Friday, July 7, 2017

summer days of leisure

Happy Friday everyone! Even tho this was a short week for most folks in the US (that is, if you're not actually wholly on vacation haha) it's still kinda felt a little long.

For us, the reasons for that are kinda twofold: brutal heat combined with looking ahead to a long stretch of the hottest months with a fairly light schedule.

swans!!!!
We came out of our back-to-back show weekends feeling..... ready for some light hacking haha. Charlie got a day off of work, but still with lots of grooming and grazing and treats (and hoof care bc.... yea). But then when the next couple days were still stupid hot and we felt kinda blah about ring work? Yea. Trail time!!

honk honk!!
Monday I just headed out by myself. Apparently my efforts to cajole the program director to come join me on the naughtiest pony in the barn weren't successful. I wonder why?

more trail riding in ye olde snackamore too (tho charlie hasn't figured out how to do drive by snacking yet)
Anyway I did a familiar loop with Charlie (it's really the only loop that isn't too stupidly technical), tho I did it in reverse - starting where we normally finish and finishing where we normally start. Just to keep it interesting, ya know? These aren't exactly long trails.

these ain't my favorite trails... but sometimes they're still pretty great
He was a very good boy tho - and is legitimately getting better and better about handling the trail technicality every time we're out there. Sure, there are still a couple super sketchy areas - esp when the trail is just a narrow ledge carved into a steep hillside, and bends at a tighter degree than Charlie can typically contort his own body....

awww, Versed is eating corn like he thinks he's people!
For the most part tho, he figures it out. And the next day a barn mate wanted to go out too, so obvi we tagged along. We did a slightly shorter loop to accommodate her senior citizen - but Charlie's always super happy to have company, even if it means a shorter ride.

charlie quite enjoyed the corn greens!
Charlie's week of leisure continued with a massage appointment with his favorite equine therapist. He hasn't seen her since May, actually, at which time she had recommended he see a chiro. That happened last month, so this month it was back to regular programming.

and the stringy thready silk stuff too!
This particular equine massage therapist works really well for us bc she works fairly locally, is easy to schedule, is great with Charlie, and especially: is quite affordable. Oh and she takes paypal - can't get any easier than that!

he was a little less sure about the cob itself. tried to chomp into it like a carrot haha
Beyond that, tho, it felt like a good time to continue taking inventory of where we are. Namely: we've got the rest of July and all of August ahead of us to prepare for the fall event season. A 'summer bootcamp,' if you will. And I want Charlie to feel his best for it.

what can i say but that he's a goof?
My hope is to use this time to really solidify a lot of the concepts and skills Charlie has been developing and refining since Spring. Specifically: I want him to be fully confirmed at all things BN, and get a little more serious about our flat work in the process.

a goof who freakin loves his massage therapist tho. see him chomping on his lead rope too??
I'll probably flesh out the specifics of that plan in later posts, but we're gonna kick off this 'summer bootcamp' in a bigger way in the coming week. Starting with taking my first paid vacation since beginning the new job over a year ago. Which. Ya know. Is a little overdue.

"oooooh that's the spot!!" - charlie
That time off will undoubtedly involve quite a bit of 'me' time - ya know, time to enjoy my life and whatnot. But it's also going to include a lot of pony time too. Including a very exciting upcoming clinic with none other than Jimmy Wofford.

Part of me is super nervous bc I've actually never jumped in a clinic before (bc... my 'fraidy cat status means I basically only jump with my trainers) - but mostly I'm pretty freakin pumped!

big guy felt all good and loosey-goosey after too!!
I'm also sketching out some plans with my other regular, tried-n-true trainers. Which, cross your freakin fingers, might finally include a lesson from good ol' Dan. It's been close to a year since I've ridden with him, and he's never met Charlie. So that's something else very long overdue.

Mostly tho. We've used this week as a deep, refreshing breath. Making sure that we both feel good and whole, and ready to keep moving forward - but perhaps with smaller, more refined steps over the next couple weeks. And probably plenty of purely fun outings too. Bc. Ya know. You gotta balance that summer bootcamp with that summer vacation, right?

Do you feel similarly about your summers spent riding? Is it a time of ramping up your schooling or training or showing? Or a time to ease back and try to beat the heat? Or something in between?

34 comments:

  1. These times to relax and regroup and so worth it. Enjoy your vacation. I have one more week of week and the 2 weeks off.

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    1. Definitely agreed, and it's been waaaaaayy too long since I had time to just sit back and chill lol. Hope your work weeks fly by til your vacation too!

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  2. My week has been almost exactly the same only, very unfortunately, without the ability to go on nice long trail rides :( Still counting down the days until I can get a trailer :)

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    1. Ugh yea limited trail availability is a struggle. We at least have stuff that approximates trail rides, but barely. Sometimes tho just getting out to loop around the pasture lines is enough tho!

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  3. I love that picture of him scratching with his hind leg. You do you Charlie :) Summer here is typically my time off riding. It just gets too hot and humid to be safe to do much. I love relaxing weeks though and hope you have a great vacation/staycation.

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    1. Ha Charlie proves that he CAN get his hind end up under himself! Now he has no excuse in the dressage court!! And thanks I'm really looking forward to the time off!

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  4. July is my busy work time. In fact usually i send Remus to boot camp to Emily's but she is full this time!! I just dont get time to ride the next few weeks. BUT after i am back, am planning on doing something even if it is hacking at Fair Hill and doing some schooling if the weather is okay. I know my barn friends will hop on Remus as needed while i am away so he will be happy just chilling!

    I love CHarlie's expressions. So funny. He really could have his own tv show. I would watch it!!

