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2017 Year in Review

January
After recapping the past year and setting those apparently tough to meet goals I posted about my first work travel of the year and then was able to actually get video of my lesson!  I commissioned a drawing of Katai and tried out Vienna Reins for the first time.

February
February started with a sassy pony and then I talked about some of my blanketing strategies. I talked about motivation and how I was "tricking" myself into riding on the really cold icky nights. We went on to have a really great lesson, lose my new camera (after less than a month), and got one of my best purchases to date! March
In March I had another, long, work trip and then had sort of a tough lesson. I posted some GIFs of some of our struggles, started our trailer loading practice with lots of fireworks, and then recapped my first day at World Cup!!!

April
April was my busiest blogging month with 19 posts! I started the month with a coupleof recaps of Wold Cup. Then I almost missed our spring vet vi…

2017 Goals Recap

Review of Goals for 2017 Increase Blogging Again I'd like to set the goal to post an average of 15 times per month. If I can do that I'll have at least 180 posts next year and that would feel good! Nope but for the first part of the year I was doing pretty well. I also hit my 500th post which was awesome! I was averaging 15 posts per month through August and really up until I ended up stuck on the West Coast for two weeks. After that my progress and motivation took a real hit and I ended up averaging around 12 posts for month for the year.Buy a TrailerTrailer EVERYWHERENope! As previously mentioned buying a trailer in 2017 was taken off the list pretty early in the year (February I think) so unfortunately neither of these came true. I did do quite a bit of trailer loading practice in Jane's trailer though! We were also getting pretty close to having Katai self load. In addition, she was very decent to load and unload to and from the second two shows we did.
Ride in Another …

Catching Up: Lesson Recaps November-December

2017 goal recap and 2018 goal setting blogs will be up soon but first I have one more blog catch up post.

This isn't going to be very specific because, I don't know about you guys, but I struggle to remember what happened in my last lesson much less the one that occurred over a month ago. However, I really want to at least sort of recap our progress, or lack of progress, over the past couple of months.


Main Themes

Canter: Getting a good three Beat Canter has been a struggle for us. When we first started working with Jane Katai was lateral going both directions most of the time. Eventually we got to a place where she was taking the right lead well but the left has remained more lateral. Even then, if she was tired at all or stiff she would be lateral in both directions and sometimes not even be able to maintain a canter to one side or the other. Honestly, if I could go back in time I would have put much more work in on the canter much earlier on but as it is, it's time to re…

Shopping: Blog Update #2

I actually have typed up two other posts prior to this about my Black Friday shopping this year but for some reason Blogger hasn't wanted to allow me to post any pictures so neither went up. Not that this is an extremely important topic but I got a couple of cool things and thought it would be a fun update.

First, I FINALLY got a Back on Track mesh sheet!


I've wanted one for quite awhile and finally the 25% off at Riding Warehouse convinced me. This was on my list for this year with the money I made from the most recent tack sale so being able to save at the Riding Warehouse Black Friday sale was awesome. When I first got it I cuddled with it and really feel like it was doing something with my bad shoulder.

I've used it on Katai a few times just for a little while but I'm looking forward to building up to keeping it on her for longer periods.

I also got this stable sheet from Horze!

I really love my liner system but the unfortunate thing is that I can't leave them …

Intention - Blog Update #1

Well guys I certainly had no intention of taking that sort of break from blogging! I feel like this year was even a longer break than last year and last year I was dealing with some pretty serious seasonal depression. This year, very happily, the reason(s) I haven't been blogging are very happy for the most part.

Because there is just so much going on and a fair amount happening with Katai I figured I would do a couple of update posts rather than trying to fit it all in one and then be in a good place to recap 2017 and start 2018 strong!


So, to start the update, awhile ago I had mentioned three exciting things I had in the works that I couldn't share yet. One of those didn't really go anywhere yet but will soon and that's that I'll be moving early next year and was hoping to move much closer to the barn. I had started to look for apartments but realized that it was still so early that it didn't make sense to look.

The second thing was my friends moving to the …

Rhythm: Lesson Recap 11/21

I still have so much catch up that I'm going to try to do. Again, sorry for the lack of blogs recently but life has been crazy. Especially since the end of October things have been looking up (other than my back) which is so nice.

Katai has been back to her normal self except that she feels like she's lost some strength which sort of sucks. I'm not sure if she's just that sensitive that any muscle soreness sets us back, or if this is normal, or if it's just that my expectations are growing faster than her strength is increasing. At any rate, Jane isn't at all concerned and again I'm so glad that I have an instructor that I really trust and who's been through all of this in the past.

At any rate, on Tuesday for my lesson we started out with a very stiff pony. Not only had I not been riding as much since my back was hurt but she was also horribly in heat with the additions of two geldings in the barn. Because of that we started off doing a bunch of walk …

No Clip November

Turns out my mare bear is pretty good at no shave November :)

She's also extremely in heat probably since there are a couple of new horses at the barn and these newest two are boys. Cue lots of flirting for my little sass of a mare or as Jane would call her, "a tartlet".

The boy she is most interested in is a horse that I rode a few times for my previous instructor L. He's now up for sale after showing that he preferred jumping to dressage and so he's at Jane's as an in between barn while they get him to where he's eventually going.

