Posts

Recalculating

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It should be clear by now that my relationship with Blackjack needs some R&R. On the one hand, we do seem to have a good time when we're just plodding around and not doing anything serious at all. On the other hand, I can't do a hunter derby wearing a halter and a leopard print bareback pad. Correction: a halter, a bareback pad, and a mohawk I went out with the intention to try a different approach to our rides. The biggest thing for me was taking the pressure off and keeping everything straightforward and simple. His schooling bit has also been swapped from a Kimberwick to a Pelham on just the curb ring, essentially creating a Tom Thumb. With that in mind, I wasn't really keen on touching his face much either. It kind of helps since that was also one of the issues I was dealing with during my last lesson. I decided on a whim to try a new warmup. Because of my own balance issues, I try not to start my ride by going endlessly in one direction then switching to the other

Texas Touch: Follow Up

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A couple years ago, I posted some drawings on here for a barn that I designed based off of some farms I saw while flying over Texas. I posted those knowing that they would likely make no sense to people who aren't in my field. Which was okay with me! Because ultimately, I just love talking about and designing equine facilities. Plus, at that point, I really wanted to post about it, but I didn't have the time to make the drawings extra pretty. Well, fast forward a couple of years, I had time to make the drawings extra pretty! And I modeled it! And rendered it! I decided to be a Big Girl Architect ™ and put an actual column grid. Although, in hindsight, those columns are probably waaaay too small. Good thing I'm in school for architecture and not engineering, lol. The arena here ended up being relatively small, 72' x 168' at its largest points. The grid though makes this easy to scale up (or down). I designed it as something that could be phased in how its built and

Q1 Goal Review: Habits Baseline

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To recap, my goals this year have been focused entirely around building good, healthy habits. Next year, I'll certainly feel much better about jumping back into specific riding goals, but for now, as my life approaches major turning points, this seems to work much better. Workout Once Per Week Absolutely not. Two Point, Stretching, & No Stirrup Work Every Ride I definitely jumped in with both feet on this one for absolutely no reason. Warming up at the two-point has made a valiant return, but I could go a little harder with it. I noticed that I struggle with it more when I'm riding in my trainer's saddle. It has normal fillis irons while I've been riding in my own wide footbed irons for several years now. I'm doing my best to push through the foot pain and not be a spoiled brat about it. The no-stirrup work is kind of meh. It's one of those things that was easy to make myself do in the past, but now? My aged body is battling a young mind. I have been the mos

Lessons learned in pain

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In writing the post about my last lesson, I realized that I wasn't going to be able to talk about the actual lesson in addition to my current frustrations because the post would have been an even longer novel than it turned out to be. So, here we are. Definitely going to milk these photos for a while lol As I said before, the warmup started very nice with minimal arguments. He was fiery but manageable. Frankly, my type of horse. It felt good to have him come off my leg and be alert but still willing to trust my aids and channel that energy into a high quality trot with good self carriage. Whenever a horse is like this, I tend to soften my corners and turn the short sides of the arena into a semi circle. I've noticed that if I push too hard into a corner, they tend to compress on the turn then shoot out on the straight away. The bigger arc helps to keep the pace consistent and gives me more room to push with the inside leg, correct with the outside leg, and slowly fill the outsi

What's not clicking

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After my last lesson on Liberty , Trainer G and I made a plan to do a similar jump lesson on Blackjack. It was clear that I knew how to work through the exercises. The next logical step was to do them on the horse that I'm, ya know, actually paying to lease. Long story short, it did not go well. Blackjack came out pretty amped. He was injected, did a beginner lesson a couple of days later, then my jump lesson maybe a day or two after that. Between the newfound joint mobility and the lack of undersaddle time, he came out pretty fresh and ready. He was very looky, and there were enough things happening outside the arena to hold his attention. It's not a big deal; Liberty was literally the exact same at my last lesson. We worked through it without an issue. What bothers me is that it feels like every time I get on Blackjack, he's amped. It genuinely feels like the horse straight up does not like me or my energy. As much as I try to remain calm, it's getting disheartening t

How to film your rides when you're broke and also accidentally got lots of dirt inside your only good camera

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The title says it all. Back when I first started filming my rides, I had a trusty, cheap Canon that got the job done to say the least. It was honestly a great camera, and I got some nice shots on it before upgrading to my DSLR. When I eventually got dirt in the cheap camera, and it stopped opening up, I needed a different option. At the time, I couldn't afford a new video camera. With that in mind, a Solo Shot or Pixio were out of the question. The DSLR is also not great at filming. Like, at all.  I've always been a visual learner. I get a lot out of filming my rides and watching the videos. Additionally, running a blog (and a vlog) means that I need media otherwise you would all shy away from my big blocks of text. When cameras were no longer available, my next best option was a cellphone which inherently does not capture as good of an image as a camera. Over the past few years, I've learned some tips not only to improve the video quality but also to get the most out of y