Torture, Mayhem, and Cookies

I finally set up my “home gym” in the basement. We’ve lived here nearly a year, and I’m just now getting to it.

I’m obviously a die hard fitness fanatic.

HomeGym

 

Day 1:

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I made it 8 minutes into a 20 minute workout video for beginners.

 

Day 2:

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20 Burpees
20 Mountain Climbers
20 Lunges each leg.
A bunch of leg lifts, etc.
some jumping jacks.
ran out of things to try, so I quit and went and had a cup of hot chocolate……

Day 3:

I had the worst muscle spasms in my back while cleaning stalls so I skipped day 3.

I lounged around on the couch waiting for my back to ease up while these two laid in my lap.

Stumpy&Zeus

Good workout!

Day 4:

I busted out a mile in well under 40 minutes.

I’m so awesome!

I bet no one could beat that time.

Day 5:

What? Again?

Maybe tomorrow.

Day 6:

I’m going to try these today:
20-minute Barre Interval Workout – https://youtu.be/-fdwW8M1cAI
Hip Opening – https://youtu.be/SghA-ax1ubc

I’ll see if I can make it past 8 minutes this time.  🙂

Outdoor Riding All Year

In Michigan, an indoor is rather mandatory if you want to ride consistently all year round. Without it, you’re at the whim of nature, and let me tell ya, nature isn’t too kind around here in the winter.

I haven’t ridden since December 26th. Everything has been covered in a layer of ice. It finally melted late last week. I was able to lunge Joy Friday, but Saturday it rained all day, today it is snowing like crazy (and it’s only in the 20’s), and tomorrow I leave for Texas.

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January is not looking like it’ll be very productive for under saddle training.

I worked on getting Joy used to the clippers yesterday. That went far better than I had expected. At first she snorted and moved back a bit, but within 5 minutes she was ignoring them completely.  I didn’t actually touch Joy with the clippers running yesterday. Only with them off. Since I have the time, I figured I’d do small increments of desensitization with a slow progression (since I have a tendency to rush these kinds of things).

Ava, who was snooping through the stall bars, got all kinds of wiggy when I turned the clippers on. Snorting and blowing and acting like she’d never heard these strange contraptions before. She’s never been super about clipping, so I suppose this is a good thing for her too. It just surprised me that she would react as she did when she’s been clipped a good number of times in her life.

This is one of the aspects I love about having my horses at home. I have the time and ability to spend a few minutes every day just working on clipper desensitization. Heck, I can hang the clippers from the stall wall if I want. Whatever I need to do to help the horse get used to them, I can do, because I own the joint. Haha. It’s really nice to have that freedom.

Oh, and it is so freaking awesome to have outlets at each stall. It meant I could plug the clippers in anywhere I needed them. No more extension cord running the entire length of the barn getting wrapped up in legs and stepped on. Woo Hoo!

Ava Update:

I’ve got Ava on one really small handful of grain twice a day in order to give her her supplement. Then she gets pretty much free choice hay, but its mainly in a slow feeder hay bag. I know she’s lost weight since she developed laminitis, but it doesn’t seem like she’s losing very much. I’m not sure what to do about that. The weather makes it really difficult to exercise her. I’m not gung-ho about limiting her hay.

October 12, 2015
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She developed laminitis November 26, 2015.

January 9th, 2016
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I have to get the vet back out, do a full work up on her. See what else is needed, or what I need to change, so that I can get Ava back to full health. I know she’s not sneaking anyone else’s grain. She’s only getting crappy grass hay. There’s no grass in the pasture. She doesn’t get any treats or extra feedings. Nothing. I’m beginning to think the mare can live off air. Which is extremely sad, because Ava so enjoys her food.

Joy’s also been on a diet, and she’s lost quiet a bit. I actually have Joy on more grain then I have Ava on. Double the amount of grain (same amount of hay). Both have had nearly the same amount of exercise this past month.  Yet Joy is losing weight, and Ava doesn’t seem to be losing very much.

 

Here’s a comparison from Dec to Jan:

Dec2015

 

She almost looks heavier now then she did in December!

Crap like this makes me want to sell all my horses and throw in the towel! I have no idea what I’m doing….

New Year Eve – 2015 Recap

Well, this past year has been really non-dressage related. Rather mundane, and yet quite exciting and stressful. Disappointing, yet exhilarating!

I like to keep my lows and highs in balance.  😉

My Year Overview:

I bought a house and almost lost everything because I couldn’t afford two houses at the same time, and couldn’t sell the old house.

ABHouse

Finally sold the old house. Yay!

Jessie got caste and I thought she was a goner.

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Jessie bounced back!

Jessie stuck a stick in her leg and the tendon sheath got infected. I thought she was a goner.

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Jessie bounced back!

Ava got laminitis. I thought she was a goner.

Right Front

Right Front

Ava bounced back!

I bought a pony! Pony tries to brain herself on the trailer ride home. Pony is scared of everything.

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Pony over comes fear and is awesome Pony!

Giant spiders attack us!

Giant spiders disappear to wherever giant spiders go….

I bought a saddle for Joy!

Wintec 250 Pony Dressage Saddle Flocked

My butt doesn’t fit it.

Joy Overview:

This is Joy a month after I brought her home.

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Joy in August (I don’t have any good current pictures):

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When I first got Joy:

Current under saddle:

I know that right now Joy and I look like ass. I know this. But I’m so thrilled with how far Joy has come since April. I bought her in April. I rode her twice that month. I haven’t been consistently riding her since I’ve gotten her, and she’s really come a long way with very little work. When I brought her home she could barely steer. She had no real ‘go’ buttons. There wasn’t such a thing as an outside rein, leg aids had no meaning, and the seat was just the thing that sat on her. When I asked for a halt she would jut her chin out and brace her entire neck against the rein. And the ever present curl of the chin to chest when I touched the reins for steering.

And yet now? We have an outside rein, we have go buttons (better than before), we have leg aids and can do lateral movements, and we have some semblance of contact now. She’s beginning to soften and come under when I half-halt now. She’s no where near as wobbly underneath me. And her curling has subsided to only occurring only during the most stressful of situations.

We went on our first group trail ride together in August. We’ve gone on our first of several solo trail rides together. We’ve over come tarps and plastic bags under foot and trailing behind us. We can canter on the trail! We even took a really small jump! We’ve seen deer, turkey, squirrels, and a chipmunk (that ran beneath us).  We’ve walked calmly past incongruous semi-trailers, blocks of stone, and a lady who suddenly appeared from within a hammock in the middle of the woods.

We have manners when leading now. She’ll walk beside me on a loose lead and a flat halter, stays a polite distance away, AND she’ll even back up if I just lean my upper body back when I’m next to her. She moves over (on the ground) from finger tip control, she stands still for mounting from a mounting block now, and she’s figured out that saddling from port or starboard is no big deal (although this seems to need consistent re-enforcement).

I still need to work on trailering, clippers, going to new places, and show environments.

And Ava… I have to get Ava back in shape and start riding her consistently (3 days a week). It’s been two years since the stifle injury. She trots and canters fine in the pasture now. I’m wondering if she would stay sound under consistent work, or if she’d buckle under it. She may forever be a light riding horse, but I’m still loath to write her off completely…

Thank you for following me this year!! You guys are the greatest, and I’m so happy you’ve joined me on this journey!!  I hope that this coming year I’ll have more exciting and happy things to share with you. And hopefully they’ll be more related to dressage. 🙂

Thank You!

 

p.s. I just heard of this band, and I LOVE their songs. It’s probably the donkey that did me in.