dancing horses

dancing horses

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Intermission


My friend Cindy posted this cartoon to her FB page and it made me laugh. It reminded me of a certain mare who, while not as 'fluffy' as this one, shares this sentiment. 





After writing my last post I realized that I really need to get a handle on my self-judgement.

You see I've been feeling a bit guilty about not riding lately. Which is rediculous- the footing and the weather have made it impossible. But I have that voice in my head that says 'if you really wanted to ride you would find a way. You are being a chicken".  I really don't like that voice.  So one of my goals this year is to try to get that voice to shush.

Anyway, today the weather was warmer and the snow was soft so decided to ride.  Carmen seemed to be quite happy to be brought out and tacked up. The girth is on the same holes as this summer so that is good. I put her on the lunge line to evaluate her mood and the depth of the snow. It seemed to be really good except for one end which was a bit deep.

I hopped on and we went to ride. I am continuing to work on the goals of keeping her on my aids (which means I have to be making sure I'm directing her), not adding to the tension and not hang on to the rein too tight.

The interesting thing about riding in the snow is how it encourages the horse to really step up. On the lunge Carmen was really pushing. How that feels in the saddle is incredible. I realized that I have more fitness to develop in order to sit that. Initially she was a bit tight and looky but as we walked she became more relaxed and listening. There was a lot of power in her trot and it caught me off guard at first. My first thought was 'wow'. My second was 'oh my core'.

She started to blow out and I could feel wanting to GO. Like really go. I didn't let her - maybe I was chicken but I didn't want her slipping in the snow and injuring herself. So instead I said 'let's work on control and power. Speed can come later'.  I was really impressed with our work to the right- there wasn't any hesitation in picking up the trot like there used to be when we started back to work. We finished with a lovely canter in the snow. Again there was real power. Carmen wasn't even breathing hard.

I still suck at selfies. 
Back in the barn Irish was feeling a bit sassy. I looked at him and thought hmmm. I got out his tack and saddled him up. Carmen was funny- she was outside eating and then she realized what I was doing and started to freak out a bit. I mean I don't ride Irish. I ride her. But Cynthia is gone and Irish needs work so up to the ring we went.


Are you sure about this? 
Irish was a bit excited. I didn't want to put too much a strain on him with the snow. When I asked him to trot he gave a squeal and hop. Young Irish would have been a handful. Old Irish though can't do too much so I laughed and then he became insulted and finally we settled. He also wanted to GO and I let him pick up a canter. A couple circles took the wind out of his sails and we could do some work. I noticed that between E and C he was counterbent and looking out. I realized that this was what Carmen was doing too. 

Two very different horses, same issue. I wondered if there was a common denominator......

Yeah. Me. I realized that I was clamping with my left hand and thigh. So I fixed my position and surprise, surprise he became straight. This is a good thing about riding different horses. While I was riding Carmen just ate her hay- so obviously she wasn't too stressed. 

you can see her down at the barn

I really want to have a lesson (or two) but I need things to thaw. Come on spring.



28 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had fun riding both horses in the snow and they did too. I wouldn’t call you a chicken at all. It was brave of you to “brave” the less than stellar elements of a winter ride in the snow. I’m not a big fan of ice which is what we mostly have here, Come on Spring!

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    1. I hate ice. It always worries me. Since we put drainage in the small paddock outside the barn we have much less ice there which is good. I think I was 'brave' enough. :)

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  2. That little voice has faded and almost disappeared since we moved up here. Part of it is age, part of it is the job, part of it is weather -- but it doesn't bother me like it used to.

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    1. I need to squash that voice - not give it more air time. I'm glad that you conquered yours.

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  3. That cartoon is exactly what Emma says to me every morning:)

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    1. Ha! I laughed so hard when I saw it.

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  4. I think we all have that voice, and are constantly telling it to shush! <3

    Teresa, I don't always comment but I read every post. I love how thoughtful you are about your riding, yourself, your horses and your interactions with them. It's my favorite thing about your blog, and always leaves me thinking about my relationships with my own two girls.

    Riding in the snow is my favorite, for precisely the reasons you mentioned! :)

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    1. Thank you Saiph. I appreciate your kind words.

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  5. Ha I kinda love/hate when the same issue crops up on two different horses who otherwise don't have much in common except me as a rider.... Sounds like a fun set of rides tho! Yay for a good bed of snow to ride on! Hopefully conditions will stay favorable, but if not hopefully you're not too hard on yourself when riding isn't really possible!

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    1. Yeah- I think I had adjusted to carmen's looking out and now am causing it. Sigh. Thank heavens Irish is there to still teach me.

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  6. Oh wow, you have a lot of snow. I bet cantering was quite fun. Our snow melted and we were able to get the tractor in and clean it all up. The footing is still uneven—soft in some areas, packed in others—but it gets better every day. I have Leah in a stall now. She’s on a diet. 😂 poor thing. Sometimes I wish someone would lock me in a stall and feed me salad for a week. She’ll thank me later.

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    1. Poor Leah. she and Carmen can join a support group! I think I would be cranky like Carmen if someone did that....

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  7. I totally understand how hard it is to ride in the winter without an indoor. I am in the same boat as you. I know it is hard to squash that inner critic (I am my own worse enemy at times), but just think of winter as a good downtime for the horses. As much as I want to ride/train year round, winter forces me to take it easy. And that's ok! Fun snow rides like today will help you get through, even if they are far between. Spring is coming!! :-)

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    1. It was a fun ride. I'm glad I got it in because today there was ice in the ring.

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  8. Learning to be kind to ourselves is one of the toughest lessons to learn.

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  9. Good luck shushing the voice, if you figure it out please let me know. Mine is very good at making me feel guilty about pretty much everything.

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    1. That voice is pretty wily but I am determined!

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  10. I have managed to shush the voices, but that just means I accomplish nothing all winter. Or the rest of the year, really.

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    1. Are you kidding me? I read your blog and am amazed at all that you do!

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  11. I think it's adorable that Carmen was jealous at first. I'm glad you got to ride the two of them though. Having frozen ground sounds like it royally sucks. I can't imagine how insane I'd be if I didn't get to ride regularly during a season.

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    1. She likes to be dramatic. Whether she was jealous of me or Irish I am not sure.

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  12. I don't like that voice trying to shame me into shit either - the hell with that, life is too short for self-flagellation.

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    1. I agree- it really isn't helpful at all!

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  13. I commend you for riding in that snow! And I agree with Sara. Why are we so hard on ourselves??

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    1. I don't know why we're so hard on ourselves! I am ready for the snow to be gone!

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  14. "Salad through a colander" *ROTFL*

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  15. Oh that voice! We've all got it.

    Sounds like you made great use of your time with both horses. I love riding multiple horses and having them both communicate to me that I need to fix something with myself. Not an easy thing, but it always sticks with me more than learning something accidentally on my own.

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