Getting Going

Capping two months of ridiculous work travel, I jetted home to the Northland for a surprise visit over the Memorial Day weekend. I got to spend some much needed QT with my family and got to swoon over feline cuteness in-person instead of settling for photos!

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Riley shamelessly commandeers my bed

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I got to hang out with some old friends on Memorial Day and we spent the day at the race track and then touring some of our favorite old haunts. It was a beautiful day.

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English Bulldog fun race! A dog named Winston won.

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I am back in the SortaSouth now and very relieved to be in one place for a good stretch. I wasted no time in setting up a training plan for Harley and myself. We had our very first dressage lesson together since he moved to my barn in April! I had a solid fitness ride on him last Thursday evening and we both felt it afterwards but I knew I had to get a good read on our current status to help our new dressage trainer assess things a little better.

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Much workout. So sweaty.

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I didn’t have many expectations walking into my first lesson. I just wanted to get the ball rolling. Harley started out rather stiff in his hocks but worked out of it quickly. The trainer asked a bunch of questions as we warmed up about his previous training and any quirks I’ve picked up on since starting to ride him. I answered everything to the best of my knowledge noting that I think he would have some good potential for dressage but it would be somewhat of a challenge since he’s had a lot of time off or under little work. She noted after watching us for a while that he seemed similar to one of her horses in that he is on the hotter side with a tendency toward spooking, doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, and would gladly be 110% on the forehand if left to his own devices. Luckily for me, she therefore quickly understood my tendency to ride him with the handbrake on and talked me through letting that go so that we could get some work done. She noted some weakness especially in the canter since he throws his head a good deal in the transition but I think that will minimize as his strength improves because once in the gait, his canter is nice.

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Harley got a bath after our lesson

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And a new flysheet- we’re going to give it a try.

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This coming weekend my barn is hosting a dressage clinic with my trainer’s trainer’s trainer hahaha so I will be auditing with a friend of mine to see what kind of dressage magic we can absorb just by observing!

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