Learning From Each

So much to report on and I don’t know where to start. I had wanted to do a full recap on Aspen Farms HT but I think it will have to wait.

Instead, I’ll give a recap on some recent rides.

It’s been Macy and Rapid and Smokey lately and all have been exactly what I needed at that moment.

Macy continues to make me a better a rider. I can’t say I always love riding her, but damn, I learn a lot. We have had two jump lessons recently and they’ve been great. I mean, sometimes  I am nervous and worried about her spooking, but overall, I learn a lot and she is actually a really fun horse to jump. She 100% calls me out on my mistakes, but she is honest to the jump and I can worry about me, which is nice.

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She’s 100% bored with me, but I’m what she’s got right now…

I got to do trot sets on Miss Rapid this weekend while Sarah was away. She is teaching me ALL about young horses. I brought her in and let her run around for a bit (she hasn’t really been worked all week since she came back from Aspen on Monday) and she wasn’t very interested in doing much. So, got her tacked up, and as we headed out I realized I forgot to put stirrups on the saddle. She was all antsy, so I decided to run her around. Thank God I did ’cause she was bucking and head tossing and full of it! I caught her after about 10 minutes and decided to hop on. She was still super antsy, prancing instead of walking, but I felt oddly safe. We got to trotting and mare was great. I really had to work on not tipping forward (there is really nothing between pommel and her head) and using my core to keep shoulders back and out of what I call the danger zone. She had some “green” moments, but was sensible and and I had a good time for the most part. Plus, not falling off is almost a goal with these youngsters, so I felt like I at least accomplished that.

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Such a poser…

And then Smokey. This was the ride I needed. Meg may have gotten a serious sunburn yesterday and can barely walk, let alone ride (#irishburneasy), so she asked if I would get Smokey out.

Ah, to ride an uncomplicated horse. My brain needed to relax and just enjoy the ride. Smokey is as honest as they come to a fence and I just love jumping her. It was fun. I haven’t had fun in a while. I really like that mare and am thankful Meg let me take her out for a spin.

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I mean.. the cutest

I learn something from every single horse I ride, and I am so thankful to have them to ride! I am headed back east this week and then bringing baby Junebug home!! Ahh, I am so excited! I have been in touch with a foundation trainer and she is going to help me with ground work for the next few months, since I have never had a baby. I have some things I really want to work on with her, and am excited for the guidance.

So, lots of fun, lots going on, and I can’t wait for it all to continue!

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Fraggle Friday

Not sure how many more hikes I’ll have with Stella so have decided to cherish every one.


She’s still hiking mountains with me and begging to go running, but she has never been good at self limiting. 


The trip to Aspen was hard for her, new place, new routine. She’s happy to be back home.

I think she’s still got some great years ahead but if I want to keep her happy for the long run I should probably make the sacrifice to leave her home more often when I go on longer outings.

It’s tough leaving your constant companion and best buddy behind.

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Georgie Update

Best grey mare has happily settled in to her new home. While I am still her caretaker, I no longer have the lease on her, so we moved her to a private barn with a bit more space- a location that is 3 minutes away from me, which is LOVELY.

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Lots of grazing, her favorite thing

Georgie is an easy mare, but some of her less desirable habits have surfaced. Mare is not patient. When owner arrives in the PM to turn horses out to pasture, Georgie FLIPS OUT if it isn’t done soon enough. She may have kicked the panel, bending it pretty badly and cutting up her leg.

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She wants THIS all the time

Barn owner was a bit concerned about this behavior. So, kicking chains went on. I can’t have Georgie being a brat and losing out on this place. I also got her out for a walk and she is back to wearing her rope halter so we can work on ground manners a bit more.

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Are you here to feed me?

She is living with a 27 year old Missouri Fox Trotter named Trax. He’s adorable and sweet as easygoing as they come.

She’s in love but won’t admit it.

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It’s a great spot for her, I love how peaceful and shaded it is for the hotter days. She has a vet recheck on 6/28 and we shall see how the healing is going. Hopefully I can hop on her in the near future and go for some walks!

 

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Fraggle Friday: Aspen Edition

The girls are hanging out at Aspen Farms with me helping/watching Sarah and enjoying the beauty of this place.

But it’s raining. A lot. 


Which has resulted in lots of indoor time with 5 dogs in one trailer..


Both dogs have been remarkably well behaved. Just tough having them on leash always. Neither are great at the leash thing. Plus they are polar opposites and always going in different directions.


Siri has mastered the art of posing. 

