Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Adventures In Leasing

I'm in an odd spot, honestly.

The search for a lease horse has officially begun. Technically, it officially began like two weeks ago when I sent the first text, which I didn't receive a response to. I sent a Facebook message also, which went unacknowledged as well. Miss Jan was actually the first person to respond. I can always trust Jan. She's basically keeping an ear open for me at the moment.

Go, Jan

In case you didn't know, 3'0" horses are basically magical unicorns on the American market. That 6" difference between "local show" horse and "can clear the fences at a non local show but that's about it" horse is the best way to double a price. In less sarcastic terms, the type of horse I'm looking for is just a bit too talented for bopping around in the C ring. This is reflected in a lack of monthly leases and the phrase "contact for pricing".

Where is my "from lowest to highest price" option?

I completely understand the appeal of the full year leases, but, like, I'm literally begging you, please let me free lease for four months.

Of course, there have been some good ones to pop up, and I found two more recently that are within an hour from me. For the most part, I'm trying to budget right now, so I'm hoping some of these horses will still be available come the January. There are nice horses out there, some not so nice, and then there's this:

For horses that I already know, I've added Oscar to the list. I get the feeling that he likely won't be able to do 3'0" next year, but I do remember feeling fairly comfortable on him; the sitting trot was the only touchy part. That being said, he has a good build for Dressage, and now that I'm considering going for my bronze, I'd be happy to spend a year or two working with him and building him up.

So, yeah, I'm down to lease. If anyone has or knows of a horse that will work for me, a mediocre adult amateur who's too short for most things and can barely jump to save her life, let me know.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Temporary Circus

Forcing yourself to write about a ride you didn't like is not fun. Rode Max on Saturday, and it started out okay then got progressively worse. He was decent to walk, moderately decent to trot. I guess the transitions were better until he started rushing going to the right. The entire time, he was falling to the right, and I'd say it was an issue with my balance, but I actually felt far more centered than usual. My hands were still a mess, the right rein in particular. It took constant reminders to keep them in check.

I set up some poles, which we went over fine once during the flatwork, but then I took a break, and came back to them, and he started rushing, and I'm just ?????? What is so different now, Max? What changed in the last 20 minutes? So we did that until he stopped, then I started adding some other fences, which he rushed at first (again, ?????). I started halting afterwards, but geez, dude, what gives?

I'm kinda pissed that we've been working together so terribly over the last couple of weeks, especially when it was so nice for our last lesson with Miss El. I don't like back tracking. I have maybe one more ride on him, and I'd really like to be able to say "Not my circus, not my monkeys," but that is the exact opposite of this situation.

image from Pixar Movies

Friday, August 19, 2016

Lunch with Angelo Telatin

And by that, I mean me eating chicken nuggets while watching a live Q & A.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you might remember a rather old post from when I went to the Maryland Horse World Expo for the first time. That was my first time meeting Angelo Telatin, and it's no secret that I love this bald, old, Italian man. As much as I wanted to go to Delaware Valley, they had no majors that suited me. Shame.

Get you a man who looks at you how Angelo looks at horses

Much of the discussion kept going back to this idea of cues, mainly because Angelo is known for his bridleless riding. Not surprisingly, taking the bridle away (whether it be bitted or bitless) takes away a place of contact, which therefore takes away your hand cues. If you have a neck rope, you can regain some cues; it just depends on your individual set up. Someone basically asked the age old how do you get your horse to go bridleless, and so the answer was that you need to replace those mouth cues while also maintaining your leg cues. A follow up question was something like what cues do you use?

Anything. Literally anything. That was the answer, and it's true because you can use whatever cues you want so long as the horse can recognize them. With this in mind, the following response was shared:

And, to be quite honest, there is a bit of a standard. Kick to go, kick more to go faster, move away from the leg, cluck/kiss to move. But it does remind me of one horse from my old barn that had been taught to canter with the inside leg moving back. Sure, we trained it out of her, but even with those basic cues that seem to be universal, there is still great variation in the specifics.

But I had my question (guess who forgot to screenshot their own question -__- ): As someone who trains a large variety of people, do you find that your methods change depending on the student, or do you stay consistent in your teaching style?

And I asked it because I hope to be a trainer, and in the past year I've thought more and more about the style of teaching that I benefit from. I've ridden with several good trainers. I've learned from all of them, but I mesh shockingly well with my trainer, and despite not being in consistent lessons, I've excelled greatly under her. Like I said in the last 10 Questions post, she is a perfect trainer for me at this time.

She made this possible

Yet, with that in mind, she still doesn't teach me the way that she teaches other students, and she doesn't teach them the same way either. The only time she is constant in her method is in the first, like, 10 minutes with a new student. From there, she adjusts. Angelo is similar, except he said that after telling someone to do something three times, he uses a visual tool, and if that doesn't work, the rider basically gets a custom exercise to help them with whatever isn't going quite right. Verbal, then visual, then tangible.

