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Showing posts from June, 2016

Summertime Sadness

I'm not really sad that it's summer but I'm currently enjoying this song by Lana Del Rey.

However, I do have to admit that summer is not my favorite season. My favorite temperatures are 40-70. I love the spring and fall for this reason and although I've come to terms with summer and been doing better with the heat since I've gotten fitter it's still not my favorite.

It doesn't seem to be Katai's either. Even though the barn is fairly cool she literally tries to park herself in front of each fan we walk past in the isle. Her favorite is the one that is aimed right at her when she's in the cross ties. Every time I pull her out to groom she falls asleep in the cross ties and gets grumpy when I move her.

We have been spending time bonding while I scratch her itches, especially her udder because she loves that. I've also started to do some massage with her and she gets all blinky and chewy and cute about it. I'm planning to order a book on horse …

Knowing When to Push: Lesson Recap 6/26

Yay for lessons again! It had been three weeks out which was honestly just as well since I had been gone and sick and Katai was recovering from her chiro (plus it was really good for my budget) but I’d been missing having that feedback. I was also feeling a little bit of lesson anxiety since I hadn’t made as much progress as I’d wanted to while L was gone and just wasn’t quite sure what we were going to be working on.

For that reason I was really happy when I saw cones set out in the arena. I do really well with clear goals like ground poles or cones provide and I can make myself nitpick a little less which is good for everyone. L had cones set in the middle. Two were set to guide 20 meter circles at either end of the arena and in the middle. At the very center were two cones set the other way to make a 10 meter circle figure eight going the short way across the arena.

The task was to do 20 meter circles at each normal point through the arena and then to do 10 meter circles or 10…

Tough Stuff

I’m finally starting to feel caught up in life a little after being out of town and sick for so long. I’m slowly catching up on the “non-essential” part of my life such as this blog so expect more content soon!

In the meantime I wanted to share my rides last week because it’s been an interesting roller coaster ride over the past month. Katai hadn’t been wanting to play either in or out of the sandbox after her adjustment for the first few rides. I don’t blame her, she’d just had a great vacation and prior to that had likely been in some pain so riding was just not at the top of her list of favorable activities.

However, that changed on Friday when we had an epic ride. The pony I had for my ride that night is the pony that I’ll have consistently in 3-4 years. She was so balanced and was allowing me complete control of her shoulders. She was relaxed and forward and really listening to my leg rather than just reacting. She was so balanced that I was able to ask her to do anything and…

Tack Room Tour: OCD Much?

As mentioned before I watch a lot of YouTube. In fact at this point it’s almost completely replaced any other form of tv such as Hulu or Netflix (I don’t have cable). I LOVE watching vlogs, it’s totally a guilty pleasure for me and I love seeing people doing mundane things. I’m a very visual person so seeing how other people do things is interesting to me and it makes me feel like we’re ultimately all so similar. We all have our own strengths and our own struggles. It’s easy to read something and add meaning that wasn’t ever meant to be there or to write something with a positive or negative spin on it that someone else might not have felt but with videos you can see more of the real truth.

  I watch a lot of vegan videos, tiny house building videos, and recently have started watching Casey Neistat’s vlogs which are spectacular. However, some of my favorite videos to watch are done by other riders. I enjoy watching barn vlogs because, as mentioned previously, it’s fun to see how other…

Saddle Shopping, Again...

I’m back in saddle fit purgatory. I adore my current saddle and the tree actually fits pretty decently, however, as I’ve mentioned previously it has started to really slide forward during rides. In addition now that she’s getting more fit it seems slightly wide.

I think that part of the saddle sliding forward could be fixed by a saddle fitter but there are several things that a fitter would need to do and honestly I just don’t trust the fitter that came out last time since she went back and forth so much. I’m hesitant to have her do a bunch of stuff which would likely reduce the value of my (already not very valuable saddle) and then possibly still not have it fit. One of those things is that the billets are just way too far back for my pony’s very forward girth groove.

I think I need a point billet so that’s been one of the items on my new saddle checklist. The others are short panels, close contact feel, short flaps, and preferably the option to get it in brown. Oh, and of course…

Down and Out Again

Yep, still sick. Or sick again, not really sure which but it’s been a miserable week and a half.

Last Thursday when I rode I was feeling mostly better and mainly felt like I was getting over a cold then when I went on my date on Friday I was still feeling pretty good except that I was tired and didn’t have much of a voice. Normally with colds I work right through them and the only concession I might make is to not go to the barn the first couple of days or if it’s especially hot or cold out.

On Saturday I went out to the barn right away in the morning and had a great ride on Katai. As mentioned I’ve been really motivated to work on riding her outside so I took her out to the arena and started off by lunging her. I put the neck stretcher on her, which unfortunately was too loose, and really focused on making sure that I was the center of her universe while I lunged. Any time that I couldn’t get her attention I brought her in on a smaller circle where I could reinforce the bend and …


Unfortunately not of the canter lead kind but still good. I found out that the horses are being put on night turnout which means they'll be going from getting around 6 hours outside to closer to 12 hours!!  I'm extremely excited, even though it means an increase in barn drama, and am really happy for my pony who I know will benefit from that extra time out.

On the other hand I had sort of a rough week this week. On Sunday I was able to get to the barn but I just lunged Katai at a walk since I was still under strict directions to allow her to walk only and not ride until Thursday. Katai was great and I was just sad that I didn't get to do more with her.

