Saturday, January 22, 2011

To The Clinic We Shall Go (assuming we're thawed out by then...)

Right now, Michigan Winter is basically making all of us her bitch. It's been like, a high of 18 with a windchill of 5 and a low of 0 the last couple days. We're supposed to have one more day of this ridiculousness before we're back up to balmy highs in the mid 20s. Miles is currently wrapped up in 2 1/2 layers, and I'm still worried about him being cold. He's been utilizing the shelter in their pasture quite a bit though, so I'm sure he's ok. It's just literally bone chilling out there.

Pretty sure is was about 3 degrees when I took this. Mr. Regal quickly turned into Mr. Giant Nostril Who Craves Treatings, as seen below.

Thus, I haven't been able to ride AGAIN since my last post. Even if I wanted to brave the cold, it's just not safe to walk Miles from the barn up the small but super ice-y hill to get to the arena. Cripes, he was slip-sliding just walking across the driveway from his pasture to the barn, and so was I. I would just feel awful if something happened walking him up there, so we will have to wait until we either get more snow to cover the ice or we get a thaw, le siiiiiigh.

I've still been going out and feeding him his beet pulp/alfalfa mash and trying to do as much as I can with him in the barn-stretches and whatnot. Ah, speaking of, remember how I was super gung-ho about teaching him the Spanish Walk? Yeah, we're putting that on hold. Mr. Smarty Pants is now lifting a leg every time he sees me with a treat. He's not pawing (yet) but I really don't want to turn him into a's an annoying habit and not cool. So, if and when we resume training on this particular trick, I've decided to do it in the arena only, never in the barn. Stupid smart Thoroughbred!

Finally, in "It's about time!" news, Miles and I are going to be getting our first official instruction, hooray! My barn is having Cheri Theis, USDF L Judge out to do a clinic. I've never heard of her but she has a pretty impressive background, and people seem to speak highly of her. If you know anything else about her feel free to email me. I think this will be sooooo helpful to Miles and me. The clinic isn't until the end of March, so that will give us time to thaw out and get in regular work, and hopefully try him in either the Myler bit or a bitless bridle. I'd love to get feedback on my position, work on our transitions, particularly canter transitions and the right canter depart. If any Michigan peeps are interested in trailering in, lemme know and I'll send you the details.

Anyway, that's the big blah blah update for now. There's just not much to say when you're basically going out to the barn to feed your horse and that's it. Though Miles likes it. He likes it a lot.

Miles Giant Schnoz hypnotizes you into feeding many treatings....cripes, how can you NOT look at that thing!


  1. Not much riding going on around here either - hoping we'll get a day or two in next week. The dressage clinic sounds very exciting!

  2. Little chilly here, too! Taking a clinic is a great idea; something to look forward to and something to kick start spring. That Miles is one handsome guy.... :-)

  3. -15F here this morning, so yeah, not riding much here either. The clinic sounds exciting, at least it gives you something to look forward to, and a reminder that this cold will end.

  4. Awww--I hope the clinic goes well, dress warm!!!

  5. Not much riding going on here either. We don't have snow but I ride in an outdoor arena. It's been too darn wet. Can't wait for spring.

    The clinic sounds cool. I have learned so much from clinics. They are a great tool.

  6. It is VERY cold here! Haven't done much riding; I've had lots of shivering horses and I'm working on locating blankets for Lucy. Stupid winter:(

    Have fun at the clinic!

  7. Hooray clinic!! You guys will do awesome.

  8. Thursday will make a week without riding for us - I think it will be fit to ride by then. We had a surprise snowstorm over the weekend and yesterday the cold rain started. I know you guys have it so much worse but heck - I (supposedly) live in the south!

    The clinic is something good to look forward to. Hope you get to ride soon :) Love the pictures!

  9. Laughing at your amazing pawing Spanish Walk horse... I love how sometimes you're teaching a horse something, and you leave off wondering what you just did. You're like, wow, I either just taught them a bad habit or a good one...

  10. That's so cool that you and Miles are going to do the clinic! I kind of wish it was later in the spring. I'd love to do it with Cody, but March is way too soon. Even if she is rideable by March, throwing her into a clinic and asking her to walk, trot, canter, and collect is completely unfair to her after being out of commission for an entire year. I'd be asking for injuries. Oh well, maybe next year. I can at least come and watch everyone. I guess I could do it with Lady, but she's really not a dressage horse, not remotely. Reiner, maybe, in her younger years, but dressage, definitely not. lol!

    If you're interested, Clinton Anderson did a nice article a while back in his No Worries Club magazine on teaching the spanish walk. If you'd like to read it, let me know, and you can borrow it or I can see if I can photocopy it for you.

    I had to chuckle when Ron was here, I put Miles in the crossties so he could go first, and Ron and I were standing in front of him talking for a bit, and Miles kept reaching out and sniffing at us or poking us with his nose, then he started picking his feet up and holding them up. Ron was like "another pawer" (teasing me because of Cody). I was like "no, I think he's bored with our talking and decided to show us his spanish walk." lol!