Saturday, August 24, 2019

Mondays and Tuesdays

Hand walks for the mare bear to cool down plus I get in more steps this way!
Officially Monday is off but I thought I’d mention why and then move on to Tuesday.

 A few years ago when I was taking lessons on a Sunday it made sense to give Katai off the day after the lesson since that was definitely when she was working the hardest. I started to really love that routine because, let’s be honest, Mondays suck. Even if you love your job if you typically have the weekends off it sucks to lose your freedom and go to work on a Monday.

Not that going to the barn is a bad or negative thing but knowing that I can just go home and lay on the couch after my work day on Monday is really motivating.

 On to Tuesdays!

 The plan for Tuesdays is that I do a “PT” ride. PT for Physical Therapy and this comes from Jane’s perspective of dressage rides being all about helping the horse address any discomfort in their body first and foremost. Right now these consist of doing a bunch of walk and feeling for anything that feels stiff or uncomfortable in Katai. Then I make a plan to fix it.

This past Tuesday, for example, she was falling in when going to the right and really struggling to get off the right leg while sort of struggling to bend through the ribcage going to the left. From that I diagnosed that she felt tight through the right side of her body and sore or weak especially on her right hind. I did a bunch of lateral work, especially spirals in and out and some 10 meter circles in each direction. After spiraling in and out at the trot she felt loads looser and we had some really nice trot work. She’s feeling flat and sort of scrambly because she’s weak right now but she was striding out and looser in her body which was awesome.

Overall the ride was about 25 minutes and much of that was at the walk. We didn’t even get to the canter but that’s ok. Because she’s been feeling weak and tight she’s been really resistant to canter recently. I’d rather build her strength at the canter on the lunge and build my strength out of the saddle before I address it under saddle. Plus hopefully that will avoid any arguments.

 More on what we’re doing with our lunge work next!

Friday, August 23, 2019


In true pony style she took off a bunch of skin
and never was off and didn't swell at all
One of the things I’ve really struggled with over the past year+ is finding a routine that works. In some ways my relationship with my bf is my first “real” relationship which makes me sort of think of the high school aged girls who first start dating and then drop riding and horses because boys are taking up all their time.

Luckily we’re not teenagers and horses will always be a major component of my life but with that it was still important for me to take a step back with horse things this year to figure out relationship and boyfriend things. However, it’s time to get back to it more fully. Just as a disclaimer, my bf has never asked me to step away from horse things. He’s continued his hobbies and encouraged me to continue mine. He’s made sacrifices so that I can go to the barn and routinely encourages me to go if I’m having a day where I don’t feel like it. The step back was entirely prompted by me.

With that it’s the routine that I need to tackle first. When it was just me I had tons of flexibility and if I skipped one evening, because I just didn’t feel like it for example, I could go the next. Now I have more plans and commitments so just swapping days around doesn’t work. I also have less down time just on my own to lay on the couch and recuperate (because of previously mentioned additional commitments) so I needed to be more thoughtful about giving myself easy down time.

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into it and came up with a solid schedule for the next 1-2 months to ease back into things and to help build Katai and my strength.

Our barn is right under a flight path. This military plane was 
making a weird sound to me but clearly she's not surprised 

Monday – Off
TuesdayRide or Lunge – Riding preferred but if I’m just not feeling it I still need to go to the barn and lunge Katai.
Wednesday – Off – my bf and I do chores like food prep and cleaning on Wednesday.
ThursdayLunge or Ride – Lunging preferred for now since we’re working to build strength. This will eventually likely be an additional riding day.
Friday – pony spa day – For now this is more of a chore day than spa day but I like calling it spa day better.
Saturday – Riding Day – This is a true “work” day.
Sunday – this has been dubbed Adventure Day! – This will be a day where we trail ride, work on trailer loading, go for hand walks outside, and basically address training holes in a fun way.

This plan means that for now the toughest evening day is Tuesday just because riding takes some additional work beyond lunging etc. Otherwise everything is really low key and stress free on the weekdays and I can flex them all around as needed if I end up with plans on a night other than a Monday or Wednesday. My main work days are Saturday and Sunday which are interchangeable and if, for example, someone wants to go on a trail ride on Saturday I’ll swap the two.

It's tough to get pony chores done when there's so much cuteness

Once we get into October my plan is to increase the days that she’s working by riding on Thursday and lunging on Friday in addition to spa day. I’ll also put even more focus into trying to do riding work on our Adventure Day! vs. the in hand work that we might be focusing more on currently. Once there I’ll assess and see if there are other changes that I’d like to make as we get closer to the end of the year. I do not plan to do weekly lessons again, at least on a regular basis, but do want to take regular lessons. My preference right now is monthly but I’ll see how things feel once we’re back doing more work on a consistent basis.

