Thursday, June 9, 2016

what we're up to

I'm so glad you all enjoyed Amelia's post yesterday! Honestly I wasn't sure if she would even agree to write the post (THANK YOU AGAIN!!!), but it's such a compelling story! And exactly the kind of story that reminds me why we slog through this whole adult ammy thing, all the ups and downs, etc. Bc dammit, we love these horses and it feels like a fairy tale when things finally come together. Call me corny if you want!

There may have also been ulterior motives too... That whole discussion of the work we put into our horses, and the rewards we hope to reap (in this case, a happy sound horse returned to competition) is exactly the type of stuff I love to write about here. And exactly the content I have none of right now. Le sigh.

I'd be lying if I said that the current state of my riding affairs isn't disappointing. It is what it is tho and forward is the only answer.

chestnut on the left *mauled* me coming in for breakfast when the dark bay got too close. but after breakfast? they're back to being BFFs. fucking horses. 
I've been sticking to the lesson routine when possible. You already read about the last couple weeks of jump lessons at OF. There was another dressage lesson with C somewhere in there too that I never wrote about but that went just fine. Dan has been out of town or competing since the training ride he put on the mare, so no updates there.

finally conquered the goblins in this field
Mostly we're just schooling at home. And it's been fine. I've been avoiding the arenas bc of... well, footing problems. Luckily the barn has a solid game plan for fixing and redoing the whole shebang... it's just going to take a little time. So until then, we make do elsewhere.

Doubly luckily, Isabel has finally proved that she can school in our nice big upper field like a normal goddamn horse. Long time readers may recall that I've mentioned offhandedly that this field is haunted or something. We've basically never been able to accomplish anything other than a borderline-out-of-control hand gallop up there.

Now, tho? Isabel will actually put in an honest flat school. Good mare. Even if our "flat schools" mostly consist of our approximation of stretchy work at all three gaits in an attempt to build back strength lol. Not very flashy but hopefully maybe productive?

so green it practically looks tropical!
We usually only get about 10-15min in before throwing in the towel and hitting the trails instead anyway. Not because Isabel is bad - on the contrary, she's been very good. I just feel slightly aimless or directionless and don't really know where to go with it.

Trails are cool tho. They make me feel like we did something. And Isabel enjoys it. We like zipping along the fence lines and she especially likes stopping every five steps for another mouthful of grass (I dutifully reached up to undo the flash on our last ride as it was clearly impeding her progress.... maybe I should just ditch the schooling altogether and only ride in the snackamore?).

friends?
I shouldn't complain. The rides have been nice, and perfectly suit my slightly erratic schedule. We're averaging about every other day. Sometimes more, often less. In that sense it's nice not having any pressure from a competition schedule to make me freak out about not getting enough schooling and/or conditioning in...

or foes?
But it's still frustrating. What else can I say but that I love showing? I love working toward dates on the calendar, toward goals. Building and progress and fulfillment and all that.

As it is tho, one nice jump school is not enough to erase the memory of three shitastic and miserable shows in a row. Oh well.

more horse statues!
So we will keep plugging along as we are. Catching lessons when possible and otherwise just enjoying the rides. Who said boring was bad?

35 comments:

  1. I'm glad that you are enjoying things even if it isn't your typical schedule.

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  2. We're joining you in stretchy flat work! I'll write about it if I ever get a chance to. I know what you mean about aimless riding - I find myself very directionless if I'm not actively working towards a goal. Life becomes a bit sad at that point... Glad you're on your way to having fun again though! BTW, Penn wants his own snackamore- I trail rode the other day with zero noseband or mouth opening inhibitors and he was like nom nom nom and super happy when we walked through the uncut hay fields!

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  3. Love stretchy flatwork! I also love trails. Sometimes two weeks of trails will reset everyone and yawl can come back better than ever

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  4. Are there any hunter paces you can aim for? No boring dressage and no shitacular stadium there!

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    1. This is a super good idea. Hunter paces are loads of fun and you get ribbons at the end if you're lucky!

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    2. yea i mean we actually did one a couple weeks ago and it was super fun and all, lots of galloping and leaping over logs etc etc, and isabel was the perfect steady eddie babysitter for the 4yr old ottb we were with's first outing, xc experience and galloping off the track... (no ribbons tho bc we were WAY TOO FAST lol)

      but like. guys. i like eventing. i like dressage and stadium. i want to do those things. running through the xc flags after completing an event is maybe my happiest place and isn't easily replaced by glorified trail rides...

