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Showing posts from March, 2014

In Limbo

I had a discussion with my new barn manager, who I will refer to as J from now on, last night and this morning and we made a mutual decision to wait two weeks before I move Katai. It sucks but really is the right decision for everyone involved and I am very greatful for the wonderful, supportive attitude of J who is being proactive and responsible about this outbreak.
Unfortunately this really leaves me in limbo. I was supposed to be out of the place where I was, now am, boarding and had moved out and reorganized all my stuff. I used to have three saddle racks and room for the huge plastic tote that I use as a tackbox and had it all cut down to fit in the one locker and one saddle rack that I will have. Going from this (plus there is a saddle rack even higher that you don't see in the picture) To this plus one saddle rack, (Not the actual lockers but it looks just like one of the smaller ones in this picture.)
Now, of course, I needed to move some stuff back to the barn but I didn'…


Recently, first reported case occurred on 3/7/14, there has been an outbreak in my general area of EHV-1. This seems to have started in the barrel racing circuit and so far has been confined to four horses with three euthanized and one in recovery. I am extremely sad for those who lost their horses and very, very thankful for my current, and future, barn owners’ careful management of their facilities. Vets in the area are starting to be optimistic that the worst of the outbreak is over but are still cautioning against traveling with horses.
For a little while it looked like this might delay plans to move Katai to the new barn as the new barn owner/manager and I were concerned about me moving in during this outbreak. Since the worst of it is now over the barn owner has said that she is ok with it as long as we haven’t had any horses recently move to my current barn, which we haven’t for almost a month now, and as long as I take Katai’s temperature the day that I’m moving her and it is w…


"There's no such thing as bad practice. Only skillful and unskillful. The only way for practice to be unskillful is if the intention is not on compassion."
Les Kiger

Name Change

So as you can see I finally changed the name of my blog!! I’ve been thinking about it and wanting to for quite awhile now especially since Katai, although a normal pony, hasn’t proven to be a particularly stubborn one.
I also want to reflect the upcoming change of moving to a barn and, sort of, handing off the total responsibility of training Katai myself since now I have qualified help. Because of that, this blog will be less of a training journal and more of a blog about me and Katai as a partnership and cover both of our experiences in this new journey of dressage lessons, showing, and experiencing the atmosphere of an active barn.
Finally, many of my more recent posts were about how I can finally have fun shopping for stuff for my pony and also for myself. I’ve always loved trends and clothes but just wasn’t able to afford the stuff I really wanted. Now I’m starting to be able to afford those things not just for Katai but for myself as well. I’ve worked extremely hard and saved for …

Wherein I Obsess About My Pony

I've been obsessing, again, and looking over the video that I shared awhile ago so here are some stills :) Look at that hind leg! I realize this is the PERFECT place in the canter to capture a picture but I'm really pretty pleased with her. There isn't much jump but there isn't much strength there yet either. She's nicely balanced and I think reasonably uphill for this point in her training. She's carrying herself that way, there are no side reins on her in this picture.
She is also very upright and balanced. She LOVES to canter and is nice and slow on the lunge even on nights like tonight when she was a little spooky.
Nice long stretchy back and open stride. Even though the picture is tillted a bit in her favor she is still traveling reasonably uphill for where she's got her head. Her diagonal pairs match up nicely.

Thursday Lesson Day

So far my lessons have been on Thursdays, other than at the beginning of the month when I had three lessons in a row to try out a couple of different barns/trainer. Today was my third lesson with Julie and my first lesson with her off the lunge. It was great and I am enjoying her ability and training more and more. I was especially happy when she climbed on the horse today to show me something as people in this area seem to be either teachers or riders and not both. I am a very visual learner so when watching someone do something I learn a lot more than when being told how to do something.

I have some homework to work on, of course :-), which includes stabilizing my torso and changing where I hold my hands a bit. Mostly though I'm very excited to get Katai there because then I will have very different things to work on vs. riding a well trained school horse. I move her in just over one week!!!! I have just a few more things to get ready and one more lesson before the big move and …

Dopey Pony

Katai had her teeth floated today. She had some small points, nothing that was too much of a concern, but we did discover that she has a minor overbite. She had a small hook over the front of her bottom teeth that needed to be floated and I'll need to keep an eye on it for floating again in the future.
Pony likes drugs :)
She was extremely good for the vet and again, although she is normally fairly hot and sensitive, she acts like she doesn't even feel shots. She did need a full sized horse dose of sedative though.
I put her back in the pasture still slightly dopey to sleep it off in the sun with her friends once she was walking without wobbling. The plan for tomorrow is to see how she's feeling and possibly take her for either a walk or work more with the clippers. She is really getting them figured out :)
This next week I'm hoping to get back to riding, bitless of course, and I finally ordered a pair of cavalo hoof boots since she's still been pretty sensitive even t…

Viva Carlos' Blog Hop: What's In Your Name?

