Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Monday, December 28, 2009

In the Arena #1

I hope everyone had a great holiday. We sure did. Santa brought Val a Nibblenet, which he is on the fence about, but I love. So much less wasted hay - I'm getting an extra feeding per bale now. I highly recommend this product!

Between the wretched weather we've had for the last few months, and a busy holiday season - it's been super hard to schedule riding time lately. Val and I did manage to get a schooling session in just before Christmas. After a lengthy warm-up we worked on 10m circles. We're still having issues with the counter-clockwise direction. I'm assuming that my aides were not clear enough as that is (too) frequently the case lol. Things went more smoothly at the trot, where we eventually achieved nice even circles in both directions. Overall I was happy with the results.

My goals at this point are fairly simple - calm, forward and straight - as in the title of this blog. Calm is not a problem for us so far. Achieving an appropriate energy level has been a little more of a challenge, but we get there when I consistently insist that my aides are answered. Then there's steering... inside rein-itis and uneven rein aides have held me back, but I resolve to overcome these obstacles this spring.

Reflections on being a new horse owner...

While I was fairly well prepared for the horse-keeping aspects of horse ownership, I had little realization of the level of responsibility that training would present. Admittedly, I was overwhelmed at first. After getting used to the idea for a few months, I've chosen to see training as an opportunity for growth that I didn't have before I owned a horse... not just growth as an equestrian, but personal growth.
Who knew?!

Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

At the barn #1

Next week will mark two months that Val and I have been together. We've established a comfortable routine. I'm so glad we found each other!

Val has come to the conclusion that...
the neighbors' air compressor isn't a horse killing monster
I will reliably show up with food of a decent quality and quantity
barefoot is good
guinea hens make an infernal racket

Val seems to enjoy the freedom of his run-in shelter... I think he spent a lot of time in a stall at his former barn. He has taken to trail riding on the beach and has even dipped his toes in the water. I have high hopes that we'll be swimming in the ocean next summer :)

I have learned...
that I can survive getting up at 5 am for morning feedings before work
hay keeping can be as challenging as horse keeping
a full wheelbarrow of manure is HEAVY
it's not that easy to remove horse shoes
horses have a lot of belongings... there is always something else they "need"

We've weathered our first big storm together... Nor'Ida. The remnants of hurricane Ida married a nor'easter and flooded the island from both sides, taking out our (one and only) road to the mainland. I had to wade out of my neighborhood and hitchhike up to the barn for three days. Thank goodness I'm a hay hoarder!

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