Monday, January 10, 2011

Catch 22?

As you can see this was Yankee today schooling a few steps of piaffe in passage movement. I know this is nothing special and it's not perfect but this video if for my records. Yankee gets a few steps in piaffe/passage. I am training him for piaffe but since he is moving forward its technically a passage even though the upward movement in the front is not spectacular by any means. I am mostly working on lowering his quarters, slowing the trot and lifting the back legs. I am hoping the rest will fall into place with practice.
After that I did a few min of long lining, which was fun :) Brandon even tried it too, but since he only has 3 fingers on one hand he was having a hard time holding the whip and reins and accidentally bumped Yankee numerous times on the bum with the whip and freaked him out. Ooops, won't be trying that again.

Today's ride was pretty dismal, and I'm attributing it to 2 days off, the bumping Brandon did and the 'blizzard of death' that descended upon us this afternoon. It dumped (so far) 6 inches in about 3 hours and Lord knows Missouri and it's drivers are not capable of handling such snow (supposed to keep snowing overnight). We had to deal with this...

....on the way to the barn. Along with other drivers it took about 45 min. to go 10 miles. In 10 minutes time I saw 5 groups of emergency vehicles going separate ways to help wrecked people. On one road alone I saw 5 vehicles run off into ditches and a bus, and this was when only 3 inches were on the ground. Stoopid.

Yankee was very uppity today and tense and some of it may relate to anxiety of drilling movements and the above reasons. I am trying to vary our rides but there is only so much I can do in winter. I can't jump alone (barn rule) and when its 2 degrees and windy, riding is unbearable, I don't care who y'ar. Tomorrow I will switch it up a bit if the wind dies down and go out for a hack in the snow, but if it's too cold I'll just give him another day off.

Today I warmed up with the piaffe school, unmounted, then did basic WTC circles and extensions in-gait, mounted. I wasn't planning on doing anything extensive and I just wanted to touch up our side passes and shoulder in's before working on our trot extension, but he was having none of that. I know some of it was my fault too, I was freezing and a little stressed from the hectic day and I know I was tense too but he was really throwing a fit. Soooo I reverted to just easy WTC circles and down the long sides but even that simple stuff he tensed at, was behind my leg, above the bit and lagging. It was SO frustrating. I resorted to trotting on loose rein in hopes to stretch his back and loosen. It worked, barely, but I did get some good trotting in after the stretch.

Mostly though today was a fail. I work tomorrow too, 8 hour shift so I dunno if I will even want to ride beforehand for fear of being tired before I even go in to sad of me to say that. Work and riding is SUCH a catch 22. I work so I can ride (pay board, equipment, shows, vetting, farrier...) but if I try to ride before/after work I am tired and either can't ride or work. Seems like its one or the other. My life seems like a huge catch 22. Everything that my life is I can relate to the catch 22, school, exercise, riding, art...etc etc.


  1. I have the same problem with work and training my horse (he's not old enough to ride yet). It can be so frustrating, but working is necessary. :( I hope you manage to ride. It takes a lot of energy to ride in the winter.

    I enjoyed watching the video. I'm not expert and don't really know what to look for, but I did see him start to lift his rear legs and get floaty. Good luck on teaching the piaffe!

  2. thank you! It's coming along and I know it takes a LOOOOOONg time to teach but I am patient :) As for winter, I won't get to ride today since the 'blizzard of death' actually turned into one and the whole city is snowed in.. :(