Sunday, March 24, 2013

Now We Wait

Well, after spending three hours at the barn cleaning every piece of tack I own, packing it all nicely into my trailer, and clipping Lilly's ears, legs, bridle path, and mane, the show ended up being cancelled.

It was a really last minute decision by the show organizer because she was hoping the forecast for rain would change. It actually did, but not until sometime during the night. So it didn't really rain on Saturday as forecasted, but it was really cold and yucky, so I can't say I'm too upset that it was cancelled. I'm a big wimp, you know... cold weather and I don't get along very well.

It's been raining all day today and barely got out of the 40's, so any chance of rescheduling the show for today was washed away with all the downpours we've been having. So as it turns out, show season is not really here, as I thought in my previous post. Looks like I'll have plenty of time to get ready for the next show in May.

"It's a real shame that the show was cancelled..."
I seriously mean it this time... GO AWAY WINTER!! I AM DONE WITH YOU!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Show Season Already?

Our first real show of the season is on Saturday. Let's just say that I am nowhere near ready for a show. I still haven't hemmed my showmanship pants, my tack is dirty, and my pony looks like a dirt monster. I think she actually grows more hair in the spring, so the dust and dirt just embeds into her skin. Her mane looks awful because it's still too thick, her ears and legs aren't clipped, and I haven't ridden her with the shank bit using one hand in months. I think we've practiced showmanship about three times since our last show. I'm also planning to show in two english classes on Saturday and I honestly don't remember the last time I rode Lilly in her english saddle. I'm afraid to even take the cover off the darn thing...

Show season is something I look forward to all winter long, and then when it finally gets here, I'm terribly unprepared for its arrival.

I blame the weather for keeping me from riding as much as I would have liked to these past couple months, but I don't need a sunny day to clip or clean tack so I don't really have an excuse for those items. Same with my showmanship pants... I just need to get out the sewing machine and do it. I've been feeling a bit gloomy lately, though, so it's hard to find the get-up-and-go I need to get all this stuff done. Perhaps it's a case of the cabin fever blues. Whatever it is, I hope I snap out of it soon.

Dirty, dirty girl.
I did go ride today, and I decided to ride with the shank bit and practice with one hand. I don't plan on doing many lope classes on Saturday so I mostly practiced at the jog. Lilly was pretty good and I'm hoping she gives me a nice jog on Saturday. I had to get after her a few times for being lazy and trying to ignore my leg, but eventually she decided to play the game my way.

Part of me wants to skip the show on Saturday, but I know that's just the cabin fever demon talking. So I'm going to buckle down and get everything ready so we're presentable on Saturday. There will be no bath (thanks weather!) so she'll have to look how she's going to look... slightly brown and smelling of muck. I'll band her mane and clip her up as best I can, and we'll call it good.

Maybe this show will be just what I need.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Smile, Lilly!

Lilly got her teeth floated yesterday by a really nice, older gentleman that came highly recommended by my barn owner. He floats the teeth without the aid of sedation, and he uses good old fashion muscles to do all the work. No power tools and no drugs! She was getting her horses' teeth floated too, so she added me to the appointment list and Mr Teeth Floater Guy came out and floated all the horses at the barn.

I wasn't able to get any pictures of the process because I was holding Lilly and being educated on teeth floating, but it went better than I expected. Lilly was REALLY good, but she was clearly confused about what the heck was happening to her. We did her teeth in the stall and she backed up into the corner as far as she could, but tolerated the process quite well. There were a couple times where she grabbed hold of the file and wouldn't let go, but Mr Teeth Floater Guy just laughed at her and stuck his thumb in her mouth to get her to let go. He was surprised that she had never been done without sedation.

The whole experience lasted about 15 minutes but he said her teeth were really sharp and she was a bit overdue. I told him I have her floated every spring, but he said her molars don't sit in a straight line in her mouth, so since they're a bit staggered, they get sharp faster. He suggested that she get her teeth floated about every 8 months instead of every year. He showed me how to check for the sharp points way back in her mouth and said he'd come out again in the fall if she started to give me trouble or showed any signs of being uncomfortable.

