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Showing posts from June, 2017


When I read Emma's post and some of the responses to it I knew that I wanted to do a post about this. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot both from the perspective of what I need and how Katai matches that and from the perspective of what I would do differently “next time”.

However, I sat down to type this up and I struggled. I’ve drafted something at least 3-4 times now but it never really captured how I honestly feel about this and that is that Katai is perfect.

Sure I can wish and dream for something “better”, after all the grass is always greener, but ultimately Katai is the perfect horse for me which made this either the longest post or the shortest post. Instead I’ve decided to share a little about how I got here.

 When I chose Katai I was in a very different place. I had found early in life what my limit was and unfortunately ended up with a lot of fear thanks to my first horse. I had conquered maybe 70% of that fear by 2012 when I got my first pony as an adult. Myshla…

Goals, Mid-Year Update

I figured it was a good time to check in on my yearly goals and possible adjust as needed!
Goals for 2017 Increase Blogging Again  Buy a Trailer Trailer EVERYWHERE Ride in Another Dressage Clinic 2nd Level Goals

Ok, so I'm going to keep the goal to increase blogging but that's about it. Honestly these just don't reflect much about what I want to improve this year and since I wasn't able to purchase a trailer a few of these are out.

I had good intentions with the 2nd level goals that were more about understanding and working towards the movements that make up a second level test than actually being able to successfully make it through a second level test in any sort of smooth, ridable sort of way. However, not really sure it's useful at this point at least not this way.

I've also become much better at making goals since my pony is actually rideable and can, you know, actually complete a good 20 meter trot and canter circle. I've spent some time outlining the…

Retail Rewards

Awhile ago I put together a plan for a show outfit for me and Katai that looked something like this.

Of course I no longer have brown tack but I have almost everything else in this picture, albeit slightly different brands or styles, except a grey pad. Grey saddle pads are SO tough to find especially in dressage style and pony size. When I first looked I decided to get a Mattes euro pad since I have one and I love the size, styling, and quality and it looks really nice on Katai. However, since Mattes pads are pretty pricy I wanted to get one as a reward for  good show, or sort of feel like we'd earned it.

This past show felt that way to me so I went ahead and ordered a show pad. Except, they had free shipping if you spent over a certain amount and since two pads would get me over that amount I decided to go for it. Now I'll have three Mattes pads including my navy with the pink fleece, the
grey show pad, and another one that will be a surprise :)

I also got some much needed su…

The Next Step: Lesson Recap 6/20

This was the weirdest I've felt during and after a lesson in a long time. I went into it feeling sort of emotional and vulnerable. Still not sure what's up with me lately but I think it's a combination of things from my previous post. At any rate, it probably wasn't a good time to bring up show plans for the rest of the year but I need to at some point so I asked Jane.
To make a short story shorter, we're sticking with Training level for the rest of the year. She's completely right and I don't quite know why I've been pushing for 1st. I'm totally in this for fun and I want to build a strong foundation with Katai which means making sure she's comfortable at shows and I'm comfortable riding her at shows before we increase the difficulty. I've mentioned before how goals turn me into a lunatic and this is one example since after we discussed this I felt completely defeated and just completely lost all motivation.

Luckily the beginning of th…

Life Update

I also have a post about my lesson this week that I want to get typed up but I felt like I wanted to do this post first to catch up.

This has been a weird year for me in a couple of ways. The weather has been odd and it was a long, cold spring, then we had extreme (for us) heat. Now for the next 7-10 days it looks like our highs will be in the upper 60s with rain which is cold for us at this time of year. The weather has been so bipolar that it's tough to make plans or get in any sort of rhythm.

It's also been sort of a weird year for me personally. The weather certainly hasn't helped but on top of that I think I've felt a bit aimless. I've always had something like 7 big items on a list that I wanted to accomplish. For so long they felt so far away and I was constantly striving for them. Now I've got something like 5 of the seven checked off (and those are better than I imagined they'd be) but the two things left which haven't been prioritized to this…


I don't typically do these but I was looking for a specific picture (which I haven't found yet) and stumbled over these.

I started with a different blog about my Arab who was named Sora. I don't know that I've ever shared pictures of her on this blog although I know I've mentioned her a few times. She really was a once in a lifetime horse who, despite some pretty serious issues with spooking that made her a poor fit for me, I really loved. She unfortunately fell and broke her hip which was tragic. It was after that happened that I got Katai and switched over to this blog. As you can see, I've also changed a bit since these pictures were taken :)

She was an amazing horse and I miss her but Katai and I are much better together. Looking at these photos though it's tough not to wonder what we could have accomplished if not for her accident.

Rhythm: Lesson Recap 6/18

First, as I was typing in the title to this I realized that we're nearly half way through the year. Where has it gone?!? It seems like just yesterday that it was December.

Anyway, back to the lesson recap. My lesson yesterday (which was rescheduled from last Tuesday because of the heat) was amazing! It was another one where all the hard work we've been doing paid off.

To start off we were unsure what Katai's mood would be like since apparently she'd been horrid for Jane that morning. Because of that we started off with an extended warmup with a few laps of the ring at the trot in either direction (after lots of walk) and then circles before we added in serpentines. It paid off and Katai's stride length was great and I was able to keep her really pushing from behind for the most part.

For this lesson Jane was talking about getting and keeping her "soft at the poll" rather than talking specifically about round or bend and it really helped me. I can feel wh…


I've always kind of wondered if Katai likes me. Obviously it doesn't really matter but since she's my partner in this dressage journey I'd really like for her to enjoy her time with me. Often when I look at her she'll look a bit crabby so, while she whinnies to me as I drive up and walks up to me in the pasture, I've just assumed that she's not particularly fond of me.

