Monday, February 15, 2016

Nothing like a new toy to make the arctic temperatures bearable!

I know my posts have been a bit sporadic lately...and its mostly due to the extreme frigid temps we have had the last week. I dont mind riding in the cold, but the crappy footing makes it just not worth it - Tillie tenses and won't/can't relax because she cant get comfortable and I spend the entire ride with my core activated to help her balance...and in preparation for the airs above the ground she pulls when she slips or looses her needless to say, I have been really grumpy not riding. 

So I will recap Saturday's lesson and then announce what my fancy new exciting toy is!!! (Dont you dare scroll must wait and build the anticipation!) 

Saturday's jump lesson:
Luckily, I have my weekly Saturday lessons with P to look forward to in this dead of winter. We rode with Emma this week with our other barn mates unable to attend. Tillie was not a fan of loading in the step up again, but with some pressure with the dressage whip she succumbed and loaded on ok and with no falling around turns this time!

We way be here in mind, but not in spirit
Tillie just seemed really not eager to be there, but was a good citizen. We got there early to spend a lot of time to just walk and get moving. The footing even out in the fields is not super comfortable so the horses arent moving around that much. 

P knew we all havent been riding so we kept the lesson light and mindful not to let any of the horses sweat or overheat. 

Tillie stealing some of Isabelle's alfalfa
Warming up, Tillie was back to be quick, but behind the leg and not really moving into contact. I did my best to stay consistent and create a conversation with her to encourage stretching out even if that meant opening the throat latch and not really being "on the bit" I just wanted more weight in my reins. period.

I chose to pick my battles and worked more on the tempo considering she hadnt been worked in a week...I didnt care where her nose or head were as long as she would go straight and in an even tempo walk, trot and canter.

We couldn't get any video of this lesson because P had us run everything single file, nose to tail to focus on keeping a rhythm and keeping an equal distance from the horse in front of us through each exercise. It sounds simple....except it is not.
Red head mares and their RBFs

We started off with trotting ground poles...two on one long side, which built to adding two more on the opposing long side. Tillie and I were the caboose and I discovered that despite being the tallest horse in the bunch, had one of the smallest strides so it took some pushing to keep her caught up behind the group.

Then the poles became small 12-18" verticals...all of our horses jumped each and every one like they were way bigger clearly chomping at the bit to be out and working. Somehow Tillie and I became the leader from here on out which worked nicely to force us to push for more forward and help be a bumper car for zooming Izzy behind us.

From last week's lesson, but here to help break up my long windedness

P made it a bit harder and then had us canter the small jumps, still forcing us to focus on maintaining a steady rhythm. I was quite impressed with Tillie, she cantered them just as quietly as trotting them and was easy to rate the canter since they were 2-3 strides between the two poles on each side. 2 longer strides or 3 shorter strides.

P then has us come through and do the diagonal line to change direction as well and make sure we could keep the pace through a change in direction. Then she put them all up a teeny bit to 2-2'3 and asked us to do it again.

Tillie once again was a good girl and kept a good tempo. With them a bit higher we had to pay more attention to rating the canter and adjusting for the second fence depending on how we came into the first one. Tillie was happy to give me an even three stride or reach for the two. P recommended going for the two more consistently to encourage her stretching...this just meant really trying to get her balanced on landing since she tends to land and get flat/heavy on the forehand when she reaches.

Emma and Izzy oh so fashionable after our lesson

While it wasnt the most exciting lesson, it was was mindless to a certain degree where you sorta let your horse find their own tempo while helping to rebalance here and there. Tillie seemed to really enjoy it and we did run through it once by ourselves to practice riding more forward out of the turn after we started a round and biffed the first distance to the first fence - just sucked back and added rather then take the more correct forward stride. 

All in all it was a good lesson....made all the better by going back to the barn to my new toy......

.....Which is...... not a trailer (yet).........


My new love of my life (ok at least for now)

My husband quite literally surprised me Friday afternoon while I was at work and said, Hey I think we should trade in my beast of a truck and get something nicer that you can haul with. He had an appointment at the dealership already for a long list of things he needed done to his truck the next morning...

I was a bit skeptical but played along, yea ok well go to the dealership Saturday morning for your new tires for your truck and window shop...thats fun too I guess. 

Well it turned into more just window shopping.

Remote start and heated seats....HELL YEA!
The deal always has been the next new vehicle would be mine since when we first got married I sold my little car so my husband could get his beast of a truck knowing we wouldnt be able to keep that thing forever - it seriously is like a monster truck and lifted and just ridiculous.

Can I sleep in this!?

Not that we are having kids anytime soon, but this new truck we will have for decades and will be our family we spring for all the bells and whistles. I have never had a vehicle with the fancy add-ons so I feel like this is my first real adult purchase.

Back up camera will make hitching up nice and easy!

I was adamant with my hubby that if we were getting this, we needed to make sure it was built to haul too...I didnt want any less then 7,500lb tow capacity. Once the salesman confirmed it was above that, I was sold. 

Oh hey gorgeous
 I barely test drove it down the block before I knew we had to have it. And within an hour, we signed traded keys and left the beast behind.

Spacious seating for carting around passengers or all the tack I have

I am beyond excited! Even more excited to get a new trailer to go with it that I have been planning...the truck just happened to come earlier then expected :) My husband joked this is why he scrimps on Valentines day or birthday gifts (because he really does suck at those) so he can go all out once in a while like this! lol...poor guy was a bit sad to leave his truck behind, but this one is definitely more luxurious and practical.

Oh and dont worry, we still have the titan as a back up to haul with too just in case...


  1. Kind of a bummer that it's a Chevy, buuut.... Hahaha just kidding. ;) The heated seats alone are worth it! So pretty and shiny! Congrats!!

  2. Um, that is an AMAZING truck. Heated seats FTW!!!

  3. you're officially driving us to all the shows this year haha

  4. That's exciting. Congrats on the new toy! Also that sounds like a really fun lesson.