Mr Teeth Floater Guy would like to remain anonymous, and I've been asked to keep the details to myself if my vet asks about Lilly's teeth. And I know she will, because she already looked at them earlier this year and told me they needed done, so I'll just have to say, "they've been taken care of." This poor guy has been sued by veterinary practices (cases were thrown out of court) so he's a little gun shy these days and is leary about taking on new clients. I only got him because he's been doing my BO's horses for years. I consider myself quite lucky!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Her Mane Is Almost Finished

One word for today... WINDY! It was sunny, and it looked like it should be really nice outside, but once I actually ventured out, brrrr! I wanted to get Lilly's mane finished so I bundled up and headed out to the barn. By the time I was done chopping, I had white hair ALL over me, and it was so dry and static-y that no matter how hard I tried, I could not get the hair off my vest. I brushed it off and I swear it flew right back! I eventually gave up, so now it's all over the inside of my truck. Plus, Lilly has super thick hair shafts, so I had little pieces of hair stuck into my skin like splinters, and all over the sleeves of my sweater. I was poked over and over and over again the entire ride home. Wonder how many times I'll have to wash my sweatshirt to get those out?

I still have some work left to do because it's way too thick, but it's dirty and super dry. I need to give it a good wash and use my thinning shears some more to get rid of more hair. I banded down the parts that wanted to stick up into a mohawk, so it isn't pretty, but it'll look nice once it's banded and that's all that matters.

Rockin' it!
After I was done with her mane, I decided to take her out for a quick bareback ride. The other boarder was like, "you're going to ride bareback in this wind?" Heck yeah! This is Lilly we're talking about. It didn't go as well as I hoped, though... the mecates were really getting in the way and apparently aren't great for bareback riding. I didn't want to tie the lead rope to my body (because that sounds like a REALLY bad idea) and just looping it through my belt loops didn't work either. It was okay during the jog, but when we loped, it kept falling out. The reins are too thick to hold the lead and the reins at the same time, so I eventually gave up trying to lope and just jogged instead. I'm sure I did just enough to have SUPER sore thighs tomorrow. :)

In other news, when I stopped at my local feed store to pick up more Enrich 32, the owner wanted to show me a couple new products Purina has out. One of them really caught my attention because I thought it was a great idea. Purina Hydration Hay!

My free sample!
It's just a giant cube of pressed grass and alfalfa hay that you put in a bucket with water... like an oversized hay cube. Once it's all absorbed, the idea is that your horse will gobble it up and be super hydrated because they just "ate" gallons of water. Each package comes with 12 blocks and runs around $25. It isn't something you'd want to feed all the time, but I'm thinking I might buy some to take with me to shows. It's really portable and Lilly is sometimes a booger about drinking away from home. I don't think she'd object to eating the wet hay, although she'd probably make a mess and I'd have to clean her up afterwards.

Has anyone tried them, or heard anything about them? Good or bad?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Feelin' Like A Real Cowgirl!

The spurs I ordered for Lilly finally came over the weekend. They're a pair of FES spurs, in the Santa Fe style, and I ordered some basket weave straps to go with them. The spur size is "ladies", but I don't know any women with boots huge enough to fit these things without some major modifications done to the width. Luckily, hubby used his super human strength and squeezed them together enough to make them fit my boots.

The straps are also quite big... even on the last hole, they're way too loose, so I'll have to punch a hole in the strap as far up as I can and call it good. I don't know why they're so long. If your boots were big enough to need the straps let all the way out, your boot would never fit in the stirrup and you wouldn't need to worry about spurs!

I normally wear spurs above the heel of my boot, but the straps are way too big for that. They're almost pointless as it is with the spur on the heel of my boot. They look nice, though!

Lilly hasn't really ever been ridden in spurs. I think I wore an english pair with her once, many years ago, but she's definitely not used to them. That also means it's been a long time since I've ridden in a pair of spurs as well, so I knew I had to be super careful not to bump her with them.

Take those spurs off right now.
Long story short, I wasn't doing a very good job. A couple times while we were loping, she cow kicked. Since she has only done that once or twice in her entire life, I assume it was her way of telling me to STOP BUMPING HER WITH MY SPUR. Roger that, Lilly! So I took them off and rode without them for the rest of our ride. I think they made their point, though, because she was very responsive to my leg and gave me some really nice spins.

I haven't given up on them yet, but I think I need to do some more homework before I can just wear them during our rides.

I worked on Lilly hooves a bit today and noticed a lot of licking and chewing on her part. I think she's really happy with her hooves and how they feel, and she seems to enjoy the process a lot more than she used to. There wasn't much there to trim, so as usual I just shaped them up a bit. I've been battling a small crack in her right front, so I'm trying to keep them as balanced as possible.

