The lines, they are long.

With all of the time off that Luna had, which really wasn’t that long at all, she ended up losing ALL of her topline and muscle that we had worked so hard to develop. It was to be expected, just maybe not to this level.

Most horses would be fine going back to work. Put a half pad on if they need it for a bit and off you go. But things are never really that easy with Luna. #baymareproblems I swear. The red-head never caused me so much grief LOL.

So I needed to come up with a different plan once she decided things were not up to her high standards. Because when you give your horse the best, they expect nothing less!

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ms. high standards

I’ve always wanted learn how to long-line/ground drive/whatever you would like to call it, but at home, no one ever did it much and I haven’t really “had the need” really to learn how. Even though it really is something that everyone should learn at some point. Although lots of people don’t really know how to lunge either so we all have to start somewhere.

Long lining is not just for training big horses -- it's how Lancelot, the mini appaloosa struts his stuff (photo by Christiane Slawick).
can I have?

The article that belongs with that picture – which you can find here – was probably the first, and one of the only ones that I read. I mostly got stuck at how cute that mini is because how could you not. It (and the videos attached) gave me enough of a basis on where to start with Luna before I had a proper lesson with my trainer.

The first day I did it, I realized quite quickly I had no idea what I was doing. Of course Luna was amazing, because when is she not, but my god handling two lines while trying to keep up with her and not confuse her or fall on my face was really hard.

I often trip on my own feet

 

When I met up with my trainer, she made a few changes that made both of our lives quite a bit easier. Moving the lines from being on the high side, to being on the bottom rings made it much easier to control her for one. And being closer to her made corrections so much easier.

Learning the feel was a bit difficult. But I have the same problems while I am riding her too, which was super interesting to see how it affected her in real life vs on a video and being able to correct it at that time vs during an other ride.

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work in progress with my trainer

I can foresee training the lateral work being a bit of an issue in the future. We practiced a bit leg yielding. It hurt both of our brains, no doubt about that. But the feeling that I got in the lines is something that I need to work on getting while I am on her back. And seeing how she reacted to different things while I was doing this was a bit of an eye opener that I need to take over to my under-saddle work !

One of the aspirations I wrote about for 2019 was to continue learning whatever I could – I’d say I am off to a good start and we are only a couple of weeks into the new year!

 

 

 

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2019 Things

Y’all have read, more then once probably, about why I don’t do goal setting. It just isn’t my thing. Aspirations are more my thing. They seem more open to change and modifications.


Horse Related

Get over the trailer issues – These cropped up again recently (as in at the flipping vet clinic) and were something that I really thought we had gotten over. Guess not. We need to address what is quite clearly making her not want to get in and fix it. Maybe we can get our own trailer this year?

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proof that we load

Go to a show – I really want to do this this year. I want to show off all of the hard work that we have done. Being realistic though, it may or may not be in the budget. Plus we need to get through the trailer issues first. But it is a goal. Whether its one show, or ten shows, a dressage show or something else, as long as we get out and do something I do not care!

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last time we were at a show…which was probably 2016

Continuing Education – One is never done learning when it comes to horses. In any way really. You think you understand something and then there is something new to learn ! I’ve already been working on that, and added an other tool to the box this past week that I will write about soon! Whatever way these things decide to come into my life, I will greet them with open arms!

Personal

Take care of my body – This is something I really do need to work on. My body isn’t happy with me. Since my car accident there have been a few different things that make me ache. Sometimes I ignore them though…which isn’t good for me in the long run. I want to be able to move when I am 75 and that means working on me in the NOW, not when it really is too late.

Figure out my shit – This means a lot of things, some of which I don’t want to get into on the interwebz, but I need to write this down and hold myself accountable and stop having such a “yeah, yeah” attitude about it. That means learning a few things, and maybe leaving some things behind.

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beagle stalking level 100

Do all the things – This falls into the horse side of things too. I want to do the things. I don’t want to let fears of anxiety hold me back. I am really good at that. I need to break that cycle, badly.


 

There aren’t many things. But all of them have so many different aspirations behind them. I really just want to thoroughly enjoy anything and everything I can this year. And be happy while doing it. Which will mean spending time with my creatures, my husband, and whoever else comes along for the ride!

 

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gotta love life like this beagle loves everything

Merry Christmas!

Well it’s officially Christmas time! We’ve made the voyage up to my parents for the week and are really enjoying the peace and quiet. I am missing my pony but she’s got “her kid” – who is not a kid at all – riding her and keeping her happy.

