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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hacking Panda Out on the Grand Prix Field

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Friday I decided to ride out to the grand prix field since the weather was beautiful and there were no geese in sight.

I like getting out of the ring every once in a while, I think it's much easier to feel how the horse is moving their body when not influenced by the walls of an arena to guide them.

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Panda was pretty excited when we first started but it only took a couple laps around the field before she settled down and dropped into the bit. Riding outside really makes me focus on using my outside aids, especially since Panda is a little reluctant to turn away from home. It was good practice for me to guide with my leg and keep Panda from bulging out around the corners.

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I've also been trying to add in a little lateral work into each hack and Panda has been much more responsive to my leg after working on it. It's not perfect but she's much more willing to move off my leg than when I first started.


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Towards the end of the hack Robyn started getting really creative with the camera but I think these shots are really interesting.

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By the end of the hack Panda was pretty relaxed, even going towards the barn.

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I had no idea my breeches were this dirty...

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Overall it was a great day and I'm so happy to be able to ride such a lovely horse. There really isn't much that phases her and that really lets me focus on improving my riding technique without having to worry about the environment.

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No barn days are complete without spoiling Panda with some homemade horse treats. I haven't found a snack she won't eat, but I like to think she likes these ones the most.

Click here for my recipe for homemade "Rainbow" horse treats

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Hope everyone has a great weekend and makes the most out of this great weather.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday Hacking Recap 4/20/16 and Some Candids

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Today I finally remembered to bring my camera to the barn since I've been wanting to take some pictures now that the weather is nice. Luckily my friend Danielle was free and agreed to take some pictures of me and Robyn hacking (Yay, and thank you!!)

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After an intense de-shedding/grooming sesh, I wanted to go over some of what we practiced in my last lesson, large figure 8's and making sure Panda was well balanced and correctly bent the entire time.

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Panda looking fancy

Panda was pretty good from the get go and we only had to make two large eights before I was satisfied with the balance we had and the quality of our bending. I still have some trouble keeping her off my inside leg when were tracking right and going towards home, but we've improved a bunch.

Robyn rode Gator and has been practicing similar things with him (keeping him balanced with an even tempo and working into a frame).

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 It's so nice to have people around my age to ride with, and since we're working on similar things, we can give each other feedback too.

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Gator is such a cutie.

Towards the end of our hack it started getting pretty dusty in the outdoor but I think it provided an interesting contrast in a couple of the photos Danielle took.

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I love Panda's expression in this picture

(I also noticed I make some really interesting faces when I ride . There were many more but I'll just leave this one right here.)

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Cute, real cute...

And now for some of the candids before and after the ride.

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Panda being affectionate <3

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Gator nuzzling Robyn

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Jumps are friends, not food!

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Birdie is just too adorable

Congratulations! You made it to the end of the post without dying of boredom!

Panda is NOT amused.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Homemade "Reinbow" Sprinkle Horse Treats

I've always wanted to try making my own horse treats and I finally got to try them out this week.

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Reinbow Horse Treats
1 cup oats
1 cup flour
3/4 cup steel cut oats or flax meal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp Oil (Coconut or vegetable)
1/2 cup molasses
Sprinkles for decoration


1. Preheat over to 350. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Prep a greased baking sheet or one fitted with a silicone mat and set aside.

2. Add the oil and molasses and mix all the ingredients together until they come together into a "dough".

3. Spoon out a teaspoon of dough and with your hands roll into a ball. Press the dough flat with the tips of your fingers onto the baking sheet. If the dough cracks or crumbles a little bit, just reshape into
a disk shape.

4. Press sprinkles into the top of the disks and bake for 20 minutes.

5. Cool and enjoy!

*N.B These horse cookies bake crisp so they can be kept in an airtight container and do not need to be used up immediately :) Like all horse treats, please feed sparingly*

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"Reinbow" sprinkle horse treats

 Here's a preview of the second batch of horse "cupcakes" I made, recipe to follow soon!


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Panda tested, Panda approved









Monday, April 4, 2016

Lesson Recap 4/3/16

I'm a visual learner. I learn by seeing and doing. I'm sure everyone else will agree that they too find it really helpful to watch playbacks of videos or look at photos of their riding to really hit home on what needs improvement.

The last time I had pictures taken of me while riding I realized how LOONNGG my stirrups looked. I put them up two holes and voilĂ  the issue I had with my saddle flap bunching up on me was gone.

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Nope, too long.

In this weeks lesson I realized I need to open my pace a little more, maintain straightness to the fences, and use all of the available ring space for the turns.


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Also, just because I see a long spot does not mean I should take it! This is a chronic problem of mine, and the spots just get longer and longer which leaves me all like...

c


In the words of George H. Morris, "Distances are like men...never take the first one you see, there will be always be another one."

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After the long-spot-of-shame my trainer put a flower near the base of the fence and had me aim for it, which I surprisingly made happen on the first time and what do you know, broke my chronic string of long spots to the fence.

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So the things to work on in my hacks this week that I learned from watching the videos
  1. Move Panda off my leg
  2. Clean transitions (always something to work on perfecting with us)
  3. Not tilting my chin to the ceiling and riding (noticed on the videos)
  4. Not riding with my mouth open (a personal goal after the barn owner asked if i was trying to catch flies)