Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Battle Scars

As you can see, I'm very lucky I didn't break my arm. This is four days out. Rogo's swelling is gone today so I'll start riding him again Thursday. Thanks for the kind wishes!

Sunday, July 19, 2015


We had a mishap in our lesson on Friday, and once again I can tell you that I was saved by my helmet, on a day on a horse where some people might think it wasn't needed.
My sweet, calm, trained ten year old was doing a lovely canter up the long side in the indoor. It was a quiet, sunny day and I was having a lesson.
Suddenly with no warning he tripped and went down hard. I slammed into the 2 X 6 rough cut kick wall with my head and arm. I'm unharmed except for a badly bruised arm, but without a helmet it would have been a different story.
Rogo's left front is slightly swollen. He hit it with a back foot and it's scraped a bit. He's on bute and is going to have a few days off. Fingers crossed he heals quickly and well.
I'm not sure what caused his fall. I went back to look at the hoof prints and I could clearly see the step he took where he went down. There was a small rock inside the hoof print. Joan, my teacher, thought the stone must have rolled. Maybe it hurt his foot. I really don't know so that's kind of scary.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Trot Canter Trot

I've been putting off posting because I'm so far behind, I have videos and pictures from the Arthur Kottas clinic to edit, etc. But... I just don't get there so I'm jumping in with where we are right now.
Rogo and I are schooling level three and some of four. It isn't show ready but we're making respectable progress for the most part.
Want to know where my biggest challenge is right now? I guess the title gave it away - trot / canter, a training level requirement.
Unless Rogo is on a circle we're picking up the wrong lead (from trot) much too often. We have walk / canter nailed; I'd even go so far as to say 100%. He gets canter and counter canter from walk anywhere in the arena.
I haven't worked on this with my instructor  because she assumed it was something I could fix myself, but I'm going to be asking for help. We get it, but then I forget to practice it and it's gone again. I can feel that he feels easily blocked on the inside shoulder from trot to canter, so it seems to help a bit if I slightly raise the inside hand. Also if I collect his trot A LOT before I ask, that helps too.
However, an easy and fluid transition from trot to canter mid long side eludes us. He is 100% on a circle or corner, but if I try putting him in that position on the long side it doesn't help get the correct lead.
Any suggestions are welcome. For now I think we'll practice it on the circle much more and then start 'stretching' the circle down the long side.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Savanah, Arthur Kottas Clinic, May 2015

This is Doug's mare Savanah being ridden in the Arthur Kottas clinic we just had. I'll upload one of Rogo and I soon.

Monday, March 16, 2015


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