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Showing posts from August, 2016

Moving Day, Weird Day

Ever since my moving plans were finalized I've been thinking that I'd move Katai on the 31st. I've planned out my month with the idea that I was going to be at my old barn until then but on Thursday last week when I checked with my BM about trailering she mentioned that Jane was planning to come pick up Katai. That was a little surprising to me but I took it as a good sign that even though Jane knows that Katai is tough to get on a trailer sometimes she wanted to come pick her up. I let my BM know that I'd call Jane and talk through the details which I did on Friday.

When I spoke with her we discussed when I was going to take lessons, TBD, and also that she planned to pick her up on Sunday, today. I let her know that I had a lesson with L but that we could certainly trailer her right after that.

I was honestly, a little shell shocked. I guess I'd just planned on having another three days at the barn, three days to ride Katai in her comfortable environment and thre…

Monday/Wednesday Ride Recaps

As I mentioned in my lesson recap I rode on Monday this week which is really unusual. My normal schedule has me riding Tuesday – Thursday during the week and both Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes I change my Thursday/Fridays depending on my plans and every once in a while I take Wednesday off and then ride Thursday – Sunday but I almost never ride Mondays. It’s the day after her lesson ride which is normally more intense and I appreciate the quiet evening after my first day back at work on Monday.

However, because she was so full of energy on Sunday and because of some plans that I had this week I went ahead and rode. It also worked out well with my visit to a local tack shop to special order some items. I just found out that this tack shop orders from HKM and that I could join in on an order and thus save shipping from Europe so I jumped on it. HKM is one of the few places that offers pony sized dressage saddle pads and other items. I had planned to order a couple of saddle pads but i…

It Fits!!: Lesson Recap 8/21

My big plan at this lesson was to have L assess the saddle and help me figure out if it fits and to see if she had any other suggestions about the sliding forward thing. I, unfortunately, didn’t have a good week for rides (after my great ride on Thursday I didn’t ride again so only had three rides) so I knew that Katai would be full of excess energy and very sassy.

I found L when I got to the barn and asked if she could check it out before I got Katai fully tacked so that if I needed to ride in my normal saddle it wouldn’t be too much extra work. She was on board so I sat and watched part of her previous lesson and then brought Katai in, groomed her and let L know that I was ready. As soon as she saw the new saddle she got this big grin on her face. After a quick check of the panels she said that as long as it was set where it should be there’s no bridging. She had me make one more change with the point billets to fully remove them from any slots on the flaps so that they pretty m…

Do Less, Ask for More

I feel like this summer has been more about figuring out myself, motivation, and how to train my horse than it's been about actually training my horse. With this being said I feel like we've been making lots of progress.

I've been slowly chipping away at my position and how it's effecting Katai. I've also been figuring out some of the small evasions that she's been throwing at me that I couldn't originally identify when I didn't have as much dressage riding knowledge. More importantly I've been figuring out how to deal with the correctly rather than just operating on feel alone where sometimes I make the problem worse.

The problem is that sometimes this has been feeling more philosophical than actually like something I can take action on. Thursday felt like the first time in awhile that I put the knowledge and skills I've been learning to use, on my own, and worked through a tough situation to end up some place good.

I also learned a few things…

Another Saddle Update

It's been awhile since I posted and a very long time since I did a proper riding post. I don't have one for you yet but I do have another saddle update!
I finally got the Prestige Lucky back on trial with the adjustment made. It got to the barn on Monday or Tuesday but I didn't make it out to try it out until Wednesday.

When I set it on her back it still very slightly bridged (very slightly lighter pressure under the seat) but once I girthed it loosely it felt better. Katai also stands with a more hollow back so I knew that once I started riding it wouldn't bridge at all.

I took the pictures in this post and then put a saddle pad on and then tried it out. I had planned on just a lunging day so I lunged her first and then hopped on for a short ride. She felt good but a little sassy because the saddle put my leg back a little further on her barrel and it sat back a little further so she was being sassy about my leg pressure.

She seemed nice and loose and comfortable ove…

BOGO: Lesson Recaps 8/6 and 8/14

In all the excitement of the Hunter Pace last weekend I completely forgot to do a lesson recap from my lesson on Saturday and that's too bad because it was great!
Last Saturday I had a sleepy, low energy pony. Between just not wanting to push her when she was in a good mood and behaving and knowing that she was going to need to expend a lot of energy the next day we took it easy and mainly focused on me. I had let L know what Jane had worked on with me so we focused on helping me keep my back straighter and on how I used my upper body.

Katai was extremely good and was letting me focus on myself and just bopping around despite me flopping around on her like a sack of potatoes and going through all sorts of weird contortions with my body.

About half way through the lesson L called me over and we started identifying what parts of my body need to go where. My lesson with Jane was extremely helpful because she wouldn't let me put my body wrong even once, L usually doesn't call…


Sunday at the Hunter Pace was amazing. I had so much fun and I think that Katai did too. Taking home a ribbon was the icing on the cake but that isn’t what’s left me feeling like I’m on top of the world for the past few days, it’s that Katai wasn’t a monster to handle, didn’t lose her cool, and didn’t forget how to horse at this event.

I know that I’ve been a little negative about how the last schooling show went and I just want to be clear, that had nothing to do about our dressage score. I think that’s sort of funny and was very fair for how she rode. I do feel like it was an accomplishment that we stayed in the ring and I’m really not disappointed in how she was to ride. It was everything else.

She was a monster to handle on the ground and nearly hurt me a few times. She so completely lost her marbles (didn’t even seem to know I was there) that I’ve just been unsure about how she’ll be to show in future.

