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Showing posts from May, 2016

Act II: Show Recap 5/29

After a horrible night of sleep I woke up to my alarm at 5:30am and rolled out of bed. I put on my show clothes, made coffee and loaded myself into my car. I was running pretty early (nerves?) so I got to the barn earlier than planned at around 6:15am.

One of my other barn mates had arrived earlier and fed all three horses from our barn so Katai already had her grain and hay and was calmly eating. L got there right around me and we spent a little time getting our tack back out of our cars and in the isle. Of course, as soon as we got everything out it started to rain, first light and then fairly heavy. We were crossing our fingers that it would end by 7:30 when we planned to pull the horses out for some lunging/hand walking.

Luckily, almost on cue, the rain stopped and switched to some random spots of mist so we took that as a sign and got tacked up. Katai was decent in her stall and listened while I got her saddle on. She even snacked on her hay and drank some water while I was there…

Act I: Show Recap 5/29

First off, we survived!! There were some rough moments but I'm pumped to have finished our first show together and nothing will be tougher than this first time.

To start off my show "weekend" I planned to get to the barn around 2:30pm on Saturday, bathe the pony, give her some Quietex, and give her a chance to dry before leaving for the show grounds around 4:30pm. On the drive up there I decided that my only goal for the show was to try to make it as good of experience for Katai as I could and to focus on being in the moment and not worrying about anything.

I started off on the right foot when I got to the barn. L was there and I just set to getting my stuff packed and Katai bathed. She was quite offended that I gave her half the tube of paste but then went to a "drugged out" happy place pretty quick. I gave her a bath with no small amount of my purple whitening shampoo and then put her back in her stall with a cooler to dry out.

While I finished getting my tac…

The Big Show

It's nearly here!!!

Katai and my first show is tomorrow and I'm freaking out a little. Tonight will actually be the scariest part of the experience since L and I are going to trailer our young horses over and she's going to give me a lesson. Katai has never been ridden right after being trailered somewhere and she can be a handful even in her normal environment.

In fact, last night I did a ride and my goal was to just trot forward, not nag or micro manage, and do some canter in each direction. That, however, was not Katai's plan and she came out of her stall in quite a mood. Even in the cross ties she was abnormally crabby and even though I was baby talking to her and really taking things easy she wasn't all about that.

Our ride was pretty rough. I was proud of myself because I didn't escalate but I did continue to have expectations of her and didn't throw my hands in the air at any point. I was actually proud of the way she handled it because other than no…

Different Experience: Lesson Recap 5/22

Right at the start of my lesson L asked if I'd like to ride her 4 year old warmblood while she's out of town. I feel like that's such a compliment since 4 year olds in particular are so moldable. I feel like it's a huge compliment to my riding that L trusts me to ride her greenie.

She is having a trainer ride him two days per week but wants me to put the other two rides on him for two weeks while she is out since that's what she would normally be doing. Next week we're going to swap rides one evening and she'll ride Katai while I ride her horse. That way she can give me some tips and make sure that I'll be on the right track with him for her time away.

I will be gone for awhile during that time as well, June 6th - June 10th, so the weekend before and the weekend after I'll be riding/lunging two horses each day. Because of that unfortunately L won't be able to give Katai any trainer rides during that time but we're going to find a way for her…

Getting Ready For the Shit Show

First I just want to explain that I'm not actually as negative about this as I've been coming off in my blog. I'm seriously thrilled just to have the opportunity to trailer Katai off property much less the fact that we are finally SHOWING!!! I'm so freaking excited about that that I can't even tell you.

The reason that I'm talking about the show like this is that honestly that's what I'm expecting. I'm putting on my horse training hat (for the first time in awhile it feels like) and going into this with the idea that there are going to be lots of great teachable moments and while that's a win, it won't be the show as much the environment around the show. I KNOW that Katai will be a handful, I also know that I can handle everything she throws at me.

I'm also thinking and talking about it this way so that I don't have any unrealistic expectations. I'm hoping that she's going to surprise me and be sort of laid back, but I don…

Vets and Farriers

*My post from yesterday has formatting issues that I'm having trouble fixing. I'm going to go back and get it fixed but I pulled it for now until I can.

It's the time of year for spring shots and of course this year I needed my Coggins by the first show (actually going to drop it off today so that I don't have to remember it next weekend) so Katai was seen by the vet last month. Because a mistake was made with paperwork processing I didn't get my paperwork until just last week (this happened to me last year too).

I looked it over when it got here and was surprised to see this.

It's not like I really know how old Katai is so I wouldn't be at all surprised if I got her age wrong but I've been pretty sure that she's 7-8 and not 9. First of all, these pictures in 2013 from about 6 months after I got her.

