A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Onward and Upward! + 5 Day Challenge

Tuesday night lesson (yes I'm that behind). My bright eyed mare and I worked through some spooky business and got to work. Insert short video of flat work. I love my mare's little paddle trot, and when I manage to pay attention long enough to really hold her in a frame its pretty comfy. Her canter is still hard to relax into, but I will get used to it. 

We jumped a little x that clearly wasn't challenging our ponies enough, so it got raised to a bigger x, then a vertical that as I came around the corner suddenly looked mighty big to me. I shut up and we jumped, albeit I was super stiff, but I love my mare because she happily jumps even when I'm wavering in confidence. Wisely no one told me I have moved up into the 2'6" range until I was done. 

Boring flat work

Not my best work, but I stayed on, and no crazy bad distances


(And because I'm as usual late to the game)

5 Day Challenge: Day 1

1. Most influential person on your riding. 

Well really it would have to be my mom. She was the one who took me on my first trail ride. Silly mom never imagined the obsession she started. She also got me into a volunteer program that not only got me my horse fix, but taught me I could work harder then I ever imagined, and survive. 

2. Piece of tack you would love to splurge on 

A saddle of some ridiculously comfortable and customer design. I don't even know enough big names, to properly dream. For now it would be a new Butet because I know i like those. :)

Warren G baby
3. Top 5 riding playlist

Well.... I'm kinda all over the place with music, I can float from jazz to rap to country to rock in one car ride. When I was listening to music while riding, I varied between music like the Black Keys and Nero, to old school rap (like Tupac era), which worked really well. Apparently getting my ghetto on calms me down ;)

Louie last year because
 I couldn't find anything recent

4. Most important aspect of your barn 

Well the coolest is the awesome views, but really the indoor arena is the most important. Our horses may hate it, but it keeps me in the saddle.

5. Three winter riding goals

1. Suck it up and jump whatever my trainer throws at me without becoming a stick figure.
2 Work on turns (we both drop our shoulder, getting her hind end around properly).
3 Find a saddle we both like and use it regularly.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


...all my troubles seemed so far away, 
now it looks as though they're here to stay...

.... Sorry, channeling my inner hippy with some Beatles.

Really, yesterday was a morning group lesson. It was chilly and still kinda muddy outside, so like 7 or 8 of us were squished into the indoor. We actually did a pretty decent job of spacing out, and no one ran into each other, even with some of our horses scooting and spooking at the open end of the arena. We had to break into two groups to canter, which was kinda nice, getting to actually watch Karley and L ride without worrying about running into anyone. 

We did some basic back and forth jumping over an X, then a small vertical. Other then the fact that I was getting left a bit behind since I was posting for some reason right up to the jump, I felt pretty centered in my trainer's Butet. Definitely getting a new saddle :) Holly was really good, not surprising for her 6th day of work (only 1 other jumping). I really have to work at not letting my brain kinda just go into pause mode as I approach a jump. She needs me to help her find a good distance, and gee I kinda have to be present for that. I wish I was quieter looking, but towards then end, when my eyes stayed up, we looked/ felt pretty good. 

After I finished, Karley and L did a tight little bounce, and the rest of us went for a hack down to the cross country field and played around. I'm gonna miss being able to hack around once it stays sloppy out. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

1st World Problems... my saddle isn't working for us....

OK... a quick (ok really long) recap...

Fire in the Sky!

I rode Holly Thursday in the indoor because it was foggy and cold. We did some jumping, not super pretty. We finally ended up just practicing coming off the jump and stopping straight into the wall since I was a spaz with turning. Surprisingly hard, she was determined to turn, wiggle, etc. Got my spurs taken away half way through jumping, so that way my weak leg wasn't bumping miss-touchy-sides coming off the jump. Took Holly out of the arena and hacked down to the CC stuff. She likes that area, we walked over the little stuff a couple times, and called it a day.

Saturday rushed to the barn after a totally awesomely grueling night at work and rode Magic. It was cold and windy again so we rode in the indoor. The usual WTC stuff, then everyone else got to go hack out and I got flogged over a cross-rail and lattice panel. Its nice getting to feel myself do it right with Magic (mostly), so I can not be such a spaz with my mare. My in-laws stopped by to steal the boy, so it was kinda cool having them see me jump. They called my trainer a 'task manager', my MIL is so polite ;)

Tuesday night I had a lesson on a very bright eyed mare. She really just scoots and slides, but still it takes up a lot of my energy getting her to just work, but I love that she gets over stuff  after a few laps. She always comes back to you whether she's nervous or pissy. Honestly I felt a hot mess the whole time, like I was pitching and sliding forward, I couldn't keep my legs forward enough, and kept curling up.

Insert Wednesday morning, I rode in one of my trainers saddles... a old, amazing Butet.... Uh yeah, my Pessoa (which I liked until now) to an amazing, soft, balanced Butet with a bigger pommel, deeper seat, better blocks, etc. It was like suddenly I could ride. Wait, its not all me?! My trainer instantly commented on the difference, I was able to sit my mare's canter, shoulders back, heels down, not falling on my face..... So.....

my Pessoa

Any idea's on middle of the road saddles? I need a deeper seat, more forward flaps, with decent knee blocks (kinda dug the thigh blocks too)...