Last thing, he referenced that Einstein quote about how doing something over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity. In Angelo's opinion, if your trainer is telling you the same thing over and over again, tell them they're insane.

Full video is available below. Thank you Angelo and CRK Training!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

DIY: Customized Half Chaps


Well, more or less customized. I know I've been promising this for a while, but I'm lazy, so bear with me. This DIY is a way to spruce up your half chaps (or tall boots) with a little bit of individual flair. Since I couldn't quite find something to replace my Horze chaps, I decided to do something on my own.

- a pair of half chaps
- monogram
- flat back beads
- rubber cement (or any leather adhesive)

For this DIY, I used the Harry's Horse Velvet chaps, a 1/2" Relatively Stable monogram, and The Crafts Outlet 10mm rhinestones. The size for the monogram and rhinestones was based off of the width of the swagger tab on the chaps since that's where I planned to do my design.

1. Make sure your chaps are broken in and cleaned thoroughly. I say this because the leather stretching excessively from the break in process might compromise the adhesive. Better safe than sorry. 
2. Apply your monogram according to the directions given. My monogram was a heat transfer and took a couple of 10 second presses with the iron to transfer completely.

3. Lay out your beads in the design that you want to apply them. There are many ways you can do this, and I suggest using custom boots as a reference. As a hunter rider, I didn't want my coach and friends to loose their minds from something too shiny, so I kept my design simple.

4. Apply the beads using the rubber cement. Don't worry about getting it on your hands. It comes off super easy.

5. Let 'em dry and voila! Custom chaps! You won't find a pair of these babies in any store.

I'm temped to do another pair since these are fairly simple to do, just takes time if you have a lot of beads. I don't really have a use for another pair of half chaps, but, ya know, art.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Groundwork in Hell

I try really hard not to complain about the heat because I know for a fact that I will be 3000x more bitter when winter finally shows up. Seriously, I always get on Miss El when she says it's too hot, especially due to the fact that she complains about the cold when it's in the 50s. Despite my efforts, even I have to admit that it's been disgustingly hot around these parts. On Sunday, we had a heat advisory until 8pm, and that was only because the sun sets at 8pm. It was still 94 when the sun was setting.

But, gotta get things done, so me and Max took it easy. I've wanted to do groundwork with him, so a too-hot-to-ride day seemed like the perfect opportunity. When I got to the barn, he was out. All the horses in his pasture and the neighboring ones (so maybe 12 in total) had convened in the same general area. His two pasture mates ran up to me, wanting to go in, but there isn't much you can do when they aren't your horses. I caught mister mustang and sent him straight to his stall with both fans on. I chatted a bit with another woman who boards; she owns Max's neighbor. Her daughter goes to school near me, and she knows the Eq Team's president. Small world.

Obvious carrot bag stuck in waistband bc reasons
I took Max back out to sponge him, then it was back under the fans for another half hour before I actually did any work. I had him in just the bridle, and the set up was pretty simple: left rein in left hand, right rein in right hand, whip in outside hand, and I tried to keep my body right at his whither. Of course, he was thoroughly confused by what I wanted at first, but he got it fairly quickly. I basically did everything that I do in the saddle, except in this case, the leg and seat cues were gone, and it was all hand, voice, and the occasional whip. The inside rein did its thing while the outside rein remained anchored, only used when needed.

Inside hand, why you do the thing?
Since I basically had my hands in my face the entire time, it was much easier to catch myself doing something undesirable. There were a handful of times where my outside rein would come up too much, and there were a number of times where my inside hand would drop (which got me no response from the cue). Overall, though, he remained much more relaxed, and the work overall was much more positive. I can think of a million ways to make the entire experience easier: using long lines, at least one side rein for the outside, me being 6" taller. A fanny pack probably would have stopped me from spilling carrots all over the indoor, but I'm also not a compete nerd, lmao.

We finished out with some basic liberty stuff, i.e. follow me, stay put, back up, halt, don't mug me for treats because you will get nothing. The back up was probably the least successful (his backing up is questionable in general), but otherwise, he was a champ.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fashion Thursday: Profession: Confused Dressage Rider

At this point, I'm just hoping that my knee patch breeches hold up to all the sitting trot.

Profession: Confused Dressage Rider
1. Mondoni Winchester Boots
    no longer available
2. FixDesign Breeches
3. Wilker's Dressage "Winning Colors" Saddle Pad
4. Equestrian Prep "Home Is Where My Horse Is" LS Tee
5. M. Toulouse Aachen Dressage Saddle
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