It’s Finally Not So Hot!

Fall is…on its way.  Here in Florida, it definitely isn’t here yet but it’s not stifling anymore, so that’s good.  I cannot wait for my lesson tomorrow evening!  One, it won’t be a million degrees out and two, I GET TO RIDE!  Yay!

I had a lesson two weeks ago and it was great, as always.  We continued the same work from the previous two lessons and I can really feel it starting to come together.  It’s so awesome being able to feel myself get over this slump I was in for half the summer.  It was as though I hit a plateau with my progress – and that’s probably exactly what happened.  I know that’s normal but man, it can get discouraging at times.  But I am making progress again and it feels super!

I can’t wait to try out everything we tried last week and to tweak it even more.  So far I haven’t had too many negative consequences from only riding every 2-3 weeks and hopefully my luck continues in that.  I have been constantly day-dreaming about next summer when I can again half-lease Sox (or someone else possibly) and ride 3-4 times a week.  I miss it so much!

I know I have found my passion finally and it is so frustrating since I can’t really explore it as much as I would like.  It’s not just that I don’t have very much time to spend at the barn, but also finances keep me from fully embracing this hobby, at least at this point in my life.  Maybe one day I will be able to do more — that is what I will be working towards at least.

Well, I will try to report back after my ride tomorrow evening!

It’s Been a While…And I Miss it!

It’s been quite some time since I was here last….But it’s also been quite some time since I rode last.  Which sucks!  Three weeks ago, I had a lesson on Sox and it was lovely.  We worked on cantering in a small figure eight, which was super hard, but totally worth it.  I don’t know when it happened, but I can canter in smaller areas now.  I am no longer stuck only using the WHOLE arena!  Yay!!  Then we worked on some jumping and that’s all I can remember.  Whoops – should have blogged then about it.

Today I got to ride again!  Finally!  Three weeks is way too long to go without riding!!  I had SUCH a good lesson today.  A year ago, if I had taken three weeks off of riding, it would have taken me so long to get back into the swing of things.  In fact, I did take 6 weeks off last year in the summer and it took a good month of me riding to feel like I could pretty much do all the things I could do before I took that time off.  Now, I might need the first 10 minutes of the lesson to re-orient my body to being on a horse, but I pick it up so much faster now, it feels good to be on horseback.  I love it so much.  Even when my trainer makes me work so hard and it’s hot!

We worked on getting my hips to loosen up today by having me do this twisting exercise while I posted today – it felt weird, but when I straightened back out, I could totally feel the difference.  It was great.  My trot felt so nice today and Sox was really responding to me today – if I asked correctly!  We worked on some trot poles, then some cavalletti’s and then a small bounce.  I did ok I think, Sox wanted to canter all of it of course so I had to work on keeping him at the proper pace over the poles leading to the bounce – after that, he could do what he wanted.  I did pretty good staying with his motion for once!

We worked on my canter as well today and I have been cantering in half seat a lot over the last 2-3 months, which is fine, but I have been using it as a crutch rather than learning to actually sit the canter and get my hips to move and all that.  At first, it was fine, but today I asked my trainer to remind me to sit more.  I still wasn’t sitting fully in the saddle but it wasn’t a full half seat either…maybe 1/4 seat?  🙂  Getting my body to listen was a chore today – if i wasn’t riding on my girly parts, I was sticking my butt out and arching my back!  I did get it right finally and got that “scooping” motion going and tucking the tummy and all that but I could not maintain it for very long, but that’s ok.

Sox and I were so sweaty today after our ride and I was so over-heated, I had to sit in front of the fan with him for a bit before I could hose him down.  And then I hosed us both down.  He enjoyed it.  I like to think he missed me because I was the one giving him his baths and using his special shampoo on his itchy head…and maybe because he actually likes me.  (a girl can dream).  I missed him.  I miss the barn in general and all the horses there.

Trainer and I discussed me riding some of the other horses here and there, which will be interesting.  It’s been nice riding the same horse all the time, but I know you can really develop your skill by riding different horses.  Each horse is going to be different and if you can do it on one horse, if you REALLY know it, you should be able to transfer that skill – i know I wont be able to at first.  She told me the few she was thinking for me to try (charlie & luna) but nothing is set right now.  Ought to be fun though!

Well, here’s to riding sooner!!

Auntiechichi

Still no Rides…

Aww…No horseys for Auntie Chi Chi.  😦  This week was a nice week – although it was hot, it wasn’t nearly as hot as the week before.  And no rain in the afternoons…until Friday night.  WHen I was supposed to go riding.  Then the worst storm in a while came rolling through.  So, lesson was cancelled.  No barn time, no Sox time.  And now, I can’t go riding until THURSDAY!  Oh no!  Hopefully, it doesn’t rain that evening.  Sigh.  I am starting to really miss my horsey time. 

 

I knew I had grown used to riding so regularly, but I didn’t recognize the impact it was having on me overall.  I felt healthier and more active when I was actually being more active at the barn.  I was still feeling like I was learning something new and growing as a human being and I am missing that feeling of growth now.  I felt like I worked all summer to bond with Sox and he finally acknowledged me last time by being extra cuddly and snuggly and now I can’ t go out and see him and I am actually quite sad about that.  I was also starting to make an impression on Lily, and I miss her too.  Next summer I am making my trainer teach me how to lunge so I can properly attend to Miss Lily…this summer we were supposed to do that, but with my trainer’s pregnancy, things just didn’t happen as they were supposed to.

