Photo by Margaret Chant and edited by Jessica Metropulos

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Where Has She BEEN?!

Some day, I swear, my life will slow down...maybe not in the foreseeable future, but ONE DAY! So...where have I been? What have I been doing? Why haven't I blogged? Where are my priorities? How are my horses? What are we playing with? All very good questions. I'll try my best to get things sorted out for ya ;)

I have been what seems like all over kingdom come and back in the past couple weeks. I got home from my travels with Farrah on the afternoon of the 23rd of June, and hit the ground running. Teaching, trimming, training, all of that good stuff. Mostly trimming, I must say though. I get home from 5 weeks off, and every single client I have has a horse with long toes, go figure. So needless to say, my hands have re-calloused, and my hoof jack feels far from neglected.

I'm in the process of tying up loose ends on the plans for another lesson...weekend with Farrah--July 11th-12th, Pepin Trailblazer's arena. I currently have 3 participant slots left, one on the 11th and two on the 12th, with several people pending. Cost is $120/90 minute lesson, auditors welcome at $10/day. PLEASE let me know if you're interested in coming, I'd love to see you there!

My horses are doing quite well, I returned home to find both Prin and LB fat and out of shape (My last 12 days with Farrah were completed with Crest). Prin had absolutely no topline, a half inch of extra hoof, and a pot belly. Okay so that whole body condition thing? It doesn't keep itself up. So, we're currently playing with..well..getting in decent condition again. I trimmed her 3 days ago, and now we've been going for long trots/canters to get the muscles moving again. We're also playing with stretching, and building more flexibility, especially in the hind end. Not that Prin's got problems, but being that she's build like a QH, and not for collection necessarily, I figure it can only help.

Yesterday a friend called just as I began my session with Prin, and so I needed something to play with that didn't involve a lot of use of my arms. I stood her up on the pedestal at first. Incidentally, standing with only the front feet on the pedestal is a great stretch and rotation that causes the shoulder apparatus to open up and lift. Great for the topline and movement ;) I had her stand for a couple minutes, and then had her hop off. She offered to sidepass over it, so I took it, wondering what I could play with from there. As we were doing it, I remembered Farrah mentioning that she had taught Caesar to sidepass over a pedestal and put one back leg on and hold it, and that it had helped the flexibility throughout his hind end, and ultimately aided in his ability to do flying lead changes.

Though Prin and I aren't nearly to the point of flying changes that Caesar and Farrah are, (don't I wish I could do 3 stride tempis in near-perfect rhythm-haha) I thought it might be a fun pattern to start building on, so that when she fully understands the concept, she'll be physically fit to do it. Neato, huh? So, with that in mind, that's what I taught her yesterday. Today she did it without question, and I'm going to slowly start building the amount of time I ask her to stand there. I've noticed small improvements already :)

Crest is learning to be a more reliable and respectful riding companion. During our time with Farrah, she caught some subtleties in Crest's behavior that have totally changed his attitude towards being with me and performing for me. He's learned (and practically mastered) a Level 4 porcupine game, that is learning to hobble. He has greatly improved his level of patience with long sits both tied and in a trailer, sees me as a provider and partner, and he's learned that I can indeed communicate with his hind quarters and dictate how fast he backs up. He's also figured out (after much hassle and giggles with a dressage whip and cookies) how to Spanish Walk, and now I have TWO Spanish-walking fools in my pasture ;) Very cool stuff, and I've really been enjoying his company.

I've also personally been playing with improving my own balance. I'm not going to sell myself short--I'm an excellent bareback rider, but beyond being able to stick to just about every antic a horse could throw at me, I'm useless. (Yes, I know, I'll stop, but this is MY goal for self-improvement, bear with me) So...what have I been doing? I've been teaching myself to Roman Ride. Yes, you read that correctly. I'm not screwing around, I'm really, genuinely, honestly learning to Roman ride. That, and I've been learning to ride standing up on one horse, too. The reactions Prin and Crest have had have been hilarious, I'm pretty sure they both think (as well as my students, and barn owner) that I'm totally insane. But they're tolerating it well, and helping me learn to balance on a new level. Oh what fun :D

So that's pretty much what I'm up to. I have an early morning tomorrow first cutting firewood with my dad then helping a friend/student film her L2 auditions, lesson at another student's place, and then 3 trimming jobs. Life is busy and insane, and I'm pretty happy :) I promise I'll be better about updating now. I can breath again :)

Savvy on, I sure have missed ya'll!



savvyknight said...

Fran that is awesome that thongs are going great for you. I think I need to do that thiong with one hind foot on the pedestal. because blaze will doing a flying lead change. but most of the time he'll change his front but not his back. do you think that could help with it? anyways I'm glad everything is going great!


Virginia said...

well busy it ok- but doing nothing is a nice treat once in a while! glad all is well- sorry my phone is out, I hope you got my email. Put some pictures up, I'm sure I'm not the only person who misses them!