Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quiet Saturday... and a Creepy Evening

So this post is about the last 24 hours.

I rode Friday night, and realized Mikey needs his winter hair cut. He's disgusting looking. This was from about 20 min of work. He also needs a mane pull.

Sweaty, hairy mess. I hate that he looks like a backyard pony instead of a nice dressage horse.
I got up early Saturday morning to head out and ride during the day when it won't get dark on me. That was very exciting! We had such a great ride. He was feeling lazy in the trot so I skipped right to our canter work. When he's feeling especially lazy or quiet, trot just doesn't do anything for him. We worked on our flying changes today since I had the daylight to work on them until I was happy with where we quit. We are still using poles, but they are on the short diagonals near X instead of on the rail like the German Riding Master had them. This is because while Mikey respects the boundaries of the dressage arena wall, sometimes he gets a head of steam going into the changes and I don't want to accidentally jump out of the arena because he misread the pole question. I came to the follow conclusions:

To get the left to right change:
  • Forward canter
  • Straight and through
  • Softer hands than usual and allow the head and neck a bit lower than desired
  • Very clear seat bone and leg changes
To get the right to left change:
  • More forward canter than the other direction
  • Extremely straight and very through
  • Extraordinarily light contact, allowing the head and neck to become much lower than desired in almost a stretchy canter
  • Lighter seat than desired while still trying to be clear with the seat bones and leg, but not leaning forward so much that I put too much weight over his shoulder and thereby discourage the change.
The right to left change is much harder for him. He has more trouble with the left hind when it comes to all things dressage, it's just a weaker leg so I'm trying to make it easy for him while he learns how to change his body.

The L2R changes were all very good today until I botched the forward or straight requirement. The R2L changes failed unless I was very straight, very through, very soft. That's the harder direction for my hips, so that's not helping Mikey either. I got 3 or 4 good ones L2R, so I left those alone and worked the R2L until I got 2 good ones in a row (we were pushing 45-50 min by then).

This is where I do my dressage. The jump field surrounds the arena. It has a lot of stadium jumps and a handful of XC.
Meandering around the jump field.
Mikey was a disgusting mess when we were done again. I talked to my trainer about clipping him now and using an old blanket to keep him warm until his are back from wash/repair/waterproof. We decided he'll be fine with the extra medium weight I have in addition to his sheet and rambo fleece cooler. I contacted the blanket lady, she'll have them for me by next weekend, so only a week or so. I am still going to clip him now because Monday and Tuesday will be in the 70s and he'll be way too warm and I'll be working him and I don't want to be at the barn til 9pm drying him.

Licking the gate after eating his treats. I don't know why, he always licks metal or wood after eating any kind of treat. I like this field the best, it has lots of tree cover by the gate, but opens up to a couple acres of grass.
Close up of the previous pic. See? Licking away.
I spent the afternoon at the bank dealing with an account that should have been closed and got overdrawn when I paid my Macy's bill. First time I've ever overdrawn an account :( I didn't realize I didn't put my new account into my Macy's online bill pay, so my bank name popped up and I was like, yes, that account please. Only there's no money in it cause it was closing! Afterwards I picked up cat food for Nickels, had lunch with my mom, and walked in the park with Mom and her dog.

My husband lit a fire tonight, first one of the winter season!

Nickels warming his butt.
Penny laying on top of the cat tree in our front window.
So before the fire, my husband was on his way back from doing car stuff with my dad in OH. So I was home alone, and I had the front curtains cracked open for the cats in our 9' b 6' picture window, porch light on, tv on, and I feel asleep on the couch. I'd been hearing things all night, but around 8:30pm someone came to the door, rang the doorbell and woke me up, and then wasn't at the door when I looked through the peephole. Way to creep me the hell out. Not cool. I found an axe and put it near the door. I was on high alert already from the banging outside (I figured it was the wind), but the doorbell ditch put me over the top. All I could think was they watched me sleep through the crack in the curtains then rang the bell so I knew someone was watching me. Come ring my doorbell again, I'll answer with an axe in my hand. Best I can do on short notice. We're going to get some motion night cameras and put them outside and hook them up to a DVR or something so it records when anything happens outside.

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