A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sit Down, Shut Up, and Hold On

That's my new mantra, sit back and stay put.

 Last Tuesday's lesson was a good reminder of just how much I still need to work on. We did our normal flat work and then moved into jumping. Our trainer doesn't seem to feel I need the fences put lower anymore, since Louie knows what he is doing, but I still notice they are taller than I used to jump. Once again I found myself pitched overly far forward not only on the flat, but after a jump, leading to my near fall after Louie's patented bouncy lead change. I was super surprised I had the strength to stay on, and laugh it off instead of getting angry at myself, well too much anyways. I actually had to yell in my head to just sit down stupid. It did make me feel more vulnerable jumping, but I keep thinking if others actually fall off and get back on, I must persist. :)

Thursday I tried to have a quick hack in the big outdoor while Karley and Lyssette had their lesson. I felt in the way as they were working through the center of the arena, and being someone who is always half in her head, I kept not  paying attention and realized I had no idea where they were going. I tried to just do lots of posting trotting and transitions, since I still need to clean them up if I ever want to show.

This week (hopefully):

Mon: hack
Tues: (work)
Wed: hack
Thurs hack/ lesson

Doubt I will make all three days, but here's to hoping :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Its Friday Friday...

Wish I had gotten a pic of Liam and Louie getting closer than normal.
 Im not sure who was more unsure of the other :)

Decided to stay home between shifts yesterday, so I went out and hacked Louie tonight. Louie was his usual slightly lethargic  self in the round pen while lunging. I think he enjoys watching me run more than him.  I gave up and hopped on him in the indoor arena. It was the first time I rode without my trainer at least somewhere around, making it oddly quite.  L was walking her horse, who's still on hand-walk only, and another gal was riding who I should probably know the name of but don't. One of the other trainers also kept walking her horses through the arena and my hubby, sporting our child, Liam, and Erica were watching from the side, making plenty for Louie to look at. Overall he is just a good boy, he tests but not in any major sort of way.

We did a few walking laps, working on not looking like a snake while staying off the wall. then did lots of posting trot, working on his impulsion and my many positional flaws (heels down, shoulders back, legs forward). I really like the indoor for hacking simply because of the wall of mirrors which allows me to see what I'm doing wrong in real time. Louie decided he didn't want to pick up the correct lead to the right, and after some backing, lots of outside legs, and a little motivation from the crop, I finally drove him into a turn and got the proper lead. It was a little hard to maintain collection with others riding around, someone walking on the ground, etc so I tried to work on maintaining speed with different size turns, and keeping my butt in the saddle, hips relaxed. He of course happily cantered the opposite direction, then we cooled off and I put him back home with a few treats and some love. I love the post ride barn, everyone is mellow, chatting while cleaning up. I talked with B-Day girl Lyssette a bit and we came home since the baby was hungry (you can only feed your baby of you remember a nipple for the bottle, lol).

Hopefully will post a few of the scant photos from the last week tomorrow, and we will go watch Karley and Lyssette ride in the show on Sunday, so there will definitely be photos from that. Sigh, I will definitely show next summer, I have the bug!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Back to the Grind

So I am officially back to work. People were nice to me, and most of it came rushing back, so it wasn't feeling as awkward by the third night. Now if only riding were as simple to return to. But really, its starting to feel better too, I'm not quite as much of a spaz these days.

Last Thurs I fit a quick hack in before work. Its nice when our trainer is there giving another lesson because she can't help but yell at me when she's around (which I need).

Tonight I worked hard at keeping my legs forward and not tipping forward when cantering. I feel like I have a ton of voices going through my head when I ride (mine, my trainer, what I've learned from GM's book, etc). I know what I want to look like when I ride, its getting there that's the challenge. I asked my trainer if she could make a "baby" jump for me, and she said no, I could jump the box everyone else was jumping. I eyed it and decided I had my big girl panties on so I should get to it. Louie is such an easy jumper, point him at the jump, keep him from drifting, and he pretty much does the rest. I worked at not hanging on his mouth, and think we went pretty clean. Then Karley did some bigger jumps, proved she's got some sticking power, and then Erica did a loop of two fences. I was really tempted to join her, but I was sore, and figured why push it, Louie was on his second ride of the day too.