We’ve been having lots of fun and Siri is proving to be a good event dog. One day, in a few years, I bet she’ll be able to come when I am actually competing and need to worry about her and a horse…

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More Macy Chronicles

About 2 days into my unofficial lease of Macy I fell jumping her. We had some terrible rides after that, mainly as a result of me being nervous and tense. I told Sarah I wasn’t up for riding her on my own- it wasn’t helping anything, and wanted to try and only ride in lessons.

So, for the past 3 weeks or so, that’s what we have been doing. Having eyes on the ground that know this horse so well has been incredibly helpful, but also, at times, incredibly stressful. Sarah and I had a rather unpleasant lesson where Macy was a spook factory, churning them out at an incredible rate. Sarah eventually yelled at me that I was overreacting to the spook and making things worse. This turned into a back and forth of “well I’ve never ridden a spooky horse!” “well her spooks are an overreaction to nothing so what do you expect me to do?” “Really? put my leg on and get her to bend? That’s the answer??? I doubt it.”

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I appreciate when she goes like this

Weirdly it was the answer. And I don’t know if my handling the spook better has made our rides quite pleasant lately or Macy has just been in a good mood.

We’ve had some major aha dressage and jumping moments. Macy was a saint in our last jump lesson (of which I have zero media) and she proved once again that she will jump from anywhere, over anything, despite what I am doing on her back to make it more difficult for her.

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And this

She is such a different horse from any I have ridden. Yes, she’s a sensitive TB. But she’s also really opinionated. And you’re not going to change her. Lots of head tossing, which is distracting, but I worked really hard to keep my elbows supple.

When it started to thunder, then lightening, then rain, I figured we’d head in. But Sarah kept us jumping. And I was so nervous about the weather I wasn’t helping Macy at all. But, we kept at it, I worked on sitting up, shoulders back, sternum out, and we had a couple of lovely jumps before calling it a night.

Macy is definitely getting me to be a better rider. She can be aggravating as all hell, but when she’s good, she has a lot of wisdom to share and I really enjoy those moments.

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So, for now, it’s two lessons a week on her with me getting her out by lunging or round penning. It seems to be working for now, and we’ll continue to see what the future holds for this partnership.

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Fraggle Friday

Warmer weather, sunny skies, I do believe spring is here! Yes, I know you all are in summer, but we don’t get that until about July… for 5 days…

There’s something about dogs in buckets that I find adorbs. The first picture is from Squirrel and Stella a few years ago when we went and watched the Millbrook HT and on the right we Siri the other day. I guess they know how too cool off!

And, warm weather wears Siri out. After a 7 mile run she was ready for nap time. (Me too if I’m being honest)

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Warm temps mean it’s rattlesnake season so I got her a Rattlesnake vaccine and now that she has had her booster I can rest a little easier. We still try to run super early before they come out… yuck. I HATE snakes

Wishing you all a great weekend!

xoxo

Stella and Siri!

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Building Trust

Probably my favorite part about having Georgie was the trust we had. She was an easy horse to trust. I would joke that Georgie at her worst was often better than most horses at their best. She would pull some antics, but I could laugh them off, and not worry that they would affect the rest of our ride. I knew her so well, and trusted her so much that I felt invincible on her.

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And it wasn’t that she was perfect or ever put a foot out of place. In fact, Georgie had some serious opinions. She would rear if the dressage work got too tough. And she broke free and galloped off with me unable to catch her at least twice. (Once at an event, that was fun). She thought about running out at light colored fences. She thought there were demons in the north end of the arena during the winter.

But none of these things ever scared me, or made me nervous around her. Because I trusted her wholeheartedly. Like a toddler, I let her have her moment, and then asked her to behave again. And she always did. And I knew that she always would.

Sure she jumped with her eyes closed, but I still trusted her…

And that kind of trust, that kind of relationship, is what I am currently missing in my life and am struggling so much with.

I cannot wait to have Junebug and start the trust building. I can’t wait to work through issues together and figure out what her triggers are, what scares her, and work through it. I can’t wait to have a horse who I trust wholeheartedly, and know so well we can anticipate each others thoughts to every question.  My hope is that Junebug will be as trustworthy as Georgie was, and I realize it will take years to get there, but I am excited for the journey.

I’ve been lucky to ride quite a few horses since Georgie’s injury, and each have taught me so much. But because none of them are mine, and I’m not training any of them to be my partner, there is something missing with each and every one of them. And it makes my ride on them that much more difficult.

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I would have never done this with a horse I didn’t trust.

So enjoy your pony, and enjoy the trust building. It’s for sure the thing I miss the most. Well, that, and galloping cross country.

 

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