Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Back to basics and wardrobe change.... Sorting out Curtis

Went for a lesson Sunday and after telling Carrie how our shows have gone since we saw her last (2 months ago! 😬) and her seeing how tense we both were as his girlfriend left him in the arena all alone, Carrie asked if I lunge him. Yep and he's pretty respectful on the lunge. Do we at shows? No! I was told that would make him hotter. She said to get off and let's see how he goes and show me how to lunge him to eliviate tension on the ground.

She had me use sliding side reins which I need to buy asap. And push him out on the lunge. He was tense. You could see it and he'd come above the bridle but instead of lunging forward like he does with me at shows he'd hit himself and fly backwards, punishing himself.

As he worked, he relaxed and you could see him move through his back more. He endes up working down to being a more relaxed horse in all 3 gates to the left and we started over to the right. When we got right and started all over. Any time Waverly screamed I was ready to chase him forward before he threw a tanty.  and he would not canter right. He was very stiff and kept hitting himself.

Carrie said she does this with horses she starts  to make sure they have a solid foundation and doesn't get on them until she can see from the ground a horse that looks like a nice boring but enjoyable ride. She said to build a routine at home I can take to a show. Lunge with the aliding side reins until he's relaxed and moving free then ride. She said for a while I'll be lunging longer than I ride. And once we take it to shows (schooling first for a few shows) we'll spend more time getting a rideable horse than I'll spend riding or in the ring. D told me later Carrie said I was very brave to ride Curtis the way he's been the last year. I don't feel brave. I need calming tubes of stuff for him and liquid courage for me to get me through shows.

I also asked her to give me an honest opinion on my set up. She said she's not a fan of micklems and she rides with a clinician who hates them. She said he's incredibly sensitive and the micklem is restrictive and I should try a basic bridle. Which I haven't used on him since he was a tiny baby. I borrowed one from T and he looks very handsome in it. We rode in it today and it's different but so far not better or worse. Carrie also said to try an eggbutt. She says they are a bit better for horses that are sensitive and avoid contact vs the loose ring which she says is better for horses that pull. So a new bit will be ordered with the side reins.

Of course a bridle won't magically change anything but a setup he's not 100% in won't help. And hopefully a winter of back to basics with a tack change will help me get a horse I'm not afraid will kill me.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

We bought a yearling!

We brought the trailer which was the first mistake as we really were planning to wait until Sunday when they practically give them away. But seriously though, how gorgeous is this kid??

Damsah 2018 by Mshawish (em-shah-wish). If you go by the book he's bred to run long on the grass.

He walked right on the trailer like a big horse too. Has a good head on him.

He's going to need a kickass name. SJ is calling him "Sprinklehead" but I can't imagine that being called as he runs down the stretch 😂

Twister is a babysitter again and I can't say he's thrilled. But he's the only one I trust not to beat the crap out of little Sparklehead. He's going about putting little shits in their place without going overboard.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Canter all day

Ok well trying to get more canter work in anyways.  Now that I'm done showing, the 3 days or so I ride a week I'm focusing on getting leads and an even, consistent canter. Someday we'll be able to show without dying being a possibility and when that day comes I want to be ready to ride a training level test immediately.

Curtis loves to canter and his canter is smooth and generally up hill. It's those pesky leads. We still have some trouble with the left lead. And he picks up the right every time but then gets stiff when asked to bend that way. So we're working on it.

I introduced simple changes which get better the more we do them during a single ride. And Monday with T's help to call out "wrong lead! Correct lead!" I was able to do a shit ton of transitions. And yes....and still cannot always tell if he's on the wrong lead. We've also done come hill work because we're both sick of the arena. He loves a good gallop, thoroughbred that he is.

Also we just got blacktop laid down so now I'll have a place to ride no matter how wet it gets this winter.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Burnt out

I'm not really sure how I can be burnt out when I only ride 1 horse a day and only 4ish times a week. In general though, horses and family combined, I've been on the freaking go for months. And I'm losing steam. We didn't go to Carrie's on Sunday due to multiple truck issues and as much as I needed the lesson I'm not really bummed out. We'll go back in a couple weeks.

And Curtis who was a beast right after I got home from NY seems a bit too chill lately and I think he is just sick of arena work. We have been galloping in the field to mix it up a bit and I didn't take him to T's on Monday. We were going to take a family trail ride yesterday but I talked my person out of it and glad I did because it was 95* and the horse flies were nasty. We went to lunch and the mall instead. A.c. everywhere while Curtis stood in front of his fan all day.

I know the good weather is very limited this time of year and I should be super gung ho to ride until the 6 months of monsoon season starts but I just took 3 days off because eh. After his awesome mini show ride a test thing I should be all gung ho but unless Carrie has a schooling show at her place this fall (probably wont happen until spring) I won't be showing again. The next schooling show is in Nov and Curtis would probably have to live at T's for a week to do that because of the crap weather we seem to get every fall.


And if I'm 100% honest I'd say maybe I'm a little burnt out because I've been working every day with this horse...and myself...and all we've managed to successfully do is not explode during a not real show at the end of the summer. I know every horse is different and my confidence isn't helping us along but I'm so worried I'll be starting from square 1 come spring 😑