Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekend Update with T. A. Eyo ¥

Step aside, Seth. I'm who the people want to see.

fight me, seth
It was a full weekend to say the least starting with a very cold and windy Saturday. The pasture didn't take too long due to the rain we received last week, but it was so cold that the horses didn't get turned out until right before I was done. When we did get them out, it was a bunch of running and bucking and carrying on as horses like to do. As much as I really didn't want to deal with a fresh horse, I sucked it up and did a short ride on Baby.

Fortunately, she was a steady Eddy, easy off the aids, forward, relaxed. These are really the best rides.

Quarter sheet??? In spring?? When will the lies end???
I took my double lessons today with Miss J. First was Leo at noon, then Corbin at 3:30.

I'd like to joke that Leo was being a speedy little lion today, but a lion can't compare to what he was doing. It wasn't too great from the start. He went to a show last weekend, but hadn't been ridden the rest of last week. I was on and walking around, attempting to push him forward, but he kept curling back and shortening his stride. Honestly, I wasn't going to fight him. My leg stayed on, and my reins stayed long; there's no point in forcing the contact.

The biggest focus was lengthening and shortening the stride at the trot and canter, which crosses some things off on My Maclay Challenge. The cantering was more of a very strong extended gallop for a couple of laps around the ring, and that carried over a bit into the jumping. He only slowed down when he was pooping on the approach, but we got the required seven strides, so holla. I actually jumped a 2'6" course for once in a very long time. It's mainly been individual large verticals thrown into 2' patterns for the past 6 months.

The cow is doing better than me
Corbin was somewhat similar but (surprisingly) more manageable than Leo today. Let me say this though: he's been upped to a slow twist and a running martingale, and we all know why he was upped to a slow twist and a running martingale, so when he continues to lack any sort of forward motion during our flatwork, I feel that it is necessary to remind him why he is now in a slow twist and a running martingale. Too bad horses don't understand human language.

I think today I encountered Corbinater 4.0: Junior Edition. A Corbinate specifically designed for the less experienced rider, gets them on the edge of their seat without being unseated. I prefer this gray area of Corbin between jumper and plodder. We got around everything okay, and I was pretty happy about not falling apart over every fence, which I tend to do when he gets fast.

Miss J asked if I wanted to jump the big oxer (I swear to God that thing was 3'6"), and she was being serious, however the lack of focus from my mount meant that we have to save it for another day.

I'm waiting.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wednesday, Friday . . .

And only one video because I'm lazy. Not gonna lie, Wednesday was a super lazy day for me. I was in two-point for two laps at the walk, didn't bother to stretch at the trot, did a little bit of canter work. I really have been pushing myself to canter, though. I go into most rides only wanting to walk and trot, and then I get to a point where I'm trotting and feel like I've done a lot of work, but I know I haven't, so I throw in the canter, likely with transitions.

I considered doing limited two-point work today as well, but then I thought "What would Beezie do?" and, in reality, Beezie probably doesn't two-point at the start of every ride 'cause she knows what she's doing. However, if we consider "What would Miss J do?", then there is an incentive to two-point for the fear of having to run laps on Sunday.

I've been trying Carolyn's old saddle instead of the old Stubben (because another girl who will be in my lesson uses it). I think it's a better fit for Baby, but the flap is definitely forward, and the seat is bigger.

I haven't looked at the video from today yet (yeah, the one at the bottom of this post that I just edited and uploaded and haven't bothered reviewing yet because Netflix is calling), so I can't say much about the fit for me. I've ridden in the halter as well the past two rides; a sidepull is about to be ordered (and in many pieces at that).

She was more uppity today, partially because of some serious rain both today and yesterday. Even while being inside, she managed to get absolutely filthy. Dirt + shedding = one nasty pile of stuff to sweep away. Today was a fairly light day on her part, basic walk and trot with canter/halt transitions on a figure-8, which I need to not tip forward while doing. I did some work on my sitting trot, starting with sitting sans stirrups, then picking up and dropping them a couple of times to keep from bracing my foot on the iron (and to just practice picking up the iron).

