Tuesday, March 31, 2009

what makes me me??

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. Thinking about my life and why the hell I am in such a rush to go basically nowhere. I want someone so bad in my life that I am basically arm wrestling the cosmos and trying to pull someone down for me. This is not the right way to find a guy. I have far more work to do in my life to feel confortable in myself before I really jump into something with a guy. Sure I have feelings for guys, specifically Greg. But unfortunately, or as I'm choosing to look at it now; fortunately we are in similiar boats. I was cruising friends blogs this morning and my good friend over at wonderful world of weiners had a great post on how much she loves and adores her husband. I just think that is so great and I really long for that feeling in my life. I just need to be OK with the fact that this is not the right time for that. All things come to those who are patient and deserving. Being pushy, annoying and down right bitchy because I don't get my way is going to only spell disaster in the end.

Last night I was thinking of all the things I do have in my life. I have three great and loving dogs that just adore me. I have a wonderful horse whom I can do basically anything with. I have a great place to live that I like very much. I have a good job that is fulfilling and is a service to the local community. I have my roomate as a good friend and support for me. She always lends an ear when I need it. I have all my great horse friends who really look up to me and my knowledge of horses. There is nothing like good friends at a barn to make someone feel good. I am financially stable. I'm definately not wealthy or even comfortable, but I make things do month to month. I have a lot going on in my life which are all positives.

I called Greg last night (again) and he was kinda distant and not talkative at all. I knew it had to do with how I have been acting lately. I've been pushy and annoying and over analyzing things to death in terms of our non-relationship. This in turn puts added pressure on him which he does not need in his life right now and annoys him and makes him want to withdraw from me. I felt terrible, like I have been pushing my friend away because he doesn't want to deal with my drama. Since when did I become such a drama queen? I need to believe in the confidence that is in myself and go about my life. I think I'm so used to molding my life around someone else that I don't know what to do on my own. Again, that need to nurture and take care of someone has morphed into a suffocating bitchy monster. I know what I need to do but I hate it. I need to give Greg his space. If things are meant to happen it will no matter how many or few texts or phone calls I throw at him. I care for him very much and see a lot of great qualities in him that is very hard to not be attracted to. But the last thing he needs is some clingy girl putting added stress on him. And to be honest I need to stop stressing myself out with thinking of him so much. I DON'T NEED A GUY RIGHT NOW!!! I think I need to make up stickers and stick them all over the place where I will see them on a regular basis. I need to be happy with myself. Summer is coming, and I'm losing weight and working out. I want to focus on having fun and not dissecting it until it becomes a job. I have horse shows to look forward to and long trail rides and swimming with my horse at the beach. These are all things that I enjoy and like doing. Stick to what you know Molly, let go of all the crap your holding onto and start living your life. It's a beautiful day, I got plenty of sleep last night and I'm going riding after work tonight. What else is better in life than that?

Monday, March 30, 2009

A dreary Monday after a horse weekend

Aragon during his grooming session. His eyes are just dreamy!

Again, I've been a little lax in my posts lately. But it was a nice horsey weekend for me and I got a lot of riding in. On Friday I got out of work early due to teacher conferences at my last school, so that was a nice suprise. I picked my roomate up and the dogs and we headed to the barn. I got Possum out and it was a gorgeous day. The temps were in the 50's and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I rode Possum for a little bit in the arena but it was so dusty and needing a watering really bad that my roomie and I decided to hit the trails. Possum was perfectly behaved and relaxed, while my roomate's horse was being a little bitch and getting all hyper and not listening at all. Possum and I galloped out a couple of times, the dirt road had just been grated and it was damp so it made for nice soft ground for galloping. Then we worked on collected canter with flying changes every 7 strides, that went really well. When we got back to the barn I untacked him and gave him a quick brushing and let him loose to eat scraps of hay around the farm. The snow is slowly giving way to bare ground and I can actually see muddy dirt in the outdoor. My guess is that in 3 weeks it'll be rideable, I can't wait to jump and ride in a bigger space other than the indoor.

Earlier that Friday I made plans with a guy friend of mine who is interested in me, but I'm not really into him, to go out Sunday afternoon and just hang out and get to know each other better. I told Greg about this since we tell each other everything. He was kinda short with me on the phone and I just let it go. Half an hour later I get a text from him saying, and I quote "I can't say that I'm not a little jealous." WTF!!!! He knows I'm totally into him, that he's a great and awesome guy and I could only be lucky to be with him, but he gives me the shaft all the time, saying that I'm too emotionally invested blah blah blah. And now he writes me this....this is what's confusing to me. So I try and talk to him about it later and he says that obviously he has feelings for me. Ummm, well not that obvious to me. But that he just doesn't need a relationship right now, he is still healing from his marriage. I hear that totally, but let me know how you feel. Because I basically give up the hope that someday we'll hook up. I'm trying to force myself to move on because I don't think he likes me at all and now he pulls this crap. Even when I'm mad or upset with him, it doesn't last because he is such a good guy. I am seriously messed in the head, or maybe in the heart, who knows?! So it was kind of a tense weekend for Greg and I.