She had gained some weight and had a bit of belly after a full week off from when I was in WA for work. Ponies will be ponies :-)

Then I got to ride this guy!

What was weird though is that I actually really enjoyed the ride. He's young and very tall and hasn't quite figured out his sea legs yet. He's sort of wobb…


My amazing equine chiro texted me Friday morning with some information about Katai's appointment on Thursday. It sounds like she was very tense and out through her neck, lower back and haunches. It sounds like J needed to do a lot of muscle work with her just to get her to a point where she was able to adjust her without having an upset pony on her hands. Then she did adjust well but J wants her to have the week off and I'm more than happy to comply.

I felt like a bad horse owner and asked if it could be from the show or if it was something that had ben building up for awhile. She thinks that it could be some of both but did think that most of it was likely from the show which, although it doesn't make me feel great, at least then it wasn't something that was bad before the show that I didn't catch.

She's going to give me, and show me, some stretches and wants me to do more massage with her as well. I may also put her back on DMG since she never seemed to be m…

Champagne Tastes On a Beer Budget

I've been on a minimalism kick recently and for me that means owning one, high quality item for something you need rather than several cheaper versions. With that in mind I've been saving my pennies for nicer things rather than bargain shopping, at least for the important things. This is my current list.
Wardrobe StuffAsmar long sleeve polo in navy blue

Asmar compression top in black

Pikeur Crystal Competition Shirt in grey

Ariat Polka Dot Sunshirt

Ariat Volant S Zip Boot

TackPS of Sweden Bridle

Prestige Lucky in Tobacco (if it fits)

Another pair of People on Horses Dressage Boots - this time in Navy Patent

Mattes Euro Dressage Pads in ALL the colors

One of these Custom Wool Dress Sheets

Throwback Thursday

Far Away

I've been in Spokane, WA since Monday for work. I had planned, based on our schedule, that I'd have lots of time to blog but that's not been the case. My co-worker from MN is here with me and is a huge foodie so we've been going out to dinner every evening and been onsite all day. However, we got done early but couldn't change our flights so we'll be here still but just working out of the hotel room which means I'll have lots of time. I'm planning a nice early run tomorrow and then will do some blogging in between work if I can.

In other news, my previous farrier (now referred to as Katai's Chiro), is able and willing to come out to the barn and will be there tomorrow to take care of my pony. I can't wait to hear what she finds and hope that whatever is going on is that she's out some where and not something more serious.

Apparently while I haven't had time to do much blogging I have had time to worry about my pony.

I'm also hoping …

Dream Barn

So I'm a little weird when it comes to esthetics and tend to really like european architecture and style over american. I'm not sure if it's because I watch a lot of riders from that part of the world on Youtube or if it's just something that appeals to me but it's definitely my preference.

I don't think I've ever talked about it on this blog but one of my dream scenarios for my future is to own a 5-10 acre piece of land with a combo barn house. I love tiny houses and although I wouldn't want to live in one long term, I'm all about having very specific spaces and not wasting space. I feel like the space should go to what you do 90% of the time you're at your house and to be completely honest I spend my time when I'm home on the couch and in the kitchen so I'd just have a small bedroom, maybe a tiny study/office, and a nice sized kitchen/dinning room/living area. The areas that I would have I'd want to be very nice, with stylish finis…

Getting Out

For some reason it's like some sort of switch has turned on in my brain after the show and all of a sudden I feel really capable of making changes without involving other people. After watching this video  I realized that I really want to be able to get Katai outside and have her handle the terrain and just be able to be handled outside. Something about the calm, relaxed way that Elisa handles her thoroughbreds just really motivated me to get out and deal with Katai's behavior and start working on making it better.

I got Katai tacked up and ready to go and went out into a drizzle to do some good work. I decided to hop up to start off and jump down if I needed to. I schooled mounting and keeping her still for a little and then, once she was doing well there, I mounted up and she immediately lost her mind.

More on that later

At any rate, I dismounted and got her going forward around me in a circle. Then, once some of her brain was back in her head I started "ground riding&…

Recap and Coming Up Next

I'm so pleased about how our show went this past weekend. I learned a lot and I think there were a lot of good take aways. I went back and forth about whether to post this but from a journalling perspective I think it will be very helpful for me so I'm going with it.

1. I need to continue to do more ground work

She had been doing so well in her normal environment that I've been ignoring this a little. I had focused on it in the weeks before the show but I need to make this more of a priority. Of course she's only bad when she's under stress and I was actually able to keep her from running me over which was enough for me at this show, but I want to make it even better for next time.

2. Trailering

This one is so frustrating when you don't have your own trailer. I have someone that has a trailer that I can maybe borrow but she's been out of town for the past month so I haven't been able to talk to her about it. H has a trailer but it's about 2 hours a…

Goals Redo

Despite never getting the formatting corrected on my last post about goals (I think I would have had to start from scratch and I haven't been motivated enough to do that) I have been making progress with my goal to reformat my goals. Mainly I think it's more of a conceptual thing but with goals that's the real struggle right?
What I realized, at work of all places, is that I already have the tools to structure goals for myself. After all I participate in coaching conversations with many employees on a regular basis and help them set goals. I just needed to start using my experience and not freaking out about how to structure these in a more standard way that doesn't work for my brain.
So I've decided to break these down into "buckets" and update at the beginning of each month. Thinking of these as buckets (or topics or whatever makes sense) just works better for me. There's more flexibility built into the idea of a list of "buckets" than th…