Monday, May 30, 2011

Just Ugh.

I thought I'd just let everyone know I'm alive. I had oral surgery on Friday and am recovering slowly. I thought for sure I would ride on Sunday...yeah, not so much. I really need to get to work tomorrow but I honestly can't imagine being upright for more than an hour or so. I also can't talk very well and although it amuses my husband greatly to hear me lisp, I myself am not amused.

I also ruined my least I think I did. Yep, my NEW laptop. I decided to dump a full glass of wine on the keyboard. I did everything you are supposed to do when you do something stupid like that and I am in the process of seeing if it can be rehabbed successfully. It's not looking good.

Oh, and I haven't complained about the rain yet. Seriously, it's ridiculous and depressing. I've actually been worried that my veggies will be getting too much rain! Good thing it's early in the season, I think they can handle it better now. The only thing it's been really good for is the new trees. We happen to have 3 new trees plus one that we (and by 'we' I mean Alex) dug up and moved a few feet. So yes, I think the rain has been good for those trees especially.

I'd show you pictures but they were all on the laptop that is pretty much dead.

Somehow, I still have my heart set on my first show being June 11. Still no jumping course set up outside so we've been mostly working gymnastics for weeks. Plus I can't ride until Wednesday at the earliest. I still want to go to that one though. It's the only one that my husband will be able to attend until the fall and I'd really like him there. It would also be really nice to have my first show while he's around to help me out with the dog etc. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Horses and Riding Update (it's about time!)

I uploaded a video to a draft post awhile ago and now can finally actually try to post it. I don't know about anyone else, but I haven't been able to comment or post for a couple days due to Blogger being "unavailable".

This particular day in the video (below) was one where we were working on much smaller jumps but working on responsiveness of the horse. I had a couple tough weeks with Brumby once we started riding outside again - he was doing a lot of this:

which wasn't very fun. 
It looks pretty tame but feels pretty big.
 The time I typically have to work on these issues is when I'm alone. When I'm alone, I have less gumption for gettin' er done because I've never really been sure that he would, in fact, give up at some point. I envisioned starting a fight I would never win. One week, instead of working on more technical stuff, I asked my instructor to help me fight Brumby's boogey men. So we would work a gymnastic, set up on the galloping track, and then I would continue around the whole track, working through his tantrums. I changed what we were doing a lot. Tucking in and not looking where he was going? Fine, we did a series of 6 trot poles. Running off after gymnastic? Turn into the sand ring and do some figures, trot poles etc. Not wanting to go straight beyond the boogey man spot? Ok, we're going around the whole track. It helped immeasurably to have eyes on the ground. It gave me the confidence I needed to work him through it and learn that he does have a give-up point.

While I do think there is an element of fear in Brumby's behaviour at his boogey man locations, he is not the kind of horse that will get over it in a soft, gentle manner. I've worked horses like that; those who just need a bit of extra time and reassurance to go forward. That has not worked for us AT ALL. What works for him is to be confident and firm about where you want him to go. I am still sensitive to his worries but am much more determined in telling him that there is nothing to worry about. In the beginning, I got after him pretty hard until I got forward.

The beauty is that by making him go he reacts less and less each time out. When I gave him tons of time to look, etc, he just got more and more worked up about it. Now, most of the time, the resistance can be overcome just with my seat.

Where was I? Oh yes! So after a couple months of fabulous work indoors and begining to overcome some outdoor issues, we've been back to serious work.

In this video, the jumps are pretty small but we were working on rhythm and getting the right lead at the end of the line. Gumby's right lead is always an issue and I really wish his owner would agree to a chiro visit or massage.

So here is an example from that lesson.

I wish I could get pictures and/or video more often but my husband comes to the barn rarely and he's out of town all summer so it doesn't happen. One of these days someone will gift me the Flip I've been wanting forever and I will get more with or without him! Tonight would have been an awesome night for video - we did some pretty tight roll-backs and lots of fun stuff. Last year, I never would have thought any of this was possible.

I can't wait until our grass jumping course opens!