It is official, Cider and Mick LIKE having warm butts!
Last Sunday it was cold with a stiff breeze so I was glad I could introduce Cider to the Rambo Competition Sheet exercise rug. After Shannon groomed her I put it on and off her back and croup a few times and made sure to open and close the Velcro that holds it together at the withers. Long ago Cider had been evented so she probably was familiar with blankets though she had not seen one in years. Shannon…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on November 29, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments
I Wimp Out In the Cold
We are on a temperature roller coaster down here in North Carolina. It is around 75° F today, but on Monday morning they are predicting a low of 19° F, if not lower.
Last Monday, when I rode Mia, it was warm, so warm I put on my technical fabric cool riding shirt, and by the end of my ride I was wishing I’d put on my ice-fill sleeves too since I was sweating. Two days later when I got to the stables…Continue
It Was a Bright and Shining Week
Because of the mares.
Last Sunday I got to ride Cider. When I greeted her she gave me a soft blow. When Shannon groomed her she gave little snorts of approval. While I rode her around the ring (at a walk) she started rewarding me when I used my aids properly with more little snorts of approval. Now don’t get me wrong, Cider still insisted that I get myself perfectly centered in the saddle from the start of my ride. But Cider’s hard work…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on November 15, 2013 at 10:23am — No Comments
I Got Ambitious, Did Too Much, and Got Exhausted
Well, it finally all caught up with me, making the wool saddle blanket so I could use it with my Corrector, cleaning my saddles every time I rode, and going up North to take my yearly lesson at North Fork. I started getting more and more tired, then I entered a fog of exhaustion and it started affecting my riding.
Two weeks ago I started off on a good note. I had gotten the book “American Dressage” by Chuck Grant, found…Continue
Mick Elevates at the Trot Again
Sorry about missing last week, when I sat down to write my blog my computer’s power cord burnt out.
Not being content with Mick’s trot I made yet another change to my padding system, this week I put the Corrector UNDER the wool saddle blanket I had adapted instead of on top of the saddle blanket. To recap my experiences so far--with triple fold woolen Western saddle blanket Mick gave me a non-banging sitting trot but he would not move…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on October 25, 2013 at 12:36pm — No Comments
A Tiny Bit of Progress With Mick’s Sitting Trot
This was a very tiring week for me, yesterday I just could not get up enough energy to write my blog since it was the first day all week I got some down-time and all I could do was just sit and do nothing. At least I made some progress with Mick this week!
One reason I was so tired is that I spent days cutting down one of my wool Western saddle blankets and adapting it to use it with the Corrector. I sewed, and sewed some…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on October 12, 2013 at 11:39am — No Comments
The Weather Finally Cooled Enough Down Here
So I could wear my FITS deerskin paneled breeches. This was good because I totally gave up on using double fold Western saddle blankets with the Stubben Siegfried. So I put my Corrector back in its “sock”, apologized to the horses for any anxiety caused by the saddle blankets, and I suffered an immediate deterioration of my lower leg. Now is the time for Arts and Crafts with Mia‘s saddle blanket!
Sunday I rode Cider in the…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on October 5, 2013 at 9:51am — No Comments
My Lesson at North Fork, Karen Sees the Difference Frictional Grip Makes in My Riding
Last weekend my husband and I went up to Maryland and I got my yearly lesson from Karen Fenwick at North Fork School of Equitation in Jefferson, Md. I found this long trip (around 1,000 miles round trip) totally exhausting. By the time I got to North Fork I had been traveling for three days and I was not in top shape physically because I was very tired. But autumn has finally come,…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on September 27, 2013 at 12:08pm — No Comments
Grooming Makes Me Tired
I did not get to ride Sunday because Shannon had hurt her shoulder. Then on Sunday my son cut a gash across one of his knuckles (2 stitches) so he could not help me with Mia on Monday. My husband was home so he kindly took me out to ride Mia, but he had strained his hand so I had to do all of the currying, brushing, hoof rasping, tacking up and applying fly spray. My husband did manage to clean out the hooves and put in the thrush medicine. By…Continue
Will I Have to Become Artsy-Craftsy to Make the Horses Happy?
This week I experimented with my Western woolen saddle blankets on the Arabs I ride. The previous three weeks I rode Mick with just my triple-fold woolen Western saddle blanket. While he showed great improvement with relaxing the muscles in back of the saddle he was not too sure about the front of the saddle, and he just was not moving as freely as he did when I just used the Corrector pad. I came up with the…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on September 13, 2013 at 2:50pm — No Comments
Mommy, My Friends Didn’t Come With Me!
