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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I figure I'd make this an open-face journal to talk about all things horse that pops into my mind. So this week's topic...barn friends and a life with horses. The question I ask myself is 'how'. We'd all love to be close like the saddle club haha, but honestly for barn friends, I have few. I have that one special friend that I do nearly everything with at the barn. She sprained her ankle a while back and hasn't been able to ride, but her and I groom and take care of the school horses every weekend. I'm thankful for that. I always wanted true barn friends, but I also wonder about my life after college. At this point I could just walk over to the barn, but in some ways I feel a little like an outsider. Or rather going there alone is a little uncomfortable. I'm just someone who takes a weekly lesson now. As I used to be on my varsity team, it made more sense to be there more often. Nowadays I just have to remind myself to do it for the horses, and nevermind what people may think. I will still treasure the weekends I send with my barn-mate just grooming the horses and catching up. Sometimes you have to walk alone, and it's okay.

Only time can tell what I'll be doing with horses in the future. I'd imagine taking more lessons or at least continuing them. Living in Long Island is difficult and sometimes I worry about what lies ahead. But I will do my best not to let that anxiety control my thoughts 100%. Today I think I'll go groom Theodore if he's not out for lessons. I need some horse therapy.
 

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Thumbs up for giving the lesson horses some affection "just because". :thumbsup: They enjoy positive attention no less than a $100k prize stallion, and I can imagine that training the horses to realize that "human is coming to get me" isn't always followed by "tough slog in the arena" is good for the entire outfit: horses, trainers, and students. You should be going there with your head held high!
 

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Subbing. :) Interested in hearing all about your journey! :D
Aw, I understand. I only have like 1 barn friend myself, but really that's all I need. Too many people can get annoying & plus, it's quality, not quantity! :)
It is definitely nice to just go & groom sometimes. I feel like that's more rewarding than riding, too. It's just nice to hangout. It can really help with anxiety too, as I suffer from it as well.
 

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I figure I'd make this an open-face journal to talk about all things horse that pops into my mind. So this week's topic...barn friends and a life with horses. The question I ask myself is 'how'. We'd all love to be close like the saddle club haha, but honestly for barn friends, I have few. I have that one special friend that I do nearly everything with at the barn. She sprained her ankle a while back and hasn't been able to ride, but her and I groom and take care of the school horses every weekend. I'm thankful for that. I always wanted true barn friends, but I also wonder about my life after college. At this point I could just walk over to the barn, but in some ways I feel a little like an outsider. Or rather going there alone is a little uncomfortable. I'm just someone who takes a weekly lesson now. As I used to be on my varsity team, it made more sense to be there more often. Nowadays I just have to remind myself to do it for the horses, and nevermind what people may think. I will still treasure the weekends I send with my barn-mate just grooming the horses and catching up. Sometimes you have to walk alone, and it's okay.

Only time can tell what I'll be doing with horses in the future. I'd imagine taking more lessons or at least continuing them. Living in Long Island is difficult and sometimes I worry about what lies ahead. But I will do my best not to let that anxiety control my thoughts 100%. Today I think I'll go groom Theodore if he's not out for lessons. I need some horse therapy.

I understand what you mean about being an outsider. I am a former Long Islander and I now live in Maine. I was not raised around horses, and now, at 30, I own 2 rescues. I have no clue how to ride, and it is something I plan on working on this spring. Whats the use in having 2 great horses if you don't ride or let them work? I have made friends with one of the BOs friends who is always there, and has said she will help me learn to ride. All of the owners there seem nice enough...

All of the boarders at my barn are very nice, but they all ride. For me, I love just going down there and grooming the horses, making sure they are clean, have clean stalls, clean pastures. My BO is always telling me that is what I pay her for, but for me its not about the money, its about getting to spend time with and bonding with my horses.

I try to just go in there, and do what I want to do. If somebody wants to have a conversation with me, go for it, I won't be rude or anything (or at least I try not to be).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Today's riding lesson was short. Again I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, and I remembered what people told me: "breathe, you'll be alright." I went out to see my lesson horse and was happy that he was one that I generally enjoyed riding. It took forever cleaning the shavings out of his tail, but as I did so, I felt more and more relaxed. The barn was busy when I first came in- quite a bit of boarders exercising their horses. It was a really nice fall day. When I was ready I went up to the mounting block and off we went- into the arena. As we trotted around the ring, changing direction every corner we were going pretty slow. I coaxed my lesson horse to go faster with a few clucks. We got a better canter a few times around the ring and my coach made me practice half-seat. His words 'stand straight up out of the saddle.' Now that's rather difficult for me to do, and we've practiced this once before. I'm going to look into it because I thought half-seat was two-point. At this point, I'm keeping the canter, gaining speed while standing in my stirrups. It doesn't seem right to me. I sit the canter for a length around the ring and we jump a line- two crossrails- in a not so straight manner. It wasn't terribly off either so I just focused on getting more energy from the schoolie. I think I have a better understanding of how to use my seat. My canter transitions weren't so smooth, though sometimes it depends on the horse and how they make the transition also. Last week the transitions were almost effortless.