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    3. Try a limited distance ride then! (25-35 miles; you get 5-6 hrs to complete). It's a lot more than just a glorified trail ride, it's good cross training, and I think both of you are at a great place fitness-wise to pull it off without problems. :)

      But I completely understand: it's not the sport you adore.

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    4. i have no doubt that an LD endurance ride would be so so so fun with isabel. she's a real pleasure on the trails (tho i am not totally convinced she's that fit right now haha) and i have a lot of respect for distance riders and their horses. like you say tho, it's not my sport, it's not where my heart is.

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    5. I get it. Really, I do. As much as anything more than a crossrail is grounds for a meltdown right now, I really, really, really miss going around a cross country course and the feeling of finishing an entire HT.

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    6. yup.... ugh. solidarity.

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  5. I hope that a little bit of boring helps reset you guys back to you awesome selves.

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  6. Yes. Trying to train without a date on the callender is just impossible for me. Working on a specific thing, for a specific thing? My happy place.

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  7. Based on where you are now, it sounds like building those back muscles through 10-15 minutes of stretchy work is exactly what Isabel needs right now anyway. And there's something to be said about making sure the horse is having fun too, so maybe a mini vacation with lots of trail riding will fix her whole attitude?

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  8. Man, if I went out trails that lush I'm SURE Cosmo would be game. I still don't think we'd get very far.....but for more green reasons :0)

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    1. haha i'm sure he would love it! and would probably leave a trail of slobber everywhere lol

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  9. I'm very much struggling here too! Without a horse or a plan, my lessons seem so random to me. Where's the goal? When's the show? Ugh. Tough. :(

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  10. Hopefully this boring bit will be the re-set you both need to come out again swinging later in the season :)

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  11. Agree with Alli. Hopefully this period of boring will soon pass. I'm hoping you'll find your lessons just get better and better and then bam! You're back! Strengthening her up during this time is a great mini-goal as well. Yes, a boring one, but it'll help you get back to between those flags :)

    And depending if I totally lose my nerve at the show this weekend (still a distinct possibility), you can come ride Duke for me in our next event at the end of June! :D

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    1. lol you guys are gonna be great this weekend :)

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  12. Wheeeeeee borinbg land. I'm doing it too. I can see the grown-up benefits of it, but it's pretty disappointing right now. Eh well.

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  13. Trails are fun. You need to have fun right now or it's just not worth it. But I do get what you mean about wanting to be able to do eventing. And I'm with you, if I don't have a thing to train for, I ride for like 15 minutes and then go wander the trails. Sometimes, you need a direction to go in.

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    1. well... the problem with saying 'you have to have fun or else it isn't worth it' is that we WERE having fun. if you don't believe me, go watch the helmet cam videos from loch moy in april or fair hill in may. everything was great, except for those dirty stops that first started happening last march. so now we can't do the fun things until the stopping problem is fixed. trails are cool, sure, but they hardly compare. they're the potatoes to the meat i crave. and they certainly don't do anything to address the root issue.

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  14. I know the feeling all too well, since my entire ride year went down the pipes right at the start of the season. It's feels pretty much like being gutted being unable to do what you crave to do...I've tried to ride other horses and satisfy myself with meandering trail rides but nothing compares to doing what you love to do.

    It was a lot of aimless-ness before I felt a small fire kindle in me again to dream about rides for next year. I hope you find your spark again soon...

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    1. i especially feel your plight since that's basically how i felt after breaking my leg. getting sidelined by injuries definitely sucks!

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  15. I know its frustrating but I have faith that you will get there quicker than you think!

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  16. I know exactly what you mean about the "hmmm where do i go from here" - I've been victim to it and it's even more difficult when you don't want to overdo it with a horse that is already having issues. It's such a delicate balance ,but I think you are doing it well!

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  17. Valleys and peaks. The valleys always seem longer and the slide down happens so fast, and the climb back up is hard and long. BUT you'll get there -- I know you will.

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  18. Boring-uneventful is good, but alas it sounds that is not quite the boring you have :( Thinking of you and here's hoping that things get back to concrete goals and planning and training for you soon.

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  19. I totally feel you on the boring part. I'm schooling first level but I'm sad I'm not showing this year

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  20. Sometimes boring is exactly what you need!

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