Ripped pants a la mode
Ah, again I have gotten behind on keeping things up to date here! Since my last post I have admittedly been battling intense feelings of sadness, is this depression?! Oh gosh, in any case things are taking a turn for the better I hope….summer session of classes is over this week and then I am off to Nipomo for a visit with my Dad, the road trip with my sister and her new puppy should be fun, I will certainly try and post some photos of that particular adventure.
I also have some very very big news but I have decided to wait until my next post to share it as I would like to get better photos ;P No spoilers although it is very hard for me not to gush about this particular news…..patience.
Otherwise news at the barn has been bleak with a big silver lining; I sadly decided that over the summer months I didn’t have enough time or money to continue leasing Titan, it wasn’t a decision that I made lightly but I simply had to cut costs somewhere and my gas has been costing me a whopping $400 a month! Between work, my internship site (nearly an hour away) and farm duty (an hour in the other direction) its a lot of driving and it was breaking the bank. I couldn’t justify paying a monthly lease rate and was planning on resuming my lease after I was done at this internship site in September. So way back in May I approached the barn manager and told him the sad news and he absolutely shocked me, he told me that he wanted me to keep coming over the summer as much as possible because Titan needed to be ridden and he does so well for me. He also said that I could start paying when I could afford it and if I couldn’t ever afford it in the future then that would be okay too!! What?!!???!! I was shocked and quite frankly floored, how kind right?! So I have been enjoying the privileges of a full lease without any of the costs all summer long and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to continue riding, it really makes me HAPPY!
With the regular riding that I have been able to continue on Titan he has shown me that he can be exceptionally good…and exceptionally bad lol. Just the other day he head butted my face so incredibly hard my ears were ringing! Also, I have ripped/damaged 3 pairs of pants! I bought them all around the same time so I guess I shouldn’t be shocked but sheesh! I am now fully depleted and have no more riding pants at this time…..waaah. I have been riding in jeggings lol. I can’t afford to upgrade yet but possibly this winter. I guess worn out pants are better than pristine pants…means I’m getting saddle time! 🙂
We have been doing a ton of suppling/dressage practice to get him listening instead of just running around the arena like he usually does. I also discovered something amazing the other day….Titan was very irritated, jumpy and pissed at another horse in the arena (he doesn’t like other tall horses) and he continually tried to veer over and bite/kick and I got tired of it so I made him move his feet a lot. We did so many unusual things: side passing, shoulder in, haunches in, etc and it really made his brain and butt work :P. It was amazing to notice the quick transition of his focus shift dramatically from the other horse to me….he was really into it! Ever since then I start out doing suppling exercises to get him to really step under himself for at least 30 minutes at the walk before progressing into other gaits and it has really helped him listen to me…even the teeny small cues I give. AWESOME!
Also, we have been working on building Titans canter into something with a little more finesse….he goes well on the right lead but things sort of get big, fast and crazy on the left lead. Therefore, we have been starting out doing a lot of canter work on the right lead and then when he seems to settle into the workout and burn some energy we switch to the left lead and eventually we usually achieve a canter at the left lead that is somewhat nice and balanced. I will admit that if he is not somewhat tired his left canter is unbalanced and fast and he seems to get into this mental state of “faster faster faster”….last time we did the left lead when he was still fresh it was scary! He was careening around the corners and tripping and slipping over and over and he wouldn’t stop…I know all of this stems from it being his weak side/being unbalanced so something we can work on. Here is a video of a lot of cantering…no fun edits or music….just going around in a circle but its fun for ME to watch anyways…a very useful critique tool so I know what I need to work on 🙂 As always if you decide to watch please play it in HD.
This Friday I spent nearly the whole day riding Titan in order to tire him out for his yearly bath haha, he has a terrible habit of being obnoxious and bad during bath time if not tired out before hand….I don’t think he knows he’s old yet :P.
After my butt was finally numb and my legs could post no longer we headed out to the bath area and he was actually docile. However, about halfway thru the bath he started to recover and get fidgety so I had to break out my grain and put it in a bucket for him to look at….he’s a pig. Having the food in front of him but out of reach kept his brain busy while he got scrubbed up. On the way back to the barn he of course decided to start bucking and being a fool in general so I made him walk sideways to take some of the gusto and strength out of his performance. What a turd!
Perhaps you can tell from the photos but Titan has come such a long long long way in developing normal healthy muscle and carriage since I first started riding him about a year and a half ago. I am so pleased with how handsome he is turning out, I knew it was in there it just took a lot of work! See the old photos below and you will see how great he looks now! No more concave butt and sloppy neck, weak shoulder etc.
I also have been out to see R and Prince at the new barn she is boarding at and she finally broke down and paid a trainer to work with him. As a result she is now able to finally ride him! I took some lovely photos of the pair, I am hoping that like Titan, Prince will come along with more time. He seems to trip a lot…not sure if this has to do with his bad pigeon toes but perhaps with more time and muscle/topline he will find his balance a little better. Here are the photos I took:
Also, some other fun photos that I took that day while visiting R, they are just so pretty I have to share!
I think thats about it this time around, I will have a crazy work schedule this week, internship, finals, surgery practice and a vacation….so of course I will be out at the barn lol. Happy riding everyone!