Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is Thanksgiving Day up here in Canada, which means I haven’t been home since Friday afternoon. I’ve travelled up to Northern Alberta to spend the weekend with my mom and my puppers.

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stealing gpas chair

My Dad and Brother are always gone hunting, so it’s usually just Mom, my SIL and Hubby if he isn’t working. And he was working this weekend so we left him at home !

Being at of the city has been so relaxing. The highway in front of my parents is “closed” due to bridge construction over the creek so its incredibly quiet. Literally nothing else but my Uncle’s farm is around them.

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of course we got snow

The night I came home I was following my Dad past the turnoff out to their house and talking to Hubby over Bluetooth trying to decide if it was my Dad or not…until he went through the detour and down the closed off way. That’s when I knew it was him LOL.

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Spent the weekend eating, hanging out, looking at puppies and visiting my other two favorite doggo’s.

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rocket dog

I hope everyone else has had a fantastic long weekend and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Change.

It is inevitable, and does not always come in the ways you want or that you expected. Horses like to do that to you.

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This summer has been full up up’s and down’s. Between Luna not loving life, my car accident and not really being able to do much the last 3 month’s, we haven’t been able to do much. It started with her scratches in the spring, which seemed to take forever to get rid of, and stayed kind of blah all summer.

Luna was letting me know, in more than one way, that she wasn’t happy. She wasn’t lame, just….unhappy. I’ve known her since she was just a few hours old, and have owned her since just before she turned 3 – I know when something isn’t “right”

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Precious baby Luna

So when she started to say no, in her odd way, I started to listen. She was always fine on the flat, but over fences she did not seem happy. This horse is weird. There is no other way to explain her. She is just straight up weird.  And the weird doesn’t always show well on the outside to other people, but being on her you would understand the weird. So I contemplated what to do next…

I made the decision to cut back on the jumping lessons. Great, cool, whatever. But then our coach got a job offer she just could NOT refuse at a local A-level barn…and well, she had to say good-bye! This fast forwarded the plan to switch strictly to ……. dressage !

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I’m bummed, excited and worried all rolled into one.

I want to keep jumping, and we will, just for fun though. I think she will excel at dressage, and I think we will get farther with her being happier then she would have staying over fences. But I also worry about what if she doesn’t stay happy doing this either?! Who knows. Only time will tell.

And only time will tell me if I want to shoot myself in the long run. So it’s time to get moving forward! Now just to wait for my saddle to get here….

Tuesday Recap:

I skipped last weeks (June 27th) lesson recap because it clearly was not memorable and I did not have any time to write about it. I feel like I more then likely pulled lots and didn’t have any great moments in it!

This past Tuesday went kind of the same way. We had one strides set up on a circle which I thought wasn’t going to go well, but we have really been working on opening the stride up and we got ALL of the one strides! I was so proud of little mare!

There were was also an oxer set up right on the wall, 5 strides from the circle exercise. My coach is awesome, and is understanding of my fear of oxers so she set it up REALLY small so that I could work on it without getting flustered. The first time through I didn’t open her up enough. I learned my lesson and the next two times through were awesome.

After we went through those a few times, we worked on the bending lines. Going from the left rein, bending to the right after the first jump is definitely our easy way.  From the right rein, bending to the left is not easy.

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Couple holes lower and that’s what we were doing

Seeing as I always seem to drop my eye to the left, and my left leg is weaker, I have a harder time pushing her over to the right and hitting the center of the jump. Granted, I am fairly certain that I really was just trying to get the both of them on an angle, and not truly riding a bending line. Oops !

Best moment of my lesson : Nailing the oxer on the wall. We put it up just a bit, and made it slightly wider and we cantered right up and over and it felt great!

I really need to get out of my own head. I worry too much and pick, pick, PICK to everything. I do this in all aspects of life, I really should stop !

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Nice butt Luna

Blog Fail: Lesson Recaps

In the last two weeks, I have had 3 lessons. Have I recapped on any of them? That is a big fat NOPE. Life is busy, it is hard to find the time to sit down and actually write a post. Specially last last Sunday I decided to clean out the basement – who am I?!

So let’s get to it then…

Sunday June 4th

This was a make up lesson since coach couldn’t make it the previous Tuesday. She had a small grid set up, with a 4 stride set up on the opposite long side. Easy peasy right…..?

 

 

 

The grid was a bounce to a one stride vertical…distances are not my thing, and we don’t always have quick foot work. Luna warmed up fantastic, as per usual, can never fault her on the flat, she is awesome and puts up with my sometimes gorilla-ishness.

