Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

Personal Fitness

Anyone who knows any member of my family knows that we are all obsessive :-) It makes family gatherings interesting, to say the least, but it has made us all successful in our chosen fields. When we go for something we throw ourselves fully into it and don't look back. When by brother chose to join the Marines a few years ago he started working out, on his own with no trainer, and kept it up for two full years before he was actually enlisted. My sisters routinely practice, they are both successful violinists, up to seven hours a day on their own and my mom decided a year ago that she wanted to run in a marathon and has signed up and ready for one early this next year.

I have always felt that it is important for the rider to be as much of an athlete as we expect the horse to be and have always been fairly fit. When riding larger horses I felt as though I was strong and fit enough, now I realize that I wasn't, but when I changed to riding smaller equines I started to feel differ…

Not a DQ

I'm back after a short break that was mainly because of the weather and Thanksgiving. I work in retail so the entire week was spent getting ready for Black Friday and I had to be up at the awful hour of 3:30 to get ready for work that morning :( After I spent Saturday recovering I did some work with Katai on Sunday and during the rest of the week but I just haven't seemed to find the time to write about it.

Today though we made real progress! When I last sat on Katai I was able to find some major issues that I feel were caused by her being spoiled. She froze entirely when I got on, which alone would have been normal, and than turned stubborn and angry. She would move her hindquarters around but was completely  unwilling to go forward and I had the feeling that if I kept pushing she was going to go up instead.

Unfortunately it meant that I had to fix it which meant going back to work on more ground work. The good part is that she showed me that issue at that point, early on, ra…

More of the Same

Today I worked more on some of the same stuff that I have been doing all week. For anyone that is familiar with CA's method today was more with with lunging for respect stage one and two. Stage two is fun for me because I can see Katai starting to build strength in the hind end which will be so important for her to be successful at dressage. I'm also starting to get FORWARD!!! When I got her everything was back or plant :P That of course was NOT going to work for any riding much less a dressage horse. Now I just have to point and she goes.

I didn't do carrot stretches today since I always have such a short time on my mornings off. Tomorrow I'm going to enjoy my day off by working on the girl's hooves and doing more carrot stretches. I'm also going to write more about me and my progress in gaining more fitness :)

Tuesday Tidbits

It's Katai's day off because Tuesday morning is my "lazy" day for housework.

Pony Yoga

Today I started out teaching Katai the next step in CA's ground work lessons which is lunging for respect. As a way to achieve that I also yielded her hindquarters, backed her and did some desensitization.

She did a really good job again today especially since I just had a short time because it is dark so early. Because of that I skipped the saddle and bridle today and didn't do any round penning even though she really needs more practice with that. Tomorrow she will wear the saddle and bridle again and I'll do some more round penning.

The real goal today was to start doing some stretches with both her and Myshla. Myshla has a weak back and hindquarters, which you can see in the picture at the bottom of this post, and when she is stiffer she trots around with her head constantly tipped to the right. It was suggested to me by my trainer that I start doing some carrot stretches with her.

For Katai I think the issue is in her right shoulder. The first thing I noticed is tha…

Sunday Fun Day

I had a great training session with Katai today and made a lot more progress.

I have to admit that I use some of Clinton Anderson's techniques to teach basic ground work. As a rule I don't like "methods" and I'm also not a huge fan of the current trend of "natural Horsemanship" trainers that sell anything they can for about ten times what it is worth. I don't have any of Clinton's products other than one book, I tie my own rope halters and I use a lunge line.

However, I did find that when I do ground work myself without following a book I tend to bounce around and skip stuff, part of the artsy brain type, and I'll manage to get everything done but it will take me twice as long. For that reason it is nice to have a nice list of steps to take.

Today I round penned Katai to each side with the western saddle on and got a couple of bucks out of her. They were sissy little bucks but it is the first time I had seen her do that at all so it was g…

Katai is Stubborn

Well, Katai really is stubborn but the word katai means stubborn in Japanese.

It was actually a mistake of my mom who wanted me to name her after a character in one of her favorite series of books by Jim Butcher. I found out when I read the book that it was actually spelled kitai which means expectation and hope in Japanese lol! By that point she had been Katai for a few months and, to be honest, it sort of fits :-)

When I first went to pick her up I was unable to get her on the trailer after four hours and I have NEVER been completely unable to load a horse before. I went back by myself the next day and did get her on with some more work. However, after a relieved ride home when I unloaded her she proceeded to duck under every single fence on the property. They are all electric but they are also set for thoroughbreds and are high enough that she didn't have an issue going right under. After locking her in "pony prison" a tall pipe pen for a few weeks I was able to arra…

A New Beginning

If you have followed me here from my other blog, Little Sora Story, you know quite a bit about me and my journey with horses. If not I will briefly give you my background.

I got my first pony, named Prince, when I was seven but because my mom knew nothing about horses he terrorized both of us and was rarely ridden so she sold him after a couple of years. Then when I was nine my mom gave me riding lessons for my birthday :) They were group lessons and probably would have been considered hunter since we rode English and went over a few short jumps. After that I went a few years without horses and finally got my first at 12. He was a sixteen hand quarter horse and was incredibly naughty. He knew every trick in the book to remove people including backing up to a tree and rearing to crush his rider. I eventually had him riding nicely after I had enlisted a friend to help. He was traded for a large black Arab/Percheron gelding that was much sweeter and who I had for several years. We never …