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Showing posts from March, 2015

Bridle Shopping

So, while waiting for Katai to gain some muscle and fill out and waiting to get some money together for my saddle I've been bridle shopping. 
Don't get me wrong, I love my pink lined bridle,
but it was never meant to be a permanent solution plus since I'm planning on a brown dressage saddle I'll need a bridle to match. 
With some googling I found some really great options so now I'm having a tough time deciding between them.
First option:
Micklem Competition Bridle - I've always liked the way these look and the science behind them plus Katai does always violently rub her head after I finish riding. I'd be interested to see what she thought of this since I don't use a flash. It could make her feel more claustrophobic or she could love it. This is probably my second favorite bridle at this point.
Second option:
Schockemoehle Sports Paris bridle - I really like this bridle but it doesn't look like the flash attachment is removable and I've heard mixed thi…


I had my second lesson with L on Sunday and I’m just as impressed. She is wonderful, everything I was looking for in an instructor and it doesn’t hurt that she seems to really like my pony. She’s the calm voice of reason when things are getting a little crazy with my greenie and she’s great at seeing what I’m doing that I need to change and pointing it out without overwhelming me with too much info at once. I think my favorite thing though is that she is catering the lessons to me and Katai and what we need to work on at any given moment and not trying to force us into working on something that “all of her other students are having success with” like J would.We were also multitasking since there was a desensitization clinic going on at the same time. I’m always struck by the different thought process between Dressage riders and trail riders or eventers. The latter just expect that their horses deal with things that could be scary such as tarps, bridges, flags etc. and the former seem …

Wait For It...

I've had a few meh rides lately. After reading about some other bloggers rides it sounds like I'm not alone. I rode last Saturday, this past Monday, and now tonight on Wednesday. Katai was ok on Sunday and felt a little off on Monday. I remembered tonight when I was at the barn that she had gotten her spring shots on Monday so that would explain things. 

I felt bad because normally I would have given her a couple of days off. If she had seemed more off I would have anyway but she just seemed a little stiff and with her new work schedule and being asked to use different muscles it didn't surprise me.
It's not that we haven't been accomplishing anything, it's just that it's slow process and there haven't been any awesome rides. It has, however, been so so nice to trust that what my instructor wants me to work on is what I need to work on. I trust L because I can see exactly what she is aiming for and I agree with her methods so even when things temporarily …

Ready, Set...

Anyone reading this blog knows that I had an issue with my previous instructor J but I have to admit that I've had a lot of personal doubt about if leaving her was the right decision. I was taught from a young age that instructors are always right and who am I, an intro level rider, to question such an accomplished rider and her methods. She had brought a few students up the levels too and that made me feel even more doubtful about leaving her.
Let me just say that after one lesson with my new trainer, L, I no longer doubt my choice.
In my lesson on Sunday it was like she was handing me puzzle pieces and with each one Katai improved in such a big way that it was like I was riding a different horse at the end of the lesson than the beginning. 
J always used to get both Katai and I worked up and both of us would get tense. After I decided to leave I noticed that every horse she works with and instructs turns into a fire breathing dragon in lessons because of the tension. This lesson wi…

The One Where H Visits*

* Title courtesy of watching too many episodes of Friends last night.
I had a horse filled weekend planned and so far the first day was incredible! H and I had decided to meet at the local tack shop since they were having an anniversary sale. We had a great time shopping and didn't buy much so my saddle budget is still intact :) Then we went out to lunch and had a great conversation, of course about horsie things, and finally went to my barn. 
H really liked everything and I think is even more anxious to move to her new barn. She had offered that if I wanted to ride she would take some video which was incredible! It's been so tough riding by myself all the time without eyes on the ground. I knew I was developing some bad habits again but just didn't have any great way to identify them and fix them. Now I not only get to watch myself ride but also have that lesson set up tomorrow. I can't wait :)
Here are some stills that I pulled from the video. Please ignore my extra sho…

Second Day at the Barn

I had another great day at the new barn! I am still incredibly impressed by the facilities and it is nice to finally have some of the things that I’ve always wanted in a boarding facility. The cross ties and space to groom are wonderful, they have expectations that things will be swept after so everything is always neat and tidy, unlike my last barn, and the arena is just so wonderful and large. Most of all though, it is just so nice and warm!!! It’s just so incredible to be able to spend time with my horse and not be miserably cold. The grooming area is probably around 50 degrees and the arena is closer to 45-40 which is perfect since when you’re moving around it’s so much easier to stay toasty warm and then the horses are less likely to overheat.

Katai was not as amazingly wonderful on Wednesday but I think she was a little stiff and sore from the two, fairly intense, rides on Saturday and Monday and just didn’t feel like working. I also found out that one of the horses in her pen wa…

First Day at the New Barn

Let me just say this first,THE NEW BARN ROCKS!!!!!This was seriously the best decision I’ve made in a long time and I feel like I’ve found my forever barn. The people are wonderful, there are other dressage peeps, the arena is huge with great footing, and the facilities are top notch without feeling cold and formal.I had a great ride. Katai was speedy to start out but I feel like I’m starting to change hats from trainer to partner. Instead of feeling like everything she does is wrong and everything I do is right, which is the place of a trainer, I’ve started to add some flexibility and am more willing to accommodate things that aren’t directly related to bad behavior. At first, when she was more green, when she was speedy I felt like it was my responsibility to teach her not to be so speedy. Now, I’m figuring out how she works best and how to keep her relaxed and working as an athlete and a partner and that means that if we’re in a new arena and the only sign that she’s stressed is th…

Last Ride at the Old Barn

I went out to the barn on Saturday to ride my pony before her world turned upside down. The weather was finally cooperating and it was a toasty 22 degrees. The last few times that I've taken her out to work her she's felt a little off. Either a little stiff, a little ouchy on her feet, or possibly just a little crabby. I've been concerned about her and actually have a chiro appointment set up for her but last night she came out of her stall raring to go.
She actually started off a little naughty. For the last three months while I've been at this barn she hasn't ever reverted to the behaviors that she was doing at the previous barn. I'm sure it's because of the lack of tension in me and in her and because I haven't been putting as much pressure on her.
I thought I started out Saturday night the same way and actually my only plan was to walk and work on lateral stuff but something must have been different because she wanted SO badly to just canter around. S…

End of February Analysis

Here goes!
I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with how many of these are crossed off so far. Of course many of the ones that aren't are more involved but at least I'm making progress.

I do think that once I have my first lesson, or two, that I'll be adding or clarifying some of these goals.   At least I hope I'll get some more things to work on!

Goals for Katai:

1. Increase fitness/strength/flexibility

- get chiropractic done at least three times in 2015 – Scheduled one for April 3rd
- get at least three massages in 2015
- start serious fitness training as soon as it's not slippery out to include canter sets
- cross train - add cavaletti by February and small jumps by the end of summer
- add more structured lunging - at least 3-4 times per month

2. Show Pony

- practice with show environments by trailering off property at least five times this year
- show in three dressage schooling shows with at least one at training level
- continue with clipper desensitiza…