Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rachel Sucks at Riding: Part I

Last night I had a big set back when it comes to my patience. I tired to do some in-hand training with Granite and he wasn't getting it. It was really windy and he was distracted and I just got frustrated. Thankfully before it could get too bad, I had to leave to make it to Applewood to ride Chance. I'm really questioning taking him to the Oak Ridge Show. He stops crooked and doesn't seem to understand turning on the forehand. We will work slowly at it this month and make an official decision maybe the week before the show.

I headed out to Applewood and BA was finishing feeding and putting horses up for the night. Chance and I went and rode all alone in the indoor. It was fabulous. I don't think I've really had time to school in an arena all by myself in a long time. I think thats why I love my sport. It affords me time to reflect and concentrate and just be there with 'my' horse. Chance is still having a hard time staying straight on the outside lines. I just don't have the muscle power to keep him in line. He wants to either ram my leg into the fence or pop his shoulder and drift off the rail and into the jumps. I had a horrible time getting my right ankle to cooperate. It just would not stretch down, it felt like something in it would rather just pop before stretching. I am hoping it is something that can be fixed by just riding and stretching and that it isn't something more serious. I rode for about and hour and even popped over a couple of tiny jumps. Poor Chance needs more direction from me, and its so frustrating that I can't give it to him because I am so weak. Before I locked the barn up, I took some photos to share with you all. They aren't great because it was dark and they are cell phone pictures, but you should be able to get an idea of how wonderful this place is and what an opportunity I have been given here.

There are 20 stalls. Its a fabulous facility.
Meet Sugarfoot, the most AAdorable pony ever!
Chance after our ride. He is such a love.

I came home last night and went directly to the gym. I hate that I am so bad at riding now. Its like I know what I need to do but physically can't do it! Sooo frustrating! I will fix this! I got up this morning and took Daphne to the park for a 5mile jog/walk. Then we headed out to Granite's barn and we worked on some more in hand work. I'm reading this book by Michael Schaffer and I'm trying to apply the concepts, but Granite isn't quite getting it. We are working on leading with my shoulder and his shoulder parallel. He is getting the leading portion (I'm not having to drag him along) but the stopping is not going so well. He wants to turn to me and then he normally proceeds to wrap his neck around me. ARGH! Getting a baby was a dumb idea. I don't have the patience with myself or him that I should! Its so frustrating, I swear I used to be a good rider and now, Rachel Sucks at Riding!

The good news is that BA is letting me ride Chance again tomorrow and on Friday (she said Tuesday was fine too, but we are supposed to get, yet another, winter storm-- great). So hopefully I will be getting more and more practice and I may not suck so badly!

More good news, my buddy over at Golden the Pony Girl blog gave me an award! How sweet!
Apparently the rules are: tell 7 things about yourself (like ya'll don't know everything about me already) and give the award to 15 other blogs... am I right?

1. I found Granite on a Craig's List ad (of all places)
2. I was a varsity cheerleader in high school, and loved it
3. My dad owned a BBQ restaurant, where I started waiting tables at 12yrs old.
4. I drive a little red car (Its so not a horse girl vehicle)
5. I'm generally a negative nancy
6. I often feel like I have something to prove when riding
7. I have been battling fear in the saddle for about 10 years now.

15 great blogs (I guess I can't include Golden's, but I love hers)
1. High Tech Horse: gotta love my bff. She has to write the blog for her Masters of Comm, but manages to subject all her classmates to her horse world.
2. Eye of the Horse: Nicku is my hero. A talented rider with a great outlook on life and riding.
3. Tucker the Wunderkid: Marissa is also my hero, a girl that busted her butt to achieve her dreams!
4. Sprinkler Bandit: I still don't know what a Sprinkler Bandit is, but I know I love hearing about Izzy's adventures.
5. Green n' Green= Black n' Blue: This re-rider is realistic about what she has to learn and its fun to follow her while she does so. Her mare, Denaili is such a cutie.
6. A Horse and a Half: Love hearing about Phoenix and Gen, two special horses. 
7. The Jumping Percheron: This girl is totally badass. Athletic, in the military, and crazy about her rockstar jumping perch, Klien. 
8. Sweet Horse's Breath: The journey of Kristen and her OTTB Laz. This pair has been through hell lately and I keep sending positive thoughts in hoping he can somehow recover from devastating laminitis. 
9. From Wingman to Witching Hour: The story of 5 year old Salem, a TB growing to be a dressage horse.
10. Ravishing Roxy: A new blog to me, but I think this girl and her horse are so much fun.
11. Hunt Seat Cruizer:  The story of a young girl and her stunning AQHA.
12. Riding Aside: A peek into a totally different world of a side saddle rider
13. The Joy of Horses: Also a look into a different equestrian world... morgans.
14. What was I thinking: The adventures and misadventures of a middle aged rider and her large Canadian Horse.
15. And Sorry I Could Not Travel Both: although she hasn't blogged in forever, I like to keep up with my friend Carrie and her life, including leading to ride!