It’s not like I think that she’ll never be able to show calmly. She is a ver…

Saddle Update

A month or so ago I was able to speak with the saddle fitter that works at the company that I got the Prestige Lucky on trial from. He requested some pictures and asked some questions about her breeding and her build. I took the following pictures for him.

After looking at these pictures he announced that she is a 36cm but that the trial saddle could be widened to a 35cm (it's a 33cm and they can adjust it 2cm at a time) and he thinks that would be good enough to try riding in. The trial saddle has been out with a different customer for quite some time now but yesterday I heard back that the saddlery got it back and are readjusting it and going to send it today or tomorrow!

I was thrilled to hear that he thinks that this saddle could fit her with the adjustment. It's just a gorgeous saddle, the leather is amazing, it's shorter through the back, and I'm comfortable riding in it plus it's in my budget so I'll have my fingers crossed that it will actually fit :-)

The Hunter Pace

I had SUCH an amazing time at the hunter pace on Sunday!! It was easily the most fun I’ve had on a ride recently and I think Katai had a blast as well!

I was with an amazing group which really helped. There were four of us total and our leader Jenny (trailerer) has done lots of trail rides, some hunter paces and hunts in the past as well as lots of trail riding. She was on a very tall draft/TB cross who was an amazing large gentleman that wasn’t spooky at all. Then there were three of us from my current barn me, Vanessa, and Allie. All three of us had younger, inexperienced horses and out of the group Katai actually had the most trail riding experience. Vanessa was riding her OTTB, Cat, who is off the track just since early this year (February I think?) and who has never been on a trail ride in her life. Allie was riding her young Quarter horse (I think), Sarge, who has just been ridden consistently since around May and who has also never been on a trail ride. I was, of course, ridi…

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programing

To bring you the very interesting news that I'm going to a Hunter Pace tomorrow!

This blog has been going along talking about dressage and my lack of motivation and trying to get Katai in the trailer and then BOOM, out of left field I announce that we're going to a Hunter Pace.

This is what happens when I don't own a trailer, I need to take advantage of every invite to trailer off property. Plus its going to be so much fun!

I can't wait and should have amazing media and a story to tell when I'm safely back home in one piece tomorrow.

Fingers crossed ;)

Taking for Granted

I’ve been kind of unmotivated and negative about horse things recently. I don’t know how much of it has crept into the blog but between some of the things outside of my control, like weather and work travel, I’ve just figured that I’m feeling less motivated than normal.

 However, during a random work meeting (we weren’t talking about anything like this I was just apparently day dreaming) I realized that I’ve been really ungrateful recently.

The 11 year old me would have been so completely and absolutely happy to just have a horse to groom, pet, talk to, and very much to ride.

The 15 year old me would have killed to have any sort of arena space to ride and to be able to take regular dressage lessons. Plus the things above.

The 19 year old me would have thought that I’d died and gone to heaven to be able to have my horse on stall board and have the opportunity (even if it’s infrequent) to show. Plus all of the things above.

The 24 year old me would have been insanely excited to ha…

July Goals Recap

Previous Goals Recap:

1. Proper bend to each direction - I honestly think this is something we should have better by this point. I’m sure if I were a more advanced rider that this would be more consistent than we have it right now. I’m going to just keep working and improving my skills at this.
-Meh, I just wasn’t able to dressage consistently enough in July for this to get any better. Between the weather, my travel, and moving her back and forth to the other barn (and all the drama that entailed) I just haven’t had many regular dressage rides. Luckily she hasn’t back slid (much) but I also didn’t make much dressage-y progress.

2. Work outside - I just need to get her outside as much as I can and for as many different activities as possible
-Yes! I’m getting so much better that this! Pretty much every day that I could, where the weather cooperated, I rode outside.

3. Do chiropractor prescribed stretches before every ride (also getting a massage book so that I can do some of…

More Core: Lesson Recap 7/31

It feels sort of weird to be back at my barn taking lessons with L when I know that in a month I’ll be at a new barn with a new instructor. It feels odd that I spent a few days there an took a lesson and now I won’t be back until September. At any rate, for completely unrelated reasons, I just wasn’t feeling it at my lesson on Sunday.

My BM actually asked me if anything was wrong when I got to the barn (I didn’t realize my body language made it that clear) but I was tired, out of it, and just not feeling like riding at all much less in a lesson. The weather was beautiful, if a little humid, and I’d been up for a while and had my favorite coffee. I was feeling fine, just not wanting to be there. I got Katai groomed and tacked up and met L in the ring. We started a little early since the previous rider wasn’t there (she’s getting a new Pomeranian puppy!!).

We chatted for a while about the plan for the next month which is basically to push both me and Katai since we know that we’ll g…

Made It

Human(s) 1 - Pony 0

Or maybe not 0 since my BM wasn't able to get her loaded last weekend...

At any rate we were able to get Katai loaded up and back to our current barn on Thursday evening. It only ended up taking about an hour but it was a lot of stress to me and my pony and I hate that. I had to be the "bad guy" and put a lot of pressure on her. I kept giving her options to take a break or have the pressure taken off but she was being "manipulative" (verified by my BM and barn friend who were there to help and be my support system).

I started out making it easy. I walked her up to the trailer and offered her treats and just did my best to let her take the easy option. Unfortunately she didn't want to do that and as soon as I put any pressure on she lost it. I spent almost 45 minutes just trying to get her to walk up to the trailer and stand there for a moment.

It really wasn't happening but she also stopped rearing (I learned how to deal with that wh…