See? I don’t even have a boyfriend and I still manage to get stood up for my Valentine’s Day plans. What a goofy holiday.
Can I move to Aiken yet or…? Winter needs to have been over 3 months ago.
Something important to know about me if you have any desire to follow this blog: I struggle with winter. Like, a lot. I hate when it gets dark early, I hate schlepping through mud, I hate riding indoors in a crowded arena. So my riding – and, consequently, this blog – slows down in the winter. I feel very guilty about it and spend a lot of time beating myself up about it, but it is what it is, and a lot of the time I can’t face a 2 hour round trip for riding and playing with the ponies in conditions I abhor.
I constantly apologize to my instructor for not doing enough between lessons, and she assures me I’m still one of her most proactive, involved students, so maybe some of my guilt is misplaced. I ride both Domino and Tebow at least 3 times per week, ideally (and usually 4). So maybe if I keep on top of the blogging my motivation will get a little boost…
My full time grown up job ended early in December. I am now a professional dogwalker and honestly? I like it quite a lot. I get to exercise and be outdoors, and I have an almost nonexistent commute. It’s cognitively quite under stimulating for me, but for a short term thing, I don’t mind. I have tons of time to read and write and stimulate myself outside work, so it’s good.
But my old job had me out in Maryland, close to my barn, every weekday. It was not a huge deal to get my ass in gear and go over after work – especially if I was just gonna sit in traffic for the 45 minutes it’d take me to get home anyways. Now, it’s more of a big deal to get over there. Not helping the winter blues.
Tebow and I have been doing well. I’ve been working mostly on our dressage and we are seeing improvements. When I started riding him, he was so unbalanced we could barely canter one full 20m circle, never mind establishing a decent quality canter. His balance and steering have improved enough that we can canter a reasonable 15m circle, and we are starting to get some connection in that gait.
On the jumping front, I am admittedly too lazy to set up anything too fancy. We had a barn show and they left the course up so I played with that (we did our first skinny no problem). Lots of pole work – we have gone from crashing through 3 trot poles to actually successfully picking up his feet and stepping through cleanly. I need to get on the grid work now…
We also had a tack change, going from a flash to a figure 8 noseband. He doesn’t cross his jaw or gape against the bit, but given his size, it’s a habit we really don’t want him developing. He goes very nicely in it! And, side benefit, it makes his head look quite smart…
Domino is also showing improvement too! We injected his coffin bone on the right front and it’s really helped his soundness. I’m scared of pushing him too fast, but we are doing lots of walking and starting to increase his trotting time. While my sister visited for the holidays, we had a couple days of rare good weather, and she had a blast with him on the trails – he was very full of himself and eager to go! We held him to just one short trot, but he was quite vocal about letting us know he wanted more.
So that’s what’s been going on in the world of Grace and Domino and Tebow. Happy new year!