- the recent Swiss ban of draw reins at FEI competitions and a very fun, lengthy discussion on the current and future impacts of the animal rights movement on horse sports (seriously, I'll try to pare down my 60+ page thesis to a readable blog post for you)
- Sweet Sixteen: my riding goals then/now
- Maturing as a horseman and how priorities change
- Getting involved with a Thoroughbred retraining charity and their new veterans program
So on to that boring summary stuff, Soon and I rode in the dark a couple more times this week. Which you will note...I said during the week which means I actually dragged my sorry ass to the barn after my crazy work schedule IN THE DARK and rode IN THE DARK. That means I'm motivated!
Since it was near 80 degrees yesterday, I elected not to do much with Soon when I got on. He's got a full winter coat and I really didn't clip as much as I could have, so asking him to work hard probably wasn't going to be super comfortable. But I still made it productive because I figured that was a perfect time to pull my irons and finally participate in No Stirrup November for the first time in like 10 years. So no stirrups in the dark = "motivation, wow!"
|Item A: photographic evidence that I did in fact yank my stirrups off my saddle|
I felt ok trotting around. Actually I think I felt great and very solid (pleasantly surprised at my no stirrup skills after such a long time), and was able to get Soon forward and round, but I could only do a couple of minutes before I called it a night. I am very unfit. More motivation for me to get back into my gym routine...which was going well until my last trip. So I'll be getting that going again and I think things will come together pretty quickly. I see plenty of no stirrup work coming this winter.
In other news, Soonie and I are doing a jump/grid demo tomorrow for the farm's open house. That should be fun. He was great through it last week. I figured today would be good to do a simple line and put one of the fences up a little bit to give him another confidence boost prior to tomorrow. I don't think the grid will get bigger than last week (which was pretty tiny, barely 2'6"), but if it does I didn't want him going a few months not having jumped anything over 3'. So I set a steady three stride line, popped through it low to warm up, and went through it a handful of times. I think we ended somewhere around 3'3" or 3'6". Easy peasy.
|Just doesn't look that impressive in a photo|
Also, I am totally stoked that my office is allowing me to try a modified work schedule on Mondays/Fridays (insane events/visit permitting). I'll go to work at 0530, clear out the paperwork with nobody bothering me, go ride around 1000 or 1030, and be back in the office by 1:30pm to work until things are done, probably around 6pm-ish. Longer overall day, but I can go directly to the gym after work, or directly home to dinner without worrying about going to the barn afterward. And of course this allows me to ride two more days during the day, with daylight and warmer temps! It's just a trial for now, but fingers crossed that this will work out. I don't always love my job just because of the insanity of it, but I do absolutely LOVE the people I work with. They are the best.
That was weighing much heavier on my mind than I wanted to admit to myself, because I was visibly upset/annoyed by it, and once we sat down to discuss options and came up with this solution, my attitude about life improved about 400%. It's somewhat scary that riding/training has that much affect on my happiness. I'm very thankful though that my colleagues are willing to be flexible for me, couldn't be more grateful!