Then I watched this video that I took to show Katai's progress with the hose and the wash rack. I can see here how connected she is to me and how, while she is looking for peppermints she's also looking to me for reassurance. So fun to be able to see this and to know that maybe she is sort of fond of me :)

Riding Update

I haven't really done an update on my rides recently, partially because I didn't end up having a lesson this past week and the lesson before that I did briefly recap.

Since that lesson I've been working on getting the impulsion 100% of the time like Jane wants. At the first show Katai was slow and sticky because she wanted to quite like you saw in the video. At the second show she was really using it as an evasion and was working so differently than at home that I was really getting backwards in trying to get the bend. Jane wants this to be more established before we do anything else.

Until recently we couldn't ask for more without just getting lots of rushing footsteps but now that she's understanding the concept we just have to ask for it more of the time. Of course it's not like a switch just flips so she still gets rushy sometimes which means that I'm really having to remain solid in my core and keep my posting as consistent as possible. It's tough,…

Weather and Updates

This weather reallllllly sucks. One would think that the benefit of living in a part of the country where we deal with cold temps for 7 or so months of the year is that we would at least have really nice summer temperatures. That would be wrong.

Around 3 weeks ago we were still in the 60s for highs and now in the last week we've had two days with a heat index in the 100s and more days in the upper 80s with high humidity. We've also had a few really bad thunder storms and some tornado warnings.

There is just no way that any of us (including the horses) can get used to that huge swing in temperature that quickly. Tonight, with a heat index of 102*, we decided to reschedule my lesson. Apparently the dew point was 73% which is extremely humid and it's like trying to breath underwater. We certainly aren't going to expect the pony to work in this soup so instead we're going to do my lesson early in the morning this weekend when it's a bit cooler.

Despite all of the w…


I also got video of our Intro C test from the schooling show over Memorial Day weekend. Fun fact is that my co-worker who was there with friends is holding the video camera and you can see my photographer friend to her right and my Jane to the left. I have such amazing friends :)

I have a huge smile on my face both because I'm sort of stunned with how well the test is going and because for the first time I feel like I have a pony since she is tired and keeps trying to quit on me. Especially on the last center line you can really see her try to stop.

Despite the fact that she keeps trying to stop and interrupting the rhythm I'm really happy with the improvement to her gaits

Learning From Media

Alternate title: We Do Actually Have 100 Problems

Back in April, Jen from Cob Jockey did another of her amazing posts about biomechanics . I almost always learn something from these posts and often really think about this stuff at my next ride. This time I read through it and basically thought, "we've got 99 problems but this isn't one" (pinching with my thighs).

Fast forward to a couple of days ago when I got media from the second show.

The first show media makes me happy. It clearly shows some rough moments and tension but overall there's some harmony between me and Katai and while she's a bit hollow mostly she's pretty good for a scary show environment.

 However, when I got the media from the second show I was really disappointed. Partially I think that the photographer (a boarder from my previous barn) just happened to catch more of the rough moments than the good moments but between the few rough pictures from the first show and most of the photos fr…


Apparently it get's to be summer and I become a horrible blogger. It's only because I'm doing all the things instead of writing about all the things but I really need to try to make time to post so here goes.

The other reason that this post has taken me awhile is that I've been trying to figure out how to make a couple of concise posts that cover everything that I want to talk about but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Instead you get this one slightly messy post but some of this stuff I really want to document so I wanted to find it some sort of place.

First off, Katai was MUCH better about the trailer for Spring Party (the second show) but there was still some drama. She loaded the way a horse is supposed to (after a decent amount of rearing and drama) by walking into the two horse straight load all the way so that we could get the butt bar up. In the morning she ran back into the butt bar twice but then stood without further incident. On the way home o…

May Goals Review and June Goals - With Show Media!!

Goals Recap for May:More Trailer Loading Practice: Success!! I took full advantage of having the ability to practice with Jane's trailer and loaded Katai at least once per week. We struggled a bit at the first show (but got her on both times) and then it was better at the second show.

More Consistency: Yes! If nothing else, with the show we were back to the basics and I really was able to focus on things like maintaining bend and roundness even when Katai had lots of reasons to not listen and not make it easy.

Have a Successful Show(s): This is a two parter for me. I'm also going to role both shows into this one even though one actually happened in June.

1. Success will mean Katai being more relaxed, less frantic, and thus the ability for us to have more fun. Meh, not especially. She was a bit more relaxed at the schooling show but less so at the rated show and she really wasn't relaxed at either.
2. My other goal this year is to win our Intro C class. Nope not our Intro C …

Look What We Did!

Of course those ribbons don't tell the full story. Due to a scratch and an elimination my Training 1 opportunity class had only 1 other person in it. Training 2 opportunity was larger and had more experienced and even professional riders but with lots of baby horses and lots of "baby's first show" scenarios. I'm still proud though because I got great scores and was a nonprofessional that got my very difficult pony through her 3rd show in one piece!

However, my main goal was to have a rideable pony, outside, with the judges' "booth" at the end and I had that in both tests!

First I rode Training 1 for, what I later learned was, the "friendly" judge. The ring was off in a farm field and was quiet. There weren't many distractions and the judges were in a truck at one end instead of a horse trailer which I knew would go better. I felt really ready for this test and very confident even though, while Katai had loaded pretty well that morning…