Monday, March 23, 2015

Exciting/ Not-So-Exciting

Three-legged horse?
Things are both exciting and not-so-exciting right now. First off, I got a promotion at work and I'm changing jobs - so that's exciting! It's also a little scary, because until we get someone to replace me in my old position, I essentially have to do both jobs at once. It's gonna be great! (I hope my sarcasm is evident there.) In the realm of not-so-exciting, there was a conference this past week relating to my new position that just so happened to be in Boston so I was pretty busy with that Tuesday through Friday - meaning I didn't get off the train until around 7:30 each evening, so no riding. Sad face. 

I did get fed pretty well at the conference, though.

Maggie therefore got 5 whole days off, so when Saturday rolled around I was really eager to tack her up and go for a ride. I decided to jump because why not? I was certain Maggie would need to burn some energy, so I figured I'd channel it into jumping rather than a potentially unproductive dressage ride. I tied her reins up and lunged her for a minute first; she cantered and got a few bucks out, so I figured we were good and then I let her loose (with the reins still tied up) while I set some jumps. Usually Maggie follows me around and "helps" as I set jumps, but apparently she wasn't actually done being a crazy-face so she proceeded to gallop up and down the long side while I finished setting jumps. So she warmed herself up pretty good.

I walked her around a good bit to let her catch her breath, and then we started jumping. She was keen to jump everything I set up which included a baby cross rail and two 2'3" verticals. I think it's sad how 2'3" still looks kind of big to me...though I'm certainly getting more comfortable with it and I think I'll be much more comfortable with at the start of this show season compared to the start of last show season. Maggie never hesitated at all despite my inability to get her to a good distance consistently at the verticals. I had my friend film our last pass through all the jumps:

I was initially disappointed because I though that this last pass through was kind of a hot mess, and maybe it is, but I don't think it looks as bad on film as it felt. After my friend turned the camera off she said it looked like I was pulling on her before the jumps. I kind of dismissed the comment initially because I felt like we were rushing at the jumps and I was doing my best to control her pace. Looking at the video now though, I don't think it appears that we were really rushing. I think it looks like a decent pace, and perhaps I just need to get out of her way! Of course, balance and getting good distances are still something to work on. A lot.

Sunday we had a pretty nice dressage ride with nothing really all that notable. As predicated, she was very well-behaved after the Saturday's jumping session. I tried working on walk/trot transitions which were 'meh'. We did get some pretty good trot/canter transitions though, and in the downward direction especially I noticed that she's staying rounder in the bridle instead of throwing her head up at the first trot step - hurray for a little progress there!

I think our leg yields are getting better after all the bending/ counter-bending practice, particularly now that I can feel her listening to my individual seat bones. Sometimes I think I really can feel her legs cross over, whereas I just kind of felt her shuffling sideways before. I had another friend video us before she left the arena:

Not sure if Maggie was getting tired or what, but it felt like a hot mess again. I certainly didn't feel her really crossing over like I sometimes do. Also, she wasn't giving me a very nice trot at all as I was trying to set her up for it. I think she had decided she was probably done at that point. Oh well...

So that was my horse-less week and my slightly more horsey weekend. Dressage lesson scheduled for Tuesday evening!


  1. yay promotions!! and yay jumping!!! i say this a lot - but i feel like we have super similar riding struggles right now haha. i know *exactly* what you mean about feeling like you were trying to control the rush, then looking at video and thinking, hrm, maybe not?

    my mare feels rushy when she gets flat and strung out (and builds to the fences), so i need to get her 'bouncier' - like the front end is light weight compared to the hind. except - usually i just pull instead and we kinda splat over the fences... ehhh it's a work in progress?

    in any case - you guys look great and Maggie looks like she could eat those jumps for breakfast :)

    1. Thanks! Yes, lol I'm starting to think we are actually the same person! That bouncier canter is exactly what I need to find - maybe it's not that we're going too fast...just that we need to feel more balanced and have more impulsion.