Friday, April 1, 2016

Bright Spots

Riding has been the absolute best thing in my life lately. Aside from my daughter, who will always be #1. But the riding, oohhh the riding. I've been on Cloud Nine since Saturday morning. 

The travel and politics of winter guard are slowly wearing me down. And the sickness after the last trip. I feel certain the producers of Monsters Inside Me would love to get together and discuss an episode. Now that my affliction has subsided and the schedule is kinda sorta normal for the next week, I'm kinda sorta feeling like my normal self. 

Saturday was the first free day Ive had since I don't know when. After sleeping in for an hour (is 7 really sleeping in though?) I downed a cup of coffee and played in my raised beds before taking off to the barn. I didn't text any of my barn pals to see what they were up to. The last thing I wanted was to be on some sort of time frame. 

"Ok leaving now, meet you there"  
"does 11 a.m. sound good?"  
"Let me call so and so to see if they can come too!"

None of that today. I'd had enough scheduling for a while. Today was mine to do whatever the hell I felt like. And I felt like having a fun jaunt over to the sand pits. 

Sunday morning I was up at 4:30. Not sure why but I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. By 6 a.m. I was in the car and on my way. The roads were busy for such an early hour on the weekend. Most everyone was dressed in their finest and headed out to receive their share of the blood and body. I was headed out for a jump school, trying to beat the cloud that was on its way and setting in with lots of rain. The birds were singing their morning tunes as I set up the arena. I got the total shite standards out of the way. They had been pointlessly taking up space in the ring since the last time I drug them out, not realizing the damn things weren't square and had no cups. I made a two stride line of crossrails, and two verticals not connected to anything else. I measured the tallest jump, it is 2'9" just as I thought.

the mini course

the 2'9" monster, it's a big deal for us

Once the boy was groomed and tacked, we warmed up with ten large laps of walk, changing direction every two laps. It took this many laps for Razz to bring his back up into the saddle. I then went straight to canter, two laps in either direction. The trot afterward was much nicer and driven from behind. But nowhere near perfect. I continued to flat for a while more, focusing on downward transitions in an effort to fine tune pony's brakes between fences. He likes to speed up and ignore me when we begin a course.

Our jumping was ok. Very fun, but ok. The only distance I considered in my rush to set up jumps quickly was the two stride. Next time I will walk my verticals and establish some reference points (small cones or a line in the sand) to get the strides correct and avoid chipping.

Here's a quick vid of some of our jumping. We had been in the ring for about 30 minutes when the video picks up. Of course the only rub we had the whole day was during my filming. But oh well, it didn't come down and he didn't rub anymore. We picked up the incorrect lead after the crossrails and our approach to the first small vertical was a little wonky because of me focusing on fixing that lead too much. 

I also grabbed a shot of the healing bee salve I make. The two spots where I used it on Razz the day before looked significantly better. I'm shocked at how well this stuff works. If anyone wants to give it a try hit me up, I'll send you a sample :)

This jar was from the original batch. I thought I would be smart and blend some real honey in, just to see what would happen. Guess what? It doesn't blend in with other ingredients. It settled at the bottom instead. 

Monday I went to the barn planning a bath only. My best good barn mate was tackin' up when I pulled in. I had my Soffe shorts on I wore to work. But no shame, I climbed on for a short bareback trail ride. My ass cheeks were hanging out on both sides and I'm sure it wasn't the most pleasant thing to view, considering I still haven't gotten rid of the extra winter weight that somehow accumulates on my thighs every year. Ride went fine, pony got bathed, dried, groomed. All was well.

Tuesday Razz and I had a cardio session in the bean field. A trot lap either direction, then a canter lap either direction with a few 20 meter circles interspersed, and finally a lap of walk either direction. These 6 laps took 50 minutes to ride. I'm telling you the bean field is massive. And Razz did four quick paced laps without a break. I'm amazed that he has such good stamina compared to the amount of real "work" we do. And I'm amazed his respiratory system is as efficient as it is, he comes back to normal in no time. I should really give the boy more credit.

And of course, every yin must have its yang, Razz's herd of three is now two. One was put down yesterday. Razz has been cantering around looking for his friend and neighing. It's truly heartbreaking to watch. Hug your ponies tonight ladies, tomorrow is never guaranteed.


  1. Ugh, 2'9" would be a big deal for me, too! Looks great and he looks so happy to be doing it. :)

    1. Hey Beka, yeah I think he enjoys jumping. It's good for us to be able to mix things up and keep the riding fresh.

  2. The jumping looks awesome! 2'9" would scare the pants off of me. Your arena is so lovely with the trees all around it :)

    1. I love the place I board at. The ring is huge, the facilities so well maintained. I've noticed a few features here that I wish to incorporate into my own property one day.