Thursday, March 10, 2016

Oh we gonna work, work, work, work , work

I am a little behind on Bacardi updates, so I am going to do my best to recall the two rides I had last weekend.

First, they were beyond wonderful.

I really needed some uplifting rides, life has been stressing me out and running me into the ground. Why did I think double masters grad school was a good idea?

So Saturday ride first, which was flat work.

It was a mucky gross day, but I rode outside anyways, sorry Supertrainer, don't hate me.

Really, I just wanted a few good videos to take some stills from. Indoor fuzzy pics are getting old.

B was incredibly chill and we got to work right away. The ring was atrocious, so I kept our ride mostly on one end in a 20 meter circle, and theres only so much one can do on said 20m circle before one gets bored.

SIDENOTE, I rode in my bargain FITS breeches I got off ETT for $60, They look like jeans and they're amazing. I wish I could afford MOAR

However, He was working quite well. So well, I didn't really know what to do with him actually. I was like, oh okay, trot transition perfect, forward in trot, tracking up, relaxed, lets try canter, OH OKAY no sass today? Um alright, lets collect? Oh snap that feels great. Ok, flying change here, BAM wow okay then, lets do another, WOW okay B stop blowing my mind, lets trot, Extended trot? okay fine, you're being amazing we can walk.

Fancy trots left

Fancy trots right

Canter right

Canter left
flying change
So after a few flying changes and some more trot transitions I just sat there and was like welp, I don't know what else to do, he's being perfect. Soooo, lets end it there.

So productive, I know.

So heres a few more pics of our very excellent, uneventful ride. Enjoy. Also don't judge the jump bridle, my dressage bridle/bit are in the leather shop getting fixed.


Such uphill. Very canter.
Then Sunday was jump day. I think I am going to try and make early Sunday morning rides a thing now and work on jumping that day specifically. It just works out with my schedule and barn slave videographer schedule.

There was a very unique exercise set up, one I had not done in a while. If anyone has every heard of "thread the needle" you know it can bring about feelings of anxiety and claustrophobia.

First, we just dabbled with the outside lines of the exercise. He was a smidgen strong on Sunday, but I wasn't mad about it. This time last year he was refusing fences left and right so...not mad.

But he did about haul my left arm out of its socket. I was sore until Wednesday!

After that we increased the height to the smallest verticals and I ran through the outside lines a few times, then switches it up to angling them. You can't really tell in the video, but I did. He handled the angle jumps easily too, which made me a happy momma. Then, we worked on threading the needle, which means we jump all four jumps, with only about 2 feet of room. its hard to the video.

Talk about anxiety. I don't know why but riding that made me so nervous and B was just like um, r u ok? I got this ma.

After that, I added a boxy oxer on the outside line to test his scope a bit without going too crazy. I still have a healthy fear of anything over 3'3 and Supertrainer prefers we don't jump over that while she's in FL anyways. Happy to oblige.

I was pleased with his efforts and also cut that ride short.

He has really been making improvements in leaps and bounds (literally) and it makes me so happy to finally have a horse that shows up to work everyday. He is beginning to feel like home. You know what I mean? Like when you sit in the saddle, you know thats where you're meant to be. Yankee has always felt like that to me, but I am beyond happy that Bacardi is starting to feel the same.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ride for Olivia

Quick sidenote, I can fully get behind this hashtag. Maybe with this tragedy the eventing community can make some much needed changes...

My two favorite pics of my beloved OTTBs


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Spoiled AF

Much has happened in the last few days, and I am struggling to stay afloat with school, work and the horses. I haven't read a single blog in 3 days, so apologies to everyone! I still see your comments and love them to death and can't thank you enough. 

This will be a rather quick, disjointed update so I'm hoping my next few posts won't be all over the place or done with a mobile phone. 

Besides riding, Bacardi got treated to another massage day last Monday (posting a week late, HA). As some of you may know, I am not the biggest fan of voodoo things like Chiro, massage etc...but I will say, trying the massage once, and now twice...I am a believer.

The first session was an overall body work for B. That was about 8 weeks ago and Magic Therapist (MT for short) solidified my spidey sense that his neck/shoulders and hips were routinely sore/problem areas. If you know us from our flailing days, you know he specializes in giraffing and holds literally all tension in his neck/shoulder area. His special talent.

That first session was almost two hours and I loved the dedication she had for my horse. As an upper level dressage rider, she understands what we as clients do with our horses and what would help them the most.

Our second session was a little different. I only had about an hour total to spare from work and MT got to work on B and discovered he was extra tense in his shoulders. As in, very tense. 

She spent a good deal of time working his neck and shoulders with her hands and even added in the laser after his mild protest of just hands. It was curious to watch, because you could clearly see he was enjoying it, and then MT would move to another area and he would be like "OW OW OW ouchhhh!" and then relax after about minute.

MT spent about 30 minutes on just his shoulders and neck before moving to his hind end. Not noticing anything particular about his spine, she moved forward with addressing his hips. Cue surprising small meltdown from Bacardi. Apparently his hips were extra ouchy and he let us know. He did this little buck hop thing with both legs, never actually kicked out, but his tail was a' swishin'.

I always find it interesting how horses can communicate to us handlers what they are feeling with simple flick of their tail or leg raise and we can accordingly adjust our actions.

After about ten minutes, MT moved back to his shoulders to wrap up with some more massage in his lower neck. 

I know it's "just massage" but I truly do feel it helps him. Especially with him being such a tense horse, the bodywork  truly releases some tension and he's a much different horse afterwards. He just feels a little less "stuck" and gives more effort in all he does after a session. Swings through his back and hips more, jumps rounder and nails his changes. I know I feel better after a massage, and I know he does too!

Next up, weekend jumping fun x 2!