Monday, August 31, 2015


One of my least favorite things about horseback riding is the amount of gear needed.  My trainer likes me to lunge before lessons to loosen Cupid up, and establish light contact with the side reins.  So between Cupid and myself we need the following:
-saddle (Stubben Portos)
-saddle pad (Roma all purpose)
-half pad (Thinline, just switched from sheepskin)
-girth (ancient)
-fleece girth cover (because he has thin skin)
-side reins (leather w/ rubber donut)
-lunge line (I use a thick cotton one)
-breastplate w/ running martingale attachment (HDR)
-gloves (ancient & need to be replaced)
-helmet (Ovation)
-lunge whip (courtesy of my sister)
-bridle (Plymouth w/ flash noseband; Myler comfort snaffle)
Once the jumps get bigger we'll probably add boots for Cupid.  Hauling it all out and putting it on is just once problem, I also try to clean everything most weekends.  Sometimes I like to just go on strike and clip some reins onto Cupid's halter and nothing else!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Cupid sees his chiropractor about every other month.  I'm sure most non-horse people would think I'm insane if they knew that!  I don't know how much it helps him, but since he carries me around on his back I feel it's the least I can do for him. 
It's always interesting to hear where the chiropractor finds trouble spots.  This time she said his neck was a little out on the right side, his pelvis was rotated up to the right, and left hamstring tighter than the right because he pushes off more with his left leg.  She also noted some sensitivity in his back.  We checked the saddle fit, which looked okay, so I ordered a thinline shock absorbing pad which might make him more comfortable.
The chiropractor was happy to see that Cupid has put on a lot of muscle and that his topline is improving. 

Monday, August 24, 2015


We took the plunge and got a dressage saddle!  It is a Passier Nicole Grand Gilbert, lightly used and in excellent condition.  I've only ridden in a dressage saddle a few times (Dee and I borrowed one for a while) so I need to get used to it but it felt comfortable and I think I was sitting more upright.  This saddle does not really force you in position, it does not have the huge thigh blocks or super deep seat.  The seller kindly gave me the stirrups, girth, and a few pads to got with it so all we need now is a black bridle.
Coincidentally someone moved all the dressage markers from the arena and they were sitting outside.  Cupid thought this was kind of scary!  He shied walking by.  Even from the inside of the arena he was giving it the eye.  But we had a nice ride, and did a few canter figure 8s with a simple lead change.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Back in Training

Cupid and I had a nice little break from heavy duty training, but it's time to get serious again. 
Our first lesson back we reviewed the basics, then did a little jumping for the first time in about 2 months.  We started with a pile of poles, and Cupid leaped over them exuberantly the first few times.  Then he remembered it's no big deal and was calm.  We did little crossrails and a small brush box, just 12"-18".  Cupid was very good!  I still need to work on not leaning too far ahead coming into the jumps, plus I have a bad habit of dropping my right rein after the jump!  Definitely not something I can get away with when galloping around a course so I really need to work on that!!

Our lucky day - we found a 5 leaf clover!
This morning we had a lesson on the flat.  I lunged Cupid a bit before our lesson, and he was super lazy.  However a little after I got on him he suddenly found a lot of energy.  We were trotting on a circle, and we picked up a canter once so after that Cupid decided that is the "canter depart point" and would pick up a canter every time we got there.  He picked it up really smooth and it was a nice canter, but my trainer reminded me if I didn't ask for it then I need to pull him up right away.  Then once he got a little quick and I thought he was going to run away with me so I kind of pointed him at the arena fence to stop.  I think I overreacted. 
We worked on leg yielding from a canter - we started on the rail and were supposed to go through a set of cones set about 10 feet off the rail then go back onto the rail.  The first few times was rough, but I did it a few times at the trot and then Cupid figured out what I was asking for and was pretty good.  It is easier getting him to move off the right leg then the left.  We both got a good workout and were tired at the end of the lesson.
Cats bring their owners dead mice - Cupid brought me a big spiky shrub!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Quick Update

Cupid and I have been working on getting back into shape, continuing with riding outside the ring, lunging over caveletti, and his stretches.  We will resume working with our trainer soon, we would have already but he's been busy with some shows. 
Caught him napping!
Yesterday when I rode Cupid it was very foggy, which makes him a little more spooky.  He was good walking by a new water trough, but got startled by another horse and someone shaking out a blanket.  When he gets startled it kind of feels like his legs just come out from under him, all of the sudden he gets a foot shorter.  If it's really bad he spins, luckily he didn't do that.

This morning I lunged him and he was pretty naughty.  He was good going to the left, but when we switched to the right he didn't want to go over the caveletti and kept running out.  After a few times I put another, higher caveletti angled to the side.  The first time he tried to run out and had to jump over it, after that he decided it was easier to just go over the lower caveletti.  But I did have a little bit of trouble keeping him on the circle, and he got loose once I accidentally let go of the line.  He ran bucking down to the end of the arena, luckily he didn't trip on the lunge line.  I made him go over a few times and he was good so we called it a day.  He might be a little sore tomorrow from the exertion and banging into the caveletti.

He gets in all sorts of awkward situations trying to get food

Eating something spiky