Tuesday, August 24, 2010

To every season

I've been silent due to the pick up around here. It's about 30 days to WEG and the pace has dramatically increased around town and at home.

I'm kinda happy to have light sessions at the barn.

We've been under saddle for about two weeks now, while we haven't been cleared to canter, we've been cleared to do lots more trot work.

Which despite the boring nature of straight lines and 20 meter circles, it's actually been a good time to implement what we learned at Christoph Hess' clinic, to go over the finer points of transitions and the scale. We needed to do this, it has helped create more consistency.

Her walk has improved from the short concentrated work. It feels perky enough where she can start working half steps again after the ban has lifted.

It's also been a good time to clear up some equitation issues and experiment a little more with the double. 

But what I miss most is the lateral work. It's second nature at this point to integrate it into the daily work. But since we can't use it at the moment, we've done other exercises to help keep up the suppleness. Serpentine and corners.

I'm also going to miss much of what I laid out for us in August. I would have liked to run through PSG at least once and perhaps work on the tempi's but, not in the cards.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Go speed racer

With my partner out and about in the universe, I'm in charge of feeding the boy.

Since the hot weather hit the region, the grass, and his main caloric intake, has burned off. Enter in concentrates and some one on one time. He's been regularly on this diet now for about two weeks, and caught up with the weight.

The fun part about feeding time is I get to fuss over him and to try new things.

Among the list is getting him used to the idea of having a saddle pad on/flung him. I thought the first time was a fluke because he didn't react, the second and third time it was pretty dead on he didn't care. I upped the ante with a sursingle (didn't girth it just placed), I got more reaction out of the fly spray. We also got to lead in tandem through several gaits, the dressage arena and around various farm implements with him being on the right and his travel companion on the left.

For a yearling, this isn't too bad at all. The last set I handled were pills of the first order and would no sooner mow you down for a blade of grass than mind you.

Then I decided today was a great day to learn to pony.

I love ponying. I think it's a fantastic way to let young horses see the world while developing muscles and brains.

Except one problem, I don't have a pony that ponies.  Nor do I have the equipment to do it with (I like western saddles for this cause).

What I do have is a golf cart.

We lead without minor incidence (some stop and stare) but otherwise, he was happy to lead on his off side back to the paddock to see his buddies. Got lots of apple treats and scratches. He's come a long way.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

These boots are made for walking

We're back under saddle and needless to say I'm a much happier person. It was a long, boring two weeks of cold hosing, hand grazing and adjustments. I think Sincere is officially sick of me.

The ride itself was nothing spectacular. Just a brief walk around the polo field. She was great.Would have gone and rode today if it wasn't for the 103 degree weather and me sweating standing still. There are times I miss the North East, this is one of them.

Our return has meant a few more sacrifices, specifically, my right boot. The Mountain Horse zipper finally gave out and went off the track. So I'm tracking down the ye olde boot smithe to fix so I don't look so hillbilly like. It also reminded me that I need to find a pair to go in the public with.

Fall is definitely approaching quickly, the town meter which had read 800 days till WEG a few years ago has been pushing lower double digits, the weather has become more bi-polar and people are swinging towards championship season. I can't wait for WEG, and the crown of the season for Team EnGaged- Edward Gal's clinic.

The end of summer and soon the season is the cornerstone of our year out. While she isn't 100 percent now, give it a few weeks and she will be up to snuff to go onto PSG next year. I don't know if we'll reach the goal of running through the PSG once this month, but by September we should be going well enough for one of the Snowbirds.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rubber ducky, you're the one

Often times in my travels, the baby is put by the wayside.

It's a terrible, yet sometimes fortunate thing.

As much as I want to see, and play everyday, it's sometimes best to let the young horse grow up on his own. I'm afraid if I play with him too much he'll not only forget that he's a horse, but get burned out on attention.

So for the past two weeks, I haven't seen the kid. I felt guilty and traipsed out there on Sunday and did the girliest thing I could- I bathed him, soap and all.

He was really unamused by this aspect, now smelling like tea tree oil, cherries and other very feminine flavors. But he did well, standing up on the ties, without calling or any huge flair (and this was with his buddies calling to him). In fact, I think he secretly enjoyed the pony parlor day.

Sincere, was dare I say, mature for his age.

So with July gone, our goals:

-Consistency on the cross ties
Met and exceeded. Doesn't mean I can wander out of sight and have him stay put. But for the most part, he stands up.

-Loading and unloading
Haven't practiced this any.Tomorrow we'll get to see how he rolls.

-New and different places.
He goes to different places on the farm, without a fuss as long as there are cookies involved. Sincere has always been  easy going that way. He reminds me of the porgy little mamma's boy who always wants a cookie and is spoiled to death by his aunties. At least with him, food motivation is a good thing. He'll do about anything as long as there are treats involved. Huzzah for the food motivated baby.

August's goals:
-Going to a show
-Prepare for lower lobotomy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

That's why they call it window pain.

It's tough sitting at home at the high point of the season. 

Normally this time of year we have at least two or three shows under our girths and we're well on our way to at least one or two more.

We're not this year.

I've had several people ask me this year why I'm not taking the pony to the shows or going to the Pony Cup. Apparently our absence has been felt somewhere.

I decided back in 2009 that to reach PSG, I needed to take the year to develop the pony up without holding back.This means sitting out from the shows to school up without having to go back and work on the tests that we are showing.

It also means a substantial investment in equipment, support crew, training and time. All of which come out of the ubiquitous show fund.

Already this year I've obtained a trailer, put Sinari on Adequan IM and Legends, developed a bevy of support crew (chiro, acupuncture and massage) and are on our way to obtaining a County Saddle. We're training weekly with our coach, and clinicing regularly with great judges.

It doesn't mean that we're not happy sitting on the sidelines, but it means that we'll be prepared for the next go around and more ambitious goals (Devon anyone?).

It's also means that we've accomplished the majority of our goals every month, goals such as July's.

Got it, almost too well. Have to go back to bend and flex.


transitions in and out of the gaits and between
Improved, and with some new tricks to help get a better amplification. But as said before need more forwardness.

Accomplished, but we need more time on these. I like to do them in the outdoor to get the space and timing correct.

August feels a bit buggered already with time off. So if these come to fruition I'll be very happy.

August goals:
-Pirrouettes/Half Pass
-Run through PSG once.