Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Lesson Recap: Schoolmaster Life

Y'all. I can't even. It has been a goal for ACTUAL YEARS to try to get a schoolmaster on lease, even if only for a summer, to lesson and learn on. With the exception of a pretty well schooled NSH rescue (who by the way just celebrated his 30th birthday and 11 years with his perfect family πŸ₯³), I've owned pretty much exclusively young/project horses. I can count on one hand the number of times I've been able to ride something that knows more than me - living in a perpetual cycle of green horses has been rough. Like don't get me wrong, it's taught me an incredibly valuable school set, and Ruby and I are creeping along at a glacial pace, but I KNEW learning from a horse more educated than me would be so valuable. And somehow, that situation fell into my lap. 

She is the best. 

I took Emmy out to a lesson with my trainer last weekend, and it was phenomenal. Was it always pretty? Absolutely not. We had a lot of unintentional changes, emphasis on the flying 🀣 my half halt needs to be recalibrated so I don't get lawn darted because homegirl has a GOOD STOP in there. Picking up the right lead is hard - she'd rather counter canter for dayssssss. But wow did I learn so much. And now I know that feeling I am trying to replicate on Ruby. In fact, I went home after the lesson Saturday and DH watched Ruby schooling and commented that her canter looked more like Emmy's than he'd ever seen (which I was actively working on lol). 

My trainer asked me what my show plans were for this summer - and I'm not sure I have any, sigh. Wasn't necessarily budgeting for having this many horses and dogs πŸ™ˆ I want to show but I don't want to go into debt to do it, and I'm just not sure it's in my budget this year 😭 then she asked me what my pie in the sky goals were and it's just..... Leave a horse show NOT in tears sometime? Is that too much to ask for? Apparently 🀣

Ran through basically all of 2nd level at home on my own minus the medium trot - struggling to find different gears in the trot so that's homework. 

I don't even know that I have a point really. Just had these lovely photos and some video and I am excited to have Emmy in my life. But simultaneously bummed because money is a thing and I can't take her out there to do ALL THE THINGS. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

Long Time, No Blog

Wow I am the worst. I'm behind a horse show, sleeping in my renovated horse trailer for the first time, several lessons, and a ton of trail rides. Oh, and LRK3DE πŸ™ˆ plus an amazing visit from T and Renate. OH AND A NEW DOGGO. 

Meet Ghoulie


Us on the dachshund jump at LRK3DE 

Zero way I can catch up on all that, but highlights are on social media. I doubt things will be slowing down enough to blog much now that we're into the swing of spring/summer DOING ALL THE THINGS. 

Basically just stopping by to confirm I am in fact still alive 🀣 just staying extra busy with an extra horse and an extra dog. Plus extra responsibilities at work πŸ₯΄

Emmy is finally getting out to some off property trails! 

We even did a mother-daughter trail ride on mother's day with my mom! 

Still haven't managed to get Emmy to a lesson with my trainer yet, but she does have a dressage saddle now so hopefully that's on the docket for next month! 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Welcome Spring!

The first day of spring was absolutely gorgeous! (and followed up by a day of 40 and rain lol). But no worry, I made the most of it! I started with Ruby - we had a good dressage school and worked on our homework of cantering without power, and on the leg yields while making sure I was keeping my left side a wall, no collapsing. She was excellent! The weather is going to keep us from being as prepared for the show in a few weeks as I'd like to be, but it is what it is - this is spring in the Midwest lol. 


And then we had a fun surprise! A friend came over to visit. She brought her mini to drive in the arena and on the trails if it was dry enough, and it was! 

And of course I couldn't let her go alone, what kind of host would I be! So I saddled up Emmy and accompanied her :) 

Making sure she didn't find the mini as scary as Ruby did lol

We did a few laps in the arena to make sure Emmy didn't mind the noise of the cart, then set off! 

Zomg the cuteness

We went on some new (to Emmy) trails :) 

The neighbor's lake

We did about as many loops as possible without doing too much backtracking, and then meandered back to the arena and her trailer. 