Tomorrow the rain is back, and if you could see my face, you'd know I'm not happy about that at all!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Because It's Fun

If you own a mare and she has a uterus (which most of them do), I'm sure you've given some thought to possibly breeding your mare someday. Casting aside all the negatives about doing such a thing (backyard breeder, too many horses already, krazy kolor breeder! blah blah blah...) it's fun to think about. It's just one of the many super cool perks to owning a mare.

While I know you should NEVER breed for color alone, I can't help but talk about color as a factor in my search for the perfect stallion because Lilly is "color". She is a regular registry Paint and has a copy of the cream gene, so it's rather fun to anticipate what her foal would look like when paired with different stallions. Even if I found a gorgeous bay QH, I could potentially have myself a buckskin or palomino Paint. So while I'm not looking to breed for a specific color, I could do so quite easily, and not have to compromise the quality of the stallion.

If I sent some money to UC Davis and asked them to DNA test Lilly to determine exactly what she is as far as color goes, here's what they would send me:
ee - homozygous for red
aa - homozygous for the agouti deletion, meaning black is evenly distributed
n/Cr - heterozygous for the cream gene
n/T - heterozygous for Tobiano

I haven't actually had her tested, but because of what is expressed in her color, and because she's registered, I can look up the colors in her pedigree, so I'm fairly certain. Her sire side is nothing but sorrel Paint horses, so he's easy. Her dam side is a bit more colorful, though, and all Quarter Horses. In her three generation pedigree she has palominos, sorrels, duns, a red roan, a bay, and even a gray. A smorgasbord of color if you will, assuming they were all registered correctly. Her dam was a very sweet, very old, palomino.

So, what would I want in a stallion? Well, first I would think about what I'd want in a foal, and kind of work backwards. Essentially, I'd want a carbon copy of Lilly. She's the perfect height, has a wonderful temperament, is easy on the eyes, and is athletic enough to do everything I'm interested in. I used to say I'd want a stallion with nice hooves because Lilly's were so bad off, but it's clear to me now that hers would have been fine if I had given them a chance. And while Lilly isn't ever going to be a halter champion, she doesn't have any major conformation flaws that I'd need a stallion to try and correct. At least I don't think so... I'm sure someone else might have a different opinion on that one. Maybe by the time I'm ready for a foal, they'll just be able to clone her!

I've known for a long time which stallion I'd breed to if I ever decided to take the risk. I met him many years ago when I lived in Virginia. I had met his owner a few years prior to that through work, being mutual horse folk and all, but after I got out of the Marines we lost touch. Then, when I was selling my house in Virginia, low and behold, who shows up to look at it? She did! She ended up buying a different place, but we kept in touch and when I needed somewhere to board Lilly and AJ, she offered up some space at her place.

Lilly went into a pasture with some other mares, and AJ went into a pasture with another gelding, a yearling colt, and two stallions. Yes, two stallions. I was a little nervous about AJ living with two stallions but as it turned out, the whole group of boys got along famously. AJ was actually the boss... he ran that pasture with an iron hoof. I always found that to be quite amusing.

Lilly's potential future baby daddy is one of the stallions AJ used to beat up on. His name is Hunter Bay Creek, or Hunter for short, and he's a very handsome dun Quarter Horse. He's registered with the AQHA, the IBHA (International Buckskin Horse Association), and the NFQHA (National Foundation Quarter Horse Association). He was born in 1997, is built like the old school QHs, and has a personality that would pair perfectly with Lilly. They're both easy going and laid back. I think a horse like Hunter would give me the best shot at having a foal that has Lilly's temperament and personality. His owner has bred him quite a few times since I moved from Virginia, so I have only been able to see his recent foals through pictures. They're really nice... they're just like him and super smart. The fact that he is a dun is just icing on the cake.

Sadly, the only picture I have of Hunter.
He's cow bred and not show bred, but Lilly isn't show bred either. She's really not anything bred to be honest. I'm not sure why they even decided to breed her sire and dam together, but I'm glad they did. Hunter's pedigree is actually pretty impressive and since he's foundation bred, you can probably guess some of the names if you're into QHs at all. You can check him out on All Breed Pedigree, but his great grand pappy is Doc O'Lena.

