Thursday, January 24, 2013

Iron-Free is the Way to Be

Warning: If you have this....
You may end up with this.
Photo courtesy of Connecticut Photo
The photo is nice, sure, but what I'm talking about is my lower leg. Yuck! Non-horsey folk might say, "What's wrong with it?" Horsey folk say, "ew."

The problem is, my lower leg has slipped back. And the issue with that is, over fences especially, it creates an unstable position and I consider it a major weakness. Turns out that it's not entirely something I can control, though. My chiropractor informed me that nursing moms commonly have loose tendons and muscles, until they stop nursing and everything tightens up again. No matter how much my brain tells my lower leg, "Stay in place!" my body says, "Naaaah," and therefore we have the slip back toward his tail. The worst part is, I know what it feels like when my leg is strong and correct, so this problem is infuriating.

So, while I'm pretty sure I'll be nursing for the next few months, I cannot continue to have a mediocre leg position - not my style. I decided to take matters into my own hands. Well, legs.

I took my stirrup irons and leathers off my saddle, and have been riding like that since early January. So far, I feel far stronger and also feel much more connected with the horses I'm riding - and working on my core too.

I can tell you, if you get cold while riding in this weather, take off your stirrups. Problem solved. You work so hard posting, balancing and generally staying in the saddle that you heat up in a hurry!

Some of my students have joined in on the ironless fun, and some are regretting it - but I keep telling them it'll be worth it! My goal is to ride through January and the month of February like this, taking back my irons in March, in time to really gear up for the season. Hopefully it'll pay off through the year. But regardless, I feel like I'm riding better, more effective with my aids, and am improving myself, which is what the winter months are best for.

Do you know what else the winter months are good for? This. (video!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I am very lucky indeed to have some lovely ladies in my life who I consider to be close girlfriends. These are women I can tell anything to, who will tell me like it is, and will love me anyway if I disagree with them. Friends like that are few and far between.

One of those friends had a baby a few months ago - a pretty little thing named Hazel. Hazel was born in late October, so she's a few months younger than Lyra. Still, the little ladies had a nice time meeting each other and hopefully, will enjoy growing up together! Maybe they'll be girlfriends when they grow up, like Hazel's mom Liz and I are.

I only recently learned that when you put two babies in a space together, hilarity ensues. Lyra and Hazel met the day after Christmas. I think Lyra imagined Hazel was a new present.

*All pictures approved by Hazel's mom, Liz, and used with permission*

"Who are you?"
"Seriously. Who ARE you?" (Hazel decides to do the Robot.)

"Hey Mom, look at my new friend!"
Total cuteness. Speaking of, I've got to go get my bundle of cuteness who is refusing to nap today. At least she let me ride...sans stirrups. Stay tuned for my stirrup-less blog, or self-imposed torture, however you want to look at it!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Happy New Year!
For us, 2012 was an exciting year with Lyra's arrival, Splash's arrival at TMF, and a busy, busy year with competitions, paces, clinics and lessons. Our trailer traveled many miles, and our horses covered almost as many, and all came back sound, healthy and happy.

In some respects I'm sad 2012 is over - and Lyra's already 6 months old. Where did the time go? On the other hand, 2013 brings with it lots of opportunity, events, family time, and discovery with our little girl.
Seriously. Does it get any cuter than this?! I think not.
So in the spirit of the New Year, I've got some resolutions. I'm hoping if I make them public, I'll stick to them! I'm not really one for big resolutions, I like to keep them easy.

  • Sweep the basement floor more often. Not that I don't sweep it a lot, but man, we can track in some serious dirt/ snow/ hay. That's also where I keep the horse's grain, supplements, my own personal tack shop and by the way, we do the laundry down there too. And we seem to have had a kitty adopt us, who we're calling Mr. Mistoffelees and he's taken up partial residence down there. (If you don't get the name, Google it and listen to the song, I sing it nonstop when he comes trotting down the driveway.)
"Oh well, I never was there ever, a cat so clever as magical Mr. Mistoffelees!"
  • Get that darn steam cleaner for the rugs that I've been saying I have to get, so I can stop borrowing my mom's all the time. That way I can constantly clean the kid vom/ cat vom/ horse goo that occasionally graces it. Of course we could also rip up the carpet, it's hideous and came with the house, but that's a project for the future. Far cheaper to just get the steam cleaner!
  • Learn more Italian. I'm working on it, but I have to stick with it! Ciao!
  • Put in a solid season with Zeus at events, and really focus on strengthening our foundation.
  • Eat more candlelight dinners with Matt, and Lyra!
See? Not so hard. Bring it on, 2013!