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Showing posts from February, 2017

Winter Favorites

Horze Quarter Sheet:
I haven't had much use for a quarter sheet recently but I've used this quite a bit in the past and really used it a lot this year. It's a nice simple quarter sheet and, of course, it's and adorable Rambo knock off and fits with my pony theme. I like that this quarter sheet is the type that I can put over my own lap (it was about -12* out this day) but it is tough to do much work in so I normally warm up at the walk and then remove it before I trot which sometimes makes for a spicy pony at the trot.
Dublin Boots:
These actually should have made it into my last review post about my most durable horse related items because I've had them for over 3 years now and they get a lot of abuse. I use these as my winter riding boots (as you can probably tell from my recent riding photos) and I also wear them to the barn most months out of the year and change into my riding boots as I'm getting tacked up. They are SOOO comfortable and since I bought one…

Tentative Show Plans

May 29th, St Croix Saddlery Three Ring Circus Schooling Show: This is the same schooling show that I went to last year which takes place over Memorial Day weekend. It's tough for me to believe that it it only just under a year ago since it seems like so long ago now.

I posted about this show here and here. It was really my first show with Katai and although I signed up for two classes I ended up just doing one (Intro C) where I got a 35.25% haha.

This year my fellow boarder plans to do several rated shows and is just using this as a prep. She's invited me to trailer with her and we're both excited about doing shows together but I'm also a little nervous that I may end up jumping into rated shows after one schooling show especially with my previous score which was pretty dismal lol.

It's not that I'm worried about making a fool of myself, just that I don't want to spend the extra money if I've only ever scored 40% or below since it just seems like a was…

Weekend Rides Recap

First of all you guys I'm doing it!!! I was at the barn 6 days this past week and rode 4 times, lunged once, and did a spa day last Sunday. I can certainly refine it but I'm really happy that I did it, especially since I really didn't want to go to the barn on Friday but was able to pick myself up and go after, again, reminding myself that I never regret going.

Based on my mental ability that night and the fact that Katai felt a little tired I just did an easy stretchy ride. I did get a video which I took by balancing my new iPhone 7 on a jump standard in the middle of the arena. Not ideal, but you can see our most recent stretchy work as well as a decent halt :) There's also some pony cuddles at the end if you make it that far.


Then on Saturday I had an AMAZING ride! Katai was nice and relaxed (stretchy work ftw) but more forward than on Friday. We started with some walk work and did some leg yields, halts, and 10 meter circles while concentrating on controlling her …

Horze Haul

Yes I have a problem, I just love this store so much! European products without shipping from Europe and without having to deal with the exchange rate.

The story behind this shopping trip was that the Horze President Day sale was showing up all over my social media. Of course it was, they know I'm a sucker for their stuff. At any rate, they had REALLY good deals on breeches which I couldn't pass up. Since my breeches collection post I've had to make a few changes including tossing two pairs (the seat on one was faulty and nearly wore through on me at the barn and the others still smelled like chemicals after a few washes). That means that I've been rotating through four pairs and with the number of times I've been going to the barn it's just time to get another pair or two.

I'm still being careful with my budget though so even though I really wanted some of the B Vertigo breeches (normally $200 but on sale for $140!) I went with the cheaper pair ($89) beca…

Not Linear: Lesson Recap 2/21

Clearly learning isn't linear but sometimes it's easy to be slightly frustrated about how up and down things can be with my pony right now. Lately it's pretty much been an e/o week thing where one week is amazing and the next is a struggle. I think it's more strength related (or maybe a little bit of resistance when Katai feels like it's been hard) than anything else. This mare picks things up so quickly that she certainly hasn't struggled to understand the work, just to get her body to do it or sometimes to do it appropriately :)

The lesson this week was definitely a struggle week. It wasn't nearly as much of a struggle as we've had in the past, it just hasn't been as much of a struggle since I started with Jane. Now a struggle week is where our canter isn't as nice rather than that Katai wouldn't stop threatening to rear which certainly used to happen.

This lesson I was also feeling a little emotionally sensitive which is odd for me. I LO…

Ride Recap

Katai and I had a great ride tonight but both of us worked pretty hard. She was full of energy (my fault) and spring sass (not my fault) so I started her off on the lunge. I had her do a good amount of trot and canter in both directions and at first she wasn't listening to me AT ALL which is unique to her mood with our spring weather. She bucked, kicked out, and spooked a few times but mostly was just really good.

