Tag Archives: riding

Actual Pics of Me on June

So, I realize I was all “I’m not going to ride June until she’s 4” and that is still 2 months away. But baby horse has progressed so far and well with her ground work, I was kinda like “Well, its time to hop on her.”

So one day I did just that. Sarah saw me walking her out to the round pen with my helmet in my hand and just said “Let me know when you’ve safely dismounted.” I figured the less of a deal I made about it, the less of a deal it would be.

So, I worked her in the round pen and she was her fantastic self.

I sided her up to the rail, and played around with throwing a leg over her, and putting some weight on her back. Then I removed her rope halter, put my other halter with reins attached to it  on her, and brought her back over to the rail.(I don’t have a side pull and #stellasurgery prevents me from buying ANYTHING not absolutely necessary).

I sided her up, and slid on. We stood there for a moment or two. Then we walked around the round pen a few circles, worked on turning, and called it a day.

It was the least dramatic and most exciting thing ever.

A few days later I decided to try again. This time I worked on shifting my weight a bit when we were walking and asking her to woah. She got that figured out quickly, so we did some more walking around and turning. With lots of just looking around and hanging out.

And on Kentucky 3 Day cross-country day, I decided to take a risk myself, and have her walk around the property with two other horses.

She was great! At one point, we were leading, and I asked the other two riders if they wouldn’t mind taking the lead since we don’t really know what we’re doing and they were like “But you have the best behaved horse!”

Apparently I picked the wrong two horses to go hack with.

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They were fun to ride with and DID end up taking the lead…

June got a little tight in her back on the way home, and I could tell she was feeling a bit frisky as we made the last turn to home. So, instead of making a big issue of it, I hopped off, turned her away from home and had her walk over some ground poles and a log that were set up in the jump field. The other two horses left and she was fine with it. I then hand walked her back to the barn with no issue.

I should note that I was riding bareback in running leggings and sneakers. If things had gone sideways I would have fallen off easily. But June hasn’t been ridden in a saddle since she’s been back, and I didn’t want to introduce that the day we went out of the round pen. I have my first lesson with her Thursday so I’ll be putting a saddle on her once or twice before that lesson (I have been doing this all along) so that when I get on her for that lesson she is at least comfortable with the saddle and remembers it’s no big deal.

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So many pics of her trotting…I know

The groundwork I’ve done with her has done exactly what I wanted. I’m so confident around her on the ground and feel like I know her so well, despite only having had her in my care for 5 months. I’ve learned so much about her and am really loving the horse I have. If she understands the question, she tries her hardest. It’s when she doesn’t understand that she “acts out.” And even her acting out is short lived and quite minimal. When she acts out, my first question is always “what doesn’t she understand?” And I LOVE trying to figure it out with her. She’s been forgiving of my training flaws and seems eager to see me when I come to her paddock.

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First IG pic of me on her back

That said, she’s got a strong personality and opinions. I need to work on things like her getting in my space and being a bit more responsive, but she’s still young and I think those things will refine themselves with work and time. I’m excited to start working with her and Sarah so I can have homework and continue in the right direction.

The other day Sarah said to me “Remember, she’s only in kindergarten,” and that really struck a chord. Kindergartener’s have a short attention span, they have temper tantrums, and they can be easily scared by harsh teaching. On the other hand, they’re curious, eager and very forgiving of what life throws at them. For June, I think exposing her to new things continues to be of the utmost importance as well as “having conversations” about what is expected of her. I’m looking forward to going slow with her, letting her tell me when she is ready for the next challenge. I think this mare has lots of potential and I can’t tell you how excited I am about the partnership progressing and for her to show me what she is capable of!

 

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June’s Big Adventure

One of my big plans for June when she came back to me was to take her to a localish schooling show and let her see the sights and get used to the life she’ll soon be leading. One where she’ll spend nights away from home and may have to travel long distances. She needs to be comfortable going new places and not making a big deal about it.

Honestly, I had zero expectations for this trip, other than I wanted her to load into the trailer and be ok about hauling, Beyond that, we’d see what would happen.

