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Showing posts from July, 2016

New Instructor: Lesson Recap 7/24

As I've mentioned previously the barn that I had Katai at temporarily is going to be my new barn and L's instructor who I'm calling Jane is going to be my new instructor. It's really bittersweet because I really like L as an instructor and as a person. We get along really well and we've come through a lot with the pony together. She knows and gets both Katai and myself and is the first instructor I've had that seems to understand my goals. She actually wants a pony (probably a GRP) and it's fun to be able to talk top ponies with her.

Mostly she's just taught me so much and took Katai from a disaster to a really amazing and talented dressage pony. I'm sad to be leaving her and frankly if this weren't about my budget I wouldn't be leaving her. However, I'm very excited to be going to a barn where I can take regular lessons with a dressage instructor and specifically one that took L up the levels!

At my lesson with Jane this past Sunday unf…

New Barn Decision

This decision has been tough all around. I’m going to miss the people that I board with now so much and over the past couple of weeks as they’ve been finding out that I’m moving it’s been really tough saying goodbyes. I’m sure I’m going to be an emotional wreck at the end of August when I actually move. I’m also going to miss the amazing care that the BM gives Katai and the incredible amenities.

It’s also been tough to choose between the other two barn options. I’ve even gone so far as to look at a few other barns to make sure that I’m making the best decision but those two barns that I previously listed are still the two clear winners. I was having a really tough time picking one, up until I recently went to that temporary barn because that barn is actually option 2 and is going to be my new barn.

I can’t quite describe how I felt when I was going on a barn tour with the owner except to say that I felt like I’d come home. It’s not something I’ve ever felt at any other barn but whether…

Flow

I LOVE when I have normal weeks and can stick to my normal riding/barn schedule. It just flows well for me and I stay motivated and am able to make progress.

Recently though it just seems like that isn’t happening at all. In face since my trip at the beginning of June I haven’t really had a “normal” week with Katai and I’m feeling it. Last week was our nasty heat wave and then trailering Katai to that other barn on Friday and then the weekend I had all sort of plan changes. This week I went to WA for work (last minute trip) on Monday/Tuesday and just got back. Being gone those days actually sort of aligns with my normal 4 day schedule (I’m still trying to get 5 fit in) but on Sunday I got a call from my BM that she couldn’t get Katai on the trailer, even drugged, so she was wondering if it was ok to leave her at the temporary barn for a while. I said yes, I’m happy having her there, the barn owner was fine with it, and I certainly don’t expect anyone other than me to deal with or …

A Bit More Info

I’m hoping to make my decision about barns this week but thought that I’d share a little more about each because I know I always find this sort of thing interesting when reading other people’s blogs.

Current Barn ($760):
$600 per month for stall board
$160 per month for weekly lessons This includes a semi private paddock (the only option except for a private paddock which would cost more) and is a heated barn with a connected heated arena, outdoor arena, really no trails (although that’s getting better), nice wash stall, two amazing boarder tack rooms, THE most amazing care that Katai has ever had, really nice lounge with a fully stocked fridge including wine, beer, K-cups and a Keurig, microwave, toaster oven, and water cooler. The arena footing is amazing, the facility is very nicely looked after, they add or remove one blanket each turnout/turn in and fly spray, add fly mask etc. They do a great job at feeding time including soaking beet pulp and putting together sometimes very co…

Some Days are Tougher Than Others

Especially when you have a pony mare.

As mentioned the plan was to have a lesson with L's instructor who I'll call Jane. I had it scheduled on Friday for 7:00 but, totally my fault, never confirmed with the BM since I knew she planned on bringing horses over on Friday morning. However, when I got to the barn at 6:00pm on Friday night Katai was happily eating hay in her stall.

Worse, it was still extremely hot so I wasn't quite sure if anyone would be willing to help me move her. I texted my BM and called Jane to let her know that we either needed to cancel, and hopefully reschedule, or that I would at least be late. My amazing BM came through and lent one of the women who works at the barn her trailer so that she could haul us. Since there were other horses to go over we decided to take Katai and her paddock buddy to keep them both happy and get two horses over  rather than just one.

We loaded the other horse first and then went to load Katai. She hopped on so easily last …

Working With What I've Got

I'm starting to feel like such an adult in fact I think this post is a good example of my adultness even if the week didn't start out that way!

