Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow Days

This is the 5th snow day for my kids this year. I'm trying to remember if we had this many snow days when I was still in school. I'm sure there must have been some years similar to this but I sure can't remember them. Tomorrow we are supposed to be revisited by the Polar Vortex (cue music!). It shouldn't be as bad as the last one, though. Tomorrow the high is all the way up to 15 degrees! But, I still probably won't be making it out to the barn until Thursday, the earliest.

After our ride
I've gotten two rides in since our first lesson of the year. And one thing I forgot to mention that we've been working on is how I am practicing halts and half halts. A friend of mine suggested I try raising the rein instead of pulling back. And I've been trying that and I must say it has really been successful. When I pull back on the reins Loki responds by raising his head and resisting, when I raise my hands
and lift the reins Loki responds by dropping his head and slowing down and at times even rounding and bringing his hind end under him. (When I say lift it isn't some huge exaggeration of bringing my hands up but just being sure that the direction of the reins is up as well as back.) I don't mean to make it sound like we've magically found the key to all our problems but it IS making a difference. We're still a work in progress but his flatwork is really looking much nicer especially at the walk and the trot. We still have lots of work to do at the canter. (Also, I feel like this is probably one of those well duh things I should already know but for whatever reason it just clicked this time.)

My last ride we just did lots of canter to trot transitions in both directions. I think we have to start at just that basic level for now. I am asking for the transition, either up or down, then giving Loki time to get balanced and then asking for the transition again so it takes some time. Eventually I would like to be able to canter just a couple of strides and ask for the transition then trot for just a stride or two and transition again but we aren't there yet. And maybe we'll get all crazy and start working on walk to canter transitions. We just aren't there yet.

But, my sister was out and got to watch us a little bit and she said we were looking pretty fancy. Yay!

Also I have an updated *possible* show schedule:
  • Spring Bay, April 5th & 6th
  • Penny Oaks, May 3rd & 4th
  • Greater Dayton, May 17th & 18th
  • May Days, May 24th & 25th
That is as far as we are planning for now. I have no idea how many of these I'll actually be able to go to but these are the ones my trainer is going to. We are talking about possibly spending the week in Tennessee for the two Chattahoochee Horse trials that are back to back. That would be a lot of fun I think but it is way too early to know whether we'll be ready either physically or financially. I do hope this summer works out better than last, though!

12 comments:

  1. At least you're on the right continent now, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For sure! Truth be told, other than worrying about the animals, I am thoroughly enjoying this winter. :)

      Delete
  2. Yay for a lightbulb moment, don't undervalue the achievement of "cracking" something - every little helps. Might try that stopping thing myself when i get back on the train that is Nancy later in the week ;-) Here's hoping I remember & yay for blog-spiration! :)

    Cool show dates & a week in Tennessee sounds awesome, hope it all works out for you and can't wait to hear how ye get on & all the practice & training leading up to it! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay!

      It's funny how you can hear something hundreds of time and then one day it just clicks. Good luck with Nancy!

      Delete
  3. Like aoife says, every tiny moment of clarity adds to the bigger picture and sometimes we learn and relearn them over and over again!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm sure this summer will be better!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Where will you stay in Tennessee? And I'd say you're on the right track with lifting- clinton anderson or someone teaches that. If the horses raises his head, you raise your hands so that he learns he can't actually come above the bit by raising his hands. There was another big dressage rider who taught that you actually get the horse round and low by lifting your hands, not by putting them down and 'see-sawing' like people do. I find that's pretty true. Except now my hands are running away into the heavens so I'm going to have to get that under control ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trainer talked about just renting stalls at Chattahoochee hills for the week. My trainer really likes that place a lot apparently. If we don't go to both we are going to try and make it to at least one. We'll see how the season goes and how much money there is.

      So much of riding is about balance... too low, too high... too slow, too fast, etc, etc. Finding that right in-between can be so elusive. I'm confident you will get your hands under control in no time. :)

      Delete
  6. Woo hoo for possible show dates!

    ReplyDelete