Wednesday, August 31, 2016

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.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Last Ride on the Mighty Mustang

After Saturday feeling rather trainwreckish, I decided that was not how I wanted to leave things and asked (begged) Miss El to find a spot for me yesterday. The dog days of summer haven't yet parted, and while it isn't an El Nino year, I don't think we'll need it to be in order to reach record temps in the fall. At least, that's what I'm hoping.

So that's how I started my Friday, with a cloudless morning at the barn. I got some shots of Max for his owner because I want to make something for her, but I don't know what kind of something. He was not cooperative, but most animals aren't ideal during photo shoots. If you ever want to turn your horse into a demon, take out a camera.

I straight up told Miss El that we had lost everything she worked so hard to create while also gaining a right drift (the appearance of which still boggles me). The lesson was focused like 99% on addressing the drift because, well, I wasn't going to get any good bending without a horse that moved laterally. He argued (very loudly at that), but he got it at the walk and almost got it at the trot. Good place to end.

Major credit to Miss El, though. She had both hands on him, giving the inside rein cue while trying to control the shoulder, all while I was still up there. Plus, she had a fresh manicure. Talk about dedication.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fashion Thursday: Sure


1. Abercrombie Fitch Retro T Shirt
    no longer available
2. Baieku Rhinestone Belt
3. Wilker's Hunter/Jumper Baby Pad
4. PJ Premiere Saddle
5. Tredstep Ladies Hunter Classic Knee Patch Breech
6. Mondoni Kingston Tallboots
7. Wilker's Hunter/Jumper Memory Foam Half Pad

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

Monday, August 8, 2016

More than kind of lazy

So, I decided on Thursday that I would take it easy on Friday in terms of working out. I added in a day of arms and a day of legs last week, and I was pretty sore. Dialing things down seemed appropriate. I had planned on doing some yoga on WiiFit, but then Friday came along, and I just . . . didn't. Then I did nothing on Saturday, too. And I also rode for a half hour on Sunday. I'm the pinnacle of health.

Yeah, and he's the pinnacle of Dressage, too
But, yeah, whatever, can't go back in time. Max was the same old, same old yesterday, kinda there, kinda not, had some really good moments, had plenty of bad moments too. It was certainly better than last week.

We did mainly serpentines for the whole ride at the trot and canter with halts on the center line. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I lost his shoulder, and it's hard to get back because big dude still doesn't yield to leg pressure all the time. Now, moving forward off the leg? No biggie. Left and right are the issues. I've only halfway ruined Miss El's work over the course of these last two rides. If someone could please come to the barn and demand that I let go of my outside rein, that would be wonderful. I know that the backtracking is because of me being too handsy, but at least I could remind myself to be softer yesterday.

"I will end you"
His owner ended up moving him back to their old barn, a place which I've shown at multiple times. It was a bit strange being there when people aren't running amok with oddly clean horses. Of course, he's still barn bound.

Work with me, pls

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Breech Bitch

Ask anyone who knows me (well, maybe not my mom, but most other people) and they'll confirm that I am the queen of cool breeches. I am a fan of the unordinary. Part of it is likely rooted in my contempt with the droning simplicity of hunter ring fashion (the switch from polo shirts to sun shirts over the past few years has revived me), but then there's also the fact that I like to have fun.

My collection has grown from the two I had at the start of this blog to 11 pairs total. I very much used to be a jeans and rubber boots kinda gal, but times change. So, in ascending order of preference, here are all my coolio pants.

11. FixDesign Cotton Riding Breeches
Style: Euroseat
Fit: Runs small
Material: 67% rayon, 26.5% nylon, 6.5% spandex
Use: Rare

FixDesign is an Italy high fashion company that happens to have a line of riding clothing as well. It's like Gucci but more appropriately priced. I found out about them through fellow blogger Silvia of Equestrian Trend, and I was in love with these pants when I first laid eyes on them. Aesthetically, they're everything I like, but realistically they are lacking. First, they run quite small from the American perspective, so go up 1 or 2 sizes if you order these. Second, they are geared more towards fashion than function. The material is on the thinner side, and the knee patches are a super thin suede. On the plus side, the zip pocket is a nice feature, and it has back pockets (which I do use). Overall, I wouldn't purchase this model again, but they have since adjusted their design and added some new colors.