I’m going to be doing a series of short posts outlining in more detail what I’m doing each day and why just because I think it will be fun! Stay tuned for more posts over the next couple of weeks 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Dancing in the Rain

I have one quote at my work desk that says “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Unknown

This has felt like it’s embodied what’s going on with my life over the past year and thankfully I have been learning how to dance in the rain. 0/10 do not recommend all of the life changing things happening at once (even if they’re positive) but I am so so so lucky to have so many amazing things going on in my life.

Not a great photo but I went to a helmet trade in day and finally got a long oval 1K in rose gold.
I <3 it

The new job is awesome, I’m really enjoying being here. It has been a little tough to face the change in work, even though other change has quieted down. I enjoy learning and taking on new things but when everything in my life feels new and I have more questions than answers it’s tough to hold on to my self-confidence.

The house savings is also going well. We’re still on track to be able to afford the friend’s house next spring/summer and we’re both cautiously optimistic and starting to plan for being there next year. I’m continuing to really stick to my budget and money things feel better than ever. Of course getting a job where I’m making more certainly helps but even with that I haven’t splurged or really changed my spending habits and almost all of the additional money is going towards the house.

Other things in my life have been more stable and things with me and my bf continue to be awesome. He’s an amazing person and so supportive of me including challenging me when he thinks he should which I SO appreciate. The most recent thing has been with my current barn. I’ve felt like I’m doing ok but I must be complaining/expressing more than I thought because he started to slowly and gently push me to look at other options. What was in my mind was to wait until we have the house and then move Katai but when I went to a friend’s barn and spoke positively about it he asked about it and then when I actually started to consider moving there he encouraged me to at least really consider it. Sure enough I’m moving and I’m so thrilled and can’t wait.

Doing DnD prep at the cabin a few weeks back.
The new barn is heated and has a heated indoor connected to the barn. Unfortunately I can’t take on any additional cost right now so while the stalls in that barn are amazingly affordable and beautiful (I’m seriously considering just staying here and trailering to the waitlist barn for lessons) I needed to move to pasture for now. I’ll be saving a small amount of money a month but will have to figure out how to get Katai her supplements on a regular basis. Since we’re moving there early September the pastures shouldn’t be overly rich so that will be ok diet wise. Then by next summer when the grass is starting to come up my hope is to move her into a stall. If for some reason I can’t get her a stall because of budget things she’ll just get a grazing muzzle until I can.
Living by this recently

After a few recent “incidents” at the current barn that left me fuming (which is unusual for me) it’s definitely time to leave. I’m also really glad that I’ll have heat this winter since I feel like I especially struggled with not being able to ride consistently during the winter because of the cold this past year. The current barn is just no longer my sanctuary and looking at moving has made me realize how long I’ve felt like I’m walking on egg shells there. At all of my past barns I’ve been excited when I’ve seen other vehicles in the parking lot and know that there’s someone else to ride with. At this barn if there’s a car in the parking lot I start to feel anxious and consider just leaving and coming back another day. That’s not ok.

What I know about the new barn:
-Katai will be on pasture board with other mares
-They do not feed supplements to pasture horses so I’ll have to figure that out. I think I’ll be ok as long as I can go out 5 days a week but will be figuring out a backup plan if I can’t or if I’m out of town or something.
-The barn that I’ll have my tack and equipment in and where I’ll groom and tack up is heated and connected to the heated indoor
-The barn is adorable and has several stalls. It’s fairly small and really nice. My hope is to get a stall in this barn next year.
-The indoor is fairly small but bigger than what I have now (I think it is at the very least wider but it’s tough to tell without measuring it) at around 60-130 feet so just under regulation small dressage size. It sounds like the footing is slightly deep but based on what I saw I wasn’t worried about it
-There is a much larger outdoor that’s in an awesome and beautiful location. Apparently the footing there is even nicer than the indoor.
-L (the trainer I worked with before Jane) teaches my friend at this barn so will be available for lessons. With my current budget and how out of shape Katai and I are I likely won’t take many lessons at first but it will be AWESOME to have a trainer again.
-My awesome friend boards here (of course since that’s how I found it ) and is the one who took the really nice pictures of Katai and me at the shows we’ve attended. She also rides dressage, takes lessons from L, and shows occasionally. Plus she trail rides a ton so will be a good trail buddy.
-The barn is directly across from a large park system with lots of horse trails so I’ll have trails very available to me. I’m looking forward to getting Katai more exposure in that environment


I'm back for a post or two! I have truly loved moving to Instagram and find it has been so much easier with my general lack of motivatio...