Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sport Horse Nationals

Whew. I -think- things are finally slowing down. Izzy moves tomorrow and everything is lined up. I promise, I'll take oodles of pictures once she's safely there. After riding her in a lesson yesterday, I realized that not only is our concentrated dressage effort paying off, but we might actually be on track to qualify for USDF regionals at first level after all.

However, none of that is the point of this post. Arabian Sport Horse Nationals are held at the Idaho Horse Park every other year (though I heard that it's moving permanently to the Kentucky Horse Park starting next year). Anyways. I went out last Thursday to watch all the pretty horses do dressage and I thought you might like some pictures.

Third level tests (I think)

Nine-year-old me is SOOOOO jealous of this horse:
Then I went to watch the warm up:
I think this is a flying change. I liked this little guy.
Twelve-year-old me would have killed for this one:
Another shot of the little black horse.
This girl definitely knew what she was doing. Lovely rider, lovely horse.
And we met a friend! I was there with my friend Katie and another girl, and Katie's childhood instructor was there riding Manhattan Mandy, a 9 year-old Trakehner/Arab cross at second and third level. (Sorry about the but off head).
Katie helps them get ready to show.
I'm not sure how they did, but it was a lovely test. Also, Mandy (the mare) is a dressage horse, but she made the Top Ten in the Show Hack, which they entered on a whim.

Fun stuff.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


My head is almost literally spinning right now. This week is nuts. Last week was more nuts. I'm hoping for a slower pace next week. I think I have all Izzy's stuff squared away--feed, feed bin, coggins picked up, mane pulled and leg washed (not required but looks better), tack locker mostly cleaned out... I just need to go out to the new place and take Izzy's stuff with me to get her set up Thursday and then bring her out (with some transitional hay) on Friday. Also finish cleaning out my tack locker. And probably wash my saddle pads.

First impressions, right? I wouldn't want the new barn to think I ride with MILDLY DIRTY SADDLE PADS!! (gasp!)

Not that anyone would care. In fact, it's mostly an adult facility and I ride in the mornings, so odds are that I'll have the place to myself. Still. It's like clean underwear. You always wear it so that if you get in an accident, the EMTs won't think you wore dirty stuff.


Oh... back to the to-do list of real life. That's the head-spinning part.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Progress! (Again)

I had a lovely ride on Izzy this morning. We've been doing some concentrated dressage work lately and I think it's really paying off. Jimmy Wofford told us that there are three keys to dressage: position, position, and position, so I'm really focusing there.

I try to think about draping my legs around Izzy's barrel and really relaxing in to that feeling. I keep my shoulders back, my hands up and together, and stretch my chest up to keep my upper body from collapsing.


What a difference. We had good moments last time I rode her, but this time, we had actual stretches that were good. It's amazing--when I give her a steady contact and ride into it, she accepts it, pushes from behind, and even carries herself a little. We have a long ways to go even to get to first level, but it's just so much progress from where we were that I feel a little blown away.

Moving day is coming up quickly. Cathy already has another training horse coming in to take Izzy's spot, which is fabulous for her. I bought Izzy a rodent-proof grain bin yesterday and a bag of the senior feed she's used to. I know Frizzle talked about switching to something else (maybe because it was low starch?). I'll have to look into that. I took Marissa's advice on smartpaks and I think we're almost ready to move... Am I missing anything? Big day is Friday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dressage Pony

Izzy was quite good today. We've been playing with the dressage saddle this week, and I think I'm finally getting re-adjusted to it. I'm really enjoying to total security I feel in it and Izzy is super comfortable with it. (I still have my Ansur Classic.) It took me a while to get used to my dressage-length leg again, but it's fun.

I''ve been focusing on sitting up, keeping my thumbs up, and having a straight line from my elbow to the bit. I'm also trying to ride with my reins a little shorter, since I have the dumb habit of keeping my hands in my lap. Izzy is responding really well. She's starting to understand what I want, so every couple of laps around the arena, we have some really nice strides. Then one or the other of us falls apart and it takes a few more laps to get better again.

