Week of May 26, 2014

This week I rode Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  My lesson was on Thursday.  It was awesome riding three days in a row and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do so this summer!

Tuesday and Wednesday I just kept it pretty simply.  I stuck to a pretty standard warm up and then worked on the basics without getting to deep into any one thing.  At this point I am really just trying to log more hours in the saddle.  I am only going to make small improvements on my own, but I can gain confidence on my own.  Sox and I worked on trotting, two point, circles, and a little cantering.  We decided to try cantering from a walk instead of a trot Tuesday and Wednesday.  The reason for this is because the seat position of a nice forward walk feels a lot like the seat of a sitting canter and I thought maybe that might help me in the canter overall since I wouldn’t be trying to manage myself from the trot.  It worked a little and after mentioning it to my trainer, she agreed that it couldn’t hurt to try.

For my lesson on Thursday, we worked on opening my shoulders up into the turn, but more specifically keeping them straight on the straightaways.  We also worked on loosening my lower back.  Funny enough, there was a post about these exact two things made by a blog I follow this week!  I have a tendency to start out ok and then after a few cycles, I just throw it all away!  But, by the halfway point in my lesson, I felt my body letting go and starting to relax into the proper position finally.  I could hold it all together a little longer each time.  We are really working on me figuring out how to “fix” things while keeping the horse moving.  For example, in the canter, if I start hunching forward, or I lose my stirrup, I need to fix both of those things while maintaining the canter!  It’s difficult, and especially so because Sox generally comes to a stop if he notices that his rider is totally unbalanced.  Which can be a nice thing, but I need to work those things out!!

We did a little jumping too.  We changed it up a little this time as well.  The last few times, she has had me using a jump set up on the short side of the arena with several trot poles leading up to the jump.  This time, we used a jump on the long side of the arena (which we have used before) but we only had one pole in front of the jump.  The first time I tried trotting up to and over the jump, Sox broke into a canter before the jump and went over and we cantered around the bend and then back down to a trot.  I will be honest, I wasn’t expecting the canter over the jump.  It was the first time I have cantered over the jump and it did surprise me a little bit.  My trainer said that although I was obviously surprised, I didn’t get in Sox’s way too badly.

So now that I knew Sox was likely to canter into the jump, I was a little better prepared.  The goal was to trot up to the jump, let Sox jump it, and canter away and then transition into a trot at the corner before the jump and then repeat.  We did it a few times and each time was a little bit better.  I am getting better at letting the horse do his thing.  I know Sox knows how to jump.  He is not a green horse and does not need me to help him over the jump.  And that is not my job at this point.  My job is learn how to stay on the horse over the jump without getting in his way.  I am focusing on my body position, and allowing my body to bend and fold and whatnot as needed.

Funny enough, I am able to relax much more over a jump than I can at the canter.  Of course, a jump is over in just a few seconds, whereas the canter is an extended activity.  It’s easy to be zen for those few seconds, but there is just too much to concentrate on in the canter, but I am working on it!

I am going with my trainer to a horse show on Sunday.  They are there all weekend, but I can make it just the one day.  I am not participating/competing, but Sox is and several people from the barn are. This will be the first show I attend, and I am looking forward to it!!

Well, until next time, Happy Riding!!

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Thursday lesson – Canter!

I had a lesson today and the focus was cantering.  Before we cantered though, we started out working in trot.  I practiced circles again today.  Then we set up a trot pole between two sets of standards on either “side” of the circle so I could practice two-point over those, while maintaining my circle.  I also did some sitting trot in the same circle (minus the trot poles).  My circles are getting better, but slowly.  My sitting trot has improved dramatically, but I know I am still a long way from being able to say I can do it well.

I am getting better at keeping my legs still though, which is a relief.  I hate when I know I am doing something I shouldn’t be, but I can’t get my body to listen to me and stop doing whatever it is doing wrong.  The longer I ride, the better body awareness I develop, so I know it will come with time.  I can at least recognize when I am doing something wrong now, but I can’t always figure out exactly what I am doing wrong, or if I can figure out what’s not right, I have trouble fixing it.

When we got to the canter work, I was doing a pretty good job of keep my legs long and my heels down.  I have to work on keeping my sternum pointed up and out though, or I end sort of hunching over.  The work we did prior to the canter work helped me get my thighs to relax.  When we started today, I was so tense in my thighs!  It showed up a few times in the canter but I could tell what was causing me to lose my position and generally was able to fix it, as long as it was my legs messing up.  When I drop my chest, i then drop one or both of my shoulders, which then causes me to round my back, I have trouble recognizing that I am even doing it, and then I have trouble straightening back out without getting out of rhythm with the horse.

