A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Sunday, April 29, 2018

When horses act like horses

Had another lesson on Jasper Wednesday. Weather was nice, too nice, its gonna be a hot summer. J had been turned out so I went out and grabbed him and did a quick groom as he was barely dusty.
I think there is a big sweetheart
hiding under the grumpy, nippy exterior 
We moseyed down to the outdoor and got to work. WS and her sister were just finishing up jumping the greenies in our barn. So fun to watch. 

Did the usual sitting trot/ posting trot/ kill me with two-point stuff. MUCH better frame than last week. Still have a left foot that can't find the correct spot of a stirrup, and chicken elbows, but I can make the horse look pretty lol.

Then WS and sister left the ring and  J and I worked on two-point at the canter then counter-canter. If I don't get all crazy with shifting my weight, he is super. Thanks to all the bloggers who I read about their work and struggles with body-mechanics all the time. 

Worked on holding the correct lead around a change of direction, counter-cantering then swapping when asked. Came around towards then end of the ring and suddenly he head was up next to mine and we were bunny-hopping around. Pulled him up to a walk because I had NO idea wtf was happening (I don't get a lot of sleep these days) Trainer called out the horses had just tore it up over the hill next to the arena. Thanks. To be fair 5 mares and 1 gelding makes for a rowdy group.

So we worked on the circle. Lots of tiny counter-bent circles alternating with bigger normal bend circles. This was made harder by jumps in the way so I had to really plan ahead, sit up and keep him off the forehand. Like real rider, not passenger stuff. Makes me dizzy but pretty fun and got both our minds back on task.

I'm pretty sure the western dressage people think
I am a major narcissist cause I do this every ride lol
Then trainer made a tiny cross rail, which had guide rails in front as well as the sides because they had been jumping the greenies. 

I trotted J at the babiest of crossrails and as we approached his head flew up and he practically slid to a stop. Without a crop I couldn't convince him to go past so I circled and trainer moved the side rails out a bit so it didn't look like he was jumping into some sort of box of doom

I got him to jig his arse over it, laughing at his completely awkward prance-hop-prance-canter away nicely routine. By the second time I was cracking up. The jump was so tiny I just couldn't help but laugh that he jumps 3ft but the tiny cross rail with ground poles was gonna kill him.

I was glad I could laugh at it, but it was a reminder of what triggers my anxiety, and how much muscle I need to regain to be able to properly school green/naughty/ wtf moments. Realistically as a 1-2xs/wk rider, a real greenie isn't a great option unless its one heck of a deal and super calm. Then I could pay for training until its more schooled and I am not such a flabby flabberson. And if I want a greenie, I better prove I can ride them and accept my friends offer to ride her young'n. Make sure I'm up for it before I fall in love with any pretty faces.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Trusting the Unknown

My normal Tues or Weds lesson was moved to Friday so trainer could take care of some personal business out of town. 

It was warm, quickly got into the  high 70's, I'm not quite ready for heat, conditioning wise. Lots of panting lol. Went down to outdoor and another older woman who trailers in with alternating horses each week joined us. She is great to ride with, she is polite and braver than me (jupms and rides sensitive horses) so gives me courage lol. 

Started with a nice relaxed but forward walk, until trainer realized I was slacking and told me to do a sitting trot. I worked hard at opening my always tense hips, which softened my bouncing on his back into following his motion. Novel

Blurry selfie. Go me.

Plenty of trotting, with more two-point than my flabby core could muster, and I admittedly snuck in posting whenever trainer looked away. Rarely does she not notice, sometimes she is just nice enough to call me on it, push me one more lap then let me rest.

Apparently I am leaning back behind the motion a bit to compensate for me having no core at the canter.  I really thought i was just sitting up properly, but alas another thing to work on.

Did a few lead changes. He is really nice, L to R he is crazy smooth. Reverse he rushes a bit. which gets me tense, expecting some sort of naughtiness. But it doesn't come. He just does it.

Then trainer asked if I wanted to jump a little with the other rider. I said sure. I still had some reserve energy and I have watched him enough to know he is VERY forgiving.

