Barn Move – Update

Well, the barn move went swimmingly!

The previous time loading Ava took 4 people over an hour to forcefully shove her into the trailer.  Today’s loading event took all of 4 minutes and a grain bucket. Woo Hoo!  The verdict is out on whether that is a repeatable event, or a one-off.

Does anyone else talk to their horse like the horse understands? I know I’m weird, but I had to explain to Ava days in advance that she was moving and where she was going. Not that she understands.. but it makes me feel like I’m keeping her in the loop. hahaha.

Anyway, hubby and I loaded Ava up without an issues. The haul over was uneventful. I unloaded her and let her check out her new pasture. Ava immediately dug into the lush pasture grass.

All in all, a very nice and uneventful trip. Tomorrow Ava will go in a pasture with a little less grass until she gets more used to having so much. We put her in the really lush one today because she was only out there for a short while before feed time.

I’m tired now.  I’m going to bed.



Dressage Exercises

The Canter Oval

Etrak published this video on improving the carrying strength at the canter. The great thing about this exercise is that it’s highly adjustable to suit the horse. So if your horse is not very strong yet, you can keep the ends of the oval wider, but if the horse is strong enough then you can make the ends of the oval into V shapes to get more of a quarter pirouette.

Forward and Straight

I like this clip of Lilo fore from the 2012 Region 8 Adult clinic series. It highlights the need for forward energy in whatever gait you choose, and to carry the energy into/through the downward transitions. Something I have a bad habit of not doing.


Canter Spiral In/Out

This one is a familiar exercise to most of us, but this video has some good comments on why it’s a good exercise and how to ride it. It’s a fairly short clip.

Barn Move

So I finally have the barn situation all nailed down. Yay! Ava won’t be homeless!

I was sweating it for a while. I was starting to think she’d have to come live in my run down shed out back. I bet the neighbors would love that. The day they saw us bring the horse trailer home for repairs they rushed over to ask if they could ride the horse. Not that they’d ever ridden before, but, you know, how hard could it be. *roll eyes*

Anyway, I’m frustrated by several things at my current barn. The drive being one of them. I found a place a few miles from my house that looked good, but had no indoor. I know in some areas an indoor is not a necessity, but where I live its impossible to ride more than ocassionally in the winter without one. When I told the potential barn owner that I would have to move during the worst of the winter months, she told me not to come at all. *ouch*

Last night i picked up the boarding contract and finalized stuff with yhe new barn. The new barn has a small indoor. Well, smaller than my spoiled butt is used to. I am really spoiled about riding arenas. Now I’m like “Oh, it’s only 60 by 120. That’s soooo small.” Doh. Hahaha

Anyway, I’m excited because other people actually RIDE at the new barn. Plus, friends of mine board there and I’m so geeked to see those two on a regular basis again.

I have to say though… I was sweating it for a while. I’d given notice to my current barn on the 10th (when I thought I had the potential barn locked in). My current barn told me I had to be out on the first. So when the other place fell through and every other barn was full I got really nervous!! I was down to one week left of the month….

One less thing to stress about. Now I just need to move Ava and get her all settled in safely… then I can breathe a sigh of relief.

I’m so happy!!

Listing of Events

I want to aggregate the clinics, shows, and/or dressage events in Region 2. What I really wanted to do was create an event type calendar that was searchable by location, tag, category, or clinician name and make it nation wide database for dressage enthusiasts to use for free. However, to do that I need to get my own hosted website and not the freebie WordPress site I’m using.  I can pull in Google calendar events pretty easily through xml feeds, and they’ll be automatically updated by the owners of the calendar (like the GMO MDA updates their Google calendar). And some of the other GMO’s have their events available as RSS feeds, which I could also automate to have pulled in. There are several ways I could aggregate lots of events without having to do much manual entry. And for the event organizers that don’t have Google calendars or RSS feeds, then I could accept submission through forms, etc…. but it all rests on having my own paid for website…. so until then….

Here’s the link of what I have currently. If you know of any dressage related events in the Region 2 area then just leave a comment on the Region 2 Events page I created.

Link to page: Region 2 Events

I’ll keep working on something that is more in-line with a searchable database of events. It’s so difficult right now to find clinics in this region. It seems like so much of it is word of mouth, or last minute postings on some farms FB page. So my dream is a single spot where anyone can submit events for anything dressage related, regardless of GMO, farm, or clinician (as long as it’s somewhat related to dressage). And then make it so people can find exactly the right clinic or event that they want to attend. I think that’d be great thing to have.

I wonder if I can automatically pull in FB events? Hmm.. I’ll have to look that up.

Bad Riding

I’m trotting around on Ava today, and it suddenly strikes me…. I totally just screwed Ava up. She has suddenly turned into a massive ball of tension, ears laid back, and her neck is about 3 inches long. What the heck? All I did was ask for more forward! I have this moment of panic as I realize I’m clueless how to fix this.

I try leg yielding in hopes she’ll release some tension.


More leg? Her neck actually gets shorter. I give with the reins, but they just hang with big loops while her head and neck remain unnaturally arched. Circles? Ava refuses to bend, and comes to a crawling jog trot no matter how much leg I apply.

I don’t know what to do!!!!!

I boot her super hard. She bucks. I boot her again. She bucks again, but this time she actually moves forward with some energy.

It took me 10 minutes to get Ava to relax and use her neck again. I don’t even know how. Maybe Ava just got sick of trotting around like that and relaxed her neck.

Afterward, I’m walking Ava around to cool her out and I start wondering if everyone feels that overwhelming sense of just not being up to the task. I watch the cool confident riders and always think they look so in control and know exactly what to do. But what if they’re riding around feeling insecure and hoping nothing goes too wrong…

Whatever… I get bored being all alone at the barn day in and day out. Sometimes I think silly stuff.