Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fall Scene

Here is a pic from last weekend. We were on your way to ride through the field and through the woods. Just wanted you all to see the leaves. It was a great day for a hack through the woods.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Showing the fruits of my labor

It seems that after I make a decision to hold off on the showing for a while is when improvement seems to show. I had such an amazing ride on Possum last night it was crazy. As I have mentioned in my last post we're really working on length of stride, shortening and lengthening. Possum has never had any problem lengthening, but shortening is another story. He's been doing well lately so I decided to setp out of our comfort zone and really put our training to the test. I started out the ride just as any other ride, giving him a good warm-up and then trotting 2ft fences in both directions and then cantering. After that I focused on getting a certain number of strides in a line. It was set to a fairly large 4 stride. Possum easily got 5 strides and once we even squeaked in 6 strides. It wasn't pretty, but it as done. Then I took a deep breath, dismounted and eased the jumps to 3'3" verticals. They were big airy verticals with just a single pole and ground poles.

I just have to add that I hate verticals. Especially airy verticals. I find it hard to really find my spots. I did this on purpose to not rely on my eye and to focus on pace and rhythm. My goal for the exercise was to get 4 strides in the line, just the same as it was at 2ft. So both of us were really being challenged in this exercise. I bit the bullet and started him in a canter. I kept the same rhythm as we did for the 2ft fences and focused on maintaining his energy and having it be an active canter without it being fast. We got a perfect spot to the first fence. After we landed I et him have one forward stride and then eased him into a shorter canter stride. He responded well and we made it down the line in a perfect 4, with it even being a little long onthe take off. I was floored. We did it again and nearly the same result. Then I changed direction and we nailed it again. The one time we messed up, or I should say I messed up was when we were really getting short strides and instead of asking him fir a long spot to the second jump I thought I could sneak in another little stride. But I didn't prepare him enough ahead of time so we had to basically splant his front legs and then make a four footed leap over the jump, knocking the rail with his hind feet. I made sure to let him know what this was not his mistake and that it was me. He seemed to understand because after putting it back up we did it again and he was great.

I was so happy after the ride. I can;t even describe how good it feels for all the hard work to pay off. I felt like we could have done a whole course in a relaxed manner. For the end of the ride I worked for a few minutes on transisions, especially canter to walk.

So maybe I just wasn't working on the right things this summer. Maybe I was focusing too much on the big picture and stressing myself out on showing and everything else that I really didn't get a chance to tackle the real issues. Who knows, but we seem to be on the right track now. I know that there will be set backs and all, but it just feels good to finally get ahead of the game.

I also have to add that my finances are finally starting to look a little more bright. I've been scrimping and saving and paying off bills and trying to get ahead. I also have some money coming in from work that I didn't even think of. So that's def good news as well. I figure that by the end of November I will be all caught up, credit card all paid off and paying bills early instead of a week late.

Still been talking to Minnesota guy on a daily basis. Hoping to either go out for a visit or him to vome visit here sometime in the next month we'll see.

Alright, the roomie is begging my to go out for a walk. We're being lazy asses and sitting in our recliners with laptops on out legs and making silly stupid comments. So I better get back to acting 12. Check in later.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Due to popular demand....

Ok, people keep pestering me to update my blog. Let me start by saying that work has been crazy busy lately, we have had funerals and or visiting hours every day of the week at the apartment and I have also been riding lots at night after work at the barn. This leaves little time for blogging, never mind even sleeping. But I'll try and give a little update. Possum has been GREAT lately. We have been riding lots this week. Worked on lots of flat stuff. Mainly been trying to really shorten his canter stride and also work on lengthenings. I have been setting up either a 4 or 5 stride line and trying to atleast add one or two strides in the line. I'm happy with his progress since it's been our pattern to leave out strides, so adding them is a huge thing for us. I have also really wanted to work on my position and his pace and rhythm. SO I've been setting up a 3"3' oxer and just cantering it over and over. I'm working on not even touching the reins and letting the even canter rhythm take us to the jump and it's working out pretty well. I'm concentrating on keeping my heels deep, legs tight and letting the horses jump close my hip angle and using an automatic release. It's a lot to think about at once but it's coming together nicely. We also went for an awesome trail ride last weekend with another boarder at the barn and it was fun to get out and stretch our legs in the fall air.