But back to the horses, the things that really matter hehehe. Saturday I got up early and my roomie and I went to breakfast with Greg and then headed to the barn with all the dogs in tow. The forecast called for bright skies and temps in the 50's again. What actually happened was that it was thick with clouds all day and it was about 35 degrees. Despite the cooler temps I got Aragon out and cleaned him all up because a woman was coming to look at him to potentially breed her TB mare to him. Aragon is just such a sweetie despite his horomone levels. I spent over half an hour scrubbing him clean and show sheening his body and polishing him up. I tacked him up and since there were a bunch of other horses in the arena and I didn't want to get him too sweaty by longing so,I just got right on. He was great and away we trotted. We even did some little jumps of about 2'3" and I just love his jump. He is sooo smooth but really rounds his back and due to his uphill build he lands and is right away there to do whatever you want, unlike Possum who likes to land on his face a lot and you have to sometimes wrestle him to sit back on his haunches. After the ride in the arena and showing him to the woman, I decided to hit the trails with him. He was great. We walked and trotted and cantered really working on keeping him straight since he just loves to canter completely sideways down the trail. Something that I'm sure he picked up on at the track. He was such a gentleman and so fun to ride. He didn't jig at all on the trail ride and I was able to ride him at a walk on the way home on a long rein with my hands on the buckle. He was snorting and relaxing and just enjoying life.

Yesterday, Sunday was a horrible day weather wise. It was pouring rain and the temp was raw and cold. Despite the weather my roomie and I were dedicated to ride our ponies in the arena. We set up a course of about 2'9" and did out warm-ups and then trotted the courses first. Our focus for the way was straightness and striding. I knew as soon as I got on Possum that he was a little frisky and even did little crow hops the first few canters. We had some struggles and words, but I have to say that at the end of the ride he was doing much better. When he is strong and heavy like that it is hard to work on my equitation, therefore my back was killing me after the ride. He was sweaty and gross and I was sweaty and gross and walking like a 90 year old woman! My dogs were also absolutely disgusting soaked from head to toe with mud and manure thrown in the mix. I put a new heavy blanket on Possum with a hood to keep him warm and dry and threw him back out after giving him some new treats that I recently bought at Tractor Supply open house localy. I then gave Aragon a whole handful of treats which he gobbled up. Tonight I work till 6P so I will not be going to the barn, but tomorrow I hope to. It's still rainy and drizzly today so it kinda makes my mood the same.

The "date" last night was not fun at all. I found him annoying at times, he is not an animal person and there were awkward silences. I tried very hard to be neutral and get to know him, but all I could think about was comparing him to Greg, I swear I'm crazy as a loon. I found myself just wanting it to be over to be alone. Imagine, me, wanting to be alone, that's when you know it wasn't going well. I was just in a funky mood and not really into entertaining. I was sarcastic and short and found myself being a little bitchy. Later that night I called Greg to check in and because I usually enjoy talking to him. He was very short with me and I kept asking him what was wrong and he kept saying nothing but that me asking him was annoying him. I don;t know, I feel a divide coming between us communication wise. I also havn't heard from him yet today and I'm going to stick to my guns and not call or text him. He needs to come to me for once. Well that's about all. More stress with guys that horses try and cure haha. I think I might go home for lunch since I have leftovers from dinner last night and then go to the college for the rest of the afternoon.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Gotta Love TB Studs!

After work today I went to the barn and decided to take Aragon out since it was quiet in the arena. He was absolutely filthy so it took me over half an hour to curry and brush him. I SHow Sheened him and also brushed out his mane and tail. He was looking pretty handsome when I was done. We walked down to the arena and lunged him for about 15 minutes. He was great and pretty relaxed. I hopped on and away we went trotting around the arena. I especially got after him today with listening to leg aids. Being a typical OTTB he likes to lean in on the turns. I was really using a firm outside rein and inside leg. He started to get the idea without getting too pissy. He is just such a smooth and comfortable horse to ride. I really love him. His biggest problem area was picking up the correct leads on a 20m circle. Right before I would ask for the cangter he would through his shoulder into the circle. SO we kept at it and I made sure to give him lots of praise when he did it correctly. After working on the canter we moved on to trotting jumps. I also love his jump. For having very little training he really uses his back and has a great eye for spots and is extremely light on his feet. He was doing really so I was jumping small lines working in keeping him straight and relaxed. He did really well in this so we would trot in a line and canter the second one. I was so proud of him. Even though all of the jumps were cross rails he did excellent. I walked him out for a while on a long rein and then decided to see if he would walk down the road for a little trail ride.

The really great thing about Aragon is that he is not spooky at all! Even though he can be a little crazy TB stallion, he is brave and really does have a great mind. He walked down the road like a champ and we even had a lous dirt bike go past us and he didn't even blink. We did some trotting and cantering and then walked the rest of the way home. His canter really needs work on the trail as he likes to canter completely sideways, which I teke as a side effect of 8 years on the track. But he wasn't unreasonable and still kept his mind about him. It was just a great ride all in all. He was pretty tired when we got back to I stripped him down and gave him a good grooming, Next time I'll have to get some pics of him in riding gear, he really is such a handsome guy. My hopes this summer with him is to do small courses i nthe ring and do lots of trail riding. It's good for his brain and body to have a job, and I like to think that he kinda likes me too.