We finished up by wandering around the property--around the outside of the arena, out through the field, up the hill at the trot a few times, and a few times walking over the little ditch we found. It's really fun, but we're getting to the point where Izzy isn't all that interested in it, either.

Today, I'm excited to move. I'm really, really tired of constantly having to do extra stuff (or being a jerk and saying no) and I'm realizing that the best and easiest possible way to make a break is just to move on. Maybe I'm just crabby, but I'm ready for a change today.
Another old picture, but how cute is that face?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mixed Emotions

It's been a weird week. It's September 23 as I'm writing this and in one week, Izzy and I will be moving to the new barn. My entire riding career has been with Cathy, so this is a huge switch for me. I know it's the right thing to do for my horse and my life right now, but I'm not always sure emotionally. I mean, I've been with Cathy since I was 9. I probably spent as much time at her house as I did at my own when I was in highschool. We're still friends and will remain so, but it's going to be really different to go to the barn and not have her there.

I talked with Irie's mom this morning--she's good friends with K and will drive us out there next Friday, which is fabulous and wonderful. Even more than that though, it was good to just be able to talk to someone who understands where I'm at. She's also really practical and knows just as well as I do that Izzy NEEDS pasture and is an entirely different horse with it. I'm feeling better about my decision now.

Still, a new boarding situation means I have to make a whole bunch of decisions I never really worried about before. I have my own farrier and chiro, so that's established, but I need little things like a rodent-proof grain container. Since I'll be buying my own grain, I need to decide what to get and figure out how much to feed. Izzy has been on Gastroshield for her ulcers. That's fine, but I'm kind of wanting to go the smartpak route since I won't have to go to the store all the time and they don't carry it. Can I switch to Ugard? I don't know. (If you have input, by all means, share.) Still, most of my questions are fairly unimportant things, I just have to do them.

I will say that through this process of really taking ownership over Izzy's well being, I feel so much more connected with her than I ever did before. It's not that anything is really different between us, just that I think I've realized how much she really does mean to me. She's not just the horse I have, she's the horse I've always wanted and wouldn't give up for the world.
This is from last year, but I love it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Breaking Pony News

I mentioned that I was going to visit a barn Friday. I did. It had a nice indoor, but was otherwise underwhelming. For example, their outdoor could have been used for a decent hill workout--it's that unlevel. Also, their idea of turnout did not exactly mesh with mine. ;-) I got back in to my car to go home, and had a voicemail from the other barn I'd called. A quick call back and instead of heading home, I was off on barn visit #2 of the day.

When I showed up, I saw trees, green grass, and happy horses. The owner (we'll call her K) was very nice and very straightforward. Instead of just taking me on a barn tour and letting me ask questions, she started things off by asking about Izzy and I. She showed us barn #1, with 12 x 12 stalls and attached 12 x 24 runs with an adjacent locked tackroom. We visited the trotting track and looked over the hayfields (why yes, they grow their own and have it regularly tested). She pointed out the pond we can ride out to and told me how to get to the nearby nature preserve that's open for riding.

We walked by the green, grassy turnouts that even have shade trees in them on our way to outdoor arena #1. (There are three.) Then we crossed the street to see the pastures for the pasture-boarded horses. All boarding areas have three-sided shelters for the horses. The pastures are right next to the LOVELY indoor arena, which has attached stalls (barn #2) and the main tackroom. Oh, and did I mention a lovely set of well-maintained jumps? Yes, they have that too. We looked at the paddock-kept horses. 50'x70' runs for each one with a three-sided shelter. Each one looked happy and healthy. Outdoor arenas #2 (large arena) and #3 (small court dressage) are also in this area.

