dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, August 26, 2016

Busy Brains

That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. Steve Jobs
So Carmen and I both think far too much. Some of you are probably chuckling and thinking 'it' taken her this long to reach that conclusion?' I swear that I am well educated and have a mentally demanding job,  but sometimes I am not the brightest bulb in the box.

I dream of the day when I can have a relaxing warm up on Carmen. You know what I mean where we walk on a long rein and slowly bend and get into work. The problem is that all that walking gives Carmen too much free time to think. And what she likes to think about is what could potentially eat us.  Yesterday was hot but very very windy. I knew that it would be harder to keep her focussed and I was right. She was busy looking everywhere. So I had to keep us busy.

But the reality was that, although she was very tense and tight, she didn't really do anything. So while I couldn't work on some of the things i wanted to, I never felt like we were going to explode. And we used all the ring. It's kind of interesting- finding the work that keeps her brain busy but not so hard that we have a wreck. One exercise that really worked was leg yielding 3 strides in, straight 3 strides and 3 strides back to the rail. What I liked about it was that I could drop down to walk if I needed to.

We had moments of relaxation that I tried to enlarge on. When I was done, I dropped the rail and we walked down to the barn and all around the yard.

Later I dragged the ring and set up some trot poles.
love the lines from dragging. My very own zen garden

Cynthia was coming but I started without her. The wind had settled but was still there. We were warming up with trot- tons of small circles, changes of directions etc to keep her brain on me. I finally decided to trot the poles. As we approached I could see that her brain was on the far trees.
You better pay attention, there are poles. 
OHOH, I'm sure I saw a troll!
*trips on first pole*
I told you to pay attention
*pins ears and trots remainder of poles.* Who put that there? It's a hazard! 
I tried to tell you. 
This is all very annoying. How's a girl supposed to look for danger?
Well you could try paying attention inside the ring!

Then it started to rain. If you recall, Carmen is freaked out when it rains. I figured what the heck, might as well work on this too. She was appalled at the idea but soon settled into work. Again we were able to work in all areas of the ring. I got to use pretty much all of my strategies and they all worked. 

After Cynthia and I went to a big hunter jumper show in Chester. We walked around the stunning property and ran into horse friends. It was fun to watch and see people I hadn't seen in a while. I was stunned by the 'tack stalls' and how the stables had decorated them. I had to take a photo of this one- 

Someone had brought in hanging baskets, landscape bricks, sod and mulch. Maybe someone from Hunterland can tell me why? Is there a prize? It seems like a lot of work. But stunning. I figured that this would be a great show to bring Carmen to hang out- she would see a ton of things.


  1. Wow, that's fancy! I admire anyone who makes a bland spot beautiful. I should try harder with my own barn. And yes, simplicity is the key. I overthink things, too, and sometimes think around the solution. Nice job riding in the rain. That must have been glorious!

    1. I don't think I could keep up with that level of beauty at the barn!

  2. Pretty fancy, when I showed dogs I had friends that went all out decorating our set up every year at one big show. No real reason either.

  3. I think they try to outdo each other with the decorating. I know some shows have prizes for it and some don't. The first time my son went to a really big show he was amazed to see moving vans bringing the decorations in.

    I love reading about your progress. It inspires and encourages me.

    1. Thank you! I guess it's part of the stable pride?

  4. Oh poor Carmen and those mean trot poles, jumping up out of nowhere to bite her 😉 I love the concept of keeping her brain busy! I need to do more trot poles work but dragging them out always seems so time consuming (I am lazy, haha).

    And wow, the set up at that show! I can't imagine how much time and money that took.

    1. LOL, you will get more energy when the weather cools down!

  5. Actual sod seems insane to me, but yes, sometimes there are prizes for best barn decoration. Most of the time I think it's just pride/advertising to potential clients/keeping current prestigious clients.


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