Jello-like.

That’s how I’ve been feeling in the saddle lately.

Pretty mare

We haven’t stopped training this summer, even though I obviously stopped blogging….oops! But the monster (in a good way) of a horse I have now is getting very difficult for me to keep up to! The work is getting hard, she’s getting stronger and I’m not keeping up.

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i am ron

I am getting more fit – just not at the same level as Luna. She totally knows my weaknesses and sure knows how to use them to her advantages. Mares, they are smart, specially when they want to be lazy !

I have never actually ridden a horse quite like this before. Specially not one that I did all the training on. She outsmarts me left, right and centre some days. I’m feeling a little stiff  in my right side? Lemme just pull in just the right away that you are ineffective she says. You ate too many taco’s and can’t engage your core because you feel like a bloated baboon – hang on and lemme do my thang!

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basically doing all the gym things

Since I started writing this post, my saddle fitter has been out….and some of the problems I have been having in the saddle have been slightly fixed. Yay for good saddle fitters! But pony dearest still knows how to play games and I am still not quite strong enough to keep up with them.

So maybe I can upgrade the name of this post from Jello to like Lava-cake – firm on the outside and soft on the inside.

We discussed it at the end of my lesson and my coach out-right said that I am too soft most of the time and that I need to ride more firmly, but not stiffly. This will be a learning curve.

Who me ?

How do the rest of you deal if you aren’t as fit as your horse ?

I’m still here…

But I’ve been busy.

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Still trying to get rid of my “vacation brain”. We’ve been back for a month now….oops. But we have been busy since we got back.

Hubby went straight back to work the next day, and the weekend after we got home we headed up to my parents because the day we flew home, they had to put our old family dog down. That was tough. And then we were both working. Then we went camping. Now we are both working, and then there is a long weekend and we are getting the hell out of here and going camping for 3 more nights.

Fitting the pony in between all of that has also been difficult. Plus it has been sooo smokey so riding has been semi limited.

Blogging has definitely taken a back seat for now, but I am hoping to get back to it soon!

Weekends are for the trails

With Canada Day this weekend, it meant for a long weekend ! Long weekends = more pony time.

A group of us from my barn made plans to head out to the local trail system nearby. Found out the day before we left that a couple of spots were closed due to hazards and an other one had a passable (ish) hazard. So we changed plans to go to a different staging area.

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Luna hopped right into the trailer like a prob. Strange trailer with a pawing horse and she didn’t even look or care. I think it’s safe to say I no longer have a bad loader !

Someone had ants in their pants and jigged a good part of the way out on the trails which is unusual. But there were lots of trees down…which meant jumping. Or in dressage horse land, not so gracefully stepping over them 😂

We managed to it so gracefully on my part, actually jump a log and canter away in a giggle fit. This horse and my lack of skills amuses me some day.

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It was so nice to get out again and enjoy he warmth and good company. Pony had her fast pants on and kept passing everyone while we were trotting, until her legs were going to fast for her chubby body.

We also managed to squeeze in a visit to the kids barn to see her new ride ! What a cutie he is !Lexie tagged along to two barns and is currently snoozing somewhere upstairs because she is exhausted ! Hope everyone had a good weekend !

When showing isn’t life

I’ve had high hopes the last 2+ years to get out and do more shows and it just hasn’t happened. Work gets in the way, life gets in the way and mostly, the funds just are NOT there.

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our first show ever, TWO years ago

Its been over two years now since we stepped out into the show ring – I don’t think I was even blogging at that point. Those were also our first (and only) couple of shows we have ever been to. The second show was also Luna’s first time being in a stall for more than a few minutes – which you never would have guessed with how good she was.

But I’m not gonna lie – showing isn’t the most fun thing I have ever done. I get super anxious, stress out over EVERYTHING. Are my glasses clean? Is she actually gonna go over that fence? Do we look ridiculous? Did I close the fridge? See…everything. What’s the fun in that?

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this is how my brain acts

I don’t remember having this much anxiety when I was showing through High School on the local circuit at home. That was with Calika though, and I never really had to worry about whether or not she was going to do something, I just worried about asking her to do the right things. I really don’t have to worry too much about Luna either, but I still do.

The other big biggest issue is the money. I make a livable wage for sure, but adding on horses, having a car payment now because of my accident last year, mortgage etc. it all adds up. The excess money I do have leftover after bills goes into my savings so that you know, when I get old, I can retire comfortably. I am also a hoarder of money so once the money goes INTO the savings account….I rarely want to take it OUT of the savings account.

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used to show red mare all the time

Could I direct some of that money to a “Horse Show Fund”? Sure, I could. But I haven’t. Maybe next year will change that a bit. But then what else is going to jump up and get in the way of showing? Horse issues? More money issues? Or will I just not want to?

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we even won a fancy ribbon once. PC Sarah Ingram

An average Gold Level Dressage show around here would cost me around $500 without trailering to do 2 tests a day, over 2 days. Most of my friends that I ride with Event, the one friend that does Dressage doesn’t really show. The show scene around here is a little off-putting as a spectator sometimes. I know lots of people because of the side gig – but I don’t really KNOW them. So is it really worth it to spend the money there?

Don’t get me wrong, I DO want to show. I want to show off all of the training I have done with this horse, who I started by myself. I also like pretty ribbons. It just isn’t my top priority nowadays.

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that one time we went to a show 

So where do you stand on showing – do you scrape by to have the budget or do you put it on the back burner? Is it always worth it to you to get to that show?

Recent lessons.

I haven’t done one of these in a while. Mostly because who wants to read about dressage lessons, but also because my last couple, while still good, have been full of struggles.

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we are all this derpy….

We’ve been asking for more and more correct work – both in her body and mine – and its made one hell of a difference. Did you know if you stay solid on BOTH sides of your body it really helps keep your horse straight and steady – who would have thought eh?

I’ve been having issues feeling like I was sitting even, and knew it was an issue with my right side, but my attempts to fix it on my own haven’t worked. I just ended up either leaning right or putting to much weight into my right stirrup which was actually just pushing me left more. It felt like I was on a teeter totter sometimes and that is not a fun feeling to have.

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When we start the canter work is when I really start to notice it so on Friday I stopped and explained it and Coach came over and manipulated my body a bit and showed me where the issue really was and then explained how to fix it. Having that simple little explanation like that made a world of difference.

Did Luna like it?

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 her response

No not really, because she couldn’t push me around and be able to go which ever way was easiest for her.

It was literally like night and day. What a change. I sat on my right side, and firmed up that whole side and the left canter departs were quicker and sharper. The canter improved in a huge way going both directions. The trot was rounder and bigger. Everything was so much better.

The few rides since last week’s lesson have been short and sweet since it has been so incredibly hot here, but she learns so quickly and already she isn’t trying to swing me around in the saddle and pull me to the left as badly.

We had an other lesson this Friday and one of the other ladies that rides with my coach was watching and she said it was so nice to watch a horse that gets it so quick. Proud horse-mom moment right there.

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still rocking half a mane

All these little changes are just a small part of the bigger picture, and with what Luna has shown me lately, I cannot wait for whats to come!