As for the guy thing, things are slowly marching on. Greg and I talk on a regular basis and he's having a hard time right now and it makes me feel good that I'm the first one he talkes to about stuff that's bothering him.

Not going to the barn tomorrow since I have to work late. I also rode Possum Tuesday and he was pretty good. We put all the jumps up to 2'9"-3' to mimic that at the show. Our spots were great and his rhythm was perfect but he wasn't quite picking his knees up enough and would just nick them. I don't know if he was having maybe an off day, especially since he was having trouble with his right flying change. I felt that he was putting the effort in and I just let it go.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Weekend Review

Been busy lately and just having some time to think to myself. As for the weekend on a horse perspective it went great! Friday I took off early from work because my car needed work so I swapped vehicles with my dad, rounded up the dogs and hit the barn. I rode Possum first and he did pretty well. He was a little hyper so that meant he was a little speedy in the lines, but nothing terrible. We putzed around and just enjoyed the nice day. We rode for a good hour. Then I hung out for a while at the barn, watching lessons and just chillin. I let Possum out loose to gorge himself on a round bale and bask in the sun. He is always thankful for his free time out and about at the farm. and he would never think of running away or not being caught because then he knows his free time wouldn't happen again.

Later that afternoon I rode one of the paint ponies to get ready for a show the barn was going to on Sunday. Her rider isn't very strong or assertive and this pony can be a hot ticket so it was time to play good cop and bad cop. We worked a lot on the flat with bending and listening to inside leg outside rein. She woould much rather go around turns like a dirt bike then a normal balanced pony. She was actually getting quite pissy at me, but was starting to improve. Then we worked on some jumping concentrating mostly on being straight through the lines and after, again not cutting those corners. This pony also loves to take BIG spot to jumps. Basically launching herself, she is not afraid of anything, but we worked on getting to the base of the jumps and having nice and relaxed strides. She actually did quite well, but by the end of the ride I was exhausted. This pony is the like the energizer bunny and it takes a lot to not only correct her but to keep her there. I hoped that when the girl had her lesson the next day before the show the pony would be so glad that it wouldn't be me riding her that she would be a little more attentive to the other riders aids and use some of the things we had worked on.

Saturday the barn was a zoo. The day before a show is always crazy. The indoor was packed tighter than a can of sardines. All of the crossties were full with people pulling manes, cleaning socks, shaving bodies and braiding manes and tails. Possum and I were barely able to even get around the ring, nevermind really having the chance to work on a lot. I decided to stick to cantering 20m circles and work on our canter-walks. Our downward transitions can always use some work. Then after riding I stuck him in a stall to munch some hay because we couldn't even make it out of the indoor because it was so full of horses. I love the hustle and bustle of a barn though. Everyone's excited and nervous and we chat and talk about what we all need to work on and just to ride our best courses and not worry about the placings. My roomie and I ended up staying there till after 6P and then went home and had dinner while the dogs passed out at our feet.

Sunday I actually got up early, took a quick shower and let the dogs out and gave them all kisses and headed to the show to watch and help out. It was a little depressing at first to not have Possum there, but the good shows are to come and we'll be at those ones. This is basically a fairly small schooling show but has the classes to qualify for the Medals at the end of the year. On my way to the show I was jamming out to Metallica and eating my breakfast sandwich and apparently had a heavy foot. I got pulled over by a sheriff going 66 in a 45. OOOps! He immediately wrote me a ticket for $215. I was so bummed and disappointed in myself. That was like a whole horse show and then some. I called my roomate and she said she would see if there was anything that she could do for me. I love having a police woman for a roomate heheh. I got to the show and took over duties of doing the girls hair and holding horses and adjusting saddles that had slipped back due to too much show sheen. I went over courses with the kids and watched their rides. For once it was actually relaxing to not have to worry about memorizing my courses, cleaning my boots constantly and waiting for my turn in the ring. It was nice to watch everyone do their best in the ring and I must say that no one disappointed. Everyone rode their best and had their game faces on, and the horses for the most part were on their game as well. The show ended early since we didn't have anyone in the upper divisions. Usually I am the last one showing and everyone has to wait around for me haha. I went home and cleaned my room and washed my bed and folded and put away all of my laundry. I then vacuumed my room and tidied up. I then took a 2 hr nap with the dogs while watching Star Wars.

