Getting into the swing of summer

I feel like so much has happened since the show and my last post, yet it still seems like it was only a couple of days ago at the same time. I did buy the saddle! I’m very happy with it too, it’s really helped Dawn and I and has really improved my riding.

The past few weeks have been busy and jam packed with fun adventures. First to happen was Dawn and I’s first off property cross country schooling. Last year I had taken Tribute out off property and was so pleasantly surprised with how level headed he was. Dawn I was not so sure would follow his lead. She is either a rockstar or a nightmare, and I wasn’t sure which one I would be getting.

Which Dawn are we getting today?

Luckily I got the rockstar Dawn! We went out to Bronte Creek, and the moment she touched her toes on the ground she was an absolute angel. The cross country course from where we parked was a mission to get to- up hills and down hills. I felt awful for my coach who was walking it, it had to be a workout and a half. Once we got to the course it was quite level, so not much terrain to deal with in addition to jumping.

First we warmed up around the jumps, Dawn had no issues leaving the other horses as I worked circles and serpentines in trot and canter. Then we schooled up and down a small hill, practicing on getting off their backs uphill and helping the horses sit back on their haunches going downhill.

From there we found a nice small log, and everyone had a jump over it. We moved to a slightly bigger log and jumped that. Dawn decided this one needed a ton of respect and over jumped it. She actually over jumped mostly everything and was quite keen to everything, which I am not complaining about. She’ll settle in the more we get her exposed to things. We also popped over a small house, a little baby ditch, and another log. The final step was playing in the water. At first Dawn was a hard no on the water, but our coach gave us a lead in by hand and after a few exuberant leaps in, she was perfectly happy in the water. She even drank from it, so hopefully no more water issues!

The next day we had a riding lesson with grand prix dressage rider Justin Ridgewell. I won’t lie, I was absolutely intimidated going into it. I didn’t need to be though, because Justin was awesome. I explained how transitions are a big issue still with us, so he gave me some great tools to work on our transitions and improving them. One of the biggest take aways I got was that in practice, we don’t need to worry about things being immediate and precise, they have to be quality. I can get the downward transition at A, but if it’s a bad transition I am actually training that. If I waited and got the great transition at E then I am training the right thing. precision will come.

This week we had a lesson with Kate Farrell, which was fantastic. I love being able to ride with her, especially now that we ave a few times because it’s good to check in with our progress. Kate also helped me with my transitions, which are improving thankfully! She also helped me with my canter, which is improving but again, I need more transitions. She wants me to school transitions to help strengthen the gaits, so guess what I’ll be focusing on in training now?

This Saturday is our second dressage show and we’re doing all training level tests. I’m excited to see how we do, and if we can improve our scores from last time.

 

Tack Changes

I have known for a while now that I’m fighting the fit of my dressage saddle. It constantly throws me forward, I can’t find the right spot for my stirrups, and the seat is a wider twist than I like. All of these make it difficult for me to ride correctly.

When it throws me forward, I’m constantly trying to shuffle my body backwards. By the time I do a downwards transition I’m practically sitting on Dawns withers. It could possibly be why were having such rough downwards transitions.

Add into that, for me to feel secure I have my stirrups at a hole that puts my knee over the roll. I can lower my stirrups so my knees sit where they’re supposed to, but then I find it easier to be tipped forward and my legs go back to balance. The number one comment I seem to keep getting is to push my legs closer to the girth. I can do that, but then I constantly have to readjust my leg and seat.

Also being so unbalanced leads to me looking for support with my hand- huge problem. It’s hard to develop an independent seat when you can’t balance in your saddle!

The seats wide twist makes it difficult to use my thighs in the half halt. I seem to half halt off my knees because when I squeeze with my thighs it propels my butt upwards.

So I think I have done a great job riding in spite of the saddle working against me. It’s not ideal, but a saddle is a saddle I suppose.

The day after the dressage show I ended up at the tack store. I went with my mom to buy her blundstones for her Ireland trip, and took a browse through the used saddles. I saw a used passier and decided to sit in it. I love passier saddles, they just seem to put me in the right position. My jump saddle is an old school passier military monoflap and I love it.

The dressage saddle I found is the same tree as my jump saddle, has a nice block, and when I sat in it at the store it felt really good. So I took it out on trial.

