Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Balancing Act

How does one balance training and household-keeping and work and family??? I asked this question on the Facebook page Eventing for Adult Amateurs: . The answer was simple. Get up earlier. Go to bed later. And no one wins ribbons for a clean house! So here's what I have to do... I have to choose between sleep, sweet sleep and riding. At least 4 or 5 days out of 7 I need to pick riding. Sure, I haven't gotten to even one event this year, but that doesn't mean I should stop training with Twister. Not to mention that riding keeps me sane. And trust me, you want me sane! I will have to spend less time on Facebook and maybe less time with my nose in a book. I will get up super early to ride before work or ride after dark, either time by lamp light. Pretty soon I will only have 1 TB baby to work with. So him and Twister, I can handle that. Then weekends and evenings I have to help at the new restaurant my boyfriend and sister opened, at least for a while and during busy times. And I will have to keep myself disciplined and focused. If I want to ride, I have to make it happen, any time I can.

Friday, August 8, 2014

3 Different Kinds of Riders

There are 3 different type of riders. I bring this up because my boyfriend doesn't understand how I can gallop Twister though open fields and jump him fearlessly over everything but can't get on our 3 year old stud colt without issues.

The reason is that I am rider type number 1: I have to really feel a bond with a horse before I can do anything with them. And I prefer to only ride the horses I feel bonded to. I am not like rider type number 2, which is someone that can get on and ride absolutely anything. Trainers and exercise riders are these people. A lot of cowboys are these people.

Being number 1, I could ride any horse, I'm just not comfortable with it and really don't enjoy riding just any horse. Each person becomes this kind of rider for different reasons. Maybe you rode your boss' horses growing up but she only have 6 so you only learned to deal with 6 different personalities and issues. Maybe you grew up riding all kinds of horses, but they were mostly school horses and you never learned how to deal with different issues while you were young and brave. For some people it's because they came into the game later in life. I'm the middle reason. I hardly ever rode a problem horse growing up. Now I wish I had. Rocky the Horse was the biggest problem horse in my instructor's barn and all he did was get hot and run off. Well, Twister does that too. So I know I can handle that. In college I rode some OTTBs and learned a few more issues, but nothing compared to those people that can ride anything and feel right at home.

I can name on maybe less than 2 hands the horses in my life I've felt really bonded with. Major, Stewart, Stolen Thunder, Twister, Fatass (So So Worth It). Wow. That's one hand. Not that there haven't been others I've really likes and ridden successfully.... like Lu. Lu was nicknamed Lucifer because she was evil. I didn't always enjoy riding her and while I rode her for a whole year, we never bonded..... we tolerated each other and came to an understanding which led me to never getting dumped in a hayfield.  And while I LOVE fatass and think he and I would make an awesome show team someday, he is definitely  my boyfriend's horse. The bond I have with that horse is NOTHING compared to the bond that Sergio has with him. And I already basically stole Twister from him  and it wouldn't be right to steal another horse! :P

I envy those people that can get on any horse and ride it successfully and get it to do what needs to be done. The little man is a perfect example of this. We put him in training but found out quickly he'd never be a racehorse. The next year I started riding him. The year after I started doing more, jumping and dressage. I hated riding that horse. It was always a fight and we just didn't click. I could hardly ever get him to do anything and if I did it was a headache. But Sergio could get on him and make it look easy. Jumping and flying changes and becoming round and on the bit. He made him look awesome.

Some people do best with problem horses. It wakes them up and hones their skills. For me it depends on the issue. And I like to fix as many issues on the ground as I can. Some riders can work miracles no matter if they work with the horse on the ground or in the saddle.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of any kind of horse. I have handled, from the ground, just about every single type of horse you could think of. Literally. And have done it with complete success. But put me in the saddle, and I have to click. I don't know why. It's just the way it it.

I almost forgot!!! The third group of riders include those who rent old nags to trail ride for a day and those people who think they are professional trainers and riders but have NO business being near horses.

And remember, no matter what kind of rider you are, Mind Your Melon!!!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Too Broke to Show

I am dying to go to a show! However, I have been virtually jobless since December. That and I haven't had much time to ride lately....

Twister had pretty much 3 weeks off in July. But before that he was awesomeness. He was doing great dressage work and could have done first level tests. He was jumping over 2 ft easily, getting his leads and jumping without dragging me. The first time I got on him since his 3 weeks off (3 weeks off due to me studying not due to anything wrong with him) he was an ass. Galloping so strong he could have given our racehorse a run for his money. But after that he settled right back in to work. I've ridden him 3 days in a row and I couldn't be happier. He picked his dressage skillz right back up where he left off and jumping nicely. He's fat and a bit out of shape but that won't take too long to fix. And I seriously would love to go to just ONE show before the year is out. I start my new job on September 1st so maybe I can go to the show in October???

On the other hand, I'm having saddle fit issues...again. I am borrowing a friend's saddle. I had it reflocked but it still seems to be pinching Twister and making him hollow his back. I am going to try some different pads under it and see if that helps. My other friend's saddle is a little bit of a wider gullet and fits us both nicely. But the first saddle fits me best. I was really hoping I could get it to fit Twister. If nothing else I will buy the 2nd friend's saddle. My own saddle no longer fits my tukas and the flaps are not forward enough for my long upper leg. Not if I ever planning on jumping anyways.

On another note, the racehorse raced again Saturday. He came in 3rd and we're all very proud of him!