I am sorry for the absence. I have no big excuse, just the usual ones- busy, tired at end of the day, etc., you know. Adulting is hard. Rather than try to catch up in a bunch of posts and falling impossibly behind I 'll share some brief updates.
|I love these May mornings|
1. I won a bursary!
Our provincial equestrian association (NSEF) gives out Long Term Equestrian Development bursaries every year. It's nice to see that older AAs can qualify for things. This year I decided to apply. To apply you need to fill out a form, get a letter from a certified coach and write a short essay explaining how you would use the funds. I asked Jane if she would write a letter for me and she did. It was lovely to read and I am going to quote a section of Jane's letter:
"Teresa is always on a mission to learn and improve. Although her mare has challenged her ability and her spirit, Teresa tenaciously seeks the information and skills that will move them forward. Teresa’s ability to focus and replace old habits with the new skills are changing their partnership and performance.
It is my belief that Teresa will use the LTED bursary to evolve as a rider and a competitor. As evidenced in her blog - https://journeywithadancinghorse.blogspot.com- Teresa’s journey will inspire a myriad of riders facing similar challenges in this formidable sport."
I don't about being inspirational but I always strive to be honest.
I sent in my essay and form and then waited, not really expecting anything. So I was excited to receive the email that I was successful. Like I said, the amount is not a lot but everything helps. When I told Ed he said 'well that should pay for gas to go to the show!'. With the prices of gas he is not wrong.
|Everyone here is working hard. At least 2 of us love it.|
2. Steady Improvements
Carmen and I continue to make our steady improvements. She is much more balanced and rhythmical these days. I am getting better at feeling it sooner.
With the horse's transitioning to the grass paddocks I have noticed an increase in Carmen's reactivity. I attribute it to increased sugars in the grass this time of year. I've been trying to help her funnel that energy forward rather than sideways. It helps that I (finally) made the conncction between the grass and her energy. In the past we've always had an escalation of behaviour in the spring and I was never really sure why.
Most of the time it's not that bad, just more tension and a little jumpy. Sometimes she surprises me. Like below. We were schooling by ourselves and she was a bit tense at the far end but not too bad then....
If you have the volume on you will hear me scolding her a bit. I do not apologize for that. :) I am happy with how my seat stayed in the saddle.
We worked through that and then later had some lovely work:
3. I love my Pivo!
It has helped my riding so much. I can watch my entire lesson and gain insights. One thing I've noticed is that how it feels is often not how it looks. Sometimes she feels like a powder keg but in the video she looks fairly relaxed. Which is true? Can both be true?
However, it does help me see things. I use it often in my schooling rides too. I try to make sure I say something like 'good' so I can find that later and look at it to be sure (Karen's idea and it's brilliant). What was helpful for the spook video above is that I can see that she was not on the outside rein at all and was able to duck out pretty quickly (honestly, maybe she could do barrels?).
Sometimes it loses me and then sees Guinness and follows for a bit. I do wish that they would develop a blue tooth system for the remote so that it could track that. But most of the time it's fine as long as it is in the middle of the ring and I don't get too close.
|Pivo decided to love on Guinness|
4. I signed up for show.
I am both excited and nervous about it. It is in a couple weeks. I spoke with Jane and we agreed that I will do First Level again. While I am very bored with First, I feel that we've just started filling in some holes and that we're not ready for Second. So we'll see what happens. It will be fun to reconnect with my horse show people.
So we're plugging along and I am enjoying the spring weather. Even if it means that the blackflies are out. I want to finish with a quote from my essay:
"I am often asked not only why I ride but why I (at my age) continue to pay for lessons. After all, I should know how to ride by now. My answer is always the same: I feel at home when I sit in the saddle. It’s where I belong. And I take lessons because I am constantly striving to improve- for myself and for my horse. Our horses did not volunteer for their role as our partners. I believe that it is our job to ensure that we are the best rider we can be."