I rode in it Monday, and wow what a difference. Dawn was even more forward, I could ride better because I was in the right spot, and I was able to keep my leg at the girth. I really like it! I have a message into my saddle fitter about some cosmetic issues I’m concerned about, but if that comes back ok I think I’ll jump on it. It is a great price and fits Dawn so well already.

Then as it is with horses, she lost a shoe and it took forever to get it back on. Thankfully the tack store has agreed to give me another week to trial it so I can have a lesson and see what my coach thinks as well. So now I have only had 2 rides in it, and I feel positive about both so far.

The other change I have recently made is switching to a micklem bridle. I trialed one before the show and she felt more consistent in it. At the show I rode in my regular flash bridle and we had some connection issues. She just seems happier and more comfortable in the micklem.

Luckily, I have a friend who is loaning me hers for the summer, so I don’t have to rush out to get one!

So now I have my neue schule bit, my micklem, and possibly a new to me dressage saddle- hopefully all positive changes to increase Dawn and I’s happiness!

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We seem to like the new get up set up!

Post Horse Show Buzz

I’m still trying to put into words the emotions I am feeling from yesterday. They run deeper than proud, or happy, or even elated. It’s a feeling the I haven’t felt since the last time I crossed a cross country finish line, and all I did was dressage!

Dressage on my super mare, the one that I have owned and trained from weanling to 9. The one who had a couple set backs, from a broken splint bone to an SI injury, who vets were unsure would come back to work for me, who I went as slowly as I possibly could with for months, hoping and praying that she would just stay sound. Not only has she stayed sound, she’s showing now. The feeling is just indescribable.

Anyways, show run down. I was so unbelievably exhausted Saturday morning, after riding Friday morning, packing, working, going back to the barn to bathe Dawn and clean tack, then leaving there and getting home at 12:30. Let me tell you 7 came quick. so of course we had a late start to the day, and instead of getting to the barn at 8 like I had planned, it was more like 8:30. Registering was a breeze, then I braided Dawn up.

Dawn is pretty easy to braid, and her neck is thick so I only have about 8 or so braids. She has one tricky spot where her winter blankets rubbed her mane out. It’s growing in nicely, but is still think and spares compared to the rest of her mane, so it was the odd braid out. I have to combine what would be 2 sections into 1, so yeah a tricky braid. I braided her forelock too, but it was terrible so I tossed on her bonnet to hide it. It only takes me about 20 minutes to braid, so I wasn’t worried the night before.

I was already running behind, so I was behind for my warm up too. It actually worked a bit in my favour, because for the first time in our history Dawn was a quiet, kick ride. It was a total bizarre warmup having to kick on my chestnut mare, and something I never would have guessed would happen. For our first show though, a slower Dawn was OK in my books.

We did a quick warm up and headed out for our first test. I rode 2 walk/trot tests and 1 training level test. The first w/t went well, she was obedient and did all the things, which was wonderful. No breaks or mistakes, so I was quite happy. She spooked at the judges car a bit but did get over it after 2 passes. This test earned us a 67.5% and 3rd place!

The second w/t was 30 minutes after the first, so I stayed on her and we just relaxed for about 15 minutes, then got her brain back in the following 15. She had definitely woken up by this point and was more forward, though not as forward as I’m used to. The second test rode well, but I made a few mistakes- in the free walk I asked for too much and she broke to trot, but came back quick and settled in. I also got a bit of a jig in her walk down our last center line. She moved better in it and even with the mistakes we scored a 63.61% and got 2nd place!

Between the last walk trot and my first training we had a 4 hour gap. I put Dawn in her stall and let her hang out while I watched and ate fries from the food truck. My life is fries, honestly, so I was so happy they had them. I watched some of the other training groups go and felt a little intimidated, which I expected. The Training group had more experienced horses and riders, some horses stepping down a level, some younger horses ridden by pros, and then there was me a total amateur adult on her self trained young horse.

Our last warm up went well, in fact she was giving me the best canters I have ridden in quite a while. The test went really well, and I did have a few bobbles- the first canter I didn’t ask enough and I think it surprised her I did, because we had a late transition. Saved it a bit on the circle and then when I went around the corner down the long side I lost her shoulder a bit and almost exited the ring stage left. After the first half of the test we nailed the second half, including the best right lead canter and both transitions, a great loop, and nailed the center line. We earned an amazing 67.8% and 3rd place.

I was definitely emotional after the training level test. I had a group of friends there and they all came up and we celebrated, I cried a little. Then I went to the barn and cried a lot and thanked my little mare for everything.

