Moving Right Along

We’ve got a horse show tomorrow, but I’m still riding the high from some great lessons lately.  So regardless of what happens, I’m feeling like the improvement is there.  Here’s some little clips of lessons lately…keep an eye out for:

  • Staying down and soft on the backside of the jumps.
  • Keeping Dee’s shoulders up on approach.
  • Attempting to keep my elbows in, less “chicken dance”.
  • Making a decision on distances and sticking with it.

Here we go.

I struggled at first (and struggle at the end of the other clip) with getting to this single at an odd stride.  But this one was my best ride, and really using my outside rein to keep her body straight.  Yay!

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She is adorbs.

 

Full course, complete with ugly last jump (you can see the second I waffle on my choice & pull).  Also-enjoy Dee’s pre-jump grunting! Ha!

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Eating these bigger oxers up lately. 

So there we are!  Happy with our overall picture and excited for what’s next.  Wish us luck!

 

The Nope Week

I’ve decided we’re having a nope week.  It’s where things look promising, and then end up with a big ole giant nope instead.

It was lovely Monday, a sunny 55 degrees, and I drove out to ride Dee with baby in tow.  Typically she eats her snack in her stoller, plays with her book, screams at the barn cats or Dee, drinks her milk and chills out with us.

Nope.

Image result for nope memeInstead, I get on:

  • Dee doesn’t want to go forwards.  Baby throws her pacifier (my insurance plan) on the grass.
  • I get off, get crop, give baby pacifier, get back on using a handy dandy hill to climb aboard.
  • Dee goes forward (yay), and I break out my new bluetooth remote (thanks Sarah from Eventing in Color for the idea) to snap some pics.  Oh but wait, cell phone has already fallen off of post.
  • I look over at baby, she has now thrown her book, paci, most of her snack on the ground.  She’s working on taking a shoe off.
  • I get off, prop up phone. Give baby back her crap.  Put shoe back on.
  • Climb back on Dee, proceed on wards.
  • Making all the way through cantering before baby proceeds to cry at me.  She’s pissed her shoes are off.
  • I give up.  Get off horse.  Grab stroller.  Proceed to tell them both they are going to be sold to a 3rd world country.
    • Joking people.  Not my horse to sell, and selling babies is illegal.

Our other hack this week was quite similar, only no baby to contend with.  Dee wasn’t a huge fan of the go button, and we got in a lovers quarrel about the fact she can indeed go around round as a little ball.  Her llama impersonation is not impressive.  I invented a new term for the pictures we got, and here it is.

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BLURGLY!

Blur-ugly.  You’re welcome.

Here’s to hoping this week takes a turn for the better for my lesson this weekend!

Winter Wonderland?

Except for not?  This February we’ve had temperatures as high as 75 degrees.  I actually took the baby on a walk in a TANK TOP the other day.  Too weird.

But.

I’m not complaining.  We’ve managed to give baths, and ride outside in beautifully thawed arenas.  So, so nice!  Dee was super excited and even went out in the front for  a short little gallop.  We kept it easy because honestly we’re having more issues with our hairy horses being super hot and lazy.  

Lesson this week was also great!  We managed to fail epically at the same little gynmastic over and over and over.  It was painful how badly we failed.
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Two trot poles, a big crossrail to a vertical….except the first three time we either tripped through the poles, or jumped the last pole with the crossrail, or flopped over the crossrail to barely make it over the vertical bounce.  I kept “dropping” Dee in front of the crossrail, or right after it.  She’d then sloth her way over the next jump, carting my butt like the angel she is.

Eventually trainer had to take out the front two poles so we could make it through the grid with a semblance of order.  We jumped around the rest of the course just fine once we got going, but it was rough there for a few minutes.  Here’s our funky little course. I love bending lines on this mare because she is so very adjustable!

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One Year Horseless 

Facebook reminded me today that a year ago, I watched my little bay mare walk on to someone else trailer and head off to her new family.  What I remember now is that as she pulled away is I thought that I had failed her completely and that my dreams were over.

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Getting ready to leave.

Things are easier when you know they are the right decision.  Easier.  Not easy.  I still miss her, and I’m lucky enough to have been able to reach out to her family a few times in the past 12 months and can report that she’s doing really great.

In the past year, I have ridden schoolies who gave me my strength back, Dee who gave me my guts back, and have found myself even more grateful for the support system I have now.  It honestly has seemed like a very, very long time since I’ve owned.  And while I appreciate and know the set up I have going now is working…I still miss that connection.  I constantly find myself looking at sale ads, or drooling over friends’ new shiny 4-legged babies.

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Cute DeeDee

I know that in the past year (and maybe more), I have accepted that I really would like my next purchase to be an all around citizen.  I loved that O was a neat little jumper.  But you couldn’t trail ride her without risking life/limb.  I loved that she would wear a western saddle and look adorable.  But I want to try it all; life is too short to not try.  I hope to find something that I can trail ride on, maybe foxhunt on, take to a hunter or jumper class, let my kid climb on, etc.  I don’t need a hack winner at this point in my life, and I’m cool with that.  Who knows what I’ll end up with, but I feel like I’m much more open to a variety of horses down the road.