I cantered in two-point again today.  It’s been ages since I did that and man, I was having trouble with it.  I kept trying to stand up out of the saddle, rather than just letting my hips bend.  When I got to standing, then I would lock everything up in my legs, which of course makes the ride unbalanced and un-fun.  I think I have an image in my head of what it’s supposed to look like when someone canters in two-point, and I don’t feel like my body is doing what I am picturing, so I try and compensate and end up doing it all wrong.  I don’t mean to go with the picture in my head, but I am pretty sure that’s what is happening.  I am realllllly short (4’11) so when I post or two-point, I am naturally not going to be able to look like I go as “high” as other people do.  I also need to just listen to what my trainer says and if she says I am correct, then I need to get that picture in my head.  Which is what I am working on doing.

I am going riding on Sunday again, no trainer, just me and Sox.  And who ever else happens to be at the barn on Sunday.  I know what I am working on.  Lots of canter: sitting canter and two-point canter.  My trainer and I were talking about homework between lessons today, and she said that she wants my summer lease to provide me with at least one thing:  confidence at the canter (I assume this also includes some improvement as well).  When we first started cantering, I was awful.  I was scared I would fall – which I eventually did – at the canter.  Falling off was probably the best thing for my canter though.  I was able to learn that falling is not the end of the world as I had pictured it.  Even though I knew, in theory, that it wouldn’t be the end of the world, my nerves always got the best of me.

After the fall, I was able to experience that everything was fine.  I relaxed so much more.  I still got a little antsy at first, and it felt like it would take forever to learn to do it right…and steering was just impossible for me.  So I cantered the long side of the arena and then would stop, then repeat.  I now try to go around the ring as many times as I can, but I believe 2.5 laps is the most I have been able to do so far.

I still get a little nervous over certain things.  There are moments when I am absolutely convinced that the horse will trip or slip or stumble and then we will both fall down and I will die.  Well, maybe not die, but definitely something bad.  If it’s not a gentle corner, I am sure it’s too sharp of a turn and something bad will happen.  Part of that is because when I was learning, my arms sucked.  They were everywhere and once I yanked on him at the right moment and I did cause Sox to trip going into a corner while cantering.  He didn’t fall, but it was a good stumble – enough that my trainer said she was worried for a second.  I know that, in theory, the horse has less of a chance of falling after a stumble than a 2-legged creature does simply because they usually still have 3 other legs to keep them up.  But that doesn’t make me less nervous.  So, currently I ride the canter around the entirety of the arena.  I have cantered twice in the smaller dressage ring and it was nerve-racking for me.

All that being said, my goals for Sunday are:

  • canter, canter, canter
  • canter in two-point without standing, but use my hips and let them open/close as needed
  • Sit the canter without hunching over
  • canter a different shape than the whole arena.  Maybe half the arena.  Make some turns.
  • Canter-trot transitions, not canter-try to trot but end up in walk-transitions.

My First Lease!

I had a lesson on Saturday.  This week, we were smarter and started much earlier so it wouldn’t be as hot, but as luck would have it, the whole weekend was cooler in general – with highs only in the 80’s!  Saturday’s lesson went pretty well.  My trainer told me that she saw a lot of improvement in my trot and a little improvement in my canter.  My jumping is coming along nicely too.  We worked more on my elbows this lesson.  Keeping them bent, keeping them loose and able to follow the horse while still maintaining a light contact.  I have come a long way in terms of contact with Sox’s mouth.  I know he used to hate seeing me because I was one of those newbies pulling on his mouth.  I didn’t mean to, and I would try not to, but I know I did.  I finally don’t do that anymore (at least not often), thank goodness.

We did a bit of work with some poles on the ground, working on my circles too.  I tend to make ovals or eggs – definitely not circles.  The arena was freshly dragged just before I rode for my lesson, so it was much easier to see the shapes I was making in the sand.  By the end of the lesson, my circles were rounder, yet still far from a real circle.  We started Saturday with trotting, sitting the trot, and in two-point.  I am so glad to have the summer to ride more so I can build some strength in my poor muscles.  I was certainly feeling it when I was done going around the arena for my second lap in two-point.  We ended the lesson with some jumping, which went pretty well.  I was a little behind the movement the first jump or two, but quickly was able to correct it with some pointers from my trainer.  Keep those shoulders pulled back and head up – I have a tendency to drop my shoulders, which rounds out my back and puts me in the worst position.  We set up some cones after the jump so I could practice staying straight and then halting between the last two.  It went well.