 

Finally Connected the Dots

You ever just not connect the dots for so long, that when you finally do you actually feel a bit stupid for taking so long?

Yeah, that’s me right now.

I have been super transparent about my issues at the canter. I have recently, actually since my latest lesson with Kate Farrell, realized I am actually riding against Dawns natural movement and if I want to have an success, I need to knock it off. I also realized 2 other very key items: I need to give my hands more (no duh), and make sure my inside leg is on at the girth.

duh

It’s always the simple things that make the biggest differences, isn’t it?

So I rode Dawn Sunday and had a little jump school. I rode her in a 3 ring french link elevator because she has been so strong to jump. I used 2 reins, and unfortunately the bit, reins, or both seemed to stress her out. After a few times over the single x we were jumping, I took off the rein I had on the second ring and rode off the snaffle and she was much happier.

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Trotting all cute like.

My mom who was watching, mentioned I wasn’t working on the giving that I had been with Kate. So I decided to end the jumping and just get some good trot work in, giving. Here’s a video of how well that went for me.

 

 

One thing you can see clearly- to the left I ride with my hands low and very little giving, and you can see shes tense and heavy. To the right my hands are higher (too high really) and giving, and she’s settled in the contact and not nearly as tense. Also- where is my leg? by the girth.

So with that in mind, I rode Monday with no eye son the ground to correct me. I started with giving, stretching in the trot, counter flexion and true bend, and transitions. She settled quickly and felt really good, so I asked for the canter. We went around once and it was ok, but she has had a tendency to come up by the letter A and break in the canter. This happened again Monday, so we trotted and regrouped and I asked for the canter again.

She had a decent canter going, and then my brain went ‘hey you, where’s your inside leg?’ and I went ‘oh yeah’ and put it by the girth. Holy crap, she settled right into the canter, bent through the ribs, and didn’t.loose.the.canter.

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There’s a idea

So that’s my moment of feeling really dumb for not connecting it sooner. I always have a panic in the canter and stop thinking, so to hear my brain whirl into gear and do something different was very promising. It also means I feel more hopeful for show season because our canter made progress for the first time in forever. I was so excited that when I asked her to come back to trot (which she did so nicely!) I dropped my reins and patted her like crazy.

So what I’m thinking was happening- I had no control over the inside hind leg, and therefor was not influencing it positively. I also believe my leg was slipping back and egging her on in the canter to go faster- I move my leg back to ask for the transition, why would she not think that? With less flat speed and more of a step under, I was able to let go of my inside rein, her head dropped from giraffe to nice, and we finally had our sh*t together.

Amen for that little voice in your head!

Tack Sales

Every tack store within my vicinity (and a one just a mouse click away) seems to be having spring sales right now. This is a-ok by me, because I actually need quite a few things: a show coat for example, show shirt, show breeches, and miscellaneous show goods. My first stop was Greenhawk this Sunday as their show clothes were 40% off.

I tried on a couple of the Greenhawk brand ‘Elation’ show coats. I didn’t care for the fit, and honestly find they’re sized on the smaller size. Works for some people, just not for me. I ended up finding a Kerrits show coat on clearance, and it was actually one I had seen online and really liked. It’s a black coat with white piping along the collar and on the pockets. The piping looks really classy, and has enough flash for my taste to keep me happy. The coat was on clearance for about 35% off, and it was an additional 15% off clearance, meaning I saved nearly 50%!

I also found a nice Elation show shirt on the clearance rack, it as originally $30 clearance, plus 15% off made it $25. So yeah, I scored HUGE in the show clothes department.

Clothing wise I also purchased my very first, and definitely not last pair of Dreamers and Schemers boot socks. I am in LOVE. they’re nice and fitted, come in great prints, and don’t sit so tall I would think you could see the top poke above my boot, nor too low that they cut off the circulation to my calf. I have worn and washed them a few times now and they hold their shape and clean up great. I bought the horses with glasses, because why not have serious horses when you’re doing some serious work?

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Very smart looking ponies

I purchased a few more odds and ends at Greenhawk: a solo comb to pull manes, elastic bungees, a 3 ring elevator french link bit (more on this later), and a medical armband. All in all a very successful shopping spree.

Then I noticed one of my favourite tack stores, Sprucewood, was having a sale. Honestly I had known for a while (hello e-mail blasts) but I was avoiding it because I was very specifically set on show clothes only and dead set on the Greenhawk sale. I decided to take a peek at their sales Sunday and noticed they had the Neue Schule bits on sale.

