Sunday, 2 March 2014


In my last post, I mentioned I've been riding Olivia a bit lately. This started when E came to try a horse to lease, and has continued on from there.

Last Sunday, K and I went hacking in the front field on Olivia and Czar. It was basically a repeat of my first ride this winter, where I was happy to be on a horse, riding in a big open space. Hacking in a field will never get old... especially with a nice incline to gallop up.

I went back out to the farm on Monday, and had a solo ride in the ring. I probably only rode for about half an hour (let's be honest, neither Liv or I are in shape for much more) and it was a good ride, though a lot harder than just hacking in the fields, haha. Olivia was a bit forward, but between the snow and her lack of fitness, she came back pretty quickly. She really is a joy to ride; she's a horse that genuinely tries to please. The terrain we've been riding on (snow) is not ideal for actual schooling, but she still tries to carry herself and be on her best behaviour amidst the odd "fall out" to regain balance.

Olivia is also very receptive of her rider, which has been good for me. My stamina is basically non-existent, and when I go from riding her properly to slacking for a stride or two, I can really tell the difference. She goes from nice and round to "wtf are you doing up there?" in 2 seconds flat, which just reinforces what I already know. As soon as I struggle through and start riding like an equestrian instead of a monkey, she goes right back to being her pretty self.

Example of "pretty self".

I think it's impressive that she can remain so well schooled despite not being actually schooled in ages. Kevin was laid up much of the summer, so I don't think she was ridden very consistently. Still, he's obviously worked his magic on her... and she's done a great job being a smart horse and remembering all of that. Keep in mind that she's still a big of a green horse, too.

(Can you tell I really like her?)

Oh, I almost forgot! Considering this blog is supposed to be about Mex, haha. The herd's field goes on both sides of the ring (well, surrounds 3 sides of it technically, but the back end is trees) and Kevin has their hay on the far side because the barn blocks the majority of the wind for them. Anyway, when I walked into the ring on Olivia on Monday, Mexi was looking at us in kind of a lackadaisical way, so I called to her. She had the *cutest* reaction, ears pricked and head all the way up. I am sure she was like, "that's the girl who brings me treats!", but it warmed my heart to know that she recognized my voice/her name. So sweet. 

I wanted to get up on Tuesday but I had more teeth stuff so I wasn't able to. I was out on Friday and rode with E again; we were going to school in the ring but the snow was a bit hard and uneven since there were already tracks in it. We opted to ride in the herd's field beside the ring because it was nice and flat and didn't have preexisting hoof prints everywhere.

It was another short-ish ride, probably about half an hour again, and Olivia was just as good as she had been in the ring earlier in the week. My new goal for riding her is to work on downward transitions as they can be a bit slow. I think part of this is the footing (and possibly the fact that I've been riding her in a bridle with a loose nose band - oops), but something to work on nonetheless. We ended the ride with a few good trot-walk transitions and then went to explore the back fields a bit.

Unfortunately the snow was super deep so we didn't end up going too far, but it will be fun to ride around back there as the temperatures drop and some of this snow melts (this is wishful thinking; I haven't actually looked at the weather lately).

Okay, maybe not *this* deep.

I worked yesterday and Todd took me out to a delish Italian pizza place after work for a belated Valentine's dinner (I was laid up with tooth/jaw stuff over V-Day). We've been meaning to go there for a while, and we had a great time. We will definitely be back!

I wanted to get up to the farm to ride today, but I've got a ton of homework to do today (hence why I'm blogging... ha) so I opted not to. Work Monday, and hopefully up on Tuesday.

One more thing: have any of you ever been off riding for a while and noticed a lot of lower back pain when you got back in the saddle? It is the single thing that causes me to take such frequent breaks; sure, I get tired, but the back pain is really what causes me to stop and take a breather. I'm attributing this to a combination of having a weak core and being more top heavy now than I used to be. Obviously, neither of these problems have a quick fix, but I'm just wondering if anyone's ever dealt with it, and if so, what you've done.


  1. Lower back pain no, upper back pain yes, thanks to laziness in the posture department and smartphones.. yeah thanks a lot smartphones.

  2. I started noticing lower back pain when I brought Walker back to work after his time off. I have a bad upper back as well so I get regular therapeutic massages. My therapist thinks it's the impact that my lower back is taking while riding, so it's probably not surprising that you feel this way for now until you get back up to your regular fitness. I suggest a massage and stretching. It helps me!


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