Hopefully I'll be able to ride early tomorrow, then I have back to back lessons on Sunday with Miss J. I'm partially hoping that I don't get Corbin because I don't want to deal with that, but, at the same time, I have to deal with that, but then Dusty is available, and I look pretty cute on Christopher Robin.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Dulce de Leche

The dress isn't even caramel, but okay. I guess I can excuse it cause that's a cute dress. This is basically the outfit that I want to wear to the MHSA banquet next year (gotta be prepared). Unfortunately, the dress isn't available to be shipped to the USA, so I'll just cry about that and try to find something similar.

Dulce de Leche

1. Toast Faust Heel
2. Lesebi Horseshoe Carval Bracelet
3. Lesebi Gold Strand Necklace
4. Chotronette Dulce de Leche Dress
5. Lesebi Citrine Silver Talons

Monday, March 23, 2015

My awesome jumps are still tastefully offensive

That's probably due to the fact that I'd rather set up a jumper style course when everyone at my barn does hunters or equitation. In my defense, equitation is just jumpers but slower. Same techniques, right?

Corbinator could do the jumpers, puddle jumpers that is, I'm fragile
With the warmer weather finally showing up, both outdoor rings have been plowed and drug, and the big outdoor needs a new course for this year. Other than two outside lines of some sort, we don't follow any patterns in set up. I think we should get a little bit more unorthodox with it this year.

um, no
Even better
omg, yes, rollback central
I'm 'bout that bending line life
Please let the equitation gods bless me for I am ready
And, of course, my ideal set up with some changes to make the two outside lines.

All I need in life . . . well, this plus a soft leg
But then comes to task of convincing Miss S to let me go about my shenanigans. We might be able to set up something on Saturday, depending on who's pastured in the arena, who's at the barn to help, how long the big pasture takes me to clean, weather, the possibility of two rides, yadda, yadda, yadda. Winter doesn't seem nearly as hectic.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bareback & Bridleless

Well, bridleless then bareback. Zoey & I got in a short and relaxed ride today. It was a struggle to pull her from the pasture; Piper and Nik would've rather gone in (for some strange reason), but their owner was there to help me out. She was laid back, so I rode her in the halter. We just did walk and trot, and I was done in 15 minutes or so.

I've been debating taking the halter off completely and going sans head gear. Yeah, I trust that pony enough. She pays attention, but the leg cues aren't all there, and I usually ride her on lesson days and would rather not run over a child.

Ponies = large toddlers
 I had a half hour private around 2:30, and Miss S made it a bareback lesson. We did a small figure 8 at the trot, which was good. It was moderately successful at the canter. The main focus was getting me to loosen up my shoulders, but today literally everything else felt stiffer than usual. Stiffness didn't help when three poles and a crossbar were introduced. More time was spent circling to keep Baby slow than actually doing the exercise.

In other news, I've been thinking about the whole college riding thing, and I'll likely not end up doing IHSA during my freshman year. Between school, MHSA finals, and MAEF, I'd rather not stress myself physically, mentally, and financially.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Lily Hermès

They are calling for more snow tomorrow morning. I am done.

Lily Hermés

1. Ariat Monaco Field Boot
2. Lilly Pulitzer Quarter Zip
    currently unavailable, but a similar shirt can be found here
3. SSG Lyrochet Horseshoe Glove
4. Ariat Heritage Knee Patch Front Zip Breech
5. Hermes Logo Belt
6. HKM Seaside Function Saddlepad

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"As above, so below"

I videod some of my recent rides for a critique on the forum, and wow. Saying that I was surprised would be an understatement; I'm flabbergasted, to the point where I've had an epiphany about the vertical balance related to riding.

I've worked and worked and worked on my leg for about a year now. I'm sure I had something about it in every post. But it seems that my base isn't as stable as I thought it was. I have a stiff ankle, yes, a stiff ankle of all things. Plus, the saddle that I'm borrowing isn't helping me out because it's too narrow for Baby. The stiff ankle is stiffening my leg, which causes both the knee to pinch and my leg to move forward, which then moves to a seat too far back in the saddle, which forces my shoulders forward so that I can actually stay on the horse. Stiff back, stiff shoulders, stiff leg; as above, so below.