I have been interested in trying one for a while now, as Dawn goes well in her Sprenger KK ultra, but maybe could go better in something else. So, being on sale, I decided to bite the bullet and buy one.

I ended up purchasing the loose ring verbindend in a 12mm. Dawn has a pretty big tongue, so I try for smaller moutpieces that don’t take up a ton of room. The verbindend peeked my interest specifically because it says: ” Greatly clarifies and emphasises the signals through the rein. Promoting self carriage and throughness, a true outline and freedom through the shoulder can be developed. The Verbindend has consistently helped eradicate tongue evasions, encouraging the horse to soften and relax through the jaw. The cleverly curved mouthpiece can also enhance the development of the bend for lateral work and smaller circles. This dressage legal snaffle is not severe, so if you are a pleasure rider and simply wish to lift the forehand then this bit is a logical choice.

I liked it best for what I have bolded above. Dawn has very powerful shoulders, and likes to use her front end to do 90% of her work over her hind end. She will also hold her mouth very tight and rigid instead of softening. I’m hoping with the new way of riding and this bit, things will change.

The bit arrived today, so I’ll be trying it out and doing a review within the next few says!

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Hello Beautiful!

How To Retain (Or Developing Feel)

After a clinic retaining the information I learned is always the most difficult part. Yes, I rode like that with eyes on me and it worked, but that was with someone who was able to tell me what to do, when to do it, and why I want to do it. Then the next ride is where you take what you learned, put it into practice, and advance on what you learned. In theory, that is.

I gave Dawn the day off on Sunday, then went up Monday to do what I had learned on Saturday. Let me tell you, it was not at all the ride I pictured. I tried to ride with longer reins, then they were too long, then too short, then I figured that out. The other thing is my saddle likes to push my leg back, so I tried to remember to put it where she had told me to and think about it as often as possible. Then I practiced my transitions like I had in the clinic. I felt like I just was not getting it. I have a feeling my dressage saddle might be fighting me, but that is something I’ll have to worry about in the future, it’s fine for now but does make things challenging.

It did not feel as nice as this looks

The thing is, when you’re alone and working on things by yourself, it’s an excellent time to develop the “feel” of good moments. Could I feel when it was quality? Yes. Could I feel when I needed to make adjustments? Yes. That’s half the battle- learning what feels right, not comfortable, during the learning period. I may not be comfortable with a longer rein, pushing my legs a bit more forward so they stay under me, and anything that comes from those adjustments, but I feel the difference and feel the quality of the gait change, and that’s what’s important.

Tuesday was another day off for her, so I rode today. I woke up in a PANIC about show season. Which is still many months away. I just feel so unprepared, not only do I feel like my dressage needs some serious work, but I haven’t done much jumping at all lately. Thankfully I have a great friend who talked me off the ledge, and when I rode today I decided to jump. Which is a little tricky right now because the arena has begun to flood.

 

*sigh* why?!

There’s one long side that is flood free, so I set up just a small crossrail in the middle and popped over it a few times. Dawn is very keen to the fences, but has a hard time realzing I can be of help to her. So today the exercise was jump the fence, then halt by the end of the arena. From jump to end it’s about 3-4 Dawn strides, so not much time to think. By the last jump we had it, so quit on that. I jump her in an eggbutt lozenge snaffle, and I might need to rethink that, but we’ll wait and see.

It felt SO good to pop over a fence, and both her and I found confident doing it, even when we struggled to find our distance. Fact is though, we were both comitted to going over and that’s so important.

My plan now during this thaw will be to jump 2x a week, pole work 1x a week, and 2-3x a week of dressage. Then it’ll change when we can add in some hacking and other fun outdoor things.

 

The Last Few Weeks, and a Clinic

So, it has definitely been a moment since I have written anything. With the new job, getting used to it has been a big adjustment. It’s going well, but it was overwhelming for sure. I’m feeling good about it now that I have 3 weeks into it.

Enough about the day job though! Horse wise things are going well. For the first 2 weeks for the job switch finding time and energy to get a ride in was tough. I wasn’t riding all that much, which lead to the rides I was having being kind of garbage. Not Dawns fault, but she has excess energy and with a lack of rides she would just be a bit hotter than normal.

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How we feel about winter

This week I stuck to a schedule because I had a clinic to ride in today. It was with the clinician we had ridden with back in the fall, and I was excited to get her feedback on how we were progressing.