It was a super nice day to enjoy some beautiful weather, and nowwwww it's going to rain perpetually until my show. Sigh. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Pushing the Buttons

In between rain storms, I'm trying to squeeze in as many rides as I can on both Ruby and Emmy (what we've been calling her mom - she came to us with the barn name Essy but DH nicknames every single animal something weird and of course this is no exception). 

I tried her in Cinna's dressage-legal Myler but (which has the same mouthpiece as the pelham she used to go in) and she seemed very comfortable, so that was encouraging! 

At the end of our ride we went for a pasture wander ♥️

Ruby's dressage saddle is probably a smidge too narrow for her, but she's an odd fit. Very prominent withers, short back, not a lot of real estate. So finding her her own saddle will probably be challenging, but for now, Ruby's isn't atrocious.

I cannot say enough good things about what a kind soul this mare is - actually someone who knew her from her time in AZ sent me a nice message over the weekend and told me how sweet the mare was and that they hoped we had a lot of fun with her ♥️ I am DYING to take her out for a lesson/assessment with TrainerB, because she knows wayyyyyy more than me. She cheerfully offered up flying changes and some canter half pass Sunday night, even though I clearly had NO idea what I was doing. We didn't work long, because she's not super fit, but I'm hoping some long slow trail miles over the next few months will lead to a fitter horse I can take some lessons on!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Lesson Recap: Show Prep

Last weekend, of course my lesson was on the coldest day of the week πŸ₯ΆπŸ₯Ά 

Ruby: "this is bullshit"
Also, she was DISGUSTING and I couldn't really clean her up πŸ₯΄ she had mud castanets in her tail. 

I grumbled a lot, but man it ended up being a good lesson! We're showing in (less than) two weeks and everything is feeling so solid. I hadn't gotten to ride between lessons (weather + too many horses lol) but Ruby always just picks right back wherever we left off the last ride. 

Being EXTRA AF in the leg yields lol

We are getting so much more solid in the cantering quietly without Ruby constantly being like ADD POWER WHEEEEEE. And after figuring out what the issue was with leg yielding off my right leg, now TrainerB likes those better than the other way (same with the canter when we first started lessoning haha). 

Now I just... Need to learn my tests πŸ™ˆ and make sure all my show stuff fits! 

Monday, March 20, 2023

First Trail Ride!

Last week, the day after I hauled her to the indoor, we had some daylight and DH actually got home from work at a reasonable hour so I conned him into taking a quick trail ride with us! 

Still experimenting to see what mouthpiece she likes best. Her former owner rode her in a pelham but I am looking for something dressage legal - I did happen to have this pelham laying around (bought it at Rolex for like $5 lol) so I didn't put a rein on the curb portion. 

As his 26 year-old jigged through the entire ride, DH glared at me and told me he wanted to trade horses 🀣 yes yes, that was my master plan! 

But seriously, she was fab. Was curious about all the new sights and sounds (our woods are vastly different than the deserts she grew up in!) but she didn't put a foot wrong the whole ride. Only annoyance was her trying to root the reins out of my hands occasionally, so we'll be working on that. Tragically, my endurance saddle isn't a good fit for her (it wasn't a good fit for Ruby either), so I'm going to try a few other ones on her. Looking forward to getting her out on some longer rides as her fitness improves! 

Friday, March 17, 2023

Lesson Recap: Reliability

I really wish I could do justice to this lesson, but man work has really been sapping alllllllll of my brainpower this week 😬 lesson last weekend was great though. After our grant week, basically all the pieces for first level (minus the canter loops in test three) is getting so, SO reliable! 

Trot lengthenings don't just exist in theory, they're getting great! 

Uh can we talk about this?!?!

The canter lengthenings are wheeeee 🀣

To make up for the fact that I'm not giving you actual thoughts about the lesson, please enjoy some video clips a friend was kind enough to film for me! I always love having friends come watch my lessons and get media for me! I've been using the Pivo regularly since I went out for my grant week, but predicably I am having issues with their apps and it actually zooming in and out so a friend videoing worked better. Hopefully they get the app working better soon πŸ₯΄ although I guess far away media is better than no media, when I don't have a live videographer lol.