At this point, I think I was swooning. I knew I was at my dream barn and I knew I'd never ever in a million years be able to afford it. We chatted a little--K used to (still does?) work in the field my degree is in, so we had somewhat in common. She did explain that she had a waiting list, so I'd have to go on that if I was interested. Before I answered, she also told me her rates: $225 for paddocks, but there's an internal waiting list for those. $280 for a stall with a run in barn #1. (Barn #2 is for overnight boarders and Barn #3 is for K's horses).


Not only was it my dream barn, it was within striking distance of my price range. I could have died. I told her to put me on her waiting list and I'd take absolutely anything that opened up. I wasn't sure what that meant. She'd already told me that they had really low turnover, but I knew there was one open stall. Only one. If anyone ahead of me on the list wanted it, that list could means months or years of waiting.

I went home. I thought about it. I knew that the only course of action was to stay exactly where I am now until they had a spot for me at the Dream Barn. I didn't know how long that would be.

Apparently not very long. Saturday morning around 11 I got a call from K saying that we could have the one stall if we still wanted it. I practically danced around the grain room. (Seriously. I don't think I was more excited when I got a full-ride scholarship to college.) I have to get Izzy's fall shots and a negative coggins and we're set to move in October 1.

The only drawback is that now I get to tell everyone in my real life. I hadn't said much, because I don't like to tell people that I might do something. I just do it, and then they know. Thus, I didn't tell anyone I was barn hunting because I didn't want to cause unnecessary drama. I told Cathy last night. She'll miss us, but she was very kind about it. I'm going to miss her a lot. Maybe someday her place will get all set up and we can come back...

Oh, and also I have to get a trailer ride out there. Shouldn't be too hard, I don't think.

In case anyone is interested, I'm attaching a screen shot of my nerdy boarding spreadsheet with names and contact information removed.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010


After looking at the pictures of Izzy yesterday, I thought it would be kind of fun to look at how we've progressed.

Here's Izzy and I last summer. She was barely started under saddle (by yours truly) and I was just getting back into riding after a several year break. This is the second of our many saddles and it didn't fit very well, as evidenced by her unwillingness to go forward and her high head carriage. It's hard to see, but she is wearing her beloved fly bonnet. Even then, she HATED any bugs on her ears.
This is Izzy and I last fall, riding in saddle #3. She's obviously moving much more freely forward, but she's pretty downhill. Still, her winter coat had just started coming in and she looks gorgeous. We were about to begin the adventure that was riding in the Bubble of Doom all winter.
And here's Izzy yesterday. I'd say she's moving in more of a level balance and she's started to yield her poll just a bit. Her musculature has really started developing well (look at her neck and butt!!) and she's even more forward than before. She is making progress!

If you watch me, you'll notice that my feet are too far forward and my hands are in my lap in all three shots. Sad truth.

In other news, Izzy was fabulous this morning. All it took was about 15 minutes of mad galloping around the arena (loose), following by 10 minutes tacked up lunging in the sidereins and then a killer workout for me in which we went w/t/c both directions complete with transitions all in 2 point. OUCH. As Stephanie pointed out, there is a lot of this in my future. I also took my stirrups up a hole and plan to go up another next time I ride. The weird thing is that my stirrups felt WAY too short in the photo shoot, but when I shortened them today, I actually felt more comfortable. Crazy world, huh?

Also, I have an appointment to go out and see another barn this afternoon and I called yet another to set up an appointment... yes, I am using the phone for my pony's sake.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Our good friend Ellie over at Cedes of Change came out and took some lovely pictures of Izzy yesterday. She did a nice post about us, but I'll repost a couple pictures here, too. You can see my album here.

We did some basic flatwork to start off with. Izzy was distracted and quick, both of which I attribute to the most obvious cause, which is zero turnout. We finally got her settled and did a little jumping. She was ok on the star of poles exercise we've been doing on and off. She did not approve of the four trot poles; we just took a massive flying leap over them on one try. When she'd finally go through, we headed over to the grid.

Oh boy.

She's been a little quick coming out of there, but I always attributed that to the fact that it's set for slightly larger jumps, so the striding is just the tiniest bit wonky.

