My recent dressage lesson video prompted some interesting comments. Many thanks to those who take the time to write in. I read every comment, even if I don't always have the time to respond.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
It's taken a long time to get to be able to post this, but I have Big News #2.
I have resigned my position in Portsmouth, NH, and will be working for a new company out of my home. So I will be able to ride on my lunch break, get early morning lessons, watch Brego romp from my office window and not suffer through my daily 1.5 hour commute (gas + tolls + emissions).
This also means more time for blogging, and my personal silence on this blog will be lifted. I have one more item of Big News in the next week or so, stay tuned!
But in the meantime, can I get a "Hell, Yea" for lower carbon footprint!?!?!?
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
We were very crafty and got up early to take a dressage lesson from our neighbor/trainer before the rain started again. I was concerned that Brego would be tired or sore from our gallop ride yesterday. Instead, it seems to have stretched him out because he was very forward (for him) and relaxed today.
So today we worked on introducing long and low, the hint of suspension (still a far off dream) and canter transitions. We have a little Arabian dressage show in a little over a week, so I wanted to try to refine some of our transitions. Brego did very, very well and seemed eager to stretch and work through his back.
A note on the video: My reins are too long. Period. I have no idea why my trainer did not scream her bloody head off at me. What the hell have I been doing to get this nasty habit? She mentioned they were long, but didn't correct me until I got them under control. I completely need to fix this. Secondly, my equitation is horrendous. Whenever you start to wince watching me ride, just focus on my big, beautiful horse doing everything right, ponder for a moment how such, er, unusual riding can warrant such an amazing result, and then vow to never ride like me. mkay?
The video is published without sound intentionally because the cinematographer and my neighbor's husband were having a delightful conversation on how to trap the fox eating my chickens and I did not deem it horse-appropriate. My apologies.
Those who suffer through the whole video will be treated to a delightful walk-canter transition, completely unintentional. I was asking for a shoulder in. Or at least, I thought I was. I am sure I asked for the canter and Brego, being the very intelligent and sensitive animal he is, transitioned nicer than I ever get when I think I am asking for it. That's horses for you. It just tells me I am off balance when I really ask for it, perhaps throwing myself at him or dropping my left shoulder.
Despite the slow summer and wet conditions, I am very pleased with the progress Brego is making this summer. This is just more foundation building up to our show season next year.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
My close friend from Texas was in town which only means one thing: Hooligan Riding. We've been friends a long time and are very horsey friends at that. I get to see her once a year when she stops by on her way to family stuff in Canada. We have to get a year's worth of riding into one day.
Today, I think we just managed it.
It's been raining every day, but today dawned bright, sunny, and warm. We packed some extra sole guard on Brego's wet feed and tacked up to hit the trails. We rode the 4 mile loop but took extra time at the gallop track on the way back. Today it earned it's name: Gallop Track. I must say, that although Brego is a big ol' drafty boy, and I am certainly handicapping him as a rider over my tiny friend, Brego caught up to the Thoroughbred mare in a dead gallop. That boy can haul.
We ran several laps, up hills, down hills and the horses were just amazing. I even got two very nice right to left flying changes ON PURPOSE for the first time. His left canter is sticky so we have not been successful in getting a flying change in that direction. I was thrilled.
After much running around, we walked them back towards home. We walked through the subdivision down the road and just happened to be walking back by the fairgrounds. I looked out over that massive flat turf field, nearly 1/2 mile from edge to edge, and convinced my friend to go for one more gallop.
She agreed so we walked to the end, turned around, and slowly worked them up from a canter to a gallop. Then I ducked behind Brego's ears and told him to "show her!" He has a whole other gear, folks. I watched that Thoroughbred mares hind end pumping up and down in her gallop, clods of dirt flying into my face, and Brego gained. Just when we got a length away, my friend pulled Hobby up slowly and we blew past. It was amazing and exhilarating! Brego has never felt so good.
Sometimes, you just need a big pipe cleaner to show a horse how fast they can go. Tomorrow, we have an early morning dressage lesson, so we'll be back to being "proper" and all that. But today we we rode. Already my thighs are telling me they were not amused by the amount of two-point I held in my gallops.
It was worth it.
Monday, July 20, 2009
- I tend to prefer Lagers over Ales. In summer, I like a nice wheat beer or a pilsner. Fall is my favorite time because of the annual emergence of Pumpkin Beer. Yum!
- Like some of my readers, I have no TV or radio in the house. I do listen to NPR on my commute. (Can I personify stereotypes any more?) In general, I hate all the commercial interests and advertising in modern media. I do have high speed internet at home and have been known to go to movies (only if beer is served in the theater).
- I wrote my Master's thesis on the social impact of great, culture-defining structures and how they express our very humanity, e.g., Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, Great Pyramids. The earliest example I cited was the curvilinear ruins in Malta. One of my life's goals is to visit Malta. Also, the Pharaoh Hound is the national dog of Malta! Connections everywhere....
- I am a total Mac snob. I love developing on Mac OS X and I could not live without my iPhone. So while I sometimes come across as a Luddite, I prefer to think of myself as a discriminating technologist who ultimately chooses Nature over Machine.
- I have few very close friends, but I am fiercely loyal to those I have. I tend to be private and reserved around strangers, but I would do anything to help my friends. I love and cherish them and they mean the world to me.
- When I was younger, I played the violin... poorly. So I switched to percussion and became a nationally recognized timpanist despite being somewhat tone deaf. I gave up music when I went to college.
- I have the noble distinction of sleeping with a professional hockey player. The very definition of kewl.
- I cannot cook. Horrid. I ruin rice. It's that bad.
- Despite a rather scholarly upbringing and education, I do enjoy mind-numbing entertainment. Exhibit A: I own an XBox360 that I play games on when I can find the time. Exhibit B: I thoroughly enjoyed the Transformers 2 movie in all its inanity. Sometimes, you just need to take the starch out of your collar.
- I am recruiting minions to hike the Appalachian Trail with me within the next six years. Comment below to apply!
Thanks to everyone who thinks often of this blog and thanks to those who awarded me this honor.
Brego and I have had a nice series of rides. He is shaping up well for the dressage show in a couple of weeks. My close friend from Texas is spending the next week with us and we will be doing plenty of horsing around. She is one of my oldest horsey friends and we always ride like hooligans when we get together. I can't wait to go kick up our heels (oh, and show off Brego's new halt-canter transition ont the right rein! Woot!)
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The pesky upper level pressure system has moved off of New England and so we're back into a normal weather pattern after a month of rain and 80% cloud cover in June. That's enough to stifle even the sunniest personality.
Posted by Daun at 8:31 AM