500 Miles


Who Am I?

So I had recently made some new videos on YouTube (I will make a video post soon). I posted the links on my Facebook page as I usually have, and my mom commented on one of them, mainly featuring Robin, the pony of my dreams <3. Before I can tell you what she said, you should know I am in Finland visiting my dad, so I won't be seeing him until the end of summer, which sucks. So this is what my mom commented:
"Your bucking bronco misses you! Nobody else is qualified to ride him:("
I was touched, sad and happy all at the same time. I'm glad he misses me, because I miss him so much my heart throbs when I think of him. I almost cry frequently. When I went for a horse camp I talked of him constantly to my friends, and in every situation when I was riding, I thought of what Robin would do if I was riding him instead of one of the school horses.

So...I was obviously bored, so I made a few doodles. The bay pony with green wings you repeatedly see is my cartoon version of my pony Robin, expect he's different. Now he's PegaRobin! Ignore my ugly drawings and bad coloring, and enjoy the silliness that came out of my boredom!
The pony below was drawn by a friend, you can see she is way better than me, even at doodling!
The worst one yet is below. It looks like it was drawn by a two year old!
Send in your own drawings if you want me to add them to a blog post! Be sure to add your name or screen name so I know who to credit.
Yay, a picture! Okay, so this is a picture of me riding on a pony named Lola at mounted games practice. Mounted games is a race to see who's fastest while completing a series of obstacles. In other words, it is a game of speed and precision. You need to learn to vault onto the horse while it's in motion and ride without stirrups in order to save them. Mounted games really help you become a better rider, and it is amazing how fast you progress. In games you ride one handed in order to grab the necessary items while in motion. There are also competitions for mounted games, and they're a whole lot of fun. Of course, to compete you need to be a member of Pony Club, but who says you can't still practice it at home and have a contest with your friends?

Here are a couple videos to show you just how amazing mounted games is. The bottom one is a must watch.
To learn more about mounted games and the different types of games there are, go to the official mounted games website at: http://www.mounted-games.org/games/games.htm
We took it easy today. My friend Pauliina and I took Gossip and Robin out for a trail ride. It was pretty late so we tried to  fit s much fun as we could into one day. She rode Gossip and I rode Robin. we started by walking by the side of the road until we arrives on a small dirt road. Usually we cut across the neighbors property to get to the forest, but this time we took a different route. We continued down the dirt road and trotted a little way. Gossip was constantly nervous because f the puddles, while Robin confidently walked past or through them. One thing I don't get is why Gossip had to circle 10 yardsaround the puddle instead of skirting it just slightly. Did he think some Mud Monster of Death would reach out and pull him in? Some of the puddles were even clear and he could easily see the bottom. I know horses can't judge depth easily, but this one was too easy! Gossip even shied away from mud spots. Why is this pony so weird? Pauliina and I walked and trotted down a long,straight path where there wasn't may Puddles of Doom, and we picked up a nice, calm gallop. It felt nice to take it easy. The next we galloped we raced. Gossip (normally a lazy horse) really got excited. I guess that 25% Thoroughbred really kicked in. For once you believe that he is the great, great grandson of Secretariat. Robin didn't give it his all, and I think he's saving his energy for later when Pauliina gets cocky about always winning the races. Then, WHAM! She wouldn't know what hit her. We took the forest route back and jumped the fallen tree branches along the way. By then it was almost dark and we told scary stories to each other. Robin trotted so fast anyone would've thought he was monte pony. Monte is trot racing with a rider in the saddle and no carriage. Robin's breed (Gotland Russ)  is often seen on the track. Once home, we sponged off Gossip and Robin and laughed at the way Gossip ate his apple slice. While Robin ate his apple three (often two) swift bites, Gossip took 20 mini bites out of his apple slice. What a cutie! Well
For all of you shoppers on a budget, the M. Toulouse saddle is a great purchase. We can't all have the expensive, amazing Pessoa saddles, but we do have the opportunity of buying a great saddle for a reasonable price. I really enjoy my M. Toulouse jumping saddle. It is comfy, good quality, and what more is there to say? I own a used one which is still in really good shape, and I got it for $250. I saw another used one which cost $650 at the local tack shop. Okay, I will admit this is not the ideal price, but it is cheaper than the really good saddles, yet it's still really good quality! My mother andI talked to the local tack shop owner about the M. Toulouse brand, and she said all her saddles of that brand are usually gone within the first day she gets them. If that's not proof, I don't know what is.

