Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting back into a routine

Going out to the barn when I finish up here. It's a cooler overcast morning, but I do believe the weatherman is forecasting into the mid-eighties for later today. I want to get my ride in before it gets to hot. Meant to go yesterday, but that didn't work out. Monday I spent at the beach so didn't ride that day either. Sunday I did ride and things went quite well.

I am a big fan of the way Jane Savoie teaches. I have books and cds and dvds by her and listen to them a lot. I bought her "Happy Horse" series a few years ago and I've been working through it. When I said I was going back to basics with Boo in my last post Jane's series was what I was using for my guidelines. Sunday I worked on getting Boo in front of the leg, then supple, then seeking contact, then connection, and finally transitions while still on the bit. I will be working on that again today. I also use a book a friend of mine gave me called "101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider." It has exercises for warm up, looseness, straightness, rider position, lateral work, improving the canter, building suspension, flying changes, developing lightness, lengthening the strides, and even a chapter of the importance of horsey fitness.

When I ride I try to evaluate where the problem areas are. Then I use the above tools to try and work on those problem areas. I try to plan ahead and know what I'm going to be working on. Afterwards I write down in a riding journal how it went. That way I can jog my memory on what the next step is or if I have to drop back and keep working on something else. Periodically I take a lesson or a clinic and get feedback from eyes on the ground. It's not a fast track but it's progression and I'll settle for that.

It's been a busy summer. I can't believe its half over already. I still haven't been on a single trail ride. It's not going to happen this weekend either because DH and I are going to be painting my mothers living room for her. I did get some time to go to Dressage at Devonwood this past week, and I also spent a day at the beach. I've had a few beers with the DH sitting in the two red adirondack chairs we put in the far corner of the yard. I'll post a picture of those today. I get to do a little reading there too. that's been nice.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A back-to-basics summer

I'm back home again and this time (God willing and the creeks don't rise) it will be for longer than just a week. The parents are doing better every day. Mom has been given permission to

walk without her walker and even to drive. The first day she over did things a bit. I think she thought she could just throw that walker away. She wasn't planning to use it for anything! She soon realized she still needed it to walk long distances. She also realized that left leg needed some time to strengthen. She ended up falling the first night off the walker. She insists she didn't get hurt, but I do think it scared her badly. I noticed after that she kept the walker a little closer. She's an all or nothing kind of gal who at 75 is being forced to learn the little nuances of recovery. One step at a time step at a time.

My stepdad is still in rehab for his amputated leg, but is getting stronger every day. I'm quite surprised and proud of how well he is doing and can only hope that he continues to work so hard once he is at home. That should be in a couple of days ;) So...things may soon settle into a workable routine for everyone involved.

I had some very nice rides on Boo when I was home last week. Three nice rides in a row to be exact. Felt really good after having the previous trip home yield two horrible rides and one good one. Don't know what this week will bring, but I decided after those horrible rides that when things were going wrong I would just drop back and work on the basics until we were both relaxed and willing. Seems to have done the trick. Rhythm, suppleness, and connection; that's the foundation for it all, and if I don't have that there is no point in trying to work on anything else.

Now that I think about it back-to-basics seems to be the rule of thumb for this summer. Back- to-basics for the parents learning to take care of the basics of life in their new state of being, and back-to basics for Boo and I relearning one anothers abilities and expectations. If it feels like one step forward and two steps back that's alright. Life is about the process way more often then it is about the destination.

Today is going to be eaten up with errands and chores that need catching up, so I won't make it out to the barn until tomorrow morning. Hope to get in a ride and do a little grooming as well. Summer is finally here and I'm up for it!!! :) I missed Sunday Stills pictures of summer. Think I'll leave you today with a picture that just cries out summer to me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The culprit

I arrived back home late Sunday night and I'll be here all week long. I'll still be making trips over the mountain to check on things, but they will be fewer in number and shorter in duration.

I'll be heading out to the barn this morning to see Boo! I plan to spend the better part of my day out there. Oh, okay, I'll check on Bay too, although he has had much more attention this summer than Boo has had. Bay and Sarah went to Devonwood this past weekend for the Jr/young rider clinic they had out there. They had a ride for 3 consecutive days and Heather Oleson was their clinician. Sounds like Bay picked the clinic as a time to practice his rodeo moves. He can be that way sometimes. Good thing Sarah has a seat that sticks to the saddle like glue! I'm sorry I had to miss auditing, but I am so happy for Sarah that she took the opportunity and had the experience.

Sport horse regionals (region 4) are coming up the first weekend in August and Bay and Sarah will be competing there. I think Dressage at Devonwood is coming up too. Haven't set foot on a trail yet this summer but that is in my plans, and my trailering lessons have been limited to just the one I got to have this past spring. Dang!

I mentioned my stepfather in my last post, so I'll tell you that he had his surgery last Thursday. He had to have a below-the-knee amputation. He's still in the hospital and will be going for some intensive rehab soon before he can come back home. My mom is getting around quite well and I think her biggest issue at the moment is the stress from worrying about my stepdad.

If I can remember to start taking my trusty camera with me I'll start having some pictures of me catching up with all my horsey activities in my upcoming posts. In the meantime I'm going to leave you with a photo of the cactus my mom was trying to water when she fell and started this circus of a summer back the beginning of June.