As for the guy situation, or should I say lask of situation. I just don't know what to do, and I think that's my problem, there is nothing that I can do. I did talk to "G" on Sat night and I guess his great relationship with the other woman isn't panning out to be what he thought, hmmmm canI say "Told ya so!" Anyways, Greg has also been a little distant. He bought a girl flowers last week and I found out about it from someone else and asked him about it. It just made me feel basically like shit even though he got all mad at me ad said that their just friends and that she is going through a divorce too and her birthday was the next day. Whatever, I need to somehow reel my feelings in because they are obviously not being reciprocated. I swear I wish I could just get men out of my head, they seem to be the stem of all my stress. I just really miss having someone. I love being in a relationship and doing thing for someone and knowing that I always have someone to talk to and be close to physically, it really kinds sucks. Greg was also all pissy yesterday because girls were fighting over him. I told him they would be knocking down his door. He's a very good looking guy who is well established and funny as hell. For many girls, that's their ticket out of their own life and into his. Greg is very much attracted to the prissy girls with immaculate finger nails and gorgeous hair. Perfectly done make-up and clothes that always flatter and ones you find in Cosmo magazine. I'm just not that girl. I wear jeans for the most part. I like big comfy sweatshirts. I usually have dirt under my nails from the barn, I'm not afraid to get dirty. I wear minimal make-up and always leave my hair down and untamed. And I'm a little chunky now. I can't get down on myself though. I just have to believe that somewhere out there is a guy who will love me for who I am andwhat I love to do in my life. I;m just looking for some normalcy in my life. All I want is steady eddie and normal, is that so much to ask? So ofcourse it's 10:20am and Greg still hasn't texted or called me. I need to stop taking it so personal. I need to stop caring so much about people, especially ones who do not even appreciate it. Again, I have my dogs and horse and cat and love each and everyone individually. They are my life and I wouldn't trade them for all the tea in China. Well I guess I better get back to work, I'm working at the college till 6P tonight so it's gonne be a long day at the office and sitting around. I think I might go to Walmart later and buy a $5 dvd and watch it on my lap top at the college since it's always dead there. Have a great day everyone, and tomorrow I have plans on riding my boy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday Ramblings

Sorry it's been a few days getting to update the blog, been busy with work and things. Sunday was a great day. The weather was in the 40's and might have even touched 50 at one time. I rode Possum just a bit in the ring, but it was so busy in there and it hadn't been watered that the dust was killing me. We decided to hit the trails/dirt roads. I was glad to be out of the arena and Possum had a little extra spring in his step. We did some trotting and cantering. I got to the end of the road and decided that I would torture myself and wrap my stirrups up like a jockey. Possum like it when I play around like this and stood still while I adjusted them from on his back. Let me just say that if you want to feel the burn in your legs and thighs, just try trotting in jockey stirrups, not posting, but hovering. I swear I was burning more calories than Possum was just by riding him. I had to take a break after a few minutes because I felt like they were going to give way under me. Cantering is much easier than trotting. So we came to our favorite hill and Possum was pulling at the bit to go. I made dure we were safely around the corner and then I crouched low on his back and he took off like out of a cannon. I imagined myself thundering down the lane at the Breeders cup, catching horses like they were standing still. I got as close to his neck as I could with my face and urged him on with my arms. He hit another gear into warp speed and flattened his ears and stretched his neck. I love the feeling of going so fast that it takes your breath away, like when you stick your head out of hte window of a car driving down the road. We reached the top of the hill and I started to ease him up and stood in the stirrups just like I see the jockeys do at the end of a race. He pulled up slowly and I trotted him out for a bit until he had stopped blowing. We then walked and I took my aching legs out of the stirrups and let them dangle. It was a perfect day for a ride and we walked the rest of the way back to the barn.

I love the fact that I can do anything with my horse. He's up for anything and so am I, we both like to have fun. I can't imagine having a horse who was a stick in the mud. I mean Possum has come a long way from where he used to be, and we have definately become comfortable in our relationship. I feel like I can trust him with my life, I really do. The bond we have for each other is amazing. That's not to say that we don't have our moments and that he never pisses me off, but it's how we end our disagreements that matters, they usually bring us closer together. he is just amazing in his training lately as well and I am so excited to go to shows starting next month.

Sunday was the last time I rode. Work has been crazy and last night I had plans to ride Aragon again, but I was just so tired that I came home, let the dogs out, ate something and went to bed until 7:30P. Tonight I promised the dogs that we would go to the barn. The barn owner called me yesterday and said that a woman was interested in breeding her TB mare to Aragon but wanted to obviously see him in person. She asked me if I had any extra time if I could work him because she has been so busy lately so that Aragon could look is best when the woman came to see him. I said no problem, I enjoy working him and my hopes are to hit some of the trails with him this summer. So tonight Aragon and I have a date hahaha.

As for the guy thing, things are OK. I hung out with the new guy the other night and it is definately NOT a match. He is not big into animals and especially does not understand how important my dogs are to me. He was nice and all, but there was no spark. Greg actually got quite jealous and confided in me that he did get bothered a little, but that he has no say in the matter and is not ready for a relationship. I reassured him that nothing was going on, and even admitted that right now I had no desire to do anything with anyone because I didn't want to mess whatever we had, whatever that is hahaha. Greg and I hung out Monday night and went food shopping and out for a quick dinner. We had so much fun and it's just so easy to talk to him. We joke and kid, he puts his arm around me, I slap his butt. I need to be satsified with the fact that we have a great friendship and that if anything more were to happen this was a great basis. He did even tell me that night while shopping that his biggest fear is losing me as a friend and that I am the person he confides in most. I know this was really hard for him to say with sticking his neck out there. I really took it to heart and gave him a big grin.

