Wednesday, November 15, 2023

What's Up Wednesday


Okay, I promise I didn't forget this time either. It was just a very long day! I rode horses all day, and then drove an hour up to Uconn to give a braiding clinic tonight. It was super fun. I think I should do more of them. 

There were actually a lot of people in attendance, about 20 I'd say. Which normally public speaking isn't my thing. but it's a lot less scary when it's something you actually know about. That's me in the back of the above photo brushing the horse's mane. In case you didn't realize how short I am, that's a Morgan. Maybe 15 hands. Ha! Uconn has a Morgan breeding program so most of the horses in their riding school are Morgan horses. It's actually a strong breeding business, and Uconn horses are successful out on the regular Morgan circuit. Of course, that doesn't lend to great manes for learning hunter braids on... But we did the best we could. Anyway. That's where I've been all evening instead of drafting this post.

The horses are pretty well settled into life at their winter home. Last week, I had lessons on both Eros and Al. I had one planned for Shiny on Saturday, but we were able to get on the vet list for Friday, so we wound up having to cancel that one. She'll lesson tomorrow finally though. 

Eros' first lesson went really well. He was nice and quiet and jumped around. But he was a little short strided, which I've been having at home too. I figured he was due for some vet maintenance though, so I wasn't too worried about. And still am not too worried about it. He got to see the vet Friday as well, and should be all lubed up and ready to go for tomorrow lesson. 
Sleeping off his vet visit

He had the weekend off, and has been a little spicy this week after all that vacation time. Spicy for Eros though? Generally not a big deal. I have a feeling that stride will be plenty open for our lesson tomorrow though. Hopefully not TOO open. Time will tell.

Al's first lesson went mostly well too. We rode with the assistant trainer as regular trainer was at a one day show. The jumps stayed small, but we managed to use the majority of the ring, and I think we jumped everything in there. I was happy with it. We had our second lesson today, and it went well too. He's still ridiculous about the end of the ring, and I asked trainer to hop on and jump him down the line that was headed toward the scary end before I did it. Because I was being wimpy. But she did, and then I got on and did it. And we jumped all the jumps both directions. Toward the scary end, away from the scary end. All of it! Jumps were still small, but a little bigger than the other day. Which, honestly, I don't need to jump big all the time. Neither does Al. He knows how. I think he gets easier the bigger the jumps are so that makes it not scary for me. I'd rather preserve the horse and work on all the things I need to work on over smaller fences. Come spring when shows are on the horizon, we can start jumping higher again. I will also note, that as silly as he is about the one end of the arena, he is a lot better than he was last year about it. Partly because I'm trying really hard to handle it better, and hopefully partly because he's growing up. Haha... Hopefully. He is such a child. I wish you all could meet him. He has so much personality, but it's the personality of your typical 6 year old boy. Must touch everything. Maybe give all the things a shove. Taste them. Knock them over. Paw at them. He's a lot. But I love him.

And then there's Shiny pants. I've been feeling for awhile now that she was due for some vet work, but I was waiting until we moved because it's easier to get an appointment at the bigger barn that at my house. To be real, my vet's business has grown a lot, and I am pretty aware that he's looking to phase out the smaller barns like mine. So I try not to rock the boat because I'm really attached to my vet, and the other options around here are not great. Anyway, we got on the list for Friday as I mentioned. She had her hocks and neck done and also got a shockwave treatment on her neck. On most horses, I don't really feel a huge difference after maintenance. But on Shiny? She feels AMAZING. Like so fluid and bendy and even more forward. Science rules. I can't wait to jump her around tomorrow. I think she's looking forward to it too. She gets bored just flatting all the time. 

I'm not sure how much riding I'll get done this weekend. There's a Nona Garson clinic at the barn, but I opted out of riding in it. I can't imagine she'll be all that understanding about my horse who doesn't use the entire ring WHERE HE LIVES, and it would just be spending a lot of money to annoy the clinician. I could do Eros, but he also does not thrive in the clinic setting. He likes a quick warmup, jump around a few times, and then put him back in his house. After about 25 minutes of work, he just goes about pulling me out of the saddle and complaining about how hard his life is. Again, a lot of money to spend to annoy the clinician.  I did do Shiny one year, but the jumps kept getting bigger, and she wound up over faced and started stopping. I don't want to put her in that situation again. It wasn't fair to her. So yeah. I'm sitting this one out! If the weather cooperates there should be an extra ring to ride in, but if it's raining or crazy cold/windy there won't be. So we'll see if I get them ridden or not this weekend. I'm not sure I'm motivated enough to start riding at 5 before the day starts. Depends how cold it is. I am that amateur. I'm zero percent a morning person, and when it's 20 degrees? I am like -1 billion percent a morning person. I don't plan to audit this year either as there is an audit fee, and with the holidays coming I really don't have the extra cash lying around. I've both participated and audited this clinician enough that I don't think it will be anything new. Not money well spent for me at this point. 

In other news, I got to have a little fun with braids on Sunday. My friend wanted to doll up her horses for Christmas photos with our favorite photographer (Chelsea Lothrop). And this friend is super fun, so there were tinsel extensions and pompoms involved. 

I cannot wait to see the photos! They had wreaths on of course and I think they looked ridiculously cute. 

And that catches us up! Things are going well so far. Hope you are all doing great too and having lots of fun with your horses!


  1. oooh that's so cool about the clinic! and glad the ponies are all doing well, even if Al still isn't totally sold on the scary end of the ring lol

    1. It was so fun! I'd love to do it again.
      Haha, yeah.. I don't think he'll ever be sold on that end of the indoor. It's clearly a dragon breeding ground.

  2. I also found I hated public speaking much less when it was something I was passionate and knowledgeable about - so weird how that works! Glad you're settled back into the winter barn, I'm so jealous of having an indoor!

    1. Right? Like, understanding what you're blabbing on about is way less scary!
      I do very much appreciate the indoor after all the years without! Though I wish my horse appreciated it too... Maybe Al would like it a little more if I ride him at home in the dark for awhile...