OK, one last thing. I woke up to some pretty horrible news. My best friend's 20 yr old sister is in Chile for a semester abroad. She had been backpacking this month and was in Del Mar last night. Thats where the 8.8 earthquake was epicentered. We haven't heard from her yet and her family is sick with worry. As am I. I'm not one to pray, but I'll ask that you all keep Eva's Sister and her family in your thoughts/prayers. I have my fingers crossed to hear good news soon. Its been over 12 hours since the quake...


  1. Oh no! Do not give up on your baby because he won't stand! Getting a baby was a GREAT idea. Just look at the Wunderkind. He's only turning to face you and wrapping his head around you because he loves you and wants to shower you with affection. True, he probably needs to learn at some point about personal space but cut him (and yourself please!) a little slack! Rachel doesn't suck! Just be patient and keep asking him for what you want and try not to get too frustrated. One day the light will just dawn and he'll get it. Babies don't deal well with deadlines so if he doesn't quite stand straight by the horse show, don't sweat it.

    And thank you for the award -- Golden was nice enough to include me too and you were also on my list! We're all just giving the awards back to each other but I don't care!! It's cause we rock. (Again, Rachel doesn't suck!!)

  2. Thanks for the props! I will probably be re-giving it to some people because I don't know a whole ton of blogs and this award has really been making the rounds in our horsey circle! (I'm glad I finally got it -- I was beginning to get a bit of a complex, lol.)
    ANd I so understand the frustration with the young'uns! Salem is five, but he'd had hardly any handling before he came to me. He had spent most of his life in a field. Don't worry, Granite will "get it" sooner or later!

  3. Thank you for the award Rachel! I never expected to get one, so I'm excited!!

  4. Hey thanks for the award! :)
    Have u heard from your sisters's friend in Chile yet??? I hope all is ok. xo

  5. Don't stress too much about Chance. You haven't been able to ride much lately, so of course your riding muscles are out of shape. The more you ride him, the more effective you'll be able to be.

    And thanks for the award! I've never won anything for a blog before.

  6. Marissa: patience was never my virtue. Granite will teach it to me if it kills him I suppose. But I'm too in love with him to turn back now.

    Frizzle: God I hope he gets it, I am a failure at training (guess thats why I am letting the pros handle the majority of the hard stuff)

    Jenny: you totally deserved it, i <3 your blog.

    Kristen: YES! Sunday morning Eva got a FaceBook message from her sister saying that she was in a national park and waiting for public transport to resume! Shes fine. but 36 hour of not knowing almost killed us all.

    Springler: Thanks for the encouragement. Yesterday (post on this to come) went a bit better. He was super spooky in the wind but I stayed in the saddle-- so thats a good sign.

  7. Hey doll! As everyone already said, babies have good (smart) days and dumb (blonde) days. Stick with it. There is no rush to show him. Dont try to rush through concepts to get to a schooling show. Maybe he just goes to hang out and not even go in the ring (Pongo went to a couple H/J schooling shows in his day and just learned to tie to the trailer and not be an idiot on the show grounds). In other news, I LOVED the Michael Schaffer book and even had him out to my barn to give Pongo and I a 2 hour 'lesson' when I first got him a couple of years ago. He is SO knowledgable. The biggest take away was all about this 'getting it' idea...sometimes we just have to take a deep breath and ask in a different way. Good luck!

  8. Granite will get it! Don't worry! :) I'm praying for your friend's family and your friend. !!

  9. You would have had him out! That is SO cool! I bet you and pongo learned so much. I wish they had baby training clinics locally, I could sure benefit from that.

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  11. Thank you, Rachel! I hope this isn't a duplicate message; something weird happened when I tried to post to your blog. Apologies for the delay in responding to the award! I am behind in my reading - darn work gets in the way of my fun!

    I am looking forward to reading more about your time with Granite. I can relate to being sore and weak and I certainly understand how it can be frustrating. One day it will just click with him - you'll see. And when it does, it will be magic!

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