Thursday, March 28, 2019

(Still) Learning To Let Go

What do you do when your trainer is sick with a 102* fever and lessons are cancelled for the week?

Take an obscene number of pictures of course.

This is his "I gave you one clean lead change today, now leave me alone" face.
Yeah, Coach S was bed ridden all of last week. Usually when lessons are cancelled, we just get to do a make-up lesson before the end of the semester, but we had an upcoming show, so she gave us the option to do a practice ride. One of the girls in my lesson has been on edge about Regionals and wanted to ride, so three of our usual seven person lesson ended up going.

Gonna be honest, I did two practice rides last semester, but both were cut short. During the first one, my horse was at the back of a big ass field and proceeded to charge me when I went to get her. During the second one, we spent approximately 30 minutes reminiscing with Coach S about her wild life story. Needless to say, it's been a while since I've had to get on a horse sans trainer and just figure out what to do. I'm not used to making a plan anymore.

Peep Lilly's booty in the background
I decided while tacking up to just go back to what I used to do in high school. Start every ride with two point, spend a lot of time trotting and make sure I'm doing each side evenly, switch directions a lot, then break and make something up for the rest of the ride. That plan lasted for only the two point part, and I cannot two point nearly as long as I used to. The rest of the ride was spent doing lots of serpentines and transitions, especially canter departs. I personally need to work more on transitioning from trot to canter and back, which is shocking considering the amount of time I spent on Dressage.

Maybe she's still bitter about having to wear this saddle pad . . .
We also swapped horses, and I took the chance to get back on Lilly despite the fact that she - oh, how do I say this - scares the living shit out of me. I don't know her exact height, but I'm pretty sure she's a medium pony. The little bugger is fast, and that's an accepted fact at my barn. I got on, we started going, she started going fast, she started going very fast. The accepted method with her is to hold when that happens, but I decided to see what would happen if I had 0 contact instead. My arena companions were fairly warned. I gave it a shot, and while she wasn't perfectly settled, it was a much nicer canter than before. Truthfully, she actually cantered instead of galloping. Did another circle of canter with no stirrups and moderate contact, which was successful.

Quit on that note cause it was a great one.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Gotcha! with Marie Kondo

Just to be clear, I had my spur of the moment room de-clutter two summers ago in 2017 when I was experiencing my first quarter life crisis. Since then, I've accumulated . . . . more things. I write this as I'm one day into my second quarter life crisis; one entire dresser is already cleared out.
It would be two dressers except I have one drawer that's entirely riding clothing. Nevermind the bridle that’s sat dormant in my closet for four years. Let’s not even talk about my basket of mostly unused saddle pads. In my defense, I collect breeches as a form of self care.

Remember when I rode in jeans? Y'all wanna go back to this?
Truthfully, I haven’t accumulated that much stuff, it’s just that I don’t use these things as much as I used to. What I like about the method is the part where you give thanks to items that you plan to get rid of. It does feel weird to part with things that I genuinely bought with good intentions, like my 2 for $22 baby pads that I purchased specifically for Music. It’s even harder to part with things that are attached to good memories. I won a saddle pad for my first Medal Final. Never felt right about using it, but it’s something that makes me feel a sense of pride.

Inadvertently compared this to the last photo and . . . wow.
Some things are completely useful. My bridle is in fine shape, and my brushing boots are pretty well taken care of. But both of these carry some baggage. I bought the boots to protect Baby when I wanted to move up to showing 3’. The sidepull was to protect her mouth since I was struggling with heavy hands.

I mean, she looked cute in them.
I guess it comes down to Marie’s key question of asking if an item sparks joy. I haven’t looked through everything, but off the top of my head, yeah, a lot of these things do spark joy. Which is great when you’re trying to consolidate . . .

I’ll eventually get through it all and probably make a post on here to let some items move on. Until then, maybe I’ll put some of these barely used items back into work.

My obnoxious baroque saddle pad sparks joy. Maybe not for Lilly, but it does for me.
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