Well that's about all for today. Looking forward to getting out of work and hittin the barn. I'm sure the dogs are too. Have a great day everyone.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good and Bad News

OK, I'll start with the good news first. I'm going to be able to show in all the shows I want this summer with Possum. The bad news is that I will not be going to Nevada on my ranch trip in September. It sucks, but I really need the money right now. I need my car to have some minor maintenance, I need to register my car and I need atleast 2 new summer tires. Even though I have always wnated to goon this vacation, I feel that I need to take care of some things and then go to shows this summer with Possum. He is doing so well and I can't help but think that maybe this will be our year. I also talked about it with Greg and he really seems to understand how important showing is to me and encouraged me to make this decision. So it's settled, I take care of some financial things and get to sow Possum all summer. I'm actually excited about this.

So yesterday was a great day at the barn. I was literally there all day! My roomie and I watched a really good lesson and then set up some bounces and then a one stride at 3'3". It was a really good gymnastic and Possum really excelled with it. His knees were snappy and his rhythmn was perfect. My roomie and another guy who rides at the barn all did it. Yes, you heard me right, a guy actually a teenage boy who rides horses and jumps. Hi Matt if your reading hehehe. SO had a lot of fun and then to cool out and get some fresh air we went down the trail/road. We galloped some and then walked the rest home and enjoyed the nice weather which was in the 40's. We got some of our runs on video on my phone but I can't figure out an online program to read it so I can post it on here. So I actually got up early this morning and just hanging around the apartment in my PJ's. Later I'll get dressed and head to the barn again to ride. Now that I've made my decision to show Possum this summer I'm psyched and hoping that our training continues go well and we're able to take that to our shows.

Above is a Pic of Possum I took the other day after a ride. His neck is a little sweaty so that's why he looks like a ragga-muffin. This is a typical Possum face.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Quick Guy Update

Just had to write this more to get it off my chest than to bore you guys with more drama. But I did end up talking to "G" last night. He called me and I answered before I knew it was him. Anyways he wanted to talk about the dogs and how much he misses him. Then we talked about his situation. He has lost his license now for 3 years. He is getting fired from his job, as driving is part of his job description. He is going to be forced to sell his house due to lack of finances. He is in a world of hurt. I feel bad, I really do. Even at my maddest I wouldn't wish that upon him. I informed him that the best thing for him to do was surround himself with good and positive friends an dpeople. He then added that he is and that his new woman is home with him now. I immediately became cold. I asked him where he was going to live if he sold his house and he said maybe with her. I couldn't believe it!!! It was at the exact moment that I let everything go. I felt a huge wave come over me and then it disappeared. I was able to think clearly and in a stable voice I informed him that atleast for a while it would be best if we didn't talk so I could have the time I need to get on with my life and not worry about what he is doing. I told him that I'm not holding the dogs from him, but that it's gonna be a while. He quickly said ok and bye and hung up. I hung up the phone and just stared at it, waiting to feel something. I wasn't sad, I wasn't mad I wasn't really anything. I felt like I was watching a 5yr piece of me break off and float away into outerspace. Then I started to feel hopeful. Like I had been released from shackles and the hope of a new future. For the first time I felt like I was worth more and that I actually might find it in this crazy backwards world of mine. I felt like things had slowed down and I had stopped racing at warp speed. I went upstairs and hugged and kissed each one of my dogs and told them I love them. They looked up at me like they always do, eyes wide asking for my undivided attention. I was more than happy to give it to them. I spent the rest of the night playing on the computer, watching a little TV and talkng on the phone with Greg. Our old conversations were back. We were able to joke around in that flirty playful way that automatically puts a smile on our faces. I went to bed that night after watering all the plants and reading some and slept a peaceful night. Thoughts of "G" started to creep into my brain, but I was able to push them out. It's new day today. It's almost the weekend and I have plans to spend the whole time at the barn. When I get out of work early this afternoon, my roomie and I are going to take the dogs and ride our ponies. Iactually feel alright, and I can say that with honesty. Just wanted to let you guys know and thanks for all the support and well wishes, they really do help. Have a great Friday the 13th!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Little of this and Little of that

Sorry it;s taken me so long to blog. One of the reasons is that I have only ridden Possum once so far this week. I went to the barn Tuesday night to ride and try to relax. I was still stressing over the Greg stuff going on that I just needed to be with my horse and blow off some steam. I only rode for about half an hour and we didn't do anything serious at all. I rode basically with one hand the entire time, didn't care if he was on the bit and just went around the arena on criuse control. We trotted a bunch of times around and then cantered. We even did flying changes across the diagonals one handed and he did suprisingly great. It was more of just riding for the sake of riding. My brain was not ready to do a serious training ride and Possum was more than happy to just go along with his head in the air. I gave him lots of kisses and hugs and then had to go home.

