October 18, 2012

Don't Pet the Sweaty Stuff; Don't Sweat the Heavy Stuff

We had a little bit of both tonight - sweaty stuff and heavy stuff.  Let's start with the sweaty stuff, because it's cute:

His new Centaur TurboDry cooler fits, but goes down to his knees.  Sigh.   Do they make blankets in 'dachschund'  size?
Now for the heavy stuff.  You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging as regularly lately.  The truth is, it's a lot easier to find the words to say 'Things are going great!' and a lot harder to admit that things haven't been very much fun lately for me or for Connor.  It's not that it's been all bad lately; my lesson a week ago was spectacularly good, first level Dressage winning good.  But the show, and my rides since then, have not been fun for either of us.

I admitted this to my trainer tonight, who had me forget about working through his back, accepting contact, and all of the 'little stuff', and had me do trot and canter work without stirrups in an effort to get me to relax.  We rarely do no-stirrups work without an actual reason, and "figuring out what's going on" was a good reason tonight.  Most of the lesson was spent with her studying us and thinking.  "He's such an interesting one, different from the other horses," she said.  "I go back and forth between thinking we need to break everything down to the very basics, or just ride him through things and let him figure the rest out."

The end of the lesson was spent with the two of us discussing things.  We both agreed that he's getting burnt out on Dressage and the arena right now, and that we need to make it fun again for both of us.  We're going to utilize the several hundred acres of farmland and forest around the barn and go on hacks at least once a week, during which we'll work on Dressage stuff but also do things like gallop up hills and just generally play around and "get to know each other" as my trainer put it.  We're going to back off the small stuff and focus on having fun with the big stuff.  We've got six months before our 2013 event season starts, so it's perfect timing for a little vacation.

I'm really looking forward to this.  Here's to galloping the hills of central Indiana like a little kid on a pony over the next few weeks!


  1. It sounds like you are heading in the right direction. Make it fun, and the rest will fall into place. Good luck!

  2. Good for you. Remember all work and no play... :)

  3. Galloping hills=win.

    FWIW, Cuna and I do like 20 minutes of dressage every other week. It's about as much as either of us is interested in. Certainly we work on straightness and moving off my leg and giving to the bit in all our other rides, but I don't try to put everything together too often. He's not built for it and it isn't terribly fun.

    The vacation sounds rocking. Enjoy!

  4. Yay! Sounds like it will be a nice break and fun for both of you!

  5. I totally agree! Now if the IN weather would cooperate...

  6. Thanks, guys! Kelly, we just have to make it through the rain tomorrow and then 75 and sunny all next week. Can't wait!

  7. I'm beginning to think that's what my girl wanted all this time too, she's completely different (in a good way) on the trails. Have fun!!!