She does not look like a 6 year old pony here. Maybe a 6 year old warmblood but not a 6 year old pony. I would have guessed 3-4 honestly between her ph…

Trainer Ride: Lesson Recap 5/15

I really enjoy having an instructor that can ride my horse occasionally since I feel like it's such a great way for her to really feel what's going on in a way that she may not always be able to see from the ground (although L is damn good at seeing what's going on from the ground). It was actually part of why I decided to take lessons with L since not only was she willing and able to ride but she was small enough to ride my smallish dressage pony in a way that another instructor might not have been.

With that in mind, I really don't want to go more than a few months without having her hop on and make sure that I'm not setting Katai up with any habits. I have a pretty good feel for when something isn't going the way that it should but I'm not nearly the rider that L is. So, at my last lesson I brought up that I wanted L to ride Katai again soon. I mentioned that we could wait until after the show but L said that she wanted to ride at the lesson today instea…

Spring Favorites

It's maybe a little early for this since it's still feeling like spring here but to break up my monotonous, pony pictureless posts it would be good to do a review post. This time I'm going to do this a little differently since I've been trying to be careful with my budget recently and so haven't been buying much. I do, however, have a few not favorites that I'd like to share.

The GoodTuffRider Outer Armor High Neck Turnout

I have both the heavy and medium version of the blankets and I LOVE them. They fit my pony perfectly since they aren't made particularly deep (Katai looks like she's wearing her mom's dress in some other blankets) plus they make her look badass! I love the colors and details and the reflective strips make her easy to see in the dark :-) I've had the medium one (in navy) since 2013 and it still looks just like new. I got the black one more recently, 2015 maybe?, but that one has been holding up just as well so far.

Higher Standa…

Clinic Recap 5/9

I’ve had a weird couple of weeks. Just personal stuff going on (#datingproblems) but I’ve felt a little out of touch with riding and I’ve had less direction and motivation to ride and blog. However, the clinic with Susanne Winslade went really well!
However, we did have an interesting start since there had been a driving horse (combined driving Haflinger) scheduled before Katai and I started so not only did Katai get a little nervous in the crossties trying to figure out what was going on in the ring but when they drove out they left the door at the end of the arena open. When I was at J’s place open arena doors always led to a mini Katai meltdown and the doors on this area have never been open so I was curious how she would be. I took the time to walk her down there before I mounted up and she was up and curious but not losing her mind so I wasn’t that worried. However, as soon as I mounted up she lost her mind a little.

Thankfully Susanne was of the same opinion that I am and expresse…

Hands: Lesson Recap 5/7

I had my lesson on Saturday this week since I was riding in the clinic on Monday and we wanted to be sure to give Katai a day off in between. I got to the barn nice and early and it was gorgeous out. I was hoping to ride outside but there was thick, heavy smoke in the air from the Canadian wildfires so we decided to ride inside where they had the fans going and the air was a little clearer.

Katai has been on a roll recently and the lesson started off really well. She's starting to get the idea of walking nicely on the bit and using it as a breather rather than just always wanting to go as quickly as she can. We were focusing on getting the correct bend and again, doing movements from training level tests, just not in the order of training level tests.

One of my biggest take-aways was that I really need to have my reins shorter. I've been leaving them longer but then I end up with my elbows back too far when I need to shorten. As soon as I shortened them and put my arms further…

The Real Dressage Training Period

Yep, that's right I'm still shopping for a saddle again. I'm still waiting on the Prestige dealer in the US to get a new Prestige lucky in for a trial. I'd be more actively looking while I wait except both L and I think theres a really good chance that the Lucky will be a great fit for both Katai and myself.

I have to admit that a very small part of the appeal for me is that it comes in brown.

I don't know why but I've always loved brown tack and when I started seeing people with brown dressage tack I was very envious. When I figured out that it actually looked better on Katai than black tack I knew that my next saddle was going to be brown. I love my current brown dressage tack but my goal for next year is to find a saddle that fits (hopefully in brown) and get a PS of Sweden bridle that matches. If it can be brown I'll be even happier.
My current saddle isn't horrible but it still slides forward and I've noticed a patch of messed up hair on the m…

Bubbles, Bell Curves, and Lesson Recaps

I had a couple of posts figured out and then had a couple of things going on so didn't get anything posted for awhile. Because of that you get all of the posts in one!

Last week I was going to post about how I feel like as I'm finding these little holes in my riding and Katai's training that it's sort of like these little bubbles. One example of these is that when she gets quick I pull my legs off. Then I don't support her and when I ask for something there's that slight gap where she isn't supported (the air in the bubble) and then as the contact picks up on the other side she over reacts (sort of like the bubble popping). I've been working to make sure that I'm removing those little gaps and/or only using them appropriately.

Then after reading this post over at SprinklerBandits I started thinking about how a bell curve could help me stop freaking out about Katai's small sorenesses.

I realized as I was reading that post that if I focus on Kata…