Thursday, July 21, 2016

been around and everywhere

So I've basically been lost in the land of ponies lately. Well. Ponies and airplanes, if we're being honest haha. I'm on the road for most of this second half of the month. But when I *do* make it to the barn, it's all ponies all the time!

sometimes we do day trips to chicago tho. fuzzy blurry photo proof lol
It was HOT out last weekend (and will continue to be so through this weekend, blargh), so I went to the early early lesson at OF. Made even more convenient by asking to ride one of their schoolies again.

Noel says it's too hot and too early. can't pony.
Actually - I gotta admit, there's something to be said for acting the true amateur and just showing up to an already-saddled horse vs packing the trailers and hauling over and everything involved in that.

Obviously I believe there's more to riding than getting in and out of the saddle, and all the grooming and tacking and non-saddle time with horses is valuable and important to me... but damn. It's NICE to just show up and go, then pass the horse back over and leave afterward haha. (even if it was just to go back to Isabel's barn and do all the chores there... womp!)

Noel ears!
Anyway the lesson wasn't particularly different from when I rode this pony a couple weeks ago. Probably bc she's a basically finished pony (well, as finished as a pony mare can ever get haha) and you know what you're gonna get with her.

touching noses with her not-a-baby-anymore baby Nikki, another fancy fun schoolie at OF
She perhaps started off a little stiffer and tried again to say that she did not, in fact, know how to work.  And maybe even got a little mad lol. But not resistant.

no more pony pics, so take some boats in bangor!
But despite being mad that she had to work in the heat, she wasn't actually guarded. There's maybe some resistance in there, but it doesn't seem defensive or pissy or anything. Legitimately just stiffness. Like she's just totally honestly out of the habit of working. But will put forth the effort when she realizes I won't stop asking.

ducks are on the move!
The jumping was basically identical to my last ride with her. Except we maybe got there a little faster since I knew what to expect and how to go with her. We made our way through a couple grids, a few single jumps in warm up, a couple bending lines... A fun roll back where I actually got her to land the lead on landing.

Ya know. Just some basic, straight forward jumping. Exactly the type of jumping I need to keep building that confidence again.

the thing is legitimately making wake. must get bread crumbs!!!
Trainer P was pleased with the pony too. She's told me a lot about Noel's extreme one-sidedness and propensity for diving left then jumping right, with a not insignificant twist over the fences. I don't seem to notice it much tho, and actually down the grid (a one to two stride) Noel stayed quite straight (at least after the first fence haha).

P thinks it's bc she's been ridden almost exclusively by kids who couldn't truly get their legs down on her. Whereas, thanks to Dan lessons, my legs are basically on all the time, always and forever. So even if I'm not thinking specifically about correcting the drift (which I never really accomplished with Izzy either), Noel responded by straightening out anyway. She's just a good kinda pony like that.

ducks and ducklings!
We called it an early day all the same tho bc. Damn. It was hot. Fun tho, she's a good pony and it does me worlds of good to just get out there and bop around, focusing on myself and expecting the pony to hop to it (literally).

With my somewhat busy schedule these past and future couple weeks, Isabel has mostly been chillin in the field. Not the worst thing in the world for her. It's not like she's gonna forget anything, but maybe the break will be good for her.

dancing ducks lol
It does mean, tho, that she's not really in a state of fitness for any heavy-hitting lessons. The intensity of a Dan or dressage trainer C lesson doesn't quite seem fair for a pasture puff, esp if it ends up being her only ride a week.

So at least for the foreseeable future, I'm exploring other options to continue lessons that work on and improve me, while letting Izzy off the hook. And continuing the pony theme, I managed to have a little bit of a silly fun time over at C's last weekend too with our favorite little Welsh monster, Krimpet. Post to come haha.

Have you ever been in a position where you were seeking out different horses for lessons? Why? And how did you fill the gap - friends' horses? Schoolies? And did you love it? Or get sick of it and quickly switch back to your own horse?


