Barn Time – The Black Hole

morning dove at barn

-“So if you’re no longer doing any work or chores at the barn, how come it’s been almost 5 hours since you left and came back?”

Recent question at home…

Well, sometimes it just takes.  Longer.

barn bird
Barn bird. Waiting for oats

That day was one of those days where I could see her sleeping when driving in.  Her two sentries stood guard, two quiet drones watching over her, one hind cocked but alert.

Gray puff-ball laid in a regal pose with her head propped up on the ground.  Deep sleep.  Gave her a few extra minutes before finally walking out there.

She’s decided there’s no longer any reason for alarm when I go to her while laying down.  Never gave her any reason in the first place.  So she stayed down, of course I had to stand there for a while with the others, guarding sort of.

Carrots in bed, some mane scritches, a strange cat-like stretch-move while laying down, and she could finally be convinced to come up.  That stuff takes time.

Part of the reason I have her in the first place – to enjoy her whale-like body and watch her doing strange things.  And sometimes watching birds together.

morning dove at barn
Another barn bird

At the end of riding there was an opportunity to try out a Haflinger for a few minutes.  Haven’t ridden one for many years, so why turn that down?

She also needed to have her mane mutilated while icing her hinds, so we did that with scissors too.

Plus, she wouldn’t finish her grain in the stall where she stands for a while before going back out, so she needed pieces of apple rolled in the left over salt to get her to eat it.

gray horse standing with rider
Wasn’t exactly a time-efficient barn day.

 

Enough With The Christmas Cookies Already

dramatic horse picture with dark background

Just a few more rides left in 2017!

Next up, another training update with a photo bomb.

I’ve pried the boys with Mexican Enchiladas and they’ve promised to come out again during winter break.  So, more pictures later on!

 

dramatic horse picture with dark background

This site would just wither up and die without them, for sure…

Check back in tomorrow to see how we’re coming along, or not.

Who Decides What You Should Think Of Equestrian Sport?

horse by green pond

Your flow.

Social media.

What does it look like?  Maybe an endless stream of negativity about horse sport, in just about any discipline.

Ever thought about how that shapes what you think, making your sport feel hopeless, a lost case where every one takes short cuts, or worse?

horse blogs elinor yee

After some of the larger international dressage competitions, half of  the Facebook feed seems to be about contorted necks and horses working in pain.

Heated discussions about shady training techniques.

In other disciplines – spur marks, bloody froth, draw reins, horses dying from over exertion, riding with all sorts of training gadgets, and even some temper tantrum millennial mishandling her horse in the show ring after falling off at a jump.

Should that decide what you think of modern horse sport?  Would it change if we would mostly see good training, good riding, good showing, good horsemanship?

 

upper body leaning in on canter circle

 

Just a small change of focus can really make a difference.  We do what we see others do.  We become what we do.

Trying really hard to not focus on bad riding over here, looking up to good riding.

Far from perfect, I’m trying.  It really matters what we look at.

This site is mostly safe – not much behind the vertical stuff here.  Because it shapes what we think.

 

horse by green pond

Maybe it’s important to you?

Focus on the good.

Hazy, Smokey Days At The Pond

white horse standing with dog

We’ve had some really good rides.

If she can go like that at a show, she’ll do really well.  You know how that goes, schooling at home vs showing…

As promised, some outdoor pictures, just hanging out.

Really doesn’t matter what season it is – there’s always somewhere, or something that looks nice and alive, right?

 

taking pictures of horses in nature

Planning on hanging on to this great feeling she’ll offer at the end of each ride, and see where it takes us.  Some nice walk-canter transitions would be really cool, but that’s far off.  For now, just hanging out, and enjoying it.

With our little hind end stalker.

white horse standing with dog

September Schooling. Better?

elinor yee

Yes!  Better!

After treading water for some time, things feel looser, easier, less grindy.  Sure, that’s not even a word.  But it is now.

I think she’s getting to where she really likes the work sometimes, feeling happy and content there.  A little less “falling apart” as soon as she gets the chance.

So fun!

Here’s the photobomb for this time.

dressage in smoky air

collecting the trot

Where some horses want to come too low and you have to train hard on short moments of more elevation – Valiosa has the opposite difficulty.  She wants to go short and up in the neck.  All the time.

gray horse dressage

lengthen trot on long side

It will always be the “trick” to training well with her – getting a lower, more relaxed neck, and coming over the back.  We didn’t quite get there in these pictures (surprise), but the connection is so much better.  See?

amateur dressage

taking better pictures of dressage canter

As long as I get a few moments like these out of each ride, I’m thrilled.  Gray Mare is growing up and she can be SO much fun!

Elinor Yee

10 M Volte without hissy fits or a clamping inside calf.  It’s happening!

10 meter trot circle

A Few More Show Shots

elinor yee dressage on a dime

Just because I don’t head out and compete super often.

Best to make the most of it! 🙂

And because my husband was so nice and a super star to stick around in the heat for both tests, taking so many pictures.  Very sweet!

first level test 2 2017 dressage

 

The counter canter loop – she did it well (go Gray Mare!) but I piloted just a bit too shallow, not quite hitting X.  Easy to do, you just want to get back to the corner 🙂

counter canter loop in dressage first level test 3

 

Next up will be a post on some training issues – yes, with pictures of all the “uglies!’  Figured many of you will recognize a lot of it, and I think it’s so cool when you want to stand on the sidelines and yell out helpful hints.  I’ll promise to try whatever you have to say!

elinor yee dressage on a dime