She did enough work that I didn't plan to do much with her under saddle but once I hopped on she still seemed ready to burst at the seams with energy so we ended up doing ALOT of trotting. She was really moving nicely and was really being good, she just needed to move.

I did ask her for a bit of lateral work but she was so fizzed up that it was tough to get her to sit back and do it right. I got a good try in either direction and called it. It's almost always worth giving her the benefit of the doubt rather than pushing her and this is so unusual for her recently…

Weird Weekend

Last week I was at the barn 5 times and worked Katai 4 times which isn't what I wanted but I still feel pretty good about. It would have been better but I volunteered to spend extra time at work on Friday evening for a project and did a regular shift and then went back from 5-9 so no riding that day.

I had a good but brief ride on Saturday but then on Sunday (you'd think I'd have learned from last weekend) I went later hoping that the exhaust would have cleared out by then but it hadn't so I ended up doing another spa day.

I also just haven't felt that motivated to do anything this weekend. I think it might partially be the crazy weather change we've been having with temp in the 50s when normally it would be in the teens. Or it was the fact that I worked so late on Friday making me feel like I didn't get a real weekend. At any rate I put off going to the barn until the evening both days and even then just didn't feel like my normal self.

My ride on Sat…

RIP

My poor little Cube video recorder!! It lived a good life which was cut way too short tonight.

I pulled it out of my pocket as I was walking, Katai thought it was a treat and reached for it. I fumbled and dropped it and because we were still walking it fell on the concrete and she stepped on it...

I'm actually a little sad about it. It's been such an amazing tool and even though I now I have very blurry pictures and sketchy video from the lighting in my arena at least I have media. I'll be buying another one but will be sad to not use it until it gets here. I also had taken video tonight and had a couple of videos on the Cube that are now lost. Please forgive the temporary lack of media and we'll be back to our regularly scheduled programing soon!!

Woohoo! Lesson Recap 2/14

I had an amazing lesson with my pony valentine on Tuesday! After this lesson I figured out at least part of why Jane is so good for us and that is that she doesn't allow me to be such a perfectionist.

Both of us are but instead of letting me get on a 12 meter circle and pick at the trot for 20 minutes to get it "perfect" she just expects me to ride a "perfect" trot while doing lots of other things. When it's not perfect, she gives me feedback and trusts that even if it's not good in that moment, I'll work on it appropriately and make it better. She never thinks anything is good enough and I always get lots of blunt feedback on everything but she also doesn't let me wait until she starts to introduce new things.

Right after I realized this I saw this quote on VivaCarlos' blog and it so perfectly illustrates exactly what this lesson was all about.

"You'll never be ready if you keep waiting to be."

iOn my own I would totally just …

Ride Recap With More Video!

First, before we get to my Monday ride recap I wanted to recap the weekend. After a really successful week last week (first time I’ve ridden 5 days in a way in a LONG TIME) I went out on Sunday all ready to ride only to find the arena full of exhaust. Again, my fault since I know they drag the arena late Sunday morning/early afternoon and I showed up in the early evening. I was only frustrated because if I’d shown up a bit earlier I could have taken her outside for a walk (by the time I showed up it was too dark) or a bit later and maybe the exhaust would have settled a bit more. Oh well, I’ll remember for next week.

Instead I ended up doing a good spa day and I worked on spray bottles. I also walked her around the barn finding places that were #justlikeatrailer and making her walk into them and back out. She seemed to enjoy the time without riding and again, I need to do this more.

Sorry for the weird framing, I put this above the arena door and didn't think it would be in the…

My Riding Schedule and How It Relates to a Famous Cat

This cat to be exact
Previously I'd have a schedule planned for the week which would look something like this;
Sunday: Lesson Monday: Off Tuesday: Ride Wednesday: Ride Thursday: Ride Friday: Off Saturday Ride
In a good week I'd ride or not ride as planned. The problem was always if something came up, I had a stressful day at work, the weather was really bad, my lesson was rescheduled etc. Unfortunately if those things happened I normally didn't ride on a day off, I just didn't ride on a scheduled day.
One of the main problems is that I have a stressful job. 80% of the time when I think about riding that evening during my work day it sounds not only like the least fun thing I can think of but almost impossible with the mental state I'm in. Especially when I need to get home, make food, change, and then drive the half hour to the barn. Because of that, all I can do all day is think about how to not go to the barn and instead sit at home and veg out in front of the t…

Messy: Lesson Recap 2/8

My previous lesson was one of those where it feels like everything just works. Everything Jane asked I was able to do and it just sort of felt easy. This lesson was not that way and everything just felt messy. I’d accomplish something but it was only with Katai flinging her head or being flexed the wrong way or something. Part of it was probably because we did a few new things and those just don’t always feel easy but I think that Katai is still dealing with the increase in her workload and just felt sort of flat and quick rather than carrying herself like she has been.

