Wednesday, November 20, 2013


But first, a follow up on the cat . . . .

Zero stomach issues. Zero biting of fingers, toes or armpits in the middle of the night. Already he looks slimmer. No more emptying his food dish five minutes after he gets fed. In fact, there is still food left in both dishes when we go to feed more.

He hasn't been this happy or content since he moved in. You can feel the happiness come off him in waves.

Yeah for Blue Buffalo.

And, because all of my animals are jealous animals, I had to share pics of the puppies. Although, I can't really call them puppies any more, since they turned one on Monday, November 18th.

 Our Lili Bear
Protector of the house
Defender of the homeland
Destroyer of small fluffy chew toys
Soulmate to the Little Black Kitten (who hates her)
My heart dog, who reminds me of our Red and my Spike
Who is more Malinios than Boxer, and who would destroy our next door neighbor if she could.

Skittle Bug
Pure Boxer personality in a whip thin body
Cuddle bug who thinks her spot for snuggling is my chest
The first one on the bed. Last one on the floor.
Horrific chewer (responsible for destroying my iPhone)
Loves pears and apples and bread and bacon and anything else her humans will give her.
Should have been named Piglet, because she is not very brave
Or Phoebe, because she very much is Phoebe.

Now back to our regular scheduled programming . . . 

Riding with an agenda.

Not my forte. Something I am now doing because I am doing dressage. I got frustrated last night because I had an agenda and my horse did not. I like how he looks and feels when I am riding him in a frame. I like the way his body is reshaping with the directed work. I like the feeling I get when he does what I want him to do.

I need to recognize that sometimes he needs a break. His forte is trail riding. He is a solid partner and brave trail explorer. He is calm and focused and willing. He really does not like arena work. He gets bored and honestly I don't blame him. I was worried that if I didn't "work" him that we would back slide and forget what we are doing.

I need to get over myself. I'm not riding for a show or to impress any one.

I can ride him without having to be in a frame (I asked Cassandra and she said yes). I can work on his neck reining and getting him to canter without struggling to keep him in a frame. We can canter more and I can work on getting in rhythm and balance with him. He can work on stopping when I want. We can work on being a team at the canter the way we are at the trot and walk. I can learn to trust that he will take care of us at the canter.

We can work over obstacles and I can work on riding him with one hand. I can change it up. I can make it fun. We can still do dressage, but it doesn't have to be the only thing that we do. I can bring in my cones and the poles and we can work on patterns. Or we can do cavelletti. We can work on spinning (yes he has spun, just a little bit, when we were working on turning on the hindquarters.)

I can find some other things for us to do that he likes. And yes, we will still be riding dressage. It just won't be the only thing we are doing.


  1. Your pets are adorable!! :)

    Sound like a great agenda, good luck!

  2. Your dogs are absolutely gorgeous!!! I love them!! I'm so happy your cat is doing so great on his new diet. :D

    I really want to teach Chrome to neck rein because that's how I grew up riding, but I also want to teach him dressage... I was worried I couldn't do both, so finding out you are doing both with Ashke is so exciting! My trainer told me if I want to teach Chrome dressage that I can't ride him on a loose rein in anything but the walk... so when trotting he has to be in contact... I don't like that. I want to be able to do all three gaits with and without contact. Does it confuse Ashke?

    1. I think the contact confuses Ashke. He struggles with pressure and although I can see the benefit that riding him with contact has created, I can also see that I need to do more than just ride him in a circle. I think he will hate being a dressage horse if I don't work him on other stuff. The Arab in him is too smart.

      Since the discipline I would like to do is Working Equitation and their dressage work is ridden at the walk and canter with the reins in the left hand, he has to be trained to neck rein. Every event in Working Eq is ridden one handed, including the cattle work. Dressage for me is about getting him strong, but he needs to be able to do both.

    2. I just realized what Working Eq is! That's the classes where they ride them as if they were bull fighting but without the bull right? I love those classes (only seen them on the computer) and I wish they would completely replace bull fighting with them. I'm going to feel really dumb now if I'm thinking of something different lol. It's funny because I was telling my husband the other day that they have classes where the horses a trained similar to bull fighting, but without the bull, but I could not for the life of me remember what it was called. Thanks for answering a question I didn't even have to ask LOL! It would be a lot of fun to train a horse for Working Eq, but I have no idea how to do it. I'm glad I get to follow along with you and Ashke as you learn. :)

      Also I think all horses need breaks from dressage. Riding it everyday to me would be like us lifting weights every day. Our minds and bodies need a break from it to heal and relax. :) I hope you can figure out the balance for Ashke that makes him happiest but still helps you progress in his strength building.

    3. I went and watched videos on Working Eq on Youtube and I have seen snippets of it before, but I didn't know about the phases and everything. It looks really cool! They do dress up in the Spanish attire and work in the extreme collection that I've seen used in the bullring, so similar, but not really the same thing. I'm definitely interested in learning more about it!


      It includes 10 levels of dressage in a 20 x 40 meter arena (I think this is smaller than the normal dressage ring, but not really sure). It also has Ease of Handling, which has 19 different obstacles to show case the ability of both the horse and rider. Then you do the obstacle course at speed, for the speed phase. The final part is the livestock trial. There are three phases in the individual competition, and four in the team competitions. The fourth is the livestock trial, which is similar to team penning. I know that overseas they are using this competition while they are also training the Lusitanos for bull fighting, using mechanical bulls. That might be what you were thinking of . . .

      Here is a pretty darn good article about the sport.

    5. Thanks for the articles! That probably is what I was thinking of with the Lusitanos. For a long time I thought Working Eq was just a livestock thing like team penning. I had no idea it had the other phases. :) Thanks for sharing the info. I'm going to go check them out.

  3. Yay for Sitka and Blue! Your dogs are ADORABLE!

    That sounds like a GREAT agenda!!