August 26, 2010


I have had some difficulty with Fancy's lead changes since I brought her home from the trainer. Basically, she wouldn't do one on command. Based on the time she was there, I expected her to have a pretty solid change under her belt. As it turns out, she is still quite green, so I made the trek back to the training barn for a lesson on how to get us communicating better.

In this clip, Billy is showing me his progression from asking my horse to move her hip, to moving her whole body away from leg pressure at the canter. She can already do this at the halt, walk, and jog with ease....for this exercise, he will be working her on a straight line....he starts by picking her up in the face, which she resists. This will always be a bit of a struggle with her...then, he legs her over...then he drops her down and straightens her out....then he picks her....then he legs her over...then he drops her down and straightens her out....then he picks her up and sets her down without leg......then he picks her up and legs her for the lead works!

In this clip, I am using the technique Billy showed me in the previous video clip to accomplish the lead change on a straight works! Thank you Billy!

In this clip, Billy will be working her on the counter canter circle...this is a bit more difficult than the straight line method shown in the previous video clips....he starts by picking her up in the face...then, he legs her to the outside of the counter canter circle...then he drops her down and circles her around....then he picks her up....then, he legs her to the outside of the counter canter circle...then he drops her down and circles her around....then he picks her up and sets her down without leg......then he picks her up and legs her for the lead works!

In this clip, I am using the technique her trainer showed me in a previous video clip to accomplish the lead change on a counter canter works! Thank you Billy!

I am a bit disappointed that she is not further along in her training in regards to lead changes. However, I am quite satisfied with my lesson and will apply the exercises I have learned until they come more automatic to her....all good things in time :)

Happy Trails!

August 24, 2010

Introduction to Academia...

Well, it was bound to happen first born went off to Kindergarten today...where does the time go?

I hope Mrs. Beale is ready for this kid....
I got a quick shot of the Little Brat with Mrs. Beale. Mrs Beale is due to have a baby boy in December....I'm sure LB will tell her all about how it is to have a little man in the house....
Mrs. Beale put her to task finding her name and determining what she was going to have for lunch...

..and with that, LB bid me farewell....and I left. That's my little Super Girl for ya...ever so independent!

UPDATE! On my first born's first day of school she was yellow carded for not listening and admitted to punching a girl 'on accident' who punched her first...Dear Lord, I promise to do better with my second or third born...
Happy Back To School Days!

August 23, 2010

Sibling Rivalry: Playpen Edition

I heard the oddest noises coming from the playpen tonight...they were supposed to be napping, but this is what I found...

Sophie: This playpen isn't big enough for the both of us little brother!

Sophie: Oh, hi Mom! He started it!

Happy Babies,

Fancy's First Show!

Gma Kathy and I hit the road this past weekend for our favorite local show at Rosemont. The District IV Virginia Arabian Horse Association (VAHA) really knows how to put on a show. The staff is super nice and the exhibitors are top notch! It's a great environment to have some fun with our four-legged friends! This was Fancy's first show, and I have not had much time to do much with her since she returned from the reining trainers....she came home with a solid start, but not near as far along as I'd hoped she would be...Therefore, I started the day off nice and easy with some Showmanship...we ended up winning it! She got her square ups and cooperated well with her pivots....good girl!

This pic was from day two in you can see, she was not as cooperative at squaring was good enough for a second place finish though...

...I love when a horse marches in step with me :)

...not too shabby for a beginner.

Gma Kathy brought Potter along and kicked some bootie in Horsemanship and Equitation...

Fancy showed great potential in trail...she took the logs and back throughs like a pro...this was only a walk/jog course though....we'll have to work up to loping next year.

I decided to lope the reining pattern at the end of the day so I could get a little spinning in...I knew going in that she did not have a lead change, but we did what we could...our circles went well....

..I love the wind in my face! favorite part, the spin! She has a real nice turn on her...better than I expected, as this did not come easy for her. the end of the day, the ponies pose in front of their loot! It was a good weekend :)

Looking forward to our next show in October....hope to polish up our pattern classes a little more (Showmanship, Trail, Hosemanship)...if I can get our transitions and lead changes solid, we may be pretty competitive! Stay tuned!
To catch up on Fancy's long road to the show pen, read HERE.
Happy Trails,

August 09, 2010

Sophie, don't be a show off...

SOPHIE: What's wrong brother? Pick your head up!

SOPHIE: Mommy, why won't CJ pick his head up?

ME: Your brother has a massive head, Sophie. Leave him alone.