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So from my family to yours – Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Am I the only one…

That doesn’t like reading online horse-related articles? I just cannot sit there, and read them !

me trying to read articles

Lots of them are in tiny little writing, with too many ads or other gobbly-gook on the sides that it is just so distracting trying to read them. There are rarely enough pictures pertaining to the actual topic that I am reading about. It is either more ad’s or something un-interesting.

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boop

I am also more of a “do-er” then a “reader”. The only article I have read (that I can remember) that I have learned something from, and has been useful to me was the article on Practical Horseman by Laura Graves on creating a self going horse.

Did it take me all day at work to read it? Yes.

Did I enjoy reading it?  Yes.

Why? Because it was interesting. It was written in the way I learn AND there were lots of pictures! Plus I quite like Laura Graves’ way of doing things. It wasn’t overly complicated talking about having the “feeling” that so many articles talk about – but how do you understand that when you aren’t on the horse?

how i prefer to read

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy reading. But the format I see on a lot of websites makes it hard for me to read. I would much rather have a book/magzine in front of me.

So please tell me that I am not actually the only person that is like this….please?

 

Bloghop : Favorites of 2018

I first saw this over on Amanda’s Blog yesterday and I just could not, not join in on this. Because blog posts with pictures are so much more “my thing” then actually typing out a bunch of words. Don’t get me wrong, I will probably do a full recap, but this is too fun!


Favorite show picture

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Well I haven’t shown at all in probably two years. But this is one when we were at least away from home! When we actually remembered how to load…

Favorite non-show picture

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Favorite thing you bought 

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Obviously my saddle!

Favorite moment on horseback

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This was from (I think) our first ride out at Blackfoot this year. She was stellar. I don’t think I’ve ever fast cantered – because we don’t have much of a gallop lol – for so long. Good company and ponies keeps my happy

Favorite moment out of the saddle

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Not horse related at all. Best week, with the best husband.

Favorite “between the ears” picture

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From one of our many trail rides out at Blackfoot this summer. Wish we had been able to get out more!

Favorite horse book or article

Laura Graves: How to Create a Self-Going Horse

I actually just read this this week, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. No forward but all the crazy has been Luna’s thing the last week and the day I read this article I had the BEST ride.

Favorite horse ridden (or groomed/cared for) aside from your own

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Quinn ! She may have been the only other horse I think I’ve been on but she was SO MUCH FUN!

Favorite funny picture of your horse

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This was from the same lesson as the gif from below….mare’s, they are opinionated !

Favorite fence that you successfully jumped or movement that you conquered

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By far it was finally getting some clean changes. I suppose we at least ended on a good note before she was off for 5 weeks for finally accomplishing this?

Favorite horse meme or funny picture

 

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I hope you have enjoyed the picture recap and do this yourselves! And no skipping !

Review: Millbrook Stirrup Leathers

I bought a pair of these stirrup leathers not long after they first “came out and were a thing” – I say it like that because are they still a big “thing”?

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made by pravins, sold by millbrook (in NA)

I was intrigued by the width for more then one reason – the added stability is always a bonus, but also because I hated the feel of normal stirrup leathers under my leg. That feeling of a thin(width) but still bulky thickness of most normal stirrups leathers were not enjoyable.

So once these popped up on my radar, I had to try them. The problem is is that I am too damn cheap to buy things that we don’t carry in the store. Honestly. If you see me buying something that IS NOT at the store – it’s because it is on a mega deal or we can’t get it in.

So what did I do? Made the boss order them in of course. LOL.

Out of the box these things are ugly. They are STIFFFFFFFF. They come curled up in a pair and to uncurl them is a hassle. It’s leather, it shouldn’t be THAT stiff. And I swear I used half a bottle of oil on them to supple them up and make them more pliable.

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The first ride in them was a bit uncomfortable. They felt bulky because of how stiff they were and they did not lay very nicely on my saddle. But after that first initial ride they wore in and I no longer noticed them.

They do what they are supposed to in terms of keeping your leg steady. My leg was never unsteady, but when my horse has a bobble, I could feel how much of a difference they did make. I haven’t ridden in anything else since I bought them so at this point it is a bit hard to say how much they’ve actually helped.

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when we used to jump

I am now riding in them with a longer leg since I am in a Dressage saddle vs. the jump saddle I WAS in…that should attest to the fact that their recommended size guide is a bit off. They would probably be okay for someone with a normal leg length vs. their height but my upper body is long, whereas my legs are shorter.