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I’m calling this the poor woman’s side pull. I can;t afford new anything, so reins got attached to a halter…

What was supposed to be a simple haul to show, spend the night, walk the grounds in the AM and head home in the PM turned into SO much more and baby mare handled it incredibly well.

So, from the beginning: She loaded like a champ. She was the first horse on the trailer and we had no issues. We drove to Stella’s vet appt, about 3 hours away. From there, she sat in the trailer for about 10 minutes while I checked Stella in, then we went to the equine hospital  down the road where she unloaded and sat in a stall for an hour while a horse had a lameness exam. She hung out in the stall, drank some water, and was totally calm. Then, back on the trailer, and off to pick up Stella where she stood in the trailer calmly for about 30 minutes, and then to Sarah’s trainers barn where Sarah was having two lessons and we would be spending the night. There was quite a bit of traffic, so we arrived far later than we had anticipated, so we unloaded horses, I threw June into a stall in a dark barn and helped Sarah tack up. June paused for about 3 seconds before entering the dark barn, but that was it. When I went to get her she was munching some leftover hay and happily came outside with me.

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If there’s hay she’s happy

I walked her all over the facility including out on the cross country course. She was a bit leery of the coffin (smart horse) but would happily nibble grass all around it. She was calm and happy and settled in and ate her hay that evening as if she had always been there.

I fed her early that morning and she was bright eyed but didn’t end up eating a whole lot as there was lots going on and we loaded back up about an hour later. She was a bit less eager to get into the trailer. I ended up getting my “ground work wand” as I call it, and she loaded right up. Once we got to the facility we decided to leave her and one other horse in the trailer since it was cool and we didn’t have day stalls. I was worried about doing this, but shouldn’t have been. She definitely pawed, but she was in there a good hour, and about 20 minutes in she gave up on pawing and just ate her hay.

After I read Sarah her dressage tests, I went back to the trailer, got June out and we walked all over. We watched some dressage, jumping warm up and stood at the rail to film Sarah’s first jump round. She was unfazed by all of it. The only thing she gave the hairy eyeball was the Gator four wheeler thing. What’s interesting is we have one of these at our barn. So it’s not novel in any way. Apparently she’s leary of Gators..

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Is there a Gator out there?

But then we had the only truly stressful part of the trip. For humans more so than horses.  After loading up one more time to head home, I told Sarah I needed to stop at Petsmart as I had no dog food at home. Sarah said it was fine, we could, but I hadn’t really thought the entire thing through. Petsmart is in a busy strip mall. It was Saturday at 1pm. Sarah has a 46′ trailer. It would be almost like a semi driver trying to navigate a strip mall. With turns.

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Trailer is no joke..

So, I would say it was a disaster, but it wasn’t realllyyy. I mean sure, Sarah just stopped and parked on what she thought was a not busy side street (it was very busy) and turned on her flashers, after navigating about 5 strip mall turns with her huge ass trailer. And sure, I paid for my dog food and then RAN down the street with the shopping cart like I had just stolen it so I could get to the trailer and keep Sarah from being honked at by more angry drivers. And maybe our poor ponies got swung side to side and back and forth as she navigated that maze, but in the end, I got dog food, horses behaved and so I call it a win. However, now, when Sarah needs something from me and I grumble about it, she just looks and says “Petsmart” and I know I’m indebted to her for a long time…

June got home, into her stall, and started to eat dinner.

Isn’t fazed by anything but Gators.

I’d call this weekend a huge win. Not only for June’s big adventure, but it was really fun to get out of town with Sarah and do horse stuff again. And, Stella’s recheck/PT appt went great. They were very impressed with the progress she’s made! She handled the weekend well and it wasn’t nearly as stressful for her as I had worried it would be. It’s good to have my best traveling buddy with me. If this weekend is any indication, we should be having a very fun spring and summer!

 

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June’s First Week Back

I really can’t express how impressed I am with this mare since she has been back.

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So pretty!