That was certainly not the case today. She'd jump in fast. I'd correct with the bit (I know, bad) and she'd RUN FOR IT!!!! You would not believe how fast Miss Izzy can jump through a grid of crossrails. It's amazing. Also unsafe.

We worked on that a bit, but Izzy was up and not wanting to settle down. Cathy had me setting my hands down and using my body to slow her, which helped a lot, but ultimately doesn't compensate for a totally fried pony brain. Ugh. Boarding. It's driving me nuts. Anyways. I will now upload pictures.
Lunging with sidereins. Since we're working on going forward into contact and not being giraffe pony, I use them loosely adjusted. Izzy seems to be past the "Buuut I can't dooooo it" phase and on to the "Ok, I got this" phase. Lovely shot of a lovely pony, wouldn't you say?
Cantering. What a good girl.
I LOVE this shot of her face. She looks so polished, even if she's just scouting for weeds while I put the sidereins away.
Early trot work.
Taking a break. Pretty much the cutest thing ever.
Nice big trot.
This photo series makes it look like we take a lot of breaks. Actually, we really don't. Still, I love her facial expressions.
Canter. This shot is much more engaged than the last time I posted a canter picture... maybe I'll scour up a link. Anyways. We've been working hard and I think I can see some improvement.
Trot poles! This was not the time we took a massive flying leap. Look at that hock bending, though. Pretty impressive.
Gallop!! Not the plan, but it turned into a nice picture.
Pardon the position. It's a nice shot of Izzy's early jumping form and my lack thereof. ;-) (In my defense, I have not jumped regularly since highschool... )
Another big jump where it wasn't really required.
I know Izzy's really long and flat here, but I think it's the best shot of me riding. At least I'm more or less with her.
I'm way ahead, but what square knees she has!
Happy pony.

Looking at the pictures, I think my problem is partly that I lack a solid jumping foundation. I know I need to go forward with my horse to keep from hitting her in the face, but I have my stirrups a little too long and so I lose my base of support entirely. It makes me insecure which probably doesn't help her rushing at all.


Thankfully, she's super gorgeous and the photography is great, so most of you aren't looking at me anyways.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Most Novel Thing Ever

I still have a full two weeks left as an official barn worker, but Cathy is starting to find people to take morning slots. That means that today when I showed up, some other nice girl was cleaning.

That's right folks--for the first time in ages, I was able to show up, not feed, not clean, and just mess with my horse. The only way it would have been more amazing is if Izzy was actually getting turnout, so she wouldn't act like a total nut the first half hour we're together. Sigh... can't win 'em all.

I scouted out and emailed two more facilities. No word back yet... If I don't hear anything soon, I'll try calling. I actually don't mind talking on the phone; I just hate the calling process... weird neurosis I guess.

Anyways. As I said, Izzy was a nut. I did my best to really just focus on what she and I were doing and ignore the silliness. It worked reasonably well. When she finally relaxed, we went out of the arena and wandered around the big field that there's eventually supposed to be a subdivision in. I hopped off in a patch of grass and let Izzy graze. We're making progress, I think. We're even supposed to have a lesson tomorrow.

Monday, September 13, 2010

All the Change is Scaring Me

Ok, you may or may not have noticed this, but I tend to be an introvert. I don't just go up to people and ask for stuff. I know what I want, but I don't like to be pushy about it, especially with people I don't know.

For example: I rode Izzy last night and she was a total snot about her left lead. Why? Because she hadn't been ridden at all since Wednesday. This is a direct result of me having to clean every day and then having to go do other stuff, so I didn't have the time. The obvious solution and the one that my husband and I have talked through several times (for my benefit, not his) is for me to quit cleaning and just pay board. I had already decided that I was going to be done at the end of the month, but I felt so bad about it that I didn't even want to tell Cathy even though I NEED to because she then NEEDS to find someone to take my place. Besides, I'd already hinted that was what I would do, so it's not like it comes as a surprise.

