Monday, January 23, 2012

Winter Motivation

Winter is wet and gray where I live. And it lasts more then a quarter of the year. This year I'm having a harder time getting motivated to get to the cold, damp barn. I don't know why. When I get there I'm just fine since I warm up quickly enough grooming my horse. I've been finding that getting in my hot tub for a good 10 mins warms me up pretty well. Then I get my riding clothes on and head right for the barn. Works to help wake me up from sleepy winter slumber too.

The other caveat is that I don't like being at the barn by myself. And even if there's someone there, if they aren't riding in the same area as me I tend to be a total slacker. I trot less, canter less, and generally get off my horse sooner. I definitely don't push myself for any extra effort.

I have arranged someone to ride with on Mondays and I take lessons 3 other days of the week, so it's not like I'm not getting to the barn at all. But in the summer, I was riding 6 days a week on average and it was WONDERFUL! Of course the weather was geared towards outside enjoyment. I do often wish my barn had a web-cam so I would know if someone else was there.

Keep focused on goals - like showing
I guess the key is to keep focused on my goals which is to show hunters and dressage this year. And since I'm pretty competitive, I'm going to want to show well. I'm not afraid to put in the hard work - especially as it doesn't quite feel like work to me. But I have to get myself moving to make any strides. This also applies to my #1 goal this year, fitness. As well as continuing this blog. I still need more sleep.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Here a clip, there a clip...

Over the holiday I had three great rides in a row. Sam was awesome, I was well positioned and I had a decent amount of endurance. I felt so confident that I asked to move the jumps up on the third day.

This week was the first back to work after vacation. Vacation for me usually means staying up until 3am, sleeping in until 1pm. I'm a night owl by choice. So it was pretty hard to get back into the early morning groove. My weekday jump lesson (always Tuesdays) was at 1:30pm this week with another rider. I had about 5 hours sleep and was just dragging all morning. I felt more awake by lunchtime so scurried off to my lesson.

We ended up using the 'scary' end of the arena (which doesn't scare my horse) because it wasn't as soft as the regular end, though it was still soggy from all the rain the last few weeks. The tractor is in the shop, so the arena hadn't been dragged in about a week. We made do and worked on lead changes after jumps. I was sucking wind after each of the 2 series of jumps we were doing. 2 jumps! Three days prior, I was doing 8 in a row! So, I just worked with lots of breaks. Which worked out ok with another rider in the lesson. Note to self, GET SLEEP!!

I also noticed that Sam was breathing heavy after a few sets of jumps. It was pretty darn warm that day, in the 50s. I could have easily worn a t-shirt. So I went out to the barn the next day and re-clipped him, that is, after I fought with the new, only used once before, clippers. I won't go into details but let's just say I *almost* threw them down the aisle-way. Thanks to a trainer to helped me tame them.

Sam clipped early Dec. My first clip job.
I decided he probably needed more hair off then last time, especially since the weather has warmed up to normal temps. So, in the last 15 mins I had left, I starting from the back legs and clipped towards the front. Ended up clipping his whole belly, hehe. Sam has fur, thick wavy fur. Plus I blanket him, so I felt ok about the clip job. And it visually came out ok too, considering it was my first time with a full trace clip, second clip ever.

Sam clipped early Jan. My second clip job.
I can see where I would make improvements, and maybe I will touch up when I go to the barn tonight. But I didn't use any guides because I'm lazy like that. :D  However, my shoulders and lower back are sore from bending over yesterday. Maybe I should sit on a stool next time.

*Please note, the clip lines are straight, Sam's wavy hair spilling over the edges makes it look really messed up.

Monday, January 2, 2012


  1. Get fit & lose the excess weight, ASAP.
  2. Compete in at least two hunter/jumper shows.
  3. Ride often without stirrups. 
  4. Transition to bareback pad when goal #3 has progressed far enough for trot/canter work.
  5. Be schooling 2'6" by summer's end.
  6. Try out a XC course before summer's end.