Thursday, January 29, 2015

Winter Whine

"Bits and response time in the real world of cross country galloping and jumping----
There are realists and theorists in this world, and the theorists will look you right in the eye, and declare, with all the fervor of an evangelist, that every horse, properly trained and ridden, should be light and obedient in a plain snaffle.
To which I would respond, "Here, Sonny, are the reins to old Thunderball. There is the cross country course. Please demonstrate your theories in real time."
(And see if you can get him to make out the life insurance policy in your name before he leaves the starting box.)
Because this is a war zone, not a dressage arena, and the rules and theories which apply in one are not always the same when blood runs high, teeth are bared, and the adrenaline is pumping.
Use a bit that damn well works, when you sit up and say, "Whoah, nice horsie" would be my advice.
Or have a wreck, whatever floats your boat." ~Denny Emmerson
Gotta love Denny! lol. I don't agree 100% with everything he posts but probably about 99% and his facebook posts are always interesting and often funny.
Random, cute puppy pic. Pixel does not know she is supposed to be a cold loving dog!
I'm sort of in a plateau of sorts with Loki right now. We are stuck in the indoor because of the weather and our indoor is just too small for jumping. You could set one or maybe two jumps up if you really wanted but really there just isn't enough room to do much. So we plod along working on the same things it feels like we've been working on forever. Mainly engage your hiney and get off my dang hands/your forehand! But, so much improvement even if it isn't perfect. We've been working on shoulder ins and some other simple lateral movements and Loki is starting to really loosen up a bit.

Loki trying out his new blanket.
I always start our rides just walking around on a loose ring and at least while in the arena I can steer Loki all over the place without once touching the reins. I'm still working on stopping without the reins, though. I have a feeling that might not be something he ever gets. Stop just doesn't seem to really be in his vocabulary. But honestly after about 25 minutes I start to get bored and think I really don't know what else to work on. We've also been trying to do lots of transitions including walk to canter transitions to continue to work on his engagement but it all does start to get stale after a while.

We do try to hack out when the ground/weather isn't too bad. The last time we did Loki acted like he hadn't seen open trail in eons and did this fun canter buck move for about a third of the ride. I know he is as bored as I am and I do try to vary our routine but dang I can't wait for spring to get here!

What are you guys doing to alleviate the winter duldrums?


  1. I am in the winter duldrums boat too with a lame-ish horse right now. So mostly I have been drinking boxes of wine with my friends haha :)

  2. Connor had that blanket last year and I loved it. He did eventually rip it to shreds by rubbing against the wire fence, but it took him about 5 months of wearing it daily. We are surviving the winter doldrums by not having a saddle for 10 weeks and being lazy. :)

  3. lol that denny emerson quote is funny (and strikes me as very true lol)... and yea i'm only surviving the winter by hauling out to other arenas big enough for the fun stuff (but also lots and lots of flat work bc yea... boring tho it may be it's so important...). good luck and hopefully better weather is coming soon!

  4. I'm feeling blah too but am just thankful on days that I can ride. No indoor is frustrating when it's raining so much!