Thursday, January 18, 2018

Snow Ride

I was starting to get a little frustrated! Okay, I was VERY frustrated... This darn weather. I couldn't work yesterday, couldn't run errands, couldn't ride... and then today, I was supposed to take Dan to Dr. Brown to make sure that he was healing well and see if he could figure out that weird hitchy thing I keep feeling on occasion. And the roads were still icy. Ugh... So yesterday I basically pouted and only accomplished a few things. But today was better. I was able to get a bunch accomplished. I went to the tag office and got everything squared away. Finally. Then I got shavings and cat food and dog food. And totally forgot to get another heated water trough. Ugh. Whoops. Oh well, I'll get one tomorrow. Then I also went to the bank. And cleaned up a little bit at the house and took some of the trash to the curb. And while I was out, the roads weren't bad. So I got all excited that I could ride. 

Luckily I took the long way home to check the roads before I got on them with the trailer. Good thing because they were ICY!!! Of course, the only way out with the trailer and even if I went the super long way.. it was a huge long chunk of ice. Sigh.... Maybe it would have been fine, but it didn't seem like a smart move to risk it. 

So after I finished pouting a bit, I rode at home. It wasn't super... but it was a ride. :) 

Danny was a bit better than in my lesson with Claire but still not great. He fought me a good bit and his tongue was flailing around some. Sigh... But we did get some fairly decent work in and we got our 20 minutes of trot accomplished. And I feel better. :) 

Saturday is supposed to be pretty nice. I hope so!! Because I can't ride tomorrow and Sunday I'm at CE all day... (although I'm secretly hoping it ends early). 

Snow Day

Today was supposed to be a work day and a very unlikely to ride day. But instead... we got snow! Only 1 inch or so... But more than last time. And the roads were rather icy in spots, so UGA cancelled so I didn't have to work. Which was probably a good thing as it was SUPER COLD!!! Like a high of 32 with a windchill of 22 as the high. The HIGH!! When I got up it was a windchill of 7 degrees. In Georgia!!

I ended up turning the boys out so they didn't go bonkers and left them out. They were double blanketed. I did bring them in early though. But they did fine. I was tempted to take Dan out and hook him up to the long lines and get him to pull me on a sled. :) But.... we didn't have enough snow, it was so cold, and I didn't want to re-injure him. And I didn't have a sled. But the thought did cross my mind. ;)
Instead we just did snow photos. 

Riding with Claire

Cindy was out of town so I had a lesson with Claire. It was good. Danny was a turd. Ugh.. I adjusted him yesterday and today he felt awful. He was hanging on the reins, braced, and wouldn't let go and let his neck hang. Ugh....

But Claire was very helpful and gave me some great stuff to work on. That kid is talented! She said the same thing that Cindy and Beth have said, but added an interesting thought process to it. So.. again, when I'm tracking left, I need to shorten the right side. Claire pointed out that he's throwing that right shoulder out and throwing his right rib cage against me. Which is what Cindy and Beth have been saying but maybe in slightly different ways. Or maybe I just didn't HEAR what they were saying. But regardless, when I felt him throwing that into me, I needed to bump him with my calf, and then take my calf off. And I needed to do all the other things... like keep that outside rein connection so that he has to shorten/contract the right side. And still ride him slightly shoulder in that way. Then when we go to the right, I still need to ride slightly haunches in and keep him off my right leg again. He felt pretty good going to the left, but going to the right... ugh... he was tipping and falling and I just couldn't get it together. Very frustrating.

Cindy was there and said we looked good though but he never really gave up his neck. But hopefully this will get better and we'll figure it out. Claire gave me some good thoughts. Cindy reflocked his saddles too as they had settled in the front a little bit.

oh, AND.... when I got home, I got his Area 3 Adult Rider ribbons in the mail. :) He beat me. :) As it should be. :) He got Reserve Champion for Beginner Novice Horse in Area 3 and I got  3rd place Amateur Adult Rider for Area 3. Pretty cool. :)

 ha ha.. Dan was clearly aggravated by my selfy attempts!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Wild Ride

Well, not really. He was actually quite good. :) 

It was in the upper 50's, if not low 60's the last few days but rained all day. So it didn't feel that warm but it was definitely not frigid. Then after the rain quit yesterday the wind picked up and the temperature plummeted. I think we went from a high of 62 to a high of 42, and I'm not sure it ever got to 42. And with the wind chill factor, it felt like 32! So... I had some very frisky ponies. They stayed in Thursday night and Friday day because of the rain. I turned them out about 6:30 pm Friday night and they were rowdy!! Even Fleck was jumpy and spooky. They were fine of course, once they hit the pasture. But getting to the pasture was tricky. ;) I ended up bringing them in around midnight because it was so windy and chilly.  It was really cold this morning too but dry, so they got turned out. And they were still jumpy!!! 

