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Showing posts from September, 2015

New Barn Brag

I ADORE my new barn. It is so wonderful here and just so much more friendly than the last barn. I didn’t even realize how cold and clinical that place felt until I moved out here. The other improvement that I’m most happy about is how everything at this new barn is set up how it should be for horse owners. Nice big strong clips on all the gates (rather than having to mess with a chain getting wrapped around the gate and then clipped), Convenient cross ties, handy muck buckets, saddle racks everywhere, and the ability to leave a little bit of a mess if your safety requires it. Everyone has been so welcoming and it’s so nice having other dressage riders around!Katai is in a semi private paddock with one other small Arabian mare. That mare is most definitely in charge but Katai is good in situations like that because she reads other horses well and is sensitive enough go get out of the way and not enrage boss mares (sounds like her owner). Apparently this Arabian mare has had some issues …

Making Plans: Lesson Recap 9/27

So sorry for being such a bad blogger recently. I'm still trying to figure out my schedule and we are understaffed at work so there's no way that I have the time to blog from there. I've been riding consistently five days per week and doing a great job of sticking to my schedule. I'm especially proud this week since I got almost got derailed by a migraine on Wednesday and still managed to get five rides in! With those five rides, dates, and doing adult things like buying groceries and cooking food so that I don't have to eat out all the time I feel like I've got very little time. Now I just need to get a blogging schedule figured out around my riding :-)

The good news about all of this is that we are making real, actual, tangible progress.

For so long I've felt like we are on the struggle bus and yes, making some improvements such as that pony stopped rearing, but not much that was really visible to most people watching. It's part of why I haven't …

WWLS: Lesson Recap 9/20

I adore my trainer. We are making so much progress and I'm enjoying every lesson. She has been so good at helping my identify what I need to work on and making me feel enabled to make those changes.
On Sunday we started out with L having me pick up contact at the walk and keep Katai's speed the same. At first she used to throw her head in the air, get hollow and freak out but it's slowly become better and now she just tries to rush and eventually work her way into a trot. As I was working on this the first time L actually said "She's too good of pony to let her get away with this." It was such an amazing thing to hear about my pony especially after the way that J treated both of us. It was so encouraging to hear that she has some talent after all and that it's not just me that believes in her completely. 

That walk work set the trend for the lesson and that was that we were going to get speed and rhythm above all else, then bend through her body, and finall…

Human Analysis

I've had a couple of not so good rides this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. Don't get me wrong, compared to where we were about a month ago we were still ahead but she was beng resistant again and our biggest improvement lately is that she'd mostly given that up. For that past couple of weeks she has consistently been more reasonable and when she has resisted it's been for individual movements rather than a whole ride and once we've moved past that moment she doesn't bring it up again. She been a really grown up pony and that lack of resistance has meant that I've actually been able to get things accomplished since I don't lose whole rides to pony-tude.

That's why going backwards a bit in just that one area this week has been depressing. I got through the ride on Tuesday, hoped it was the weather or that she was cycling but then after a repeat ride on Wednesday I realized that that was not the case.  So on the half hour drive home on Wednesday I anal…

Book Review: Light and Easy Dressage by Penny Hillsdon

I bought this book only because I was hanging out the a local Half Price Books store while they were tallying up the total offer on some books that I was selling them. I was in the horse section and then the sports section and was looking at a different dressage book that was more pictures rather than instructional. When I put that one down I saw this one, picked it up to look over, and it just looked friendly enough that I decided to try it out and I'm so glad that I did!
This is probably one of my favorite Dressage books that I've read recently and I read it from cover to cover in about a week.

To start off, let me just say that it's probably not for everyone. It may be a little touchy feely for some of you but for me it was amazing. I'm already a perfectionist and this is something that I ultimately do for fun so the typical language of dressage books can be discouraging to me. Especially when they're talking about flying changes by something like chapter 4-5. …

Lesson Recap: First at the New Barn

My - Pony - Is - A - Superstar!

Me....not so much. (Photos are from Wednesday night)

But really, we had an amazing lesson. Katai is getting better so much more consistently and she has given up the worst of her fight and is just staying so much more relaxed. She's also understanding contact better and not getting back to that sewing machine trot that was haunting us for so long.

L is impressed and that makes me happy because she is someone who is tough to impress.

