Monday, February 28, 2022

Sneaking in Another Ride

Last Monday was another state holiday, and the forecast was calling for 70 degrees. It was too beautiful NOT to ride, so I dropped a message to the owner of the barn where I used to board Ruby to see if I could haul in if she had any empty time between lessons. It just so happened the arena was empty when I messaged and my stuff was all still packed on the trailer, so I put breeches on and drove the one mile down the road (that barn commute was my favorite, lol). I decided to let Ruby do some free lunging first to get any of her silliness out before I got on, and that was a good choice. There were two bottle calves outside one corner of the arena and she had some FEELINGS about that, and then she could see the pasture horses having a good ol' time running around out the other door, so I was treated to a few minutes of her obnoxious tight backed auction trot. Oh well, better to get it out of her system before I got on!


Having feelings about the calves

Bahama Mama and Ibiza (named after the exotic vacations she can't take because of livestock lol)

Checking for the moo demons

Watching the pasture horses cavort in the sunshine

Despite the explosive start (lol), we had a really nice ride! It felt very reminiscent of our schooling rides in December, so it was nice to know it didn't take much to get back to where we were. Neither of us are quite as fit, but I feel like we're still at a better baseline fitness than we were at this time last year - hauling out for the lessons, even when it feels not super productive, has still been good for us. This arena is a bit narrower than a small dressage court, and previously when I boarded there sometimes the canter could be tricky with Ruby having a tendency to get a little motorcycle-y. I didn't originally even plan to canter, but she was doing so well I figured why not? One of the things we worked on in my lesson the day prior had been to constantly be changing the bend or turning in the canter, and not letting Ruby stay straight for longer than a stride or two (since that's when she tends to try to take over), so a small arena was actually perfect to work on that, lol. It went way better than I expected! Her balance has really changed in the last year thanks to all the lessons. 

Still in the Verbindend for the forseeable future lol. 


It was really nice to get out and have a good ride without the time/financial commitment of hauling out for a lesson. This barn has a THRIVING and incredibly busy lesson program that usually keeps the arena fairly booked up in the evenings and most weekends, but I hung out after my ride for a bit with the barn owner (who is a college friend) and we talked about the possibility of me coming up a little more over the next few weeks until things dry out, so we'll see how that shakes out. The weather immediately got garbage again after Monday was so gorgeous, so I haven't been back yet, but it's nice to be able to potentially have that option on the rare occasions the arena is empty :) if they ever finalize my agency's remote work program again (it's in a pilot right now), my boss has already indicated she's fine with me working primarily from home, so that would make hauling down when the arena was empty wayyyy easier. Food for thought anyway! It's nice to have plans and backup plans and backup backup plans, haha. 

Since I got my riding done so early in the day, we spent lots more time outside soaking up the sunshine!
Penny took her first golf cart ride - we went back up to the barn lol. 

The chickens got to enjoy some nice outside time. 

And then 48 hours later it was like 15 degrees lol THANKS MOTHER NATURE

We even had time to take the dogs out to the trail for a nice walk!

Red noodles :)

No one was as enthused with the idea of taking a family photos as I was lol. 

Waiting for her dad to come back lol. 

It was so nice we had dinner on the porch! It made me laugh that you could still see ice in the backyard

This was Penny's first time hanging with us on the porch <3 she settled right in!

Friday, February 25, 2022

Lesson Recap: Hamsters Back on the Wheel

After our disastrous lesson two weeks ago, I didn't have super high hopes for the one I had scheduled this past Sunday, as the weather continued to make riding impossible (my arena was a solid sheet of ice). But, we aren't going to get any better sitting at home skipping lessons just because the weather sucks, so off we went :) I tweaked the pad configuration under the new saddle to see if maybe that helped, and we definitely had much more controllable canter departs, so that was a big plus! I did watch the videos DH/my mom took, and grabbed a few screenshots, but I'm too impatient to do much else with them (I find still photos so much easier!). You already saw some of them in the Equisense app with the data laid over them, but here are just some I screenshot watching the videos on the drive home. 

We didn't really work on anything new or exciting in this lesson, it was mostly just a valiant effort not to backslide and lose the progress we made last fall. New trainer (okay its been SEVEN months she's not new, let's call her TrainerB) commented that Ruby was much more willing to "play" this lesson (aka a little less nuts lol). She also thought that switching her back to the Verbindend (instead of the nathe Ruby was going in for most of November/December) was a good call, as Ruby was less inclined to just yahoo through it. I tossed a few of the shorter video clips (since let's be real, watching 4 minutes of my lessons is like watching paint dry and none of ya'll have time for that lol) down below - I didn't edit them or cherry pick anything, that's just an accurate representation of what our lessons look like with so little saddle time in between right now, sigh. 

I am constantly reminding myself that January/February are usually the worst months to try to keep a horse in work with only an outdoor in Missouri, and that the progress will come back faster than I realize once we can ride regularly again. Plus I have my week of dressage boot camp thanks to the Dressage Foundation to look forward to, once I can get that scheduled! The first show on TrainerB's calendar is the first weekend in April, and unless a miracle happens, it doesn't look like we'll be ready for that one (since I have no inclination to set $800 on fire and get bad scores just to say I went to a show), but there will be other shows :) so in the meantime... we'll just keep on keepin' on, and dream of drier weather!

Monday, February 21, 2022

Media Monday!

So I managed to forget the DSLR when we left for my lesson yesterday, because I am an idiot... Sigh. But I DID remember to give DH (and my mom, who rode along!) my phone to take some video, which I was able to upload into my Equisense and then get data overlaid over the video which was THE ABSOLUTE COOLEST 🤩 it's a state holiday today and the weather is unseasonably warm so I'll have to come back to write about the lesson later, but in the meantime...

My phone was running low on storage (need to clear off some photos lol) but I uploaded three of the clips and just grabbed a handful of a screenshots from the second half of the lesson :) Ruby was not nearly as wild as last lesson, but as you can see in some of the screenshots, she got a bit strong and there are some less than ideal moments. But I was very pleased with how rideable she was, and our canter was actually fairly civilized! So hopefully I have some time to recap the lesson later this week. 

Also, it was Princess Penny's FIRST BIRTHDAY yesterday, and she celebrated by coming to my lesson and then going by Rural King on the way home 🤗

Sacked out after a very busy day for a puppy lol.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

WW: Pretty (Winter) Penny

Well inexplicably it did photos uploaded from my computer backwards too, so.... thanks. Thanks a lot Blogger.  

Cici was interested in playing with Penny in the snow for .5 seconds and then she was done lol.