    I am glad you have a vacation planned. What is a vacation? :)

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    1. Lol I hardly know what a vacation is any more - it's been well over a year but maybe longer. I hope July isn't too busy for you with work!!

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  5. OMG - I looooove Jimmy Wofford. Totally going to stalk his schedule now!!! Also, totally random, but I think I know the corn eating Versed :)

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    1. Oooh that's so funny! I think he's been around a little bit but I don't know much about him. He's a good boy tho! And jimmy is going to be at Waredaca. My friends are always SWEARING by Stephen Bradley who is there regularly, but his schedule didn't sync up with my time off work

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    2. Ughhhhhh! I wish it was on a weekend... because of course I was off THIS week :(

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  6. OMG, Wofford clinic! I'm so excited for you! I have his book. Be sure to recap generously so that those of us who live vicariously through you can reap the benefits. :) I'm sure you'll have a great time and learn lots.

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    1. Oh you bet! I'm going to capture as much precise nitty gritty detail as I possibly can. My friend and I are probably in different splits (Brita jumps bigger jumps lol) so I'm hoping to be able to watch as well as ride.

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  7. Ahhh ponies eating corms like peoples are the CUTEST!! We have one more HT in July and then zero competitions and a week and a half off from work entirely for both of us in August. I gotta say, I'm looking forward to the little break! Can't wait to read all about how you and Charlie will do in boot camp over the next couple months!

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    1. little breaks are definitely the best sometimes! it's so funny how we can look forward with such anticipation to big busy seasons and then quiet time off with almost equal excitement, but that's the way, isn't it?

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  8. Hell yeah, Jimmy Wofford. I only just got back into riding regularly this week, so it's just a matter of figuring Roman out and preventing myself from developing bad habits lol. Summer is supposed to be show season and winter is supposed to be bootcamp, but life happens.

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    1. ugh yea, life does in fact have a way of happening, often when we would least like it to. anyway good luck with Roman and i hope you do end up finding yourself at a show or two!

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  9. It's so hot and humid here during the summer I find myself letting the weather dictate what I do -- on the rare reasonable days I want to be in the saddle. But when its gross? Eh. I am allowed to pass. But we haven't really been in any regular kind of program for.... A while 😂

    Sounds like you have a super exciting summer planned! Between the clinic and lessons and flatwork focus -- I think it's gonna be good for you and Charlie and you'll hit the circuit refreshed and ready to go again this fall! ☺

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    1. yea we've been ahving some crummy weather for sure too, and it's so nice to finally have a moment where we CAN just be like, 'eh, not today!' it's a good feeling! keeps it from feeling like a grind, right?

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  10. So jealous, Wofford clinic!!!! I want tons of pics and a huge writeup of that. One of my friends has went to dozens of his clinics and loves him. One day soon I will have my turn!

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    1. thanks it should be fun! hopefully i'll have lots to share!

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  11. I meant for this July to be more laid back than it's ending up. I went from no shows to 3. Oops. But I am done "training"- Penn knows as much as I'm going to be able to smoosh into his brain and body, so he's going to do some extra walking this week in prep for weekend one of showing (7/15 and 7/16) then a week of walking before weekend two (7/22-23) when it counts for USDF. He feels a bit bodily tired (but mentally willing), so I think the right thing is to take it easy on him this week and trust that we've installed things well enough!

    Riding with Jimmy Wofford is sooo exciting!!!

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    1. that sounds like a great plan - Penn seems to be doing so well, i love the idea of just 'trusting the training.' something i need to remember more often!

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  12. I'm trying to get more solidified and correct in my flat work too, which is an ongoing battle. I'm not totally backing down my training, but I have shifted to early mornings only, to make things easier on both of us. And plenty of mini vacations sprinkled in there, which gives for plenty of time off!

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    1. i only wish i could do early mornings but i am NOT programmed for that haha. good luck in your own training plans tho, even as they stretch out to include down time and lighter schedules!

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  13. I think you're going to love riding with Jimmy! He's got a great sense of humor for the big babies:) I'm hoping to get my guy over to him in the next few months too!

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    1. yea it should be fun! mostly i just chose this clinic bc i'm taking time off anyway and had wanted to do something with brita. otherwise i would have just tried to schedule something with dan. that'll all happen in time too tho!

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  14. Always good to take a little breathing time. With Ramone summer's always scaled back thanks to grad school. This summer is different so I guess we'll see. And yay how exciting to ride with Jimmy Wofford!!!!!

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  15. That picture of Charley eating the corn like a people is the death of me.

    I'm actually bummed it's been so hot. I was really ready to jump into 4-5 days a week of riding and between getting sick and the heat I've ridden exactly 1 time in the last week and a half. :(((((((

    Really, I'd like to tackle the summer as an opportunity to work with Aria but I think we're going to be weekend warriors until this heat chills out a bit. I kind of wish I lived more coastal like where I work because it's beautiful down there. Great riding weather.

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    1. aw sorry it's been so hot out there! it's really hard to keep pressing through this heat without anything specific on the agenda. i definitely hear ya there! also tho - that's a blaze faced chestnut eating the corn off the cob haha, not charlie ;)

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  16. Omg! Totally jealous of you getting to clinic with (let alone MEET) Jimmy Wofford! I hope you have so much fun!

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  17. Between my travel and my trainers travel - summer is kind of a chill out stage for me! I don't mind usually :) I cannot wait to hear about Wofford!

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  18. We try and keep our summers pretty quiet as well - it's hotter than hell down here. I love how the barn empties out though because everyone's either traveling for shows or on vacation

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