Bedford Trail Riding Adventure

On July 6th my trainer, Vanessa, and some other riders from the Stables at MiraBella and I took the horses, including my little four year old, for an adventure in upstate New York at Bedford Riding Lanes Association.

Having very little trailering experience and only one prior trail ride, Ozymandias handled himself quite well. He loaded in and out of the trailer like a pro and behaved like an angel throughout the trail ride up until we encountered a creek about an inch deep. At this point, he simply refused to move. No amount of encouragement would budge him. Ultimately, a friend riding with us hopped off her steed and lead him through a section of mainly rock.

At the second river crossing, this time a bit wider and deeper, after a few minutes of poking and prodding ending in zero results I hop off and try and drag my hesitant horse across only to have him leap out as I pulled. It all happened quite fast, but I ended up falling in the river and he stepped on my calf. Nothing broken but there is a nice nasty bruise to show for it.

At this point I scare the entire group by having my vasovagal syncope kick in leaving me deaf and blind and I fight to stay conscious. Luckily my quick thinking trainer jumped off her mount and helped hold me up while the dizziness passed.

At the third river crossing my horse continued to put up a fight despite how much effort I put into moving him forward. He reared, kicked out, danced and tried to circle, but ultimately with the help of the group he jumped into the water. Not two seconds went by before he realized it was not a pit of death and despair but a refreshing cooling experience for his hooves. He drank, pawed and played with his buddies totally calm and content. The next two water crossings went beautifully. He catches on fast.

This set of trails in Bedford was perfect for a hot sunny day. The extensive wooded trails kept out sun and heat allowing the us and the horses to cool off and relax. The woods were broken up by many beautiful fields with cross country jumps and trimmed grass for smooth cantering.

The day ended with a picnic on grounds before driving home.

All images in this post are courtesy of my trainer, Vanessa Karlewicz.

Progress and Naming Conundrum

After a full two months of professional training at Mirabella under head trainer Vanessa Karlewicz, my horse is doing fantastic!

During the first few weeks of riding, our initial concerns were teaching him how to properly move out off the leg. He developed a liking for poking along and breaking to a walk whenever possible. Now that he is past that, the current strategy is to pursue more supple gaits and teach him to understand softening and trotting and cantering at various speeds and levels of collection.

As the title of this post notes, I am having some difficulties in the naming department. I purchased my gorgeous 4 year old Friesian Holsteiner Cross with the name Cornelius, barn name Junior. I am not a fan of either. I did not pursue changing it right away as I was waiting for his papers and the bill of sale from the owner. Now that I have all the paperwork required for a formal name change, I am lost as to the name.

Initially I was leaning towards Ozymandias, after Ramses the Great and the poem by Percy Shelley. I would call him Ozzy. As there is already an Oz at my barn, that presents a small problem. Other names that I have been considering are Movado, Leonidas and Oberon.

Please let me know what you think. I’ve a few friends leaning towards Leonidas with the nickname Leo. It seems to suit him well.

Eyes Set on Horses

I bought a horse…

I may have lost my mind entirely.

But it is so worth it.

However, it is bankrupting me.

I have always been obsessed with Friesians. They are STUNNING. Gorgeous long flowy manes and tails, solid black coat, and incredible movement. Ever since I first laid eyes on them I have dreamed of owning my own one day. I actually added it to my bucket list – raising a horse, preferably a Friesian.

I came across a breeder’s website located about 1.5 hours from my home. She had a beautiful filly posted on the site, but when I called, the filly had already been sold. However, she had a 4 year old Friesian(75%) / Holsteiner(25%) gelding named Cornelius “Junior” currently for sale. Without any true intention of purchasing, I decided it could not hurt to take a look.

Unsure of what to expect, my mother and I drove up to her property to find an old backyard barn surrounded by fields with a handful of stunning Friesian horses grazing. Cornelius took my breath away. Solid black, full mane and tail, huge expressive eyes, sweet disposition, perfect. He was young, frisky, with practically no training. I fell in love.

Within a week I had him trailered to a stable in upstate New York for a week long trial with a very talented trainer. Here is a video from our first session:

After an interesting first week with my trainer working with him, I decided to take the leap and make a purchase of a lifetime. It was a quick decision for a very long and expensive commitment. I may have acted rashly and during a time of despair (death of my cousin), but it is something I have dreamed about since I was a little girl and it was finally becoming a reality.

Look forward to more pictures and videos! He is doing very well, solid at the walk/trot and catching on quick at the canter as well as with ground poles.