Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thank You

Thanks everyone for all your kind comments on the Hug Your Horses post. However, I've decided to take the post down. It's something that (although very pertinent to the Chronicle of Cadence) is quite personal, and after some reflection not really something I feel comfortable sharing with the world. I'm so used to just putting everything up here that it feels strange to have something I don't want to share, which is why I finally sucked it up and posted it in the first place. However I've come to the conclusion that there are some things the whole world doesn't need to know, and that doesn't make this blog any less honest. I hope you all understand, and thanks again for all the kind words. They mean a lot to me :)

Thought I would end with a few quick pics from last week's jumping lesson:
Le warm-up
Le bending line
Le oxer

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bareback Jump Day

Not sure if I got around to blogging about it, but in late Jan I was on crutches for a while & took to riding bareback as I couldn't lift a saddle by myself. Cadence was a total superstar throughout that, and we basically did most of our normal dressage & a mini-version of our normal jump work bareback. She also handled being led, groomed, & mounted by scary crutch lady, while most of the other horses shrank from me in abject terror ;)
Unfortunately I didn't get any video or photographic evidence of this. However, after our (bareback) hack on Sat, I decided to pop the mare over a few small jumps and this time I DID get evidence! Behold, the tolerant nature of my mare:

Sunday, February 8, 2015

North Carolina Countdown: T-3 Days

We had our first jumping lesson since the Hyde Moffatt clinic in November today. The moral of the story- my horse is awesome, extremely ridable, & in really great shape... but I need to raise my expectations and consistently insist on a higher quality of work. I have an awful tendency to get complacent and be like "well, that's decent..." which inevitably leads to some harrier moments, as that's when Cadence decides to take the wheel instead. Anywho, all in all Miss Mare-Face was awesome & is in a great place right now for our trip down south.

I got my saddle back from the fitter last week, and he did a minor adjustment (free of charge! Love this guy) to my jumping saddle for me too. They'll do another fitting in the first week of March to make sure the flocking's settled properly, but the saddles both feel better already. Cadence also gets a massage Tuesday afternoon before we leave, and then come Wednesday afternoon we're off.  North Carolina, here we come!
SJ & dressage at the Carolina Horse Park back in 2013

Monday, February 2, 2015

Countdown to North Carolina: T-10

10 days left until we ditch the snow and take Miss Mare down to North Carolina for a week and a half! And when the view out my window looks like this:
I can't wait for a little bit of this:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Get Back- thoughts on bringing horses back after time off

*This post is set to the dulcet tones of the Beatles singing Get Back*

Jumping miss Cadence last weekend

Bringing a horse back from time off, wether it's due to illness/injury, or simply a vacation, seems to be one of those things most people skip over. I get  why- there's nothing particularly exciting about trotting in circles day in & day out. But how different people bring a horse back in to work, especially when the horse is sound and doesn't have to go through any rehab, seems to vary greatly not just between disciplines, but within them as well.

Ms. Chubby basking in the sunlight

I'm definitely a slow and steady wins the race kind of girl. Cadence had under two weeks off this winter, but I took a solid 3 weeks to bring her back. We spent a week lunging, slowly increasing the amount of time spent trotting and cantering, and adding side reins in at the end too. We then spent a week doing "light riding" and longe work, focusing on getting her hind end engaged and starting to work over her back a bit. We also popped over a baby x from the trot a few times. Then the next week, we started back to real dressage work & a little bit more jumping, focusing on keeping everything respectful & relaxed. Finally, this past week after about a months work, we had our first lesson back.
Strutting her stuff free-longing in the indoor
We moved barns shortly before Cadence's winter holiday started, & I'm pretty sure half the people at the new place thought I was nuts slowly plodding along as we did. However, one month out we're almost back to full strength, & I'd say we're leaps & bounds ahead of where we left off before our holiday. Could we have accomplished as much if I'd just thrown her back into nearly full work? She only had 2 weeks off, & probably could have handled it, but I like to look at the re-conditioning process as a chance to take your horse back to square 1. It's like you're restarting them from the ground up; you can fill in any gaps you find, correct any bad habits that may have cropped up, rebuild their muscling correctly, etc. and hopefully emerge from the process better than you left off.
She'd make such a pretty hunter! If only she was sane...and less blurry