I was slightly worried about this to be honest, sometimes it takes a time or two to get her to pick her feet up and put them where they belong, but she was SUPER! I was getting a bit ahead of her to the vertical but Coach made my close my eyes and even though I was ready to poop my pants, we did it!

The whole ride was actually quite awesome and I was super happy with little mare!

Tuesday June 6th

This lesson did not go nearly as good….

Fat warmblood mare + second time jumping in a week = LAZY and TIRED = not a fun ride.

Coach set up quite the course in our small indoor. Bendy lines, 2 strides, more then one oxer….I wasn’t too worried about it. But it also meant I couldn’t use the arena quite like I normally would like to during my warm up. At this point, I am thinking its more of a mean thing, then a Luna thing, but when I can’t warm up like I like to, my rides never go as I would like.

We were doing okayish – and then we added the 2 stride in. You would have thought we had asked her to do a GP dressage test. Neither of us could get our poop in a group and I pulled and pulled pretty much the whole ride. I am glad that there were is no media from this ride!

Tuesday June 13th

 I knew thus ride “needed” to go good. We were planning on going xc schooling on the Thursday and I knew going into that, that if we didnt have a good ride I would not be feeling very confident going xc !

Well pony did not disappoint !

I had gone to Coaches barn on the weekend and rode one of her students horse to help me “train my eye for a longer stride” and riding someone else’s horse made me realize a more forward pace is okay, and what I need to be feeling on Luna.

So forward I went !

Coach had a zig zag pattern set up down the center line so we could work on turns. Turning isn’t hard….keeping the pace THROUGH the turn is whats hard. I am having a hard time staying finding the perfect balance point to sit a bit more, but still light and not getting ahead of her, or sitting and then getting left behind.

But by goly, WE FRICKING GOT IT! We nailed every single distance, I didn’t pull and we took all the longer/better distances, except for one which we both saw. I only ended up going through it completely twice, but I just had to end it on a good note because she was SOO good.

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It’s not often that I want to call my mare a superstar, but she deserves it after that ride! She was just amazing. I am hoping that I can keep it up, because jumping her when she is that good is just an awesome feeling!!

Finding time to write these blog posts is hard. So my question to the fellow bloggers is – how do you find the time!?

Tuesday Night Recap : Jump lessons without the jumps

I didn’t update after my last lesson…it was a doozey that doesn’t need to be shared lol. Maybe one day, but not now. So many things went….interestingly.  I suspect it had something to do with her scratches we are trying to battle.

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OUCH

So we skipped the last lesson (May 16) since she was pretty iffy with her scratches and there is no point in riding a grumpy pony!

Tuesday night she was still NQR but still rideable and sound. I was just going to ride around during the lesson, and watch as my coach taught the rest of my little group. Coach had other ideas and had me doing the pole work while everyone else jumped.

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Would rather be outside

Let’s just say, that when Luna has had ample time off, and has previously been jumping in a stronger big, going over ground poles means going over them at mach 10 speed like a maniac. Holy crazy mare.

We worked on our striding between two poles. 4 strides, 7 strides, 5 strides, 6 strides. Working on a longer stride is hard on us, and would be easier if we could get into the outdoor, but I asked for the 4 and we did get it, even on the first try! She was very adjustable that day and was quite the turn around from the last jump lesson we had.

I think we are getting it!

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Wtf is going on ?

Tuesday Night Lesson Recap 

Tuesday nights are my lesson night.  And have been, literally since I started riding with my bestie way back in Grade 2. I’m a stickler to keeping a routine.

This week was my second lesson in this saddle, and first in a couple weeks since I was dying the couple weeks before.

Dirty tack….oops

There was also a bit change….the double rein thing? It be hard. Finding something to please the bay mare seems to be infinitely difficult.  And they say red mares are difficult…Maybe its because Luna is confused as to what color she actually wants to be?

The lesson started out a bit sticky. Mare was not in front of my leg and moody. Being fat also makes me moody too…but I can at least nor stuff my face all day and night ! Chipping to the fences, rushy, even more behind my leg. Just not fun to ride, or jump. We had to have a “discussion” as to what leg meant before the lesson got any better

Tubby

We have been working hard on getting her to lengthen her stride out and get down the lines easier. She may be a big girl, but the canter stride is slightly lacking. Poles before the jumps have been helping, but my god, they make my ammy brain cry.

Judging by my coach’s reaction….I would say we finally figured it out! There is still so much to work on, and I know and see it, but getting one thing worked on and corrected is a leap in the right direction.

