Showing posts with label training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label training. Show all posts

Monday, February 15, 2016

Blog Hop: Training Excercise of Death

I have one dreaded excercise when it comes to dressage (or riding in general): turns on the forehand.

That moment when you ask for a turn on the forehand and your horse finds attempting to piaffe backwards easier. I can't even blame her, it sounds easier to me too.

Yes, I understand the purpose and how to ride them and how a correctly done turn on the forehand should feel. That doesn't make them any easier or enjoyable to me. I try and do them a lot with in-hand work and Indy understands them from the ground. In the saddle it's a completely different story and absolutely the best way to piss her off. They're getting better and help with the rest of our ride IF we can get them right. I still don't get any enjoyment out of doing them. 

So what are the excercises you would prefer to avoid in your lessons and daily riding? I'd love to hear about them.

Friday, December 4, 2015

November Ramblings

Key- Shapes in the left hand corner are days that I rode. I'm using the vet symbol for lessons. The ribbons are shows. I haven't quite figured out what combo of symbols to use for clinics yet. The app I am using is okay, but has a lot of room for improvement.


11/1-Arrived home late in the evening from our trip to the Breeder's Cup sick.

We flew in and out of Louisville because it was way cheaper than flying to Lexington. Can you see Churchill Downs in the picture? Seeing it made me want to go to the Derby again.

11/2-11/7- Full-fledged death flu. Every time I fly, I pick up some form of illness. EVERY. TIME.

11/8- Wherein I drug my sick self out to the barn because I had a show coming up. Indy rewarded me for her nice vacation by having a tantrum and acting like she was going to throw herself on the ground. Over walk/halt, halt/walk transitions. 

11/9- Repeat of the day before.

11/10- A much needed lesson. After the previous two days, I had abandoned all hope that it would go well. Indy suddenly decided to act all angelic right after I told my trainer how big of a hag she had been for the previous two rides. 

11/12- Another lesson, this time in the arena on the hill, where Indy decided to behave.

11/13- Indy had filling in her left ankle, but was sound on it. We had a very light, quick ride.

11/14- Her first show. Not great, but not a disaster. She was calm and behaved for the most part.

My trainer taking pics because getting Indy to that first show took a hell of a lot of time and effort.

11/15-11/18- I didn't ride in hopes that the flu from Hell would finally go away.

11/19- Another lesson. I didn't lunge and Indy was fresh from the four days off, but settled down fairly quick for her. We ended up having another good lesson.

11/20-11/21- Two more good rides.

11/23-11/24-Two VERY good rides.

11/25-The lesson where Indy tried to buck me off.

11/27-An okay ride.

11/28-Light ride.

11/29-Tracey Lert Clinic. No serious mishaps, learned a lot. Loved riding with her (post coming soon)!

If you take out the days I was sick, I actually rode 15/20 days and Indy only had one day off between rides otherwise. Obviously, 15 rides a month isn't going to be enough, but I'll give myself a pass considering the ten days that I felt like I was dying. I would have liked to have gotten a lesson or two more in, four of them still helped a lot though. Add the show and the clinic to those and this turned out to be a pretty good month when it comes to learning.

I liked the three days of being ridden/one day off schedule for Indy. For the most part, it seemed to work well.

This is Aggie, one of the horses in training at the track, who Indy seems to be the dressage version of. Aggie ended up being worth all of the extra time and effort, hopefully Indy will too. 

Plans for December riding-

I'd like to get on a four days on, one off, three days on, one off schedule since she is getting more fit and stronger. There are no shows or clinics that I know of yet, so I'm going to try to get as many lessons in as possible.

Indy is getting laser therapy and a chiro adjustment on Saturday. We will do thermal imaging too, so it will be interesting to see what that shows. 

On Sunday, she has a Portraiture session that I'm super excited about! I was going to body clip her, but she is already starting to shed out and one of my rules is to never body clip after they start shedding because it always seems to make their coats look nasty once it starts growing again. Of course I would own an elephant that hairs up in 100°+ weather in September and starts shedding when the low gets down to 35° in December.

What's it like to have a normal, predictable horse? I've forgotten.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Why My Horse Isn't In Full Training

Another of my trainer's students and I were talking the other day about how our trainer is one of the few (at least in our area) that doesn't insist on having your horse in training. There are a lot of trainers out there these days that require the horses in their barn to be in full or, or at least, partial training. I guess that I can understand their reasoning, though some seem to push it just a bit too far. That's fine for some people, but what about those that want to *gasp* ride their own horses several times a week?