I figured in her first week we would take it a bit easy, and on Day 2 I brought her in for grooming and she was great.  I then put her in the round pen to see what, if anything, she remembered. Mare was 100% game and not only did she remember things, she had an attitude of “ok, now what would you like?” I’d had an issue with her not wanting to be caught  from her field last summer and so Trainer Dana had me work on teaching her to come towards me when I opened my arms, with lunge whips in each hand. If she went sideways I’d keep her from going anywhere with the whip. If she squared to me, I’d slink a little, avoid eye contact and invite her to come towards me. One step forward and pressure was released, I backed up as she came forward. It worked amazingly well, despite my  not believing it would and June never had an issue with being caught again.

On this day, I thought I’d see if she remembered any of that. I only had one whip, but I opened my arms, took a step back and June walked right up to me.

I think the best decision I made was to send her to Trainer Dana prior to letting her rest all winter. Clearly she has retained that info and is ready to move forward.

Day 3 she got off because Stella had surgery and I was in Boise. I took advantage of being unable to work her and had her get her spring vaccinations.

Day 4 we did a little round pen work, a little grooming, and then I took her to the obstacle course. As always with her, if she understands the question, she is game to do her darndest. In a few instances I got in front of her shoulder, which she thinks means whoa and we had some difficulty walking over the bridge or teeter totter. But she did everything I asked, when I asked correctly, and  her favorite is still climbing on the tires.

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What’s the big deal, mom?

Day 5 it was lunging in the indoor arena. I decided to throw some trot poles down as well as the liverpool. I walked her up to the liverpool and we walked over it with zero hesitation. This was a physically demanding day for an unfit pony. Lots of trotting, walking and trotting over the liverpool on the lunge line, and figuring out where her feet are through the trot poles. I could tell she was getting tired when she stopped and looked at me. I urged her forward and she literally threw her head and squealed! Then totally trotted forward. I appreciate the sass almost as much as how quickly she acquiesced.

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I like to watch her trot…

Day 6 she got her teeth floated. And I took advantage of the drugs and trimmed her bridle path, fetlock feathers and butchered her tail a bit. Whoops!

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She’s kinda a lightweight

Day 7 I brought her into the indoor and we worked on standing politely while being groomed, she wore front shipping boots and hind xc boots and we walked around. She was not happy about the rear boots so I left them on while I saddled her and walked her around the barn with her saddle on and stirrups swinging around. She didn’t protest about any of it.

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More tires, please?

I’m pleasantly surprised by how much she grew up this winter and how great her attitude is. We’ll begin taking lessons in May, so in the meantime I plan on just de-sensitizing her to as much as possible and getting her fit enough to begin work under saddle. It’s been great having her back, she brings much needed happiness to each day.  I’m thinking this will be a fun summer together!

 

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She’s Home!

This was a week where I could use something to make me happy. And leave it to my baby horse to help me with the task.

For those of you who kindly commented on my Fraggle Friday post, Stella is doing ok, but this week will be one of decisions, I’ll keep you posted on her for sure. We’re not out of the woods by any means

But this is a horse blog, so for now, lets talk about the baby horse!

Sarah and I went and picked up Desi and June Saturday and the trip was completely uneventful. Which is exactly what you want when you are hauling young horses! They both loaded up into the trailer with no issues. Then ate all their hay for the 5 hour journey.

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So curious at the stop for fuel!

When we got home the wind was at hurricane level, but both horses unloaded calmly and June went right into her stall and began to munch even more hay. When I left her she was like “see ya mom, I got hay to eat.”

Exactly the kind of reaction I would want for a horse that just had the most stressful day she’s had in 5 months. ❤

Media is not good, and I apologize. But baby horse had been experiencing mud season and looked it. So, I let her run around prior to grooming and was hoping I could take shots from far enough away that her filth wouldn’t be as obvious.

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I trotted her around a bit and then brought her in and groomed her. Her manners were still in place, but she got bored about 20 minutes in and began pawing. Instead of making a huge fuss I just untied her, had her move her feet, re tied her and got on with it. She looks much better now and tomorrow we’ll get to some real work.

