Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot.

Ok I have to say I LOVE winter here. But the temp changes are INSANE. Now this is NOT a complaint -- not even close. Merely an observation. hahaha the other day it was -5 when I went to work *brrrrr* and 21 *woohoo* when I came home... Every day this week I've managed to be dressed wrong -- summer clothes and freeze... Winter clothes and cook :) It's gotten to the point that I start w/ a layer and a half and add or subtract all day as necessary My car currently has more clothes in it than my closet! Although today was easy -- 25 deg all day. Not half bad :) Although I admit it made me laugh when "winter wonderland" came on the radio!

So the barn is set up that all the stalls open outside -- the "aisle" is, in fact, outside. Well I got into an "interesting" situation w/ the outdoor thing and Miss Sienna the other day -- she started backing up when I went to put the bridle on. Not doing anything bad, just going backwards... We've all been there -- typical baby evasive manouver right?

Only thing is, remember, we're outside. She backed her way past the end of the aisle, down the hill, and just kept going. Me walking alongside all the way. Not so helpful suggestion from bystander "why don't you put her in a stall?" umm sure I'd love to -- how do you suggest we *get* her there?!?!? Sheesh. Eventually she stopped for half a second so I could get the bridle on, and then we could go forward again. Needless to say, today I DID put her in a stall before attempting to bridle! hahaha not quite sure how you solve that particular training issue when there are no walls to take advantage of. My "wait it out" strategy that generally works at home (they eventually hit a wall) definitely wasn't guarenteed to work here!

Sienna met the wash stall today, and other than the fact that she doesn't xtie yet (so needless to say was NOT going to attempt it in this situation) she was awesome about the whole hose thing. Stood better for that then anything else I've done w/ her. Silly girl. Track training can be good for some things eh?

Ok so who wants to guess what the number one correction I get while longlining is? Whoever came up w/ "shorten your reins" gets a gold star >;-P hahaha classic eh? But in this case it's cause it seems like a *really* BAD idea to stand that close behind the horse. And logically I *know* I'm out of range and Denny wouldn't let me be too close, but still standing there it's just a little closer than my comfort zone allows. I've seen this horse buck remember *g* May not be anywhere near as impressive as Zel, but I still don't want to be right behind her when she does it! hahaha so the reins slowly get longer so I can be farther back... This theory fell apart when I was told to do 10m circles though. Then the reins HAD to be shorter... Ah well.

So dressage is easy -- all you do is "ride from the inside-out and then the outside-in". This made me laugh. Denny didn't seem to understand what was so funny. Poor guy went to great lengths to clarify; didn't realize that I understood entirely what he was saying, it just amused me the way he chose to say it. hahahah I've had this issue w/ enough of my coaches that I've decided I must have a *very* odd way of looking at the world. But it keeps me amused anyways, so I've decided it's pretty harmless. Anyways, for those who weren't there of the inside-out/outside-in conversation, the slightly elaborated version is you ride first by creating the power w/ your inside leg and pushing it diagonally forward to the outside rein. Then you take it w/ the inside rein and redirect it in (hence INside bend :). This came along w/ half a dozen analogies running from squishing clay against a bowl (who does that?!??!)... But the idea being that the horse is the clay, hand is your inside leg pushing it out to the edge of the bowl, and the bowl is your outside aids (esp rein)... Mold the horse between the aids... Etc etc etc

Absolutely nothing new in that, but it was the discussion of the day so figured I'd share... There was also more of the "horse MUST be relaxed before anything" and the diff between a horse ready to work for dressage (and the def of relaxed for that) and a horse ready to work for XC. This difference is the primary reason subtle aids are often rendered ineffective on XC -- cause the horse is not relaxed enough to tune into them. CANNOT be relaxed enough to tune into them by the sheer demands of the sport. Hence why you have to learn to ride three different ways for the three different phases. And to TRAIN three different ways. But on DQ days, relaxed is first. And with babies, relaxed is always first. For those who actually like the whole theory thing, this article appeared in our tackroom (which translates to "read this") the other day:

Ok well my eyes glazed over like an hour ago and I'm not the least bit convinced any of this is coherent, so I'm off to sleep... Funny how I had a lot more time when I had no internet at home!


"And with babies, relaxed is always first. "

And I'm adding this to my list of unhelpful bystander comments... :P


hahahahaha yeah to be quite honest that was MY take on the matter too!

If I ever actually learn how to make it happen, I'll be sure to let you know :)

That and relaxed on XC *g*


you guys really need a day or 2 in the western world.


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