Mike and I spent the day together. We unloaded hay, went to buy a fan, got lunch, and then even replaced our ceiling fan/light together. Go us! Then he said I could go ride since I have to work tomorrow. Unfortunately it was 4 pm at this point, but I didn't care. I threw both ponies in the trailer and we headed out to Ashland. 

I put Dan's quarter sheet on, wrapped a scarf around my face and put on my big jacket. We hit the trails and did our walk warm up. We are now up to 20 minutes of trotting!!! Yahoo!!! Danny was a bit jumpy starting out and just walking from the trailer to the XC field he did a spin and scoot at least twice. We managed to keep ourselves together and eventually he settled. Kind of. ;) We found 3 good spots on the trail to do our trot sets. :) He was trucking!! I tried to sit the trot on occasion so that he doesn't associate sitting with a downward and slam on the breaks every time. But it's really hard to sit the trot in a jump saddle on a very frisky very forward pony who is power trotting and spooky. ;) Shockingly, he did NOT do a downward transition even once. ;) Well, he did when I asked, but not when I just sat. I didn't do much, but I did some. :) 

We finished in the XC field and had our final trot. Which was going great until Dan squirted sideways yet again. 5 deer had decided to run from the top of the field, in front of us, all the way to the woods. Dan was convinced they were running from a monster by the swing and tried to join them. Ooops.. more illegal cantering. Doh! But after I got him stopped and he watched them, we were able to finish our power trot. And then we grazed and cooled down a bit. I did get hot during the trot sets but once we started walking again, it got chilly quick.

We headed back and by that time it was getting super cold! The wind chill was 22! And it was 31 degrees. So... I told Fleck that I was sorry but we were heading home. Especially because it was getting dark and I was getting hungry. Poor buddy. But at least he got to go on a car ride. ;) 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Soggy Ride and Shenanidans!

Today was a CRAZY day. ;) 

I started off my morning cranky and irritated because it was drizzling and misting out and I wanted to ride. And then I was cranky because I didn't want to ride.... in the rain. ;) I texted Beth and she said it wasn't raining there yet and wasn't supposed to start til noon. So I manned up. And I'm so glad I did. #ItoldyousosaysBethanawfullot. :) Don't get me wrong, I got pretty wet. But it was so good to get a ride in and it wasn't terrible. 

Danny however started his day off cranky as well. Or just... obstinate and then wild. I turned Fleck out in the front pasture and then went to load Dan. He wasn't being crazy.. .he just did his "I'm going to plant my feet and not move and not load". Sigh... Remember I said I was cranky? So.... I tried to be patient and then I started swinging the lead rope. He didn't react... so I swung it more. He didn't react... And then he jumped sideways and tried to run. I managed to keep him from getting away and then he started running in circles around me at a canter. On the lead rope.... in the slick mud. Sigh... I tried a few times to get him to yield his hindquarters ("crouching dragon") and he would start to but then take off again. He wasn't even trying to get away really. It was like... his brain just needed oxygen so he had to move his feet. Fast... and Now. So... I tried to keep him from losing it and falling or slipping and let him run around me a little bit. And then all of a sudden he just about ran into the trailer. Weirdo! But whatever... we were now running late, so he got a cookie through the window and off we went. 

I spent the ride telling myself to get right with Jesus and get out of my pissy mood. And I listened to 88.9 the reach and it helped. By the time I got there I was in a good mood. It was misting at Morning Run but I tacked up and put on my rain jacket and we headed out. We had a great ride!!