Okay, I'm sure some of your are familiar with Pony Club, right? Well, I'm a member of the Tuscawilla Pony Club and last Saturday we had D Rally, which is an eventing rally for riders that have a D rating. I'm a D-2. For those of you who won't know Pony Club or don't understand ratings, I'll explain that in a future post! Anyways, I was really excited about this rally as it is my first rally with my lovely pony Robin. We did the Intro C dressage class, and the 18 inch classes for stadium jumping and cross country. I uploaded a video of my dressage test on YouTube so you all can see it! I thought it went pretty well or the most part except Robin jumped out of the ring -.-' He made up for everything (including running out on one jump for stadium jumping) with his cross country, which was perfect. Definitely our strongest performance! Yes, I am wearing a jumping saddle for dressage. I do own a dressage saddle but for Pony Club rallies they are not required, which is understandable, as not everyone has a dressage saddle. Anyways, the link below will show you the video of my dressage test: 

Now for the pictures! Be prepared, there are a lot of them, but if you wait 'till the end, your in for an amazing pic! Isn't my dad and amazing photographer?

And for the best pic of all...
I took some clips, edited some footage, and put the videos on YouTube. Click the following buttons to go to my favorite videos on YouTube that I made. Enjoy!

"All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl," Unknown Author.
This quote, I believe, is one of the most true horse quotes ever. A child's love is often different than adults. Adults ride, give their horse a treat and pat, then groom and turn their horses out. A little girl could stay with their horses for hours, just watching the, stroking them, feeling their whiskers tickle their palms as the horse fumbles for treats with his lips. A child might sit in the corner of the horses stall, soothed by the sound of munching hay. Somehow there is a deeper love there. A pain in the heart when separated. It's not say that adults don't love their horses, but sometimes I feel that there are some things that children feel that adults don't. Some of them grow out of it, not the love of horses, but that certain feeling that makes them one with the horse. As I slowly feel myself fading into the adult world, I cling on tight to that child's heart. I think Robin is one of the lucky ones. Not all horses and ponies get what they truly deserve: to be loved by a little girl.
But I don't know. Maybe it's just me who feels this way.
In the horse world, it's so hard to find good horse books to read on your free time. There are very few horse story books in general, and even fewer ones worth your time. I have an obsession for horse books. I'll read almost any book I can get my hands on, even though I'm usually very picky with my books. Over time, however, I've found there are plenty of good horse books to keep me busy in my free time, which isn't a lot, between school, and horse riding. So here I am to help other horse crazy people find good, well-written horse books to read. I will categorize them by my favorite authors, in order of favorites.

   Sara Gruen:
She is a fabulous author who writes fun, witty stories, yet stories that have such feeling in them.

Riding Lessons- It is a great book by her. It is about a forty-something year old woman who faces conflicts in her past and present. When she was 18, she competed in the show jumping Olympics with her horse, Harry. A terrible riding accident caused the death of her horse, and she ended up in the hospital. Twenty years later, Annemarie Zimmer, has stayed away from riding horses. She, along with her teenage daughter, Eva, returns to her family's horse farm in New Hampshire to aid her mother and dying father. She reunites with a handsome veterinarian she new before the accident, and she also meets a horse impossibly similar to her old horse. There and then, and obsession takes her over, and she buys the horse from the vet, and tries to find out the horses mysterious past.
Flying Changes- As the sequel to Riding Lessons, it is yet another great read. Annemarie's daughter, Eva, is dreaming of Olympic glory, and Annemarie struggles with the difficulties in her past, she has to take on new problems as her relationship with the Dan, the vet, hits a rough bump on the road. Eva finally meets the horse of her dreams, who is her key to fame, and goes to train with a famous instructor. If only her attitude would change. She is almost never allowed to come back in training with her instructor again, but Annemarie let's go of her own fears and thinks of her daughter's future, convincing the instructor to take Eva back. Annemarie finally let's go of twenty-plus years of feeling trapped in her past. A terrible accident and a surprise ending await! A must read!
                                                                        Shelley Peterson:
A great author who never leaves the reader bored, but leaves him or her satisfied. her books have amazing plots, and I love every single one of them, although I haven't read them all.

