Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Quick Update

Hi guys - I am busily getting ready for this weekend. I leave with a friend on Friday at about noon for the Brian Sabo clinic in Redmond, which I am VERY excited for. But it's a lot to get ready for, even just a two-day jaunt. Pack the clothes, empty the horse trailer, repack the horse trailer, make sure everything's clean, buy and pack food, grab food for the horse, evict those little bitty bee/wasp/buzzy-thing nests from the trailer tack room . . .

Everything has been going well at the new barn. It's still lovely and quiet and have I mentioned the hay?

I've had some pretty good schooling sessions with Pandora. I still feel stuck a lot of times on dressage, but a lot of that is my problem not hers - it's just a lack of practical experience. We'll keep working our way forward until I take some lessons anyway, I don't think we're doing anything wrong; we're just slowly stepping along, working things out for ourselves.

I've done a few nice gallops out in the field. Yesterday I was reminded why I ride. After a long morning helping out at a Pony Club mock rally, my boyfriend Jon and I drove out to the barn. We were talking about friends I think, and not getting along with people, or some similarly deep topic. A few moments of silence passed, and then he asked what I was thinking. "Oh," I said, "I'm just trying to figure out if I should go through the grid today or just do flatwork, or maybe change the grid up . . ."

Yup. Give me five seconds and my mind's back on the horses.

"Don't you ever get tired of it?"
Now this I had to actually think about.
"Yeah. All the time, actually. I get discouraged, or bored, or just tired. I don't want to go out, I don't want to ride. Most of the time, I just do it anyway, because in the long term it's what I want and need to do. Sure, if I miss a ride here or there, it's not a big deal...but if I didn't make that choice every day, I'd never get anywhere."
I thought some more.
"Like today. I don't feel like riding right now. I'm tired, and I'd really like to just come out here and longe her for 15 minutes and leave. But I'm going to ride, because I need to."

So I hopped on. We spent 10 minutes on flatwork in the arena. She was good, quite good - mellow, responsive, relaxed. So we headed out to the field, where I did some trotting, cantering, and galloping. Pandora was excellent out there too! Big, ground-covering trot. Easy, relaxed canter, just plunking along at a calm speed until I asked her to open up, and then coming right back to me. (McKinna was hollering for her off and on for the whole ride, by the way. Pandora ignored her for the most part.) Jon got some really cool pictures, which I will steal from him and put up on the blog ASAP. Since she was so good for that, I decided to hop her through the grid once or twice in the outdoor arena, then call it done for the day.

She was perfect going through the grid. Mellow but forward, relaxed, not trying to rush at all. Jon took video. I went through twice and hopped off.

The whole ride lasted about 20 minutes, but we worked pretty hard for most of it. It was a good workout.

By the end, I couldn't wipe the grin off my face. As I untacked, I enthused to my patient boyfriend about how good the ride was, how rateable she was outside, how much better she went through the grid now than at that bad lesson a couple weeks ago, etc. At last I concluded - "So that's why I ride every day. Because even if I'm tired of it, most of the time I come out of it glad I decided to get up there."

I went from being in a tired, crappy mood to being tired but cheerful and really pleased with my horse. It was a good day. Not only was she good for me in general, it was also the first day I'd taken her up to the main barn (maybe 1/5 mile away from the pasture) without taking McKinna up too. Pandora and McKinna both handled themselves quite well.

So that's how things are going. My ride today was pretty good too, just a half hour before the farrier came out. It's been lots of checkups lately - the vet came out on Friday to check teeth and do vaccinations while she was out. Pandora was actually in perfect shape, even though it's been a year since her teeth have been done, so I scored a lower vet bill. McKinna needed done. Poor thing, she always looks so pathetic when she's sedated. I also bought a tube of banamine to have on hand.

Very, very excited for the clinic this weekend. Fingers crossed it's worth the money!

Speaking of money - dang, internet shopping is dangerous. I got a pair of Dublin Aristocrats for $37 on sale at Bit of Britain. SERIOUSLY. Tall boots. For less than $40. I also got a polo for my mom and me to share. And a few weeks ago, I got a pair of Ariat Icebergs - a winter boot, but a tall boot, so I can ride in them. I am SO excited. They're all fleecy and warm and insulated. I have had cold toes every winter, because my Ariat work boots aren't insulated or super waterproof, and my rubber boots are definitely not insulated. For the first time, I'll have warm toes!

Anyway. I've put a bit of a moratorium on internet shopping for myself, as the return to school means a drop in work hours. The money inflow comes down, but the board payment does not. Sigh.

Hope all is well, and I'll check back in a day or two with some pictures before I head off to the clinic. Then I will hopefully return with a successful, happy clinic report!



PS, here is a video of us lolloping through Grid Therapy v. 1.2. Very calm and relaxed, no? I need to shorten my stirrups for jumping, but the fences were so low it didn't really matter.




Look at that stretch down at the end. "I'm TIRED, are we done yet?" Like I really worked her that hard. 20 minutes, give me a break.

3 comments:

Leah Fry said...

Glad all is going well for you and look forward to seeing the photos from your ride.

Cara said...

Very Nice Riding!

If you want to be good at anything, that is what it takes.

SprinklerBandit said...

My husband has the same trouble with me. If things get quiet, I'm just thinking about my horse and how to help her with that next transition or what I want to try next time we ride. It's unromantic, but at least I'm thinking it instead of forcing him to listen, right?

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