some photos and a video. He is steering better but needs more forwardness.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Our first spook

Monday I didn't lunge and just hopped on. I worked on some steering on the line and one of the crazy cats ran into the indoor right under his legs. He jumped to the side and then stood there. Then I went solo and trotted around the indoor in each direction. The steering is getting better. Today he had a day off and we did beauty parlor. Worked on his mane, clipped his head. He didn't even blink when I clipped him.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lots of New Things

Thursday was a day off. Friday I lunged and the Bob lunged me. Nik was a real slug. I think it was because we drove Tiki and Nik was running around the field wondering why Tiki was going by. By the time I rode him he was tired.
Saturday Nik was really good. After a short sesson of riding on the lunge I went solo. We trotted down the long side twice and worked on steering.
Sunday we long lined Nik in preparation to teaching him to drive. He took well to the lines and we worked on steering and stopping. Bob lined from the rear and I stayed near his shoulder with a line. Afterwards I led him around the outdoor arena and he did great. No problem.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Great Job!

Today I lunged with tack and side reins. Bob led me around the arena twice. Nik was very relaxed.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Vaca is over, back to business!

I finally defrosted and am starting Nik back up again. Today I lunged him and he remembered everything. Tomorrow I hope to hop on.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Taking a break

Because of weather, snow and life, Nik has had a small vaca since the 2nd week in January. I plan to start him back up in a couple of weeks. He also deserved some time off.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

It's 60 degrees out today!!!!

I'v ridden a couple of times this week. Once some snow slide off the roof and spooked Nik alittle. Today it was VERY windy but warm. We opened the indoor doors to let some sun in. He was a tad nervous a few times with some heavy gusts so I just rode on the line. We are working on forward thinking.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Very Forward today

After a few days off for snow, Nik was very forward today. He trotted and listened well on the lunge and then went over a cavaletti pole. I rode on and off the lunge for a bit.