Obviously its kinda a need to try in person thing, but any ideas of what brands/ models I should look at? I totally don't mind used, but need to be around the <$1000 mark (since I will have to sell my cheap western saddle and the Pessoa to raise funds).Otherwise I'm just perusing the super used Butets, hoping someone will need to sell on fast and cheap ;)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Share the road

This month apparently is going to be about wonky work schedules and flexibility, so instead of Monday morning and Tuesday night, I rode Tuesday morning. I was supposed to ride Magic to do some jump schooling, but since my trainer woke up sore, I ended up having a flat lesson on Holly. It was fairly crowded in the indoor because it was a bit foggy cold still, with even a little bit of light rain. After running again like a nutball in the round pen (never mind she had just been turned out the night before and ran like a wild pony), we got to business.

She was pretty easy to keep from gawking at the many things going on outside the arena, but she apparently has some spatial issues with other horses in the arena. This is kinda surprising to me, since she's done the breed circuits with her last owner, so she should be used to this by now. Which means its probably me. Awesome. She was doing ok until another gal came flying across the arena doing a lead change (and frankly caught us both off guard with how close she got) which sent Holly into a little tizzy, spinning and scooting away. Which was kinda badly timed since I was currently standing and weighting my stirrup to adjust my saddle. I pitched outward and got a nice close-up view of the wall but luckily held on with minor spazziness, much to my trainer's

OMG I hear clippers! Lucky not for her...yet
We worked on having a nice frame, then letting her stretch out and relax at the trot, as long as her head stayed out of peanut-roller territory. Also did some shoulder/ haunches in, working on getting her hind end to move better off the leg. I was surprised no jumping, but frankly my back hurt so I wasn't going to push it. I then hacked her around the property, all the way up to our old arena, where she was a little looky/ light in front but came back to me, and relaxed. Although her last owner took her out on trails, she clearly hasn't hacked out alone much, I hope to use the good weather left to hack her around more after lessons, I think its good for their brains, and I kinda like walking her around all out little CC stuff like the bank and logs.

And princess got some new boots. Trainer got them for cheap because they weren't marked from the local tack store. We will see how she does with the neoprene, but I like the way they look (next time I'll remember to take a photo of them on).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Part Deux... finally caught up...mostly...

This tree needs a swing :)

This last week...

Monday had another lesson. Lots and lots of trotting and two-pointing, Holly was overall good, she's so responsive its like riding a worm sometimes. Did all the WTC stuff then some ground pole/ tiny jump work. Nothing super awesome, just moving along. Its funny because some of the times she felt awkward from on top, she looks pretty spiffy on film. (Feel free to skip the boring ground pole stuff for the super exciting baby vertical jumping half way through.)

Tuesday was our ladies night lesson. Nothing big, other than Holly being a superstar and not spooking at anything, even in the scary dark. For more info, read L and Karley's blogs. ;)

Friday I rode while my trainer rode another gal's new horse and the WS rode a pony. We did a ton of trotting waiting for everyone to get on, then went down to the outdoor and did more. Holly's so wiggly and response sometimes its ridiculous. Its a learning curve for both of us for sure. After jumping pony, the WS jumped Holly up to about 2'6"-ish. Other than plowing into an airy vertical on first run, she did well, even with an in and out that was a bit tight for her big stride. She ducks her head like a stride out from the jump, and being already a little downhill, it kinda feels like your going to roll forward on her neck. I'm hoping we can get her head up before i learn to somersault down a horse's neck. I'm pretty sure there's some photos and video, but I'm kinda too lazy right now to go find, edit and post it.

And in other awesomeness... another contest! This stuff looks great, who doesn't love yummy scents while cleaning: http://www.equestrianathart.com/2013/11/rider-review-contest-higher-standards.html

Friday, November 8, 2013

Catch-up... part 1

Yep... I'm that behind lol..... 

Week before last....

Wednesday - Lesson bright and early. Rode Holly with Magic's owner. Holly wasn't thrilled with the folded up liverpool on the side of the outdoor, nor was Magic, but other then that she was good. We did lots of trotting, working on straightness and pace, then went back and forth over the surprisingly hard ground pole (insert eye roll). Nothing super exciting. Always nice watching Magic's owner ride him, he pulls the same crap, but she's much more assertive with him, so it always reminds me to get after him. We both went for a walk around the property with only a little fussing, and no spooking.

Flap them arms ;)

Saturday- I rode Magic with the ladies. L rode, even sore, like the pro she is, and Karley had her hands full with some tight turned fun on Henry-no-brakes. I felt super nauseous (which I found out my coworker from that night before also had gone home feeling that way too). I think a big part of it was all the patients coming in to my work with nausea/ vomiting, there's a certain since of impending illness when surrounded by retching people for 8 hours at a time.

Baby warm up jump

 So in between dry heaving, I managed some decent jumping. My trainer in all her sympathy only made me go a few times, just apparently higher then I've jumped before (2'6"). :P

 Its funny, I have been all why-am-I-jumping-I'm-too-chicken thoughts again, but really I've jumped better lately then ever. Fake it til ya make it I guess.