Friday, April 29, 2016

Back in the saddle

I had an extra hour and half of time yesterday (for once in my life) and was finally able to ride. Ries has been nqr and right now I'm starting to think it is a mental thing for me where I want to baby him. From Austen's post on the Janet Foy clinic , 

"You can pay for as many chiro adjustments as you want, but at some point you both (horse and rider) gotta sweat. Otherwise no one will get trained."

This was the mentality I chose for yesterday's ride. For the most part I remained confident in my horse's ability to work. He was super gung-ho to work and happy to move forward. We focused a lot on walking and stretching out his muscles. It isn't fair to immediately work him hard when he hasn't been worked in over a week.  
New Ogilvy! But me thinks I need the dressage version

When we started with trot I stuck to his right side first (his stronger side). He wanted to fall on the forehand but I held my position and made him come up to me. I felt like a giant sack of potatoes but the butt cloud is still amazing. 

Tracking left he definitely wanted to have a little hitch in his step and be short-strided. He was balling himself up in his chest and I legged him forward and put my hands fore so he got the idea to move out. After about half a 20 meter he decided he could trot like a normal horse. Tracking left he also wanted to fall into the circle. I used my inside thigh to push his shoulder back up (does this make sense? or did I fuck up? I haven't had a lesson in forever, no shame). After a few circles he didn't need the support and remembered how to be a straight and balanced horse, albeit very forward and disconnected. I found myself opening my outside hand and not supporting him. Every time he felt disconnected and flat I checked my outside hand and ever single time knew I was throwing away the contact. I managed to fix this towards the end of the trot and we were going along nicely. 

The canter was fantastic (compared to earlier this year). I started tracking left and someone was definitely stuck in his chest again. A squeeze and hands fore and he remembered to open up his stride and relax his back again. I blame myself for this, I gave him the world's shittiest transition. Tracking right I redeemed myself and really set him up for a decent transition and he responded beautifully. I high-fived myself for not being an awful rider during that transition (because my canter departs have been epicly awful). 

I stuck to mostly twenty meter circles for our trot and canter work but worked a lot on figures during the walk. He balls up and anticipates badly in the walk so I ended our ride by alternating from free walk (where he relaxes and swings his back) to a working walk without him getting stiff and short strided. We will be working on this exercise much more to get a decent working walk. 

Because my horse likes to break himself, he had a crack coming down from his cornet band on his right front. I called the farrier and he said he was carefully watching it so here's hoping there isn't another excuse to not be able to ride. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Haiku about finals

**it was going to be an ode but apparently those are only about good things.

Pls world can I just ride again?

Finals suck major ass.
Scheduling appointments suck.
This is why I cry.

Can you tell me why
I have a final so early
When I live far away?

No student should have
To take a final at 7
in the damn morning.

Prof of calculus
why can't I take test at home
where life doesn't suck

JK it really does
because finals are awful
anywhere you are

Lowkey don't even know if I can count proper syllables at this point in time. This kept me from losing my shit. I just need to pass this stupid calc final and I'll be fine (maybe).

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Since Ries is NQR and next week is dead week, most pony activities have and will be on hold until finals are done.

I do have some fun plans in the works that will manifest after finals are done. Fingers crossed for passing all of my classes (seriously I don't know what I will do if I have to take calculus AGAIN).

Anyways, reading your blogs are helping me stay sane and our regularly scheduled program will return soon.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Like I need a Drink

Riesling, you look like I need a drink. Seriously wtf dude. Now hes randomly off on his left front? Or some leg Im awful at this. Five years with little lameness and sickness and the past two years you are a lemon. Good thing you are cute. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Weekend Recap 4/11/16

Wew! Busy weekend (obviously as I am posting this on Tuesday). Riesling still was on stall rest until yesterday, so I spent my time working on the house. The garden has officially been started and we planted corn, onions, carrots, broccoli, and snap peas. In May I will add more summer friendly veggies to the garden! This is my first time gardening so it should be an adventure. 

We also finally got the "backyard" set up. Our actual backyard is the barn and acres of pasture so this is one of our side yards. Fire pit is all set up, bbq is ready to roll, hammock is hung and I am ready for summer! 

Yesterday I took out Vermont and gave him a quick lunge. He was mostly well behaved but had a case of the head shakes. I believe it is the bugs because he seemed to settle down towards the end. His canter transitions are way less exuberant and he is freaking out way less. I hope this will translate to under saddle as well! 

Three weeks left of the semester and pony time is kicking into high gear. 

I miss the boys at my house! 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Happy Birthday Ries!

Yesterday Riesling had his biannual hock exam. And he passed! Wohoo no injections. At this point I'm a firm believer in my supplement of choice, Exceed 6 way.

However, Riesling managed to injure his left hind ankle somewhere. Because he knew the vet was coming and wanted my bill to be larger. Goodness horses.

Today, Ries turns 14! (holy cow) He will be spoiled with carrot cake and unfortunately is now on stall rest for 5 days (thanks Ries). Guess my pony adventures will be spent on Vermont! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Between the ears

At my current barn I have a lovely view of pastures and gorgeous mountains. At CJ's barn, I am up in the foothills and have a beautiful view of the hills and at night I can see the city lights.

Friday I rode three ponies. I started with Ries who I've decided (after accupressurist visit) that he is suffering from uneven muscling and soreness at the base of his neck in both his shoulders and chest. It had been way too long to have had a new saddle and not been able to ride in it, so I tacked up and hopped on. The saddle fits a smidge narrow and will be fitted to him in May so I am only doing light rides in it to not cause future problems. Lots of ground work here we come! 

We spent twenty minutes just walking and ten minutes doing a stretchy trot. He felt super! He was extremely in front of my seat and reaching into the contact. I don't want to press my luck with the saddle so that was all the fun we could have. The past few months Ries has been nothing short of an asshole so it has been nice over the past two weeks to finally have my lovable horse back. 

Next I headed over to CJ's to school Vermont and Argorn. Vermont started up very relaxed so I figured now was the time to start canter work for the first time this season. He has always had opinions about cantering and I was anticipating it. To no surprise, it was a total shit show. But having had boring rides the past few days I welcomed the opportunity to practice tactful riding. 

I was delighted that I could remain calm and had CJ's lesson comments floating through my head. I focused on keeping him balanced and responding appropriately to his flails. When he gave me a canter that didn't include flails and wasn't rude I ended our ride. 

Argorn's troubles are being in front of the seat and stretching down. He is like riding an elephant (not that I have, but I would imagine). He is pretty reliable but you really have to be a confident, strong rider. He will give you a million excuses to say no but when you assert dominance he trusts you and responds pretty well. I always try to start my ride out strong and forward and it makes the rest of the ride a lot easier. Because he is old and out of shape we focused on a stretchy swingy trot. Surprisingly he was pretty respectable and tried decently. I gave him lots of pats and told him he was a good Mule Head.  

After riding #muleheadedthighmaster I called it done for the day, looking forward to hot yoga Saturday to stretch out sure to be sore muscles.