Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the New Year! Hope you had a great night and are looking forward to an even better year. To celebrate the new year I am going to be giving away an ecopy of my space opera Encounter at Shalana (Adventures of Kristy Ryan) This giveaway is international and the winner will receive a Smashwords coupon code to claim their free ebook. Enter in the Rafflecopter below and check the linky list for all the other Blogs participating in the New Year Giveaway Hop.

Space pirate Captain Kristy Ryan grew up the only daughter of a notorious privateer in the Border Planet Region. She learned her trade the hard way - there were no free rides on her father’s ship.

Now, she has her own ship, the Unicorn, and successfully works in the shadows, the fringes of legitimate trade. Her life is just how she wants it even on those days when her pilot and lover, Andrew Bennet, drives her crazy.

But an unexpected visit from the Military Space Alliance changes everything. Her father disappeared while working a dangerous mission for the MSA. Now, she’s being blackmailed into finishing his mission. 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chronicles of Prince Charming

Since my last update on Prince, he's had several more training sessions and I've had two more lessons on him as part of his training.

He continues to live in his little pasture with his buddy Boone. We had a real treat over the weekend. We were off the hill and swung by to say hi and give Prince a little attention. We were surprised to find him and Boone in a full out play session. Galloping around, rearing, bucking, and play fighting. And when I say full out - I really mean it. We watched for a while not wanting to disturb them (I'd say a good 15 minutes). I then tried to get some on film, but as soon as I got out of the truck they stopped and decided it was more interesting to drink from the mini-lake in their pasture (it's been pretty rainy and snowy bringing the water table way up). Here's a little video of them - Prince is the one chasing and they slowed down as soon as I opened the truck door.


Prince is getting much more balanced and consistent with his flying lead changes with the trainer. As for me, I'm still floundering trying to keep my aids clear and consistent. But he is much more balanced, less spooky, and listening to me so much better than he ever has. We actually had a couple of relatively clean flying lead changes at our last lesson together.

But even more than that I had a good talk with the trainer about his prognosis as far as being a suitable mount for my daughter. She believes he will be and gave me some suggestions to test him later in the spring. It's looking like he just might work for both me and her - something I was worrying about for the last year.

And Prince initiated his first show of affection when I was grooming him after our last lesson. He's always been a little aloof, not unfriendly, but not super affectionate either. I was brushing his face and rubbing the sweat marks when he lifted his nose and touched my face so I could give him a kiss on the tip of his nose. I was quite touched as this is "out of character" for him, but maybe it isn't as out of character as I had previously thought. I'm thinking the lessons and training are growing a stronger bond between us. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chronicles of Prince Charming

Some of my readers already know, and maybe remember, that I bought a pony about a year and a half ago named Prince Charming. He's been an interesting pony. Not quite what I was looking for in some ways while exactly what I was looking for in other ways. A picture of me with him is just to the right of this blog. He is a cutey despite his insecurity.

His insecurity has proved very challenging for me. He's not a joy to ride on the trail, but more of a chore. I had wanted to send him to a trail trainer this Fall, but the plans fell through. Instead I made the decision to send him to a show trainer for November and December for him to learn his flying lead changes and other skills which would make him more marketable as a show pony in case I can't solve our trail issues.

Seeing the trainer ride him was a reminder of his athleticism and a lot of the training he already has that I never really use. The trainer has informed me that Prince is incredibly smart (think Border Collie) which explains a lot of the problems I've had with him and the groom adores him there. It's been good for me to see his attributes through others eyes.

Today I had my first lesson on him. I haven't had a lesson in probably nine years and haven't engaged in any serious lesson program in about 15 years. Wow am I amazed at just how much I have forgotten, what came back, and what I was totally perplexed by. I'm sore and have ripped blisters in both of my rein fingers (note to self: remember to wear gloves in the next lesson). But the lesson was great. I felt like Prince and I were really communicating despite my own awkwardness. There's one corner where his insecurity comes out and as I rode we went from having to nervously sidle away (inside leg), to looking, to not looking at the corner at all and staying soft and supple.

I'm looking forward to my next lesson and hopefully getting to understand and communicate with him better. On a side note: his flying lead changes are coming along nicely with the trainer. Not so much with me, I had a hard time getting him balanced correctly and think I might have actually set him back. But he did try for me despite my awkwardness and mistimed cues.