Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Inspirational

Emi and I were supposed to go see JW last Tuesday but I got really sick the day before, so we postponed until today. I asked if JW would ride her for part of my lesson, so Emi had her first ever training ride! Of course, JW made her look like a million bucks. Seriously. The pony was SO fancy with her on board. I'll write more (and share video) later but I'm feeling very inspired by what I saw and rode today. We are on the right track and I'm so thankful to have such amazing guidance as we go. 

Emi says, "If you'd learn to ride better there would be no frustrating four moments."

Monday, October 9, 2017

Frustrating Four - Part 2

Thank you for all of the good feedback regarding my previous post. When I break it all the way down, I really can't be frustrated with Emi. I'm hoping JW will hop on her one of these days, but I'm sure she'll show me that the problem is mine and not Emi's. So here's to becoming a more effective rider. 

Emi would love it if I would become a better rider
We had a pretty good ride last night and then we went for a "trail ride" around our neighborhood. Emi has only been out there once and she was being ponied by Roz. My plan had been to pony her around for a while before turning the tables and ponying Roz from her. Clearly we didn't end up with enough time to do that. I've been trying to decide out if I should take the donkey (who walks super slow) or see if Emi would go solo. 

As it turns out she was willing to go solo and was significantly better than I expected her to be. I did jump off at one point when a dog got out of it's yard and came running for us. Emi was pretty good about it and I think we would have been fine, but I didn't want to chance it. She stopped and looked at things several times but once she was sure all was well she'd march back off again. It's in no way great trail riding but it's still a nice break from the arena and it's good for her to go exploring. 





Saturday, October 7, 2017

Frustrating Four

Cathryn wrote How about "No" this week and I could really relate. I've been trying to figure out what term I should use for four and "frustrating four" comes to mind. I've found four to be the most challenging year yet. To be fair, yes, I know Emi's quite good. We aren't actually having horrific problem; progress seems slow and there is plenty of attitude going around. I think I know how the parents of teenagers must feel!

Emi says "don't let her fool you, there's no attitude here."
I'm finding the lack of a solid forward button is a real struggle. It's not that she can't go forward, she'd just rather not. When I finally get her fired up she's lovely... I'm trying to be very fair with her but at this point she's getting spanked until she believes I mean it when I ask her to go. Spanking leads to bucking which is really way more effort than just going forward would be. Tuesday was quite windy and I was hoping Emi would be a bit spicy...she was not and I got off feeling frustrated. Thursday I chose to keep it short and sweet, carrying peppermints in my pocket. Today we put in a longer ride and it was good. What is boils down to is that I have to be consistent in my expectations and she needs to do her job.



To rule out physical problems, I had my vet (who's also a chiropractor) out to adjust her earlier this week. Emi was out in her low back and neck so I do think that was contributing to our problems. I'm also going to get her saddle fit checked, which will take place at the end of this month.

I think where we are at has less to do with her being four and more with where we are at in our relationship and in her training. Up until this year our life together has been pretty much sunshine and rainbows. Plenty of fun, low expectations and all the cookies. While I'd like to think that we still have plenty of fun and all the cookies, the expectations are higher and the work is harder. More accurate than frustrating four is really probably "growing pains" or "do I have to grow up?".  As I have been reminded, embrace the struggle and enjoy the journey.



We get to have a lesson with JW on Tuesday and then Wednesday I leave for a work trip. I'll be home Sunday night and we will have just about two weeks before our training level debut. I'm crossing my fingers that it won't be a disaster but it will be what it will be. We are also riding intro b one last time so that should be fine.

In more fun news, I was chosen as a Dapplebay ambassador. Check out their cute apparel and accessories. I have two of there eventing t-shirts and can't wait to wear some of their newer dressage designs.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Making Progress

Today Emi and I headed to JW's for a lesson. It's my goal to have a lesson once per month, as the sporadic clinic schedule is just not enough consistent help. The trip north takes about 2 hours, so not super quick but still a doable day trip.


Emi and I arrived with plenty of time and I slowly got her ready. Our lesson was great! We re-addressed many of the items we worked on at our last clinic. Connection, leg yields (both normal and nose to the wall) and canter transitions. We had improvement in pretty much all of it. Of course, there is continued improvement necessary but we've made progress on a lot of fronts. The canter was some of the best we have gotten, particularly the canter transitions (the video is a super quick canter snippet). I need to continue making sure that she responds promptly when asked for things, and that I don't settle for a poor effort.

video

As I was riding today I was thinking back to the fact that just about 1 year ago I took Emi to see JW for the first time.  Sometimes in the day to day struggle you don't realize the amount of progress you are actually making. We are getting there and are having fun along the way.

The day was hot, around 87, when it has been in the low 70's recently. Emi and I were both covered in sweat by the time we finished. She even had sweat running down her hooves. As I was cooling her out, two other people in the arena were talking to me about her tail, wondering if it was real and commenting on the color. Once she was cooled out I got her untacked, hosed her off and we hit the road. I'm sure she will sleep well tonight!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Hitting the Trails

Saturday Emi and I got out of the sandbox and hit the trails with a good friend. We enjoyed a lovely ride through Willamette Mission State Park, stopping to check out a field full of geese, the water and we even spotted a fox! The ponies were good and the weather was perfect. 




Almost better than the ride itself where that Emi loaded like a normal horse coming and going and I got to haul with my dad's new truck! I'm super fortunate to have a truck to borrow so that I don't have to buy my own. He purchased one of the new Dodge Eco-diesels to replace his older F250. The new truck is lovely! More power than the old one, way better fuel economy, and did I mention it has a back up camera? Hooking up has never been easier. Woohoo!

That's the quick update of life around here. I seem to have lost any desire to write. I'm not sure if it's because of Roz or what. I'm doing better with that, although I did burst out in tears when texting my farrier about it today. I also shipped his tail off for my bracelet to be made. I'll share what is looks like when it returns. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Remembering

I'm working on getting some memorial type items for Roz and need your help. I have a ribbon jar, his last pair of horse shoes and a square cooler that he won that's on my bed. However, I've had all of those things for several years.


 I'm getting ready to send his tail off for a bracelet and also have Alyssa making me a cartoon picture of him. Do any of you have any other must have memorial type items? I do plan to plan a tree in his memory, near my arena. I was also gifted some "Foxy Foxtrot" tulip bulbs  after he passed, which will be planted around the tree. 

And because you can never have too many Rozzy Ridge pictures...a few more that make me smile.