 Right away at the walk Jane had me do leg yields off the wall to the quarterline and back along the long sides. We did a few, changed directions and did a few more. They were ugly to start off and then got better but I never really felt like we fully got them without extra head flinging and tension. Homework for next time!
Then we went into trot and I was struggling with my posting again. Jane had me do an exercise w…

Blanketing

I sort of feel like blanketing is one big game over the winter in MN. If it were, I'd be nearly ready to level up and gain a whole bunch of cool new blankets or something.

I'm only partially kidding.

This past week was a great example. One day was 11, the next was 30, then 40, then back to 17, and then back to mid 30s for a few days and it's been that way ALL winter so far. The week before Christmas the highs were in the negatives and then Christmas day was 40 with thunder storms.

Between the crazy weather and the fact that when the horses are in the barn (kept in the 30s) they wear the same blanket they were out in it's tricky to figure it out. Luckily for the past few days it's been in the 30s outside as well so it's easy and with the amount of fuzz that Katai has I've been using my light blanket liner a lot. In fact I've been using all of my blankets a lot and I've got a pretty good collection.
In total (turnout sheets only) I have two turnout sh…

January Recap and February Goals AND 2017 Goals Update

January Goals Ride More: Nope! I did ride more consistently than I was in December but it was closer to 3 days a week than it was 6. I am continuing to work my way up though and the last couple of weeks I've been able to ride more consistently.
Focus on Forward: Yep! I'm really happy with this one but now wouldn't you know, I need to ride more with my hands. Dressage is just so hard! Groom Better: Meh, I did more consistently groom with multiple brushes (George Morris may be having a panic attack somewhere but being happy about multiple brushes is where I'm at right now) than I had been and I did a nice spa day where I clipped, detangled and brushed her tail, trimmed her tail, "pulled" her mane, and sort of scrubbed at some of her green spots with a green spot remover. Overall I'll take it :)
February Goals: "Ride her Neck": I'm taking this one directly from Jane. It's not as crazy as it sounds, basically I've always had an issue wi…

Bits and Bobs

There have been a few random things recently that I haven't found a good place to talk about so I thought I do a miscellaneous post and just role it all into this post. I'm still working on that January goals post so I'll have that to share soon

First, a few weeks ago there was a saddle fitter (Trilogy Saddles) out at the barn and Jane was nice enough to have her check Katai's saddle. I was 90% sure that it was fitting fine but since it's been about 4-5 months since I got it I figured it was worth a check to be sure it didn't need new flocking or an adjustment. The saddle fitter pronounced that it fit great! I was glad but not surprised, just nice to have the peace of mind.

Second, A couple of weeks ago Jane's upper level horse (who's also literally the sweetest horse to ever exist and who looks 12 but is actually in her 20s) got kicked by another horse during their evening meal. I found out when I saw Jane doctoring the wound which at that point didn&…

Fail

That's an adorable pony rolling in an arena. It's also an adorable pony rolling in my PS of Sweden bridle.

*Head-desk*

I'd pulled off the reins for lunging and she clearly wanted to roll so after I got rid of the rest of the lunging equipment I let her go. It was only after she rolled to the other side that I realized that allowing her to roll in a bridle (especially this one) probably wasn't a good idea. I was able to get the sand off and it didn't get scratched but I certainly won't be doing that again.

Strength: Lesson Recap 1/31 + Ride Recap 2/4

To preface this I have a couple of posts that I was going to split up but I've got a bunch more posts I want to get up including a February Goals post so I decided to just combine these. Sorry if it gets long!
Lesson Recap: Earlier this month I ended up with a sore back. I'm not sure why, I hadn't lifted anything heavy or done anything that hurt so all I can imagine is that it happened when I was sick. I'm guessing that I either pulled something when I was sneezing explosively throughout the time I was sick or that laying on the very unsupportive couch for three days did something to me. It's weird in that it seems to vary day to day how bad it hurts and that it's behind my ribs on the right side rather than my lower back. Right now on the worst day a couple of Advil kill any soreness so I haven't felt the need to get it checked out but if it continues I will.
For whatever reason on the day of my lesson it was the worst that it's been. I'd been pop…