Thursday, April 30, 2020

Reflections: SIP April 2020

 I'm stealing this idea from L and doing my own mini bloghop version.

This is from last year, but the same thing is going on this year. The ponies, except Peebs, are transitioning onto the summer pasture while Peebs hangs out in the grazed down winter paddock till the summer pasture gets grazed down a bit.

Loving: The fact that work is empty and my boss is working from home now and I'm all alone at work. My introvert soul is so happy!
Smelling: Cow shit from the dairy down the road.
Learning: Working on the HQC course material (join L and I if you want to get your H/J knowledge on!)
Writing: Blogs

Reading: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Watching: Never Have I Ever
Craving: Chicken Alfredo and Garlic Bread from one of the bars in town that's closed due to the virus. Also, just going out to eat with friends!
Obsessing: Over what to do with Cinder
Wishing: I could be with my parents
Needing: Something I'm not quite ready to talk about yet
Wanting: A new horse trailer. The trailer I really want hasn't dropped in price, even though a lot of others have.
Trying:  FitOn workout app
Eating: Takeout to support my local restaurants. Bonus, I've found a new Italian place that's amazing
Drinking:  Water and Coffee and Lemonade
Feeling: Slightly worried. My dad got some (not virus) medical news and I really, really wish I was physically closer to my parents. Being 1,000 miles (an in a different country) from them really sucks sometimes.
Hoping: Things fall into place soon
Listening: Lots of happy/upbeat songs on Spotify. Bonus to work being a ghost town, no one to see me get my dance on!
Clicking: Watching webinars on compassion fatigue, technology in the vivarium, and new and novel ways to deal with work-related issues during a pandemic. I'm lucky that my professional organization has been making a bunch of these free and that my work will let me watch on company time.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Quarantine Birthday

My birthday was last Friday, and leading up to it I was a bit depressed. We were supposed to be at a show last weekend, hauling up Friday to school and settle in. My parents were paying my entry fees as my birthday present. Instead I had a three day weekend with nothing to do, nowhere to go, and to rub salt in the wound, Peebs had been a total twit all week. He was full of himself, jigging with his head in the air, throwing his shoulders around, and generally ignoring me.

I did get take out tacos from my favorite taco place for my birthday lunch

After talking to A and my trainer, everyone agreed they were fine with trainer coming out and doing lessons. So I scheduled one for my birthday. Not only did we desperately need help (our last lesson was 5wks ago) it gave me something to look forward to and to get out of my own head. As I was getting ready to leave for the barn, A's mom texted me asking what my favorite pizza was from one of the local places as she was getting pizza for after our ride. She's the type that loves a party and to socialize, so quarantine has been super hard on her. I shouldn't have been surprised she'd throw a little party for me.

Ponies are transitioning to the summer pasture, and while it's hard to see, Cinder had her first rider two nights ago. A little birdie on her back
Our lesson was 45 mins of mostly trotting and it kicked both Peebs' and my butt but it was so worth it. We started with circles, loops, and transitions trying to get his brain installed back in his head. Once we had warmed up, our biggest issue (as always) was him throwing his right shoulder out tracking left. Trainer described it as him dislocating his shoulder into the next county. Tracking right she had me establish a nice bend, and a slightly slower than normal rhythm, but keeping the impulsion, then trot across the diagonal and make Peebs hold the counter bend. Our first few attempts were pretty awful; Peebs was very confused and not too happy that he couldn't fling his shoulder lean on me. We did get a couple good circles before slowly bringing him back to straightness before asking for the left bend. We quit on that note since Peebs finally felt normal and was listening to me.

best barn fam
My trainer had gotten me a little birthday cake so after A's lesson we had pizza, watermelon and cake in the barn aisle with A and her parents. It was super fun and so nice to be around people again. While it wasn't the birthday I had envisioned, it turned out pretty well in the end!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Blind driving the Blind

I've ground driven horses a few times, and only with horses that had known how to ground drive. So I've been a bit hesitant to ground drive Cinder since it would be a bit of the blind driving the blind. But A has a ton of experience ground driving, and cart driving. Her best friend in elementary/middle school's family breeds and shows minis and has multiple national and world champion driving wins. A knew how to drive a horse before she knew how to ride.

Our trainer had given her set of long lines to A a while ago and I asked if I could borrow them and have A give me and Cinder a ground driving lesson. We started with the lines attached, and A up at Cinder's head just giving guidance before she set me free.  It took me a minute to figure out how to hold the lines and not get too tangled up, but Cinder was good about me fumbling around back there.

Our first attempt was pretty good (see above video) but when I tried by myself earlier this week we were much more all over the place. Part of it was Cinder was more confident and cocky, wanting to prove she knew what to do and didn't need to listen to me as much. And I think I was a little nervous not having another person there to help if things went south. Turning left is harder than turning right, but that might be me messing it up rather than Cinder. We did do a little trotting and she didn't try to take off with me like I thought she would, so yay! I'm hoping to ground drive her twice a week, and start doing it with a bridle instead of her halter.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Fail Friday: Free Jumping

 Obviously this is only Cinder's third time free jumping and I wasn't expecting her to nail it. She seemed quite game and went blasting down the line, but she hasn't learned how to find her distance yet. There were a couple mishaps but she figured it out, never got flustered or upset, and kept going. All qualities I hope she'll have under saddle.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Wordless Wednesday: Free Jump

A and I finally got around to free jumping the ponies this weekend. We did my two, as Scottie had conveniently twisted a hind shoe and was ouchy. We started with Cinder and she very clearly remembered  her free jump lesson from last summer. Once I turned her loose in the arena she walked right up to the first fence in the chute, walked over it, and calmed walked down the line (we started with a crossrail and ground poles) and then turned and looked at me. Definitely too smart for her own good.

We finished with a 2'3" oxer that clearly was too small in her opinion

Peebs went after her and I added a bit more height for him. He was not nearly as extra as Cin.

I have some hilarious fails of Cinder that I'll share on Friday, so I can stretch content out. She might have been bred for dressage, and will hopefully want to be hunter, but she's got the eventer fifth leg gene in her!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Excitement Level: Farrier Day

Not much has happened in the last week. It’s poured off and on, with some hail and even a little slush mixed in all week. A and I didn’t end up free jumping the ponies last weekend, but maybe next week as it’s supposed to be dry. 

Today was farrier day and my farrier has a new apprentice so it went a little quicker. All 5 horses at A’s are on the same schedule and use the same guy so having two people helped. One of the other boarders was there to hold her horse so there was 5 of us out there, and I have to say it was weird being around that many people after weeks of social distancing. Some of the horses can be crosstied while getting done, but Cinder isn’t trustworthy enough for that yet so we totally broke the social distancing rules. I didn’t have to use the stud chain with her today, so that’s an improvement. Her feet are looking much better than last time and you can hardly tell they went to shit this winter.

I have no idea why this is rotated