Pt. 2 -- Let's Run
Year 2 -- Let's Run
1/1, Entry One
A continuation of http://www.horseforum.com/member-journals/under-construction-ct-tevis-74532/
Another year, and nothing is really different for me and Baby Girl. Same barn, same town, few of the same problems, same dream... With a slightly clearer plan on making it. Add a few new skills, more experience, and a few hundred miles. We've got a team.
This year's overlaying theme comes from my trainer, Megan, who I think heard it from the head trainer of the horse production Cavalia. The horses in the show never given the same part for long. Before they retire, each horse has done everything. They are constantly being trained and retrained. It keeps them thinking and interested in their work. Cross training is key.
In 2012, I'm going to apply that to my own training. I'll try to do something different every day. Run full out in the pasture one day, do some gait work the next, circles and turns at a walk and trot after that, ground work another, and wrap my horse in a blue tarp and walk around the following afternoon. Jump once in a while. Ground drive. Pretend to be a reiner. Run barrels. Something like that.
But I'll have to start that tomarrow, since today it's raining. Ugh. The only horsey thing I can do today is put on Baby Girl's blanket this afternoon.
Happy New Year!
Makes sense to me!! I try and do that with myself, the dogs and horses. I love to do cross training! Today I made the dogs pull sleds with weights ( 2 smooth fox terriers per run pulled about 25lbs each) my exercise was running beside them. And in horses, well it was a lazy day hopped on bareback and walked around the pasture. The wind was awful!
Are you going to do your training as a journal, so we can all 'see' you two progress ?
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I have a pit bull cross who pulls as well! She weights 60 pounds herself and pulls about 80 pounds of cinder blocks stacked in a wagon. She loves it. I'm trying to build up her strength so she can comfortably pull me.
Yep! I plan on entering most everything I do, with lots of videos and pictures and notes. Hopefully, you will see some progress! I'll also post competition results, random adventures, plans, and all that. "A day in the life"-like.
1/3/11, Entry Two
La trainer, Megan, has been home for a couple days now. I've been helping her with lessons. I'm the barn equivalent of the plucky office girl. I walk into the pasture with the kids to get their ponies, clean stalls, run manure, take checks from parents, help tack up and down, and do menial gopher type tasks such as making sandwiches and carrying messages. I am the butt of many, many jokes and everyone's favorite chew toy.
Sometimes, I get to actually teach the kids. My specialty is confidence building bareback lessons of pure fun. I also teach kids to fall off properly. It's a good gig.
Sometime between lessons, I actually got to ride my horse! At the beginning of the year, I like to get a diagnastic preview. So I took some video of Baby Girl's gait and canter. Her gait looks a WORLD better than it did last year. The canter (2:53) is fast, but not too terribly unbalanced.
This is last year. No canter, since she couldn't even canter last year.
I also spent an entire day in my pajamas.
Sometimes I take students on trail rides. We got back early, so we played on the teeter totter. (That yellow horse is Amber, and the student is one I call Ginger.)
Once I'm finished with lessons, cross training can begin. It's hard to get time to teach new things when lessons are going on and I'm needed. Meh.
I'm also almost finished with my Epic List of Yearly Goals (AKA, The List). They shall be posted, and I will start work to reach them.
1/8/12, Entry Three
Happy balloon day!
With two jobs and school, it's been difficult to ride my horse recently. And probably will be until spring break. However, I've been finding time for sort sessions on non-riding related activity. Cue balloon day.
I worked at a pony party today. I begged these balloons off one of the parents, got my horse from the field, and started messing with her.
Baby Girl has two great fears: balloons and plastic bags. After treats and sweet talking, she made nose contact. It took an additional 30 minutes after nose contact for her to completely comfortable.
I will admit; I haven't done a lot of desensitization with this horse. I'm lazy in that department. I want to ride her in parades eventually, so balloons and plastic bags must be conquered.
1/12, entry four
As my older reads know, I have three kinds of days: bad days, boring days, and good days. Boring days are common. They include trail rides to nowhere particular, because-I-have-to arena work, grooming sessions on days when I don't have time to ride... Bad days happen as well. Days of attitude and annoyance and steps taken backwards.
But once in a while, there is a good day. Today was a good day.
