Monday, March 16, 2015

Traumatized

I'm posting this so I can look back on the future and see what this winter was like. It's kind of a big whine, but I want to remember it. I'm writing about what it was like at our equestrian facility, Five Fires, but the picture was taken out the back door of our house in Noel Shore (twenty minutes away).
The bad:
- Working in the barn for hours with a wind chill of - 30 after getting up repeatedly through the night to make sure the water was still running.
- my first ever frost bite, and then repeated several times
- dehydration (I didn't realize how cold could be so drying to people)
- waking up in the camp when it's so cold the pets' water bowls are freezing (actually waking up isn't bad - getting out from under the covers is the rough part 😀)
- fatigue like I've never experienced
- riding less than I've ridden any winter since I took up riding again nine years ago, even though we now have a fabulous indoor. It's been too cold to ask the horses to work (based on University of Guelph recommendations not to work when it's colder than - 10). Also with travelling from Noel Shore to the barn there have been stretches of days at a time when the roads were just too bad to get there.
- being away from Doug for days at a time while he's at the facility and I'm in Noel Shore, or vice versa
- multiple friends and acquaintances loosing their horses and / or foals
- knowing / seeing how hard Doug is working, non stop, to keep everyone safe and healthy - plowing, plumbing (frozen pipes), heating, supplies (feed, bedding,...), and on and on
I'm told it's the worst winter on record since 1935, but I don't know if it's true.
There's good news to though :
- no property damage (many bands and arenas last their roof this winter)
- healthy horses (fingers crossed it stays that way)
- we bought a mini home so we can all be together at Five Fires soon
- Doug and I have a great time when we are together
- Mom is healthy and doing great

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Rant

Sorry, but I have to get this off of my chest. It's a topic that could go on for pages, but I'll keep it short. First let me say that I love classical dressage and I have a great respect for both the professionals and amateurs who pursue this discipline / art. My rant certainly isn't directed at everyone using the term and not at any of my fellow bloggers here.
Lately I find the term 'classical dressage' is being usurped more and more by people who, in my opinion, are badly off track. They try to make it about baroque horses, the riding and gaits put forward as good are awful, and they heap vitriol on anyone outside their 'group' who they hope to feel superior to. This makes me mad.
Honest to God, from what I've observed at times, even riding your horse on the bit must be abusive. Apparently the only way to avoid riding behind the vertical is a half loose rein held like a china tea cup - never mind that it's whacking the horse in the mouth with every stride. And the fact that the beautiful, sensitive horse has hollowed his back and stuck his head up in the air isn't related to this either. No that's caused by some vague, grey, as yet undiagnosed training issue that can probably be fixed with a different bit, or no bit, or more riding from the seat and core with even less rein (Guess what? You need both). God.
This can go on for years. The horse develops incorrect muscles, with all the accompanying problems, but of course this isn't being negligent or careless about the horse's welfare. They drop training levels instead of gaining them, but hey, those levels are part of the whole crazy, modern dressage world anyway, right?
Look I know there is lots of room for improvement in competitive dressage, but there have been huge positive shifts too. Also I love classical dressage (thus the blog name, which I may now change) which makes me angry that the term is being taken over by flakes.
This new classical community (an oxymoron?) has lots to say, criticizing 'modern dressage'. They are all over the Web. They can and will do damage to dressage. I wish they would shut up, stop trying to out do one another in pointing out what's wrong with every other discipline and rider in the world, and focus on getting their own horses going correctly.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Arthur Kottas Riding

solokottasnl 2: http://youtu.be/AkAo_s6D4Hc

I wanted to post this so I could find it. It's hard to find video of him riding and he doesn't ride anymore.