So we're going to start pre-Mikey. I leased a 15h Quarterhorse mare for 4 years before buying Mikey. Her name was RR Can't Touch This, aka "Jasmine" (gotta love QH breeder names) and she was a failed western pleasure horse and a granddaughter of Impressive (she was HYPP N/N). She was very well put together according to QH standards, just slightly cow hocked. She was quite mareish, was prone to biting, had a fierce buck, an even fiercer rear, and if she was a person she'd be bipolar. She was mostly nasty at home, but turned on the charm for new people and when in the show ring. She was a fantastic jumper and a dirty stopper at fences. I recall a time after I stopped leasing her that when the horses were being turned out (they opened stalls and they walked themselves down a chute to the fields), that she didn't agree with the gates blocking her path and jumped a 5' gate from the downhill side to get to a different field. She hated men, had scars up and down her tongue from her western pleasure life, and we're fairly sure her back problems came from them most likely flipping her over in an attempt to stop her rearing. Her chiropractor was a man, and she positively adored him. She was probably a tough mare to begin with, and her first training soured her to life. I wish I could have brought her to my current trainer- she might have ended up with a different outcome in life.
|4-H Showmanship, 2001 or 2002.|
Back when I used a fake tail on her because her's was barely enough to cover the fake tail attachment.
|Same 4-H show as above, riding an equitation pattern. You'd never know her mane hung down past the bottom of her neck, huh? Queen of braiding, right here, from an early age!|
|Pony club ratings, 2002?|
|We did a lot of bareback/bridle-less work. Winter 2002/2003?|
|More jumping with no tack in the same session as the above picture.|
|Jumping at a hunter show, possibly 2003?|
|Hello knees! 2003?|
|Completing my very first event in 2004(?), baby beginner novice, aka the current Starter Division.|
Mikey joined the barn in July 2004. The trainer who had him after the track broke her leg and called my instructor at the time and told her she had to have this horse. My instructor didn't want him, but her husband picked him up anyway. She rode him for two weeks and then gave him to me to ride for free. Between him and another chestnut OTTB mare named Andy, that's what really did in my lease of Jasmine. By winter I had changed my lease to just Mikey, and in May 2005, my parents bought him as a graduation present.
|Our first event together where we jumped intro (6"-1'). This is a Starter fence (1'6"-2'). 2005|
Too long stirrups and a green horse and a defensive rider are not a good pair. Mikey was a saint.
|Sometime between 2005 and 2007. Screenshot from a video where he was very impressed by the light on the landing.|
|Introducing Mikey to new jumps, 2005/2006.|
I decided to leave my barn a few days after I came back from college. A friend had her horses at a place nearby, arrangements were made, and Mikey was pulled from that program and plopped into a new barn. I had no idea what I was going to do for an instructor, but it didn't matter- Mikey felt like he was mine and I could work on our relationship. The barn manager was appalled at his weight and condition and positively stuffed him with food.
My current instructor traveled in to that barn to teach several riders and I hopped on her schedule and we were off! This trainer was also appalled at his weight and said he needed some fat so he stopped cannibalizing his muscle for energy.
|A little less gallop as I figure out that I'm riding a totally wrong approach to the fence.|
|The classical "stand" in the posting trot. I just like Mikey's neck here. 2008|
|Riding in the field next to the outdoor, 2008. Oh what the mane does to fake out the neck! He always looked worse in braids.|
|3' Hunters in Sept 2009- I finally got my act together by this point and put together a decent 3' fence.|
|Our first time riding in the jumper ring at the same show as the above picture. OMG SO MUCH FUN!|
|Sept 2009, jumping at home (note the "ground line from hell" haha)|
|Weeeeeeee! Mikey was very exuberant in this cross country schooling session. May 2010|
|I tended towards riding like crap on cross country because Mikey got zoomy and excited and I was afraid of him ditching me like Jasmine used to. More defensive jumping from both of us.|
|I did eventually get my act together in my final year of eventing in 2012. It all came together very nicely as we galloped steeplechase at this long format. I could STILL shorten my stirrups, but oh well.|