So I did it. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but she was expecting and already has someone lined up to take over most of my days. Yay! Good ending. I am officially done as a barn worker (for now) on Thursday, September 30th.

In other news... I'm still scouting barns. Over the weekend, I spent time driving around where I'd like to keep Izzy. (It's close-ish to my house and irrigated.) I actually found some promising stuff. Now I need to start calling people.

Have I mentioned that I'm an introvert and I LOATHE AND DESPISE calling people? I don't know why this is so hard for me.

Wish me luck. I'm still holding out for a big green pasture, shelter for my horse, and maybe even access to an indoor arena.

Friday, September 10, 2010

More On Boarding

I visited two more facilities today and I have a third lined up for tomorrow (unless they can squeeze me in this afternoon--maybe I should call and ask). My boarding list is starting to look quite impressive. I have a spreadsheet with about 40 different categories of things I must have, things I want, things I'm indifferent about, and things I will not have. There is also an 'other' section for logistical comparisons.

Today I visited boarding facility #s 3 and 4.

We'll talk about 3 first. I found out about it on the internet through a very out-of-date website. Also, I apparently have a friend who boards her western pleasure type horse there. All I knew was that they had an indoor. And stalls. I should probably put stalls in my 'indifferent' category.

I was pleasantly surprised when I first drove up. There is a massive indoor that is new and in good shape. There is also a house. There is not much else. I met the owner, who seemed very nice and talkative. She showed me around. It's in the desert (normal for this area). There is "pasture" but it's not irrigated. They have a mare pasture and a gelding pasture. The mares don't have a run-in yet, and honestly, I'm not wild about turning my girl out with a bunch of mares she doesn't know and saying, "go for it". I know it's standard practice in this area, but I don't like it. There are stalls lining the indoor arena (which is pretty huge). The stalls are 12 x 12 with attached 12 x 12 runs. They are in the process of building tack lockers in the runs so owner have direct access to their stuff.

They are in the process of doing a lot of things, which I find mildly unsettling. It is a newer facility--they've been there only two years after moving from a different location, and admittedly, building that entire indoor from the ground up is pretty impressive, but I'm leery of things that are always being worked on because that's where I'm at now. Maybe these people build a lot faster than what I'm used to (they could hardly be slower), but I don't know them well enough to say.

They don't really have jumps. I can bring my own, but the one set of standard they do have is pretty busted up because the barrel racers just throw the standards over the outdoor arena fence apparently. Throw. Like tossing. --> This is not my impressed face. <-- Feeding twice a day, cleaning once a day... not a busy place despite the 40 stalls. There are more people coming in since the barn is only half full, so I don't know how current conditions compare to what is coming.

Turnout is available. They charge $1.50 to turn out. It's in the outdoor arena or a dry lot about the size of a small dressage arena. They try to leave the horses out for as long as possible, but riders have precedence, so theoretically, I could be paying for turnout and Izzy would only be getting like 10 minutes a day. I'm not sure that's better than what I have now. It's basically the same setup, only I have to turn her out and I don't have to pay extra.

I'm not sure what to think. The indoor is nice and tempting for the fast-approaching winter, but I'm not thrilled with their current set up and I don't want to sign a boarding contract for proposed future changes. You know? I'll keep it in mind, but it's not the top of the list. (Board in a stall with a contract is $200/month. If I have Izzy turned out 4x a week, I'm looking at about $224. Very reasonable.)

Boarding facility #4

This is a much smaller place. It's also a more expensive place. They have covered pens, pens with three sided run-ins, and a 4 stall barn with runs. I believe the board rates run $225, $250, and $300, respectively. Frankly, the basic package at this place was all I'd want. I have little use for a stall. (Although they are kind of cool. Don't know why.)

