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Showing posts from October, 2015

How I Stumbled Upon My Trainer (and she puts up with me)

The title is a tongue in cheek version of this post at A Enter Spooking.
I’ve been looking for a good instructor for Katai and I for a while now. Unfortunately I’m limited in both budget and in the fact that without a trailer I really need to find a good place to board that also has a good instructor. For a while when I was first starting Katai I was trying to have a local dressage trainer that travels come to me and teach but she can be flaky and, honestly, I’ve studied with her before and just didn’t get that much out of it.

See I may be new at needing and picking out a dressage instructor but I’m not new to this type of instruction (weekly lessons) in general. When I was five years old I started weekly piano lessons and when I was twelve I added cello lessons. For those years (from 12 through 23) I took at least weekly lessons on two instruments from two different teachers. I also went through several teachers sometimes moving on as I advanced, sometimes switching when my previous in…

Two in One: Lesson Recaps 10/18 & 10/25

I had a great lesson today and since I never did a lesson recap for last week I'll talk about both lessons in one. For the last couple of lessons we haven't been introducing anything new, just firming up what we have. Last week this was trotting and cantering 20 meter circles, staying straight, working on canter departs and doing some spirals in and out. This week we mixed things up a bit by riding in the outdoor arena which gave us the opportunity to work on a couple of pony behaviors that we avoid in the indoor arena. 
Katai was diving for the gate out of the arena since thats the way her friend left. This meant lots of working on outside leg aids for me as well as working on appropriate timing. L wants me to start to be more proactive and we talked about how when I start to get proactive I also start to get aggressive and let Katai pick fights. If course that's not good and something I need to work on so that's my homework for this week. 
At one point we had this real…

Clinic Season

It seems we are well within clinic season here in the midwest. Fall temperatures mean it's dipped below freezing a couple of times now and the show season is pretty much over. Through November I think i just about have a clinic every weekend.
To start it off I went to a Jennifer Truett clinic today. This is the second clinic that I've attended with her as a clinician and I really enjoy her. She is great with people of all levels, is comfortable and able to climb on horses if needed, and will teach anything from proper saddle fit to biomechanics, to just good solid dressage principles. I think one of my favorite things about her as a clinician is that she also does work in hand that would sort of be "natural horsemanship" but only in that she uses a rope halter and lead and moves horses around on the ground. What I really like about how she does this is that she mainly focuses on their mental stability and focus rather than just moving them around until they submit.  Ph…

Summer Favorites

I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a long time. I actually had a post typed up for summer favorites but never completed it and didn’t have as many fun things to talk about. My idea is to do a seasonal favorites post about items used in the previous season since I would have a pretty good impression of the product by then. This summer in particular I feel like I had a lot of new things to try since I basically refitted Katai with a new saddle, new bridle, new reins etc. I’ve also been riding in a new wool pad and got some new dressage saddle pads that I really like but since that wasn’t until more recently they’ll need to wait for my fall favorites post.So, let’s start off with my saddle!In early spring I started saving for a Heritage Custom Saddlery mono flap dressage saddle and it arrived, I think, sometime in June. I was really hesitant to order this saddle since there was no opportunity for me to sit in one and during the waiting period while it was being made I was reall…

Back and Forth: Lesson Recap 10/11

Oops!! Just realized that this has been sitting in draft form. Just in time for me to do the next one.
I woke up on Sunday and just didn’t feel like myself. Over the past couple of months I’ve noticed how much changing my sleep schedule affects me and since I got too much sleep on both Friday night and Saturday night think that’s what was going on. I’m also really sensitive to weather change and after a few weeks of consistent mid-60s to low-70s Sunday’s high was in the 80s so that could have been it as well.
At any rate I pulled myself out of bed, got dressed to ride, and picked up a coffee on the way to the barn but I was feeling negative, tired, and just sort of out of it. Once at the barn I started to feel better as usual and was able to actually get Katai in the barn and tacked up for our ride despite feeling like I was still half asleep. At some point last week I thought I had heard L saying that she was going to ride Katai for my next two lessons but true to form, Katai decided t…

Video Recap - 10/5

Finally a video that I'm comfortable posting! I know we've got a lot of work to do, please forgive my complete and utter lack of ability to do anything properly with my upper body, but I'm so proud of how far we've come and Katai is seriously like a different horse!

I think this video is private so if you can't see it please let me know!

In Line with Charlotte: Lesson Recap 10/5

I’ve been trying to make time for lesson recaps even if nothing else just because as far as journaling my progress on this blog I think these are most important. I apologize for the continued lack of posts but I’m making baby steps to increase my blogging and at least weekly is better than I’ve done in the past :-)My lesson was on Monday this week due to an event that L was attending so I rushed to get there after work. I like not having to plan my Sunday around a morning lesson but I really dislike being at the mercy of rush hour traffic to get to my lesson on time so I’ll keep my Sunday lesson thank you very much. My rides this week have been rough but things were looking up on Sunday so I was hoping we could hold it together for my lesson. Katai started out prancing and stiff right off the bat but I got a good warmup in (thanks to rush hour traffic letting me get there on time) and so was in a better place by the time my lesson started. With that being said, she still felt like a st…


This week has been a mixed bag. After last week being so amazing it's a little disappointing but I'm continuing to learn how to improve to make another incredible week possible.

My main issue has been my schedule. Being an adult sucks sometimes and recently I feel like there just isn't enough time in a day. After never having much of a social schedule I suddenly feel like I've got all kinds of events I could participate in and even with being selective I'm running out of time.

Last Sunday after my lesson I had finally decided to take the rest of the day for myself to decompress after my previous busy week. Unfortunately that still meant doing laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning out my car, cleaning my room, doing dishes, cooking dinner, and taking Veggie out for a walk since those were all things I failed at the week before.

On Monday I had my normal day off riding and thanks to my work from the day before I actually spent a quiet weekend, curled up in bed, binge …