I did have it out with Greg tgat night and how he was making me feel lately. I was angry, pissy and hurt, but after we got it all out things seemed to get better, more clear. He's right in a way that I like him more than friends, I can't help that, it just happes, he's an awesome guy. He is not ready to take anything past friendship phase, I get that. But he also doesn't have to ignore me or give me one word answers when we're used to talking for hours. The reason he didn't really see it is because he does not feel the way I do. However, he was very upset at the prospect of losing what he calls "one of his best friends". SO I burst open the lines of communication and we are both feeling better about things. Even though we may have different feelings right now, we care very much about each other. He also reassured me that he is not scoping for girls as was my fear and was honest that girls were coming to him, but he was only addressing them as friends. I have to believe him. I just need to focus on the friends piece first and if anything comes from that it's just a bonus.

I did however go out with my roomie to a basketball game last night that one of her new guy friends was playing in. Us' and a bunch of players went out to eat after. I was my usual charming self of making fun of my roomate and being a complete smart ass hahaha. I was dressed in a sexy hooded sweatshirt and jeans woo hoo (note the sarcasm) However, today I was informed that one of the guys thinks I was funny and cute and wants to know if he can have my number. SO I say sure to the third party that asked me, because hell we're in 6th grade right? What do I have to lose? I'm in no rush. I have real feelings for Greg, but it might also be nice to hang out with someone casually that actually takes a shine to me, or atleast talk to him. It can't hurt anything, I guess that's why they call it being single. So today is looking up, not for the fact that all this happened, but because I practically leaped out of bed today and ready to work. I havn't felt like that in a long time. I hope that with the change of seasons, that my moods also will turn more positive. Even though it's still in the 30's, it's a beautiful and bright day. I have my dogs and cat and my beloved Possum. I have plans to be at the barn all weekend again and ride both Possum and Aragon and chill with my horsey friends again.

Quick update on the "G" front. Out of the blue today he texted me saying that he really misses the dogs and loves them very much and to give them a hug and a kiss for him. Oh and also hoping that I was doing OK. Wanna know what my response was.......NOTHING. I am so done burrying and then digging things up again. He made his choice, and ultimately I made mine. We hurt each other equally and it's done. Ofcourse I still care for him and yea I even still love him, it takes a while to not, but I can't keep doing this to myself. He wanted nothing to do with me over the past few weeks and basically told me to fuck off, so I'm just doing what he told me to. Have a great day everyone and be safe.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Great Horse Weekend

Despite all the guy drama going on, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and spent an entire weekend at the barn. Saturday I got up fairly early for me, showered and dressed and packed up the dogs and headed to a busy day at the barn. The weather was a perfect 45 degrees and bright and sunny skies. Just being outside in the sun and warmer air lifted my spirits. I let Possum out to eat scraps of hay around the paddocks and went to the indoor and watched a couple lessons and visited with horse friends. I then caught Possum and tacked him up and rode in the arena for about an hour. Even though there was lots of people riding, he did really well. We did some more small course work and I set up one big jump again and worked on my spots and getting him stretching over bigger jumps again. He did really well and I was wicked happy. I then took him down the road and did a little hand gallop. I turned him around at the base of a large hill and he wanted to go so I let him fly. He was going so fast that it took my breath away. I crouched down to his neck and just watched as his front feet ate up ground and his neck bobbed out in front of him. For some reason Possum loves galloping up hills, I don't know what it is, but the power that he has is just amazing. At the top of the hill I started to slowly slow him down. We cantered a little out and then trotted until he wasn't blowing anymore. He then broke to a walk and walked the rest of the way to the barn on a loose rein.

When I got back to the barn I gave him a good grooming and put his under layer blanket on and let him out to eat loose hay again. I then decided to take the barn owners TB stallion out and work with him. His name is Aragon and I am just in love with him, always have been. He is about 15yrs old now, 15.3 hands and a hot ticket. He raced for over 8 years on the track which is basically unheard of. He has clean and perfect legs, no stiffness or soreness anywhere and is just the most fluid moving guy there is. I wish more TB's had legs like he does! Because he is such a whack job and a stallion not many people are allowed or can work with him. 2 years ago I started to work with him regularly and we were walk trot canter and jumping small courses, then show season got really busy and he moved down the road to a boarders house to chill the rest of the summer and he hasn't been touched since. I decided that it was time that he get some work and plus it would get me in shape.

That first day I only lunged him working on voice commands which came right back to him and working on cantering circles balanced, which can be hard for a one sided TB. As I has guessed he was really out of shape and was quite saweaty after the 25 min work out. I gave him a good curry and promised him that tomorrow I would ride him. I tucked Possum in for the night, packed up the dogs who were exhausted by the end of the day and we went home.