The arena has flooded a bit, so for the sake of the clinic it was moved from the arena Dawn is used to in the one attached to our barn, to the other indoor that is at the other barn a walk away. I hadn’t ridden her up there in a good long while, so I rode her up there Thursday and had the worst ride ever. She was an anxious, nervous ball of energy that was just not getting better. She was jiggy, spooky, and pooping nervously to the point I questioned if I should ride her in the clinic. I’m glad I stuck with it and did though. Fridays ride was much more reasonable and then she was perfect today.

I headed up early to give her a good warm up. The last time I rode in the clinic I was running late and spent a lot of time just warming up and I didn’t want to repeat that mistake again. We did a bit of w/t/c and then it was our time to ride.

I explained what we were still struggling with- tempo at the trot and canter, not jigging at the walk, and Dawns tendency to curl behind the bit. She asked what my competition goals were and seem quite pleased with them. She said they were simple and easy to achieve, which was something she liked to hear. Then we went out on the circle in a light contact. First and foremost she wanted me to lengthen my reins. She said that with the length of Dawns neck that I needed to ride a bit longer to encourage her to truly move into the bridle. Then she caught me riding with an open inside hand around the turns. That was ok when she was young, but I was to focus on keeping my hands up, forward, and together and anytime I think of opening my hand, I should put on inside leg. I also ride with my leg further back than I should, to connect to the inside hind I need to ride with my leg at the girth.

When we went up to trot I was definitely feeling out of control. With her being able to finally use her neck properly without my forcing too short a frame we had a lot of consistency issues. I felt like I was bouncing all over, which honestly tells me my worst fear- I have been balancing off her mouth. Poor girl. Luckily for me, when I told Kate I felt loose in the tack, she told me I really wasn’t.

We did trot left first, and when we went right it was much easier. I have been putting in a lot of right sided work because it was our weaker side and may have overcompensated. To the right once trot was established we were ale to work on connecting her to the bridle a little more. Again, we had a much easier time getting it all accomplished to the right. The second time to the left was not as bad, but still not as great as the right. To the left Dawn actually threw her legs out a few times- I wouldn’t go so far as to call it extended trot, but it was something akin to it. As Kate said “I hate to tell you, but there’s a bigger trot in there whether you want it or not!” so that’s exciting and terrifying all rolled into one.

She had a lot of extremely nice things to say about Dawn. She said if I can avoid the jigging, her natural walk is next to perfect and she would score it a 9. She said Dawn is one of those movers that pro riders tend to gravitate to because they can ride the movement which can be harder for amateurs.

She also helped me with trying to separate my mind from the Dawn I have raised and ridden to the Dawn I have now. She’s not a baby anymore and needs to be ridden more maturely, but she understands how hard it can be to ride your own youngster.

It was a fantastic clinic and I had a great, positive ride which has left me feeling much more confident in show season! Which, holy crap, is 6 weeks away. Must. Breathe.

I put together a very amateur little edit of the good moments of my ride, I have attached it below!

 

My Last 3 Day Weekend, Some Shopping, and Some Riding

I finished up my last 3 day weekend with an extra long 4 day weekend thanks for the holiday today. So basically, I had a mini week of vacation as I switch from my old job to my new job, which I start tomorrow. Naturally, much of my weekend was filled with all things horses.

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My Face

Friday was the farrier day, so I made my way out to the barn to wait. Dawn was in, as her paddock had ice falling off the roof of the barn into it and I just don’t need her to hurt herself again. The knock on her leg has fixed itself up, which is great because I was having some pretty terrifying visions of why her leg is swollen. I’m a little nervous with injuries and her since the SI debacle.

I waited for the farrier for a while, she unfortunately got held up at another farm and couldn’t make it out, so once I figure out my work schedule I will hopefully get her out. My new hours will be much easier to arrange things around, which will be lovely.

I had to go and purchase some new work boots for my job, and as fate would have it, Greenhawk carries the blundstone steel toe boots, so off to Greenhawk I went. I picked up my boots, and naturally had a look around. I ended up find a western bridle and reins on sale for $15. Yeah, FIFTEEN freaking dollars. I was over the moon about that. I also purchased a hackamore, because of the way Tribute chomps on his bit I thought he would go well in one. I rode him in it today and he seemed to be ok with it.

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What a FREAKING cutie!