Today I began my lease!!!  I was so excited!  Sox was a bit reluctant at first – I think he was thinking that I only saw him two days ago, so what the heck was I doing back out at the barn?!  We tacked up with no problems and got started.  I rode for an hour and remembered to wear my watch so I could make sure we took plenty of breaks.  It was warmer today than on Saturday, but I was there early enough that the heat wasn’t unbearable.  I asked my trainer what she thought I should work on before I got in the arena.  She told me obviously I should work on my posting and two point, but she really wants me to build my confidence in the canter.  She told me that I am pretty solid in everything else but my canter.  (Solid meaning where she expects me to be skill wise at this point in my training).

So after a warm up, we started in on some trotting in circles.  There was a jump set up with some trot poles in front of it that made a nice square, so I used that for the base of my circle.  The arena was dragged this morning, so I was again able to see my tracks.  I think we did ok.  I worked a bit on my two-point and did a lap around each direction of the arena.  I also practiced my sitting trot, which is finally coming along alright.  I did a little with no stirrups, and then a little more with the stirrups.  I finally feel like I understand what my body is supposed to do so I can correct myself when I start really bouncing around.

I was originally pretty nervous to try cantering on my own.  This would be the very first time I cantered with no one physically in the arena with me to make sure I was doing it right.  I decided to just go for it and I didn’t die!  We had a little trouble getting going at first.  Sox has two modes:  very energetic and lots of go when asking for the canter; and not very energetic when asking to do anything, even the canter.  Today was a less energetic day, so the first time I asked for canter, he just started trotting faster.  I came to a halt, picked up the trot and asked again.  Two more times we did that before the fourth time, in which he went right into a nice canter as soon as I asked.  We made a whole lap around the arena on that go.  The next few were a little better, but we didn’t always make it all the way around the arena.  I also have to work on my down transition so I can go from canter to trot and not canter to slooooooow walk.  We went in both directions around the arena several times and the last lap was definitely the best.

I walked him out for a while and then I gave him a bath with his special medicated shampoo.  He has some itchies on his face and part of his mane we are trying to take care of.  I got soaked giving him a bath.  When I went to rinse the very top of his head, he started to freak out a bit.  He seemed like he was getting ready to totally freak out, which is rather unlike him, and I called for my trainer because I usually get pretty nervous when they start getting really jumpy when they are in the cross-ties.  She was in the bathroom apparently, and didn’t hear me.   The horses I usually ride don’t normally freak out, but the last time one of the horses there spooked with me in the bath area, he ended up bolting and breaking the pole he was tied to, which also broke the water pipe and it was a fiasco.  Once I realized my trainer hadn’t heard me, I realized I had to manage this on my own.   I reminded myself that everything was fine…and I was able to calm him back down and finish rinsing him.  I also shared my gatorade with him, which made him quite happy at the end.

After I was done with Sox, I also took Lily out and groomed her.  She is an arab-quarterhorse mix pony that I just adore.  She is about 8 years old, belongs to the barn owner’s husband, but is not ridden because she is super spooky with a rider.  She is a little spooky on the ground, but easier to manage.  She was a doll for me.  I just love her personality – she’s super affectionate and so pretty.  She was an absolute mess.  So much shedding, and so much dirt!  I will give her a bath the next time I am out there, but for today I curried the heck out of her and I combed out her tail.

 

My first day of my lease went great, and I am super excited to go back out two more times this week!!

This is Lily, the pony I love, but don't ride.  She needs more attention at the barn, so I volunteered to give it to her.

This is Lily, the pony I love, but don’t ride. She needs more attention at the barn, so I volunteered to give it to her.

The Florida heat is back in all its Glory

Ugh.  It was HOT today.  When I got in my car to leave the barn today, the car thermostat read 96!  It wasn’t near that hot when my lesson started at 1030, but I definitely felt the temperature rise while I was riding.  I was not prepared either – I only had one large bottle of water and one small bottle of gatorade.  When it was last this hot, I used to also have a frozen bottle of water that I put in the cooler to keep my other two drinks cold, and to drink after those two were gone.  I haven’t needed them over the winter and so I forgot to pack appropriately for the heat today.  On top of that, I forgot that the new medication I am on for my RA has a side effect of increased sensitivity to the sun.  I have been good since I started the medicine about wearing sunscreen, although I haven’t really been out in the sun much.  Today, I totally forgot ALL of that and am very sunburned because of it.  Which is surprising since 1 hour riding and maybe 1/2 hour outside hosing off/grazing doesn’t usually even begin to give me a tan.  Then, I got stepped on today.  My baby toe is still sore, and I am surprised it happened at all as Sox doesn’t usually invade my space like that, but I guess he was very done with his hosing down and wanted to get to the yummy grass for some grazing.  It was a light step, luckily, and he got off right away, but damn.  A slew of bad words came out of my mouth rather quickly and unexpectedly, for which I apologized to those around me for immediately.  I was told that when a horse steps on you, the rules of what is proper to say are ignored and all is acceptable.  😉

