Love that Spanish Blood

Last week took me to Colombia again for work. Many emoticon hearts for how much I love my job <3. But the traveling does make it tough to keep up with blogland. Refreshing Feedly (yes, I have now arrived as I am no longer using Emma’s blog list as my personal RSS feed) is like cracking open a newspaper in the morning and with the demands of work (le sigh) it was impossible not to fall behind. It sometimes seems like a full-time job reading everyone’s blog, but they are really like the best novel, reference book, and life manual all rolled into one. Never go away, k?

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I did some fun things while in Bogota: I ate too much great food; drank the local fire water; miserably failed to dance even a passable cumbia; spoke plenty of spanish; smuggled in a wedding dress from the states for my Costa Rican coworker; watched doctors throw money around like Pablo Escobar; visited a massive church built inside a salt mine; licked the wall of a salt mine (I was curious, okay…); bought a beautiful emerald ring; ate hotdogs at 4am from a street cart with a prominent Mexican vascular surgeon; danced in hell; and did a metric ton of work (incase it wasn’t clear whether this was a vacation or not).

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repent

  repent

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...then dance in hell.  Shoot, I definitely did this in the wrong order...

…then dance in hell.
Shoot, I definitely did that in the wrong order.

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wall licking

      wall licking, mmmm salty!

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Oh yes, back to this guy!

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Last night I rode Tyco for the first time in a week. His owner did get out there to ride him at least once while I was gone and he got a pedicure so I had high expectations that it was going to be a good ride. He was a total rockstar. We had some stellar transitions and he felt pretty light most of the time. He is unlike any of the horses I have ever ridden in that he can get super rushy but he’s not really hot per se, so I am trying my best to figure him out. We will make a brilliant transition: prompt and light and then like 5 strides later he just starts accelerating and taking tiny sewing machine steps even though I feel like I am not asking for more speed. It could be that I am leaning and he is just more sensitive to that than the horses I am used to riding. He gets so fast I feel like I can’t even half-halt, or I do, but it comes out more like a halt-halt and he doesn’t rebalance, he stops. He is teaching me that maybe I can’t just “set it and forget it”. More half-halts are the key. Identifying that moment when he is considering rushing and half-halting and then probably doing it again a couple of strides later just for good measure. And probably adding in some lateral work since it is easy for him. I had been trying not to pull on the reins when he started to rush but we get so out of sync so fast that it was hard to use my seat to get him back once I had lost him. This part is still a work in progress, but I think we’re heading in the right direction. Do any of you have a rushy horse? What exercises have worked for you?

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He does his own hair.

                                                                        He does his own hair.

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And then there was this…because clean is still overrated.

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Why, EquiNovice, what a lovely clean gray horse you have there!

                     Why, EquiNovice, what a lovely, clean, gray horse you have there!

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bahahaha stoopid human...

                                        What?! You said you like tall, dark, and handsome!

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swl

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Friday Night Hot Date

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Freshly manicured arena?! Don’t mind if I do!

The Sunfish was pretty good tonight. We were all alone so I decided to have as much fun as possible. He was a little goofy and took a long time to relax, probably because he hadn’t been ridden since Monday. We cantered both directions without too much sass and did a good amount of walk-trot transitions. He is much more “looky” and hot in general than Louie is, so it is challenging in a very different way. After we had cantered both directions I wanted to work some more transitions but he assumed the lightest touch with my legs was going to be a canter cue and would shoot out into a not very pretty trot. Once I finally got us both relaxed and our transitions were better I decided to quit on that positive note. Pushing my luck a bit, I thought it would be fun to take a lap around the pasture before the sun set. He surprised me and was a total trooper with me opening the gate from his back and though he wasn’t particularly relaxed around the field I think it’s good to mix things up every once in a while. Later I let him back into the arena thinking he’d like a good roll but he just stood there and looked at me. We whipped out a little Monty Roberts and he followed me around the arena like a puppy- so sweet. All in all, it was a fabulous Friday night!

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