Monday, February 28, 2011
-Doug Payne, 3-day Eventer
Payne, Doug. "Improve your Performance with Sports Psychology." Warmbloods Today, March/April 2011 pg. 73-74
I will admit I'm guilty of doing this. But I've learned that those excuses usually have a one-time use and then both horse and rider need to move on! The first time Greta spooks at something, I can use that excuse "Oh, that scared her (and I wasn't paying close enough attention)" but I have to prepare myself and Greta next time that might happens and try our best to do better! It's inexcusable after that. It might happen, but I can't complain or worry. Even after that first spook, I shouldn't shut down my ride because of it, but move on. Live in the present, like horses!
I will initially think "Oh, it's windy, the metal roof of the hay shed is making weird noises, and now she's getting a little flighty here", but instead of becoming tense and thinking, "I wish the wind wasn't howling, I wish Greta was bomb-proof, I wish for this, I wish for that, etcetera", I will think "start preoccupying her now, put some leg on, keep the shoulders straight, mess with the reins, ask for a little shoulder/haunches in/out, leg yield, turns on the forehand/haunches, something, but whatever I do, don't think 'She's gonna freak out, she's gonna freak out, she's gonna freak out!'"
She wants to try for me, she's not spooking on purpose, she's not being dastardly, she wants to please me so I have to give her an opportunity to please me by chaneling that energy into something productive, because then it will make both of us feel good!
Sunday, February 27, 2011
LOOK AT HER!!!! It makes me happy.
Video from bareback work a few days ago. You can tell in the last two clips that she's starting to get tired because she was dragging those back feet haha! And she was hanging on my hands. The camera ran out of battery before we cantered, but that's okay because she was hanging on my hands so that made her a bit downhill. I just need to do all that before she gets tired next time LOL. I always get so nit-picky at the trot that I forget about the canter until the end of the ride, and of course she's tired so of course it's going to be icky, and that's really not fair to her, because the canter is not a confirmed movement. So, I shall be fair and refrain from doing that anymore! What a good girl!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Oh, and the Prestige is brown (Carol the saddle fitter is awesome, especially with my noobish saddle buyer antics) :)
Anyway, some bareback riding pictures from Thursday night. Greta is definitely picking up her back feet (Joe the farrier will love to hear and see that!) and her back was super swingy in the video (she had a little puppydog tail going swoosh-swoosh-swoosh back and forth for most of it!) While she was definitely trying to hang on my hands for much of the ride, I finally got some nice, light, self-carried half-halts and steps of trot towards the end, and that's when I said "NOW you can rest".
While this ride certainly wasn't the best, I compare the video to the one from November and I see a great deal of improvement as fas as picking up her back feet and quite quickly coming to the bit once I start to pick it up (it's a lovely feeling). Her ears are starting to do that wonderful, floppy, relaxed pose as well.
The three pictures before the last picture are of us doing turns on the forehand (turns on the forehand and haunches are also something we have been working on) and the third picture and the very last picture are my favourites :)
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
For my AP English IV class. This is the first "write your own" thing we've done throughout the year. Fun, but hard. And I was not anticipating that I would get this artsy. Oh well, I just want a passing grade :)
Ode to Greta
Fair as a pearl
Junoesque and defiant.
Forthcoming talent yet slow to unfurl,
Always when I bestride you I struggle to find it.
Firstly I only catch a glance
Leading to many strides;
Floating, dancing, très Ballet Blanc
Together in trance
Regardless of our personal prides.
Now we are cast away, far away, not in arena, not on fine dirt, for once nothing is of want.
First a feeling
A moment of suspension building
Hearts racing, minds reeling
Am I the passenger, or am I wielding?
Both, for I see your moment as you now see mine
Leather-bound calf against barrel
All four feet, and mine, now alight like a Christened fire in the air.
This moment; so wonderful it must be sinful, so beautiful it must be divine
So calculated it must be tame, so much of your own accord it must be feral
The barrier between beast and artful equal through which now you tear.
The first strike, a sprinkle of dust flies
A hoof against the ground.