As for Minnesota cowboy, things are still the same. We talk all the time and it's good and I'm just trying to sit in the backseat and let the universe take it's course. That's about all for news in my life right now. Just going through the motions and really busy with work and stuff. I'm looking forward to hitting the trails at the barn this weekend before real deer hunting season begins and keeps us out of the woods for a while which really sucks. I don't even take a chance. There are so many stupid hunters out there that just shoot on sound and the thought of my horse or myself getting shot by some jack ass makes me shudder. Don't get me wrong, there are many responsible and great hunters out there, but it only takes one to ruin it for everyone.

Money has also been real tight as of late as well. I'm trying to catch up and get ahead on bills. Plus my car needs winter tires put on and it's also that time of year to pay car insurance. It seems that as soon as you feel like your caught up and doing well other bills come up to totally ruin it all. SO I'm on a super strict budget and it sucks! I really want to go out one night this weekend but lack of money may keep me home. We'll see. Well I think that's about it. I'll update more this weekend.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Helloooooo, is anybody there?

This is basically what people are asking me as my posts are now a week apart. So to put everyone's mind at rest I am doing fine. I have been battling a nasty cold for over 8 days now. Last weekend I hung out with my parents and then sure enough on Monday I felt like shit. It was so bad that I either worked from home when I could so I could lay down and drink hot tea or called in sick most of last week. It literally wiped me out and I am still coughing a little with the sniffles, but am feeling much better comparitively. So due to this cold I havn't been riding much or if i have it's been pretty short just to stretch both of our legs. Yesterday I finally felt better enough to do an actual ride. We worked on some endurance on the trail with lots of cantering and trotting and then when we got back to the barn we jumped a few jumps and puttered around. After riding I gave hom a treat while I brushed him and then put on his rain sheet since the weather that night was calling for rain and yes even SNOW! I am so not ready for that stuff yet. After letting him back out in the paddock I snuck through the fence and just chilled with him in the grass. Wherever I walked he followed, it was kinda cool. I gave him lots of pats and hugs and just enjoyed spending time with him.

I got home and then showered and changed since a "friend" had asked me to dinner. I know I know, everyone's interest has just perked up, but it's not as great as it seems. This guy friend and I are simply just that and maybe a little more, but in terms of feelings it is strictly just friends. Basically we are just both a little lonely and not in relationships and enjoying each others company, Kapish? So it was kind of out of the blue that he would ask me to dinner since that's not usually our deal. And to be honest I have been kind of avoiding him lately because I am really starting to have feelings for the Minnesota guy. But I was kinda cornered yesterday and really had to say yes to dinner. Plus this guy friend and I really are friends so it wasn't that bad, plus we have known each other for many years so it was cool. But I couldn't help but feel a slight twinge of sadness. Like I was hoping it was my Minnesota guy that I was chillin with instead of this guy friend. My MN friend and I talk literally 5 times a day. We talk about anything and everything and we can talk for hours. He's sweet and nice and has his life together for the most part blah blah I know you guys have heard it all before. However he is not in a position to date anyone right now. He is in the process of a divorce after a seperation and has kids so I really don't want to be in the mix, and plus it's not my place to be either. (FYI he got married 10 yrs ago when his gf got pregnant and obviously it's not working out) But we talk all the time and it's great. He picks me up during the day and he tells me I do to him too. I really look forward to talking to him and we just seem to click. I know we're 1600 miles away with some obstacles to get through, but boy does this feel good. He's honest and up front, almost brutally honest. He hasn't been happy in a long time and was basically staying in the marriage just for show and then finally couldn't take it anymore. He then came to Maine just looking to get away for a while and get out of the situation and have fun and that's when we met. Neither one of us planned this at all and neither one of us were looking. I was just getting over the Summer of Molly and having fun and he was getting settled into the single life of just himself. He is by no means a player, it makes me laugh a little because of how little experience he has had, but it's cute all in the same hand. SO I really don't know what is going to happen. I have no expectations and we communicate effectively about it all the time so it's good to not have any secrets. Just taking this really slow and "holding my horses" so to speak hahaha. All I know is that as of this time I am not really interested in anyone and am just sitting in neutral seeing what the universe has to bring me. Patience is not a virtue of mine so this is good for me mentally and emotionally just to cool my heels.