We started out the lesson a bit early since her previous lesson was getting worn out because her horse was not reacting to the new arena well (she also just moved to this barn) so L and I started talking while I warmed up. I brought up that I'd really like to start showing next year and L is thankfully on board. She actually brought up rated shows, when I was just thinking schooling, and didn't want to commit to me starting in intro level!!! She said that we should see how things go over the winter, reminded me…

The Challenge of Goals

Tell me about a challenge you set for yourself and accomplished, or set yourself a new challenge and keep us updated! I’ve honestly been avoiding this blog hop like the plague. I have issues setting goals, not that I don’t do it or won’t do it but that I’ve learned that I can’t and although that frustrates my type A personality it’s just better this way. I’m a perfectionist and have some OCD tendencies. When I set a goal I do anything to meet it and in the past that has included things like ruining friendships or hurting myself. Because of that I’ve learned to not set big, specific goals. When I was a cellist I pushed myself so hard that at one point I was having up to 3 stress headaches/migraines per week and I developed tendonitis and a shoulder injury, both of which still bother me. It took me almost a year to let that go. Then when I was looking for my current job I had set a goal about when I needed to find something (I beat it by a few months) and again, multiple stress headaches…

Thinking Rider

When riding, especially dressage, I tend to operate off of instinct. In some ways I think this is good as it is very meditative and I’m really in the moment but in other ways I really need to work to think ahead a bit more and/or make a plan based off the horse I have when I start riding especially since I’m really training her and not riding a schoolmaster. The tough thing is how to do this.
How do I pull myself out of that meditative state and develop a plan using the tools that I’ve been learning in lessons. This is something I think will be a struggle for me for the long run and I know I need to develop a plan to work on improvement. Otherwise I end up on a 20 meter circle for half an hour trying one thing over and over and eventually taking a walk break when there is some improvement. In other words I get so bogged down by the minutia that I don’t actually create any development since I’m just drilling one thing trying to find my version of perfection which isn’t fair to Katai.

Movings In

This is just a short update post but I'll write more soon and share more pictures once I have a chance to settle in a bit.

The move went really well despite the horrible heat and humidity that made it tough to breath while walking much less do anything actually taxing. It was up to 95 with 82% humidity by the time we were getting ready to load Katai and I think the news said that it felt like it was over 100.

Katai was a rockstar and loaded right into the two horse straight load without batting an eye. I think she loaded in about 5-10 minutes and other than a couple calls she rode really well. When I went to unload her though she was soaked in sweat despite the fact that we left every possible window and vent open. It really was extremely hot to haul but without having a trailer I'm at everyone else's mercy and this was my last option.

Once I had her in her new stall and eating a nice pile of hay I unloaded my stuff and then went to get her rinsed off. I rinsed her, scrape…

Lesson Recap

For some reason yesterday I just was not feeling like doing anything other than going home and sitting on the couch and maybe reading a book. Those days are far and few between for me and while very occasionally I don’t feel excited about working with pony, some days it’s nice to just do other things, usually I at least want to do something.
At any rate yesterday was when my lesson was scheduled and with the barn move throwing off my schedule for the next week and a half it was important that I get this lesson in while I could. Plus I’m not someone that is willing to cancel a lesson last minute just because I don’t feel like it. I had talked myself into it by the time I left work and, thanks to Viva Carlos’ last quote, I wasn’t even whining too bad. I got to the barn and luckily the woman who is going to be trailering Katai on Saturday was there so we were able to talk through the plan for that day. I had received a text from my trimmer earlier and apparently we had scheduled a trim fo…

Life in the City

I love my new home so much! I’ve wanted to live in the twin cities for such a long time and I’m glad that so far it’s been everything I thought it would be and more even if I do feel a bit like I’ve stumbled into an episode of New Girl.
Yes, I have three male roommates and one of them could easily take the place of Schmidt.
We’ve even considered implementing a Douchebag Jar but so far I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to actually make it happen.

Wedge, who quickly changed to Wedgie and now Veggie (hey, it’s funny cause I’m vegan), has been slowly adjusting to life in our new place. He was a little nervous about the roommate situation at first and was constantly asking me “Why are they here in our house lady?”. Now though he’s pretty comfortable and adores N (the Schmidt character in our lives) because N naps with him and feeds him. Really, how could life get any better for a little dog. My life is slowly settling into more of a routine and, to get back to pony related topics, I’ve b…