Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Open Wide

Riva's favorite vet at work
Sleeping off the drugs
President's Day was spent hanging out at the barn in sunny 50 degree temps...Love!  Of course, it plunged to a high of 24 the next day.  Riva and Cheers got their Spring shots, Coggins, and dentals.  Riva's teeth were good - just maintenance floating.  Cheers, poor guy, had 4 hooks.  Should feel much better now - hoping his grumpy in general mood improves!
My vet was very happy with Riva's overall body condition.  Said her weight looks good and was impressed with her top line and muscling, esp in her neck.
I hung out at the barn until they both were fully awake.  Cleaned and conditioned my bridle and saddle - cleaned out my grooming box and straightened out the tack box.  Not hard for me to find reasons to stay at the barn most of the day!
Back out last night to much different temps.... Winter just needs to leave.  Horses got brought in early as the BO said they were all hanging out at their gates, looking miserable.  Riva was anxious to get out of her stall and to work - very forward and quick off my leg.  Had a really good ride - one of those rides where I leave the barn totally in love with that mare :)
Due to lots of indoor arena traffic, we did not get to work on our loop exercise.  Austen of  guineaforaguinness FB'ed me a great article from Practical Horseman that breaks down the loop and has super pictures.  Here is the link:  Thanks Austen!
But we did work on lots of transitions and had some nice canter work.  I could really feel Riva coming from behind and into the bridle.  Most times, at canter, I feel as if I am doing more work than she is.  Last night, she just carried me and it made me smile!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Lesson Review

For our lesson this past Saturday, we worked primarily on the trot one loop that is in Training Level Test 3.  Lex helped me with it last week but I really did not grasp the change of bend in the movement until JC had us do this exercise.

By trotting a 10 meter circle at the start, middle, and end of the loop, I began to understand the change of bend.  The left loop is much harder for us than the right - as it seems all things are - so this will take the most schooling.

She then had me remove the 10 meter circle at the start and end and just circle in the middle.  Which then led to no circles, but just riding the loop. 
We also worked on leg yielding from the centerline to the wall in both directions.  No video of this.
'Can we please be done now?!'

Hot Blooded!

Quick post, as I am heading to the barn for Spring shots, Coggins, and Dental day for Riva and Cheers.  Fun way to spend my President's Day off!
Few pics from the end of my Saturday lesson with JC.  More to come and video too.
I think stephsblogbits may be right when she commented on my sheet advice post - might be Riva's furnace runs hotter than I think!
Some horsey lipstick


Friday, February 15, 2013

Sweet Valentine's Day

Thank you to my sweetheart of a husband for spending yet another Valentine's Day evening at the barn.  I joked that it was the lonely hearts club last night at our barn...lots of ladies there riding...and I was the only one with husband in tow!

Riva's heart!

Since I have a lesson with JC tomorrow, we first took Riva outside for a trailer loading session.  She did really well - loaded her up 3 times and headed in with lots of pats and good girls.  The arena was crowded so I took my time grooming and tacking up - a couple of riders decided to go outside by the time we were ready (kinda suprised me as it was cold, windy, and betting the outdoor dressage arena is a disaster).  Ended up being one rider having a lesson and me - which was easy to work around.  Riva was super!  We kept it short - just some shoulder-in and leg yield at walk to warm up, then some nice trot work with more leg yielding, and then cantering with circles and diagonals.

We did stop for dinner out on the way home at a new Mexican place that opened recently, conveniently located right on our way.  As if I don't make him eat Mexican enough :)  Really good food - margaritas not so great.  Friendly staff, and owner stopped by to see how we liked it.

Excited for a lesson tomorrow - has been 4 weeks since last one.  Going to be a cold early morning...lesson is at 8 am, which means leaving our barn around 6:30 am.  Kinda like a show morning, except way colder!

Warmer days are coming!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feeling Stronger Every Day, Ride!

I am so blessed to have a talented, Dressage Trainer in training, daughter.  Even though I was hoping she would take an opportunity to be a working student in Florida for a big name dressage rider/trainer, I am thankful she stayed with her current trainer for now.  She has been a huge help to me the past two weeks while I get back to riding post surgery.  Riva may think other wise!  It has been dressage boot camp for the mare.

Lex on the Diva

I rode again last Thurs. evening, after Lex rode her, and I was very happy with how it went.  I have been riding in draw reins for a few months and this was my first ride back in regular reins for the entire ride.  With some instruction from Alexis, we were able to get round, engaged walk, trot, and canter - both leads!  Left lead is harder for us, and I had only tried canter to the right, without the draw reins, earlier this week.  What worked for us on left lead canter was keeping my hands low and using lots of leg to push her into the bridle.  Forward, controlled, rolling canter...felt wonderful

I am excited to go to another lesson with JC this coming Saturday.  I believe we have made huge strides since my lesson in January, and I owe so much of that progress to Alexis. 

On another subject - Miss Riva needs another body clip!  Our crazy Indiana weather threw in a 55 degrees and sunny day last Thursday causing a very sweaty steaming mare post ride.  So agree with Jen at cobjockey - early Spring is going to mean another hair removal appt for my girl.  I am hoping to put this off until March due to farrier visit, vet appt for dentals, and spring shots all yet to come this month for Riva and Cheers our OTTB.

Lex running thru TL Test 3 with Riva

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's Show Time!

Ok...not yet, but very soon!

I have been organizing my 2013 show binder and penciling in which shows we will attend.  Daughter has her barn's show meeting this Friday, so those will be added in around my shows.

I sent in my membership form for Indiana Dressage Association - first time to be a member :)  And bonus, cheaper for daughter and I to join/renew at the same time.

Here is my tenative schedule:

March 23rd - Dressage at CAF in Sheridan

April 20th  - Heartland Show at Edinburgh

May 11th - Indiana Dressage Schooling Show at Edinburgh

June 15th - Dressage at CAF in Sheridan

July 28th - Indiana Dressage Schooling Show at Edinburgh

August 10th - Indiana Dressage Schooling Show at Noblesville

September 28th - Indiana Dressage Championships and Schooling at Edinburgh

October 12th - Dressage at CAF in Sheridan

November 9th (if weather is like it was last November!) - CAF in Sheridan
 - unless Alexis is at Regionals in KY, which is Nov. 7th - 10th

Really looking forward to showing Training Level this year and seeing the blog friends, who I met last year, out showing. 

Now, if it would just hurry up and get warm!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Easing back in

I had a mini lesson last night given by Alexis!  No, I have not been to my follow-up appt with the surgeon (tomorrow afternoon!), but I am feeling almost back to normal. 

Last Thursday, after husband lounged Riva for me, I asked for trot when I was walking her out.  Felt ok.  Which lead to last Friday, asking for canter while walking her out - again, felt fine.

Lex rode her for me Saturday night and again before I got on on Sunday night.  She ran her thru Training Level Test 3, and she looked very good - esp the stretchy trot circle.

Few pics from last nights ride:

I can tell my core is not as solid as pre-surgery, but I know I can get that back.  I need to get my leg back underneath me - again, probably a core strength issue.  Bend my elbows and shorten the reins.  Watch that damn lean to the left!  But it felt great to really ride again.