Well I think that's about all. It's raining today and I'm not going to ride since I'm still not feeling 100%. I think it's gonna be a clean the apartment evening, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, folding clothes etc...real fun. Plus I need to catch up on everyone's blogs since I've been offline for a bit. Have a great day everyone.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Crazy work week with little time to ride

Just as the title implies it was a crazy work week. I worked late 4 out of the 5 days in the work week and have been running around the county going to schools and colleges in a crazed frenzy. My poor horse only got ridden Wednesday and Friday nights. Wednesday I finally had a break in the action to ride my horse. I didn't ride long, only for about 30 minutes since it was yucky and rainy. Had to ride in the indoor and someone else was also riding a young horse so I didn't want to do any serious jumping. Possum was quite energetic which was cool, but he was well behaved. We flatted for the most part. Working on bending and transitions. I worked hard on my equitation and getting back into riding shape. It's crazy how when you don't ride so many times a week you lose so much muscle, especially in the legs. It was went OK for the most part and I just focused on enjoying my horse. We tried dodging the rain back up to the barn and I gave him a good grooming and put on his rain sheet.

Friday was a much nicer day. It was still cool, only in the low 50's, but I love that temp anyways. Possum came right up to the gate and was ready to ride. I stripped his blanket off and curried him for a while. Now that it's getting colder and the days are getting less and less light they are really starting to get in their winter coats and shedding their summer ones. We ended up having a pretty good ride despite my low energy levels. He warmed up good but was a little lazy so I had to work a little to get him in front of the leg. Once we started trotting some 2ft jumps he perked up some. We worked on being straight and not having him just fall on his forehand after a jump. This is always a challenge for him. He listened pretty well and I was happy. We cantered some small lines and he was nice and slow and collected. I still took it easy on tight turns still kind of babying that left hind. It seems to be doing good, but I don't want to push it. We worked on some canter circles and flying changes. To end the ride we worked on some collected and extended trot sessions. I have found that once Possum starts jumping some and using his back that he is more apt to lift his back in the flat work. So he was nice and collected and really through the bridle. My roomie and I walked around the farm to cool out and then put our horses away. I put his rain sheet back on since the weather was calling for a wet weekend.

Saturday was soaking wet. I had family in town so I went to my parents and did laundry and visited with them. I went to bed early Saturday night since I was going back in the am to meet my family and going to a local fair on Sunday. The fair was a lot of fun. It was good to see some people I havn't seen in a while and hang with the fam. Ofcourse the fair food is always delicious and totally fattening, but hey, we're allowed to indulge sometimes, right? The weather actually cleared in the morning and we even had breaks of sun in the afternoon which was nice. I did feel guilty not riding my horse, but I figure the break won't hurt either of us. Tomorrow I have to work late again but Tuesday I really want to get out to the barn at a decent time and hit the trails. This time of year is so nice with the leaves changing and the nice crisp clear air.

As for my "cowboy friend" we are still 1600 miles apart so it's kinda hard, but the roomie and I are still planning on going out there to visit and check things out, but it might have to wait until December or January because money is really tight right now and I just have no spare cash. Our plan is to go out to Minnesota in the worst part of the year weather wise so we can see it at it's worst because it will only get better from there and see if we can really handle it if we do decide to move next year. This is all just planning and talking for now, nothing is definite for sure, but I know we're both ready for a move and knowing people out there is a plus so we won't just be on our own. So stay tuned for that. However, my cowboy friend and I do talk on the phone every day which is nice, atleast we can talk if we can't see each other. Well I think that's all for now, kinda quiet around here other than the craziness at work which I hope will slow down a little in a few weeks.