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Showing posts from October, 2016

Beware of The Mare

I'm not happy with our weather right now. Spring and Fall when our weather changes and the pressure changes I always end up with bad migraines. This year in particular there have been so many swings back and forth that it feels like my head will never feel normal again. I've been tired, crabby, and in pain which has led me to not feel motivated to blog or to ride. Also with the recent FLSA change, which is going into effect on December 1st, and other year end things work has been crazy. With all of that I've been setting a goal to ride 4 days per week rather than 5.

For the most part Katai has been fine with that but today between still being madly in heat (seriously weather just go away. It's ok to be warm, or to be cold but please make up your mind) and a less consistent riding schedule she was full of spice.

Also, she really wasn't bad, at all, but I also had my trainer hat on and so I was pushing things a bit more than normal. I feel like around once a week I …

Updates, Lesson Recap, and Future Plans

Because I haven't been blogging regularly I feel like I've just got all sorts of random life and pony updates. Lucky you, I'm going to just dump them all in one post and then try to get back on the blogging bandwagon over this next week or so.

Katai has adjusted so well to the new barn. She was right back to herself in very little time. I think that she enjoys the quieter environment. I actually have realized how much I enjoy it as well. I've always enjoyed the social aspect of being at the barn. I enjoy talking horses with people and I always feel more motivated to ride when there are other people there. However, knowing that I'll always have the arena to myself and that there won't be people watching means that I have an easier time concentrating on my riding and Katai rather than what other people are doing which is amazing.

Jane is absolutely amazing! She provides really good, individualized care to all of the horses. What's really nice is that she tre…

Earning a Cookie: Lesson Recap 10/18

Last night I had one of my best lessons to date. Katai seems to be switching to winter mode which for her means that she sweet, sleepy, compliant, and very, very fuzzy of course.

I like winter pony!

She was all blinky and relaxed and happy when I pulled her out of her stall so I was looking forward to a great lesson. She stayed really happy through being tacked up and normally if she’s going to be fussy she shows it when I put her saddle or her bridle on. Since she was still just perky eared and soft eyed I knew we’d have a good lesson.

As soon as we started at a walk I started getting her to stretch down and right away Jane commented that she seemed very relaxed but did seem a little stiff. Because of that Jane had me start off doing some leg yield at the walk. I was having a tough time balancing the aids on both sides of her body so she would either fall sideways with no forward or I’d get lots of forward without getting her to cross her legs at all. Jane worked with me a bit a…

Christmas Shopping List 2016

I've discovered/realized over the years that however amazing the intentions of my family are, they just don't like to get horse stuff for me (at least not any form of tack) and it's just better if I get that stuff for myself and let them get me things that they enjoy shopping for more.

With that being said, most years I get myself something for my birthday (December 11th) and something for Christmas, usually after Christmas with any money I got for Christmas.

This year though, thanks to aggressively paying off debt and putting some money in savings I've got a nice little chunk of money to spend so I'm having a great time shopping! There are so many options and since I don't have an limited budget I'm having fun picking out what I can put together that's fun and purely gifts for myself.

The Item(s) I'm Getting for Sure:

PS of Sweden Flying Change bridle -
I've been talking about this one for a long time and I finally get to purchase it!! 

Then, si…

All the Changes

Just a quick catch up post for today!

So, I had mentioned that I had something exciting going on and that is that I'm officially dating someone. He's completely amazing :-) Seriously the best guy I've ever met much less had the honor to be in a relationship with.

I'm clearly spending lots of time with him but he also really supports my riding/horse time and tonight I was extremely happy to have him at the barn with me. He grabbed one quick phone picture and even though the lighting just isn't that good at the barn I think I can see improvement in both me and Katai. Best thing is that he doesn't know what he's looking for so this is a completely random picture, not the one great moment that we had or something!

It was amazing to have him there and he was very patient as I went through my routine and even walked with us while I cooled her out. I can't quite believe that I got this lucky.

