Friday, 28 March 2014

I'm back!

After 11 months away from home working on my education I'm now back in Canada - with a new job, and diploma in hand. 

Felix has been pretty much on vacation, with weekly rides from my sister most of the last year. 

Being as I came home to the never-ending winter from hell here, it's taken some time to get motivated to actually go ride - I've been home for 3 weeks and have been out to the barn maybe 3 times.

He's going well though in spite of this.  He's happy to be working again, but somewhat out of shape.  My muscle memory is not bad considering - though I do have to ride with a shorter stirrup to compensate.

It's now above freezing here - so looking forward to maybe getting to ride outside again sometime soon!

Friday, 17 May 2013

A bit of a hiatus

I'm out of town for the next few months working on real life education, so Felix is at home.  My sister is riding him not quite regularly, and I'm sure he's enjoying the spring grass. I'll be back to regular posting sometime through the summer.  My show plans are unfortunately on hold - but I believe that job training will secure actual funding for my show plans, la vie.

I will most definitely be back to posting once I'm on horseback again.  I miss it like crazy already, but this is worth it.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Great ride today!

Felix got 4 days off this week because I just didn't want to go out in the rain/snow/wind.  Today was at least sunny, though still windy so I made the trek out.

We started off with a nice warm up on the longe line just because it was still windy enough to sound like we had low-flying jets coming over constantly.  His longing has been something we've been trying to improve over the winter.  He's usually a get on and ride kinda guy, so this is something that was overlooked in his early training - but it's actually going very nicely.  I was able to move to every corner of the arena without him getting confused and turning around, which is real progress.

Then I got on, where he went nice and round W/T and had some very good moments in canter.  It looks like I'll just be riding my dressage tests in sitting trot to get the best out of him.  We even tried a little bit of shoulder in that I'm afraid may have looked a lot more like neck-in from the ground, but there were some good steps in there.

I think Felix will just have to always go in an AP saddle for all phases.  The dressage saddle I bought last year just makes everything about our rides go completely downhill - so unless I find one of the elusive 18" short flap saddles that will work for him and I, I'll just stick to the one I've got.

We're also shedding out like crazy finally.  I was a bit worried when every other horse in the barn was blowing their coat and Felix was just sitting there like a big fuzzy teddy bear, but now he's shedding everywhere.  The official shed hair trashbag at the barn is about 1/4 everyone else's coat, and 3/4 Felix right now. 

Friday, 29 March 2013

Spring :)


Melting is well underway, luckily with no rain so far, and Felix is shedding enough hair to make a small goat every day. 

We've had a couple of not-so-nice rides thanks to spring fever and a noisy arena, but it's seemed to calm down. 

Yesterday I got off my own lazy rear and pulled out the poles, even the scary ones for a "course" which we went over W/T/C very nicely.   I was pleased, since last year was so hairy with this type of thing.  Dressage work is also coming along nicely, with more work going into canter transitions.  We've started doing more simple changes, and I can get the occasional nice fly on one rein but not the other. 

I need to get back into lessons soon I guess.

Anyhow, here's come cute pictures I got the other day when I caught the little prince napping in the sun.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

I miss arena mirrors

Not bad ride today - the barrier was out, and I was FROZEN before I got on board, but all in all not bad.  Felix was not too terribly reactive to the thumps and bumps in the arena today - it's gotten colder again, and the shrinking was making noises that resembled someone throwing snowballs at the exterior of the arena.

We've been having some very nice soft and round moments, but I realized today I really miss being able to see what my own riding looks.  it's been several years since I've been in an arena with Mirrors, and of course now that I want them, we don't have any.  This is especially important since I've been out of work so skipping all my lessons to pinch pennies.

That's all the musings for today!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Outdoors in winter

For those of you who are in a warmer climate - I'm jealous.  I've been back home since the end of January, and have been averaging about 2 rides per week ever since.  Between the road conditions, the weather, the cold, and the snow crashing off the arena roof - it's been uninspiring.

This past week though, our barn owner had a track plowed in one of the spare paddocks, which has been a nice change.  The track was supposed to be an oval, but the person driving the plow managed to make it tear-drop shaped, which makes for interestingly placed transitions and bending questions - but all in all not so bad.  The footing is great with about 2" of loose snow over god knows how much packed snow/ice layers. 

So, being outside and letting Felix just go on a generally loose rein in case he does loose his footing has been nice, and given me a chance to play with things a little bit, mostly focusing on me - but we also did out first walk-canter transitions this week which were, I have to say pretty brilliant on his part - as well as canter transitions on straight lines and such.

Hopefully I'll have some more pictures at some point soon - I've been spending most of my barn time alone lately unfortunately.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Merry (horseless) Christmas

Hi everyone!

It's been a while since I've posted - lots of personal life stress, and trying to get established with a new job haven't left much space for blogging, and I've been off riding since the 2nd week in December, since I'm spending the month in FL working to try to keep board and car insurance paid for another few months till the new job stars paying off in the new year.

Up in Canada, the yucky season has started, and Felix's energy level has skyrocketed again.  Keeping him just a little over blanketed to keep his back warm helps a good deal - but it's an attest to my comfort with him. This is the 2nd winter we've been through together, so I know what to expect more now.  As per usual, longing is a dismal failure, so it's pretty well just get on and roll with whatever he wants to throw at the rider.

He's also a little more spooky in the winter, between the arena noises (thank you snow crashing off the roof at the exact wrong time!), and the imaginary boogeymen in the corners. 

Before I left, we were doing more jumping inside - and surprise surprise, he's been pretty much 100% fine again.  We're still doing small stuff, and he's still a little iffy with the scary stuff like planks, but it's getting better and my confidence is returning.

He's with Sandy now for the month, and I'm hoping she'll do some jumping with him while I'm away. She's only riding 2x a week, and being as she's a fair bit taller then I am she'd have trouble jumping anything too big with him, but little scary things and grids should be A-OK.

Anyhow, I'll be back in January, hopefully with a little less stress on my plate and back to posrting more interesting things!  Till then, have a great holiday no matter what you celebrate, and give your ponies a holiday treat for me!