Anyway, the lesson today, although hot as hell, went rather well.  We didn’t push too hard because of the heat, and also because my trainer’s 10am lesson was late and we were tacked up and both ready to go at 1030.  So we compromised and did a sort of group lesson for a half hour and then I had my trainer all to myself for the last half hour.  There were lots more breaks than usual, again, due to the heat.  My trainer had planned on extended canter work today, but it was simply too hot for that.  Instead, I did a good lap and a half around the arena from a good trot-canter transition and was actually pretty solid in my seat, my arms and my posture, so we left the canter at that until next week (when I ride 1.5 hours earlier).  I trotted around a bit today, working on keeping my elbows loose and not throwing my hands down toward the ground while trying to keep them flexible and my elbows bent.  We also worked on keeping my shoulders relaxed, but my back straight.   She told me to imagine an arrow was piercing my sternum, pushing it upwards.   Not stick-your-boobs-out, but bring your chest up and out.  I did ok with that today – with several reminders, of course.

We also practiced some two-point over some trot poles, followed up with some jumping.  Same trot poles and two-point, but first over a small crossrail, then we switched the cross-rail for an 18-inch vertical.  The first jump over, I was all over the place!  First, I fell behind the horse and then I came down all wonky on his neck, and we were not close to straight out of the jump.  The second time was vastly better.  I haven’t jumped all that much, and the last time was two weeks ago, so I guess the first jump was an “Oh ya – that’s what jumping feels like” kind of moment for me.  All that practice with my chest up/out and shoulders back definitely helped and my knees, ankles and hips are getting looser and less stiff.   The middle couple jumps were ok, but the last 2 or 3 jumps were the best I have done yet.  I know there is a long way to go until they would be technically classified as “good” jumps, but for me, they were my best yet.  I felt what I was supposed to feel and it was a lot of fun.  I didn’t have the total adrenaline dump that I normally have when I jump.  Heck, I used to get that going into a canter, or over trot poles, so my confidence is definitely getting better.

Speaking of confidence, I don’t know when I gained some, but I definitely have.  I know I can’t do a lot of things well, but I also know I am good enough to have a good chance of staying ON the horse if something wonky were to happen.  My balance is certainly there and my seat is coming along and I don’t yank on poor Sox’s face all the time anymore (which I can tell he appreciates).   I am still working on staying relaxed in my body and loose in my joints and I still need to increase my body awareness when it comes to the positioning of my legs.  I can’t always tell that my legs have slipped a little forward until it’s bad enough that I fall behind the horse’s motion in a noticeable way.  But I can tell sometimes and I suppose it will get better from here.

I ride again next Friday morning, and then the Monday after that, I begin my half-lease!  I am so excited.  I am trying to get a plan of what to do when I ride without someone telling me what we are doing next.  I have some ideas and I think I will have my trainer help me set up some trot poles as well as some cones marking out a decent circle.  I will probably save any canter work for my lessons, and definitely save jumping for lessons, at least for the beginning.  I also plan to ask my trainer what she thinks I should work on between lessons.

I am super tired – being in the hot, hot Florida sun this morning totally drained me, so until next week, happy riding!!

A Rainy Lesson

I had a lesson today.  Over the winter, I have taken to riding in the afternoon so that my son and my trainer/barn owner’s daughter can play together for a few hours, but now that summer is here I am riding in the mornings.  There are two reasons for that: the first being that we live in Florida so it’s HOT and that means it’s hotter in the afternoon than in the morning; and the second reason being that in the summer here, it rains most afternoons, so if I want to stay dry and not ride in a mud pit, I have to ride earlier in the day.  Well, today, it simply rained on and off all day.  The arena still looked good though and when I arrived at the barn, there was a break in the rain.

My son riding Sox around Christmas time.  He was finally starting to make some progress in his posting and keeping his heels down at this point.