Trotted back and forth over a little 2ft cross rail. What eye I had is gone... well not gone totally, I could see the wrong distance, I just forgot what to do to fix it. Trotting we were mostly fine, I sat up, grabbed mane and tried not to collapse from lack of muscle tone.

Then we cantered. That's where he proved a gentleman. I felt him move up and got all grabby handed. Slowed him down and we got a weird distance. Folks its hard to mess up 2ft, but I did. Flopped on neck, bopped his mouth, prob grazed a spur to his side. He just slowed to a trot and side-eyed me like WTF, you seemed ok til now lady. Trainer told me to trust him, his eye is better than mine for distance. Got a couple more better jumps and proved there is some nerves still hiding in there about cantering fences.

After over a year, guess that's fair. Hoping I get my core back soon.

So excited for my lesson

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Ride 3

Notice the dog chasing a ball in the distance?
Jasper didn't care
Had my 3rd post baby ride. It wasn't all sunshine and roses, we had frame issues, but it still overall felt great.

Rode again in the half-groomed, mostly ok footing of the outdoor. It was nice in the high 60's barely a breeze, enough clouds to not feel too bad I forgot sunscreen.

Jasper didn't want to frame. At all. Which gave us issues with maintaining speed. But it was fun getting to work on it, I worked hard at paying attention to my body, where were my legs, was I leaning, was I sitting up. Its nice riding a horse that is steady enough to let you pay attention to yourself. 

Rode with WS and her younger but taller sister (who is also an awesome rider). They are fun to watch and ride with. I do miss my Sat am barn mates but still short horses to ride.

How Jasper felt about our ride

 I rode a little extra in the indoor as trainer had to meet the vet up in the barn. I worked at shoulder/haunches in and some turn on the fore as I only trust myself with a mirror if no one else is watching. 

Then homeboy got some dental torture work done and his nasty tail fungus cleaned.

I am hoping trainer will find a unicorn that I can bring the kids to come ride, otherwise I know I will get mighty itchy to buy something...

Clean all the horsey things

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Comfort Zone

Had another lesson on Jasper. Was offered coming on Tues and ride him, or Weds and ride Belle as Jasper's owner was riding Weds. Opted to stick with the horse I am comfortable on for another ride, because I was sure my comfort on my first ride back was a fluke.

But it wasn't. I still felt overall really good. Like I am sure if he went into some bucking fest, or spooked, or any other horsey- shananigans, I would have flopped off and been a wreck. But he was a solid enough citizen, and I apparently after several years have some muscle memory on how to not be a total noob in the saddle.

I do still have my left foot which wants to sink into home position, chicken elbows, and stiff hips, so apparently I am mostly back to where I was, just minus any core muscles.

We used draw reins, because why not torture me farther by making me struggle to maintain two sets of reins. We did achieve moments of awesome frame though, and really it ended up feeling pretty normal too.

I worked really hard at keeping us both more upright and not falling on the fore, something most horses easily sneak past my attention until I am holding their freaking head up and wondering why my back hurts and trainer is yelling at me.

Another lesson this next week. Hard to fit more in with short list of horses to ride, and this cute guy wondering where his food source mom went.

Fist bump

Monday, April 2, 2018

Q2 Goals

Well, guess I picked a good time to get back into riding, that way I can just pick up at a new quarter. 

So this is a really rough, just trying to hold myself accountable draft...

Goals (riding and life):

1. Ride at least 1 lesson/wk (no option for hacking yet)
2. Set base two-point time
3.Double two-point time by end of quarter (..so like 1 min lol)

Yup, totally me
4. Convince self don't need pony

5. Buy a pony.......... ok realistically find one to ride (bought or leased)
6. Budget for a horse (like the realistic order this is in?)

7. Kids ride 1/mo (no horse to put them on yet- mine or borrowed)

No more Trooper pony :(

8. Set technology boundaries for family

9. Regular exercise 3 days/wk (gym or home)

Seriously I just wanna do a weight circuit and treadmill

10. Not eat like I'm still pregnant (hello waaaaay too many calories)

This vague list in all honesty still seems really ambitious, because babies and eventually going back to work will kinda mess up my pathetic energy levels. When I get a feel for that I'll shore up a real list.