Friday, September 16, 2016

Possible Lease Pon #1

Meet Oscar

Except, we already know Oscar.

But on the flip side, we don't know Oscar as well as we thought.

And by we, I mean me.

"Stop blabbing, woman"
I rode Oscar for the first time a little under a year ago, and I remember feeling quite comfortable with him. I can say with 99% certainty that he was comfortable with me too; this horse is unflappable. He's an OTTB, and while he does get a bit speedy while cantering in groups, you literally just have to whisper "whoa" and immediately he's right back with you.

It's because of this that I strongly considered him as my lease horse for next year. Unfortunately, his chances of coming home with me were shot after the very first lesson. A fellow team member told me about all the issues Oscar had and still has. He was only used twice in my lesson last year. The first time was when he being ridden by someone else (and subsequently broke her wrist or elbow or something in that general area). The second time he was used, I started out on him. I couldn't sit his trot, but he was nice otherwise. Those big brown eyes are relaxing. From those who rode him often, he was "unpredictable" and generally a mess over fences with lots of, um, playing afterwards. Over the summer, he went away for six weeks to learn a thing or two, and his owner rides him once a week while he's also used in lessons.

"Couldn't hear you. I was too busy not caring :/"
Even after learning all that, I was still 100% willing to give it a shot, and guys, this horse is a complete goof. I can't get over his temperament. In the span of two hours he:

  • didn't want to move out of the way when I tried to open his stall gate because moving is hard
  • required my assistance to put his foot down after being picked out
  • sniffed several butts while we were in the ring
  • basically had to be kept away from the group because he wants to be everyone's friend, but not everyone is friendly
  • licked the barrels
  • picked up a barrel when he decided licking wasn't sufficient
  • put in the smallest chip ever (i.e. I have no idea how to jump)
  • managed to keep walking with me despite grabbing grass every few steps
  • tried to eat everything within reach
  • became very offended when I dared to play with his mouth, but took it back immediately and put all his weight on me for a short nap (he is huge, guys)
  • picked up his grain pan and threw it around, demanding that someone feed him after his very long and challenging ride with me

He's a complete ham.

"That's Prince Ham, to you"
He rode extremely well, too. I still couldn't sit his trot, but in my defense, the saddle I had today was quite small for me and too wide for him. I was basically sitting on his withers with no cantle to move back to. What fun. The saddle also caused some issues at the canter because, again, couldn't get back, especially when he had his forward moments. Most of my struggles were actually in how long to keep my reins. He does better in a shorter rein, but he's literally so disinterested in everything that if you ride him on a long rein, he's just so whatever about it. He's not completely soft in his jaw either and has a tendency to hang, which made me a bit unsure about my hands.

He jumped awesomely, too. He gets a bit quick and heavy if you don't have enough contact, but it's not even a run away kind of quick, more like a "I'm a big horse and you're not keeping me together" quick.

Not kidding about this saddle. Also, what a nice, all white tack set.
Basically, Oscar put up with my shit for an hour, and I owe him my life. He's not going to be the horse I take home to the parents, but he'll be a huge confidence builder for me. This certainly isn't the last y'all will see of him.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fashion Thursday: I'm Faded

I'm Faded

1. Bette Court Cool Elements Polo
    equestriancollections.com
2. Gucci Interlocked Belt
    flannels.com
3. GPA Speed Air Leather S VG1 Helmet
    divoza.com
4. FixDesign Pantalone Stampa Silicone
    shop.fixdesignhorses.it
5. LeMieux ProSport CC/Jumping Suede Square Beige
    lemieuxproducts.com
6. Horze Elisa Tallboot
    horze.com

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

And a year later, Leia

So, last year, for my second IHSA lesson, I started out on Leia, but I was then moved onto Romeo because he was being an angry beasty, and he quickly became the love of my life, only to be replaced by Pixel, who will now also be replaced because he was sold.

Anyways, I was originally put down to ride Tiber, but then I switched onto Leia to finish what last year started. As is the norm for this time of year, it was disgustingly hot. Our lesson was filled with a lot of walk breaks in between trotting, cantering, transitions, and some no stirrup work. Leia was her normal, speedy pony self, but she wasn't too unmanageable after the jumps. We just trot a crossbar once then cantered it then we were done.

Not much to do in the heat.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Goals Part 3: An Alternate Timeline

Options, people.

As a bit of an extension on my Leasing Adventures post, what, exactly, am I gonna do if I can't find a budget friendly horse to lease? I've already lowered my height preference to 2'6", even 2'3" if it's a horse that shows potential.

Personally, I'm not about to work a 2'6" horse up to 3'0" unless the horse has some prior experience. I have four months to work with them and would rather not stress about it. That doesn't mean I won't try to school higher with them, but I don't want to push it competitively.

Tried that, didn't work out
Now, let's put jumping to the side for a moment. As we all know, my Dressage adventures have been limited. That being said, it's still been fruitful; the lower level stuff has seemed to click fairly well with me. In the past, I've been very against the idea of competing in Dressage except for the occasional tag along. Like every other discipline, the competitive aspect has its flaws and politics, and dealing with the nonsense of the equitation ring is frustrating enough, not to mention the fear of ruining it for myself by being too competitive, and then there's also the added cost.

But, like, I really want to get my bronze. Just the thought of competing at first level makes my heart race, and I mean that in the good way.

goals, tbh, but at home
I had originally wanted to compete casually this year. Even after taking on Max, I was still fine with the idea of competing on him, but it wasn't until recently that I decided I actually want to set competitive Dressage goals.

If I had a horse to comfortably conquer 3'0" on, I'd be beyond happy. If I had a horse to do 2'6" on while also competing at training and first level, I'd still be beyond happy. I'd be happy with anything in between, too.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Day 1 Is Done

Back to school and back to work (technically still working, constant working, perpetual internships). Today was the first official day of classes, meaning it was time for me to start working around my ridiculous schedule. Seriously, on Wednesdays, my day is entirely open until 7pm, then on Fridays I have one class from 8am to noon, then that's it.

I'm doing my best, though. Making the best use of my time has meant pushing workouts to the morning instead of the evenings with Friday either being a lesson day or an off day depending on how things land. Some friends asked if I wanted to join them for yoga at 8:30, which I happily agreed to. Since stretching cold muscles is never a good idea, I took a short run around campus. Oh, yeah, and to the person that honked at me, IT WAS A CROSS WALK. OPEN YOUR EYES.

I've never actually done yoga before. It was a strange experience. I'm so used to being up and moving while working out, but yoga is all quiet and painful.

image from Cosmopolitan
Seriously, at the beginning I tried to bend backwards and ended up getting a kink in my back, which then became un-kinked by the end of it all. I'm debating whether or not to go back.

On to classes: this is my first time feeling like a real architecture student. I was taking 15 credits of gen-eds last semester, so actually learning about buildings and stuff is refreshing. I had Elements and Principals of Architecture at 11am. My professor is adamant about adding pictures to notes, and while I did refresh my art skills last semester, I can't draw things all that quickly.


I have lunch with Brit around 1pm, then architecture convocation (which Michael adamantly reminded us of), and finally physics this evening. Full disclosure, I hate physics.
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