Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Weekend of Riding

Tacking Up
OK, I did other things, too... like took the dog to Petsmart, completed homework, rented two movies (which never happens), cleaned up around the house, and raked the whole yard (Chris did most), BUT I ACTUALLY rode both days of the weekend for once! I decided against the combined event at the farm, but instead, I went trail riding with a friend. We went back to the same place where the hunter pace was. It was a bit foggy in the morning and it rained a bit, but it ended up being a decent day to ride less the dampness that made it feel colder than it was. The ride was great, but there were a few spots that were a bit mucky and slippery due to the rain. We rode about 8 miles in two-hours and it was great to get out. Spyder was an angel (and wasn't ridden for a week), and the two got along nicely!

One of the wider trails
I got up early to ride on Sunday because it was set to be almost 70! I think it got up to about 60 during my ride, and Spyder had a little bit of a sweat going for once. We rode about an hour with w/t to warm up (after we went up and down the long side of the track with me in two-point... ouch!) and moved to canter with a crop. Man is my life easier just holding it! We had two kicking out episodes which were controllable with the smack of the crop, and it seemed that he was more responsive throughout the ride because of it... take that! We moved to jumping, and it was decent (except he hit his toe once). We started with just an x-rail turning left then taking the same x-rail and turning right. It's AMAZING thinking back to when we could hardly steer. Now, we're steering over jumps... I'd say it's a plus! From that jump, we kept going right to go over a small vertical - from there, we went left, then right. We added a third jump - right over x-rail, left over vertical, small white fence. We took this jump to the left, and so there was a fourth added that was in that direction the next time around. X-rail, vertical, fence, brush box thing. We weren't all that straight going to the brush box so we went over that a few more times until it was nice. Finally, some jumping!

I am almost positive that I'm going to school xc in Maryland this coming weekend, and I am both excited and nervous being that we haven't done many xc jumps yet. They have elementary jumps so we'll start there, but the facility is beautiful in itself to even work on water and banks if all else fails. Oh, and I finally snapped a photo of the stall name plaque that Chris's dad made me for Christmas last year. We stopped by the farm with the pup and Chris put it up for me. It looks great on his stall!

Following the leader

New name sign

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What the Heck?

What have I been up to? I don't even know sometimes. After the wedding, I just wanted to relax a bit. I was riding a lot when the weather was good and fall hit. It's been cold (for me, anything below 60 is cold), and this end of daylight savings doesn't make it better. It's dark before I even leave work, and I haven't adjusted well to the cold. Once I get to the farm, I'm fine, but it takes a lot for me to get there. I am going to have to use the lights like I did last year to get me through winter and the weekends better be nice! Hopefully I can get days to work from home and break up my day with some time outside (and with sunlight) to keep my sanity.

When he was a lot smaller in foster care.
We also got a dog/puppy! We adopted one that is about 6 months old, and he's a ton of fun. I get up early in the morning to get him fed and get him out so I've been getting a lot accomplished in the morning. I was riding before work some days last year, but this year, it's not an option with "morning dog duty." We have no idea what Kaiden is, but your guess is as good as ours. He's a great dog with all of the smarts and personality. I can see some terrier, they said hound mix, either way, he's just fun so we'll go with that for a breed.

On top of the dog, I started my second grad course. It's a great program, but it's so rushed with classes being 8 weeks. Right now, I'm on week 4, and it does not feel like I'm half way there because it flies by. My next course begins in March so I'm hoping that I don't feel the winter depression and "boredom" with a break in class. Skiing is set to keep my busy for yet another winter. I don't really enjoy it beyond getting me through winter, but it really does help pass the time. I say that because I don't have an urge to get out on a mountain in the summer like most people that love the sport would. Between the puppy, Spyder, and the pool, I can't wait for summer!
Yes, he chose to sleep right here. He's so cuddly.
Back to horses, I got back on last week and Spyder was decent w/t, but I was worried to canter and totally out of shape from not getting on since I had fallen. I was pretty sore for about 3 days, but my chiropractor appointment couldn't have already been scheduled at a better time. It was mainly my neck hurting from hitting my head, and it still is a bit stiff. The trot was consistent so I was pushing into a faster speed going straight and taking corners in a slower and collected trot by slowing my post. He needs to get speeds that I control vs. speeds he decides to set.

I got on Saturday this past weekend and decided to give the canter a go. I got a few kicking out fits, but we worked through it, (or I got very lucky) and they stopped. I didn't push too hard because we always end up having to work through something even worse than where we were. I trotted around the field and then went into the dressage ring to end the ride practicing the Intro A test to see if I could remember it. I think I did?

Today, it snowed/flurried for a bit, and it's just damp, dark, and cold! I wanted to ride since I try to get out there on Tuesdays, but I'll have to pick another night this week to get on in the dark and hope it warms up. This weekend looks beautiful so I plan on riding both days, if possible. Both days means I'll get out there one, but it'll be worth it since it looks mid to upper 50's for a change. There is a combined test (show jumping and dressage) with an optional cross country course at the farm this weekend. I'm not thinking I'm going to do it since I won't get to practice much which is a total bummer. If you couldn't tell by this post, the lack of riding is really bumming me out, and I worry that the canter isn't going to come along because it just doesn't seem to be working. Sigh, bring back warmth and sun.