In other news, I don't know if I mentioned that Jane finally sold her young horse. Strangely enough this guy is her half brother and they look a lot a like so I've already confused them at least once.

Luckily, despite Katai being extremely in heat we actually had a great ride tonight and I'm looking forward to my lesson tomorrow!

Benched

I have no idea what I did but I somehow ended up injuring my back this past weekend. At first I thought I had just pulled a muscle but it got worse by Tuesday so I rescheduled my lesson for Friday. Then I felt way better on Wednesday but didn't go to the barn because I had other plans. On Thursday I felt the worst that I had so, like any true horse person, I went to the barn.

To be fair, I did feel a bit better by the time I decided to leave and decided that worst things worst, I could just lunge. I did end up riding but probably shouldn't have. I kept it pretty short but did a bit of walk, posting trot, sitting trot, and canter to see if I would be able to do a lesson on Friday. I was on the fence by the time I left the barn and when I woke up just as sort today I decided to try to push it out until Sunday afternoon.

I've got my fingers crossed that I feel well enough by then to have my lesson but if not, I'll have a lesson on Tuesday next week which isn't that f…

Ok, Who Stole My Pony

Recently it sort of felt like someone stole my sweet, angelic pony and left a demon pony in her stall haha. Over the last few days I have even more reason to think that someone replaced Katai with a different pony.

A few days ago I went to spray, leave in conditioner on her mane by putting it on a brush and brushing it through. Anyone who's been following my blog for awhile will know that Katai has ALWAYS been terrified by the spray bottle. I've tried everything I can think of to get her used to it and over the past few months I gave up, deciding that it just wasn't worth the fight anymore.

This time though when I went to brush the stuff on her mane she didn't react at all. Then I went for it and sprayed more on the brush when I was standing right next to her. Still no reaction, nothing, not even a twitch. I got so far as to spray it right on her tail which I've NEVER been able to do with her before.

Seriously weird.

Then today I tried it again, same thing and st…

Culprit(s)

I know that I don’t need to diagnose exactly what’s happened with Katai. However, I’d like to figure it out so that I can avoid it happening again and it’s just the way that my, slightly obsessive, brain works.
My first thought was ulcers she wasn’t showing any symptoms and she’s been showing textbook symptoms anytime that they’re bothering her. It stayed in the back of my mind but it didn’t seem to make sense to treat for them when she wasn’t showing any of the symptoms that she does normally.
My second thought was saddle fit. My concern was based on an observation from Jane when I first got my re-adjusted saddle back from the fitters. I thought it looked ok but Jane thought it might be slightly narrow. Katai is normally SO honest and didn’t react negatively to it at all so I went with it but it also was hanging out at the back of my mind. However, when she first started being impossible she also wasn’t reacting to her back being poked and prodded so I don’t think that initially caus…

If the Broom Fits

Well, I didn't end up dressing up for my Halloween lesson but if I had I would have totally dressed Katai as a witch...



She was just as bad, if not worse, for this ride with Jane as she has been for the rest of the week. I was SO GLAD that I had Jane there to help me and make sure that it wasn't just me. I knew that some of it was me but I also needed to know what to change and how since I had run out of tools.

Jane was able to be really helpful but even she commented on how horrible Katai was being. Honestly if I didn't know better I'd say that she'd run out of Magnesium because she's acting more like she used to when she wasn't getting that. I suppose it wouldn't be unheard of for something to be off with her supplements but I trust Smartpak so I really doubt it. Both Jane and I are thinking that it's the change in the weather combined with a bunch of new horses in the barn and a new routine.

I'm really hoping that it is just that and that she…

Full Barn

I sort of feel like I just need some catchy theme music and a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Back to the updates though, my friends moved in!! There are now nine horses in the barn with 5 of those being people who will be riding and taking lessons, 2 that belong to Jane, and 2 retirees.

First though I want to back up a little.

Since my last post I gave Katai Friday off and then lunged on Saturday. It was apparent when I lunged that pony had a very tired hind end, especially her right hind. I'm fairly certain that's what started the argument on Thursday and if I'd known I would have just given her the day off but hindsight is always perfect I guess.

Instead, at least I know now and after that I decided to try a redo on the easy stretchy ride this morning. I got to the barn fairly early so that I could ride and get everything closed up and put away before three new horses (all mares) and a bunch of people showed up. Long story short, it worked! She was definitely not comple…

Snowmageddon

Not the snow falling outside, which is happening, but this particular 13.2 hands of snowy white fluff.

She was a PILL yesterday for my ride. I had really low expectations for that ride and just wanted to do about 15-20 minutes of stretchy, bendy, walk and trot work and just a simple canter each direction of the arena. Basically the only reason I was going to ride was to stretch her out and help her feel better after the hard work of the lesson on Tuesday.

Unfortunately all Katai had planned was to do the exact opposite of what I wanted. I asked for a trot and got a canter, asked for a leg yield (again with the trying to help her work out the stiffness) and got a lengthening, I asked for a canter and got a halt and so on and so forth.

Supremely frustrating but I'm proud of how I rode it which was to just keep trying to find a mutual solution to the disagreement and yet I wasn't coddling her.

I think the main reason for the fussiness was that she's using different muscles an…