A trainer requiring full training would never work for me right now, though I might be able to tolerate partial, and here is why:

1. I need tools for the future. I'm most likely never going to be able to afford a "made" horse. There could be times that I don't have access to a trainer at all. Therefore I have to learn to be able to ride and teach difficult horses like Indy, just in case I ever end up with another knothead like her again. No, I have no desire to train other people's horses. I would still like to be able to train my own at least half way decently though.

Fall of her 2 year old year.

2. My trainer has never said that she needs to ride my horse for me. If she thought that I couldn't handle Indy, she'd be the first to tell me that something needed to change. My trainer is the one that gave me the confidence I needed in my ability to ride my horse through the hard times. If she thinks I can do it, I can. If she told me that she needed to ride Indy for awhile and I needed to not, I trust her and that is the direction we would go.
She hasn't.

3. I enjoy the process. Okay, maybe not every single day, but as a whole. When Indy and I have a breakthrough, I take a lot of pride in it because I worked so hard for it. Watching my trainer get my horse to do things that I can't yet just isn't as fulfilling to me. Indy's training might come along much slower because of this, but that doesn't bother me.

She was so damn cute!

4. I need to believe in myself. Riding Indy through the difficult stuff builds my confidence. A person can never be a good rider if they aren't confident. 

5. I give too much up to be able to ride. The fiancé and I sacrifice a lot so that I can ride my horses. I don't mind at all, yet I'd rather not give those things up just to sit and watch my horse be ridden and shown by my trainer if it isn't necessary. Saddle time is important for my health and happiness.

6. Learning is fun. I'd rather gain knowledge along with my horse. Climbing on Indy after she gets  over all of her issues won't teach me nearly as much.

7. I'm not independently wealthy. While I could probably scrape together the money for full training, it would definitely make things really tight. I wouldn't have much money for lessons and only being able to take one a month would suck!

Spring of her two year old year.

8. I'm not scared of my horse. Not that there hasn't been those "Please God, don't let me die!" moments, yet I've lived through them all. It took a long time to trust that Indy isn't going to do anything extremely nasty, but I've learned to stay relaxed and ride her through it when she is tense or misbehaving. If I were really scared of her, she would go straight into full training.

9. My tendency to take the hard road. It would probably make life much easier to just have my trainer do all of the hard work. I've never been one for the easy route though.

10. I enjoy riding my horse. Once again, not every single time, but as a whole. I'm lucky to have horses to ride at all and I feel that I need to take advantage of that whenever possible.

I'm certainly not against it when necessary and I've put a horse in full training before. I'd do it with Indy if she was throwing stuff at me that I couldn't handle. There's nothing wrong with a person's trainer riding their horse at all, it just depends on the owner's capabilities and wants. At this point, I just want to enjoy as much time on my horse's back as possible. That doesn't mean I'd be opposed to an occasional trainer ride, but I would like to do as much of the work as I can myself for now. Is that so bad?

What do you guys think about having your horse be required to be in partial or full training?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Track love

First thing, Equestrian Journey has done a great list of her favorite blogs. Check her awesome blog out!

I don't really talk about the mornings at the track that much. The best explanation I can come up with of why I love racing and why I can't imagine ever being away from it can't be really be told in words. My favorite part about the mornings at the track is watching the horses train. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a horse running. The athleticism and heart of these animals is absolutely amazing! So, here are all of the reasons I love it summed up in a few videos.

Gigantor aka Sandy and Woody blowing out down the lane.

Look at the stride on Gigantor! Woody is a good sized, long striding horse. Sandy makes him look little. One of the things that sold me on her when we claimed her was the length of her stride. A person can do a lot with a horse that covers the ground like that. In theory anyways. We'll see. There's a few minor physical things to fix on her still, but we'll get there. And Woody, I'll always love that horse. I will also always have faith in his ability, no matter what. The talent is there.

Gigantor jogging back. She seems pretty proud of herself.

So, hopefully this gives you an idea of why I am so drawn to racing. It's the feeling that a running horse gives me. The work that the man and I put into them.  The pride when they do well. That feeling is absolutely everything.

*Bonus-Cute little kid riding ex-racehorse/pony-horse Gunner

He wasn't quite comfortable riding alone yet, so Ty rode with him. The kid got the whole steering thing down pretty well! Gunner was awesome, other than the one time he pulled the reins out of his hands to eat grass.

The kid's victory dance :)

So cute!

Good boy, Gunner!


Gone. Wherein, I had to walk over and save them both.

Gunner with his stolen, quick bite of grass. He was pretty proud of himself for sneaking that in.