40 comments:

  1. I happily ride other horses, but I get frustrated when I'm sharing. Last summer when Stinker was out of commission I appreciated every ride I got. Once he was back I enjoyed Pongo but I like my horse the best. A schoolie is always welcome but those are in limited supply. Most of my options I get because they are being brats

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    1. ha yea... the brats are fun in their own rights too lol. the pony i will write about next was supposed to fall into that category but actually surprised me!

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  2. I could really stand to hop on another horse for lessons while my own monster and I try to sort ourselves out, but there is no $$$ for that. So we're struggling along. But my confidence, and my fitness level, are shot. A nice canter on a willing schoolie would be awesome!

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    1. i'm sorry, that's really no fun at all :( i know far too much about how easy it is for confidence to break down like that. lmk if you ever wanna come meet isabel for that nice easy canter on a willing pony!

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  3. I have 4 horses right now, so at least I don't have to pay to ride new ones! Haha

    Would love to do more lessons but decent trainers (especially one with lesson horses!) are in short supply around here.

    I love those ducks!

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    1. lol those ducks meant BUSINESS haha! nice that you have so many horses to work with too - i have somewhat of the opposite problem: a whole bunch of trainers that i wish i could ride with all the time (currently totally 3.5, if that makes any sense lol) but not really feeling like my horse is fit for it (nor honestly having the time)

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  4. When Roger was on stall rest last summer (worst thing EVER, would not recommend), I was thankful for the random schoolie rides I got. However, I truly prefer to ride Roger these days. He and I are really growing into our partnership, we trust each other, and he's a really frickin fun horse! He's come such a long way in 15 months, and it's been really cool to see the progression and growth from a gangly 4-year old OTTB to a not-so-green-anymore 6-year old OTTB who thinks jumping is the best day of his life. Trainer will have me hack out other schoolies here and there, but Roger is my main man :)

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    1. Side note: Chicago is one of my favorite cities, hope you enjoyed it!

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    2. Aw I'm glad things are going so well with Roger! Can definitely see why you would want to ride him all the time rather than most other horses! And thanks - Chicago is fun tho I didn't have much time to see anything this trip. Just in and out for a brief presentation. Kinda a wild commute actually lol

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  5. I will jump at the chance to ride something different, as difficult as it is for me to adjust to a new ride! It's good for me as a rider, and I don't get the chance often. But at the end of the day, riding my own pony is like putting on my favorite pair of perfectly worn-in jeans. It may not always be the most stylish choice, but damn it's comfortable!

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    1. I definitely love reading about your different rides on Sully etc - and it has whetted my appetite to try other horses!

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  6. Glad you're not dead. Everytime you disappear for a few days we all start wondering. There needs to be some kind of Emma check-in when you're gone for more than 2 days.

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    1. or maybe one of those life alert thingys?!?

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    2. Yes, definitely life alert. EMMA HAS FALLEN AND SHE CAN'T GET UP!

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    3. omg if i fall down and break my leg again or something like that i PROMISE you will hear from me lol. LOUDLY. ugh haha

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  7. Aw you guys are sweet. I really didn't mean to miss so much blog time (and am furiously trying to catch up on everyone's posts!!) but damn. My time just got ate up lol. Will be more careful to indicate a status of "not dead yet" ;)

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  8. I'm really bad about sharing (it must be the only child syndrome) so I much prefer to ride my own horse. I also had confidence issues for a while, which Boca solved, so I used to not want to ride anything else, because I knew I could trust Boca.

    Having said that, when he was off for 4 weeks in June due to lameness, I was going mental. My friend offered to let me hack her OTTB around our farm. It benefitted both of us, because she isn't comfortable outside the ring and her boy could use a change of scenery. It literally saved my sanity, I think :)

    Also, I miss your posts and your horsey adventures!

