Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I had some really wonderful dressage rides with Gatsby last weekend. I have only been able to ride on weekends lately which has been a major bummer but when our rides are great I don't mind so much:)

Saturday he went straight into a stretchy trot after our walk work which completely surprised me, he NEVER does that! We did two sets of stretching trot and then some light dressage work. He had one nutso moment when the golf cart came by but over all really well-behaved. Even stood quietly while I chatted with a friend! Super pony!!!

Sunday was even better. We did our walk work and a bit of stretching and went straight to work. At first he was a bit resistant to working and spooking at every little thing so I had to put my big girl pants on and make him work. He is a very funny horse to ride because 50% of the time I need to give him a very sensitive ride or else he gets all flustered and won't do anything I ask but then the other 50% of the time he responds really well to a more forceful ride. Sunday was definitely the latter. I decided to throw my position to the dogs and just get him to do some nice work. I had my outside hand low and to the side and my inside elevated and slightly across his neck and some serious LEG ON! And what do you know, he responded amazingly! We ended our ride with some, if not the best trot work I have ever done on him!!!! He definitely seems to be coming back from his injury stronger which is super exciting.

After that hard workout he got some liniment rubs and ice boots and lots of treats and kisses.

It is scheduled to rain this weekend so my plan was to ride Tues/Weds in the morning but I somehow tweaked my neck and now cannot turn my head to the right so I figured probably safest not to ride. Hoping it stays dry for at least long enough for me to do some hacks this weekend.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Long Weekend Love

Long weekends are my favorite (along with everyone else, I'm sure). This past one did not disappoint!

George surprised me at work for lunch on Friday (Valentine's Day) with chocolate covered strawberries, flowers, and a lunch date at our favorite restaurant. I had a pretty hectic week so we spent the evening in with take-out Thai food and the Olympics, pretty much heaven to me!

Saturday I slept in a bit, did some laundry and headed out to the barn (finally!). Gatsby was, as expected, a total nutcase and had already worked himself into a sweat before I even tacked up. I threw on some draw reins for good measure and hopped on. I am not someone who loves using "devices" on a regular basis but they do serve their purpose and at times can be very helpful. Lately I have been using the draw reins fairly often to try and get Gats to work over his back more (very difficult when he is so amped) and to start to rebuild his topline. They are immensely helpful in getting him to actually do some productive work on days like Saturday when he would have liked to be absolutely crazy. He still has his moments but overall, much more contained. My favorite thing about using them is that it is the only time I can actually get him to have a really nice free walk, something that is very difficult for him to comprehend.

We want this!
Saturday night was spent catching up on some TV shows, folding laundry and finishing up the second book in the Ender's Games series, Speaker for the Dead (highly recommend). Another perfect evening in.

Sunday we took Sirius to the dog beach where he had the absolute best time. There were tons of people and dogs out and I always enjoy seeing all the different breeds. He is still not so sure about the ocean but absolutely loves running around and making friends. Headed to the barn afterwards, Gatsby was pretty tired from the heat and his big workout on Saturday. I tried out a friends custom dressage saddle, super comfy to sit in but not so much for actual riding. Made it through our trot sets, gave Gatsby a mini-bath, iced and headed home.
About as far in the water as Sirius will willingly get.
Was planning on riding again yesterday but his leg has been looking so good with the extra time off that I didn't want to push it with three rides in a row. I went to Bikram Yoga and lunch with some friends instead, walked Sirius and played with Kanye a bit. Gotta admit, I have some awesome animals.

This morning I was going to wake up early and ride but between the new saddle, Bikram and sleeping funny I seem to have seriously tweaked my left hip/sacrum and have been limping around all day. Heading home for some ice and netflix and crossing my fingers it will be better tomorrow. Gatsby gets another day off but I think I might wake up early and do something with baby Kanye.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Missing My Pony

I have not seen Gatsby in almost two weeks:( This is ultra depressing because I have actually been home the entire time. But between getting sick (multiple times) and having to come in to work early/stay late, I just haven't been able to get out there. I feel pretty guilty about it but I am trying to focus on all the attention I will be giving him over this three day weekend! (Which I refuse to work on even though I know my boss will ask).

Also, Tack of the Day had a great sale on BoT today so, after reading Hillary and L's reviews I jumped on the chance to get some steals. I purchased a dressage pad and polos but am seriously considering the hock books and back brace (human) also.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Big News!!

Not horse related but I have some very big news to share with you all.

I have just officially given notice at my job. This was a difficult decision for me because their are many aspects of my job that I really enjoy but, overall, it is not what I want a career in and therefore, not the right fit for me. I have decided to go back to school to get a Master's in Marketing (ahem, any advice would be welcome Nicku) which is a field I have been interested in since I graduated from UCSB.

For the immediate future, my plans are to stay at my current job until the end of April, spend May in the UK spectating at Badminton, looking at a couple schools, interning at Rapanui Clothing and meeting my new niece or nephew. I will spend the first half of June traveling with George before coming home to plan out my next steps but they will either involve doing some temp work or finding an entry-level Marketing position in SB.

The downside of this is that is six weeks that I will be away from the ponies. That is definitely going to be difficult but I think it is important to pursue all of my passions/interests. I'm sure they will still love me when I return.

xoxo, Elena

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January Re-Cap/February Goals

Well I really bit off more than I could chew with my January goals. Between work and getting sick I definitely didn't fit in as much as I had hoped I would. Fingers crossed February works out better but also sticking to fewer, and simpler, goals.

January Re-Cap


  • Successfully move up to 20 minutes of trot-work by the end of the month.
    • Sort of success. This did happen but it was officially on February 2nd...
  • Start to re-develop muscles and fitness.
    • This is a work in progress for sure. I have started riding him with draw reins on some of rides which is definitely helping. Right not we are not cleared for any hill-work or poles so that is definitely limiting.
  • Lots of lateral work at the walk. I'd really like to improve our technique here and get everything going correctly before we start asking for it at the trot again.
    • Definite success here. I alternate between using our long walks for hacks around the property and for serious dressage work. Gats seems to be responding well to both options.
  • Be able to do our trot-work on the track with NO explosions.
    • Don't know if this is ever going to happen. We have done our trot-work on the track a few times so far and to be fair, he hasn't been awful. Considering there are explosions even when we are in the arena I think this is a pretty big stretch.


  • Learn to ground-drive.
    • FAIL.
  • Start work on the lunge line with the faux-ssoa system.
    • FAIL.
  • Make progress on pony rides, NO BITING!
    • FAIL.
Kanye really got hit with the brunt of my busy-ness over the last month. On the days I was able to make time to work with them it was usually only enough time for one so Kanye got relegated to a few hand walks and lots of treats, I don't think he minded to be honest. I did sit on him for the first time though! It was very brief and very tackless but he had a great attitude about it!

February Goals

  • Be ready to move up to 30 minutes of trot-work by the end of the month.
  • Work on relaxation/stretching at the walk and trot. Really get that back swinging!
  • Straightness! This is a great time to get us on track in this area while we don't have much else to focus on.
  • Actually ground-drive!
  • Lunge in the faux-ssoa at least once!
  • Maybe try some more pony rides or two short actual rides?!?!!?