10. Harry's Horse Rimini Breeches
Style: Euroseat
Fit: Runs large
Material: 63% polyester, 32% viscone, 5% elastan
Use: Moderate

I was on the prowl for a pair of breeches that had the Animo look without the Animo price, and that's how I came across Harry's Horse. They're pretty much a makes everything kind of brand. While the Rimini's ended up being obnoxiously large at the beginning, a couple very warm trips through the dryer and few months of working out got the fit to be just right. They have a super cute four button detail on the front zipper as well as stars on the back pockets. The front pockets are DEEP, not even kidding, they fit my massive smart phone with room to spare. My only qualm is with the silicone knee patches, which are the exact reason why I bought these things. For my day-to-day riding, they're a bit annoying, but in times where I need more stickability, they come in use. Those times are just on the rare side for me.

9. TuffRider Lowrise Rib Pull-On Riding Breech
Style: Knee Patch
Fit: True to size
Material: 92% polyester, 8% spandex
Use: Moderate

These were my second pair of breeches that were purchased as an alternative to my Equine Coutures. These things really haven't aged since I bought them, and they have seen some abuse. I've used them through various seasons, in both the Dressage and hunter rings, and also for barn chores. They have yet to fail me, except for the one belt loop that ripped. I like the slight contrast of the knee patch, and the fit is great, but, for the life of me, I cannot get over the fact that they are ribbed. Look, my thighs rub together. There is a muscle high up that is used specifically for riding. Normally, this isn't an issue, but when your pants are textured, it leads to some, erm, music? Gets annoying really quick, and I always have to walk slow to avoid having my own theme song. Otherwise, these are fantastic.

8. Annie's Equestrienne Concord Breeches
Style: Knee Patch
Fit: Runs long
Material: 65% cotton, 30% polyester, 5% elastan
Use: Rare

These were definitely an early Christmas present to myself. These have been relegated to more of a winter breech simply due to the color, but they are just fine to wear in every season. They are my second pair of Annie's, and I believe they came right after the company changed their standard cut. These run significantly long on me, like 2"-3" too long, which was a big change from my first pair (further down this list). Another change between the two pairs is the addition of pockets and slightly higher rise on the concords. These breeches do feature the same super soft, stretchy fabric, vegan suede for the patches, and lining on the bottom of the leg. They have enough space that I can layer on the colder days without feeling claustrophobic. As with 99% of Annie's breeches, these were limited edition.

7. Horseware Newmarket Belle Breeches
Style: Euroseat
Fit: Runs slightly small
Material: 95% cotton, 5% lycra
Use: Rare

These were a compromise. I actually wanted the denim pair of these because it had that nice brown patch that I liked, but the universe hates me, and they were sold out before I could snag a pair. I got the pinstripe instead, and it's honestly 1000x better than I hoped. Horseware's clothing line is just the right amount of daring while still having some classic appeal. They have a denim base with a light wash and a slight fade on the thigh plus that integrated calf that I worship. These are a bit hard to get on, but they sit nicely, kinda like a good pair of skinny jeans. The pinstripe is subtle enough that it won't make your legs appear awkwardly long. They mainly give these pants some character. If you're not convinced by my review, let it be known that my trainer is in love with these things, too, and she is picky.

6. Annie's Equestrienne Not So Boring Beige Breeches
Style: Euroseat
Fit: Runs long
Material: 65% cotton, 30% polyester, 5% elastan
Use: Often

These are my third pair of Annie's bought mainly for use at clinics or first impression type rides. They are also a really nice pair of back-up breeches in the event that my regular show breeches get stained, scratched, burned beyond repair, etc. I've found that they are well suited to hot summer weather as they have that yoga pants feel without the yoga pants see-through-ness. They also worked well the one time I used them for an IHSA show and didn't feel like paying $3 to launder one pair of pants. In that case, I did layer with a pair of fleece tights, and they were fine just like the concords. They've graduated to being a staple in my collection. The silicone horse head doesn't have as much of an effect on my riding as the full silicone patch on the Riminis does, so I'm a lot happier with them for that reason.

