Of new saddles and mirrors!

It’s been a busy few weeks between work and riding and pushing myself and finding when I push myself too much!!  Late nights with work and then up too early ride have made me pretty tired lately!  Last week I went full tilt and then Saturday rolled around and I was sooo tired but went out anyway.  Even putting the saddle on tired me out!  And then the ride, well it was awful!  Mister would not go faster than a slow jog no matter how much I squeezed, cajoled or kicked him!  I’d get him to pass then he’d slam on the brakes as if to say I did it what more do you want!!  It was definitely the worst ride we’ve had in a very long time!  My riding instructor told me Mister looks as exhausted as I feel and that when we have a show I will have a bedtime if I want to have any hope of doing well at the show.  Mister is definitely my mirror!   It is pretty interesting how they reflect what we feel.  My riding instructor said that since I’ve become his leader my behaviour will reflect in him more and more, both positive and negative.  Before when he was the boss he didn’t care about how I felt!

Our next ride I had had a few days off of riding and had a day off of work and felt much more rejuvenated-Mister was happier and playful again!  It was nice to see!  We had lots of forward motion-cantering lots and our canter transitions were getting better!  Also attempted a hand gallop-that was pretty fast, however still not fast enough!!  It didn’t scare me though so I know I will I will feel comfortable doing it in the next few months!

I also got my new saddle yesterday!  A dressage saddle!  I traded my English saddle for it and am very happy with it!  It will take me a bit of time to get used to it but I’m glad I got it!  However it is a bit too big for me so if dressage ends up being something I really want to do then I’m going to have to get a custom saddle that is shorter!  Story of my life!!

Today I am tired.  It’s noon and I’m not sure if I’m going to the barn yet.  It’s ok to day off once in awhile too!  I would rather have quality rides then be frustrated because I’m tired and Mister is showing it!!  I may go out for a visit not sure yet!  But tomorrow I will go.  And only a few more days left of the winter games then life can go back to normal.  Til next time!

Finding the happy medium!

Wow-I’ve had a couple weeks of really great rides on both horses!  It’s been an adjustment riding 2 horses and treating each of them as individuals.  It took awhile to really let go of my expectations for Chevy and that he is not Mister!  I needed to remember to go back to earlier training and lower my expectations of that.  Also he isn’t as smart as Mister so he needs more repetition of exercises which is good for me anyways! Since I’ve let that go, it’s been a tonne  easier!  Chevy is starting to get more confident about being in the arena and is trusting that I am not going to let anything bad happen to him!  I lunged him yesterday while all the snow was coming off the roof and while he was scared (rightfully so) he did what was asked of him!  It’s super loud in the arena when the snow crackles and shifts.  And for a horse who has not had alot of exposure to arena’s to begin with, he did good!!  I was very proud of us!!  And Mister is getting shorter, more focused rides cause I can practice things on Chevy and then transfer it over to Mister!  So now Mister is not getting angry because I’m drilling things into him that he already knows how to do!!  And my friend gets a well trained, happy horse to ride!  It’s really a win win!

While the trainer is away…

My riding instructor was away for the weekend and wanted me to ride on my own, both horses.  Normally I don’t ride on my own, just with my riding instructor.  I haven’t quite perfected the “feel” or timing yet so I always worry that I’m not doing things right and that I’m going to spend so much time fixing things I wrecked!  But I rode this weekend and think I did pretty good!  I rode Chevy on Friday, but ran out of time to ride my brat!  That was ok, it was feeding time and he was not happy to see me!  I brought him in with the intention of lunging him and putting him away but decided against it when I could not even get him to focus on me.  If I was out in the evenings more I would have fought the battle, but I am not out enough to force the issue. I put him away happily!  Some days you pick your battles.  That was one I was not going to win.

