Monthly Archives: March 2010

Progress!

Plot material: I cannot see in the dark. At all. My eyes just don’t adjust right and don’t allow enough light in for me to be able to see. That makes doing things at the barn at night a little weird sometimes. I am used to turning my horse back out to pasture in the dark- I know the path well know. I only crashed into a massive dirt pile and then fell in a pit once. Then I learned the safe route. I can handle that. One of my biggest challenges though was dealing with my saddles. They are getting heavy for me, especially after riding and taking care of my horse and a day of work. So,  one of the hardest parts of my day was taking my saddle (whichever one I was using) out to my car at night in the dark and trying to get it in my car without destroying it all the while having coyotes howling in my ear…seriously. I think the local coyote population must think I am extremely entertaining. My jumping saddle wasn’t so bad. My dressage saddle I admit was really annoying- it just didn’t fit well anywhere in my car (dressage saddle of course has super long flaps and doesn’t seem to like the back seat of my bug or the trunk…). So finally, one night I told Matt I had pretty much had it with trying to carry my put my heavy saddle in the car in the dark while getting howled at by coyotes. He did agree that the situation was a bit absurd but just leaving the saddles loose in the barn, even in a locked tack room, worried me a bit as when I put both my saddles in my car, they more than double its value. And I have no way of replacing them really as I got insanely good deals on both of them- so I take good care of those two!

 So, yesterday my brand new tack locker was installed. It is monstrously huge and I love it. It was so nice to walk out of the barn last night without a saddle in tow and not worry about it. The locker still needs some finishing touches, but already it is a vast improvement. I will owe my husband big time for a while- since he isn’t fantastic at reading instructions I think he may have built the entire locker twice before all was said and done. He is getting a pair of socks though…not sure if a pair of hand knitted socks is an even trade for a tack locker.

 Strider and I had a good ride last night for the most part. He had some moments of tension but is greatly improved for the most part. I think that taking his flash noseband off was the right thing to do as he has been much quieter with his mouth without it- irony for you there. I loosened his regular noseband a hole as well and he seems pretty happy with the whole arrangement. He is still not perfect, but aside from his walk trot transitions and the occasional trot to canter transitions we can string together a pretty solid and consistent training level test. Last night I rode through both our tests once from memory and aside from forgetting where a walk transition was in each test they really went very well. Our stretchy chewies are much better- I am remembering to keep impulsion now, and Strider is maintaining his stretch better. Our transition back to working trot is improving though Strider still gets just a bit tight. But I know it will come.

 Thanks to modern medicine (read drugs- thank you piroxicam and tylenol) I am feeling a bit better today. I am planning on sticking some electrical tape on a couple strategic places on my reins tonight to see if it helps me grip them better, though I am hoping tonight or tomorrow I can take Strider up to the outdoor arena and enjoy hopping over some cross-rails and 2’ fences.  We could both use a fun night this week to relax before the show (even schooling shows spazz me!).

 Tonight when I get home pad washing will begin since it takes a couple days for my Mattes pad to dry, even in our dry Colorado air. I hope someday I can save up for a second one so I don’t have to use my jumping half pad for my dressage saddle most of the week before a show- I am realizing that could make for an interesting summer. My white breeches are pretty well clean and I just need to run my white pad through the washer one more time, then clean my boots since I neglected to do that after the last show (usually I clean them right away but I was lazy). I will probably clean my helmet better this time too as the interior could use a good scrub after not getting cleaned most of the winter. One of these days I need to make sure the Velcro on my white polo wraps is in the right place as I strongly doubt it is- I have the worst luck with that. I may give Strider a bath tomorrow as it should be warm enough and he hasn’t had one in ages since it has been so cold. I will at least wash his tail. Friday would be the day I would prefer to do it but I am sure it will be too cold. So, I will rinse his blankets off, then dry them and clean him up a bit and see what I can do. So much to do.

 Definitely will need plenty of caffeine to get through the next few days! I have an extra horse to ride while her owner is gone, and Aubrey will be gone too so I will be getting a lesson on Mo hopefully and doing her chores out at Pat’s (our trainer)  for her. Hopefully by doing her chores I can give the extra lesson I will earn to Jennifer and see if she likes my trainer. If she does maybe I can figure out a way to make something work on that front longer term as I think that would be good. Need to figure out who she would ride too…all kinds of things going on.

 

So, progress in all sorts of ways! Below is a random picture because I have been trying to get pictures up for a while and links seem to be the most space effective way…  Until next time…..RAWR!!!

http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m472/valeskadavis/DSC03397.jpg 

                                                

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I’m a Faker…

Strider and I made our dressage debut for this show season on the 6th of March. It was wonderful and sad at the same time. First, the sadness.

I really couldn’t hold my reins. They kept slipping out of my hands as I couldn’t grip them and my normal method of wedging them in between my fingers didn’t work either. So that really made the whole day difficult and since it was caused by pain and stiffness from RA was pretty frustrating to me. I did my best to work with what I had and move on though and I will be trying a few solutions both on the RA front and the tack front in the coming weeks hopefully.

 The wonderful part was that we got our best dressage score ever! I feel a little silly because it was in Training level test 1, but we got a 69.565%! Since recently we have had to switch bits and still haven’t settled on one and have been struggling with Strider really accepting the bit, as well as our transitions I admit I really wasn’t expecting much so I was extremely happy with that score. I wasn’t riding my best either so really it was pretty amazing. In Training 3 we got 61% but really it was my fault as we had a break in gait and I just generally got super tense when I realized we could actually do well. I really was very happy with the show and can’t wait to see how we do in our next one.

My next show is this Saturday, and I will be riding the same two tests so it should be interesting to see how we do. My RA symptoms have just been getting worse over the last few weeks, so unless my RA doc works miracles this Thursday when I see him, that part of the picture will be harder probably but I am still excited anyway. Strider is pretty awesome and really takes care of me pretty well. If I just relax and ride my best I even with other issues we have great potential. So, the order of the week for this week is pain management and keeping up the momentum we have from the last show and building on what we had. The main goal is to improve our downward canter transitions and keep my head and shoulders up and those are things I know I can do.

 So, though I hardly feel strong or brave or powerful and like I am a beast at the moment…I will pick myself up and let out a mighty RAWR!!!  Because sometimes we have to fake it 🙂

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