We're having a bad heat wave right now. Of course some of you would probably laugh because you're used to much worse heat but for us it's pretty bad. Yesterday we had 97* with 75% humidity which meant a heat index of something like 110. Today we had 96* with a slightly lower humidity so a heat index closer to 101, and tomorrow we're supposed to have very similar temps. I, unfortunately, didn't plan well and wasn't able to make it out to the barn Monday or Tuesday when the temperatures were better so that meant that I needed to try to fit in some pony time yesterday.

I ended up getting to the barn at 8:00 and planned a nice short ride, mainly at a walk, outside because there was a slight breeze. I planned to use the heat to help me out and work on getting Katai to listen when riding around the arena. Recently I&#…

July 10

I’m also stealing this from L. Williams!

1. Do you actually always pick the horse’s feet? Always? Really?
I used to be REALLY bad about this so I count it as a huge victory that I nearly always pick hooves now. When I was growing up and we had our horses on our land in a pasture I think I maybe remembered to pick feet every 100 rides or something. I always picked after we rode on gravel but otherwise it was a crap shoot. Now I remember 99% of the time before I ride and about 90% of the time after I ride.

2. What is the biggest obstacle/reason preventing you from becoming a professional or competing full time with ease?
Money, however, I would say that I really don’t want to be a professional or compete full time so drive might be missing as well ;) I’m very happy being an adult amateur with an amazing hobby. I like that it allows me to do other things and I think that I would burn out if I did this as a profession. I like that the barn gets to be my happy place instead of where I wo…

A Good Riding Horse: Lesson Recap 7/17

I had a great lesson today but it was a little weird. I feel like I haven't had regular lessons in a long time. I missed my past two lessons (L was on vacation one week and I was on vacation the next) so it felt odd to be riding in one today. I've been having some great rides over the past few weeks and L was able to make some great progress with Katai last week so I was looking forward to riding with her and getting more feedback.

We started off with an amazing trot!! L gave me some feedback on a few small things, that I needed to get her neck a little lower and to pause a bit more at the top of my posting, but mostly it felt amazing. After a walk break we went to working on spiral in and out at the trot and throwing in canter transitions.

I need to practice these more again. For awhile I felt like I was really getting them figured out but now I'm back on the struggle bus. Oh well, time to do more practice! Once we were cantering the main feedback I got was that I was pum…

Updates and PSA

I had this whole post done and then for some reason it wouldn't save or post. I, unfortunately, thought that it had so instead of copying it all to save it I just clicked away and lost all that work :(
At any rate my PSA is to please take pictures and videos for yourself of the bad moments. I went back through this blog and was disappointed that I hadn't done more to share the bad moments especially at J's. Katai was such a disaster there that it wasn't like I was all excited to get pictures of her worst moments. At the time I wasn't sure it was going to get any better and that was scary, but now I wish that I'd preserved more of that so that I could look back and see how far we've come. So, learn from me and capture that for yourself, even if you don't want to share it :)

For updates first I wanted to share that Friday and today I was at my parent's place to see them, my sister, and to work on my tack locker!


We added the bottom to the locker (at …

Motivation

I think that motivation is a really interesting thing. We used to talk about it more as inspiration when I was growing up as a musician in a family of musicians but it's pretty much the same thing in this case.

As I was growing up I had constantly changing interests, like most kids I'm sure, and from one day to the next the thing that I was motivated to do could really change. I had a bunch of different hobbies and interests, had different pets, learned different things like sculpture and basically would be really, really into something for a few weeks to a few years off and on before moving on to something else. The only thing that really stuck around through all of that was horses but I never really got to do all of the things that I wanted to until recently and I think I filled in some of that want with other hobbies.

Over the last few years it's been all about horses, Katai in particular. I haven't taken on any new hobbies and have really focused on dressage and K…

Bittersweet Return

First off my trip back home was really long. I got to the airport at 3:00am CST and didn't get back home until 1:30pm CST. There were delays due to weather, delays due to a plane needing repair, then after already taking longer than it should have I got to the airport in MN and needed to take the light rail home. Normally this is really, really easy with just one transfer from the "blue line" to the "green line" but both were shut down towards downtown Minneapolis so I needed to take the blue line for awhile, then climb on a blue line shuttle bus, then switch to a green line shuttle bus, then get on the green line and then get home. All while toting a rather large suitcase and computer bag.
Only probably was that the green line shuttle bus driver got lost, really lost. We were lost for nearly 45 minutes. It was horrible especially since we kept getting stopped at lights so the air conditioning on the bus wasn't working very well and it was hot. At any rate…