The boss is in New York. Austin, doer of manual labor, has a day off. I'm in charge of feeding the horses, but otherwise free. So, for the first time in more than a week, I get to school Baby Girl!
We tried out a new bit. A lovely little Myler just like this:
I wanted a comfortable curb for Baby Girl for schooling and trails. She wasn't perfectly comfortable in her Argentine -- too many pressure points. The Myler gives generous tongue relief, has short shanks, and has independant side movement for direct reining as needed.
Baby Girl of course loved it. Horse has the softest, easiest mouth. I could stop with my pinky from a hand gallop.
We schooled circles and did gait work. I tried haunches in and shoulder out to see if I could get her a little less lateral.
I wanted her to have an easy day, so I asked her to walk so we could cool down. She kept trying to do a little jig pace of impatience. Excess energy + brain taxing schooling = pace jig.
I got her to walk for a little while, just for the sake of her listening to me. Then we turned to the trails and galloped. I let her gallop as fast as she could, brought her down, and galloped full tilt again.
My horse is happiest when she's running. She loves to run. After a five minute gallop, she was a content, less hyperactive little mare and walked back to the barn. We school a little more, walked quietly, and I dismounted.
It was a perfect day. So peaceful. After our ride, I washed and rebraided her mane and tail. I made her some bran mash, which she enjoyed in her stall while drying off in her garish purple cooler.
Yep. Not a wrinkle in today.
1/15, entry five
Did me and my mare's favorite thing today: "mock hunter pacing."
I don't know a lot about hunter paces, aside from horses gallop, jump things, and attempt to complete the course as near to a certain time as possible.
Baby Girl can trot about 12 miles per hour without too much effort. She has a huge stride and Arabian staminia. We have a section of trail exactly eight miles long. At an average speed of 12 miles per hour, we aimed to complete this course in 40 minutes. Along this trail are various obstacles: hills, downed trees, creek crossings, and ditches. These are what makes it fun, especially the "grand prix jumping log", which is about two and a half feet high. Yeah, yeah. But I'm not a proper hunter and I'm not riding a proper hunting horse. It's a big deal. :wink:
We came in right at 35 minutes. A little fast, but close. After that was done, we slowly gaited another couple miles and walked for about 15 minutes to cool down. Her P&Rs dropped back to normal quickly.
On tough conditioning days, Baby Girl gets extra after ride love. She gets hosed off with cool, not cold, water while some alfalfa hay cubes soak for later. Icetight clay poultice is applied to all four legs. She loves that stuff.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do tomarrow. I'm off school and don't want to waste a day. Suggestions? Nothing too tough, since we had such a hard day today. Thanks! :D
Who has the cutest face? You know who.
Who is cute even when stomping flies? You know who.
I personally think she looks great in her purple and black tack. Got it for Christmas and I'm liking the color scheme. That halter bridle is just fabulous. And the matching breast collar. And the splint boots that match the matching breast collar. *crazy purple-plosion*
And the black pad. Winning.
1/22, entry five
Today, the boss and I went on a day trip to Silver Spur Riding Club. She is trying to put on a NATRC ride there in May, so we were checking out trails and deciding on a basic route.
We rode for about three hours. The area was under a tornado warning, but we didn't care. Or rather, I didn't care.
We moved out most of the way. For the first hour, we stayed at a fast trot and canter. Afterwards (the boss's horse was getting hot with all her hair) we trotted/walked.
Baby Girl was very good. She was just as quiet as when we're at home. She enjoyed our first hour of flying down the trails. It was a play day, so we kept it fun.
The trails at Silver Spur was super runable. It's flat, with a lot of logging roads. Even the one track trails are neat and trot-able. There were a million pine trees (boss wants to call the ride "Singing Pines") Everything looks the same, so it's easy to get lost. Here's a little video of the typical scenery during a walking break:
1/25, entry six
Today, we free jumped. Busy as I am, I didn't have time for a proper ride, but my horse really needed to break a sweat sometime this week. I set up a tiny grip in the round pen and free lunged. The grid was two round poles spaced for cantering and then an 18 inch vertical. Baby Girl is canter challenged. Grid work in the past has helped her canter considerably.
She was gorgeous over that grid! Her jump and canter immediately before and after the grid was smooth and easy. She found her feet and didn't miss a beat.
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