Success! Now we are beyond tries
The moment has been found.
We are now art, unconventional dancers
I do not control you, I simply asked
You did it of your own accord.
But this is only part of the answers
With which we are unknowingly tasked
To why riding strikes a chord.
Is it that moment of dance?
Is it that moment of galore?
Or is it outside that trance,
Is it something more?
Greta, Promethean equine, tell me now
Out of the saddle, out of the arena
Out of our stage
As you so fondly do, put your forelock to my brow
Inspire me like an Athena
Release me, enlighten me, make human want for selfish, useless glory no more my cage.
And you, my Halcyon, my soul you breath into,
“Now you see clearly. It is not blue silk nor silver trophies. Thus, I do know this
We fulfill one another, we give one another purpose, and for all you have taught me even as I teach you,
The least I can give you is that bliss.”
Riding is not for riding’s sake,
Riding is for the horse,
It is simply a job among and between those moments of love and understanding two species make,
It is purpose, and even with all the trials and tribulations, never once shall I feel regret nor remorse.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Cross-post from Behind the Bit.
The first thing that came to my mind when watching this was something Edward Gal said in a Dressage Today article about the first time he sat on Totilas. He said he felt so powerful beneath him, that it almost felt dangerous to even be on, "frightening" as he put it, because there was so much power in that horse, and he got off very quickly. He gave him another go, it went better, and so on and so forth.
Yeah, I'd be scared poopoo-less as well, and I'd for sure be holding on to the bit a little more than I should have.
(Also, ENOUGH with the Pirates of the Caribbean music! It's been overused! I could tell right away where that music was from!)
And lastly, I still am iffy about Totilas. While I will say his gaits are extraordinarily unusual, and quite attractive to a non-horse person (and even so to a horse person, myself included upon initially seeing him go) the more and more I see them, the more and more they simply bother me.
It doesn't look natural to me, and isn't dressage supposed to be a horse's natural movements exemplified? Totilas' movements, for the most part, seem to be just beyond natural, somewhat unhealthy, and I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing for the dressage world to progress towards, as impressive as the gaits are.
This looks relaxed and follows my purist ideals of a horse's natural movements exemplified. Did I mention this mare is full blood stock QH? Look at that hind end reaching, and matching the front end! And look at how relaxed BOTH of the reins are! A horse, if trained well, does not have to be held into a position, as show here, in Exhibit A.
This looks relaxed as well, and natural, and Ravel is a modern warmblood. Steffen, at the clinic I went to in October, was very adamant about NOT holding a horse or forcing a horse into a postion. Because the biggest culprit was the host of the clinic, Steffen didn't get after him as much I thought he perhaps might have wanted to, seeing how he kindly reminded other riders to never allow their horses to hang on the bit or to force a horse into a position, which will also cause the horse to hang on the bit (among other things). He was very much a proponent for self-carraige, which is what much of the clinic focused on. And, as we can see in the above picture, his ideas certainly work, even at the Olympic level, and Ravel always looks so relaxed and happy, even when Steffen does have to snatch a bit more rein in electric situations like the WEG or Olympic arena.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Firstly, I want to say that my favorite pictures are the first and last ones. ADORO!! Secondly, I'm letting her whiskers grow out because she needs them, but I do clip her ears and jaw and all for neatness sake. They also look quite cute. Thirdly, I want to say that I roached the girl's mane. Long story why, just go with it. She has a lovely neck, it keeps the mane out of the way, and if I decide to let it grow back out, then I will actually train it this time to lie flat on one side. She doesn't seem to mind, although I saw when she was sniffing her clumps of mane I so neatly bundled as I cut them off (I'll find a way to use them somehow!) she seemed to be forlornly sniffing it. Maybe I was imagining it, but geez! Way to make me feel guilty now, Greta! Peppermints and apples seem to take her mind off it though.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
... especially when the whole horse is shown :( I really do want to see the rest of that pony, though, it looks like a nice, GREY, chunky-monkey kind of horse (I love those kinds). I don't even wanna buy the perfume, I just want to see the rest of that pretty horse.