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Showing posts from August, 2018

Learning Sierra: Tension Breeds Tension

I decided to go out on a whim and bomb through some Training Level Tests on Sierra for our Sport Horse Club's Online Dressage Show.  As the president and founder, we've been running Online Dressage Shows since July.  They're a great fundraiser for our club, plus riders are eligible for High Point awards! I had only ridden 2  times since we got home from Vacation, bringing my total rides to a whopping 3 in the past 7 weeks.  On top of that, I haven't ever practiced most of the movements required for the Training Level Tests; heck we've never ridden a corner, centerline or halt to trot transition.. and I took Sierra's general good nature and willingness for granted and completely dropped the ball... but if at first you don't succeed - try, try again... right? I developed a fairly bad cold on Monday, but had previously arranged with friends/boarders to ride tests on Wednesday; before the impending week of rain.. so despite staying home from work on Tue

Janine Little Clinic

Last weekend I had the privileged of heading to the city and auditing the Janine Little Dressage Clinic for a few hours.  I had desperately wanted to ride in this clinic, but between the financial strain encompassing my life plus having just got back from a nearly 3 week Vacation, I didn't feel it was right or fair to go and expect it of Sierra.. Plus, I didn't want to waste Janine's time or embarrass myself in front of others. I hung around and watched 2.5 lessons and took a few notes, some of which have already come into play in my riding this past week.  My first impression of Janine was she's tiny!  She can't be more than 5'5, but she has a very even-tempered and relaxing voice and way of teaching.  I noticed a common trend in all the lesson I watched; seeking holes in the training. Of the 2.5 lessons I watched, all the horses and riders were quite different. I arrived half way through one lesson of a middle aged intermediate woman aboard her rela

60 Days of Elite 3; A Feed Review

I've been holding off on making this post as I truly believe it takes a honest 2+ months of a feed change to see a legitimate difference but at 60 days a massive change could be seen, so it's time! About a week before I went and tried her When I bought Sierra, she was on Elite 3 Hemp Oil and a cup or two of Step 8.  I dislike the Step feeds and all my horses were on Canpressco Oil and Buckeye feeds, so I switched her to that when I got her home.  She was getting 2 Pumps of Oil along with Grow N Win and Cadence Ultra.  She was in great shape when I brought her home, but she quickly began to drop weight at an alarming rate in the first few weeks of getting her home.  I'm honestly embarrassed of how thin she got, and after struggling with it I decided to try something I never thought I would. When I tried her out... looking thinner IMO? Many people in my 'circle' used to joke about "Hemp! It'll Cure Everything!" because of the obnoxious co

Better Things to Come

Looking back at my Equilab Tracker, until August 12 I had ridden once in 7 weeks. Between work, haying, farming, and vacation Sierra has had a long hiatus, and after a much needed vaycay I was excited to get home and get back on my pony. With the Online Dressage Show coming up (Deadline Aug 24, go Enter!!) I decided to bomb through some tests just to get a baseline and some feedback, which means I need to actually ride if I want a semi-decent score.  I'm one of two judges and therefor i'll only get a score from the other judge but i'm okay with that as my purpose isn't to try and win.   Bribed with cookies Yesterday I was about to get on and one of my friends/boarders arrived to see her horse and offered to take some video for me.  I haven't had any video other than the video from our Dressage Clinic back in June in literally like, years, and after watching the video from my ride yesterday I have some * serious * work to do.  On the plus side, we hav

Negative Nancies Run Rampant

Recently, I had been apart of conversations with two separate friends.  These friends are fiercely passionate and emotionally invested in our sport and like many, tend to fall to their knees at the feet of negativity when their 'average' horse doesn't reflect Velegro and they don't break world records.  What differs between these two friends is one (#1) often feels she is never good enough, while the other (#2) tends to feel shes doing great then she has a bad ride or goes to a show and doesn't get the results she expected, however their reactions are similar.  Regardless, it got me thinking about my own situations and I decided to type this post on my cell as we drive down a winding highway through the mountains on our way home from a fabulous vacation. To some degree I think those of us who train or ride developing horses tend to succumb to similar heartbreak on a regular (weekly?) basis and it's very easy to forget the feeling of sheer bliss we all enjoyed a