After my trainer recommended I make some drastic changes with my saddle, I finally leapt and bought a new one. It fits Pig a little funny, but ends up working out okay in the end.
|Hello new-to-me Cliff Barnaby AVG!|
The month starts off with me stuck at home with sickness and asthma issues. Instead of getting down, I talk about working on a soft forward halt, something my December lesson had focused on. I also go on a sickness-related shopping spree and buy a sparkly browband. Whee!
improving the depth of my seat (especially on the right seatbone), increasing fluidity in lateral work, and run through 2nd 1 for the first time.
We keep marching towards 2nd level work by working on the walk/canter transition. At the same time, I look forward to my trainer's return from Florida. Guinness starts getting a little resistant in contact, and I have to abandon my training plans to give him the rides he needs to feel confident again. Also, spring comes...
This is a crazy month, with an early schooling show to prepare for. I complain about preparing for a show when your horse and dogs are getting winter hair all over everything. I also talk fitness, and how it helped me survive a tough first lesson back with my trainer. She pushes me to add more yoga to my schedule to increase hip flexibility.
Heartland Schooling Show, where we show 1st 3 and 2nd 1. Pig loses his brains in the Friday night school, but comes out lovely on Saturday. Though the test scores don't show it, we make an okay debut at 2nd. I break down the tests and talk about tension causing stiffness and resistance in Guinness. In talking about shows, I also give you guys a glimpse into how I keep my dressage whites so bright.
the thoroughbred attitude in a dressage horse, something I'll struggle with all summer. I also go to our only USDF show of the year, but don't manage to write about it until June. At Harmony in the Park, we manage a 60% at 2nd level, but still don't feel ready to keep showing for the season. The lesson I do learn is about the warm up before going in the ring.
I really hit a wall when it comes to working at 2nd level. All the tricks are there, but the collection work is not. My position is partly to blame, and I work on changing my seat with great results. We also work on installing a real half halt, something that we've improved but are still working on. The key is not to override my horse.
Finally, at the end of the month I take my drop noseband in to have it shortened. While it's gone, I have a lesson in a regular cavesson and it goes great. I feel good about my drop noseband not being a crutch.
I share photos of Chincoteague Island, and early ponies in my riding career. In the ring, we are still working on half halts, which I am trying to get from my seat instead of my hands. All that work shines a light on my horse's crookedness and how heavy he is on my right hand.
After the tantrums of July, I start August by taking the pressure off. Of course this turns into some good rides, where I realize Pig's flexibility has finally improved. After watching a clinic with my trainer's trainer, I start utilizing "the lean" to get Pig to weight his reluctant back right leg.
I start riding a ton of other horses, mostly green TBs. This is good, because Pig develops an abscess that takes him out of work just in time for my lesson.
working to improve the canter and then do a couple of massive catch up posts. Which includes a brief mention of our final schooling show of the year.
I end up riding bareback for awhile while Guinness gets over some scurfy nastiness. I believe the issue was actually due to shedding hair getting matted with sweat. Ultra gross. Halloween sales also prompt me to try to find a candy Guinness will enjoy eating, and we discover the joys of candy corn. This discovery leads to lots of productive rides with lots of foamy mouth.
arthritis flare ups. I contemplate injections, but ultimately decide not to stress too much unless it gets worse. So far, it has not.
ability to lower his neck leads to more overall relaxation in our rides. Harmony is on the horizon!
I start the month by heading to Kentucky for my anniversary weekend. I enjoy the trip so much, I write four posts all about vacationing in KY. I write about the Keenland Breeding Sale; Beer, Bourbon, and Barrels; Keeping Everyone Happy; and Where to Stay & The KHP.
where we are on our dressage journey, and end up also describing my methodical warm-up process. All of this, plus a month of great rides, has me feeling ready to start acclimating Pig to the double bridle, which goes smoother than expected.
expensive bits are really worth their pricetag, At the same time, I check out my trainer's trainer in a clinic, and get some great tidbits to share.
an equestrian show that performed at my work, and I shave another Guinness harp into Guinness' haunch.
I start the month off by talking about how inside-leg to outside-rein can sometimes get turned on its head in training. I also talk about developing a better canter as preparation for teaching Pig his changes. Much of the month is devoted to complaining about the weather, and the weather-related arthritis issues.horrible trailering accident. Luckily the posts between the accident and the end of the year are reasonably upbeat and happy updates.
Whew. What a year. Goodbye 2014! Bring on 2015!!