Since Hunter would make an awesome stallion, and Lilly would make a fantastic broodmare, it's time to play with color. What possible colors could I get from Lilly and Hunter? After guessing the specifics of Hunter's color, I plugged it all into one of those fancy coat color calculators, and here's what it spit out:
6.25% Dunalino Solid or 6.25% Dunalino Tobiano
6.25% Sorrel Solid or 6.25% Sorrel Tobiano
6.25% Palomino Solid or 6.25% Palomino Tobiano
6.25% Red Dun Solid or 6.25% Red Dun Tobiano
3.13% Smoky Black Solid or 3.13% Smoky Black Tobiano
3.13% Bay Dun Solid or 3.13% Bay Dun Tobiano
3.13% Bay Solid or 3.13% Bay Tobiano
3.13% Black Solid or 3.13% Black Tobiano
3.13% Smoky Grullo Solid or 3.13% Smoky Grullo Tobiano
3.13% Dunskin Solid or 3.13% Dunskin Tobiano
3.13% Grullo Solid or 3.13% Grullo Tobiano
3.13% Buckskin Solid or 3.13% Buckskin Tobiano

Unfortunately, dunalino, smokey black, smokey grullo, and dunskin aren't colors recognized by the APHA. They would also call a bay dun, just dun. So if any of those colors came out, the foal would just be registered palomino, black, grullo or dun.

In a perfect world, Lilly would give me a Tobiano filly with ANY of those colors except sorrel or bay. So, because that's what I want, Lilly would give birth to a solid, sorrel or bay colt that could only registered as a breeding stock Paint (SBP). Not that there's anything wrong with sorrel or bay, of course (AJ is a sorrel!), it's just not what I would want if I could choose any color for the world's most perfect baby horse.

I don't have a name picked out yet, but it would have something to do with money and gin, and possibly the color blue. I'd like to work in the Tanquery Gin name and maybe tie it in with gambling so it relates to cash. Then I could use the barn name Rummy (as in the card game), which would work well for a filly or a colt.

Maybe in a few years I'll consider it. I'm way too busy now, and Lilly and I are finally going to have a full, uninterrupted, super awesome show season. I'm very excited to see how we do this year and next as her training progresses. She'll only be 13 this year, so we still have plenty of time to have fun together before I even start thinking about cute, adorable, fuzzy muzzle foals.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Haircut Time!

While it doesn't feel like it, we really are into March, and March means the start of horse show season! I'll be more excited about it once the weather stops pretending it's still December, but I have started thinking about all the stuff I need to do in order to be ready for our first show on the 16th. The most glaringly obvious thing I need to work on from that list is this:

Scruffy, unkempt, and way too long!
Lilly is nowhere near show ready! I've had her tail bagged, but clearly I've let her mane and bridle path get a little out of control. It was partly because I was hoping it would lay flatter this year if I let it go over the winter, and the other part of it is because I hate how thick her mane is and how quickly it grows, so I decided to give myself a break from constantly trying to maintain it. Now I get to pay the price.

I've been doing a little mane research, hoping to find that one little trick that would work wonders on her yak mane. I refuse to pull it because it clearly makes her uncomfortable. Yeah, yeah, horses don't have nerve endings in there, it doesn't hurt them, blah blah blah. One day, many years ago, when I pulled my gelding's mane, he bled. I haven't pulled a mane since that day. Sorry... I just can't do it. I've tried all kinds of tools, combs, and tricks, and last year I even did a half roach... I clipped the bottom half of her mane so it was half as thick. I might resort to that again this year, but I still have to shorten it, and I find the easiest way to do that is to use my scissors. I cut upwards into her mane and it usually turns out looking pretty good, especially after it has been banded. The problem with that is her mane doesn't actually get thinned (unless I employ my clippers). The ends of her mane are thinner, but it's still really thick up by her crest, so I'm still never really happy with it.

A couple days ago, I was cruising around on YouTube and saw a video posted by Lynn Palm. She was pulling her horse's mane the traditional way, but she was using a different method to actually pull the hair out. She claimed that it wasn't the hair being pulled out that the horses didn't like, it was how we yank and rip. So if we do it her way, the horse doesn't get upset and everyone is happy. She said instead of teasing up the hair, wrapping it around the comb, and yanking, you just apply steady, downward pressure to the comb, along the horse's neck, and the crest will naturally let go of the hair. I watched the video in amazement, thinking I would be absolutely okay with trying that on Lilly. She said the method works best if you do it when it's warm, or after you've exercised the horse for 10 minutes because their pores will open up and it'll be easier to pull out the hair.