I Rode Tribute twice over the weekend, and the second time was a big improvement. He has a lot of anxiety right now centered around mounting, so I spent a lot of time on the block working around it. Eventually when I got on, it was a non issue. He was also very quiet today, did some good halting and easy walking, so over all improvement. He’s unfortunately the type of horse who if he has a long let down, comes back like he knows nothing. That’s where we’re at now, and I’m in no rush to hurry him back so baby steps it is.

Dawn had a slow weekend, I’m babying her slightly from the knock in the leg. I would much rather go slowly, and she seems to be totally fine now. I lunged her once this weekend and let me tell you, she went into her alter ego: fire breathing dragon. This is what I call it when she is so wound up, she snorts hard and loud and her breath steams like smoke. She also prefers to do a trot that a grand prix horse would be jealous of- somehow the biggest trot with the most suspension you could imagine. All while doing her dragon noises, which is fun.

I rode her today in my jump saddle and had one of the best rides I have had in a while. I have a feeling my dressage saddle needs a fitting, so I’ll be sticking to my jump saddle until I get that done. Even our canter- our transition was a bit strung out and jumpy, but it took her only a few strides to settle, rather than a few laps to somewhat settle. I had the best canter on her I have had in a good long while.

 

When You Can’t Ride, You Read

All this snow and the lack of riding is driving me crazy. To make up for it, I have been obsessively scouring the internet for good reading and videos to help improve my riding. After reading multiple synopsis’ of the Isabell Werth clinic that just happened last weekend, I was very humbled by the fact that these riders struggle with issues I struggle with. Maybe not as much, or on the same scale, but the issues I have transcend my level of riding, and I find it comforting.

I love the reminder that leg goes on first and your hand closes AFTER, because the amount of times I don’t do that is embarrassing. I know I’m not the only one, and it is harder to remember when you ride a hotter horse.

You should use your lower leg for balance and to bring him back,” … “Don’t spread your legs away from him. Use your legs for the halt.”- Isabell Werth

Being independent of the reins is something she touched on, and something that I am trying to learn. I find I can go to them for balance, making me lean on them and therefore Dawns mouth, which of course makes her shoot off away from my lean.

To do that, I am going to be working on my home exercises, especially on my core. I have made a point this year to be active every day, but I am going to start ramping it up. I have been eating better and I have lost weight, but it’s always a work in progress for me and I have more to do.

The other thing I am going to do is try what Isabell had a rider do, and ride with both reins in my outside hand. Also, I plan on attempting to ride with the driving reins, because I do tense in the shoulders and tend to pull back and the driving reins can help. Additionally with my reins, when I find the right contact in the walk, I will not adjust my reins to move up a gait. If I have to right connection at the walk, it should be the correct one for trot and canter.

My final thing that I will be practicing more is my transitions. I do neglect them, and I need to stop that. I do my normal working walk, then I do my trot, then my canter, each rein and I’m done. I plan to practice not only walk/trot, trot/canter, canter/trot, trot/walk but also transitions within the gaits so we never feel ‘stuck. Planning my number of transitions, strides between them, and achieving the changes of the gaits will give me something to focus on besides constant drilling of my position and her position.

Now I just need to weather to co-operate so I can have some riding consistency!


Article Referenced: Isabell Werth Clinic

Snow(ice?)mageddon Round 3

Oh the weather outside is frightful… and nothing feels delightful with it. The weather today prevented me from getting to the barn. While the main roads aren’t the worst, side streets are as icy as can be around here, and I imagine worse out towards the barn. So I’m sitting at home grumbling about the weather.

I checked on Dawns leg last night and was very happy to see the swelling has gone down quite a bit. I hand walked her after I pulled her wraps which helped even more, then iced the leg and just wrapped it. It had the tiniest bit of warmth to it compared to the right, so it’s still working something out. She hasn’t gotten outside since it happened, and except for a 5 minute lunge to check soundness and her hand walk, she’s been on pretty strict stall rest. If it’s still swollen and warm when I can get to the barn tomorrow I’ll have to consider getting the vet out, but at least if it is something more sinister, I’m following the right protocol.

Needless to say, no lesson for me this week. I start a new job on Tuesday so my lessons will likely have to be changed around, but we’ll have to wait and see how it goes. I am pretty excited for my new job, it’s closer to the barn and better hours which means I’ll be riding at better times. No more super late nights after work for me! I think it will be perfect come summer when I can take better advantage of the nice weather.

I just keep reminding myself, only 35 days until spring. I can do it!

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I miss you warm weather. Come back please.