Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Back To Regular Scheduled Programming

Winter really cramped my style there for a while.

Sweet face camouflages all the 'tude. <3 

December: Nada.

January: Phfftt. Too cold.

February: A little influenza/upper respiratory infection with Savvy meant needing to hold back on how much work we could do.

March is being good to me; new saddle, nice weather, happy horse and lessons not being cancelled due to snow storms or other random annoying real-life occurrences.

So far we seem back on track to regular work which means back to some seriously fun canter practice! We have only cantered a couple of times this year so far. The goal mostly is to get her feeling comfortable with the whole idea of cantering with a rider more than just a half a circle, as well as establishing the cue and improving the response to it. There has been no attempt at bucking since the first few canters last fall, which is awesome.

Someday canter will just be another working gait, like no big deal.  But for now, squeeee!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Getting to the Core

Some people exercise.

I eat chocolate and ride my pony.

So, when I was told there would be an exercise night at my coach's barn with a new athletic therapist in our area, I was all over it! (Put anything with horses and I am there, basically.)

I ran out and bought exercise pants (paired nicely with my favorite rubber boots--it was in a barn) and headed out for an evening of using muscles that don't want to be used.

Plaid forever <3

After a bit of classroom learning time, we laid down our yoga mats/horse blankets and got to work.

We learned all about strengthening our core and developing the muscles we need to be better riders. We also learned about preventing future pain with correct use of our body.

Some of the exercises we were working on.

It was a great mix of biomechanics for riding and torture exercises geared towards improving balance, posture and equitation on the horse.
I hate you, plank.

Needless to say, I am hurting. so. much.

Next session is with horses. Really, I can't wait.  ;)

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Technique versus Instinct

I am treading in water that I am finding a bit too deep. I have always ridden by feel--I find it very difficult to think about this foot here, hip weight there, blah, blah, blah.

Riding from the time I was able to get a horse near a fence to climb up (4 years old), I was out there, riding unsupervised, bareback, doing all the dangerous fun things and developing a feel that is second nature.

Sure, I was shaped along the way through 4-H, clinics, et cetera, on proper equitation so I learned to look 'pretty' for shows and I did quite well at it.

Then with Miss Tea, I dove into hunter land and learned about short stirrups, half seats and how to make all of that 'pretty'.
"will dressage for cookies" - Savvy

Enter Savvy and our new direction: Dressage.

My brain hurts. I have actually printed lists and illustrations of movements, what the horse's body is supposed to be doing and what my body needs to do to get it. I just can't get this X-Y-Z stuff into my head yet though. Riding on instinct and feel is difficult when I do not fully understand what I want her body to do exactly and why.

I know we'll get there. I just never imagined dressage would be so hard.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Spring? Really?

Well this happened.

It was almost all gone and then, boom. Right back to winter.

And this happened.

Way too close to the eye.

Poor Savvy. She is not happy about it. She was off to herself this morning when I came out to feed. The scrape looks a bit worse than just hair taken off, but not an open wound, thank goodness. A bit swollen, but did not feel like broken bones underneath. I hope this teaches her to stay clear of pony once and for all. Otherwise Meyla is going to have to go back to the small coral by herself again. Ugh, why can't they all just get along?

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams

Exciting news!

I have made a little purchase. No, I cannot afford to get myself those fleece-lined rubber boots I will soon need when all this snow melts and I haven't paid my cell phone bill in full, possibly ever...but I can make this happen somehow.

Here is a hint...
Wha?! Oh?!    Yes.

The colour of said purchase made the search frustratingly limited, but was of the utmost importance because, well...I have my horse's spots to match, don't ya know.

I started scanning local tack for sale, but my search ballooned ever outward until I was actually considering an option as far away as Australia. It seemed the combination of my limitations (with budget being the largest barrier) was going to make the search seem futile.

So I decided to give up the search for a bit, but the habit of searching all available adds was strong and I found myself still taking a peek now and then.

And there it was! My colour. My size. Hopefully Savvy's size. In my price range. In my feck'n  province!

So I emailed the seller and what do you is the girl I see every Wednesday at my lesson barn.

Lesson learned. Tell horse people you are looking for a saddle.

Welcome to my life, Keiffer <3
Someone hand me my champagne. I think I can Grand Prix now.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Pony Love

I may have mentioned a few times in the past how much I love my mare?

pony love XOXO

The long, exhausting, tear and self-doubt-filled road I have been on in an attempt to regain some semblance of confidence is happening guys!

Savvy is not an easy horse. Starting with an unbroke horse and attempting to train them for riding all on your own while you are dealing with fear is HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED.

Yet here I am, doing it. I am not only surviving the scary stuff, but we are doing well. Savvy is a super star in lessons and even when she looses her marbles, she comes right back and tries so hard to work for me.

No matter if she is calm and moving in that beautiful swinging walk, or she is tossing her head and saying "Hell no, I am not bending left today!", or tattling on my outside rein disconnect, I am just a smiling fool these days.

I am really starting to 'know' her under saddle. It has taken a while, but having that knowledge is feeding my confidence.

This doesn't mean fear is gone. I still deal with minor worry of staying on if she spooks, et cetera, but the great thing is, it is in perspective now. No longer paralysing, or blown out of proportion.

Now I can focus on good stuff like actually getting better at dressage instead of survival.