Sunday, April 24, 2016

Vacation and Development

First, thank you all for your comments on my last post. It was very helpful and also made me feel better. I think my goal is to just take my worrying down a notch and push myself to ride her at least a little even when I think she might be sore since I honestly know that it will help and it isn't anything more than I'd expect for myself.

I've been really enjoying my vacation but it's been a busy few days. On Thursday I went to the barn and then threw a party for my roommate's birthday. Then Friday was MN Horse Expo day!! Honestly, it was fun but the vendors have been worse and worse for the past few years. The expo was always dominated by western tack vendors but this year it was particularly bad.

How Guy's horses started out. You can also tell that this wasn't very well attended although the bleachers I was sitting in were much more full
I did go for a few hours and saw Guy McClean and did a little shopping at the used tack sale but that's it. I didn't have any reason to stay after that so I didn't. The expo is always on the same weekend as Rolex and next year I'd really like to try to do Rolex instead.

Guy and two horses at liberty side passing over a horse that's laying down. The trust that the horses have in him is amazing.
After the expo I went to the barn with the goal of getting Katai in the outdoor arena again. She started off nice and calm but then something got to her and she went tearing around for awhile again. Finally she slowed herself down and we did a nice walk around the arena. I discovered when she slowed down that she'd put a massive hole in one the left rear leg wrap. One of those moments where I'm glad I put them on her because who knows what she might have done to her leg without it. Then, since she was calm, I climbed up and walked her around for a little while and finally did a short bit of trot and then canter. She remained calm but very up and forward.

Then Saturday, since she wore herself out Friday, I just wanted to take her out for a trail ride. I'll admit that I've become a bit of a DQ recently when it comes to riding out of the safe confines of the indoor arena but my goal for the next month is to get her outside at least a little every day. I know that she's going to melt down for the show next month but at least if she's really comfortable outside it will make things a little better. So, Saturday I braved up and rode her around the paddocks outside. I started at 12 riding at my parents by doing trail rides so I'm comfortable out there once I'm up and know how to safely diffuse situations, it's just that last time I rode her extensively outside was when she was a green baby and now, even though she's a trained horse, I have flash backs to that untrained baby horse. Plus, then she was unpredictable (my least favorite thing) but now she is far more athletic and able to do things that really could unseat me which she really wasn't up to before.

Random picture of the vegan sushi I made for dinner to break up the wall of text
At any rate she was pretty good on her baby trail ride. She started off not listening at all and thought a couple of times about doing something naughty. In the end though we had a very reasonable and calm walk around and then went out at a trot again. I just did a long trot along one side of the pens and then turned around and walked her back. She didn't want to go back and neither did I but the footing is still pretty iffy and she was still prepared to be naughty so before I pushed it that far today I wanted to just end on a good note.

Once I climbed off she didn't want to stand still so we schooled that a little and once I had a decent stand we went back, untacked, and then she got hand grazed for a little before I left for the Janet Foy clinic.

Janet was great to watch again and H rode really well. Last time her horse was being naughty (he's a pony and it's normal for him) but this time he was really chill and focused so they were able to accomplish a lot. Mainly she worked on getting him more even in the bend since, just like most horses, he's still pretty one sided. He is also strong on the same side that Katai is so it was really helpful to watch.

H and Janet talking about lengthening the upper part of her pony's neck
I saw part of the horse before H rode and he was an amazing Welsh/German Riding Pony that was probably right around 14 hands and extremely athletic. He was only 5 so they were just working on consistent rhythm and contact but oh my gosh was he ever amazing. I wish I had gotten there a little earlier so that I could have seen his whole ride! After H rode I watched part of a Friesian's ride but he and his rider were working on such different things than I am that I decided to talk to H instead while she untacked and cooled her horse out. Then I went back in to see this big grey Holsteiner that was training 3rd. He was a great horse, very balanced and extremely well trained. His trainer was up and seemed like a very accomplished rider. She and Janet were having fun with him and working on all of his buttons. It was fun to watch them improving his changes because even though it's way above my head, it's interesting to see how the same concepts are still used as at the lower levels.

Such a gorgeous horse even if he's about 3 hands too tall for me ;)

Working on Half Pass

We're making plans for the National Dressage Pony Cup this year and talking about our show seasons. H and her horse went to their first schooling show already and she said that he was a handful. She was also reassuring though that he was WAY better at the end of the show than the beginning and I'm hoping that Katai will be the same. He is 13 and she's 7 but still hopefully something from the show will stick and she'll retain it for the next one. H is also planning a whole bunch of shows this year so I think I'm going to try to add some to my schedule as well, I just have to figure out which ones!


  1. Sounds like you had some good rides and a really fun weekend! Do you have a recipe for the vegan sushi!? THAT LOOKS AMAZING!

    1. Absolutely! My favorite vegan youtubers did a great video on three different ways to make vegan sushi.