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Vacation is Over

Vacation is Over

A few weeks ago I lost my gloves (AGAIN). Fun fact about me: my fingers are made of tissue paper—it doesn’t matter what I do, if I’m not wearing gloves I get blisters. With that in mind, when I stopped wearing gloves and my hands didn’t immediately dissolve into a mass of shredded skin and oozing fluids, I probably should have realized that we haven’t been working quite as hard as we should be.

I miss you, gloves 😢 COME BACK TO ME

We’ve been spending most of our time cantering around like loons and jumping over sticks. I literally cannot remember the last time that we had a “dressage” type ride. Definitely not since we moved to 10M!

We’re just a pair of running/jumping yahoos

Yesterday I realized that we should be putting in a little more effort. There are plans on our horizon—including a clinic this weekend and a schooling show later this month! Of course, Raglan doesn’t know about all of these fun plans, so when I picked up my reins and squeezed my calves like I was thinking about getting some actual work done his first reaction was to spook at the rain falling out of the gutter.

The cat was also a source of great terror for him

I didn’t feel like eating dirt, so he ended up on the lunge with the side reins.

After his lunge I got back on prepared to get some real riding done, but it didn’t go very well. I’ve been having some physical problems lately—namely an inexplicable burning pain in the balls of my feet whenever I post the trotso we stayed at the walk so that I could keep my feet out of the irons. I worked on pushing him in front of my leg (without letting my hands wiggle around), then we did some walk-trot and trot-walk transitions, too, since they’re a good way to test whether or not he’s engaged.

I’m excited to be back at the SEC, under the watchful eyes of TrainerA and TrainerM. Hopefully having them around low key supervising will guilt me into working harder. 😅

An Empty Barn

An Empty Barn

One of the horses passed Thursday afternoon. There was nothing that could be done, he’d choked on his grain a few days earlier and even with vet care the fluid that built up in his lungs was too much. SellerH was there when he went down, and she moved the rest of her horses out the next day.

With SellerH (and her working student, StevieO) gone, the barn has been quiet. There are only a couple other boarders at 10M and I don’t really see them all that often. Not only that, but all the stalls around Raglan are empty now, so he’s alone, too. It makes me sad that he doesn’t have friends anymore.

The owners gave me the option of moving him to the lower barn so he’d have pals, but that doesn’t solve MY loneliness. I wish I was so motivated that I’d go to the barn and ride no matter what, but I’ve always been a socially driven person when it comes to horses. It’s like that old saying about a tree falling in a forest, but more like “if Stephani rides but there’s no one to talk to, does she really ride at all?” 😂

The answer is no, she just grooms her pony, gives him a lunge, and goes home.

I’ve gone to look at a few different places over the past couple of months, but all of them have been missing critical components—no indoor arena, no turnout, no trails, no people that jump, etc. The hunter/jumper barns in the area are too expensive. The eventing barns are too far away. Everywhere I looked I had to choose between my happiness and Raglan’s quality of life.

I moped most of the weekend away. One day I went to bed at 5:30PM and slept for fourteen hours. Easter Sunday my mother came out to the barn and talked some sense into me.

We also took some super dorky Easter pictures 😂

When SellerH and StevieO were originally talking about moving we tried to find a barn that had everything we wanted and wasn’t too far of a drive for any of us. Time and time again, SellerH brought up the area’s most popular facility—the SEC. Going back to the SEC felt like going backwards, but the more I thought about it the more I found myself wondering: why did I leave in the first place?

Looking back, the things that I gained from my move to KW are all things that I gave up when I moved to 10M. They were small things, especially when compared to all of the amenities that the SEC provides. I think a big part of me was just looking for a change of pace wherever I could find it. I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past eight months, and while I don’t regret discovering what life is like without being deeply involved in a lesson program, I’m ready to come home.

AND SOMEDAY I WILL JUMP THESE CROSS COUNTRY JUMPS
Flower Boxes & an Oxer

Flower Boxes & an Oxer

Oxers have always made me nervous. I think it stems back to the first time I jumped an oxer, when I got left behind and Belle the Pony yanked me down her neck and over her head on landing.

I’ll be the first to admit to self-deprecating humor when I named this blog “Two Hearts One Oxer”

On Saturday I was down at Aspen Farms taking photos at their eventing derby. I hung around until 5:30 to watch the Preliminary riders. During their course walk a group of them were talking about part of the course when one of them said, “It’s just an oxer, it’s not like it’s a rolltop or a table.” Talk about perspective! 😅

I love taking photos at shows, it’s so inspiring!

The next day we got out SellerH’s flower boxes and filled them with fake dollar store blossoms.

I lunged Rags over the flowers. He jumped the snot out of them at first! But the jumps were easy peasy and watching how effortlessly he hops over these little fences always gives me a confidence boost. By the time I was done lunging I knew the jumps would be a piece of cake.

We warmed up with the ungarnished cross rail, then started playing around over the decorated jumps. We hopped over the lines from the trot and from the canter without any problems, and it felt like we could have jumped the moon togetherso I set up the oxer.

It was the first time I felt truly brave taking him over jumps! Even when I lost my reins and had to scramble to get them back while Raglan dive-bombed through a corner, I felt strong and capable. There’s a lot that needs work, but having a bit of that fearlessness back makes me feel good about our future.

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