The learning, it never ends, and it is important to never forget that.

The saddle hunt

Why must it be so hard? Why can’t it just take a couple days?

Because horses, that’s why. We love em, but they make things difficult


My saddle hasn’t been fitting for a while, and me being a terrible horse owner, still rode in it. Sorry pony. She was never bad under saddle in it, just girthy. And ONLY when I first put the girth on.  Then one day, she just decided she didn’t want to do anything for me at all.

So off came that saddle and on went my old one. Which fit…sort of. Much better then my 4-Star. Except I really dislike that saddle now! Its a terrible color and too flat of a seat and just blegh.

Out came the saddle fitter.

I have sat in at least five saddles and only one fit the mare….and I hated them all. Am I really that picky or is there really not a saddle out there I will LOVE !? They’ve either been too curvy for pony, too high in the pommel for me or just all over BLEGH.

On to the next saddle I guess  ?

To be continued ? 

 

 

 

Tack cleaning party….

Tack cleaning is one of my least favorite things to do. It didn’t use to bother me but then I was a groom for a summer….cleaning 4 horses tack after every hack and time in the ring made me never want to clean tack again. Not to mention, who has time for cleaning tack ?! 

I brought ALL of my leather tack home from the barnlast weekend in hopes of getting it cleaned. I have more in the house. Like my old saddle and other misc. Things down in the basement. Those are all cleaned and put away at least !

2 bridles. 1 saddle.  1 set of leathers. 1 girth. 

Not much, but did I mention that I like to take everything apart and have even used a toothpaste in the past ?! 


Look has nasty the girth was ! I sat down and started cleaning and oiling everything. Lexie even helped…she likes to lick things….a lot. 

I managed to get it all cleaned in less then two hours. Used up all of my oil and most of my conditioner.  And I am so happy this is done…for now. 2 weeks to go before it needs to be cleaned for the next clinic.

So do you guys like cleaning tack? What are your favorite products ?

“Trail” rides in January ?! 

What is this black magic ! It’s January in Northern Alberta and it isn’t -3000?

That means trail rides !! Well….”trail” rides. Aka down the long driveway at the barn. Aka a third of the way down the driveway. Because the horses started running around and I didn’t feel like dying today. 

Giraffe game is strong

But we at least made that far ! Or course with supervision from Lilly the barn dog. 

First I went on a trail ride to the park in November and now this ?! Hopefully the outside rides can keep on coming !

2017 Goals

I don’t necessarily like to “set goals” at the beginning of the year. So many things can change between now and the end of the year and having an “uncompleted” goal sometimes can feel like a failure. Being the perfectionist that I am, that can be a tough pill to swallow. 

However, as much as I do not really want to, I am going to set some goal’s for the horsie side of my life ! There are a lot of things I want to get done this year and writing them down publicly will make me feel a bit more accountable….I think.

Pony Goals :

Get to an event : I wanted to do this last year but with the wedding and timing it just didn’t happen.  I’m hoping to get to Beaumont this year and make it around without dying at the teeny tiny level ! 

Let’s be real, I didn’t jump that

Get to an ‘A’ level jumper show : This has been something I have wanted to do for years.  Money has always been the biggest issue but I think I can get it done this year.  Have a real show season : One or two shows a year just is not cutting it for me. It’s slightly enjoyable (minus the early mornings) to get out and do something to show off the pony. Terrifying ? Yes. But st some point I need to step outside of the box ! 

Get more comfortable with height AND oxers: I think this is the number one thing I want to accomplish.  I hAve turned into such a baby over the last year and a bit and it’s frustrating to me and I can only assume my coach as well ! 

 Personal goals

These are the goals, when I “set” them, take the back burner a bit. Pony goals are the goals I obsess over a more since that is where all my time goes anyways ! 

Get healthy: everyone has this goal. And most people just want to lose weight. That would be nice, but I want to actually be healthy. We eat out so much and all of it bothers me. I never exercise other then riding my horse which is catching up with me too. I miss the days when I worked in the barn and was fit and felt great.

Budget better : this one is a hard one.  I save money each paycheque but….I could be saving more. Which ties into the next personal goal …

The most important one to me…

Buy a horse trailer : I wanted to do this in 2016. This did not happen. Between the wedding….and the wedding saving money hit a bit of a stall. Life would be so much easier with a trailer.  
I’m hoping to accomplish most of these goals. And I’m sure more will pop up over the year but st the moment, these are some of the top things that have popped into my mind lately. 

This one is Luna approved