So I’m celebrating my one year of horselessness with a lesson, and drinks with friends.  It has been a great year, regardless of how I felt that day O left.  And yes, dreams come back, even if they are a bit different than you pictured.  That’s not a bad thing at all.  God, I’m such a sap.  Cheers ya’ll.

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Treating Yourself

I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one spends far more time and money on taking care of everyone else (horses, family, etc.) before treating themselves.  This year, in 2017 I’m trying to focus more on taking a minute to take care of myself too.  My husband is the best, and while supporting this idea, he bought me an all day spa outing to get me started.

I loved the steam, I loved the facial, but what really got to me was the massage.  The massues talked to me beforehand out any concerns or points I wanted to make.  I told her I was naturally a bit crooked, and since getting back on post baby, I feel even more so.  By an awesome coincidence, she had grown up riding, and immediately got to work.  When I stood up once she was finished, I was shocked how much more evenly distributed I felt, just walking around the difference was marked.  I had a lesson that evening and while I was sore, I could actually feel the difference in my seat and core.  I was so impressed, and I already have plans to make this happen more often.

On the home front, I like to keep a neat house.  Sparkling clean?  Ehhhh, probably not.  Sorry Mom, but it’s never perfect.  Now with my entire first floor being hardwoods, and a baby constantly hurling her cheerios/crackers everywhere…  I was over it.  So I bought myself a new toy.

Seriously, some of the best $200 I’ve ever spent.  He’s an ILife A4, and it has completely changed how I take care of my house.  He sucks up leftover baby food, chunk of horse mud, and whatever else I drag through on carpet and hardwood.  It might seem dumb, but that buys me time each day that I don’t have to be stressing or cleaning.  Worth it.

There’s other little things too, like actually buying nice skin care products, or getting my annual physical.  But the basis is that after my 20-odd years on earth I’ve decided to take better care of myself.  They say no hoof no horse right? Well no health, no horse either.  It feels good to do something nice for yourself!  We deserve it!

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More riding time is always good too!

 

Do all the things

It’s been awhile.  Dee decided to nap in some hay and get poked in the eyeball.  So she got a few days off.  Then I decided to come down with the 3rd…yes 3rd stomach bug of the season (day care is evil) and then got this sweet sinus infection.

Essentially, nothing much has been happening in my neck of the woods for about 2 weeks.  I hadn’t swung a leg over anything and I broke a sweat going up the stairs.  BUT.  This week I dragged my butt to the barn on Sunday for a makeup lesson, tossed on some spurs, grabbed my stick and off we went.

Someone was exhausted.

How Dee feels when I asked her to get up! Lol

Dee of course, was a good little cupcake, and did her job per usual.  I had forgotten that smarty pants mare would know exactly how to evade work, and got a little heavy on me.  But lots of transitions and the fan of death (bounce poles on a circle) had us moving right along.  We  jumped around a low little course; things came up easily and we finished with a smile. Bonus: I have media coming!

Blurry snaps from horse shows ftw

I was sore afterwards (pitiful I know), but still snuck in another quick ride in the random 60 degree weather this week.  It feels good to be back on track.  Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I managed a second lesson, where we really worked on my eye and my (bad) decision making skills.  Such as this:

I want to pull the pony to the jump.  She doesn’t like to be pulled to the jump.  Inevitably we put in teeny baby stride and sloth over the fence.  What did I learn here?  Apparently nothing, as I tried it like 3 times last night.  In the end I decided to do what I’ve been told a “few” times for the past 15 years and put more leg on.  Magic!!

Still on the path to do our thing at the home show in February.  AND loving my new gloves!!

The Little Guy

I have never been “the little guy” in any group.  I’m an easy 5’10” and wear heels for work a good portion of my life.  And I was almost 5’8” in 7th grade, so being the giraffe was always in the cards.  In line with that, since I can remember I’ve been riding large horses.  To some degree it was the hunter/jumper complex that bigger is better.  The rest was simply finding a horse that my 36” long inseam didn’t miniaturize.

My history is a series of 16hh+ horses.  As follows…

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16.2hh gelding

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16hh+ gelding

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16.3hh gelding

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17hh+ hand gelding

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PC: She Moved to Texas, her wonderful Simon

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16hh+ mare

I remember that buying O, at 16hh was considered “smallish” for me.  You can see in the picture just above that obviously the mare was plenty big.  But it’s a culture thing in Hunters.  People seem to love the giant, rolling stride horses.

Buuuuuuttttttttt…..

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Then I started riding this mare.  Dee is just over 15.1hh (I think), and while I love to call her shorty/mini/pony/hony there is nothing this little horse can’t do.  Our lessons do nothing to challenge her; she’s sporty, clever and cute on the flat.

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15.1 rockstar

And in being so, she has totally changed how I see horses.  How I see any future horses.  I’m not going to shrink anytime soon, so being tall will always factor into my rides.  But, if that means that maybe I just need to be more careful with my upper body at the fence-I don’t see any problems with that.

So for the first time in my 20-odd years of life, I’m the little guy.  Or rather, we are.  I’m choosing to embrace it, laugh at it, and then continue on my merry way.  I have no great ambition to challenge the bigger is better hunter complex, except in my own mind…and perhaps those who love this little horse as much as I do.