Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lessons Next Thursday

So it looks like I'm going for a riding lesson next Thursday, and I'm really excited about it! The instructor is a super nice lady who has a business selling and training Arabians. I drove up to talk with her, about three weeks ago, I think it was, and she took the time to chat with me about some of my problems and what I need to do to correct them. She has an indoor and an outdoor arena, YES! OK, that may sound feebleminded, but I'm used to riding around open hayfields with no boundaries to speak of. Kelli likes the wide open spaces, but Orion does not, and he expresses his anxiety by not paying proper attention, getting quick, and throwing big spooks. I do wish I had something along the lines of an arena here. It would probably help me more than the horses, because then I could have walls and letters and so forth, to help me with being straight and accurate.
As far as my riding problems are concerned, they are mostly from bad teaching I received years ago. I met a person who assured me she was this great hunter/ jumper trainer. Well, she was not, and I'm still struggling with stuff she taught me. I'm not going to get into a long rant about her and I really hope that this post doesn't sound like trainer-bashing. I'm just accepting that I have problems and I need help to work them out. I was told that to stay on a horse, I need to grip as hard as I could with my knees, that my seat depended on my ability to squeeze the horse and that would keep me on, nothing about actually having a strong, natural, balanced seat. I also was "taught" that a hunter/ jumper seat involved leaning way, way forward, especially when making an upward transition. Being younger and more naive, I practised riding this way for about a year and made it such a habit that I can't break it now. I didn't know it was such a problem until I got Orion and he translated it all into the signal to run. I've been trying to improve for the three years that I've had him, and I've finally accepted that I can't mend this on my own. I know that I need a lot of time on the longe line, with someone who can teach me about having a relaxed, natural seat. I am really thankful that I've finally found a trainer to help me!
Right now, in southern KY, the weather is overcast, with a few showers and so nice and warm! I hope it's the same next week, except maybe without the sprinkles. All the buttercups are springing up gladly in this warmer weather. I guess I'll be out there spraying them next nice day we get. It's unbelievable how fast they take over a field!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Hi, my name is Nicole. I'm a dressage rider in KY who is also trying to start a business in organic growing/ farming. It's an uphill battle, but I think I'm getting there slowly! I have four ponies and an ex-racehorse gelding, Orion. I've had a hard time getting much done with him, because there are almost no trainers in my area who do dressage. I've finally found someone who teaches it about an hour and a half from here. Hopefully I'm finally getting to the light at the end of the tunnel! My gelding is 12 years old, 16hh, and I've had him for three years. He's dark bay in the summer, but gets black in the winter! I have a pic here of him with his little buddy, a Shetland pony mare Mistral. The funny thing about these two is that, if he leaves her, say to go for a ride, he's fine about leaving her, but if she wanders away from him, he gets very upset and has to go look for her. I have two large pony mares, Kelli and Shaula, and one other small Shetland type pony, Sophie. Kelli was the first horse I got, and for a long time she was a wonderful little mare for me. Unfortunately, she suffered a permanent sacroiliac injury about four years ago, so I don't do much with her anymore. I like to take her for a hack from time to time, because she actually really likes to have me doing stuff with her. Shaula is, or I should say, was Kelli's baby. She'll be five in May, and I've started her under saddle myself and she handled everything very well. I'm waiting to do more with her until I get some lessons, which will hopefully be soon.