Blog Hop: What's In Your Name?
"We are all books because we have spines and stories to tell.”
Everyone has a story to tell and in blog land, most of us have stumble upon each other mid-sentence, so-to-speak.
What is the story behind your blogname/url? First off, my pony's name was totally a mistake. I was actually at the renaissance festival with my mom and was asking her if she had any ideas for a name for my new pony, who I hadn't picked up yet, and she suggested a name from a character in one of her favorite books. It was from the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher and when she described the character to me I agreed that it sounded like a great idea to name my pony after her.
If any of you have read these books you're probably wondering what happened because the character's name is actually Kitai. Well, my mom spelled it from memory as Katai and I like the way it looked and sounded and, thinking it was the name of this cool character, went home and promptly n…


Yes ladies and gentlemen we have it! I've always known that if I had something regular to work towards (like lessons) that I would be able to manage some of that consistency that I was lacking (plus lets face it, the weather has been reasonable finally) but I couldn't know until I tried! Since my lesson last Thursday I've worked with her or ridden every day including tonight and she has been great! She had her hooves trimmed on Sunday and they are looking way better and less thrushy. Our biggest struggle now is in gaining some strength, both of us. She isn't blowing or sweating much at all but she doesn't want to keep trotting and I can tell by the way she moves that it is still hard work. Luckily I know what to do about that :-)

Tomorrow I'm going to work her at a trot and canter on the lunge and then she will get Thursday off since I have a riding lesson set up for that evening.

I also managed to make some progress with clipper desensitization and was able to…

End of February Analysis

February Goals
1. Lots of Miles –My goal is to ride her 4 times per week through the end of February.
- I didn’t ride 4 times per week but I continued to do more riding and longer rides. Overall I’m pleased with our progress especially with the extreme cold which was the main thing that derailed all goals.

2. Strength –For the rest of February my goal is to do carrot stretches before and after each ride and to introduce more cavaletti work.
                - Total fail

3. Communication –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 out how to move laterally without a rider on the days that I don’t ride.
- I did more to introduce lateral work from the ground and also tried to attempt to work on it from the saddle but pony is sensitive and sensitive pony got flustered easily. I recently switched to asking her to move over slightly while moving forward vs. with her head to the wall and she took that …

Seven Deadly Sins: blog hop

Thanks to L. Williams awesome idea today's post is all about the blog hop. What a great idea for one of these! Pride Seven great things/strengths in your riding life My pony - she's awesome, has great potential and confirmation and was free!My new opportunity to take regular lessons from a really excellent instructorThe nice, well fitted equipment that I've worked so hard and saved for.My riding skillMy pony's patience The fact that I can afford any of thisMy ability to learnMy love of learning EnvySeven things you lack or covet for you or your horse
A wool show sheetBoT shtuffA Mattes half padShow Clothes - like I literally have noneAn ability to pull manesShow experienceA truck and trailerWrath Seven things that make you angry
Pony tantrumsSaddle fit changes :(DQsPeople who think they have all the answersPeople trying to train my horse while I'm training my horse.Dogs with no manners being let loose around horsesThrush
Sloth Seven things you neglect to do or cut corne…

Amazing, Incredible Opportunity

I’ve been quiet for the past week but there are two reasons for that. One is that it’s been extremely cold again so I haven’t been out to the barn as much and the other is that I finally have the opportunity I’ve been looking so long for.
 I get to take Dressage lessons with an INCREDIBLE instructor!!!
Not only that but I am moving Katai there at the end of March so I get to take lessons on my horse. I could cry I’m so happy. I’ve wanted to be able to take regular lessons from a good instructor for so long but between just not having the funds and thinking I didn’t have a good instructor anywhere nearby I was resigned that I would have to wait until I get a new job (the plan is to start looking in just over a year). However, I found a barn that is only about 15 minutes away from work, offers pasture board, and is affordable.
 I was aware of this barn because their riders consistently do the best at the schooling shows I’ve been to but for some reason I was thinking that it was located mu…