The owner was very upfront and honest. She said she might have one opening starting in October (which makes me more comfortable than a half-empty barn. Obviously, clients stay here.) She showed me her hay, which she feeds twice a day in summer and three times in winter. It's fabulous. Feeding and once daily stall cleaning is included in the board. The horses all looked happy, well-fed, and friendly (and they're mostly Arabians!! I have a leftover girlhood permacrush on Arabians.)

There is a nice, large outdoor arena complete with a set up of well maintained jumps. Apparently, the onsite trainer sets a jump course once a week to use, but it looks like they're taken down after that (since I don't think the arabs jump a lot.) I know the trainer, and would enjoy taking some lessons from her. There is not trail access from the facility, but they are close to several trail heads and the boarders do get together and go fairly frequently.

As for turnout, THEY HAVE IT!! Just like I want, even. Most places around here offer "pasture board" which involves turning a bunch of horses out in a hopefully-large-enough field and hoping nothing goes too seriously wrong. I don't like that method. This place has individual runs and covers for each horse, then a big (irrigated) pasture that everyone gets turned out in (in groups that get along). I like it.

Cross your fingers for me on this one. It's promising.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Get Ready...

I'm stuck at work this morning, which I guess is ok. It's crappy cold and yuck outside and if I'm going to start actually paying board, then I'm going to need to actually earn money. Crazy world, huh?

I just got off the phone with the owner of potential boarding facility #3. (Note: Our current location is referred to as facility #1, so you're not missing anything. I just numbered funny.) She sounds pretty nice and I'm going out to visit tomorrow.

In the mean time, I'm going to go ahead and make the list that Marissa recommended about my requirements for a facility. That will allow me to more objectively evaluate what I'm looking at. I'm also following Frizzle's suggestion to go to our (only) tack store and look for recommendations there.

Ultimately, I'm trying to be careful. I want the best possible care for Miss Izzy, but I don't want to burn any bridges getting there. I haven't told Cathy that I'm looking at other facilities because I don't want her to feel like she's competing. I also don't want her to think that if she just did X, I'd stay... (actually, that's probably true. X=turnout in this equation.) Basically, I want to make the best possible decision for Izzy without burning any bridges behind me. If I leave where I'm at now, I want to come back and visit and have there be no (or minimal) awkwardness.

I like the people, I just know that my girl needs more than what she's getting and I'm tired of having to compromise on that. I somewhat wish that my friend who kept her for a while would have been willing to continue the arrangement, but at the same time, I think it's time for me to take responsibility for Izzy and not just feel like I'm mooching off people. I want to pay X bill and know that my horse is going to be taken care of to a certain standard. I don't want to just work and work and work and then maybe occasionally get a lesson. That aggravates me.

It's funny to go to new places, though. I ask lots of questions and try to learn as much as I can while I'm there, but I don't want to bring up old grievances. Sounds like dating almost. ;-)

PS Just contacted yet another facility. Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Barn #2

Yesterday in the AM, I went to check out a place we'll call Barn #2. Initial impression: I liked it. Here are some basic thoughts about it. I'm partially writing this to help process it myself, since I plan on looking at more, but also because I'm looking for feedback. I've never looked at barns before. :-/

So. It's a western-type Quarter horse facility. They do have a small barn and they do have a tack room, however, the tack room is right by the barn door which is usually open. (Not worried about theft--just stuff getting super dirty. There is a gorgeous arena with professional footing that is barely used since most of the boarders just trail ride.

Speaking of trail riding, the property is right next to BLM land, which means I can trail ride without trailering to it. The whole place is built on hills, so conditioning would be no problem at all. There are no jumps, but if I brought my own, they'd be quite happy to let me set them and store them there. There is free trailer parking available for when I get a trailer... someday.

Horse details: pasture board is available for $180/month. Horses live out in herds in hilly dry lots that aren't super big. Owner tells me that they just got their water permit within the last week and they are putting sprinkler systems in for next year. That statement was backed up by all the trenches dug in the dry lots. That means we're looking at watered pasture for next year. It's a newer facility and the owner is actively working on improving it. There are covered pens and uncovered pens available. Well, technically they have some and if you want one, she's willing to put one in for you. That's $200 a month. There are not shelters in the pastures, but the owner is willing to turn out horses kept in pens in the arena several times a week for a couple hours at no extra charge.

