About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our Fall schooling...caught on tape


First off, I hope these videos work out OK, as this is my first attempt to try/do this. I love video entries on other blogs so I thought I would try it out.
Here is some footage of Laz picking up his correct lead in a canter going clockwise, which is opposite of what he is used to being an ex-race horse. SUCH an accomplishment for us!
The other video is just of walking, trotting, backing up, etc etc...enjoying the Fall day and my sweet Bay boy.

Hope you enjoy!

(also...please forgive my winged out toes, years of being in ballet/jazz/dance classes...hard for my ankles to rotate in but I'm trying. It's been one year back in the saddle after about 11 yrs off.)




video

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The barn owner where we board at, also gives us lessons and is just seriously priceless.....we owe her everything! Literally...everything!! Thank you!!! :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

A little schooling session in Sept 09

This is just a bunch of photos (I dragged my sweet Husband, Billy, out with me to snap some photos of Laz and I working) for me to review and for anyone to enjoy! Laz and I are by no means in any show form, our relationship is to enjoy our lessons and to better ourselves for pleasure riding! :)

He's come a looong way, to stand quietly as I mount. The old racing habit of jigging and trotting off with one foot in stirrup took a little while to break, but now he is 95% better.

Working on trotting, and trying to always get his head down, neck bent and to allow his body to round. This is a huge improvement from his giraffe necking he does when anxious!

Pictures are so helpful, after reviewing these, I lowered my stirrups down a notch and feel much better/secure/comfortable.

Working, or begging for an extended trot. I know my form is too forward so please forgive that. For having long TB legs, Lazarus is actually quite short strided.
Heading over to large arena after round pen workout. I find using/starting in the round pen gets him to focus, gets out any crazy willies before heading into large arena. It helps with his attention and focus when I don't lunge him and when he's quite full of himself.

Love this shot! His head/neck looks good and he's relaxed. Lots of half halting during our trotting sessions. I do give him breaks with walking and allowing him to fully stretch his neck and relax his muscles too.


Working on some light cantering. Even though I canter him in both directions for his body conformation, he is so far much more comfortable in this direction...probably due to his correct vs incorrect leads, and due to racing in this direction for so many years, his muscles are better developed, I would imagine. We are working on getting correct leads going clockwise and building up that side.


Just some mental work: weaving in and out of cones, between poles, etc.








Lots and lots of trotting, probably what we do 99% of the time in all our school work. Around the arena, around the property (a little bit), thru the cones, around the poles, etc.
What do you and your horse do mostly? Drills, suggestions, etc?


Thanks to the photographer, Billy, for supporting my passion with a sense of humor!!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The horse love runs in my blood

Unfortunately, I never met either one of my Grandfathers (Papous in Greek), being both passed away long before I was a thought in my parent's minds.
What I do know, is that I would have loved them both so dearly and the feeling would have been mutual. The photo below is of my maternal Papou; Elias Panagiotis Soupos.
He was a Colonel in the Greek Army. I am lucky enough to now have these handed down, and loved photos/memories in my home.
This is the backside to the postcard photo above. Look at the date: September 5th, 1930!!! I have this photo framed proudly in my house. It's written in Greek (which I can't read) so if anyone can translate...please do!

I know it's fuzzy..so is the actual photo. But how grand does my Papou look on his trusty steed? Looks like his horse was Thoroughbred-ish to me. I just love that this photo was taken somewhere in Greece and I'm sure intended for my sweet Yiayia's (Grandmother) handbag, for her to have and cherish while he was away.

This picture below, I have to assume, is part of his troop...the men in the Calvary underneath him.

Below is a picture from, I think, March 2004 when my fantastic sister took me on a 'sister's weekend getaway trip' to NYC. We covered that city from end to end on foot and on a major budget. It was one of the most important trips in my life, and we had a riot...so many laughs! After ambling through Central Park we stumbled on this Riding Academy in the city. It was insanely cool, indoor riding arena with private horses boarded there at this facility, on the top floors, with Central Park right across the street. No pasture for the horses unfortunately but if you live in NYC, this is probably the best you can do. I thought the building's architecture was beautiful so I just had to pose underneath!


Rock the 80's! I mean, how my parents could tolerate an 8 yr old still riding her plastic bouncy horse, with homemade bridle/reins out of a belt, and my Mom's cool suede boots on my legs, is beyond me. I think getting me a pony would have been easier! LOL! I can practically hear the springs snapping in this photo! Gidddddiiiup!
As a side note, my Paternal Papou was known for 'playing the ponies.' So maybe the love, awe and respect of Thoroughbreds has been a long time coming? If my Papou's can see me down here, which I think they can, I'm sure they admire Lazarus too.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ouch!

So this week was full of ups and one down.

Let's start with the positive:

1. I took Laz trail riding with my friend/trainer and her friend to Brighton State Park for our first time. So beautiful, trails with twisting paths, hilly sections and a little river we crossed. Lazarus did GREAT! He really enjoyed himself and we had a beautiful and relaxing trail for over 3 hrs!
2. He trailered nicely..which being an ex race horse, he is quite accustomed to a trailer, but you never know.
3. He played in the water at the river...actually quite aggressively pawed at it as if he were trying to empty all the water out of the river bed. I am not 100% sure if I like it or not...it was funny for a moment, but then also I felt him, feeling a little stallion-like and maybe nervous? He is the type of horse that drinks quietly but prior to his sips of water, he splooshes his head all around the water tank. BUT... crossed it, played in it and kept walking on.
4. He tied next to the trailer nicely when tacking up and un tacking.
5. He allowed me to mount up off a tree stump which he blew at and stood still.

The Negative:

1. Laz kicked me. HARD. Like a side blast from hell. It happened when we first arrived at the park prior to our 3 hr ride. I went to unload him from the trailer once we took my friend's horse out and he was being impatient (after being patient for a very long time I might add). We think maybe I spooked him, maybe he didn't know I was where I was...maybe he did and wanted to tell me he was pissed at that moment. He got me, I have a purple-red bruise on the back of my thigh the exact shape of his hoof. In fact, I can almost make out his frog imprint on my leg. Ugh. I called him a Bastard and moved on (and thanked god it was just my thigh and not something else). I will now be a little more careful, knowing he can and will kick and being that I was actually up by his shoulder; that his back leg can reach mighty far and with some major force.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sir Laz


(Sigh)
What can I say? Today was great...farrier came out and re did the horse's hooves, so everyone was looking good. Sun was out, a slight breeze and about 73 degrees. Horses were out at pasture the night before, so they were all mellow and happy, happy campers.
Lazarus was an angel today!
I rode him bareback (yes with the ugly purple suede pad but sooo comfy) today. We started in round pen, just so I could see where his head was at. We trotted around for about 15 minutes and he was stretching and yawning and plugging along. No race horse today, just a sweet retired 8 yr old man that wanted to play.
So we moved into the large sand arena and worked on trotting with his bending of the neck and rounding his back, engaging his back and front ends. He was a total gentleman! Rounded up and didn't spook once today. We rode along and worked on circles and diagonals and serpentines, around the cones and over poles, etc.
A+ for him today! Just a Sir! These are the moments with him that I cherish; relaxed, riding and smiles all around.
We ended our 1-1/2 ride with a juicy apple, couple of carrots and a good grooming.