Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2016 Resolutions

I've definitely got a lot of room for improvement in most aspects of my life- here's a list to hold myself accountable.

Horse Goals in 2016:
  • Reach goal: School 1.10 m jumpers comfortably
  • Show 1.0 m jumpers comfortably
Personal Goals in 2016:
  • Reach goal: crush the mini-mester matching or a better GPA than my first year GPA
  • Get an internship
  • Get in shape
  • Stick to or stay under my budget
Blog Goals in 2016:

  • Reach goal: blog 2x a week
  • Blog consistently
  • Reach out to the equestrian blogging community more

There aren't many; the next year is going to be tumultuous with clinics, internship applications, and my final 1.5 months of lectures. I had to make them vague to make them something I can do without going insane, but hopefully I can achieve them this year!

- K & C & L

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a merry (and dry!) Christmas!

From K and all the critters (Wilbur, Lila, Candy, and Lexie).

Friday, December 18, 2015

Doug Payne Clinic Recap: Day 2

While I may have been underprepared the first day, I came ready to jump the second! Again, focus was on collection, finding a good canter, and steering. Once again, we struggled with steering, but found our canter, and re-learned collection! Lexie got a bit tired and flat towards the end, and I really struggled with the skinny jumps throughout the entire day.

First round of fences.

Four minutes of a hot mess over skinny jumps, and cute Lexie over bigger fences.

Overall though, I saw a major improvement in my ride. I definitely "clicked" with Lexie, and felt incredibly comfortable over the 2'9, 3'0 jumps at the end of the day. So while I wasn't perfect (and was far from it), I felt more confident and capable riding Lexie than I before the clinic. Even as a hunter-jumper, I felt like the exercises were helpful and beneficial across all English jumping disciplines. Doug was so patient, kind, and professional; even though I spent 99% of the clinic screwing up one way or another, he made me feel very comfortable asking questions.  If you ever get a chance to ride with Doug Payne- I highly recommend it.

Merry Christmas!

- K & C & L

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Doug Payne Clinic Recap: Day 1

Day 1 of the Doug Payne clinic got off to a... less than ideal... start. I managed to successfully leave boots, spurs, and gloves at home, but luckily A brought them to me.

Walked over to the ring, and what I had thought was strictly a dressage day had become a "flatwork over poles and small fences" according to the barn's Facebook page that I neglected to look at. Whoops- maybe an e-mail would have been nice so I didn't show up with freight train mare in a loose ring snaffle? But regardless of these bumps, my weenie self was determined to make the best out of the clinic, and I am so happy I went!

We started with a great exercise that involved a large circle (roughly 20 m over the center of the poles), and a small circle (roughly 10 m over the center of the poles). Enjoy my lovely attempt at Paint to show you:
Black poles= 20 m circle, red poles= 10 m circle
Goals were collection and accuracy. I definitely struggled with both those goals; I'm not sure if it was the bit, or the fact that my shoulder has gotten substantially worse, but I really struggled to collect  and steer due to my fitness, Lexie's fitness, and I'm sure the "gentle" bit didn't help matters.

We started at a trot aiming for the center of the poles, spiraling in to the middle, and back out to repeat at a canter but as the videos show.... it was easier said than done. In fact, Lexie was feelin' herself so much, that I expressed a little anxiety to Doug about jumping her in a snaffle. So Doug RODE HER, and like any mare, she threw a little sass his way as well.

I figured you all might like the good and the bad, rather than editing for the good. Sorry for the chatter from the peanut gallery- what can ya do?


Huge difference! She was so good, and I am so proud of ourselves for making it around a small course in a snaffle. Especially in the last video- you can see where I'm not as in shape as I'd like, and I've just started physical therapy for my shoulder. Still so proud, regardless!

- K & C & L

Monday, December 7, 2015

Coming Up Roses

Life seems to be on the upswing. Finals are coming to a close (1 surgery, 1 final to go), there is a light at the end of the tunnel- clinics in 3 months!, and my horse life has been on the upswing.

It's no secret this semester took the wind out of me; I'm struggling academically (won't know the results until the 9th), in my relationship, and in the riding ring. Unfortunately, it's been a small disaster in every aspect of my life, and one of the reasons I've been so lackluster about blogging lately. I don't handle stress well, and it's gotten the best of me this semester.

However, I am so excited to announce that starting January 1st- I will be leasing a new horse! Obviously- it will come as no surprise, I'll be leasing my lesson horse, Lexie. She's a 14 year old, 16.1 Westphalian cross. Lucky for me, she literally fits into every single piece of tack I own. I'm so excited to be back in the saddle on a regular basis.

I'm also so excited to attend a Doug Payne clinic this weekend. I've signed up for the BN/N category; I'm a little worried Novice is a little ambitious, but I'm still excited for a good learning experience.

Lastly- I'm hoping to increase my blogging output; I've got a couple reviews planned (thank you Black Friday), going to try to do lesson recaps regularly, and a few other miscellaneous things I want to write about.

I'm hoping this upward trend continues- I really need a little sunshine in my life.

- K & C