Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Day

Just one of those days.

Trying to keep my cold at bay with Cold FX. It does work. Got a migraine this afternoon. I hate those. Then It was a lesson with Terry. After my lesson I checked my supplement level and I'm out of Simmer Down. Just what I need to do is spend more money than I have.

Zoey is still having issues at the canter. It can be worked out. Now it is to push her more at the canter. I also need to get her to stretch more at the trot and walk. It will come with work. She is so much fun, but not when she is leaping around like a frog. LOL.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I wish I Knew Then What I know Now - #1

It one of those things of what you know now you wish you knew at an earlier time in your riding career.

One of those things is the difference of going forward and a horse running. Going forward and through is something I really got to work on with Colby who became the horse I trained to Prix St George and Intermediare 1.

Going forward is not about speed, but about how the horse moves. A horse that is going forward moves with fluid steps. These steps have suspension and umph. A horse that is running is more than likely on the forehand taking small steps very quickly. A horse that is moving forward and through feels and looks like they are going uphill. The hoof pushes off the ground more causing the legs to move in a higher arc.

It was not until I started to train Colby in 1994 that I really got to feel that forward movement. At the extended trot he had 12 gears. If I had known that feel and how to get that correct forward movement I might have been able to train my first horse Cariba further than Medium 2 (3rd Level).

You can't go back but take what you know and move on and not be afraid to try.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What a Day

It was quite a day today.

First it as hook up my trailer in the pouring rain. Then load up my tack and my horse Zoey. It kept raining the entire time it took me to drive to C.A.R.D. I was having a lesson there with Terry and an advisor from Para Equestrian Canada.

Zoey was a star. It was her third time off property and she never put a foot wrong. We worked on going forward especially at the trot. The canter was much better than I thought it was going to be. She didn't do any of her frog hopping around. After the canter work the trot was even better, she really started coming through her back. With every ride she is getting stronger. The top-line is improving and becoming more muscular.

After her preformance today it really gives me an idea of what she will be like at shows. I'm so looking forward to being able to show her. I'm just so pleased with how she has been and the work she is doing.

After my ride it was pack up the trailer, load up Zoey and drive back to the barn. At least it wasn't raining. I wanted to get back unload and park the trailer before it got dark. As soon As I unloaded the trailer and went to park it the rain started again. By the time I unhooked I was soggy again. At least I brought a change of clothes so I wouldn't be soggy teaching.

I'm very happy after today. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lesson Day

Today was a lesson with my ground person Terry. I have worked with him for many years on different horses.

I warmed up and we chatted and gossiped about people involved in the riding circle. It lighten up what sometimes had started up as a bad day. Today was not one of those days that started up like crap. Zoey warmed up very well.

We started off working on spiral in and out. Zoey likes to bulge out when on the left rein and fall in going to the right. Sometimes it is like riding a worm.

Then we moved on to working on canter transitions by going across the diagonal. Picking up the right lead is harder for Zoey than picking up the left lead. When she losses balance she hops around like a frog instead of going forward.

Her energy level was up so we did some lengthens across the diagonal. She did very well this week with that. She kept the frame and actually lengthened. To finish off it was shoulder-in down the center line. This went better than I thought it would. All in all it was a very good ride.

After my lesson I had a saddle fitter appointment to check the saddle. It just needs a little more stuffing in the back panels. I'm happy about that as I would cringe if I had to buy a different saddle.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Great Day

Today was one of those great days, the weather was perfect. Rode outside in the sand ring. The ring was a little muddy, but OK to ride in.

I was rather tired from a late night and then having to get up early to teach a few lessons. I didn't do too long of a workout with Zoey. She was a little whoopee about being outside, but not bad.

After it was a walk down the driveway with a friend and her horse. Both horses walked out OK, but then part way back they both started getting antsy. We couldn't see anything but thought they may be smelling something. There have been numerous sightings of coyotes on the property, so we figured it was that.

Then it was home to crash out on the couch for a nap. Yes a nap. ZZZZZZ

Friday, November 20, 2009

Being a Para Rider

Being disabled is not something you do by choice. It usually happens as the result of an accident or yo are born with it. Mine was the result of a car accident. A car rolled out in front of me with no one in it while I was driving. The result was I ended up with a spinal cord injury called a syrinx or Syringomyelia. I lost a lot of use of my left arm. It has little grip and strength. I also have numbness in both hands and feet. I have to be real careful that my feet don't get too cold. I have to look at what I touch or pick up with my hand because I can't feel anything.

It can be very frustrating as I have had to adapt to doing things differently. Pain is there every day. It never goes away completely. Some days are better than others. Most times I try to ignore it. :(

My riding has changed. I use a loop on the left rein. My balance is different, so I work hard at staying centered. I have been working on my core strength. That is a daily thing.

I keep coming upwith new ideas to improve my riding and the training of my horse Zoey.

Dressage vs Eventing Dressage

There seems to always be an ongoing controversy that Eventing Dressage is different from Dressage. How can it be different. The horse has to do walk, trot, canter and some lateral movements depending on the level of competition. The horse has to go on the bit and be responsive to the aids. The rider has to show that the horse is obedient, responsive and do an accurate test.

The horse has to have correct movement or there is no way it could do a Dressage test let alone do a cross country course and stadium jumping.

I teach many eventers to improve their scores. One rider in particular has gone from being out of the ribbons to being in the top 5 on a regular bases.

The more correct flat work that is done through Dressage training will only improve the horse not hinder it. Doing collection work will not hinder a horse on the cross country course but will improve it because the horse will be able to come back more on the hocks to negotiate technical fences.

Gone are the days of riding by the seat of your pants relying on a clear, fast cross country course and a clear stadium course to be in the ribbons. Unless the Dressage score is good and I do mean GOOD there is no way a competitor will be in the top 5 or even in the ribbons.

Maybe it's just me but it seems the people who are the most outspoken that there is a difference are the ones who just want to jump and do as little flat work as possible. And then wonder why they are not in the standings.

There is no difference between Dressage and Eventing Dressage.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finding Clients

Trying to find new clients is almost a job in it's self.

My new fliers are designed and it's just printing out more as I need them. I have even designed new business cards that look very sharp. Now it's driving around to stables and tack stores.

I'm trying to decide what magazine I should advertise in. You have to spend money to make money. It's just how much money to spend.

Decisions are just never ending.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Training My Horse Zoey

It has been over a year since I bought my latest horse. I named her Zoey and her show name is Calipzo. She is a 2002, black, 16.1hh, Hanoverian mare. How the time flies.

I'm currently working on transitions espacially from trot to canter. The right side is Zoey's stiffer side, so it takes a little more work to keep her supple. She is now getting to the stage of training where it is becoming fun.

Hopefully I will be able to compete with her for 2010. I was not able to this past year as I didn't have the funds for entry fees.

The Big Decision

I have been unemployed since December of 2008 with no new job in sight. A couple of months ago I made the big decision to coach full time. It has always been my passion to coach and always had it in the back of my mind to some day coach for a living. I thought there is no other good time than now to do it.

I have been advertising like crazy. Posting fliers in local tack stores and stables. It will take some time to build up my clientel, but it is possible. I am also trying to pick up a few hours teaching lessons at some riding schools.

The areas I'm going to teach around are York Region that includes Newmarket, Stouffville, King etc; and the Durham Region that includes Uxbridge, Pickering and Whitby. I will go as far east as Port Perry, north to Sutton and Bradford and to the west to Palgrave, Bolton areas and all places inbetween.

It is a new direction and I'm so looking forward to it.