So I was AWOL for a few days, sorry those blogs I did not visit I'll try and catch up between my scatter brained running around. I've been trying to write this post for two days but everything keeps on taking me away from sitting a the computer.
Things like watching snow fall, being stuck in cars watching snow fall and well, snow. Until I got home anyway because it didn't snow much here.
I took a sort of short notice trip 14 hours to see a good old friend a week ago and have some fun in the snowy north of Ontario before I leave for Oklahoma in two weeks.
Having said that a very great deal of things has happened. Firstly my power supply on my computer decided to die. New power supply and it's back up and running. Stupid technology!! *shakesfist* Secondly I FINALLY got my new SEVIS papers from school with my name written correctly this time. Phew. You don't even know, every time the purolator or UPS truck drove down the road I plastered my face to the door hoping they would stop, but they didn't until the Wednesday after the school said I would have my new papers. The good thing is I actually have them in my hands now. The third thing, cause you all know these things come in threes. Well the bank. Don't get me wrong I love my bank the ladies are kind and always know who I am and my account number but for my student loans for school...UGH! That is a whole other nightmare with them having me sign the wrong papers and assigned me to the wrong bank person I've been in there more times than I would like signing my life away.
On my way up north I stopped by Zoe and Gerry's farm (AKA the owners and creators of the Nurtural bridle) I've driven past their farm numerous times on my way up north, but never had the chance to stop. I had a nice visit with them, seeing their horses and nearly 100 year old barn. The barn was built in 1925, after the first one burnt to the ground.
All the stalls are literally underground and you have to walk down a flight of stairs. Really neat old barn, gorgeous land, lovely horses, great people.
Heres looking down from the ground level part of the barn into the underground stall area.
Beautiful northern Ontario winter with some of Zoe and Gerry's Nurtural horse, horses.
I still have tack for sale. After getting some more tack for Christmas I still have an English saddle package for sale, my natural ride bareback pad (the first deal went through when the buyer didn't pay) and about a million different colour polo's I'm never going to use. E-mail me if your interested I can put them up on e-bay and give you other details. Seriously, it would really help me pay for my schooling and get rid of some very well cared for tack. I've sold a lot of what was for sale last year but this stuff has gotta go.
As for new years resolutions. I guess since everyone else makes them I should too. I don't really make resolutions or resolve to fix something because I find so many people say "I am going to do this or that or whatnot" and never end up doing it. Instead I am making goals. I met all of my goals last year and far surpassed the horse related ones.
I took lessons. Dressage lessons to be exact. I find no matter what discipline I am riding or training a horse in I find I go back to dressage principals for every single horse.
I also made it to three shows with Indigo and we drove and rode bitless and won some ribbons. In total I did 6 shows riding a couple other horses than mine and one show overseas in Ireland. I wish I could have got to a few more riding ones and some local dressage ones turned me away because I was bitless and would not have that because of their silly rules (we all know the riders who force their heads into a "frame" with the bit like my one sunday stills picture posted last challenge who "look" like they are "collected" because they are broken at the poll and carrying their weight on the forehand will win those classes, not the properly collected ones. Tisk tisk. Big difference between a headset and true collection if you can't see it might I suggest some dressage lessons. /endrant)
I worked, worked, worked and worked. Did I mention I worked? I worked my butt off last year to pay for stuff and get ready to get my butt off to Oklahoma this year. I just have one last horse that is not mine that I started in the Fall to hand over to the owner. The owner paid for me to ride a few times a week on this now 4 year old until I go away to school. I feel very accomplished in the rider sense this year. I feel like I went from a horse exerciser to a horse worker. The difference being before I got on a horse and went through what he knew. I would work on whatever the horse knew. Last year I can say every horse I rode or drove I had something I could help him improve on weather it being lighter cues, new movements, collection, balance, rhythm, calmness and understanding. I find that is sticking out in my riding the more I think about it. Horses I ride regularly seem more agreeable and I see this mostly and importantly in a couple problem horses I rode and even in my own Indigo. Not only has she become less reactive to spook at things like bushes and fallen tress and bushes and fallen tress but lets not forget drain pipes of doom she seems to be learning how to spook in place, rather than get the hell out of Dodge and think about the situation later. I really noticed last fall how she was never in a hurry to get someplace and when something upset her she would go back to being calm very quickly instead of worrying about getting home or away from what bothered her. I guess I idealize around her because most other horses I ride a handful of times a week but Indigo and I go out nearly every day, even if for 10 minutes bareback down the field. I notice the littlest differences in her because I see her every single day rather than a few times a week. There's no "behind the scenes" to get between us.
Fun, boy I had a lot of fun! I worked horses and didn't have the usual horse owners problem with motivation. The horses were my motivation. I wanted to say my horses were quiet and fit because they were being worked and handled consistently, daily unlike a lot of horses only going out once or twice a week. It showed. Mr.Pony was on his best behavior he has ever been and same with Indigo. The summer and fall did good for them. I feel more confident that they will handle situations which makes them both more fun because I am not limited to what I can do. I can go out for example as I did with Indigo the other day, get a chain and drag some large limbs from the bush back to the farm without worrying about her having a fit when she hears the strange noise they make. I can trust pony to evaluate a situation and go through it cautiously if he is unsure rather than panic and think about it after I have to go through it with him again to make him understand nothing is going to hurt him. It makes their comfort zones much bigger and in turn makes them both more confident in new situations. I also went out several times to different places and had a blast camping, visiting relatives, friends and making many new ones.
This year my resolutions, or goals rather are kind of simple. I want to work on more collection and with Indigo. Shes plenty supple and collects and extends nicely at the walk and trot. Canter on the other hand, well she wants to stick her nose out and fall in on her inside shoulder. It's a messy mess but I have a feeling we can do it. I would love to be allowed to do some dressage tests locally and perhaps some more on Interdressage. Lots of driving of course. I also want to get a collar for Mr.Pony and start him pulling things other than his cart. Hes always been really strange about new noises and I would love for him to become accustomed to new sounds without a thought or fight with me. I was just thinking about the first time I hitched him and he nearly mowed me down with the training cart. I want him to be calm and cool the first time I hitch him to something new, not having to go back to square one each time with a new noise (I blame that on the hackney in him which comes out every so often for no given reason).
I also have the goal of getting good marks in school. I'm very much a hands on person. Any math sets me off the deep end; the deep end of being lost in number hell without being able to grow enough fingers and toes.
So what are your horse/non horse related goals for this year?