We worked on the free walk and stretchy trot today, as well as continuing with what the last lesson touched on too. So.... again, tracking to the right, I rode slight haunches in. And he was great! Then tracking left, which is way harder, slightly shoulder fore. My problem is that I forget to keep the right rein steady so that he can't throw out his right shoulder, but then I want to cross his neck with my left hand for some reason. And I throw away that inside rein too. Beth kept having me shorten it and make sure I was at my knee and not my crotch. Plus I needed to keep my elbows heavy and at my side as they kept creeping forward. But it was better and I was able to do it right much more of the time than I wasn't. 

We started off on the free walk. Beth was saying that Dan thinks he can free walk and stretch only if he goes to the buckle and drops the contact. So we worked on keeping the connection in the free walk. So... I was to slightly and slowly leverage out the rein and bump the contact to keep him connected. If he rooted or pulled or bounced above the bit, I was to kick him forward back into the contact. Essentially the same as if I had him on the bit on a short rein. It took a few tries but we started to get the hang of it. 

Then we worked on the downward transitions. So... from trot to walk.... Keep my elbows at my side, sit up tall and don't collapse or give, and ask him to come down by sitting a few steps first, and then bumping my legs rather than squeezing. This kept him from slamming down into the walk. Then he started to walk every time I sat... So for homework, even on trail rides, I need to sit the trot randomly so that he doesn't associate it with a downward. But we finally managed to do it well a few times. :) 

Then we worked on the stretchy trot. Same thing as the walk, but easier because of forward momentum. We found that tracking to the left, he did better if I let out the inside rein first and tracking to the right, I let out the outside rein first. I think. Crap!!! Maybe it's the other way around??? Argh. Oh well, regardless, I can use that to my advantage. I need to make sure I've got a nice solid trot first before I ask for the stretch. And I need to stay tall and slow my post if necessary to avoid him falling on the forehand. Then when I bring him back up, I need to make sure that I bring him into the short rein connection so that he rocks back to his hind end and doesn't get long and strung out and on the forehand. :) 

It was a great lesson. Very helpful and very productive. But about 3/4 of the way through I got hot and steamy in my raincoat. And the rain started coming down a bit heavier... Still a drizzle, but a drizzle for sure. And I noticed that suddenly my pants felt wet, like I had peed my pants. I think the rain pooling on my rain coat was dripping off the short coat into my saddle seat. And because of how I was sitting.... it ended up soaking my crotch and bum. I could have wrung it out it was that wet!! Great..... pleasant ;) 

So then I figured as wet as he was, I'd just turn him out. I had to adjust four horses so he went out in the front little paddock. Well then I realized that Cindy was supposed to check his saddle fit so I went to bring him in to dry. And he was filthy!!! He had rolled and literally had clumps of mud on him. So I hosed him off as well as I could quickly and put him in a stall to dry with his cooler on. He wasn't great, but wasn't too bad. Eventually we decided that it was stupid and we could easily adjust his saddle on Tuesday when I wasn't doing other things and it wasn't raining. So I pulled his cooler off because he was wanting to roll. I figured he'd get filthy but at least the cooler would be clean. So he rolled. And then got up and then went down and rolled again. Unfortunately he rolled right over into the wall and got himself cast. He was literally upside down with his legs in the air straight above him. He just kind looked around like "Um... hello... can I get some help here please?!". :) So I went in and he just stayed there chill and cool. I had to almost straddle his head to get to his knees and as I was trying to move him over... he tried to bite me on the butt!!! DANNY!!! Bad baby horse!! I swatted at him and he was like "sorry... but it was RIGHT ... THERE...!"!. hee hee. So... then I had to get Shirley to come in and move his hind foot a hair so that I could get some levarage, but then he flipped right over and jumped up like "thanks ladies"!. Such a goober!

SO yeah..... He loaded up fine to go home and I made it home with just enough time to turn them out, hang the hay net and change pants and go to my hair appointment. I hope I wasn't too smelly. ;) 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Fixing Me!!!

Yay! So glad to be back at High Point. I've missed them all.

Danny was super. Cindy helped me immensely.

Keep my core tight, my seat rolled under me, my traps engaged, my left shoulder back and loose, my elbows at my side, and my elbows bent, and my weight IN my stirrups and the balls of my feet, not up on my toes.

Sunday Funday

Long hack... then dressage ride... fussyness in the bridle is back. Sigh....