My son riding Sox around Christmas time. He was finally starting to make some progress in his posting and keeping his heels down at this point.

I was early to my lesson today, so while my trainer worked with another student, I got Sox all ready.  He is shedding like no one’s business and when I went to rub his forehead he started rubbing against my hand, so I just held it still and he moved his head all over the place on my hand and little hairs just went flying everywhere.  So, I curried him really good before getting him tacked up and then we headed out to the arena.  I decided to get warmed up on my own since I didn’t know when the rain would return.  I actually was able to get Sox to pick up a nice forward trot pretty quickly, which felt good.  Until I found out he hadn’t been ridden all week so he was just probably feeling a little extra peppy because of that.  Oh well, still felt nice.  I decided to drop my stirrups and work on my sitting trot while I waited for my lesson.  I even posted a bit sans stirrups (damn that’s hard – my thighs will certainly get into shape if I keep that kind of work up this summer).  I practiced keeping Sox on the rail and not letting him cut the corners and then worked on some trot-walk-trot transitions and some walk-halt transitions.

My trainer decided it was time for me to practice on the lunge line today, which is cool because I was just thinking that it had been some time since I had been on the lunge line and that it probably wouldn’t hurt to do that soon.  So I did lots more posting the trot and sitting the trot, and doing 2-point in the trot.  I am really working on getting my lower leg to be still and to actually feel the horse with my calf.  I have gotten to the point where I can feel the difference between right and wrong approximately half of the time.  Developing the feel of what’s right is a goal of mine at the moment.  And it can be frustrating when I can feel that I am not quite right, but no matter what I do, I just can’t fix it!  I know it comes with time, and I will get there.  🙂

We also worked on my posture.  I am much much better than I used to be, but I still have a long way to go on this.  Overall, I tend to tense up or lock up my joints so that I can’t move with the horse.  This usually means that I will start out sitting nice and tall, but because I am either locking my knee or my hips, I end up rocking in my seat and usually leaning forward.  I know why Sox is used for the kids, I watched him with my son (when my son was still riding) and if you get off balance on him, particularly on the line, he will stop.  So this means that every time I pitched forward today, even a little, Sox would stop, or try to stop.  So it was a very good indicator when I wasn’t sitting tall.

It started raining half way through our lesson, but we kept on for a bit longer in the rain since it wasn’t pouring or lightning out.  Sox wasn’t too pleased with us for that, but we all lived through it.  I cannot wait to be riding more frequently.  It’s been two weeks since my last lesson and whenever I have that long between lessons I always feel like I have forgotten how to do everything in between, although today wasn’t as bad as usual.  But when I can ride a few times a week, I know I will be able to actually practice the things I do with my trainer and make some progress.  The owner of Sox is actually pretty busy coming up here, so pretty much for the first half of the summer, I can ride Sox whenever I want since she won’t be, but I am working out scheduling with my trainer and one of my friends so that I am not out there riding alone.  My friend has been my trainer in the past as well, and teaches some other students at the same barn and is BFF”s with the barn owner/my trainer, so I am feeling pretty good about going on there “on my own”.   .

We ended our lesson a little early, but it was starting to rain a bit harder and we were pretty soaked.  I got Sox all cleaned up and fed him a couple carrots.  I let my trainer know that I was interested in not just being that student who comes out, rides the horse and then leaves.  I want to learn about more than just how to sit on top of the horse without falling off – I want to learn about the horse itself, his care, and all that.  Which I told her translates to mean that she has some willing hands for helping this summer.  As long as she tells me about what we are doing and teaches me along the way.  To which she agreed, of course.

Next week I have a lesson on friday, and then a couple of commitments for work the following week, but then my lease begins!!  🙂  Yay!!  I almost forgot to write this today…hopefully I get better at summing up my lessons more and don’t stay so long-winded.  Either way, it was a good day and I am exhausted!!

Experiences so far & my Goals

So far, I’ve been riding a little over a year and a half, roughly 1 lesson a week.  It’s a slow process when you only ride once a week, but I’ll take it!  Discovering horses has been so amazing for me and I am so very happy I finally found something I can really be passionate about and totally not care that I am geeking out over like a little girl.  My husband isn’t too fond of it all, especially considering the fact that horses were not part of the package when we started dating!   He’s not into horses, doesn’t want to be into horses and would rather I was into pretty much anything else.  Oh well.  I love it.  And I love the horse I get to lease in a few weeks, Sox.