And while this is a type of horror movie for me, I am determined to have a happy ending. I'm switching back to Miss S's Stubben, I'm getting lunge lines lessons with Miss El if I can, and I'm requesting to ride either Oreo or Rosie when we have our next lesson. I will take absolutely any and all advice on fixing this.

Most recent ride on tape:

I will say that Baby has been fantastic this past week. The jigging is happening less often, and she has been super relaxed and easy off my aids.

Friday, March 13, 2015

And spring continues

10 Characteristics of a Perfect Ride:

-Relaxed pon
-Arena sans jumps
-Your fav pair of breeches
-Pole work that takes almost no effort to set up
-Minimal tail swishing
-Mild aggression towards exercise ball during cool out
-0 arguments
-That perfect breeze going right through the center of the indoor plus open windows for a nice view
-On fleek footing

Maybe it's spring fever, but I'll take calm and slightly lethargic Baby over about to run the Kentucky Derby Baby any day. The temperatures are rising fairly quickly, and Baby is still a mammoth, so rides over the next couple of weeks just either be short or not very strenuous. She always seems to do best with shorter, straight work out rides. I am a master of the 20 minute ride.

My right side is still collapsing, more so than usual, and it's the main cause for issues when going to the right. I barely have use of my right side from the hip down. So much for leg yielding. I think I'm in need of some serious no stirrup work.

You got treat?
We did some basic trot poles and a three pole arc. Our main issue was, you guessed it, swerving right because the leg didn't make as much contact as the left leg. I think the arc on the end of a circle helps with straightening myself out and strengthening the leg as well because I'm forced to maintain a bend or else I screw up the exercise.

We did a little bit of canter work, just over a lap total because I was feeling lazy, and she had already been satisfactory during the pole work.

I had such a nice ride that I even started petting the barn cats. I'm allergic to those fluff balls.
Begging for my worship

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Fashion Thursday: Crown Me King & Queen

This was supposed to fit under the category of "Edgy Equestrian", but, considering the fact that I didn't place in the contest, I think I missed the mark. With that to consider, I guess that means that this outfit is normal and therefore completely acceptable for general riding situations including show schooling and clinics. Miss J would say otherwise.

Crown Me King & Queen

1. Roeckl Sports 2-Tone Chester Glove
2. Secret PonPon Leather Belt
3. Rayban Mirror Aviator Sunglasses
4. The Tailored Sportsman Trophy Hunter Front Zip
5. Professionals Choice English Crown Spurs
6. Horse & Style I Heart T.K. Scoop Neck Tee
7. GPA Speed Air Riding Helmet
8. Busse Glitter Grip Dressage Whip
9. Gloockler Royal Fur Saddlepad
10. Petrie Sportive Tall Boot
11. HKM Diamonds Boot Set (set of 4)
12. HKM Soft Ice Ear Bonnet

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Okay, no more waiting

I would've given a little update on Saturday night, but I was too busy laying on the floor of a hotel hallway and telling people that they aren't as punk rock as they think.

I saw the face of J² for the first time in three weeks. I was sitting down for most of Saturday, only getting up to let Buster relieve himself. It was nice.

Eq Kid's Best Friend
Sunday started out great. I actually ate that morning, and the nerves didn't get bad, so I just kind of kept eating. By the time they called me to draw, I was shaking, and we had to wait around for a while because the steward was preoccupied. I drew Cassie, a 14.1 pony. Getting tired of these ponies.

I did like that the saddle was a plain flap, even if it was so small that my leg was going past the flap. She's kind of like Christopher Robin, but more forward. Warm-up was okay, bombed a turn, but it was warm-up. My course wasn't up to par. I picked up the wrong lead from the start, which pretty much guaranteed that I wasn't going any further with IEA. A couple harsh turns and strange hand movements made it feel a lot more like a jumper round. It wasn't terrible, but it didn't compare. I was called for 8th place (which is weird because they were only placing first through sixth).

