It’s been some time since my last entry. This fall was a frenzy of new jobs, old jobs, regional championships and an unwanted winter break from riding!
In thinking of the work that lies ahead for Renatus and I, I have been going over in my mind the tools I may need when getting him back to work. I’m hoping to put those thoughts to paper (or screen as the case may be) and see if that doesn’t help organize a plan of action to prepare us for the upcoming season.
Two words…wet and cold! But totally worth it! This was my 2nd trip to Rolex and XC day. Completely awed by the horses and their huge hearts. There has been plenty of coverage of the event, but I just wanted to share some pics. Enjoy!
Buck Davidson and The Apprentice
Phillip Dutton and Furnhill Fugitive
Jessica Phoenix and A Little Romance
Michael Jung and Fischerrocana FST – hold on course
Yes, an Etch-A-Sketch, well not literally, but “THINK” Etch-A-Sketch.
As you all know, I attended a clinic, sponsored by the Ohio Dressage Society, with Dolly Hannon last month had the opportunity to audit some of the other rides. One ride in particular really spoke to me. The horse was a lovely Thoroughbred who had beautiful gates but wasn’t able to quite show them off as he was just a bit anxious. He was very obedient, but tense being in a new place and having an audience. As we know, tension is not a friend to the dressage rider. It causes tightening of the horses back, lack of thoroughness, lack of bend, etc.
A friend of mine shares her TB jumper with me and he tends to get tense and overly anxious which causes the afore mentioned problems. He just wants to jump, he isn’t much interested in the flat work. But – jumping, put simply is dressage between fences. So when this lovely TB stepped out at the clinic, I was all ears to learn what I could do to ride my borrowed steed better!
As Dolly turned to begin working with the horse and rider – she imparted the following wisdom she had learned long ago. “TURN YOUR ARENA IN TO AN ETCH-A-SKETCH!” She told the rider, “use the whole arena,” don’t stay on a circle too long, utilize the entire space. Don’t just change directions only through the diagonal. Continually check the bend, is it there? Continually challenged the inside hind, is he stepping up and into your outside hand? Forward, forward in front of the leg with a steady quiet hand!
Does it work? Yes. It does. The lovely TB at the clinic began to settle and stretch more in to the bridle. Have I tried it? Yes, I have and have had good results. How long do you do this exercise? For as long as it takes! It may be the only thing you work on that day and that’s okay. Because with out relaxation in the horses body, neck and back we can’t achieve suppleness, thoroughness or correct contact.
SO, next time your horse is experiencing some tension – try this out. Let me know how it goes as I would love to hear your feedback.
Let me introduce you to Mad Cow!! No not the disease, the awesome leather cleaner and conditioner by KL Select ! I discovered this product last year at my local tack shop, Equus Now! and keep going back for more.
Here is what I like about this product
It’s all NATURAL – Made from glycerin, lanolin and a special blend of oils (proprietary to the maker of the product), you won’t have to worry about any harsh chemicals that could damage your precious leather
It’s American made – Handmade by a KL Select horsewoman
It’s not JUST for tack – This product can be used on all types of leathers – from furniture to coats and boots to handbags
NO residue – apply the product with a dampened sponge to your leather goods and buff lightly with a soft cloth – leaves leather smooth and supple AND gives it a lovely sheen
Though I do wipe down my tack after each ride, I usually only get a thorough cleaning in a few times a year. So, when I go to horse shows you will see me pull out the Mad Cow to give my tack a shine before heading down centerline. It DOES NOT make the seat of my saddle slick nor leave any gunky buildup on any of my tack.
If you have light colored tack (I.e. hunter/jumper) I will caution you that it CAN darken your leather. Also, it is not made to be used on suede or lambskin.
Mad Cow will leave your leather feeling soft and supple. Try it on old dried out leather to bring it back to life. To get an idea of what it does for your leather, apply it to the back of your hand and gently rub it in. Your skin absorbs the Mad Cow and becomes softer and more hydrated- JUST LIKE YOUR TACK.