Horses are fed hay twice a day and are brought in individually to be fed any supplements you provide. No extra charge for that. Owner is willing to put on fly masks, blankets, etc once a day, but if your horse keeps getting it off, she's not going to put it on 15 times a day. Pens are cleaned twice daily, as was attested by their clean, dry state. All the horses looked clean, healthy, and well-kept.

There is no extra charge to bring in outside trainers and no charge to catch/hold for the farrier. It's a pretty laid-back facility.

Breaking it down:
-Pasture board
-Attentive owner
-Constant improvements
-Not much arena use competition
-Trail access
-Lots of freedom to do what I want
-Lots of trail riders to ride with
-Easy access to doing hill work

-40 minute drive
-No grass (yet)
-All western--lessons not available on site
-Pastures kind of small
-No english people to ride with
-I don't have trailer, so transportation may be difficult

I liked this facility. If I was a trail rider, I'd be there in a heartbeat. I liked the level of care and attention provided to the horses and the owner seemed quite straightforward, which I appreciate. (I'd die at one of those inbred show barns that are just full of drama...) I'll definitely keep it in mind, but I want to see what my other options are before I commit.

PS Izzy was fabulous today. We did a ton of work in 2 point so I could work on my lower leg position. Pretty sure my thighs will MURDER me tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Weekend Roundup

Izzy and I did some fun exercises this weekend. We set a line of four trot poles with opposite ends raised about 6" on blocks for trot-through cavaletti. Next we had a series of poles set like this:

Basically. Four poles, in that shape, inside ends 20' apart.

Finally, I set a little grid. There was a trot pole going in to three crossrails set one canter stride apart with a placing rail between each one.

The results: Izzy needs work on cavaletti. She sees all the rails and her little eyes kind of bug out, and she tries to just leap the whole thing. Seriously. I slowed it down and walked her through it, which was ok, but then she took a bunch of the rails down. Sigh. Pony mare... I didn't push the issue, but we'll continue working on this.

The "star formation" of poles was great. Hard, but great. It really forces us to balance, prepare, and focus as we walk or trot through. We can do it, but I want to work on refining the exercise so that we hit the exact center of the poles each time.

And the grid? Fabulous. Izzy has it figured out and I think she enjoys it just as much as I do. Maybe later this week we'll use it to jump more than crossrails.

On to other things... I had a talk with my husband, in which he told me that he'd rather pay board himself than have me keep working at the barn. (Yikes. He is NOT a horsey guy.) Basically, it's time consuming and takes away from other things he'd rather I be doing, so it's worth the money to him. I have no intention of asking him to pay for anything, but I want to head in that direction. I'm semi employed, at least for now, and it'll be tight, but I can do it.

I'm not sure what that means for me. I'm going out to check out a boarding facility with turnout this morning, but it's a primarily western place. That's fine, except the availability of jumps and lessons where I'm at now is huge for a person without a trailer. I'll check around, I guess. I'd like to be where I'm at now without working and with turnout, which is theoretically on the horizon, but with the pace that things are moving, we could be talking about years. Seriously.

Hopefully I'll have better options to talk about tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Odds and Ends

My grandmother, who has been on hospice care for the past several months, passed away yesterday morning. It was peaceful and at home, so things couldn't have been better for her. (Lest I sound callous, I blogged about it here.)

I have a lot to think about now--the time I was spending with grandma is now open, I guess. That leaves room for something, but I don't know what. I don't really feel like thinking about it right now.

A friend was out riding with Izzy and I today (and Izzy was being a doll), so to cool out, we took the horses out of the arena and just wandered around. It wasn't a trail ride, but maybe a "trail ride". They were both great, and it was really what I needed. Things will work out somehow. We'll figure it out.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...