November Training Update

It has not been an easy two months.  After I hurt my neck and shoulder I had to take 2 weeks off riding, and I barely rode the 3rd week.  Which doesn’t sound like all that long but it had a significant impact on my riding.  It was definitely the case of one step forward and two steps back.  I couldn’t find the connection with Savannah.  We trotted around the ring with either her nose up in the air or with her neck braced and stiff.  If I got her to loosen her neck, she’d loose her impulsion.  If I pushed her forward to get the impulsion back, she’d tighten her neck.

Luckily I have an awesome trainer so after some long talks and several lessons we were able to get our connection back and then some.  For the first time I was able to feel Savy relaxed, connected and pushing from the back…consistently.  We started doing half halts to get her to sit and lift, we can only get it for a few strides, but the feeling is amazing.  We even knocked out an awesome leg yield and learned shoulder-in (ish).

I know it seems like we’re taking a lot time to learn connection and I have to keep myself from getting frustrated.  Savy and I have both been learning dressage for a little over a year, and this is my first experience with a baby.  We had to learn how to steer, Savy had to learn that leg means go.  She had to learn that contact on the reins doesn’t mean stop or toss her head.  And it was incredible how unbalanced she was.  She walked like a drunken sailor because she literally didn’t know how to balance a rider.  Every now & then I have to give myself a pep talk so I don’t feel like a failure 🙂  It’s called adult amateur shame….read this wonderful article.

This is a video from my latest lesson.  Savy was very fussy because it was Saturday morning and her friends were outside and she wasn’t, and she had to spend Friday inside due to the weather.  She was very forward and didn’t want to accept the contact (apparently she thought if she went fast our lesson would be over quicker).  So Nicole had our tempo a little slower than normal so that she could keep her balance and not fall onto her forehand.  We realized that my biggest problem with connection is in the corners.  I don’t keep her bent enough. The issue is that when we go down the long side I loose the outside rein, and getting it back causes her to toss her head.  For the time being I’ll need to almost over-flex her in the corners.




Dream Big or Go Home

I recently picked up the Jillian Michael’s book Unlimited, just because it was in the bargain bin and because I love Jillian (as you all know).  I’s a self-help book about…you guessed it, reaching your unlimited potential/dreams/self.  I have never read a self-help book before, but since it’s by Jillian, I decided to give it a try.  The first chapter is all about dreaming.  She says many people stop dreaming because they’re afraid of disappointment.  And so my homework is to dream big (realistically though – I’ll never be able to fly or make money grow on trees).  Jillian suggests doing a dream board, but I’m going to do a dream post 🙂

I want a horse farm, and if I’m dreaming big I’d need at least 40 acres.  Upon these 40 acres I’d build my dream home.  I love, love, love craftsman style houses!  I love the stone and the wood work and the elegant rustic-ness of the style.  This house is pretty close to my dream home.  I’d want bigger windows, more stone and the siding would need to be blue instead of green.  The porch would need to wrap about the whole house so I could take advantage of all my gorgeous horses happily grazing in my yard.

Dream house

I would need this kitchen.

Farm house kitchen

And I’d have to find a place for something like this…


And this bathroom.

Dream Bathroom

Now for the really fun stuff…the barn!  It has to be sturdy and beautiful.  Stone work is a must, not only because it’ll match my dream house, but because I want a warm toasty barn.  I’m thinking something like this…

Craftsman Barn

But I’d also take a barn like Martha Stewart’s.


This is really pretty too though!!  I think I’d combine all 3 somehow.

Kentucky barn

The aisles must be brick, with high airy ceilings, and gorgeous stalls.  One must not forget fancy lighting fixtures as well.

barn isle

Or this…


And I have to have several wash bays!


What decent barn is complete without an indoor arena??

Arch Arena

Or this one…

Greenhouse arena

I’d need an outdoor arena too!


Either of these will work.  

Scrubbery edge

Lots of beautiful pasture.


And gorgeous horses. Especially this Buckskin Andalusian.

Bucksin Andalusian

And I can’t forget this sweet girl!


Seriously though, I want a horse farm.  I’m not interested in training either horses or people, but I am interested in farm management.  I’d love to host big shows and have a nice little Andalusian/Lusitano breeding program.  The trick is getting from my cubical to my farm, and I am determined to figure it out.