Pro’s

  • The added width adds stability.
  • They have a sleek feel under the leg.
  • They are holding up really well.
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you can see the weird color here, which has never been helped by oil

Con’s

  • They are $$$.
  • The color has faded weirdly in spots.
  • Size guide is a bit off.
  • You cannot run your stirrups up.
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saving my butt a bit in a deep spot. I miss jumping

Overall, I do like this leathers. They do have some faults, and I would suggest NOT buying them at regular price, but if you are looking for a different feel under you leg and some added stability – go for it…when they are on sale.

The most important thing for me is that they are lasting, even with my abuse and constantly sliding my Freejumps off of them before and after every ride. I don’t think a normal leather would allow for that and stay in one piece.

In the end, I’m going to give these about a 3.75 out of 5.

 

(I purchased this with my own money, and have not been compensated in any way to write this honest review. Everything here is my own opinion.)

Sometimes I do things I shouldn’t…

Like go to the barn on nights that its poured for a few hours, on top of the snow we have. Or when its creepily foggy out.

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in the driveway, you can see the moisture hanging out

I was really gung-ho to go to the barn on Monday night because of how my schedule is going to work out this week. I’d go Monday, take Tuesday off, then go Wednesday and Thursday and take Friday off. Otherwise it kind of screwed up my whole schedule. I don’t want to ride her more than a couple of days in a row right now since she’s just coming back to work.

But when I proceeded to get to the same side of the city as the barn…it started to get really foggy. Which at that point is not a good sign. We are right by a big lake muskeg and it usually makes it way foggier out there than anywhere else around the city. So I decided to skip the barn and just go home.

And then I flip-flopped a bit.

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me the whole way there

And then I was at the township road to head out to the barn. Sooo I did.

Which then turned into this :

fml

 

Maybe not the wisest decision, like the fog could have been worse, and I could have been driving completely blind, but it was still pretty bad.

But whatever was out in the fog, was making the cows across the road upset. Which then made my horse upset stupid. No one was home in her brain. She is such a saint almost every other day, I should cut her a break. But seriously horse. W.T.F

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giraffe mode activated

 

When I had to move the mounting block to get on is when I really should have taken it as a clue that it was going to be an interesting ride. But I waited until we almost made one lap around the arena and then just about came before I realized how spooky she really was.

25 minutes later we had a slight resemblance of a “relaxed” horse.

But once we were down at the barn again, and I was going back and forth putting my stuff in the tack room, going to my car because how dare I forget her peppermints, Lilly, the barn dog, would not stop following me around.

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look at this adorable face

She never sticks around the barn. Ever. Unless her bestie Loki is there. She comes to my car, says hi and then leaves. Every time. She never sits outside the barn door and waits. Or follows me into the tack room or to put my horse away. On an already eerie night, she just made it a bit more creepy – like something was out there.

Can you tell I listen to A LOT of true crime and spooky stories? LOL.

Maybe next time I go when I shouldn’t, and its foggy, and the cows are yelling I will just pet my pony and go home.

 

 

Million pounds.

That’s what it’s been like to ride my horse lately.

Yeah, she’s coming back, I get that, it is just sort of disappointing as she was going soooo well. I know it will take the time to come back to where she was. But I did enough rehab with Calika, that this time around I am feeling super rushed to get her back to work.

I just want to do all of the things again!

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we can at least look the part

I figured that I would try her in the Pelham on Sunday’s ride to see if she needed a bit of a reminder about what life was about now that we are doing things again and not on vacation. It didn’t work as I had hope.

We’ve only cantered 2, maybe 3 times in the last …. what, 2 weeks? I can’t even remember how long she has been back under saddle already. But I have been taking it really slow. Lot’s of transitions, circles, bending etc. But my god, the weight in my hands is a killer. And in the canter she feels like a wild banshee taking me for a ride. The Pelham did help with that a wee bit on Sunday’s ride. As in there was some steering and not as much exuberance.

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being pretty is her thing

I’ve also been feeling like I no long know how to ride. I put my left leg on and somehow I am out to the right with my upper body. She has a mini spook and I swear I am falling off backwards at a freaking walk. We get fancy prancy because the poles and standards at the far end of the arena are going to eat us and I just…do weird things.

None of this is helping the million pounds in my hands. I feel like I am kind of doing an okay-ish job of staying out of her way when we are moving around but I know that she is a mirror of me. I am also not scheduled to start lessons until January so I am on my own.

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think we are both doing this

In the meantime, while I try to remember how to ride my horse, I am going to go grab some cookies and contemplate getting in riding shape again.

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omnomnom

Ps – In the above picture….if you look really hard at that plastic bag, you can see the weights I bought this weekend to help with my exercise program that I am supposed to be doing….wishful thinking on my behalf? lololol.