Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Real riding happening

We have officially moved onto the phase of riding where it isn't quite fitness anymore and there is more asking of some real work.  No real surprise that Mia has gone from Ms Fabulous to Ms Nuh Uh.  Suddenly the ability to ride shoulder in is a foreign concept and one is absolutely not able to move without haunches being thrown to the inside.  Yeah.

We had one ride where I ended up putting spurs on AND having the whip because Mia was absolutely positive that she could not listen to my right leg under any circumstance.  I mean, hey, I get it.  This leg has been operated on 3x and I know it isn't as strong as the other but that is no excuse to blatently ignore it.  It's been okay ALL winter and NOW it should be ignored?  I ended up tapping her every single time I applied my leg just as a reminder for the entire ride. 

The horses got their teeth done on Friday and while there was some minor sharp points, there was nothing major. Maybe it is what made a difference though, as on Saturday and Monday, Mia was actually pretty nice to ride again.  Phew!  She is still unsteady in the bridle going to the right, doesn't want to stay consistent in the contact and wants to keep her haunches in, but it is much better compared to the previous week.  Some more fitness and practice will help straighten her back out, and hopefully we simply move forward and onward.

My happiest moment is that we were actually able to get a few moments of a collected canter again, almost like what we had last year!  I have been asking for more canter and on Saturday she just "got" it.  The instructor last year said to ride the canter like I am approaching a fence.  Sit up, sit back, leg on but not faster.  Try to get her to tilt her pelvis down so she sits and elevates the front with impusion and energy like she needs to go over a fence.  Ding Ding Ding!  It made so much sense, I got it and she was doing it SO well last year before it fell apart.  The fact she was able to hold it for a few strides made me so happy, if we can get that canter at a show?  Our weakest movement would no longer be our weakest movement!

With our third Nor'Easter in as many weeks, I am hopeful that the weather starts cooperating so that I can continue with this riding business.  The lesson next week was cancelled and my sights are now on a tentative show on April 15th, a small CT.  Let's hope we can be at our best for it!

Friday, March 2, 2018

New boots make everything better

Things are picking up around here!  Last week it was unseasonably warm and wet.  Oh so very, very wet.  Tuesday it was SO WARM, 57 at 630p, so I gave App a much needed bath.  It was.... disgusting.  So gross.  The water coming off of him was chocolate colored.  He was dry, there was no soap and it stayed that color, it didn't start running clear.  Ewww.

Clean wet App
So he got a full on, soap filled bath.  It was so extremely gross but he was SO clean after!  Of course, he didn't dry before I left and then he rolled before I got out on Weds to see the results, but look!  Clean!

Cleanish dry App.  He looks so good for almost 25
Last Thursday I got a text from the barn saying they finally separated App from the 30yr old who had attached himself as the BFF, which was the reason App has been in a stall this winter.  App now lives outside again and is paired with a very laid back OTTB and they both have a round bale.  I'm very happy he is outside again, even if App does strongly prefer a stall, as it makes him move more.  When I was out this week, he was already moving around a little better so it is a win.  Even if App wants the luxury.

Happy Appy
Then this week the mail truck pulled up.  Strange, as I was not expecting anything. I was handed a suspiciously large box.  From Dover Saddlery. OMG.

He did not, oh yes he did!
So some backstory, so for about 5 years I have lusted over the Dubarry boots.  But I can't bring myself to spend over $400 for a pair of boots.  I just can't, and I have tried several times.  Last year at Rolex, I was excited when they had two colors on clearance for $179 but because of my gigantor calves, they had nothing that fit in the clearance section.  On the last day of Rolex, we walked around all of the vendors to see if any of the non-Dubarry's were left but, again, because of my tiny feet and huge calves, anything that was left did not fit.

So pretty!
Hubby really wanted me to have a pair so apparently he saved money on the sly, sold car parts and squirreled away enough cash, he thought, to buy me the pair of boots.  A few weeks ago he asked me about the barn owners boots, they are Dubarry's.  I talked about them for a LONG time and then showed him how expensive they were and lamented on how I wouldn't buy them. When he asked what I would buy, I showed him the Dublin River boot but said that it was still over $200 and I am too cheap for that so one day I will find something on clearance.

I know the website says to use a spray to keep the light tan, but I LOVE this chocolate color!
Apparently, he had intended on buying the Dubarry but when he realized he would have to save for yet another year to have the money, he bought the River boots instead.  He went to a Dover retail store, paid cash, and had them mailed to the house.  All without me knowing. OMG!!! I LOVE them and am not bringing them to the barn yet.  These are pretty boots and will stay that way until we go to (Not-Rolex) K3DE.  Once they get thoroughly gross there, maybe I will wear them to the barn.  Right now I wear them every time I leave the house and have conditioned them with Lederbalsam which has darkened them to an amazing chocolate color over the tan that they were.

Mia isn't sure about this work business
On the riding front, Mia has been quite good.  On Tues she was pretty full of attitude, she wasn't completely sure she wanted to participate in the nonsense I was insisting on.  Shoulders in, controlled trot, transitions, all crap ideas apparently.  The rest of the rides have been quite nice.  Lots of long and low, lots of transitions.  On Weds I even broke out the jump saddle and we did a w/t/c session over a cavaletti.  Working on an adjustable canter to the pole and finding the striding.  We finished with the cavaletti all the way up and Mia really seemed to enjoy doing something other than silly dressage.  And to my surprise, I could walk the next day!  Fitness for the win!  We are both developing serious muscle too, her chest is no longer flabby and I am getting the definition of abs under my flub.  We have a long way to go, but we are on our way to a show season.