National Dressage Pony Cup Trip Recap - Long

I'm so excited to be able to attend the NDPC again this year. I was here in 2014 as you may remember but that was with a friend (previous roommate) who was familiar with KY and is a huge race enthusiast. That trip was all about visiting and spending time in KY including going to a race, the Keenland auction etc. This year for me was all about the pony cup so I planned two days in Lexington (Friday and Saturday) with the goal of spending the full day both days at the KY Horse Park. I was so excited to fly out!

I luckily was able to get packing completed on Wednesday (despite my puppy not being very happy with me and hoping to invite himself with) which was good because I had to leave for the airport directly after work on Thursday.

I made it to the airport plenty early thanks to my amazing roommate who got off work early to drive me in. I got some dinner at the airport and then was on my way, or at least I thought.

First my flight was delayed because of some small repair that neede…

The Best Laid Plans

I've had a lot to do before my trip and in a small amount of time. This past weekend I rode outside and went on a trail ride on Saturday. I did a lot of canter and the outdoor arena is a little deep so on Sunday I just lunged her at walk/trot/canter with the trial saddle. My plan was to climb up and do a little trot but when the saddle clearly didn't fit I just called it.

Then I drove just over an hour south to my parent's farm where I grew up. We spent time together on Sunday and then went to the county fair and watched harness racing on Monday which has been our tradition since I was little. I had a great time and it was good to see family again. I drove home Monday evening and took care of some grocery shopping and food prep for the week.

My plan was to go to the barn and ride on Tuesday and Wednesday this week since I won't be out Thursday-Sunday. Unfortunately Tuesday we ended up with severe thunderstorms and there just wasn't a way for me to make it to the b…

Much Needed Time Off

I haven’t had much time off over the past several years. I graduated from grad school in 2010 and had been working nearly full time through my time in school. I worked full time in retail for a few months after I graduated and then went right into my career. During the last 6 years I’ve only ever had one full week off. I’ve had some 3, 4, and 5 day weekends but other than that one time I haven’t had more than 5 days off in a row. Now I finally get a chunk of time off!!

I’m leaving for KY for the National Dressage Pony Cup on Thursday afternoon and will be off Friday through the following full week. That means that I’ll have 10 full days off in a row.

I’m so freaking excited!

With that being said, I absolutely adore my current job. I’ve had great jobs in the past but I’m extremely lucky that I adore my current job and all of the people I work with. I’ll actually miss them and I know that I’m putting more work on everyone else with taking this much time off. I don’t really feel g…

Saddle Saga

The Prestige Lucky I have on trial doesn't fit. It doesn't fit so badly that I could see daylight through the bridging areas but, we think it's just because it's too narrow. So, I'm going to take a leap of faith and try to get another trial in a wider tree size. If it fits it will be perfect, if it doesn't, I'm going to wish that I hadn't gone for either trial but at least I'll know!

I LOVE the saddle though. It's the new Lucky Idol and it's gorgeous, the leather is amazing, I love the flap length and the seat is really comfortable for me. I'm going to have my fingers crossed until I get a chance to try it.

In the meantime at the suggestion of my trainer I picked up an Amerigo Vega from our local tack shop. I heard great things about them for ponies. This was a wide 17.5" so it was a bit of a wild card and while the shape of the tree fit really well and the point billets put the girth in the right place it was just too wide so it s…

June Goals Recap

Update to current goals:

1. Proper bend to the left – I’ve been chipping away at this all month and it’s actually getting better. At the very least she isn’t as surprised when I ask for the bend through the jaw now so she get less defensive. However, either through focus on this side or possibly saddle fit(?) she’s now struggling more with proper bend to the right

2. Stretchy Trot – I’ve been working on this a lot this month. I’m getting better at getting her stretching out but she’s still struggling with her balance a little. Once we’ve gone back into work I haven’t focused on this as much and I think with a little loss of strength she was struggling more with this last week when I worked on it.

3. Canter Transitions – These are getting way better! I’ve had a few great transitions to the right (her tougher side) but her transitions to the left are consistently  WAY better. This is a total win for my new goal setting format

4. Lateral Work – This is getting so much better!! I’ve …