Saturday, January 1, 2011



For 1, it has been 65 degrees the past 3 days here in Missouri, which was a horrid tease. Today it was a chilly 18 degrees when we (Brandon and I) went to feed this a.m. and school Yanks over some jumping gymnastics.

For 2, today while I was grooming Yankee for our ride, I shocked him, twice! Poor guy! He was scared shitless of me for about 10 min. I felt really bad....I guess it was just the static from his blanket or something because it crackled and popped when I took it off.

For 3, He was AMAZING. I shall explain....

Today my goal for Yankee was to school over gymnastics with relaxation and impulsion and for me to stay balanced and not jump ahead. Major win on both parts!

The gymanstic set up Brandon and I LABORED to set up was pretty simple since we didnt have a huge arena and I didnt want to confuse Yanks with too many poles and whatnot. I set up 3 trot poles, 4 ft apart. Following that, a bounce, prolly only 2ft high, 9 ft apart (I did this only to set him back on his haunches). Then a one stride to a 3ft vertical and one stride to a 3ft oxer.

He really kept his calm and used his booty over the fences. I noticed when I kept more weight in the right stirrup he stayed straighter (has a tendency to lean in). I used the mirrors to force myself to look up, and keep us straight.

I thought this was a pretty good pic, but center of gravity is pretty good (not doing my telltale jump ahead with the crotch routine), head is up, relaxed crest release (should have been doing the automatic but oh wells), ankle flexed, leg pretty solid and Yankee is jumping pretty well even though these are baby fences for him. Looks happy huh!
This picture made me REALLY realize how fat I look these days! Partly due to my 'concentration jumping face' and puffy jacket but also due to the fact that I HAVE actually gained a few lbs. Working on that...

I used to do this all the time with Janice and it really helps keep your seat back where it should be...minor drawback-makes me duck a little. I think I knotted Yankee's reins too tight too, its pullin on his mouth :( but he is still jumping well!

A video of the gymnastic

Walking out after a good workout. We both worked up a sweat!!

My new sparkly blue browband I got off ebay for $10!!! Ohhhh yeah sexy pony.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Joy, Travel NIGHTMARE and Dec. 30th Ride

Despite being away from Missouri and Yankee for 6 days, I had a pretty good christmas! My mom bought me a new sweet ass helmet since Yankee thought my last one was dinner (my spare was too tight!), winter riding boots (the tall ones), full seat devon-aire riding tights (AH-mazing btw) and some winter work gloves. Brandon bought me a gorgeous horsehair necklace laced with beads and a horse jewel (SO pretty). The bro bought me itunes (yay!). I got lots o' cash and gift cards (uber-yay!) and some more few odds and ends things that I felt very lucky to get this year- I thought that being (almost) 20 that I was excluded from gift giving!
The day after christmas Mom, Mike and I packed up in the car and headed to Wisconsin (to visit the grandparents) while Brandon went back with Zoey the dog to Missouri. AMPED on a caffiene pill, I drove for 5 of the 8 hour trip to Wisconsin. Sadly almost as soon as we arrived I got sick...AGAIN. 5 days after pulling through the flu. WTF. I barely did anything for 3 days, except go watch Little Fockers with the Auntie (tradition to go to a movie). On the 29th I packed up for Green Bay aiport to catch my 6pm flight home to missouri....not so easy. Flight was delayed 3 hours so I missed my connection in Chicago wich was a CLUSTER F*** already, and I had to stay the night in the airport, dreadfully sick.
It. Was. Horrible.
Couldnt sleep so I sat in the airport till my 6:30am boarding flight...left at 7am..arrived in Missouri at 8am...drove 2 hours to make it to an emergency Dr. appt for bloodwork at 10am. turns out I dont have Mono. which is good but I do have a sinus infection....
Which brings me to about 4pm when I drug my filthy mud covered ponyface out of his field. He was really good though while I spent 45 min. scrubbing the poop out of him. Yanks turned out pretty shiny, but look slike he might be getting thrush again so he gets to stay in tomorrow! Poor pony.
Seeing as I'm still sick, I thought a light dressage school would be best, espechially since he had 6 days off. Raquel was in the arena too so I had to lunge on the line-went really well, same impulsion and relaxation as usual.
I started off doing some breathing techniques and relaxed posture my book (Kottas on Dressage) from Cheryl (xmas gift) taught me. I concentrated REAAAALLLLY hard on stayin relaxed and centered. more difficult than it sounds. I just KNOW yankee's sudden, unexplainable crookedness is from me being crooked myself from trying too hard to bend him back the way he needs to go, I need to relax, he will relax. After struggling with him for 10 min I decided to try an excercise I thought up..teardrop figure 8's. On the top O part of the 8, i would walk, free walk or trot and on the stright part of the 8, I would either trot or canter. I concentrated on staying straight and keeping yankee straight too and after the straight-aways I would make a simple, clear change of bend with relaxation and soft hands... it worked about 50% of the time. NEW PLAN.
MIRRORS! Handy to have in the arena! Simple plan, I would walk, trot and canter as straight as possible using the mirrors as guides so I KNEW what we looked like. I would put more weight in the outside sturrup since he swings his haunches in and drifts in lately (I THINK thisis from a week of schooling renver and traver, my fault), as well as had an OPEN inside rein. WHA-la! it worked!
Thank the lord. More of this tomorrow, hopefully with pictures, must drag boyfriend to barn!