So I went to the barn today to give it a try. There was nowhere to exercise Lilly, and it wasn't anywhere close to being warm, but I thought it should still work, although maybe not as well. I wasn't planning to do her entire mane today anyway, so I could start it, and finish it up on warmer days. I did some major chopping with the scissors first, to get rid of some of the length, but I couldn't find my pulling comb. I probably threw it away thinking I'd never use the darn thing. So that might have been part of my problem, but I couldn't get Lilly to "release" any of her mane hair. Not one single strand. Maybe I wasn't pulling down hard enough, maybe it was too cold, maybe my comb was too flexible, or maybe I don't know what the heck I'm doing. It was a major fail, but I haven't given up on the idea yet. I'll find a comb to buy from somewhere and try again when it's warmer.

Determined to still accomplish something, I busted out the clippers, scissors, and thinning shears and worked on her bridle path and a portion of her mane. I always start in the lower middle area and work my way out from there. It seems I'm able to keep a better line that way for some reason. The thinning shears worked fairly well, but it makes more of a mess when the hair grows back in compared to pulling. The pulled hair is removed in a more random pattern. For now, though, it looks pretty good in that one very small spot.

It has to get worse before it can get better...
So much work left!
I'm hoping I have better luck after I have the proper comb. Lynn made it look so easy on her video! Have any of you ever used her method to pull your manes?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Yesterday's Visit From Alex

As I mentioned in my last post, Alex came out yesterday to work with me and Lilly. For those of you that might be newer readers, Alex is a friend of mine that I first met back in June of 2008. She was hosting a clinic and I was having some serious issues with Lilly being herd bound to her trail buddies, so I signed up. It seems like forever ago, and things have drastically changed for the better since then. Alex has helped me immensely with Lilly's training, and while I might not always be receptive to her ideas at first, eventually I come around, because they just work.

We started out the day with a little warm-up and I chatted with Alex about what I needed some help with. I've been having issues with Lilly's lope transitions, so I was hoping she could watch what I was doing (or not doing) and give me some pointers on how to improve them.

Warming up nicely at the jog.
Initially during our warm-up, Alex thought Lilly looked a little stiff. It was cold, she hasn't been ridden much the last couple weeks thanks to the rain, and because the BO decided to sleep in, I pulled her away from her breakfast hay. Being a little stiff and perhaps not in the best mood was to be expected. I thought our warm-up went pretty well, so we decided to move on to the lope.

I posted previously how Lilly's right lead transitions were a bit rough and it felt like she was "popping a wheelie". After describing everything to Alex, she told me to just go ahead and show her what I meant. She had the camera ready and took a series of pictures during my transition:

Popping a wheelie...
Engaging hindquarters...
Leveling out like a good girl.
After checking out the pictures, I agreed with Alex that it didn't look quite as bad as it felt, but when she pops up, it feels like she's about to smack me in the face with her poll. They are quite clearly not the best looking transitions. She had me turn around and lope in the other direction so she could see the difference:

Ask for the lope...
Away we go!
Clearly a much better transition this way... so what's the difference? I hopped off and let Alex get on to investigate. It's always interesting to watch Alex ride Lilly. She rides with a lot more seat than I do, and she's much more demanding. Lilly always tries to get away with not doing what she's asked and Alex demands that she stop being a hussie. Eventually they come to an understanding... Lilly understands she had better do what's asked of her! It's fascinating to watch because I swear I can see the gears turning in Lilly's head!

After setting the ground rules, Alex rode her around at the jog and lope and it became quite obvious to her what the problem was. Lilly was traveling around with her inside hip stuck out, all crooked and whatnot. She doesn't really do it going counter clockwise, but travelling clockwise it's quite obvious. Well, it was obvious to Alex, but clearly not obvious to me... at least not until she pointed it out. I could see it quite well at the jog, and as soon as Alex told her to put it back where it goes, it was like night and day. Here's Lilly jogging around with her hip stuck out like a goon:

Bad pony!
So, why is she doing it? Could be because she's out of shape and it's just easier to travel that way... or she could be doing it just 'cuz she can. I mentioned in my post yesterday that Lilly tends to be a little passive aggressive. Alex says it about her all the time, but it was never quite as noticeable to me as it was yesterday. Since Alex is always right when it comes to Lilly, I suspected she probably was, but because Lilly is the sweetest, most wonderful pony in the whole wide world, I just didn't want to believe such a thing could be true! Little did I know, Lilly has been giving me just enough to keep me happy, all the while cheating the system and half-assing her perfect jog.