Last Sunday was not and miserable, so hot and miserable that the rest of the herd did not come when Shannon caught Cider. Cider was NOT happy at all, why should she be forced to work when her friends were back in the coolest part of the pasture? I was not doing too well either, the night before I did not sleep well so I was planning to just walk. I am glad I was not more ambitious. When we went into the ring Cider looked around for…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on September 6, 2013 at 2:45pm — No Comments
The Saddle Stayed Still
The last few weeks I have been suffering from an attack of the MS exhaustion. I had been doing too much and it finally caught up with me. I had started walking 3x a week for 10 minutes in order to get more fit so I could build up my endurance--that got dropped. I found out that it was not a good idea for me to stop using my slicker brush on Mia when there is a lot of summer rain, her fungus in her coat came back and by the time my son noticed it…Continue
Saddle Grip for the Horse
This week, while musing over my new found security in the saddle I suddenly thought, what about the frictional grip of the saddle to the horse?
When I started riding pads were not considered necessary for English hunt seat or saddle seat saddles. I was told (and read) that a properly fitted saddle made of vegetable tanned leather with wool padding did not NEED a saddle pad if the bottom of the saddle was cleaned with saddle soap after each…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on August 18, 2013 at 11:11am — No Comments
As my readers know I have been seeking security in the saddle for years. I have Multiple Sclerosis and I was blaming all of my riding security problems on my MS, my lack of balance, my great weakness, my exhaustion from the least physical activity, my lack of a proprioceptive sense and my general lack of coordination. I figured that there was NO WAY I would ever feel as secure in the saddle as I did when I was younger. As it turns out I was blaming the wrong thing…Continue
Middle-Aged and Older Women Who Start Riding
I have been thinking lately a lot about how hard it can be for middle-aged and older women to either get back to their long interrupted riding or to start riding. It is not easy.
We know we can get hurt. Many of us have osteoporosis and many more have arthritis. Our youthful figures have gone away, our once athletic bodies have dissolved, and we just do not feel as sprightly as we did when we were younger. Medical issues…Continue
My 200th Blog
Gee, this is my 200th blog! When I started blogging here on Barnmice over four years ago I never imagined that I could find enough to write about to make it to 200 blogs. I want to thank all of my readers for reading my blogs each week.
Last week I had decided that feelings of security were more important than feeling cool. That idea just lasted one ride. Debbie could not give me my regular lesson because she had wrenched her back and…Continue
Coolness or Security
Wet. Humid. “Tropical air”. 5.35 inches of rain in the last 7 days. Dew points in the 70’s F, heat indexes hitting the low 90’s F.
Last Tuesday I ran down to my “local” tack store and asked Donna, the owner, if there were any breeches or tights cooler than and as secure as my FITS all-weather breeches. She picked out a Kerrit’s full seat tight and a FITS Treads Lite breech with rubber dots where the FITS full seat paneled patches go. I got…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on July 7, 2013 at 11:01am — No Comments
I Am Feeling So Much More Competent in the Saddle!
Summer weather has definitely arrived here, hot, muggy, and lots of afternoon thunderstorms. NC has been in drought most of the past decade, but this year the rain seems to be determined to make up for the whole drought, we are 6 inches over “normal” instead of 6” below normal. Everything goes “squish” now.
This time of year my seat riding usually disintegrates rapidly and the horses I ride get irritated at me for my…Continue
Further Experiments in Increasing My Stability
Since the weather turned into summer down here in NC (hot and muggy) I have been getting pretty tired riding. Two weeks ago the weather was particularly fine, cool and with low humidity, but Debbie was having a summer riding camp and I could not ride there. Then the humidity came back but after riding only once in ten days, I am quite happy to be back riding three times a week and getting tired!
Because of the heat and…Continue
Further Rewards for my Increased Stability
This week has been full of rain down here in the Piedmont of North Carolina. We’ve gotten about four inches of rain over the last seven days. I just got to ride once.
Debbie had to go off Wednesday so I did not get my lesson. I went out to the stable anyway, I wanted to see if Mia was still responding to my increased stability, and I also wanted to take care of her. I was tired from a dentist appointment on…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on June 9, 2013 at 2:00am — No Comments