Sox is actually a pony – he stands at exactly 14.2hh.  He is going to be 20 this year, but as my trainer says, he’s built like a tank and shows no signs of slowing down whatsoever.  He is healthy as a….horse (sorry, couldn’t help myself) and loves to work.  He’s not a super affectionate guy, in fact he isn’t affectionate hardly at all, but he lets you know if you make him happy or piss him off.  He especially loves to canter, go over trot polls, and jump.  He used to do cross-country in his younger years but has been a great lesson pony for us small adults and kids for at least several years now.  He’s been around the block, seen it all, and in general, is really laid back.  He’s perfect for a beginner like me.  He’s an all around horse and can do a little bit of everything, which is good because that’s what my training entails.  I don’t have any aspirations of showing or eventing, just riding.

This is Sox (on the right) and Dexter (on the left).  Sox is very unsure about the large camera I am holding up to my face.

This is Sox (on the right) and Dexter (on the left). Sox is very unsure about the large camera I am holding up to my face.

So back to what I came here to talk about – what I have done so far.  I can walk-trot-canter ok.  Not terrible, definitely not great, but just ok.  My canter needs a lot of work still.  I have jumped at three of my lessons – a couple 6 inch cavallettis, an 18 inch vertical single jump and then a double one (my trainer said it was the very beginnings of a little gymnastics!).  No hurries on all that fancy stuff though.  My sitting trot still needs more sitting and less bouncing.  My right leg doesn’t perform as well as my left leg, while my left shoulder doesn’t stay where it is supposed to as well as my right shoulder does.  My back and core are not as strong as I need them to be but we are slowly getting there.

Part of the reason I am leasing Sox this summer is so I can not only get to ride more, but also use riding to get stronger and in better shape.  Some of my goals for this summer include:

  • Improving my sitting trot
  • Improving my canter (sitting the canter specifically)
  • Learning to maintain the same speed of gaits (keep Sox going, especially around those corners) and
  • Not cutting the corners when going around the arena – use that inside leg!
  • Learning what a circle should feel like (20m circle)
  • Keeping my back straight and tall (I always feel like I am leaning back when I am simply sitting tall)
  • Building strength in my core so I can engage it better during my ride
  • Work on transitions (I am not worried about making them look great, I just need them to function better for now)
  • Breathing – I want to be aware of my breath while riding, keeping it calm and relaxed and not holding it
  • Building my confidence in general on horseback.  (off the horse, I am pretty confident)
  • Learn more about horses in general- their care, their health, their nutrition, how to lunge, etc.  My friend has already agreed to a few “lecture” sessions.  🙂

I am also excited to see what I do when I don’t have my instructor telling me what to do on the horse.  Probably the first few times, I will waste a bunch of time just putzing around the arena, but that’s ok.  I’ll get the hang of it eventually.  I have a few ideas and I won’t be technically alone as I plan to always ride when others are at the barn – particularly my friend who also happens to be a trainer (free lessons anyone?)!  My friend is very awesome about making me just get it done – so if she sees me using her as a crutch, she will nip that right in the butt.  I am so looking forward to this lease and my time off.  I am totally nervous, but it’s the positive, good kind of nervous.  Hopefully, the same kind of nervous that propels me into getting things done.

Who I am and Where I’m Coming From

Hi! My name is Auntie Chi Chi – well, not really, but it’s what I go by according to my son and my nephews, so it will work here too.  I am 34 years old, married (for the 2nd time, this time for reals though!), I have an almost 10 year old son, and I started riding horses November of 2012.  Before that, I had always admired them from afar, but I never had any real experience on, with, or around them until I started taking lessons.

I got into horseback riding because my son expressed an interest in riding, so he could be like Link on Epona (from the Legend of Zelda for you non-gamer folks out there).  I figured that this was my chance to try riding!  I loved it!  My son?  Meh – he could take it or leave it.  In fact, he’s left it for Taekwondo, but he still very much enjoys coming out to the barn with me to visit the horses, the barn cats and dogs and to play with the barn owner’s daughter.

In just a couple weeks, I will be part-leasing for the very first time – an awesome pony named Sox.  He has been my primary lesson horse for most of the time I have been riding and I have the summer off so, I figured now would be a good time to get in the habit of documenting my riding.  I have read that keeping a journal is a good idea so you can track your progress and whatnot, so here we go.  My next lesson is this coming Friday, so hopefully I remember to get back on here and write some things down!

I plan to write about my lessons, my time riding outside of lessons (when that starts in a few weeks –ooh nervous!), my thoughts on horsey-related things, and I may even link to other things I think are neat.  We shall see.

Until next time,

auntiechichi