Happy Heads,

Three separate, but equal posts (1 of 3)

Alternate Title: Lordsy Mercy! WE MADE IT!

We are home from our super sonic visit to JR's family back in Wisconsin...It took us 15 hours to get there and 17 hours to get back...don't ask me why the trek home took longer, we can't figure it out! It's like we were stuck in a time warp somewhere around Chicago....I have so many pics to share I am going to break it up into three major events...

  1. Our trip to the Wilderness Resort at the Wisconsin Dells
  2. Our visit with Gma Lizzie and Gpa Jack
  3. Packer Family Night at Lambeau Field

The Wilderness Resort is quite a complex and comprehensive resort. We arrived late morning on Wednesday to a place like I've never seen before! The hotel is expansive...inside, you will find rooms, restaurants, a haunted hotel (it was REALLY scary! SERIOUSLY!), gift shops, arcades, game rooms, indoor water parks, a pottery store, and more! It is insane! On the outside, you will find outdoor water parks, a zip line, mini-golf, bungee jumping, and more restaurants...This place seems to have thought of everything!

Here are some pics of the kids and the rest of the Roehl family hanging around...Randi and her cousin Miranda are BFFs...

Sophie started 'talking' on this trip....I think she enjoyed the place so much she just could not contain herself! There was cooing galore, and just look at that smile!

Kaiti got some time in with her cousins as well...

..and Tyler too.

While the 'big' kids got their own room, the little ones had to suffer with us...Good Morning Punks! favorite part of this trip was the family time. There was lots of bonding going on...

...Randi and her cousin Ryan... RANDI + RYAN = TROUBLE! You can see it written all over their little faces...

Uncle Jones had a way with little miss Sophie...when the attention got a bit much for her, he would settle her better than anyone! He's a total baby magic.

...and CJ was not starved for love either....these punks have had more attention in the past week than they have in their whole life to date!

Here's the babes soaking up some sun rays and a rare shot of Sophie napping! Those were few and far between!

I wasn't behind the camera the whole trip...I did get to ride a few of the water slides...Randi was very competitive and wanted to race me...having more than 100 lbs on her, I knew it would be a massacre....I beat her good!

...and so did JR!

I thought that would learn her, but nope! She begged for a rematch....again, and again, and again. She eventually won by forfeit....

We played Wednesday afternoon, all day Thursday, and Friday morning before we headed to Gma and Gpa Roehl's house....I'm not sure I could have handled much physical overload!
Happy Trails!

Three separate, but equal posts (2 of 3)

Alternate Title: Over the river and through the woods to Gma and Gpa's house we go!

Gma Lizzie is still recovering from a recent back surgery, so we stopped by her rehabilitation facility with the punks to give her some baby love....Sophie and CJ make Grandbabies # 17 & 18!!!

Gpa Jack is great with the kids, and double arms these guys like little footballs...I can finally see where Sophie gets her wild hair's genetic!

Wish we got to visit more often...this was the first time the punks met Gma and Gpa Roehl...the next time they meet, they will be walking!!!

Happy Extended Families!

Three separate, but equal posts (3 of 3)

Alternate Title: GO - PACK - GO!

Our grand family reunion finale included tailgating and football at Family Packer Night. What a blast!

Randi got her cheer on....

..and one of the camera men picked up on her moves...
..and the next thing we know she's up on the big screen!

We got a lot of action during the game...twice during the game players made touch downs and leaped into the middle of our group...just about everyone you see in this shot is family!

..all in all we really enjoyed the time together...even the punks made it through the majority of the game...when they were awake, that is.

..they reached their limit around bed time though, so I hauled them out of the stadium to get them fed, changed, and settled into the car for the long ride home...

On this trip, the Little Brat decided she was born to be a cheerleader...I didn't have the heart to tell her the Packers don't have professional cheerleaders though...

There were plenty of games and attractions set up in the parking lot area for the kids before the game...we found this guy was wandering around...and we thought our kids were tall?!?!

There was plenty of time to kick back and visit while we tail gated...

CHEESE CURDS and Brauts were on the menu....yum!

...and the old man was happy....this is most definitely his 'happy place'....I'm not sure I've ever seen him happier...did I mention this trip made him very happy? Happy, Happy, Happy! You know, a happy Daddy is a happy family!

But all good things must come to an end....and nothing makes goodbye's a little easier like a bear hug.....

Thank you to Krys and Jones and everyone else for putting so much energy into making this trip a memorable one! Can't wait to come back next year!
Happy Trails,