On Sunday, despite the time change I got my ass out of bed and got dressed and went to the barn. Suprisingly for a Sunday the place was buzzing with acivity. I hung out for a bit and isited and then went and got Possum and tacked him up. We worked a lot on the flat and he started to get more and more soft. We trotted some jumps for a warm-up and then did only a little bit of cantering lines. I then jumped him over the large 3'6" one a few times and he was really good. Then for the rest of the ride we just played around. I took his saddle off and did some bareback jumping. I could feel the burn in my legs which is a good thing! When I was done with Possum I out him away and when the arena was quieted down some I took Aragon out. I gave him another good grooming since he is starting to shed now and tacked him up. I have to say that he was looking mighty handsome in my tack. I lunged him for about 7 min in each direction to get his brain working and listening to cues and then brought him over to the mounting block. He was very well behaved and we started to walk around. I could beel the ball of energy under me as we were walking and was ready for anything. We started trot circles and walk some and he was really great. He kept his attention on me even when we had a mare working in the arena. When we were done I made him stand quietl for 20 seconds in the middle of the arena and then hopped off and gave him a big scratch on his head. He loved it and was so itchy that he almost ppushed me over scratching his head on me. Usually I don't let horses do this, but I had initiated it and because he did so well on his first ride back I went easy on him. I gave him lots of praise and untacked him and brushed him down. It's funny because the people left at the barn had gathered at the arena to see what would happen. My goal is to get aragon going again in regular work and then go on some trails with him. For a TB he is not spooky at all! His only issues is that he gets over thinking in his brain and just fizzles out, so as long as the rider or handler gives him something to think about he is fine.

I'm working all day today, but tomorrow is supposed to be warm and nice so I think I'll go to the barn to ride after work. Someday I hope to have an aragon foal, a colt ofcourse hehehe. Maybe when I win the lottery. Just have to find the perfect mare to breed him too also......... Below are some pics of Aragon so you can see what he looks like.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The importance of a strong correct leg in hunt seat

This is a topic that I don't think is discussed enough, especially in the jumping world. Obviously there is a difference in leg position depending on the discipline you ride, but in jumping it is essential to have a strong leg.

The basis of correct jumping equitation is a strong correct leg. Now that doesn't mean how far your heel can flex down in the stirrup, although a lowered heal is essential. The key to a strong leg is thigh and calf contact with no "pinch" in the knee. In order to achieve this contact ones heel must be lowered to a certain degree. Now myself I have a hard time flexing a lot in that area so mine are definately not as deep as some people. But you also need to be careful because if your heel is too lowered artificially, then you are going to especially lose your thigh contact. A good exercise and test to see just how strong your legs are and finding your correct position is riding with no stirrups. If you feel the burn, it's working!!! This will not let you use the stirrup as a crutch and will essentially put you in a do or die situation. I do this exercise a few times a month. It's good for my legs and also for the rest of my body in order to jump correctly, with keeping off the horses back, head up, back arched and a proper release. Dont' expect to ride for more than 10 minutes if your not used to no stirrups, it is truly an exhausting exercise.

One common error riders tend to make when jumping is pushing off the stirrup from their toes. This causes the grip to be in your knees which can be very dangerous. Gripping with your knees acts like a pivot, and if the horse were to stop short or stumble you could be catapulted over the horse and into a dangerous situation. Pushing off from your toes also tends to make the rider jump ahead of their horse instead of letting the jump gently fold them at the hip and sinking into their legs and staying in the middle of the saddle. Jumping ahead is commonly found in hunters. Many riders say that their equitation is not as good on hunters because their jump is so powerful and their rounding their backs, I say that this is just carelessness on the riders part and that proper jumping position is required at all levels of jumping. It would make the picture that much prettier to see a horse rounding over a jump with their knees to their eyeballs and not see a rider half hanging on their neck. Just My opinion ofcourse.

Before riders attempt any jumps over 2ft or so they must be confident and secure in their jumping position. To perfect the jumping position it's good to go through exercises of bounces, being lunged with no hands, no stirrup work and other gymnastics. I myself enjoy lunge lessons because it's a time when the rider can focus solely on themselves and not have to worry about steering and speed and such. Lunge lessons are good for ANY type rider.
Above is a pretty good example of a nice heel and pretty strong leg. Her thigh contact could be a little better which would bring her back in the middle of the saddle as opposed to over the front slightly, but this rider looks really secure. Her heel is lowered with a nice angle. Her back is flat and head up and is doing a short crest release. The horse is absolutely striking with a great even take off, a nice front end. This horse has a gorgeous head, is relaxed looking and his ears are forward. This is truly a pretty picture.
The rider above has a heel similiar to mine, it looks a little stiff and unyielding. Ideally it would be better to see it a little lower allowing for a little more contact with the calf, but she still looks secure. I love the fact that she is right over the center of the saddle and has stayed put while the horse jumped and let it close her hip angle and be less busy, letting the horse do the jumoing instead of her "helping". Her back is excellent and arched. Her head is up and she is fpcused on the next jump ahead. I also want to add that her stirrup length is perfect for this jumping. She is obviously in the stadium phase of eventing and is riding with a short stirrup over a good sized jump. One of the exercises that I do to stretch the tendons in my leg is to go up against a wall with my toes up and push against it getting my legs to stretch and allowing my heel to become a little less stiff.
Even though this pic is kinda at a funky angle, you can still see soem good leg contact and a lowered heel with the toe out to the correct angle. From the looks of the pic it seems that she is jumping slightly ahead. If she were to wait for the horses jump and stay over the center of the saddle it would help her equitation and security over fences. One of the slight flaws in this photo is something that I am notorious for, rounded shoulders. This rider needs to open her chest up more and keep her shoulders square. To help with this for me, I like to be lunged or in a safe space where I can have my arms like airplane wings. I also do this over small jumps as well keeping my chest open and shoulders square.