5. Shires Oakland Side Zip Breeches
Style: Euroseat
Fit: True to size
Material: 67% cotton, 26% nylon, 8% lycra
Use: Rare (only for shows)

It was a long time coming, but dang it these were worth it. I went through fake breeches to leggings to a size too big breeches only to finally end up with these as my permanent show breeches. If you're looking for the classic hunter breech with the side zip, structured fabric, and that weird seam that goes towards the knee patch, these are your breech. Seriously, these are a top alternative to Tailoreds. They are mid rise with a leg that ends right at my ankle. If you're on the shorter side, there's nothing to worry about with these breeches. These are the perfect shape for me, and I love them more every time I put them on (which hasn't been super often lately, and I miss them, but I won't risk stains). I'd never use these as everyday breeches because I prefer a front zip, but these are classic for eq and hunters.

4. Annie's Equestrienne Original Blue Breeches
Style: Full Seat
Fit: True to size
Material: 65% cotton, 30% polyester, 5% elastan
Use: Rare

These breeches are honestly where it all started for me. These were my first pair of "cool" breeches (and also my first pair of full seats which makes no sense considering the fact that I didn't actually start riding Dressage until well over a year later). When I used to be a Pinterest junkie, these were a popular item floating around with equestrians. Miss El also really liked these the first time she saw them. I did a full review of these already which you can view here. To be clear, the breeches I own are the first original blue without the crystals, pockets, or integrated calf. The recently updated style likely has the same higher rise and longer leg that's typically of current Annie's Breeches.

3. Tredstep Symphony No. 4 Nero Breeches
Style: Euroseat
Fit: Runs slightly small
Material: 95% cotton, 5% spandex
Use: Heavy

I can't say enough good things about these breeches. After feeling a bit bitter about letting go of my too big Tredsteps, I finally got something in my size, and these breeches came to be mine. I did a full review of them a while ago which you can read here. They have the integrated calf, and Tredstep's is the best I've come across so far. They hug your body; these breeches are a second skin, but getting that skin on does take an effort. The fabric is thicker and stiffer, but you're paying for something sturdy that's made to last a while. I used these somewhat interchangeably with my TuffRiders when I used to be a barn hand, but I tended to save these for IEA lessons due to the fact that they were more sturdy. I highly recommend the slate blue because it's super easy to match. Be aware that they do fade with abuse.

2. Romfh Scandia Winter Breech DISCONTINUED
Style: Knee Patch
Fit: Runs slightly small
Material: 85% polyester, 15% spandex
Use: Heavy (only in winter)

So I got more or less lucky that I didn't have to use these last winter, but these are great breeches, and it saddens me that Romfh no longer makes them (or any winter breech, what gives?). These were reviewed as part of an item haul that I did a couple winters ago. Let it be known that I get cold very easily, and I am not happy when I am cold. These are basically my "It's under 50 degrees" breech, and the quality makes up for the fact that they sound like a windbreaker when I walk. I have worn these in straight up cold weather, regular rain, freezing rain, snow/sleet, at home and at shows, and they have come through every time. The style is simple, and since I got a tan pair, I do have the option to show in them if need be. I love having toasty thighs.

