Nov. 13th, 2009 10:24 am
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owie owie owie

Apparently the kettlebell class at the gym will strengthen all the muscles I use trotting. I can tell because riding today Hurt Like Hell.
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The riding muscles! FTW! As one friend says, when the riding muscles hurt, at least you know you are/have been Riding, and it feels like a huge win, even when it is, well, sore muscles.

Lesson today, first since May or June last spring. Ancient gray arab (!) mare, mostly knew what she was doing. While not the schoolmaster that Garcell* is  or Nishy** we had some moments. Her preference was head in the air and hollow, plus slow or quick to avoid additional work, though we had some much better moments after warming up and practicing some leg yielding and spiraling circles in and out. Her canter was astoundingly uneven - much smoother to the right than the left, and felt like falling into the center once per stride. There were some jumps set up in the ring making figures difficult. I never took the same line twice for changes of rein or serpentines or anything!

The teaching was fine. Not brilliant, but workmanlike. She caught some of my habitual issues (sit up, look where you are going) but didn't speak to some things I think were not so good. I tend to be too busy with my hands, and hold too long and too hard. For this mare it made less difference than it might for others, but I need to push my elbows forward and soften my hands much more of the time. I was working on dragging a lot of yoga to class, especially the standing poses - balance weight in the feet, straight through the back, float the head, lead with the heart.

The barn had a nice vibe - filled to overrunning with all kinds of other animals. There were two angora goats and a black sheep in a pen, fistfuls of chickens wandering around, an orphan lamb in the tack room and a different cat every where I looked. I will take four lessons and see how I feel about the place and the teacher. the horses looked calm and cheerful. There was a stallion there, who was cheerful and kind and easily handled by his owner with a broken foot.

I came home and fell asleep, for two hours. I'm better now, I guess.

Happy Pi Day (3.14) - also Einstein's birthday - we have apple and blueberry pie for supper.

*first barn, 16 yo big gray rhinelander gelding that had been 4th level in dressage at one point
**same barn, 17 yo morgan gelding bred at UMass, 14.3 deep chestnut, had gone Training level combined training and 2nd level dressage
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I will be sore tomorrow!! I got to ride today!!

Temp: 40 F
windchill: yes, there is a front blowing through
layers: not quite enough, but I used the antique mittens my mom gave me and my fingers were miraculously warm in moments
loose ponies: none, they were turned out already
water buckets: not plugged in - see Temp: well above freezing

No stalls today, and I rode. The ring is still impassable, but the manure trail worked fine for a warm-up, and then Wendy got her chestnut gelding dressed with a bareback pad and we went snow surfing in the woods. I think it wasn't so bad for the big guy - around his knees - but Dakota was practically swimming in the snow. It definitely reached his belly a couple times, and we stopped a couple other times to pant. It was a short ride because it was so strenuous. It was really nice to get on, and go, even though he was being fresh. He spent all the time in motion with his ears pricked and an interested look on his face.

Wendy had someone call about buying Dakota. I think it is a great idea, because he needs more work than I am giving him, and the woman who wants him does search and rescue work and he would be perfect. And yet, I would/will be sad to see him go. She said Lace's previous owner was coming to take her back sometime next week too, and two new boarders were coming. I don't know who I'll be riding if both Dakota and Lace are gone. Possibly Groovy, who is a little bay Arab/Sport cross, springy and young and amusing. And he bucks, although I stuck it the last couple times he tried it on me. I'm sure Wendy has a plan of some sort. It probably entails me buying a horse. I suppose I could go surf DreamHorse.com and see if any one leaps into the running.


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