Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunrise Ride

Most people who actually make a living in the horse world manage to rouse themselves at ungodly hours all the time, but for little 'ol 9 to 5 me, riding before work (or sunrise) is some weird conglomeration of a super fun treat, and tragically early wake up call.

It's been so damn long since I've been to a show, (let alone a show that wasn't a weird IHSA raffle) that every early morning ride sorta reminds me of that pre-show energy buzz.  So, you can imagine that I was significantly bouncier when my alarm went off in the darkeness for me to go riding instead of yet another failed early morning gym attempt. 

(note: I am the QUEEEEEEEN of setting my alarm to "go to the gym" which usually results in an internal dialogue about how if I'm working out for my health and not some vanity inspired goal, which of course would never be the case because I am a strong confident woman who accepts myself... then I should consider the importance of quality, deep sleep and weigh the benefits of staying in bed versus sweating in a gross crowded room with people who undoubtedly sneeze into their hand then rub germs all over everything I will be forced to touch.  THEREFORE, sleeping in is the "healthier" option.. reset alarm clock now...)

This internal debate was not only irrelevant to the wake up call for the barn, it was also unecessary, as I was up, into breeches and out the door before my first snooze alarm would have usually needled me for a second time....

Apparently though, my eagerness to work and enjoy the dark morning hours was not shared by Miss Pia.  Her blinking, sleepy expression at the sight of my face and freshly flipped on lights was not what I would consider "loving" or even "pleased."  The mare was horrified that the lights were on, horrified that I was there and even more horrified that I was dragging her from her still warm bed of shavings... There was a flash of empathy for my poor mother who dealt quite charmingly with my own teenage antics before I flipped into "efficient tack up" mode and got to work double brushing and fluffing a, still mostly sleeping, Pia.

Uhhhh mom? The lights iz off and everyone else iz still sleeping....

Our ride was pretty good.  Mostly we timed it perfectly to start in the dark and finish with the sun  up, which made me feel uber productive regardless of what we did or didn't accomplish.  Fortunately though, we made some nice progress.  Our only battle was over Pia's insistence that (from the right) the mounting block was definitely a horse killing predator waiting to pounce.  P was positive of this in spite of the fact that a) she stood next to it just fine when I got on, and b) it was still a normal mounting block when we were going to the left....


I guess we also had a few conversations about blowing through my left leg

Every few rides P will make the decision (usually about 2/3 of the way through our work) that circles are unacceptable and she would rather skitter sideways on the open side of whatever circle we are on.  It's very frustrating, although at least it keeps her toes on the ground, so it feels like a manageable objection.

I did monkey with the mare a bit yesterday - since she really avoids contact with the bit (as demonstrated by our outstandingly poor stretchy trot.. (I stretch contact down... she holds her frame and loops the rein...)  the BO and I have been talking about playing with some new bits.  Maybe something that's softer on her mouth/heavier?  She's got a pretty chunky copper double jointed loose ring now... which (in my mind) is sweet, big, heavy... all in all, pretty nice.  But P has her own standards, so who knows.  Regardless, I'm thinking about trying a rubber mouth bit, which of course not a single soul in the barn owns... So in my own makeshift way, we decided to fake it with some vet wrap (my 2x4 and duct tape construction dad would be so proud).

Aside from immediately foaming up, Pia didn't seem to show much interest or concern over her backyard bit, and to my pleasure, it didn't seem to dampen her brakes at all (which was a valid concern should she flip into marewolf mode).  All in all, I would say that we had a few more moments of P really reaching for contact, and I even had some lovely moments where I felt increased contact that weren't immediately followed by a deep dumpster dive with her face.  (yay). 

It does look sorta weird(/ghetto).. but I'm gonna give it a few more rides and experiment with adding more vet wrap/removing some to play with thickness before I make any final decisions.  If she shows any consistency with this little guy, I think I'll start hunting for some slightly more durable options...



  1. wow..riding before sunrise. KUDOS! I'm not sure thats going to make my bucket list. It must have been quite peaceful though....

  2. LOL, I totally understand the "bargaining" with yourself inner monologue to stay in the warm, warm bed-especially this time of year:)

    Nice job with the bit! It's not ghetto, it's inventive:) I'll be doing the bit experimentation merry-go-round someday...for now, no bit for us is working just swell:)

    Pia is adorable, as always!

  3. I wonder if getting up at the crack of dawn to ride before work would actually get me out of bed, and therefore actually get me to work on time? Nah... I'd waste too much time cuddling with Tucker and suddenly realize it's 10 a.m. and I'm still at the barn. Guess I'll stick to abusing my snooze button...


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