1. Annie's Equestrienne Retro Rust Breeches
Style: Euroseat
Fit: Runs long
Material: 65% cotton, 30% polyester, 5% elastan
Use: Moderate

Honestly, it shouldn't even be surprising that these are my favorite breeches overall; I freaking designed them. These breeches have the same standard design as the Not So Boring Beige, so I do have to roll up the ankles. Otherwise, they're perfect. Annie's is the bomb. They got the rust coloring just right (not too red, not to orange). As much as I love them, I do try to limit my use simply because I thrive on changing up my look, but dang it's difficult. They're sooo comfortable, just like all my other Annies. I kind of went in blind getting the knee patch since they only had the full seat up on the website, but I'm overjoyed with how they look and feel. I also really like the gray trim on the pockets that matches the knee patch. It's a nice touch. I'm not sure how long Annie's is going to keep producing these, so snag a pair while you can!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

August's 10 Questions

I really hate the word "Auguts's"

1. What is your biggest source of caffeine that gets you through the day? (drink, not just brand) TEA! SO MUCH TEA! SO MUCH CHAI! 3 CUPS A DAY! PREFERRABLY TAZO (although I have tried Twinings, and it wasn't half bad)! 

image from Oregon Chai
2. Do you honestly think your trainer is the best trainer for you? For my current situation, yes. Of course, that doesn't mean that my emotional brain tells me otherwise every so often, but I just tell it to shut up.

3. One token of advice a fellow rider/trainer/horse person told you that you still remember to this day. You'll never be perfect.

4. If riding meant costing your family so much money that they’d be basically on poverty line, or making your family terribly unhappy (if they were not supportive or understanding, etc.) would you still do it? To the first part, absolutely not. To the second part, my parents don't really want me riding and would rather I do something else, but here we are, so yeah.

5. (Girls) would you ride while pregnant? Depends on if it's paying the bills. Babies are expensive.

6. How do you tell when a horse likes someone/has bonded with you or someone else? They're more expressive? Like their personality starts to shine through. Before I started riding Baby outside of lessons, she was rather dull, just your typical laid-back mare. Once I had more time to be at the barn and spend time with (both in and out of the saddle), her antics started to become a lot more obvious. She's one dope of a horse.

This eventually became an everyday thing
7. Are horses capable of loving, in your opinion? Maybe, but not in the way that we do.

8. If you could have one horse from your past come back for 5 minutes, who would it be, why, and what would you do with them in those 5 minutes? Deadline. I would get it right for once.

9. Should a trainer also be a friend, or should it be a student/teacher relationship? This depends entirely on individual circumstances. My trainer is not my friend; I tried that, and it made things too complicated for me. I don't mind being friendly with her; heck, I wouldn't even mind hanging out with her from time to time without horses being involved, but I do set a limit. For others, a more friendly relationship may work better, and then there are plenty of people who learn best under a strictly professional relationship. Everyone learns differently, and it's all about preference.

We've been through this
10. One piece of advice/training you were given by a trainer or mentor that you look back on now and view it as incorrect? Squeeze with your knees over a fence.

Another shout out to L for giving me more blog content than I make on my own.

Monday, August 1, 2016

These Hands

image from onsizzle
For the record, I don't play Pokémon Go. I'm more of a Bakugan kinda gal.

That being said, These Hands have once again become a dead weight. Max went back to his home on Wednesday, so I rode yesterday, hoping that he retained everything. In all honesty, he did. He retained everything very well, but he's also retained everything he knew about his home, which includes trying to race back to the barn and going super duper slow. Sure those are undesirable habits, but my reaction wasn't any better. It wasn't as bad as our ride from two weeks ago, but I'm not sure whether I prefer a horse shutting down on me or curling away from contact. If I could, I would go out again this week and fix what I broke, but that's just not feasible.

Despite me not putting in my fair share, we had a lot of good moments. The walk is darn near perfect, and he has some good self carriage through the walk and trot. He took to the transitions thing exceptionally well, better even than overall softness. The canter is improving incrementally. The ring is on the smaller side, and he does dive, which is partially habit but mostly his lack of balance. Having him sit up around such a small side is going to be difficult.

I took the plunge and jumped him again, too, and that went really well. My equitation is lack luster (but when is it not, tbh), but he's got a cute form. I even dared to go over an oxer at the challenging height of *gasp* 2'0". I know, we'll be Olympians in no time.

Footage as usual:

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