Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Archive for the ‘Saddle Seat’ Category

The Family That Drives Together

Driving Thursday

Greg

We borrowed from WHF (thank you!) a breastcollar with a deep V that rides higher on Milton’s shoulder and lower under his neck. Freeing up the shoulders freed up the whole horse. We are now ordering one of our own.

Katherine

My driving Milton is not a policy statement. It was an effort by husband and coach to get me in motion so that I stop whining about my recent uselessness. (Good luck with that.) At the end of the video, I am trying to aim Milton through a pair of cones. Video by Courtney Huguley.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Pondering the Hiatus

Saddle Seat Wednesday

All along, I’ve been saying that I will stay with saddle seat. So why did I feel the need to wander off [Sine Die]?

Proximate Cause
At my most recent lesson, I was offered a choice of two horses to ride, both new to me. I had no desire to ride either one. This is normal for me. I warm up slowly to new horses. Always have.

Once I got on, I just wanted it to be over. This is not normal for me, nor is it a good way to be on a horse. That’s when I decide a break was called for.

Short-Term Causes
At Mid-South this year, I had my best saddle seat show ever [Show Report]. Although I missed sweeping my classes, it was still my best show in terms of attitude and showmanship. I’ve had some great lessons. The good show and the good rides were all on Sam.

My lessons and shows with everyone else have been horrid. I’m not talking, ‘Poor me, I didn’t ride as well as I wanted.’ At ProAm [Show Report], my problems were so obvious that one of the adult novices wondered what had happened to me.

I have no explanation for that degree of difference.

Long-Term Causes
New horses. Always a weakness for me.
Mares. Ditto.
Reconciling dressage and saddle seat lessons.
Not the 6-week break over the summer. That would be logical but my terrible ride on Bingo was before and my wonderful lesson on Sam was after.

When I look back, I see this was not sudden. My saddle seat has been disintegrating since the end of Winter Tournament.
[Graduating From Sam] Riding Desi
[Show Report: Riding at ProAm 2017, or Showing Without My Security Blanket I] Showing Desi
[Styling, Or Not] Wondering Why
[Show Report: Dixie Cup 2017] Showing Mr. Whizbang
[Back To Kindergarten] Regrouping on Sam
[Where The Rot Sets In]
[Show Report: Mid-South Spring Premiere 2107, Riding] Showing Sam
[Anatomy of a Snit] Riding Bingo
[Getting a Grip, or Not] Wonder Why, again
[Getting a Grip, Proof of Concept] It works … on Sam
[Sine Die Saddle Seat] It doesn’t work

Coach Courtney thinks I am getting myself in a state about the show bridle [Different Versions of the Same Thing]. Correct, but a symptom rather than a cause.

Underlying Cause
My summer problems come from Rodney breaking my heart yet again [Recap]. To suffer disappointment, one has to have hope. I would have said I had no hope left. I would have said that any spark had been throughly stomped after all these years. Then, I look past the confusion to my gorgeous, kind, talented horse, and a small voice whispers ‘… maybe … ‘

This is an acute manifestation of a chronic situation. I’ve said it before [Nerves Update, April 2016], my problems with saddle seat won’t get fixed until I come to terms with the home team, one way or another.

I’m not gone forever, or even for now. Miss Courtney is being a huge help with Milton’s driving. I’ll start riding the new horses, and the mares, and Bingo when I get self sorted out and am safe to ride.

Bottom Line
I’ll be back. Once I get my head screwed on right.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Why Watching Milton Drive Makes Me Cranky

Enough about them [Maiden Voyage!, Milton Drives On], what about me? When we get home from a drive, I am exhausted; partly physical, mostly mental. I said as much after Kentucky [Repercussions]. Here’s why.

Base Emotions
I have never gotten clear on the difference between envy & jealousy. Maybe it’s neither. I don’t want what he has. I don’t want him not to have it. It’s more along the lines of seeing someone eat a candy bar and thinking, ‘That’s looks yummy. Can I have some?’