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She’s grown a little, and greyed a lot. Is that a word? You know what I mean…

I’m just over the moon to have her back, and over the moon with how sensible she was on the trailer and her first day back. I’m so excited to get started with her and see what our future holds. Be prepared for more media and lots of June spam.

I do want to take a moment and give a shout out to my good friend Haley and her horse Tommy. You may remember that I rode him last winter and learned a ton. He was such a different ride for me and I struggled, but he was such a good boy and very patient with me. Tommy had been a rock star at Prelim and Haley just moved up to Intermediate with him at Galway, last week. They rocked around like total pros. She’s an inspiration to me and I am so thrilled with how far their partnership has come. It’s fun when a friend succeeds after lots of hard work. June and I are eager to have half their accomplishments.

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Go rock stars!

Here’s to new beginnings with June and hopefully an incredibly fun season!

 

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June’s Genes

I want to start this post with a disclaimer. I really don’t know much about stallions and pedigree. I’ve always had hand me down horses or horses that I could financially afford. The pedigree of these horses never mattered to me. What mattered was their heart, their soundness, and what was going on between their ears. So, never in my life did I think I’d be writing a post highlighting my horse’s pedigree.

But June’s is special enough (for me at least) that it’s worth getting excited about and delving into her ancestry a bit.

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Doing what she does best…

So here goes.

June’s father is Riverman. If you haven’t heard of Riverman, you’re probably more similar to me than you knew, because apparently we have been living under a rock. This stallion has been around forever. No, like FOREVER. He was born in 1990. How he is still alive is a testament to his care, because that is one old stallion. And how he is still producing semen??? Anyway. We’ll move on.

Riverman is quite the famous stallion. For one thing, his offspring excel in all sorts of disciplines. Eventing, jumping, dressage, and even competitive driving! For me, there are two aspects of Riverman that are really appealing. For one thing, he has been the USEF Lead Eventing Sire 3 times. His babies are out there doing their thing! Which leads me to what else I like about this horse.. his offspring seem to get his talent time and time again. Now, I’m sure there are some duds, but in looking at pages and pages of his offspring, these are some TALENTED babies! Whether jumping or prancing, you can tell they’re a little bit fancier than your average horse. One of my favorite Riverman babies was R-Star ridden by Kristi Nunnick. Mare was fun to watch and so athletic! Currently, one to watch is Fleeceworks Royal, ridden by Tamie Smith.

I hope June inherits his athleticism, I already think she looks a bit like him when he was a baby..

But he is only one part of the equation. Lets not forget about June’s momma!

“Mille Mocha Lynx” is a Quarter Horse who’s babies have gone on to be cutters, jumpers and pleasure/trail horses. She has the QH brain people envy and has she seems to pass this along to her offspring.

I will fully admit I know nada about QH pedigree. But from what I gather, she is related to Doc Lynx somehow and that’s a good line of horses? Lol, I’m so out of my realm on this one. Her breeder told me that her line of Quarter Horses tend to be quite hardy and athletic. When I visited her she seemed like a friendly mare without any conformation flaws. I’m hoping June inherits her brain.

Perhaps what is most exciting is I that have a front row view of every move June’s half-sister makes. Rapid just moved up to Training after crushing it at the Novice level. (She’ll be at AECs this year!) Having ridden Rapid, I can attest to what a lovely mover she is. Her canter is a dream to ride. So uphill. Fingers crossed June gets this quality! Any time Rapid does anything remotely naughty, I’m sure to blame it on her Connemara mom. Not her Holsteiner pappa. (This is the only time I EVER fault an Irish horse for anything.)

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yes please

And while June’s full brother isn’t a competition horse, he is proving to be a lovely level-headed gelding. In 2013 he placed first at Rebecca Farm in the FEH 2 year old class. He has a junior rider who he’s caring for and he’s proving to be scopey and smart and with a temperament suited to an amateur. Lets hope the same qualities are found in his sister!

While only time will tell the horse June will become, I’m excited with this glimpse I have into her pedigree. I think if nothing else, we’re off to a good start!

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Second to Last Lesson

Because it finally decided to snow in Idaho, and because the snowstorm was quite significant, and because the road to the barn blows like crazy creating zero visibility, my weekly lesson was cancelled last week. No big deal until I realized I only had two lessons left on the mare and really, really, wanted those two lessons.

So, Sarah squeezed me in for two lessons the following week. I opted to do one dressage and one jumping. And because neither lesson would be working towards something bigger, I was a bit lost as to what I wanted to work on. For like a minute.

Then I was like “Lets do upper level movements and not worry about everything being perfect all the time!”

Weirdly, my perfectionist of a trainer was not really into that idea, but agreed to do some upper level movements and we would do them well.

Macy was great during warm up, despite the fact that Sarah was riding Georgie in the arena with us (more on that later). BTW having your instructor on a horse during your lesson is amusingly annoying. For one thing, they’re way more mobile- she could come to the end of the arena with me or have whatever vantage point she wanted easily, making it way more difficult for me to slack off at any point during the lesson.

But clearly, we had to get a picture of the two of them. Sarah hasn’t ridden Georgie since she injured herself, and I didn’t ride Macy before the injury, so we’ve never been on each other’s heart horses at the same time 🙂

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Classic Georgie and Macy. Georgie being perfect and Macy being pissed.

So here was the great part about the lesson. I can finally understand not only what the horse should be doing, but what I should be feeling. I understand that in order to do shoulder in, I need to do about 50 other things before we even think about coming up center line, and I need to feel the horse doing them underneath me because if I don’t, the movement is not going to work. At all.

We had another aha moment about my hip as well. I naturally carry my left hip and shoulder forward. If I make a point of thinking of keeping my left hip and shoulder back, Macy immediately responds. I can actually get her to be straight easily. But the problem is, it’s really tough and moderately painful, to ask my hips to be flexible. But still! It was a great aha moment!

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My head is cropped off, but does it matter? The rest of the photo is pretty nice…

The lesson was so good that at the end I proclaimed I wanted to skip jumping for the next lesson, and do more dressage. It was that fun and I really, really, felt like Macy and I had made huge strides. I didn’t want it to stop!

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This is me smiling during a dressage lesson. When does that EVER happen?

But then I got home and realized, if I don’t jump Macy in the next lesson, when will I ever jump again?????????? So, while I really enjoyed this lesson, I couldn’t forgo jumping.

I’m kinda just in denial that this was our last dressage lesson. Man this mare has taught me a lot and been such a school master on so many levels.  I’m just going to pretend that it isn’t ending, because right now, that thought makes me very sad.

 

 

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Groundpoles Graduate

Macy and I graduated from groundpoles.

I know. Stop the press, who would have thought it’d happen?

Trainer Sarah invited me to have a group jump lesson, just the two of us, and I said “Sure!”

And then immediately regretted the decision as vision of Macy being unrideable danced through my head.

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Macy contemplating her level of rideability pre ride

But I showed up, watched as Trainer Sarah started to set up a grid and started to feel like maybe we could do this.

Warm up went well, just a few pointers to help me get Macy more supple and bending around my inside leg and then we were onto jumping.

The grid was set up off a tight turn, so Macy really had to be supple and bending or we would not get through the grid well. It was 5 fences set at one stride apart, so it was definitely a good gymnastic exercise. If Macy wanted to plow through it, she would be unpleasantly surprised, but my job as a rider was to let her make the mistake and learn from it.

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She just looks so happy when she’s jumping

Not so surprisingly, been around the block mare had zero issues with the grid. I really worked on my corner approaching it, circling a time or two if she wasn’t as supple as I wanted, and things went really, really well.

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Trainer Sarah did have to keep reminding me to “stretch up,” it’s a gird after all, I needed to ride in a bit more of a defensive position. I learned why the second time through, when Macy tripped, I fell forward and the brim of my helmet slammed into her neck. I felt everything in my neck crack. Not sure it was the adjustment I wanted.

But, after that I kept my face and chest away from her body.

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As the grid built up it became a great exercise for both of us, and I kinda gotta say it restored my confidence that I can in fact ride this mare. Also, doing my homework has helped. What I’ve been working on over groundpoles really helps me focus on where she needs to be ALL THE TIME.

Need some short video evidence?

So yay for a graduation! It’s about damn time!

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100 Transitions

In her blog  Viva Carlos, L. mentions that she did 100 transitions with her horse Dante during a walk/trot ride. My immediate thought was “100 transitions???? Is she crazy?” But then, I was like “Hmm, I wonder what that would be like?”

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Exactly what I look like…

On my next ride, there I was, aiming to purposely do 100 transitions while I rode Macy.

And here’s what I found:

This was great for both of our brains. Macy tends to get a little “work, work, routine, routine” and doing lots of transitions kept her on her toes. I was worried she would get tense, trying to anticipate what was next, or never getting to do something for a long period of time, but we actually had a really lovely, really relaxed ride.

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Sideways ears are an indication of relaxation on this mare

Here’s the deets you want to know as you contemplate 100 transitions:

  1. Can you really count to 100 while you ride and remember what number you’re on? Yes, yes you can. Cause if I can do it, you can too. Sure, I may have missed a number and not been sure if I was on 67 or 68, but I would then go to the lower number to make sure I really got at least 100 in. And this only happened when we had a tough transition. (Trot to canter will never be as perfect as I want it to be when there are bucking horses sharing the arena with us..)
  2.  How long do 100 transitions take to do? So, I can’t really answer this because it depends on what your goal is. My goal was to do transitions regularly and frequently. I didn’t want Macy trotting or cantering for more than 2 20m circles, if that. So, for us, we got right to work, doing lots of walk to halts in our warm up and the entire thing took 35 minutes.
  3. Why would you want to do this? Well, for me, I need to stay really focused when I ride Macy and this enabled me to work on that. I had to be thinking of my next move all the time. I had to be preparing for the next move all the time. How many times do we (I) get lazy and just cruise into an upward or downward? This helped me not do that.

So, I’m sure there are some of you out there thinking “Really Nadia, a post on 100 transitions? I’ve made this part of my routine for years!” And to those of you- I can understand why! But none of us in my eventing barn had, so it was super exciting and new. Definitely something I’ll be adding to my routine when I am riding June! Thanks L. Williams for the inspiration!

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Tools in My Toolbox

Last week I had a bout of vertigo, resulting in missing a day of work (first sick day in 3 years!) and laying in bed trying not to vomit. Vertigo is not fun, ya’ll. I had a lesson on Macy scheduled for the following day, but learning from past experiences where I ride when I don’t feel 100%, I asked Trainer Sarah if she could ride Macy in the lesson.

I was slightly apprehensive. I mean, it’s not like Sarah would be schooling my horse. She’d be schooling her horse, who I had been riding.

Sarah can get Macy to look faannnccy

I was ready for disaster. Or, not disaster. A lot of schooling Macy to get her back to “pre-Nadia riding her.” Um, is there anything more nerve-wracking than having your trainer ride her heart horse who you’ve basically ruined? I think not.

So here’s the good, the bad,  and the ugly from the ride.

The good- Sarah was really happy with how Macy felt. She felt strong and lighter than she had in the past. I’ve been riding her correctly!

The bad- Macy was a bitch for Sarah to jump at first. Sarah had to undo all the ruining I had done. It didn’t take her long, but it was definitely there. Because of yours truly.

All because of my stellar riding.

The ugly- There really wasn’t any ugly. Except that Sarah had such an easy time correcting Macy and getting her rideable. It was eye-opening to me. The mare is rideable, I just need to use my aids more effectively and have a stronger core. And 15 years of riding her might help. But I’m not sure that’s gonna happen.

So, we all have our trainer’s ride our horses. Or, in my case, their horses. But this ride was more eye-opening to me than just a regular training ride. I came out of this lesson all “I can do this! I can get this mare to be rideable for me!”

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And so, the next time I went to ride her, I was all pumped. I had all these things I wanted to work on, and was so excited to ride her well and have a fantastic ride. But when I brought Macy into the indoor arena, I was greeted with three other riders already riding.

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I can barely ride Macy with one other rider in the indoor.

But, instead of backing down, or expecting the worst, I decided to ride Macy from the moment I got on her, and committed to 30 minutes of work, mentally and physically.

To make things even more challenging, there was no rhyme or reason to what the other riders were doing, and they liked to get REALLY close to Macy. (At one point one was so close Macy turned her head and BARELY missed biting him. She’s THAT reactive. And bitchy).

I immediately got her walking and working on bend and coming over her back, trying to get her to relax. She was actually great. Then we moved onto the trot, same things, and she was a bit more tense, but I really worked on getting her to relax and did my best to avoid other riders. There was a pole in the middle of the arena and we trotted over it calmly.

Things were going well enough that I decided to push my luck and try her out at the canter. At this point, two riders were chatting in the center of the arena, and one was cantering. Macy HATES when other horses canter. But I was feeling “brave” and had a beautiful walk/canter transition and was able to keep her pretty relaxed and not all bunched up, wanting to bolt. I worked on flexing her left and right, and even worked on keeping her haunches from flying in as we tracked left. Woah. Thinking and riding? That’s weird.

I remembered that Sarah mentioned “Lateral work is a tense horse’s best friend” so we worked on leg yielding out on a circle, and some haunches in to get her more supple. By the end of the ride we were calmly cantering over the pole regardless of what was going on around us. I was even able to do some two point to sitting position in the canter, something that can make Macy squirt forward if not done well.

Was the ride perfect? No. But by using the tools in my toolbox, I was able to work through things, rather than become a hot mess. Macy stayed fairly relaxed and rideable. And do I dare say that we may be the ground pole champions of the world? Well, probably not, since we can’t do more than one at a time. But, maybe one day, one day soon, we’ll be cantering over multiple ground poles.

One can always hope.

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My High School Self

I don’t particularly love who I was in high school. I wasn’t a horrible person, but I was your typical high school teen.

I had major mood swings.

I wasn’t a good communicator.

I was overly worried about what was going on around me instead of just being confident with who I was.

And while I was a good athlete and student, it didn’t come naturally to me. I had to work hard to gain All American honors in lacrosse and I worked incredibly hard to make it into AP classes. I resented those who made light work of both academics and sports.

So…

I was riding Macy the other day when it struck me. Macy is my high school self.

Lets explore this a bit further.

On the day I was riding her a lesson was going on. Macy was so preoccupied with this other horse in the arena. Every time it got near us she would pin her ears and throw her head threatening to bite the horse.

Just SLIGHTLY preoccupied with others.  Just SLIGHTLY worried about what was going on around her instead of just doing her thing.

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Always worried about what’s going on around her…

And while Macy is an above average athlete (and way more talented than I was in high school), dressage does not come naturally to her. She’s not built to make any of this easy. She’s downhill with this huge barrel, and she doesn’t exactly scream light on her feet. And yet, with hard work and determination, she makes it happen. It’s not easy, but she’ll be damned if any horse thinks she isn’t serious competition. And so, she refuses to make friends with the competition and instead keeps them at bay and keeps working at it, proving them all wrong.

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I mean.. it’s just not that pretty a picture. Love ya May! (most days)

Oh and the mood swings. Do we even need to go there? She is the moodiest mare there ever was. And instead of just communicating in a normal, rational way, instead she takes EVERYTHING to the max. Talk about a drama queen. It’s exhausting.

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It’s all or nothing with this horse

So, maybe Macy is stuck forever being a teenager. I feel for her, that is NOT a fun place to be. And while I want to comfort her, another part of me just wants to slap her and tell her to grow up. Being a perpetual teenager isn’t fun for any of us.

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