Saturday, August 15, 2015

various recent rides (and a couple cats)

Outside of our riding lessons, schooling has been decidedly meh lately. But it's certainly been happening with frequency, so here's a quick recap whether you wanted it or not :D

she doesn't wanna talk right now, k?
Our farm recently hosted another CT that I totally would have ridden in... except it was judged by the "professional" who shall not be named. Entries were light tho so I took advantage of the opportunity to school in the temporary court after dressage wrapped. Nvm that judge lady was still sitting there gabbing with others - I just willed myself to ignore her and do my thang.

there be horse eating trolls in this field
But my 'thang' wasn't really that great, unfortunately. For some reason we've never had a nice ride in this field - EXCEPT when we run around hopping over the mini xc fences. But actual focused flat work? It's just impossible. Isabel is drawn like a magnet toward the barn, is very difficult to maintain a rhythm with, and generally is distracted. And I just resort to pulling and fighting bc that always works, right?

Eh... I ran through BN-B anyway tho and it predictably sucked (hard). But I made myself finish it bc that's what ya gotta do, right? Then we schooled a little longer (still shittily) and a bystander (hanging with no-name judge) perhaps saw our struggles and helpfully (?) pointed out that at least the second half of one of our circles was nice. Ugh.

pictured: the day isabel's life changed forever
So that was annoying. But then things got a lot better between Isabel and me one night when, upon walking down the barn aisle, she discovered spilled grain. And I let her snarf it up.

obvi you wanted a close up, right?
 And boy. did she snarf.

still working
I've never seen Isabel work so thoroughly and methodically. She was like an archaeologist carefully measuring out a dig site for potential discoveries.

she really licked it clean!
Now normally this isn't something I'd consider photo-worthy (not that I have particularly high standards in that regard) - but really we were standing around FOREVER while she hoovered up every.single.little.pellet. It was kinda astounding.

And how was this life changing for Isabel, you may ask? Well. Let me tell you. She has NOT forgotten about that small pile of spilled grain on the floor. And now, wherever we are, wherever we go - if she sees *anything* that might be food on the floor, she's gotta check it out. Everywhere, anywhere, anything at all. It's hilarious.

Obviously I indulge her bc I appreciate her dogged determination to make food happen in the least likeliest of circumstances. I can respect that.

apparently this kind of lattice isn't scary to her. it's just the other stuff? (?????)
Other non-dressage schooling efforts have gone more or less well tho. Like the time I set out to just jump a couple quick things while picking zero fights. Jumps were jumped, fights were not fought, all parties were happy.

perhaps she's actually part goat? forget turning on a dime, i'm pretty sure she could stand on one were she so inclined
Or that other time I set up the rider strength building exercise that DOC mentioned (two ground poles on a circle at 3o'clock and 12o'clock) and jacked my stirrups up a couple holes to just trot and canter through for a while. Wowza guys, I had NO IDEA that such a simple adjustment to my stirrups would cause so much pain. Clearly there are some weaknesses there that need work....

grass is her favorite
We also made it out for another lesson with C. For some reason, I had very few specific points to share from this ride. Unusual for me, but I'm going to chalk it up to being spread a bit thin elsewhere. Bc really it was a great ride.

but she'll take hay too, if she has to
Isabel and I are gearing back up for the second half of our show season so we dove back into finessing a smoother connection (since our steadiness has disintegrated a bit) and more consistent gaits and bend.

well whadya know, another mirror selfie!
But really C had the same things to say per our usual rides: don't let Isabel bait me into off-topic fights. Esp with my hands - just keep them where I want her to go and push her forward into the bridle. She also said I had to achieve balance and connection *first* before going for power and forward.

Also, she just very casually mentioned (ever so breezily) that should Isabel cease to be a riding horse (for whatever reason), that she wants her for a breeding program - likely bred to a Hano or some big WB. I've daydreamed before about little baby Izamonsters and got kinda excited... but I'm also a bit busy actually, ya know, RIDING the horse. Interesting food for thought. Also interesting timing bc Isabel's breeder is coming to visit, and I *think* she has a couple other Admiral babies too. Hmm...

barn cats have a rough life
So yea. That mostly gets us up to date on where things stand. Mostly.

driving the tractor apparently takes a lot of energy
Other fun things are happening this weekend too tho -- hopefully including lessons and shows!! -- so more to come later.

he's very proud of his ability to climb on top of the highest shelves
In the meantime hope you all have a wonderful weekend too!


  1. YAY CATS! And hilarious grain snarfing

    1. haha she really thought it was the best thing ever

  2. A hilarious game I like to call "poop or grain!"

    1. lol it's her favorite game now, that's for sure

  3. Baby izzys? I love the thought of an adorable mini-me!

    1. right???!? it's definitely a very intriguing idea..... ;D

  4. Kitties!! She's so funny about the grain. Also omg yes Izzy + warmblood would be SO cool (not that Izzy herself isn't cool though). I saw a little chestnut Arab x Hano that was sooo nice, hot but what an amazing mover.

    1. i would love something like that (esp if it were a little bigger than isabel). actually the breeding program that produced her typically put out a lot of crosses (one of which went to rolex) and i think my dressage trainer is hoping to build a similar type program. would be very cool!

  5. yayy kitties! mine like to nap on the tractor too

    1. haha i thought it was pretty adorable. those pics have been floating around on my phone for weeks now so i finally found a reason to post them lol

  6. Food on the ground is a constant struggle for us. Tucker is basically a walking stomach. lol.

    1. yep, isabel too and i definitely spoil her rotten!!


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