Now that daylight savings has happened, we're getting more daylight (duh), and this entire week is supposed to be in the fifties and sixties, so I'm taking advantage of the nice weather and getting out to ride Baby. Technically, I should already be on the three times a week schedule, so Thursday and Friday are on the schedule. I rode her on Monday, and it was mostly walk and trot with a little bit of canter.

I tried to do some poles again, but I suck at measuring.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Weebe Spooking is more like it

Weebe, Weebe, Weebe, she's a funny one if you ask me. I had a quick ride on her today before leaving with Miss Sue and Izzy for regionals.

Weebe is western pleasure bred, but we needed a walk/trot pony for kids (i.e. something to do what Zoey was supposed to do), and she fits the bill. I messed around on her for about 20 mins. She was quite spooky today, but she hasn't been in an indoor arena that much, and ages young. She's not exactly my cup of tea, but her stride is smooth. Can't strike down a smooth ride too much.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Almost, maybe half a step forward

I finally managed to get in that private lesson on Molly so I could work on not panicking. The teaching part of the ride got held up because another trainer had to talk to Miss S about renting the indoor during the week, so I spent 30 minutes walking and trotting on my own. It allowed me to get a little bit calm and keep myself together, and Miss S said that I looked calm.

At the trot, we did trotting on a regular rein, a dropped rein, a long rein, without hands, and with my eyes closed—which required long, deep breaths to accomplish.

Once we started cantering, things just went downhill. That's where I stopped with Molly; I wasn't able to canter her because we were both green, and I had 0 body control, and I was starting to get nervous. The walk and the trot are there, for the most part. It's much easier for me to calm myself down and move forward, but, at the canter, all I do is brace. I thought that maybe no stirrup work would help me because it's either relax or fall off, but that would be counter productive.

After that, we did one jump at the trot, something just under 2'0", but high enough to make me worry, and there was a pole in front, and I had to think about a lead, and then there's also that equitation thing, and distances. Jumping seems so simple when you're on a horse that you can trust. That fence was okay, but going from there to the cross bar without an event was impossible. I tried three times, couldn't do it, so Miss S had me do it as a single. It took three more tries before I got it kind of good.

After every fence, all I could do was pull back and pinch my knee because I wanted Molly to stop. Riding her limits me in so many ways, and I wouldn't be so concerned about it if it wasn't affecting how I rode other horses. Cantering and jumping were still issues up until last fall. This one damn horse has had such a lasting negative effect, and I just want to be done with all the fear so that I can move on in my career without worrying that I'm going to get too fast of a horse.

On the plus side, there was no shaking today after I started tacking up. I had a moment of heart racing when we started the jumping, but other than that, bodily convulsions were minimal today.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Don't try this at home

The majority of the team hasn't had a lesson in two weeks due to the weather. We can only ride on weekends because Miss J works late on the weekdays. I don't know whether to be worried or excited for the challenge. Perhaps I'll benefit from some independence, kind of like how I did during the summer. I do actually have a lesson on Thursday with Miss S, but it's on Molly, so it's likely going to be her trying to get me to do something productive and me imploding mentally.

I have ridden a handful of times, as my posts show, and last night was basically approaching the final stretch (unless Cas wants to ride on Friday before we head out). What sucks is that, while I thought that I had adjusted my camera correctly to film continuously, I didn't, so I got 24 seconds of film this time. I've been putting a lot of work into my canter to try and loosen up my arms and quiet my upper body, and I was planning on sending the video to Miss J for critique. There goes that plan.

I actually felt a lot more secure and confident when I rode last night too. My main focus was pulling my shoulders back and keeping my upper body tall. I rode in my new Harry's Horse breeches, which had so much grip that, from the knee down, I was completely solid (I hate cheating, but that was really nice). Transitions were not very prompt, but they were relaxed, which is always a plus.

Gotta give the pyramid a base
Jigging reached the annoying point, and I tried my best to swallow my frustration and get her walking. It'll take a while.
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