Scratchies: Lesson Recap 10/11

Exciting things are still in progress but I should be able to start blogging a bit more again so it's time to catch up with another lesson recap! This lesson was action packed enough that I don't have anything really specific, just more of the same but I still want to have these notes for myself.

I still can't believe how much consistent improvement we've still been making. I feel like I've sort of hit a small wall with my improvement from a position standpoint but Jane is not to be deterred. She is   still making improvements and won't let anything go, thank goodness!

She's still trying to get me to turn my torso but I'm on the struggle bus there. I'm working on it but until I can get there she's having me adjust my rein length a bit more to correct for it. We've uncovered some issues with my right leg since I have to pull in with the back of my calf to be strong enough to get Katai to do something rather than the side of my leg. I'm d…

Couples Therapy: Stubborn Together Blog Hop

I’ve had this idea for the past couple of weeks but finally decided that I was curious enough to make it into a blog hop.

Basically, I’m curious what role your trainer/instructor plays in the partnership between you and your horse. I’m not talking about unicorns and the Black Stallion here, just good common sense instruction on how you work with and ride your horse beyond the technical aspects of dressage. Is it something they feel strongly about either way or something that they just don’t work with at all?

My experiences have been very interestingly different. When I started with J (not Jane, past instructor who I dislike) I was surprised at the amount of animosity that she approached riding and coaching with. Anytime the horse wasn’t immediately doing what the rider asked it was “giving them the middle hoof” and was being uncompliant. She used a lot of force and even when I would specifically tell her that I thought something was just physically or mentally tough for Katai or th…

Catch Up: Lesson Recap 10/4 and Other Catch Up

 Sorry for the recent lack of posts but something really exciting has been going on in my personal life. I may be a little quieter for a while but should be back in full swing soon! At any rate I want to recap this week’s lesson before I entirely forget what we talked about.
The focus this week again was canter. Later in the lesson Jane said something that made me so happy and that’s that me and Katai’s trot is really good, our walk is mostly controlled (when we don’t have angry mare hormones to deal with), and our leg yields are getting really good so she wants out canter to catch up. This is so, so encouraging for me because we’ve never been at a place where we have such consistently good trot much less actually even having any sort of lateral work at all. With that being said we’ve worked through the worst of the flailing at the canter and it’s starting to get consistent as well. The amount of change in Katai (and let be honest, in my riding) is just amazing to me and I’ve onl…

Slow it Down

I've had a great weekend for rides mainly because I feel like Katai and I are really figuring out what we need to do at the canter.

Friday my amazing new farrier was there so I worked from home but only got to the barn just as he was getting done. I was able to pay him, important :-), and then spent some time with her in her pen sort of doing some free lunging but mainly just pushing her away when she got a crabby expression.

Not sure if that stuck or if she just has been thinking about things on her days off but Katai was doing her very best slow, relaxed canter on Saturday and was really working to figure out what I was asking. It was so amazing and, honesty, out of character for her that after one canter in each direction I did a bit of trot and then ended.

Today I planned to do some lateral work after the canter to really mix things up. To start I did a bit more trot and then cued for the canter to the right. She did so great! The previous day I had gone right from one direct…


I can’t believe that today is my 4 year anniversary with Katai! Four years ago today I actually, after nearly 3 hours, got her loaded in a trailer and home to the place I was living/boarding at the time. She proceeded to run through every wire fence on the property and even visit the neighbors within the first 20 minutes that she was with me. She also came up to me, let me catch her, and that whole adventure didn’t end in any sort of disaster because I feel like we already had some sort of connection (all of the treats I’d given her when working to get her loaded probably helped).

The next year and a half were a lesson in patience for me since she wasn’t completely convinced that she wanted to be a riding pony, or a pony that listened to people in general. She was rude, pushy, jumpy, naughty, aggressive, couldn’t be tied, couldn’t be blanketed etc. I kept on working and seeing small glimpses of how amazing she could be and only once in a while lost hope that she would be an amazing …