Regardless of the very small hangups in today's lesson, it was fun and I left the barn with horse scent haha. Seeing so many owners today made me go off into wonderland and think about a time in which I might own my own horse. To be able to (after all the hard work) go out on nice days like this one and walk among the trail.
 

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His words 'stand straight up out of the saddle.' Now that's rather difficult for me to do, and we've practiced this once before. I'm going to look into it because I thought half-seat was two-point. At this point, I'm keeping the canter, gaining speed while standing in my stirrups.
Yeah, as far as I know, "half seat" isn't "two-point". In a half seat, you still have contact between your seat and the saddle, albeit much lighter than in a full seat. Imagine being able to push a sheet of paper between your butt and the saddle. "Two point" is a bit of a misnomer because you can't float over the horse's back only supported by your two stirrups: If you do that, and the horse decides to stop or move laterally, you'll keep going like Wile E. Coyote, only that gravity will take effect whether you look down or not. Lock those legs into the saddle if your bum comes up!

Most of the lower jumps can be taken seated, especially on a horse that goes over nice and flat by tucking his legs. I recommend solid contact with the saddle up to and during the take-off - you can certainly use your legs as shock absorbers for the landing. Take it easy and raise your jumps slowly, and you'll develop a feel for what you need to do to allow the horse to move freely beneath you while staying stable.

"Stand straight up out of the saddle" does not work well when your horse goes sideways ("Why is the ground a different color here???") doing 30 mph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, as far as I know, "half seat" isn't "two-point". In a half seat, you still have contact between your seat and the saddle, albeit much lighter than in a full seat. Imagine being able to push a sheet of paper between your butt and the saddle. "Two point" is a bit of a misnomer because you can't float over the horse's back only supported by your two stirrups: If you do that, and the horse decides to stop or move laterally, you'll keep going like Wile E. Coyote, only that gravity will take effect whether you look down or not. Lock those legs into the saddle if your bum comes up!

Most of the lower jumps can be taken seated, especially on a horse that goes over nice and flat by tucking his legs. I recommend solid contact with the saddle up to and during the take-off - you can certainly use your legs as shock absorbers for the landing. Take it easy and raise your jumps slowly, and you'll develop a feel for what you need to do to allow the horse to move freely beneath you while staying stable.

"Stand straight up out of the saddle" does not work well when your horse goes sideways ("Why is the ground a different color here???") doing 30 mph.
Thank you. Yeah I feel like my coach is explaining it incorrectly or not clearly enough. If I stand straight up I loose balance, yet that's what he wants apparently. I'm going to research it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Grooming of the school horses have started! There's a show going on this weekend at our home stable, and although I'm not showing, I plan on helping out. Doing it for the horses! I hope to chat up some friends along the way but we all might be too busy. Yep that's me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thinking about what job would suit me after I get my degree. That's off the beaten road and I know I shouldn't place too much worry in it..I'm just trying to think of ways to get my foot in the door. If not, there are retail jobs I can work, though those are becoming a little scarce. At least I'll most likely have a degree, which is a good thing. That is to say IF I am able to take all the classes I need in the spring. My 'life coach' says I'd be great working at a ranch or a stables. I suppose that's another option. I'd just like to have enough to lease a horse eventually leading to purchase. A long term dream...

Anyway, it's too soon to be worrying about the future of job security. I'm not even done with school yet, and I do have a part time job right now. I just need to worry about getting my degree. Today I'll be grooming and taking care of the horses for the show tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It was the indoor arena early this morning even though the temperature was nice. The ground was too wet from this morning and last night's rain. The horse I was riding had a slow and steady trot. We spent a long while doing sitting trot, some stirrupless work, checking my position, etc. No jumping for today as the jumps were not up yet. We tried cantering stirrupless- I'm still a bit new to it- and my horse completely turns into a speed demon. Talk about almost flying out of the saddle! I was relieved to have my stirrups back. I don't mind a cantering speed demon with my stirrups!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, the last lesson of the fall semester went well. I was on one of my favorites- we did some cantering and a small jump course. No complaints here, just enjoying the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If anyone can lift my spirits up it's my barn friend. We had a good time grooming the horses today and just catching up over lunch. We'll be taking Christmas pictures at the barn tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So with all the chaos going on- okay, not that much chaos, but with my current schedule, I wasn't sure I was going to ride again. I was going to bury this journal. However, I decided to do my school's equestrian club again. I haven't been in the saddle for about a month and a half. I was having anxiety towards the whole ordeal, because my anxiety is a pain in the butt in general. As soon as I put my ridding boots on, I felt much better. Even more so when I was tacking the horse up.

Our lesson started at 5:30 pm and boy it was freezing. I really love my group! I also like the instructor. To warm up we did several laps of trot work. One of my friend's horses was misbehaving and she did not want to ride him, so I opted to. I had to ride out a few spooks and partial bucks, but everything went okay. Cantering was okay, then we jumped and that was fun. I'll see if I could post a picture perhaps tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm on the dark brown horse (for lack of better terminology..is he bay? He's really 'dusty' looking lol) My friend and I were having a good time. We switched our horses.
 

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For one thing it's kind of hard to tell color on these photos. Also, the definition of colors has changed so much, it's hard to say. All colors look good when they are shiny and in good condition.
 
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