Dancer- Hilary James (called Mousie) wins the The Fuller Trophy jumping with her magnificent horse, Dancer, at the Royal Winter Fair. She is then invited to perform for Queen Elizabeth in England. However, she has also attracted the unwanted attention of Samuel Owens, who tries to get Dancer for his niece, Sara. Since Mousie refuses to sell her precious horse, Samuel has no other choice but to a hire a man to steal the horse. Nothing good came of this. Before the incident of trying to steal Dancer, Mousie had a dream of a beautiful, blonde woman warning her of something. Later on she find out that the woman in her dream was Arabella, the second wife to the Duke of Dewbury. 
Abby Malone- In this book, young Abby Malone struggles to balance her complicated life. With her alcoholic mother, her father who is in jail for a crime he didn't commit, and  the girls in school teasing her, Abby feels closer to her animal friends, an orphaned coyote who she's owned since he was a pup, and a spirited mare named Moonlight Sonata. People are still a mystery to her. Luckily and old couple, Pete and Laura Pierson, give her the support and encouragement she needs. In this book, Abby falls in love, solves a mystery, and competes in a perilous steeplechase.
Stagestruck- Dancer needs a new rider for the upcoming Grand Invitational, and Hilary James, his owner, decides that young Abby Malone is the right one for the job. Abby also had other, metaphorical, hurdles to jump. Her community is staging a play in the old theater, and Abby soon discovers everything is not right, and strange events begin to occur at the theater. 
Sundancer- Is an amazing and unique book about a 13 year old girl named Alberta, but  known as Bird, who never talks to people, but she has the power speak telepathically to animals. She spends her days going to school, riding horses, and working on her Aunt Hannah's farm, who she lives with. When a new problem horse arrives at the farm, Hannah realizes that the strange and silent Bird, is the only one who can break Sundancer. But then Bird's mother Eva arrives for a visit with her new boyfriend and Bird's younger sister, old problems resurface.
                                                                             Susan Richards:
She is an amazing author who writes touching memoirs about her life with horses. She writes with such feeling, and her tales come straight from the heart. A wonderous author.
Saddled- Is a memoir where Susan Richards finally divorces her abusive husband, admits she's an alcoholic, and changes her life. And it's all because of her horse, Georgia, who makes her feel the need the change her life.
Chosen by a Horse- This touching memoir tells of the time Susan Richards goes to the rescue to pick a horse she chose: Current Squeeze, but the horse refuses to be corralled. Susan takes a chance on any horse, and soon there is a mare and her foal being led up the ramp of her trailer, and into her life. Lay Me Down, the horse she rescued, changes Susan's life forever. Susan thought she was saving the horse, but the horse was really saving her.
                                                                          Molly Gloss:
This author tells a fantastic tale of a female horse whisperer, and really makes you be one with the story.
The Hearts of Horses- This is a wonderful story of a 19 year old girl who rides from town to town in search of work breaking horses. She arrives in a town where she finds plenty of horses needing to be broke. The owner's of these horss are willing to see her own methods of gentling a horse, and soon Martha Lessen finds work, a place to stay, and love.
                                                                               Jane Smiley:
She illustrates her book with her words wonderfully, and I enjoy the simple plots of each and every one, taking in ever word.
The Georges and the Jewels- Seventh grader Abby lives on a horse ranch in California where she spends her days riding horses. Her father insists that they call the geldings Georges, and the mares Jewels, as not to get attached by naming them, for the horses are there to be sold. With all the stress at home and school, Abby seeks refuge with the horses. There is one horse, who her father has her train, and who bucks Abby off every chance he gets. He only adds to Abby's trouble, and she calls him the Ornery George.
A Good Horse- Eight grader Abby knows there is no place she'd rather be than tending to the nine horses on her family's ranch. Some chores are no work at all, like grooming Jack, a young colt that Abby is attached to. As for Black George, he is a natural born jumper, and they decide to sell him. But suddenly, Abby might lose not one horse, but two, as a letter from a private investigator arrives. It states that he mare that gave birth to Jack might have been sold to the Lovitt's as stolen goods. Will she lose her beloved Jack to his rightful owner?
True Blue- When Abby gets the beautiful dapple-gray horse, she can hardly believe her luck. True Blue's owner was tragically killed in a car crash, and no one has claimed the horse. True blue is a sweetheart, and whenever Abby calls "Blue, blue, how are you?" he whinnies back to her. But sometimes True Blue seems spooked...he paces around and always seems to be looking for something, or someone. This story is suspensul and mysterious, and  an almost ghost-story.
A Year at the Races- Jane Smiley says that every horse story is a love story. Then she tells her tale of love, money, horses, and luck. Specifically her story revolves around a filly anmed Waterwheel and a gelding, Wowie. This is memoir is definitely a winner.
Michael Morpurgo
He has a unique writing style and creates a touching story of a horse and boy.
War Horse- In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay horse is sold to the army and thrust into war. Joey's courage touches the hearts of the soldiers, and he is able to find warmth and faith. But he misses Albert, the farmers son who raised him, and the one who he left behind. This story is unique for it is told in the horses point of view, and I suggest this book to anyone!