January 17, 2013

Struggling and Showing

First, I need to apologize for my absence.  I haven't been blogging, or commenting, or dealing with life very well lately.  I'm working through it, though, with the help of my husband, a Seasonal Affectivity Disorder light (stupid Indiana - I will never adjust to the sun not coming up until after 8am in winter), some awesome rides with Connor and a show to look forward to, so look for more regular updates from here on out.  Thanks for hanging in there with me, guys!

"You want to get me in a show ring in two days?  Get real, lady!"
Connor and I are showing in Intro C and Training 1 on Saturday at Majestic Farms, with lovely ride times between 10am and 11:30am. We've never shown at the canter before, but the point of this weekend is to see how he handles a show facility he's never been to before, to see if I can get him as connected in a show situation as I can at home, and to have a jumping-off point for our training through the rest of the winter.

I thought that tonight's lesson would involve us practicing our tests, but it didn't.  She wanted me to focus on getting control of the shoulders, because when he's not straight, he's not round and through, and boy does he like to travel diagonally.  She had me warm up by subtly counterflexing him, letting him go straight, and then getting the inside bend.  I noticed throughout the lesson that I have not had the outside shoulder for a while, especially going around the short side.  When I had it, and when my reins were as straight as sticks, he went around incredibly well.  We even got the beginnings of lengthenings in the trot for the first time, with big swinging strides and me posting my hips through my arms.

Gorgeous, expensive saddle.

Part of it, sadly, is that I rode in the County...Competitor?  that Austen purchased from Kelly and is now trying to sell.  I'm temporarily housing it for her.  I figured that since I have it, if it was anywhere close to fitting him, I would ride in it for the show since I don't have a Dressage saddle.  Of course, it fit him beautifully (since it originally belonged to a Welsh Cob!) and he went exceptionally well in it (it's part of the reason we actually got lengthenings, I think - his shoulder had room to move), and it turns out Dressage is way easier in a Dressage saddle, and of course, it is wayyyyyyyyyyyy out of my price range.  So, I will enjoy it this weekend and go forward knowing that I am at the point that I do need a Dressage saddle, and that Connor moves so well when the saddle does not impinge on his massive shoulder swing.  And that I have to find something cheaper, because I have promised Nick that I won't buy anything this nice until our student loans are paid off.

Tomorrow is half a day of work, and half a day turning this:

into this:

Wish me luck.


  1. Good luck! Sorry you've been missing the sun - its definitely tough this time of year. I, personally, think they should shift the work day back as there is nothing worse then getting up in the dark although when I lived in Seattle I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark (sunrise was around 8 and sunset was around 4 - yuck!).

  2. Oh my god it fits! I knew it would fit ... I'm sorry it fit?

    We'll make him show ready! When do you need me?

  3. Good luck this weekend. I'm sure you guys will do great!

  4. Does the light work well? I got the SADs pretty badly last winter and am hoping to avoid a repeat next year.

  5. I hope the SAD light works for you, I know a few people back home who found it useful. The winter gloom in the British Isles was the reason we came here last year and the reason we find ourselves back again.

    Unfortunately a well-fitting saddle is hard to find. Enjoy Austen's saddle as long as you have it and you'll know what feeling you are looking for afterwards when you can go saddle-shopping.

    Good luck with Connor's makeover!

  6. I hope the light helps you feel better. I live much further north and the darkness is pretty brutal.

    Good luck at your show - I'm sure Connor will clean up ok and you guys will do great.

    Wouldn't it be nice to go out and buy a bunch of beautiful saddles that fit us and our horses perfectly? *sigh* ;-)

  7. You and Connor will rock Majestic! Weather is supposed to be sunny and warmish for IN/OH :) Boy do I know the feeling of the first time to canter in a test! My best advice - relax and know that Connor is ready.

    I have the County Connection...most definitely an investment, but love it.

  8. Good Luck! I am interested in the light, too! I definitely get the winter blues as well.

  9. Good luck at the show! If you're looking for a cheap Wintec Isabell, I have one I'm looking to part with ;)

  10. Good luck!!! Glad you have a fun "toy" to ride in :)

  11. Can totally empathize with you. If I can't get out to exercise during the daytime (difficult with, you know, work), I feel like my ability to deal with any stress is just nil. Thanks for the idea, I will look into a SAD light.

    Good luck today! Btw the way you evened out Connor's clip looks nice :)