About Me

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USDF Region 1, United States
Rigitta is a 2005 Lipizzan mare,(Pluto II Dixana x Rheia), that I finally found Dec 2010 after a 2 year search for a Lipizzan. Many adventures and new found friends later, Rigitta and I begin our partnership and eventual dressage competitive career. Rigitta has not been started yet so this will all be from scratch just like my 2007 Dutch Warmblood, Cedar(Theo), has been. I am an over 50 Adult Amateur Dressage competitor. I am a supporter of the Nokota Horse and have owned several. ... www.nokotahorse.org ... Amy Dragoo is helping me with my Blog photos. Majority are from her. ... AK Dragoo Photography, LLC ... www.akdragoophoto.com ... You can follow her Blog here: http://akdragoophoto.squarespace.com/view-all-posts/ ... Also a shout out to Sarah Casey and Waltzing Horse Farm Berlin, New York where I got Rigitta ... http://www.waltzinghorsefarm.com/ ... Make sure you click on "older posts" at the bottom of the page to see everything that has been happening since the beginning of the adventure!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Keeping the topline when things go wrong

Who was it that first said, horses' are a journey not a destination?

Rigitta is a riddle that I am slowly figuring out. She is now in her third month undersaddle and getting stronger  she is also the princess and the Pea who gets annoyed when she is uncomfortable.

I was riding her this morning and she had a fly on her belly and after a few minutes of  tale swishing and kicking at her belly she decided to go down on her knees to roll.  She only got as far as her knees and I kicked her up.  but I guess the fly was gone!

For 2 days I did not lunge her before I got on her and it did not go well.  She needs to warm up her back and her brain so I am back to lunging her in sidereins for a few minutes.  I have also put a wither pad on her to avoid pressure on her withers.  Whatever works!

She often has what Melanie calls brain farts.  Little things changing in her environment while she is being lunged or ridden make her loose her focus. ( Horses coming and going from the ring.  a parent sitting on the hill.  A lesson kid running out of the woods, a dog running by).   What she does is want to stop dead and stare at whatever it is.  Her neck goes up into her withers, her back gets blocked and her hind end goes under her.  Very difficult to ride that and to unblock her.  She gets upset with the unblocking i try so we can loose ground for ten minutes sometimes while I reogranize her brain and her body.  When this happens on the lunge the sidereins keep her in frame and the issue is gone very quickly.  Undersaddle, dealing with my weight and just the reins and my hands, she is able to get into, and stay in a "twist" as I call it.

It ocurred to me last night, that using draw reins when I ride her might give her the same correction to her topline that sidereins do on the lunge.  I do not mind that she gets distracted and I might have to re-organize her but the drama was a major pain.  I tried the drawreins this morning and it did exactly what I had hoped it would do.  Brainfart... hit the drawreins...kept her topline and her neck out from her withers and was back to work in a few seconds. neither of us got stressed about anything and we had a good training session.

Now if I can get this all week, I will know we have something positive going.

Friday, May 27, 2011

And on we go

Rigitta had her Chiro check up last night to see how she is doing with the new saddle. She has greeatly improved in 3 weeks.  No more muscle spasms or stiffness.  I am looking forward to another ride with her today.

I start with a plan and then have to revise!  Theo will do the July  Andreas Hausberger SRS clinic in New York because it will be more demanding and he is ready for it.  Gitta will go to Melanie's for Christian Bachinger later in July as it is more low key.

Theo is ready to move up to Training 1 for June schooling shows.  And I am ready to pick up the regular ride on him in July.  Time to rock and roll!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

All Good!

Things are progressing finally, with another good work session for Rigitta.  We lunge , long line and spend just 15 minutes under saddle all to get her stronger without emphasizing any one thing.  She stretched down in the last 5 minutes undr saddle.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Training with Melanie Adams

Good two days working with Melanie Adams this weekend.  Nice roadtrip for Rigitta down to Maryland for a "sleep over".

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New saddle

I have a saddle for Rigitta now that fits her.  It is a 39 CM Duett dressage Saddle.  What a difference!

She has recovered quite well from the bad saddle fit and is relaxing again on the lunge in side reins.  I sat on her in the round pen tonight at the walk and she seemed to be feeling comfortable.  Will slowly re-introduce undersaddle work mixed in with the lunging and long lining.  Will keep to the walk and make sure she has the steering and gas pedal well understood and moving away from the leg.

Gitta and I are going down to Melanie's tomorrow thru Saturday for 2 training sessions and her second off farm trip.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saddle Fit

It is well into May and I have not blogged for awhile.  Rigitta is having trouble with saddle fit.  She was not doing well under saddle the  last 10 days of April.  I have her back on the long lines and lunging in a Pessoa.  She needs to build up her top line and I need to get a saddle for her that fits.  She measures to a 40 CM.  So I expect to start her all over again June 1st, all things being equal.

Theo is continuing to develop well doing 2 schooliong shows and 1 day clinics with Bob Orton and Julio Mendoza.  I ride him for Julio and Anecia rides him for Bob Orton.

Gitta's saddle fit issues have slowed down her progress so Theo will be doing the 2 Spanish riding School Clinics.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Let the fun begin!

May is going to be busy. I start riding both horses 2 x a week.  Theo is entered for RyeFox May 6 USDF B&C and again at DVCTA May 22nd, Anecia in the saddle.  Another session with Bob Orton for him on the 13th. Theo will stay in training at least through July, then it is time for me to take him from there.

Gitta is doing a one day clinic with Julio Mendoza May 7th and then a 2 day clinic with Melanie Adams May 21&22, me in the saddle.  I pick up the rest of her training with help from Anecia on the ground on May 16th. Anecia has her 2 more weeks to stablize things.

Gitta is now cantering undersaddle and learning to move off the leg.  She is very stiff longitudinally so she needs to do a lot of bending.  Any non-compete time at schooling shows for her will start in August after she has done her 2 SRS clinics in July.