I noticed some other bloggers doing this 5 day challenge that Tracy at Fly on Over is doing, so I thought I would join. It’s five questions in five installments. Not sure I will do all the days directly in a row, but we’ll get through them all.
1. Most influential person on your riding
Probably my old trainer growing up. She was very picky, and constantly yelled at me about my position. If you messed up you knew it! Yet if you really got it right that was a big deal too. I think she created a very solid riding foundation for me over the 9 years I rode with her. She also found both my first horse, Zipper, and Phoenix for me. There was some drama with selling Phoenix when I started college that left me with a salty taste in my mouth, plus the barn headquarters moved farther from my house so I didn’t really want to go back there.
My trainer now was very influential in my riding with Stampede, because he was very difficult when I first moved to the barn, and she really helped me figure him out. She is more quiet and willing to let me make a mistake then come back and fix it. I appreciate that now, but not sure it would have worked well for me when I was younger.
2. Piece of tack you’d love to splurge on
Really anything that increased my horses’ comfort. Would have liked to have gotten P a custom Antares instead of used. I would probably also buy Stampede some nice open front boots that actually fit his huge legs, lol.
3. Top 5 riding playlist
I can’t say I have a top 5 playlist. I usually either listen to one album specifically or I listen to Pandora when I ride. Lately the album I’ve been listening to is The Neighbourhood and I’ve been listening to their Pandora station as well.
4. Most important aspect of your barn?
I have to pick one! I’d say first is care. The boys need to be properly fed, stalls cleaned well, turned out and in, and someone needs to notice if something is wrong. The barn and surrounding property needs to be safe and secure. One of the biggest benefits to me since I work full-time (plus) is knowing that someone is around the boys most of the time and would notice if something was up.
Second is the atmosphere. Are the other riders friendly and courteous in and out of the ring? Do I enjoy riding and interacting with them when we are stuck indoors all winter? Is there too much barn drama? Too many little kids unattended? All things I consider with a barn.
5. Three winter riding goals
Continue pushing myself to stretch up my upper body and not let my hands get too low on Stampy.
Keep up the momentum of doing Stampede’s stretches 6 days a week and getting him ridden/lunged consistently through tax season. This is very important to his long-term comfort with his kissing spines.
Enjoy both boys, but particularly P, while they are here. You never know how much longer you have, so each day can’t be taken for granted. I am truly blessed that Mr P is still rideable and happy at his age, and I don’t plan to waste the time I have. Similarly, I have no idea how much longer Stampede can be rideable with his kissing spines, so I need to enjoy him while I can.
And back to the regularly scheduled pony updates!
Wednesday – Had a nice ride inside, just me with P and my trainer on another horse. Did a quick and easy flat, emphasizing that he needed to quiet his trot back down after we did some transitions. He’s really starting to get better at it and it helps him stop anticipating while still remaining sharp to my aids.
Thursday – Flatted Stampede. Did my favorite figure eight on one lead exercise (so you are on the counter canter for half of it) and a couple lead changes for fun. Stampede was a little up at the trot again, evidently it’s his Thursday thing, lol.
Friday – I rode Stampede again and Jessica rode P. We went up to the black Friday sale at Sporthorse Saddlery first though. I got some new stirrup leather for the Antares, but of course I got the wrong size so now I need to go back. Otherwise just got boring things like wormer. We had a great ride, just the two of us in the ring for most of the time. I helped her work on using all of P’s buttons more and had a nice flat on Stampede in the process. He was much more relaxed at the trot than the day before and did some nice transitions for me.
Saturday – I didn’t ride, just came out and took care of the boys then went home to get cleaned up to go out to dinner to celebrate my husband’s birthday, which is really Tuesday.
Today – Rode both boys. P was first, and was ready to get to work. He really seems to relish being pushed instead of us just plodding along. He was moving very well and feeling great! Stampy was a bit cranky about me messing up his schedule. I almost lunged, but there were multiple people riding and I didn’t want to be the annoying person who takes up 1/3 of the ring. I don’t mind it when I ride, but I know some people do. Although he was cranky Stampy ended with some great stretchy trot and we finished the ride with a little walk around outside (until my coat fell off his withers and I had to get off!)