Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Jan Byyny Clinic Day 1

Way back in May Prisoner and I did a clinic with Jan Byyny.  By the end of it she was pretty much my hero.  I was able to watch the other groups and listen to what she had to say.  She was humble yet confident with her opinion and ideas.  She talked about watching other top riders and really trying to pick apart what she liked in their riding so that she could incorporate it into her own.  After introductions and such we started with flatwork warm up.  I always go into a clinic looking for new tools that I can add to my riding, and what was the first thing she said?  "I will hopefully give you tools you can continue to work on after the clinic is over."  We warmed up in the walk/trot/canter with the same things.  Getting the horse listening.  We used the whole arena and worked on a simple version of shoulder in to the left and right (or inside and outside of the loop we were on).  It really showed me how much stiffer off the right leg Prisoner is.  This went  on for quite a while with her just calling out left right left left right turn right left etc etc.  Prisoner did quite well and she talked about how much she liked him.
Second time over this corner, nbd
 Then we moved onto two caveletti set on a curve about 3 or 4 canter strides apart.  Prisoner tried to rush and then got better, we did it a few times in a row until he settled.  As we stopped and waited for the next rider to go Jan walked over to me.  What she said about blew me out of the saddle, this woman had been watching me ride for 15 minutes and had me pegged.  "I can tell you 100 times that you are a great rider, but until you believe it yourself you will struggle, so believe it, because you are."  Say what!?  Ok time to stop with the self doubt.  Obviously easier said than done, but I'm working on it.
My cute pony
 Then we moved on to jumping jumps and stringing courses together.

First time over the corner, he popped me out of the tack

Prep phase
 He was doing quite well, impressing with his beautiful jumping.  Then we came to this oxer:
Yep, not scary
 and at the last moment he threw in his now signature rear/bolt sideways move.  Before I could even chastise myself Jan hollered across the arena, "you rode that fine, just come around again."  So I did and he stopped again.  She had walked over by that point and had me come back with a very slow and powerful trot and over it he went.  I did it several times in a row until he was feeling honest again.  We discussed how we need to keep him slow until his brain catches up to his body's talent so that he doesn't get scared.  She also laughingly said he used his sassiness (which she liked) for evil.  She said I was riding him fine and that his talent would make working through the quirks worth it.
Looking like an xc horse here
 We continued on and did a few different courses.  The idea for the rest of the lesson being that we would keep a mix of trotting and cantering throughout the course so that he wouldn't get too rushy.
Hello knees
 Funny story, while I was watching the clinic before mine, Jan looks me in the eyes and says, "we've met before."  Woah, yes we have.  I told her about working for a couple trainers back east and being stabled near her at Red Hills.  Seriously guys, we said maybe five words at the show, and maybe I held a horse for her or carried water or something.  What a memory.  She said it was so nice to see me again, and then said the same thing after the clinic was over.  Did I mention that she is amazing?
Taking flight under Jan's watchful eye

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Where to start?

So I was contemplating what I should write about today and thought I'd scroll through facebook pictures for inspiration.  Turns out there are entirely too many of those available, how the heck do I choose what pictures to look at and talk about!?  Then there is the fact of the matter that I struggle to track long enough to actually sort though and find all the pictures on one topic.
So this happened
Prisoner decided to be a maniac when he got turned out the day after we got home from Montana.  While running around the pasture he misjudged a turn and mowed over a T-stake.  Thank God  it was capped and only had hot tape on it.  He managed to bend it to the ground and scraped his tummy, other hind leg and then this leg.  He was super lame afterwards, not a surprise.  If it hadn't had a plastic cap I can only imagine the gash his stomach would have had.  The cut is actually healing quite well and after a few days of bute and no riding he looked pretty good again.
Love the view between these ears
I finally walked him under saddle about 5 days post cut and he actually felt ok.  The next day the hubby came out and did some body work on him.  Rather surprisingly his back and hind end were ok, he had some tightness through his pole/neck/whithers that we worked out and then he declared us ready for work.
Love you man
Another thing I've been using on him quite a bit is the magic yellow blanket.  Yes, I am spoiled, or at least my horse is.  I would like to crawl under the blanket myself.
Nap time
Anyways, I have had two awesome dressage rides and a great jump school and he really feels like he is on his A game.
Working that booty

Stretch that topline

Love him
Seriously guys, even with our ups and downs this horse is da bomb.
And he knows it.

Monday, August 3, 2015


Everybody love everybody.  I just want to say thank you for the support on my last post.  I truly appreciate the ability of horse people to give high fives and hugs, even over the internet.  Negativity seems to abound in the real world, so it is refreshing to come to a place where we focus on the positives.
Prisoner always appreciates some love
I've seen our blogging community rally around each other when circumstances get bad, from the simple bad ride to truly unspeakable tragedy we are there for each other.  When we have problems or questions we share them and usually get great informative answers.
Sound enough for a hack!
I think that equestrian women as a whole get a reputation for being independent and opinionated.  Neither of those are necessarily bad things and I know that I certainly fit into both categories.  Those two things combined with a key board and computer screen can turn into a bit of a quagmire.  At what point do we go from opinion sharing to lightly veiled slurs.  I don't tend to post things that open worm cans, mostly because I don't want to deal with what comes out.

"Rail of wisdom where no lies are told"
Part of the reason I didn't blog for so long was not just busyness.  It was many things, one of which was teeny bits of drama/judgement here and there around the internet, nothing particularly aimed at me, but more just floating around.  It made the blogland atmosphere slightly less warm and while I really really missed connecting with my blogging friends, I wasn't up to opening myself to potential heartache.  All in all it was my loss, because really you guys are all great.
This guy understood the ins and outs of E.L.E.
I guess all I'm saying is to be aware of what you are saying, even with the anonymity of the internet.   I know that we all vent about our own lives from time to time, why would we have a blog if we didn't, but in regards to the things that get said to or about others we should always take a deep breath before we start typing.  Is it constructive?  Would you let a friend say it to your face?  Does it have the ability to lend strength to another?  Does it need to be said in public or private?  Etc, etc. There are so many adages that sum it up, but I'm going to stick with the one I started with today: Everybody Love Everybody.
PC: Alyssa
I'm always threatening to paint "Everybody Love Everybody" on the end of our shedrow at the track