Lastly this is a pic of a very weak lower leg. I understand that this jump is huge and this horse and rider are of olympic caliber. I have no doubt that this rider is very good, but his leg and position is very dangerous over this fence. This is a classic example of pinching of the knee and having it act like a pivot. His leg has swung so far back that it's probably spurring the horse on the sides. If this horse were to stunble or take a mis step on the landing this rider has a very good chance of being thrown over his head. The higher the fences the more magnified your equatation flaws are going to show through. Because of this riders talent he is able to have control over the rest of his body by having a correct release with a flat back and head up, but from the knees down this is scary. Not only does proper equitation look nice, but it has a purpose and function. It enables the rider to stay out of their horses way and not impede their jumping and also makes it more secure for the rider and safer.

On a side note with the guy portion of this blog. Things suck. I have been really down for the past few days. "G" will not talk to me at all. This actually saddens me and I find myself missing him and wondering how he is doing. Greg has also been a little distant. I know we are just friends and all, but it just sucks when you want to fall back on someone. He is having a friend who is a girl over tonight who is going through a break-up too. I have to admit that she is gorgeous and I have an inkling that Greg finds her attractive. It just makes you wonder because that's how we hooked up too. I need to let it all go, it's out of my hands and whatever happens happens. It just sucks that I feel so alone right now. I can't wait to go to the barn all day tomorrow and be with my horse and friends. What doesn't kill me makes me stronger, so I should be like friggen superwoman after all this crap!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Progresses in riding over the past couple of years

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I need to work on with Possum and all of the things we aren't doing that I thought I would take a chance to talk about all of the things that we are doing well and have mastered.

Walk canter transitions- Ever since I got Possum 5 and a half years ago even the prospect of clean walk-canter transitions seemed impossible. From way back even cantering from a trot was bone jarring. Then half way through last year it all seemed to come together. I didn't even have to think about it. I just collected him a little, sat slightly back on my seat bones and outside leg slightly behind the girth and away we went. It's really cool to feel it done right, he just sits on his hind end and pushes off into a nice collected canter depart. I love it!!!

Breaking at the poll- Because of Possum's build, his resistence to the bit over years of abuse and his natural stubborn nature, having him travel on the bit has been a huge struggle. It was about 3 years ago that he finally got the concept after a huge struggle and it was like the light bulb went on. He was able to soften at the poll and round his back and really come through with his hind end. It still requires a lot of skill by the rider of getting him all together, but it is doable. So he can actually look and move like a big grown up horse.

Good jumping form- as with most green horses, working on good jumping form takes time and patience with gymnastics and lots of trotting jumps. It takes them time to get comfortable in using their back and rounding over the jumps as opposed to hollowing out and dragging forelegs. I can say with pride now that Possum has really good form over jumps, expecially when his rider (me) gets him to the right spots. As George Morris likes to call it, his legs are up by his eyeballs. As long as he's no rushing his form looks really nice and correct over the jumps.

Jump Heights- Never in a million years would I have ever thought that Possum could jump a 4'6" fence. He has really gotten more athletic and has developed a good eye for jumping. We're still working on courses of about 3'3" and above, but the concept is there and it's just putting it all together.

Spooking- I have really never needed to worry about spooking with Possum. He is brave and honest and is willing do do just about anything that I ask him. We have really developed a trusting relationship and he knows that I take care of him and he takes care of me. People are always commenting at the barn on how my horse will do anything for me. That feels really good.

Horse and owner relationship- Over the years Possum and I have really developed a great relationship with one another. We started out almost 6 years ago with a dislike for one another and now we really love each other. Everytime I go to the barn he comes over to the gate to be let out. He follows me everywhere. After a ride in the indoor lots of time I'll get off and walk him in hand. But I don't even have to hold onto him. He goes where ever I go. People always say that I'm working on my natural horsemanship, but I tell them it's just horsemanship and trust. We play games on foot like tag and also I can jump over jumps on foot and he'll follow me jumping all of the jumps that I do. After I took a dunk in a pond last year in sub zero temps he really saved my life by bringing me safely back to the barn. He could have bucked or taken a mis step and I would have come off in a frozen pile. But I wrapped my arms around his neck and he carried me the 2 miles home and promptly stopped outside the arena so people could help me. I'm able to take him to parades, swimming at the pond, cross country, snow tubing and anything else that I can think of.

Even though I would never think of Possum as my "dream horse" he is my best friend. He may not be the best show horse or the prettiest or best moving guy out there, but he tries for me and love him for that. So sometimes instead of thinking of all the things we need to do, it's nice to look back on all that we have accomplished. He knows I'll never sell him no matter what happens in my life. Hell, I think he'd kill someone if I tried to get rid of him hahaha. It's also nice hearing all the little comment from everyone at the barn and everyone that knows us like at the shows. Last year at a show I was riding Moonshine and people who I didn't even know came up to me and asked where my appy was and talked about how they can see he loves to jump and tries his hardest and that we really work well as a team. That means a lot to me that people recognize all the hard work we put into things and the relationship that we have with one another.

Below is a pic that someone snapped of Possum and I last spring without us knowing it. We were sharing a moment together and communicating in our own way.