Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Like Magic

I had such a nice weekend away! Tack store browsing in Vancouver on Friday, followed by dinner and a movie. Then Hastings racetrack on Saturday because Kentucky Derby day is the best day to go - especially if "local" rider Mario Gutierrez is riding  in the derby! While Mario didn't make it a three-peat,  we still had a blast and I even won enough money to take G out for a nice dinner later. We drove up to Whistler for the rest of the weekend, just for some R&R.  While I haven't skied in years, I was inspired to book a return trip in the summer for some downhill mountain biking lessons and adventures. My horse obsession and getting Bridget fit has kind of taken over all my spare time of late, so it felt good to get away and be reminded of what a fantastic part of the country we live in and all of the fun non horsey things out there. I still have a life and interests outside of horses! Who knew? ;)

Thanks, pretty red mare for contributing to the dinner money. I loved this mare, she was so chill and professional.

Of course, I did miss the ponies and was happy enough to return for a dressage lesson last night. And again, I had the best ride ever. It could be due to the fact we were both feeling loose and relaxed after our nice mini break. There's much to be said for a mental and physical break.

It could also be my magic pants,  which I've blogged about before. They're a pair of super ancient kerrits tights with magical properties - they somehow look new after years  (more than 10!) of abuse. Most recently they became my barn chores/mucking out pants for the last two years. Of course when I forgot my breeches last night, the kerrits were crumpled up behind the seat of my truck and perfectly ready for duty. The secret to their longevity possibly involves being made of entirely of slippery, shiny, synthetic materials...not so great if you're looking for any sort of grip in the saddle. But! I've now discovered they're genius in my dressage saddle...I can move around, and use my seat. I'm never "stuck". Magic pants for the win,  I'm telling you!

Pretty local scenery

More likely, though, my good rides of late are due to remnants of magic trainer dust. EC has been riding Bridget once a week, and I think it shows. EC has an incredible knack for teaching humans and horses, and it seems Bridget has been paying attention in class!

Ginger has a TB look alike in training! 


I did my very best to not let down the team last night, and feel like I rode probably better than I ever have. There's a bit to think about there, because for once I wasn't sore and stiff in my back, and mentally I was not as uptight about making mistakes as I can get. I was truly in the moment and having nothing but fun for the first time in a long time.


B was a superstar. I'm starting to feel like second level is a realistic goal for the end of the summer. We had all the pieces tonight, and I felt like everything flowed and was super steady as well. The day to day consistency is obviously not there yet, but of course that will just take time. I'm excited that right now on a good day we're there! We've also been adding and asking for more engagement and suspension in all the gaits and it's starting to feel very exciting. I'm also loving that I can put her body pretty much anywhere I want and the losses of balance are becoming pretty minimal...shoulder in transitions up and down, changing the bend, spirals in and out with hannches or shoulder fore. She might lose a bit of power and need a bit of help, but it's starting to feel minor because she's gained the strength and education and I've got a better feel for the timing needed for success - we fix it now before things get weird. Obviously we have a ton of work ahead, but living in this moment, I'm super excited that we have a legit collected canter coming along with tons of lift, and the power of her "big" trot is able to be collected pretty reliably now.  When EC tells me to slow down the front end, or activate the hind, or put this leg or that leg here or her shoulders there, I have the tools, and B has the balance.

I'm still in disbelief that my not so fancy trail riding pony has so much try and a hidden aptitude for this dressage thing. Lucky, lucky me.


15 comments:

  1. What a great break and lesson that you had!

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    1. I miss the break already! :)

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  2. With horses there is never spare time!

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  3. sounds like a wonderfully refreshing trip! and what a GOOD feeling to come back and have such a wonderful ride on the super pony! it makes me long for the days when i had my own fancy sporty rideable little pocket rocket haha, bc this big guy is.... not presently at the stage where one could easily move about each (or any) of his body parts independently lol

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    1. I so wish I didn't fail so hard in the media dept. Trust me, even though she's small, she's built long and heavy and not a trier - we were the pair without steering and random loss of coordination not so long ago... So much struggle involved getting her to our current 'moderately well broke" ;) You're totally going to turn that giant baby into a bad ass sports car :)

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  4. Sounds like an amazing lesson and a really fun weekend!

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  5. Sounds like a recharging weekend!! Whistler is such a beautiful place

    Random but the boy an a I are coming up to nanaimo at the end ornate May and I thought it might be cool to try and meet up?? I'd love to meet you and the girls :) I can give you more details if you email me - cathryn_kozak at hotmail dot com

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    1. Will email you later! Would love to meet up if schedules allow, and if you come all this way of course you can ride the pony too :)

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    2. That would be so fun!!

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  6. I'm SO happy you came back refreshed and ready to ride! What a wonderful, encouraging, inspiring ride!

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    1. I love it when I feel like all the struggle and hard work might actually serve a purpose :)

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  7. ooo I hope you guys do debut Second Level this year :D get lots of media

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    1. I've been so, so terrible with media. But yeah, you bet. If we make it, I will be getting video!

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