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Showing posts from February, 2014

Crazy Progress

In a few ways the last week has been about progress. First of all, I have a dressage lesson!!! It is on a 4th level schoolmaster which will be incredible and it is at a barn that I would love to move Katai to. I set the lesson up partly so that I can figure out if I would like to take lessons with this instructor in the future and partially so that I can ask questions about boarding there. It seriously seems too good to be true with WAY nicer facilities than I am at now, closer to home, and although at a higher cost it is still reasonable. I am concerned that they may not have any openings or have a wait list so I am anxious to talk to the instructor at my lesson on Monday.

The other progress has been with Katai. We are having another nasty cold streak so I decided to just do ground work on Monday as well as treating hooves and feeding supplements. With my concerns about Katai’s heavy coat and my ability to ride her even lightly if it gets around freezing I’ve made clipper desensitizat…


This is me trying to get to work yesterday.

On Thursday afternoon it started snowing here and didn't stop until early Friday morning. In all we got almost 12" but the bonus was the frozen rain (ice) under the pile of snow. I had a rough enough time getting home on Thursday and to work and back home on Friday without adding a trip to the barn. Today though, I couldn't take it any more and decided to brave the drive.
That's not snow on the road, that's a solid inch of glare ice. The drive that normally takes about 30 minutes took over an hour today and they really weren't any better on the way home. It was really good to see Katai though since I was having serious pony withdrawals. I got some great work done with her today. I had to dig out the gate and none of the paths were plowed which meant wading through 12-15" of snow with drifting. I hadn't really planned on riding and after that I really didn't feel any more encouraged to tack her up. She…

Speaking of Sweater Weather

I think I’m going to need to do a trace clip at some point. Pony has four inch long icky hair and her eyeballs were sweating after a short amount of trotting. I had to walk her for about half an hour alternating cooler and bare to cool her to the point where I was comfortable putting her out and that was only because it wasn’t windy since she was still a bit wet. I’ve never clipped a horse before but I’ve clipped a lot of goats for dairy shows and 4-H so I get the concept however I don’t have a clipper.
I did have a trimmer but it mysteriously disappeared and it wouldn’t have done the job anyway. I was mainly using it for desensitization since it was useless for anything I wanted to do including trimming her bridle path. That means that I am in the market for a clipper. No one at the barn has them so there aren’t any that I can borrow. As mostly casual trail riders my fellow boarders don’t have the need since they mainly stay at the walk and don’t ride unless it is nice out with o…

Sweater Weather

It has been insanely warm here lately. Yesterday it almost made it above freezing and today it was all the way up to 40. I was literally in a sweater tonight when I worked with Katai and it was wonderful.

She was pretty keyed up when I started. It seems she's suddenly developed an attachment with one of the geldings in her field. The funny part is that the guy she chose happens to be the only other horse at the barn that is ridden dressage and he's about 17 hands of brown and white paint. They make an interesting couple.

Once I mounted up she was all business just like normal. I've been lunging her beforehand working on trot/canter transitions and today I tried walk/canter transitions. I've been using a very specific cue to get her to move up to a canter for the reason that I knew it would help under saddle. With her workman like attitude tonight I decided to go for it and asked for a canter after we had done a bit of trot work. She sprang right into it and it was a gr…

Sunday Splurge

I finally have a pair of nice riding boots! I ended up with a little "extra" money this weekend because surprisingly I sold my broken down car. A couple of boys bought it to part out and I got more for it than if I had salvaged it like I thought I was going to have to do. Most if it is going to my credit cards but I've been sorely needing some real riding boots so I finally caved and went shopping.

I've honestly never had a nice pair of boots that really fit. The best I've done was a pair of wonderful Mountain Horse riding boots but because I had fat calves at that point I had to go with two foot sizes too large to try to make the calf fit and I still ended up killing the zipper because they were too tight.

The tack shop near me was having a sale on "winter" boots so I bought a pair of these.

I <3 them.

I've been wanting something like them for a really long time but thought I would go with a different style. When I tried them on though these we…

The Thrush Saga

I’ve mentioned before that Katai has had awful, deep Suclosis Thrush for awhile and that I found out what it was and started treating in late October of last year. Well I’m still treating for it L
I’ve tried three different treatments for at least a month each and nothing has really worked. The best was when I could scrub out all four with a diluted Clorox solution, rinse, and then squeeze Pete Ramey Goo into the cracks in her frogs but with our temperature consistently in the single digits to double negative digits I just can’t do this right now. I was hoping that the frozen ground and snow would help me out and reduce the need for scrubbing but it doesn’t seem to be the case and I suppose that her interest in standing in poop isn’t helpful.
I’ve been doing research for awhile trying to figure out a solution that would work with the cold. I really don’t mind soaking and scrubbing and all but it is completely impossible in these temperatures and whatever I do needs to be consistent…

The Breakdown

To accomplish the big goals I need to lay out smaller items to fix, improve and correct. The following are my goals for the rest of February.
1. Lots of Miles – Both of us need time together mostly riding. She is weak, I’m still weak and I’m getting used to her movement and figuring out the communication between us. My goal is to ride her 4 times per week through the end of February.
2. Strength – I need to specifically address her weaknesses which will require more than just time in the saddle. For the rest of February my goal is to do carrot stretches before and after each ride and to introduce more cavaletti work.
3. Communication – Katai is doing really well and figuring out some of the more refined cues at this point, at least refined for a green horse :P, but I need to do more to introduce lateral movements since everything is built on that. My goal is to introduce some lateral work to every ride as well as doing some work on the ground to help her figure this out and figure …


Pictures of a very tense, inverted pony mare. Yes there are sidereins but they are long enough that she was actually nibbling on grass at one point before pictures so they are not causing her to carry her head like this. Besides, you can see the tension in her legs and body as well.

Fast forward a few months of proper work, carrot stretches plus ground poles and you get this.  Plus, that's in the cold with very little warm up and she is pretty weak still from lack of any real consistent work. I am seriously getting excited about where we can go. Is there a bronze medal in our future?

Pony Withdrawl

I didn't get to see my pony tonight and I'm missing her badly. It's just too cold though. I blanketed her yesterday after our ride so she should be reasonably comfortable and it was going to be cold enough again that there wasn't a good reason for me take it off so she'll wear it until tomorrow or even Wednesday morning.

I did spend some time working on my goals for the year and although its nowhere near a complete list I think it's time for me to start writing them down for the world to see, or at least the world of horse bloggers :-)
Goals for 2014 1. Attend at least 3 dressage shows 2. Get out of the arena 3. Try an endurance ride (if I can find one that is local enough) 4. Take as many lessons as possible I am seriously serious about accomplishing these things this year with my girl come hell or high water. I am already working on plans for transportation and figuring out who, where and when I can get lessons from. I see 2014 as a jumping off point for us …

Winter Update

So its been way to long since I posted anything on my blog. This is due to a few reasons including this polar vortex thing and how busy my life seems all of a sudden. I swear, a few years ago I never would have believed that I would have a busy social life but suddenly that is exactly the way it seems to be. I am figuring out how to balance it all and starting to demand more horse time rather than just dealing with being busy and putting Katai last all of the time but it is a work in progress since I've never had to do anything like this before.

I have been working with her fairly consistently its just not as often as I would like, hasn't been as productive as I would like and I've had no time to blog on what has been happening. However, I decided that it is time to stop making excuses. I've had this thing that I've called a "100 Day Challenge" where basically I wrote out 100 days of things that I wanted to do I wanted to accomplish such as cantering Kata…