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    1. i *definitely* don't share well either haha. somehow tho it's different when it's just some random horse. i don't feel as connected or possessive or whatever, so i don't mind comin in for a random ride. but yea i still know what you mean! tho it's awesome your friends were able to get you on a horse while Boca recovered :)

      and thanks - more horsey posts and adventures will be forthcoming soon! just need to sit my ass down and write lol (and. ya know. get out for some adventures too lol)

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  9. When I was at a hunter barn, I often got the chance to ride other horses, which was good for me. Now that I'm in eventer-land, that is just not an option. So the pony learns from someone else during the week and teaches me on the weekend. Works for us.

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    1. that definitely seems like a viable solution to me! tho i'd agree - it does seem more common that hunter riders switch it up more often than eventers. idk if that's a function of competition styles (for instance, you see a lot of hunters switching horses etc esp in the IHSA type shows, but also more advanced tests) or a function of how dressage goes or what. but i definitely ride fewer horses as an eventer than i did as a hunter!

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  10. I have often fantasized about taking lessons on a rock solid horse, just to feel what totally safe feels like but always was too busy and broke working/training/lessoning with my greenies. Even as a kid, I was on my own to train my pony and then horse who were both not well trained to start with. It would be interesting to work on just me in a lesson instead of me AND training the horse at the same time.

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    1. there's something to be said for riding both trained and green horses. i honestly enjoy both, and for slightly different reasons.

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  11. Ooo Krimpet! Your travel schedule sounds exhausting, and I am glad you are able to sneak in the occasional lesson, especially on other ponies. I think this is great for right now :) hopefully things suss out to more of what you truly want in the future

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    1. thanks, and agreed. right now lessoning on other horses just feels right and is working for me :)

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  12. I can lesson on my guy (Da Bird) or on kindly packer mare at the (small) lesson barn. I learn on either... but it's easier for me to work on my own stuff with KPM because on Bird, I'm busy working on his stuff. Also KPM will sort of fix jump approaches for me so that I can work on my jump form. She's definitely a confidence builder.

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    1. agreed completely - some things are easier to fix on horses not our own!

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  13. That little pony is so cute. I want to squeeze her. I don't really have any options other than my own horses at this time. I could probably borrow a fellow boarder's horse, but she's western so it wouldn't do much for me. We've had three horses for a while now with the idea that one will be broken at any given time and we just ride the other 2.

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    1. she is very squeeeeeeezable!!! so squeeezy! but yea i hear ya on not feeling like there are many options. that's a little bit how it is at isabel's farm - tho there are some.

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  14. After spending some quality time with bf before he leaves (today) for three weeks I'm back to pony time 24/7 and excited to get my fav ponies back in shape

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  15. Oh this one is tough. I know it's good for me to get on lots of different horses. As a working ammy, I also know it's high risk and if I get hurt, it's going to be on my own damn horse. I should be better about pursuing some catch rides and taking lessons on other horses, but I only have so much time and energy and I like my horse.

    Whatever. Wasn't going to the olympics anyways.

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    1. lol yea the olympics committee has called me either... such a shame, they don't know what they're missing out on!

      seriously tho, i hear you on just preferring riding your own horse with limited time and energy. i've felt that way for most of the last couple years but suddenly that mood is shifting. funny how that works!

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  16. Due to my height there actually isn't a lesson horse at my barn I could ride and since I usually have at least one horse in action and have the other one to doctor when he isn't working it's hard to fit in another horse. That said when D was injured I had a great time riding Willow for a few months. I love the opportunity to ride other (safe) horses but sadly my time is quite limited.

    PS If your work ever brings you near Detroit(the nearest big airport to me) let me know!

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    1. oh man, i just connected through detroit this morning!! well, now i know. it's such a big airport i'm sure i'll be back through again and will definitely let you know!

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  17. I really like riding my own horses, but I have found a few lesson horses that I click with and learn from. I have recently been offered the ride on some greener horses and I'm with SB - not worth the risk.

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    1. yea i hear ya. it's nice to ride horses we work well with!

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  18. Riding made horses is so enjoyable...and a newer thing to my life. It doesn't happen often, but slipping in the occasional ride on a really kickass animal (like Pig) teaches me so much and then I take it back to my two.

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