Lilly, you cut me deep!

I could really feel it at the jog, and I felt it the most when we were jogging in a straight line. The good news is, as soon as I ask her to put it back and travel correctly, she obliges. She feels taller, more round, and I can feel her shoulders open up as well. However, in true passive aggressive fashion, she decided to transfer her objection to traveling correctly. We went from a hind end objection to a front end objection. Behold! The head twist!

"I don't wanna jog straight!"
Once I manged to fix the hip and the head, she had a bit of an attitude. She wanted to let me know she wasn't happy about doing things the hard (correct) way, but we worked through it. The transitions were better, but I still wasn't getting the kind of transitions I wanted. We did many more until Alex finally saw it... it was my turn to be fixed! When asking Lilly for the lope, I have a tendency to just "throw her away". Why I do it, I don't know, but as soon as I ask for the transition, I put my hands forward and give Lilly a bunch of rein. So as Alex describes it, all that newly found impulsion we're getting from the hind end just blasts out the front. I need to hold her together and support her, and think of the lope transition and subsequent lope strides as a circle. Once I managed to figure out how to support her with my reins, we had some gorgeous transitions. The kind where you just think about loping, and you roll right into it. Magnifique!!

So, from now on, when we do anything, she needs to keep her hip in line with the rest of her body and it's my job to be diligent about asking her for it, and make her travel correctly. This should also improve the work I'm doing with flying changes because it'll be much easier for her to change when her body is straight. She gave me a gorgeous flying change yesterday when she initially picked up a wrong lead. The change was like butter!

Here's Lilly giving me a nice stop. She is always hunting for the whoa, and is more than happy to do so when I ask for it. If you're not sitting deep, she'll throw you right out of the saddle.

Hittin' the skids!
We also made the decision that it's time for me to get a pair of spurs. Never in a million years would I have guessed that I'd be shopping for spurs, but here I am. It almost feels like she's getting a little lazy, but I think it's more that she's really, really hunting for the whoa, and also for the slow. Getting her to move out at the jog takes a lot of leg these days, and she's a bit slow to respond to some of my other cues as well. It's a far cry from years past where even the slightest touch with my leg would send her off like a rocket. The spurs will be just what I need to find a happy place where she's still hunting the whoa, but also quick to give me what I want.

So to wrap up with a few other thoughts:
1.) I see exactly what Alex means when she says Lilly is passive aggressive. She's not the type of horse to buck or rear, so she uses her brain to come up with other ways to make her life easier. It'll be up to me to recognize those tactics and get her back on track.
2.) I need to ride with a little more seat and more energy. I think the spurs will help with this as well because I'll be able to refine my cues a bit, but I want her to say "yes, ma'am!" rather than, "welllll, okay..." I've conditioned myself to ride with a super quiet seat and legs so as not to unleash the speed dragon that lurked within Lilly's body, but we're past that now, and she's ready for a more active rider.
3.) As much as it gives Alex seizures to hear me gush about my pony and dote on her like I do, it's extremely difficult for me to think of Lilly as anything but a "friend". She means the world to me and sometimes when I'm riding, I let that relationship get in the way of the kind of training that Lilly really needs. Alex said Lilly and I have a democracy, and instead I need to be more of a dictator. She said, "you know, be like North Korea..." I gasped in horror! She said I should always ask first, but when I don't get the response I want, I need to demand that she accommodate me, rather than have a discussion about how we can compromise. I know this to be true, but putting it into practice is difficult for me for some reason. Lilly has some kind of super power, and she uses it on me

I mean, just look at this sweet face... you'd never guess that she's a pony who likes to manipulate me into doing her bidding, would you?

"Me? A manipulator?"
Thanks again for another great lesson, Alex! It is much appreciated!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Finally, I Ride!

Alex came to visit me and Lilly today. I'm working on a post, but as I was going through my pictures, I thought this was a cute one. She actually snapped it to show me what we were doing wrong, but since Lilly had her ears up, I took advantage and smiled for the camera.

She's so cute!
It doesn't look like Lilly is being a passive aggressive booger, does it? Oh yes, she's good at that! More on our lesson later! :)