I am encouraging my trainer to set up an Adult Pony Camp for this winter.  All the girls have expressed real interest in it and she has some good ideas for us to do.  I think it will be super fun and probably my only time to obsess over the horses until next summer. 

Even though I am taking an unexpected break, I feel good about going back.  many times in the past, if I took any kind of break at all I would be all nervous getting back in the saddle, but I’m not feeling that this time.  I know I will be a bit stiff and probably “off” but I am ok with it because I know it is normal and I know i am good enough to figure it out at this point.  I’m not awesome, but I can manage.  🙂

Well, happy riding…eventuallY!

School sucks…sort of

Well, the semester is well under way and it’s going well. My students are awesome and doing real good so far.  Only bummer is that I have no time for the barn!  

I was supposed to have a lesson tonight but it rained.  Not just regular rain but a really bad storm with crazy wind and lightning.  Of course my side of town didn’t get it as bad as the barn did, but we never seem to have the same weather patterns.

Well, I’m really really missing my horsey time and can’t wait until I can get out there more regularly again.  Sigh.  I miss Sox!  I got really attached to that silly horse, especially since he got all snuggly with me last time I saw him.  🙂

Well hopefully next time I’ll have some barn stories to tell…happy riding!

More on those Good Rides!

I had one of the best rides of the summer on Monday night this week.  Even though Sox has not been ridden more than once or twice since I went away, he was SO good!  I was good too – I expected to be totally off balanced and feeling awkward in the saddle after being gone for so long.  Instead, I found myself feeling quite comfortable and getting right into the motion!  It was lovely.  We rode for about 45 minutes and my friend, L, told me that we looked pretty nice in both our canter and our sitting trot, so YAY!

Friday night, I went riding again with L, this time well after dark.  We had the arena lights on, but only 2 of the 4 were working so there were lots of shadows.  I know Sox has been ridden at night out there before and he is generally a non-spooking horse, but he spooked twice on Friday!  Neither were real big or drastic spooks, unlike L’s horse who spooks at lots things, lots of the times, in a much bigger & more dramatic way.  The first was a real small spook, easy to ride out and redirect his attention.  The second happened when I finally got him to pick up a nice canter that I finally felt relatively in control of (versus him just basically RUNNING as fast as he can get away with because he LOVES to canter) and we were coming across the arena diagonally and L complimented how absolutely beautiful our canter looked and then he saw whatever monster he saw.  And we went that way, then this way, and his head was all over the place, but I actually rode it out relatively calmly.  My heart rate definitely went up and it was in the back of my head that this could suck and was slightly nerve-racking, but I kept my seat bones connected to that saddle, kept my back straight (which still feels like i am leaning backwards slightly!) and stayed in control (mostly).  We recovered pretty quickly and we did a few trot circles and decided to call it a night there.

L and I walked the horses out for another 20-30 minutes and I tell you – Sox’s walk when he is full of GO GO GO and after he’s had a few good canter laps – is just beautiful and oh so comfortable.  It’s so the opposite of when he literally drags his feet – which is his only other mode.  SLOW or GO.  That’s it.  I practiced using my seat and hips to drive him more forward and then to bring it back down as well as some lengthening and shortening of the stride.  I haven’t tried to do that with just my seat with any seriousness until Friday night, but with L’s pointers I was able to really pull it off and notice the difference.  It was just great.

After we were done riding, we brought the horses in a gave them a real good brushing and all that and Sox was SUPER affectionate, which is totally out of character for him. He was slightly affectionate Monday, which was weird enough!  Maybe he is just super duper picky and takes a while to warm up to the few people he likes?  Maybe he does like me back?  Squee!! That would make me a happy girl!

 

So it was a great week.  If only I could get out to the barn more often!  The semester is getting ready to start and I will be so busy in the classroom and with students and with my son’s commitments in taekwondo and his school …I won’t have the time I want.  My husband hates me riding and anything equine, so he’s sure to be happy.  😦

 

Happy riding!  Hopefully sooner than later!

Two Wonderful Rides in One Week

This is going to be a short post since I’m doing it from my phone.

I got back from my trip for my grandmother’s funeral and then 2days later turned around and went on our planned trip for the summer.  Got back and it was time for work…so it’s been a week of workshops and getting class ready for the start of the semester on Monday.

A girl from the barn, L, invited me to go riding with her Monday night and I went. I had a fabulous ride on Sox. Everything was perfect.  Tonight we went again and the ride on Sox was good, but not like Monday. Then we sat around the barn and had a few beers and played with the dogs while shooting the shit. It was a fun night.

I will be back more regularly again and will have more to say about this week’s ride as well as post something for this week’s photo challenge. 🙂

Happy riding !!!

Life Has Other Plans

Well, my lease is coming to end in a few weeks and I originally planned to ride, ride and then ride some more as my vacation winds down.  But life has other plans for me.  My grandmother died this morning, so I am road-tripping it up to New England with my mom for the funeral Wednesday.  My grandmother has been sick  for a long time now so this wasn’t a big surprise.  I am sad that she is gone, but I know she’s not in pain anymore.  It hasn’t hit me really yet, although I haven’t been close with her as an adult.  I will get the most emotionally choked up seeing everyone else’s sorrow over this – especially my mom’s – but also my cousins who all live up north near her.  They had a much closer bond with her than I had so this hits them much harder I am sure.

Give your loved ones a hug today.  And happy riding to the rest of you.

–Auntiechichi–