They Also Serve
Running around being Wonder Groom reminds me that I’m good at what I don’t want, and not good at what I do want. As a career, I should have been a barn manager, or an operating room nurse, or a theatrical dresser. You know, the person working quietly behind the scenes to make sure the rider/doctor/star has what they need to perform. Unfortunately, I have too much ego. I don’t want to be unsung support staff. I want to be center stage, whether or not I have the talent.

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
Milton is a big, gray reminder of my failure. I want to be happy that he likes driving, but he was supposed to be my riding horse, d*mm*t.

Bottom Line
So that’s me. Perky on the outside. Petty on the inside.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Sine Die Saddle Seat

Saddle Seat Wednesday

I’m taking a break from saddle seat. Yes, I do have a tendency to stomp off.

Maybe because my brilliant idea [Getting a Grip I, II] wasn’t so brilliant. My last two rides were awful.
Maybe because I’m too grumpy about my own riding. My bad temper from this spreads to everything else.
Maybe because I’m an unappreciative, lazy cow. Who knows.

All I know is that I am making myself miserable. I have to do something, even if it’s the wrong something.

I may have changed my mind by next week.

Who knows.

Now I have to figure out what to post on Wednesdays.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Fate Speaks

Call it Fate.
Call it God.
Call it the Universe.
Call it the human ability to find patterns in random noise.
Call it whatever you want, I can’t help but feel that I’m being sent a message.

Saddle seat? Absolutely. How much ya want? There are enough lesson horses at Stepping Stone Farm that I could ride a different one every day this week and still ride a new horse in the group lesson on Saturday. Suit? If I gave the word, Coach Courtney would have horses for me to try within days. Shows? I could be showing my heart out this year, if it wasn’t for …

Driving? No problem. How about two different styles in three states? Four, if you count vicarious driving in Kentucky.

Riding my horse? Riding in my discipline(s) of choice? Well …

Progress has been stalled by the horse, e.g. Rodney’s fear of his leather halter [Here We Stand]; by external circumstance, e.g. when my stirrup leather broke during Milton’s rodeo demo [Did I Piss Off the Universe and Not Notice?]; and by internal demons, e.g. my inability to cope with a second set-back [Milton Deconstructed].

The latest in the litany of obstacles.

Milton. We finally (finally, finally) get him to a contained space, only to have the driving going so well (Yay!) that we don’t want to introduce riding just yet. Greg has put in a huge amount of work with Milton. It’s only fair that he gets to reap the benefits for a while.

Rodney. Jump? No? Okay, how about DQ? So, we find a dressage instructor who works well with Rodney and who Rodney likes, only to have Rodney get problematic about shipping to lessons.

Lessons. At the few h/j barns that give school-horse lessons, there is heavy pressure to upgrade to having a horse in training. I don’t know of any event barns that have lesson horses. Even if they did, I don’t want to trot around in circles, hopping school horses over crossrails. To paraphrase Larson’s vulture, Patience my ass, I want to jump something.

BTW, That’s why the ASBs work. I don’t know from saddle seat. Therefore, the equivalent of trotting over crossrails is still amusing.

Bottom Line. I want to ride and show my own horse, one who I have worked and trained (with help) and built a relationship with. That seems to be the one thing Fate/God/the Universe is resisting.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Getting a Grip, Proof of Concept

Saddle Seat Wednesday

The situation is not as dire as I thought. Big surprise. It’s not that I don’t know how to ride the front end of a horse [Getting a Grip, or Not]. It’s that I forget.

I finally had a saddle seat lesson, after several weeks of schedule mis-match. When I kept my concentration, I found that I could feel – and fix! – when the horse dropped out of gear. I think I have been letting this happen way too often, which is a) bad riding and b) upsets the ASBs because they are not used to it. As a side benefit, thinking about keeping the horse in the correct position kept me in the correct position.

I was riding Sam, so it was a soft test. Still, it was nice to see that I could accomplish what I had been pondering.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Maiden Voyage!

The non-video version
Step 1: Courtney drove while Melissa led.

Step 2: Courtney drove.

Step 3: Greg Drove while Melissa led.

Step 4: Greg drove.

Praise and gratitude to Courtney Huguley and Melissa Croxton for their help.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott