Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Finally another update!

Hello to all my faithful readers who I've disappointed time and time again!

I'm going to finish up posting the day to day descriptions. I'm drafting them up from my journal and lecture notes so bear with me if they aren't as detailed as before.

Happy reading!

Day 61 Tuesday March 5th 2013

Had a lesson with Allyn Schiavone who is an equitation specialist. She picked away at my equitation and I felt like an actual dressage rider at the end of the lesson, it was fabulous! 

In the morning hours we spent some time at Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven's stable. Shes a dutch rider that has been very successful in the US this year.
Watching her and her horse Don Auriello school was really awesome, hes quite an amazing horse. For anyone that hasn't seen him, go look him up on youtube!
She talked a lot on progression of movements, taking some of the higher level movements and making the super simple than gradually making them more and more difficult to keep the horses fresh.

Day 62 Wednesday March 6th 2013

Worked on my own for the most part today.  Focused on what Allyn gave me to work on the day before. Tee was fantastic and we worked on a lot of canter and counter canter also halts, reinbacks and walk-canters.
Our lecturer was Arlene White who is a physiotherapist.
She talked to us about muscles and muscle memory. Also awareness of the hind legs and exercises we can do with our horses to heighten the awareness.

Day 63 Thursday March 7th 2013

I had another lesson with Allyn Schiavone today.
Worked on the things we found in our lesson together, and then built on it. Really focused on my hands/arms and their effectiveness.
We had a discussion with Lauren Sammis in the afternoon. She is an international dressage competitor and represented the USA in the PanAmerican games winning both Gold and Silver medals.
She talked to us about her sales business and how it works. And emphasized the difference between show, training and sales riding.

Day 64 Friday March 8th 2013

 Hooray for hack days!
We had a lecture with Bonnie Stetson on massage techniques and then she gave us a demo on Currasage.
Then current events in the afternoon!

Day 65 Saturday March 9th 2013

Rode on my own today since Lendon flew to NY for the weekend.
Tee was noticeably lame in his R front today (no heat or swelling) think it was due to bad shoeing job by the previous farrier I used in FL. So I called another farrier out to take a look at him.
In the afternoon we had a lecture with Maryanna Hayman who is well versed in breeding and bloodlines. I took about 3 pages worth of notes, she was SUPER informative!

Day 66 Sunday March 10th 2013

Not much to write about today.

Tee was still off, so Jaimie Topinka-Nunn let me ride her I-1 horse Eden Roc. He was a ton of fun and I learned a lot :-)
No lecture.

Day 67 Monday March 11th 2013
 The second farrier I asked to come out was able to make it today. He spent about 2 hours working on Tee's feet. 
Sore to the hoof tester on R front on inside. Think the soreness is from the unevenness of trimming from the last farrier.
I worked at Still Point in the afternoon.
In the evening WIT hosted a Youth Dressage Party at Hampton Green Farm that was open to any youth in the Wellington area. After some awesome food and socializing we headed out to the front field for an intense game of kickball (with the help of some headlights)

Day 68 Tuesday March 12th 2013

Only hand walked Tee today so he could get use to the new changes in his feet.
Watched lessons for most of the morning, everyone looked fantastic!
At 3:30 we all headed to Global to watch the Ride and Learn clinic that Debbie MacDonald was teaching. There were so many really nice horses, we are so lucky to be able to see some of the amazing talent and horses that are down here.

Day 69 Wednesday March 13th 2013

Again watched lessons in the morning.
Lecture with Beth Baumert.
No changes in Tee's soundness, only hand walked him today.

Day 70 Thursday March 14th 2013

Watched lessons in the morning (I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, jeesh.) 
We all went to Global for a few hours to watch the national show that was going on then the FEI jog.
Lunch and Learn about bits and bit fitting. Then back to Global to watch Jenny and Grace show.

Again, no change in Tee's soundness. Hand walked again. 

Day 71 Friday March 15th 2013

I bet you can guess what I did in the morning, you got it: watched lessons.
Went with Lendon and Eleni to a small stable to ride a little jumper gelding. He was such a cutie and so much fun to ride!
Current events at 11:45
At 3:30 we went back to Global for a Young Riders meeting with Jeremy Steinberg.
No change in Tee.

 Day 72 Saturday March 16th 2013

Anyone that has been reading about the previous days will know what I did for most of the morning.
For lunch Eleni and I went to the VIP tent at the Global showgrounds and ate lunch with Lendon and watched most of the other WITees show.
Still  no change in Tee.
No lecture.

That is all for now. I only have about 10 days left to blog about. I can assure you that the next few days are filled with lots and lots of good news though! :-)

Thanks to all my faithful readers, I appologize if this is super boring.
 I'm not the best writer from memory and notes. 

In till another rainy day,
Allyssia & Tee

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cannot appologize enough!

Hi everyone!

I honestly cannot apologize enough for falling off the face of the earth.

Within the next week I'll be posting the rest of what I had written in my journal for the month of March and then fill you guys in on whats been going on since I've been home.
When I finish with this blog I'll be creating another for Display and myself (can't remember if I've mentioned him yet??) while we are in New Jersey.

My apologezes!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Days 52-60

Hi Guys!
Everything has been so crazy around here so I apologize for not posting sooner!

Day 52 Sunday February 24th 2013
Worked on stretching and started to bed just SLIGHTLY outside to soften Tee’s jaw. In doing this I discovered that the left side of his jaw is almost always locked so, we incorporated the small bend into all the movements that we’ve been working on. About halfway through the ride Tee stumbled from a lack of paying attention and balance and fell to his stomach, he tumbled for a few steps before righting himself and in the process he smashed his face off the ground. After letting him walk I tried picking him back up on the aids but his mouth was super sore so we quit.
We had a lecture/interactive session in the afternoon with Judy Westlake from Maine about the Balimo Stool. Anyone that would like to improve their seat should check it out!
Day 53 Monday February 25th 2013
Day off! But no rest for the wicked!
I worked for Mica once again and also hand walked 2 other horses from Stillpoint’s main barn!
Day 54 Tuesday February 26th 2013
Today I rushed Tee a bit in our warm up because I tried to get him to where he was on Sunday from the very beginning, big mistake! After I backed off and stretched him Walk/Trot and Canter he relaxed some and we were able to make progress. Discovered that I ride better/ Like to ride without stirrups!
In the afternoon we had a lecture with Physiotherapist Joelle Steyt on Performance analysis.
Day 55 Wednesday February 27th 2013
Began with stretching because I learned my lesson from the day before! Once again worked on making him more supple in all of the movements then schooled canter transitions with the draw rein through the bit because I kind of let the quality of those slip a bit.
Throughout the day all of us WITees had a “Biocording” session; it’s a sort of low impact stretching. I recommend looking it up! Also we had a lecture with Don Later who is a world renowned farrier.
Day 56 Thursday February 28th 2013
Really worked on getting canter transitions, lateral and trot lengthenings solid.
Lectures: James N. MacLeod on Stem cell Therapy, discussion with Olympian Melanie Taylor and EHV-1 FYI with a local vet.
Day 57 Friday March 1st 2013
Instead of taking a hack day a few of us had a jumping lesson in the field with Melanie Taylor! We worked on adjusting the horses strides, counting exercises and shifting the horse’s weight forward and back then did some trot poles and small jumps!
Lecture with Phil Silva on how to handle/do an FEI vet jog and general horse handling.
Day 58 Saturday March 2nd 2013
Tee was a superstar today! Was very ride able and willing to do anything I asked. Canter transistions were really great without the draw rein and the lateral was pretty flawless. Started really working on Walk-Canters and Canter-Walks!
Lecture with Phil Silva on judging sport horse conformation.
Day 59 Sunday March 3rd 2013
One of the other WIT girls was having really bad back pain so Lendon asked if it was OK if I rode her mare and she agreed!  We didn’t do anything exciting because she was a lot different from Tee so she took some getting used to. Tee got the day off!
Lecture with Lisa Schidt who is and “R” judge currently finishing the “S” program. She talked a bit about the different judging levels and what the requirements are for each.
Day 60 Monday March 4th 2013
Same routine as last Monday!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Day 48-51

 Hello all!
As promised I didn't wait so long to post another blog! I can't believe February is almost over!
Happy reading!

 Day 48 Wednesday February 20th 2013
I pushed Tee a little too much in my lesson with Koryn the day before so he was pretty slow to loosen/ warm up. We had a light ride just touching base on all the things we had been working on.
Around noon we all went to The Sanctuary at the WEF show grounds. The staff showed us each piece of therapeutic equipment they use. We were able to use the “Magna wave” wand on ourselves to see what it felt like, it was sort of like a gentle “shock” almost that makes the muscles contract then relax. The “Leg Spa” was next, its sort of like a shallow pool. The water temperature was approx. 36* mixed with a solution of Epsom and sea salts, it is used to cool the horses legs down after a jump round or work instead of icing the legs. Interestingly enough the legs stay cold for 2-3 hours afterwards. Next was the water treadmill, the horses walk onto it then the operators fill it with water, gradually higher as the horse is more experienced and use to walking on it. It’s a great way for them to exercise on hot days or for horses that have injuries because it has such low impact. Then we were able to stand on the vibration plates, this sort of therapy increases hoof/cell growth and improves blood flow to muscle/tissues.

Day 49 Thursday February 21st 2013
We had another schooling show today! I showed Tee in First 3 twice. Our first test was pretty bad, Tee was spooky and just all around incompliant, we scored a 52%. Our second test was better but still pretty tight and so we earned a 56%.
At 4 we had a workout with Betsy Steiner, she introduced us to equilates: a pilates program specifically designed for riders. I encourage anyone that wants to better their riding to check it out!

Day 50 Friday February 22nd 2013
 Gave Tee today off so that he could recuperate.
Went to the beach with a few of the WIT girls, it was a lovely day minus the MAJOR sunburn I achieved.
Day 51 February 23rd 2013
I started getting dizzy in the middle of the night and it just got worse throughout the day. I opted not to ride because I was so out of it so I studied some required reading that our test tomorrow is on instead.
In the afternoon I was able to watch Courtney teach and watch Mica ride one of the other girl’s mare which was nice!

In till next time bloggers! Enjoy the snow!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 35-47

Hi all!
I am alive I promise! The past week has been crazy and any spare time Jenny & I have had we spent at the gym!

Day 35 Thursday February 7th 2013
During my lesson we worked on lateral work, basically just getting comfortable with it. We didn’t work on much in the canter due to the quantity and quality of the trot work. Halfway through my ride Lendon asked Molly to teach me a bit, she had me work on transitions in the shoulder-in and such to make the movements more ride able and adjustable.
At noon we had a eat and learn lecture with a woman from Adequan at the jumper show grounds, then at 3 we had a discussion with one of the local fire fighters on fire safety.

Day 36 Friday February 8th 2013
Friday was a hack day but I gave Tee the day off to rest. I scribed for some judges that were practice judging at the Jim Brandon show grounds. I’m pretty sure it is safe to say that I am now a professional scribe :-P
We had 2 discussions, one was with 18 year old Olympic show jumper Reed Kessler and the other was current events with Theresa. In the evening a few of us WITees went to a local paintball field and let loose!!

Day 37 Saturday February 9th 2013
Again we worked on the lateral again, getting it quite and consistent.  Did A LOT of counter canter so that we could get more confident and comfortable with it. Tee is becoming more noticeably off behind, nothing major but it shows up most in lengthening and canter transitions where he really has to sit on his hind end. Lendon recommended buteing him as an experiment to see if it was joint soundness or more muscular tiredness.
Scribed at Jim Brandon again for the I1 and Grand Prix tests, the Grand Prix tests were pretty hard to keep up with but luckily I had an amazing judge!

Day 38 Sunday February 10th 2013
Tee was sore to the touch all over his body today, even kicked me while grooming which is defiantly out of character for him. I walked him for about 15 minutes before our lesson then once we got to work he was SO stiff and avoided stepping under with his right hind. Due to the severity of his soreness I just stretched him for 10ish minutes at the walk and trot then quit and gave him a nice bath in liniment. At 3PM the group had a test on anatomy of the horse including bones, tendons, joints and ligaments.

Day 39 Monday February 11th 2013
Worked at Mica’s for most of the afternoon taking care of her client’s 2 ponies and her 2 horses, I basically just had to do feeding, stalls, turnout, hand walking etc.

Day 40 Tuesday February 12th 2013
Our morning consisted of watching 2 Spanish Olympians ride: Juan Manuel and Daniel Martin. They flew over to the states for the PRE party that I will talk more about later.
Before my lesson I noticed Tee’s stifles looked a little swollen, after some investigation I discovered that that is where his pain was mostly coming from. I spoke with Lendon and she said that stifle issues are majority of the time just a strength issue so we would watch him closely to see if they get progressively worse. Although he did start off really well soreness wise during our ride about halfway through he began being slightly balky when I would sit the trot. Lendon recommended that I try riding in a “real” saddle. After switching saddles and giving him a few minutes to warm up to the new saddle he was so much better!
In the afternoon we had sort of a question and answer time with Juan Manuel and Daniel Martin about their life in Spain and Olympic experience.

Day 41 Wednesday February 13th 2013
Some of the WITees were able to ride with the Spaniards in the morning so I was able to audit. Their teaching styles were pretty unique so it was fun to watch.
Had a pretty great lesson with Lendon, worked on lateral, counter canter and improving the FORWARD. All of this was done stirrup-less which was pretty rough considering I had never seriously ridden without stirrups before. Worked on the canter transitions and slightly opening my fingers during it so that I wouldn’t tighten y hand and pull on Tee’s face. Also started to school some turns on the haunches.
In the evening we were invited to go to the PRE party at the global dressage show grounds. The goal of the evening was to educate and bring awareness to the Spanish horses. The night was filled with demo rides, great Spanish food and some Spanish dancers from a local elementary school. I think everyone enjoyed being “transported” to a different culture/country for the evening!

Day 42 Thursday February 14th 2013
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope everyone had a fantastic day with their loved ones or for those of you that are single I hope you enjoyed the freedom of being single on such an obnoxious “holiday”!
For the first time since arriving here we had our very first day of pouring rain (I’m not complaining!) So as you can guess we wasted no time getting down to business during our lesson. Today was another torturous day of no stirrups during lateral, canter and lengthening work J Lendon helped us with the timing of the canter-walk. Tee was fantastic and felt great!!
In the afternoon we were able to go and watch the grand prix class at the global dressage showgrounds.

Day 43 Friday February 15th 2013
After chores and feeding we started our day off correctly with a workout with Andrea Landis. Then we went to the global to watch some tests of the level we are schooling so that we could kinda see what our tests should look like and mistakes others make. While at global we met in the VIP tent for a lecture with Jenny van Wieren about USEF high performance.  Later at the barn I went on a hack with my roommate then off to the gym we went!

Day 44 Saturday February 16th 2013
In the morning we went back to global to watch some of the WIT girls that were showing. Congrats to everyone on the fantastic job they all did!!
In the afternoon I rode with Andrea. We mostly worked on going consistently forward and having Tee accept a heavier contact.

Day 45 Sunday February 17th 2013
Twas the day of arctic weather in Wellington, Florida! It got down to a whopping 45* for 2 nights straight which is un-fun when you haven’t packed any winter clothing!  All of us WITees stood in the frigid cold ( :-P ) while watching a few of the other WITs show again in the international show ring!
During our lesson we worked on little lengthenings in the canter, mostly just going forward and coming back. He was really tough on my hand and pretty fussy. When I asked Lendon about this she told me I was expecting more out of him and he didn’t like it very much, so I back off and as advised by Lendon took the degree of expectancy back to what it was a week ago and Tee settled down nicely. Once he was settled I was able to build him back up to more difficult counter canters and improving the canter within the true canter and the counter canter. Also started to incorporate turns on the haunches and walk to canters.
At 4PM we had a discussion with Lendon about double bridles. Then Lendon asked Nick if I could ride his horse which he agreed to. She wanted me to ride something with bigger movement than Tee to see how a fancier horse feels. I had a lot of fun and did learn quite a bit! Thanks Nick!

Day 46 Monday February 18th 2013
I worked for Mica again today. Not much to write about, it was a pretty low key day! Although our group potluck was pretty exciting, it was breakfast for dinner night! Pjs were mandatory J

Day 47 Tuesday February 19th 2013
I had a lesson with Koryn Staehling who is Courtney King-Dye’s assistant. She was a fantastic teacher and I feel like we really got somewhere in our lesson. We worked on keeping a lot of bend so that the right amount of bend is easy, changes of bend through a 3 loop serpentine to help Tee settle then we worked on the canter. We worked on getting Tee to go absolutely forward from the very beginning of the transition. I think our big breakthrough was when she encouraged me to keep pushing him even through his little buck fits, after that it was miraculous how steady he got and how willing he was to go forward and even lengthen! It made since to think of it as he was carrying me forward instead of in an upwards direction. She also had me try a different way of picking him up from the free walk to medium walk: bending him slightly right then slightly left, slowly and gradually so that he accepts the contact and bend and doesn’t really notice the change.
In the afternoon we had a lecture with Betsy LaBelle from dressage daily on media training! We had a sort of mock media conference with made up scenarios to test are ability to come up with positive answers on the spot and our stock answers.

So sorry for not updating in like 12 days! I hope this post makes up for it! On word its 4 full pages and 1,700 words.
I promise I won’t ever go this long without posting again!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Days 29-34

 Looks like this is my first post of February, hope everyone is still reading! I apologize for not updating sooner!

Day 29 Friday February 1st (!!) 2013
Hack day! A group of us decided to take our horses out in to the front field and do some pole/jump work. I galloped Tee for a bit then even jumped him. He did surprisingly well and (anyone that REALLY knows him knows that he just crashes through jumps without a care) actually jumped!
In the afternoon we had another current events discussion with Theresa  on the Islamic religion and the middle east.
After our current events we had a little conference call with Lendon. During which she announced the top scores from our re-taken written test on the training scale, the top scorers won tickets to the Grand Prix Freestyle that was going on that evening. We even got dinner and boy was it fancy!

Day 30 Saturday February 2nd 2013
If I could give a title to this lesson it would probably be: "Discovering crookedness, beginning to fix it and becoming frustrated in the process"
 We started using shoulder-in to help with crookedness then used shoulder-fore (slight shoulder-in) in the walk-trot and canter to help correct his shoulder from falling out. Lendon warned that once I felt the crookedness it would become frustrating and I would probably obsess over trying to make him straight and she was correct! Although everything started working and Tee wasn't so frustrated/confused I was able to find my outside aids and become a bit more tactful. Also worked on stretching and being consistent in leg yields and a few extensions.
No lecture, but did go to the Global showgrounds to watch a couple of the WIT girls ride their JR/YR tests.

Day 31 Sunday February 3rd 2013
Again worked on shoulder-fore in Walk-trot and canter (told you I'm becoming obsessed with it!).
We introduced haunches-in with no issues or fussiness unlike what would happen in the past. Also tried a bit of halfpass in the walk and that was also successful. 
Lendon and I discussed some of the First level test 3 movements towards the end of our lesson. We tried the lateral trot work found in that test and besides some rider errors it went pretty well. She wants us to start seriously schooling those movements along with shallow counter canter serpentine, changes of lead through trot on a serpentine, rein-backs and walk pirouettes. Let the fun begin!!! :-)

Day 32 Monday February 4th 2013 
 Day off! Not much to write about except I got to sleep in :-P because I had been sick for the past couple of days and I still had my sleep in day that I won from the last written test, I decided to try to catch up on some sleep and beat my cold. 
Jenny and I also joined a local gym so that we can be a bit more serious about our work outs and conditioning.

Day 33 Tuesday February 5th 2013

Worked in the field over some cavalettis of different hights.
Began schooling some counter canter and changes of lead through the trot. Both of which were super messy at first but got a bit better as we went on. Also addressed the over bending issue to the right which is part of the crookedness issue. By bending a horse to much to the inside it puts more weight onto the outside shoulder, in most cases causing the shoulder to fall out. 
Even though it was a semi crappy ride I still think Tee has improved A LOT his ride ability, softness and overall temperament have come a long way.
 In the after noon we went over to Janne Rumbough's farm where she talked to us about her small breeding program. The head of her breeding program is her fantastic PRE stallion Gaucho III. She showed us some of his off-spring and talked a bit about stallion behavior.

Day 34 Wednesday February 6th 2013
I'll be riding perfect shoulder-ins, renvers and haunches-in in my sleep tonight, Tee was fantastic and did all those lateral movements like a star! We also tried some trot half passes, canter halfpass, counter canter and walk-canters. Now don't get to excited because those weren't that terrific but we got them done!
We have a few minor issues to deal with with Tee, Lendon has pointed out that hes a bit off behind and has been since he arrived, so tomorrow I will probably find him a joint supplement to see if something along those lines will help.
After watching Jennifer Marchand's lesson with Lendon we had a group chat with Lendon to discuss the weekends plans and other fun things :-)

I hope everyone up North is prepared for the 2ft+ of snow we are predicted to get! I love how I still say "we are predicted to get" even though I'm in Florida, might I mention its also currently 75* and I have a pretty awesome tan ;-)

Thanks for reading everyone!
Stay warm!