I have come to the realization that I really am going to have a hard time coming out three days a week right now, I feel super guilty leaving the baby, since on work days it pretty much fills my waking hours between shifts. I probably should have figured that out before committing (and paying) for three days/week, but que sera sera.  I'm sure as I get back into the swing of working nights, I will probably be able to make it out easier (and it helps when I can drag my boys along).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

No Excuses

Ok, so its my last few days before going back to work, and can I just sit back and enjoy them? No, my mind has already been whirling with the what-ifs and I-don't-wannas. It doesn't help that they messed up my pay, and my friend calls me with all the latest work drama including her absence when I return, making me REALLY not want to go back. But since I have yet to win the lotto, to work I shall go on Thursday night.

 I am slowly regaining some ground on the flat, I can actually two-point again which is a huge improvement. It was super dusty and pretty warm out, I am weary of 90 degree days, although I know I will regret whining when I am schlepping Louie through the rain to ride in a few months.

Louie Big Withers sporting his jumping collar

I think all this constant nervous energy came to a big Kat's-a-big-chicken ride today where after sloppy flat work I chickened out of jumping. I swear the X looked a few notches higher, but it was likely all in my head.  I came around and just straight up chickened out. I am a nervous person with poor confidence, but I usually at least push a little past it, but lately I have weaker resolve. I had a million excuses, but really none were good.

I really needed someone to just get in my face and tell me to suck it up, put on my big girl panties and jump! But my trainer was nice, and my hubby only rolled his eyes a little so I sat on Louie and got to watch Karley show us how far she and Henry have grown :) I know Louie is way better at jumping than most horses I have ridden, I just have to trust myself to say on while he pretty much packs me around (give or take some bouncy lead changes).

Hack on Thursday,, hopefully just some laid back riding will keep my stress down for work.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”
           -John Wayne

How even the little jumps feel right now

I like how others start posts with a quote. Kind of sets the mood. So last week I had lesson Tuesday and a kinda lesson on Friday. These were my first two real days of riding Louie. 

Tuesday Louie was pretty mellow. The weather was nice and it was overall a good ride. I have come to the horrible realization that my body is no longer controlled by my mind, but by the weak muscles I now have, courtesy of my maternity leave from riding. I know I will take some time getting back into shape, but it is frustrating knowing what I should look like on a horse, and seeing pics that show I am no where near that. Plus I keep forgetting to smile. Half of my pics I look like I'm being tortured by riding, which while sometimes a little anxiety inducing, is so not how i feel. I always feel more satisfied after riding, like I've accomplished something. We always do lots of posting trot, sitting trot (yuck), and two-pointing. I find two-pointing easier on Louie, he's a bit round and has such a comfortable trot. I felt a little antsy at initially cantering him in the large arena, but he was a perfect gentleman, and so comfortable. I find I have to constantly force my back to soften into the rhythm. I get so stiff now  (I'm really only in my 30's right?!) I miss the rebound ability of my teens and early twenties. 

I made myself jump, even though my legs were jello. It was just back and forth over a little x, but more than enough for me. I had one spaz moment when Louie did his super bouncy lead change after the jump. My legs went straight out "like sticks" according to my laughing trainer. Luckily Louie is super smooth and I lurched back into the saddle only with a pride bruise. I don't know why I don't grip with my legs more, you'd think I would clamp down when I feel off balance. 

Friday morning was surprisingly cold and dreary when I got to the barn. Louie was a bit higher with the gale strength wind, but he seemed to get most of it out in the round pen and we had a good ride in the indoor arena lots of posting trot and trying not to run into others at a canter. Our indoor gets small fast. When we all went down to the lower arena to jump, I declined feeling if I stink at flatwork, I shouldn't be flying thru the air until I get more solid. At least not too often. The second day of riding per week is definitely making me more sore, and it shows in my riding. Hopefully I will get stronger faster and finally start riding better with more rides on the same horse. I know i will get better, but I am type A and impatient so it can't happen fast enough. I am not sure riding Mon and Tues back to back will feel so great but we will see.

Rough schedule: Mon- hack
                           Tues- lesson
                          ( Wed- yoga ) 
                           Thurs- hack  

I'm back to work this week, hard to believe its been three months already. But unless, I win the lotto, someone's gotta bring home the bacon :)