Contact information:

Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

September 4, 2009

The path leads somewhere...

Today I went to see my Rheumatologist. She prescribed an anti-inflammatory gel for my joints called Voltaren. The tendons in my hands are contracting and are forming nodules (the joys of the disease process). So I am back to stretching and have to focus on limbering my hands because the position of hands on reins is affecting my joints, tendons, ligaments. So stretch I will....give up riding? I WILL NOT. She knows better than to suggest it *grin*.

I left voice mail for Sandy my hopeful riding instruction person. Trying to mentally sort through the goals for lessons to run by her to see if the lessons will benefit us.

Rider Goals: Balanced seat at walk, trot, canter, and "spook". I have found that I hold my breath while riding, and have a lot of tension in my body (likely from the anticipation of being hammered to the ground). I want to ride well, and ride relaxed. Both I feel will communicate to my horse that I am not a threat.

Horse Goals: First and foremost TRUST, then snappy transitions of walk to trot, walk to canter, trot to canter, and canter to trot, then whoa means whoa, right now, this second, no negotiation. Phebes does these things, she just doesn't do them without some "persuasion". Next on the agenda are leg yields. I'd like her to move off of my leg lightly and not have need for the bridle for a left or right movement of the body. A straight back up. Collection & impulsion.

I'm wanting a lot from Phebes. She's a smart horse, and all of this should be within reach if we know "how" to communicate it to her. What I'm not sure of is if the horse goals will be addressed in lessons. I expect the rider goals would be, but are the horse goals actually training vs. a lessons project? I like to do my own training, however I've never taken a horse farther than where we are at now, so I lack the tools to do so on my own. Hoping Sandy can say yes to all...her s/o is a horse trainer and a good one. Even if he'd just mentor me on my goals with Phebes, letting me do the work after some instruction, that would be fine.

Those of you who know my friend Chris E., she is laid low at Columbus Regional Hospital. Chris is one of Indiana's finest endurance mentors and spokesperson, and is our state trail advocate for the AERC in this region. She works hard to help keep our horse trails open... Sending thoughts and prayers her way.

Tomorrow we go back to the schooling lessons at the trot.



  1. Hey - as you know my riding instruction is very very little....however, FWIW my lesson focused much more on the horse than me. Yes, she made corrections and gave me instruction during my ride on position, but it was related to what I was trying to do with the horse, not necessarily a riding position just to be in the correct position. For example - we were working on "rounding" her. I wasn't focusing on my riding position, but on communicating something. I was told to not stick my pinkie finger out, put the reins between the right fingers, bend the elbows, bring the hands higher etc., depending how the hrose was responding. i got to feel how the horse responded to each change. It was magical. I was "there" and then she told me to to just rotate my shoulders just a wee bit and voila! it even got better. She didn't even mention my shoulders until that moment because it wasn't important in the overall scheme. Anyways. your lesson might be totally different. I'm rambling. Sorry.