Sunday I rode Mister.  He was much happier to see me!  Put his face in the halter, and walked nicely to the arena (which he usually does!) But I knew he was going to have some p and v, since this is a horse that gets ridden 3-4 days a week and had only been ridden once earlier in the week!  So I fully intended on lunging him and then our ride basically being more of a cool down.  But he had such awful manners in the stall, I thought I’d do some ground work first, which mostly just consisted of making him walk nicely beside me until he started to walk nicely beside me!  After that I made him work on the lunge line, which he was pretty good on after the walk and the chat we had! Our ride ended up being not half bad either.  I didn’t do anything fancy, just regular walk, trot and canter and getting some connection, though I still haven’t quite figured  it out yet.  I think I’m getting better but not quite sure.  Tomorrow will tell me if our work on the weekend was good!

Today I rode Mister again because my friend came out to ride her horse!  He was pretty good for her!  She is a better rider then she gives herself credit for!  But we are always harder on ourselves then other people are.  Today Mister was back to being his super happy love bug self!  It was sooooo incredibly nice!  We were relaxed, and riding with other horses.  He was passing without any problems.  He felt like he had a bit more forward movement than he did yesterday.  Our canter felt pretty good today too!  I can’t wait until the summer rolls around and we can go out on the trails a bit too!  That will break up our training and showing and give Mister something else to think about.  Anyways I love training but sometimes its nice to have a bit of a break and just relax.

This week we will work our butts off and then get another break for a few weeks.  The Canada Games are coming and the ski trails are out by the barn so the traffic is going to be crazy!! Just not sure if I’ll be able to make it out and back to work on time so I may have to skip some riding time.  And then expect Mister to be a bit of a jerk when I come back.  He does not like too much time off!  And he lets me know in no uncertain terms!!  I’m hoping to get some riding in but we will see.  I may just work extra so that I can get a new dressage saddle!

Anyways till next time!  Hopefully I will update sooner rather then later!

Midwinter Blah’s!!!

I shouldn’t complain, we’ve had a pretty warm winter so far!!  We’ve had rain in both December and January!  We seem to get a bunch of snow, then it spends the rest of the time melting!!  I’ve been riding in just a hoodie a bunch of times!  I’ve been riding a bunch of times!  Pretty uncharacteristic for this time of year!

I am done my course that took up so much of time the last few months-I was lucky to get a few rides a week, and some weeks I did not ride at all.  But sometimes you have to focus on the fact that as busy as I was I still got in a few rides and be thankful I even got that!  Plus because I was so stressed out between work and the course my rides became less about training and more about bonding and stress release, which we also needed!  Mister and I have come along way!! And now we are the team that he needed me to become!  And we are only getting better!

In December we still took it easy-its a pretty stressful month with work and I knew that in January I would get pushed to train harder.  And we have been!  It’s been a great month!  We’ve been working on circles (yes still!), transitions, and getting more uphill balance-plus I’ve been working on my seat and my legs when I switch diagonals!  I am a bit slow on the uptake and then Mister has a difficult time getting his shoulder properly balanced when doing a turn.  I’m lucky he’s such a good boy to put up with me!!

I’ve also been riding my friends horse who has totally made me appreciate all the work I’ve put into Mister and how much Mister puts up with me!!  This new horse-Chevy has absolutely no work ethic, and is stubborn! He has been quite a challenge!!  And Mister has been a bit jealous! If I ride them both, I have to ride Mister first or I get an awful ride on him!  It is quite funny to see him get all in a huff in his pen if I take Chevy out first!!  Chevy is a really great horse on the ground-excellent manners!  But in the saddle not so much!  He has 2 speeds-slow like molasses or really fast!  So while I am also working on building in some work ethic, I am also slowing down his trot/jog.  He is an interesting project!  But we are getting somewhere! By the time spring rolls around he will be a great horse for my friend!  Also I will be working on getting Mister ready for some trail riding this spring and summer.  This is where Chevy will excel and be good for Mister!  Looking forward to it!

Lots of great things happening this winter!  And I’ve been riding pretty much 3-4 days a week, so I really shouldn’t complain!!  So with that here’s to the many fun times ahead this winter before the first show of the season hits in May!!!