Wednesday 22 July 2015

Bridget Updates, Life Updates

Thanks for all the encouragement and advice on my recent post regarding Ginger mare. I know I'm making smart decisions, but while sometimes change is a necessary and good thing, it's still never easy. I've had a ton of change recently, and most of it is very good - new barn, new job, new town, etc. This is the exact job in the exact location I've wanted for a few  years now. This job was the end goal for all those contracts and jobs far away from home these past few years. I'm boarding with the trainer I wanted. This is where G and I had agreed would be a great place for us to live and retire, and part of our long term plan, so yay for achieving some serious goals. Still, I think I've reached max capacity for changing all the things and that's part of the reason that selling Ginger is even tougher than it should be. I know it's the right decision, but it's so nice knowing I have Ginger at home at the boarding barn I love, with all my old riding buddies (not to mention Coach S) close by. All that being said, I can't be selfish and I know there is a great home for her out there if I just wait and make the right connections.

So, as the title suggests, we haven't had a proper Midge update in a few weeks. She's settled into the barn alright, but argues with her paddock mates continuously. She's the same in the pasture as she is for me to deal with - always quietly pushing the boundaries and stubbornly refusing to listen to a suggestion, forcing you to up the ante. She's covered in bite marks as she insists on crowding into the other horses' space then moving away too slowly and with way too much attitude when they call her on it. At least we're all consistent? :)
Cute, but rotten
As for riding, I've been doing a ton of it. The barn is only 10 minutes from my work and I'm there every day, except every second weekend when I travel home. We've done a bit of trail ridng, but I've yet to find a trail network that doesn't lead to private property. No matter, we've got some decent hills for fitness close to the barn and the views are stunning. I'm slowly figuring out that my barnmates
and my idea of a hack are different things, but riding more in the arena isn't such a bad thing when the company is so friendly and welcoming :)
We've had a couple of lessons since my last update, neither of which were really worth blogging about. Midge has been in full on "I don't wanna" mode for a while now and we're back to establishing forwards and steering as things worth doing. My spurs have made a comeback! Needless to say, her lack of willingness hasn't got us any invites to anything fun show wise, but we do have a potential cross country schooling scheduled for when the rest of the barn gets back from being awesome at Rebecca Farm. Cross your fingers hard that the good Midge shows up ready to play and makes my goal of eventing her a little look slightly less unrealistic. I think so far EC is feeling slightly doubtful and more inclined to trailer us to some dressage shows.
Love the views
Happy pony ears
Wonder if this road goes all the way to the ocean?

I've been working some mornings at the barn before I head to my real job to help pay down Midge's (super expensive!) board. I'm not liking the super early mornings, but I am enjoying feeding and feeling like I'm a little more involved. I loved having the horses at home and have missed the day to day stuff. This is a good compromise - I get to do some chores, but I'm not tied to the barn 24/7.

Clean barn and fed horses make me happy
Yesterday, I was pretty tired after work, and debated going back to the barn. I'm glad I did, because I had the best ride I've had in a couple of months. I'm not pretending it was all good or pretty, but we had some much better results in terms of moving forward relaxed and willingly. We've been really struggling with her sucking back inverted and wiggling all over the place rather than really moving out on a light contact. So I essentially dropped the reins and rode on the buckle until she was moving forwards in a relaxed frame and she eventually started seeking the contact herself. She felt way softer and a ton more willing than she has in a long while. I'm thinking we may need to have her teeth checked, but I suspect she's also just a little out of shape and finding our new schedule all a bit much in the hot weather. Also, she's just going through a bit of a phase again. She is a pony mare, after all! Rather than pick a potential fight with the canter, I just did a lot of walk/trot transitions and kept it easy and simple for her. The canter is coming along, with a lot of good moments, but getting the lead to the right is a real challenge again. Our homework for that is a lot of shoulder in, haunches in, and leg yields through walk/trot transitions, with the idea of building strength and helping pony to get a better idea of where those feet are no matter how slow or fast she is moving. Fingers crossed she doesn't use it against me and become even more wiggly! We finished off by popping over a couple of cross rails and her relaxed state of mind really worked for me...she was really jumping them nicely, although giving them a lot of room! I think she enjoyed herself, so maybe we'll do the odd day of that along with our mini trail rides to try to keep pony happy in between our dressage lessons and 'homework' rides. We did get an invite to try out drill team, and I think that might have interesting possibilities for getting the little mare thinking more about forwards being more fun than work, but I'm unsure if the current grouchy mare pony with questionable steering would fit in. 
We'll have to wait and see :) I'm more than a little disappointed to be missing out on all the fun things and shows this summer but am slowly accepting the idea that reestablishing those solid basics and working hard at home is a better plan for the long term.
Don't let the cute face fool you - this pony is trouble!
This weekend, I'm off for home to visit G and Ginger mare. I have a lesson booked on Ginny, and
also it's the Backcountry Horseman Poker Ride weekend. I think it would be a very big ask to take Ginger to that, and Midge is here so no riding for me. It's a fun time, but a bunch of people pull out their horses once a year just to attend and things have been known to get slightly too 'interesting' for ponies like Ginger. I'm still going to go hang out at camp with my friends and enjoy the party. My best horsey friend S has cancelled her show plans to hang out there and catch up, which I'm really excited about. We have both pledged to not get the other into too much trouble, which shouldn't be too hard. Our collective reputation is based on entirely unsubstantiated events from long ago, after all ;)



  1. Back to basics isn't always fun but I'm sure you guys will be back on track soon. And then you can go eventing all over the place!

    Have a fabulous weekend! :) :) :)

  2. Change is so incredibly difficult for me. Having just moved into a house and starting a new job, I feel like I'm in somewhat of a similar situation as you are and it's TOUGH. Adjusting to a new place and a new routine is stressful. But I'm already feeling a bit roe settled, and you will too. Just hang in there!

  3. glad you all are settling in well, and i don't blame you in the least for not wanting to change everything all at once. i hope Bridget exceeds all your expectations xc schooling, and that you had a great weekend visiting home!