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run, riding, matter of the heart


for giggles i ran a mile on a treadmill today. pace overall was my usual 10m/m, but i did about four intervals of 1 minute at 9mph/6:40 pace, which is way fast for me. going to keep trying that maybe??


i haven't just got on and ridden in ages. everything is warming up stjarni for a student, or checking out falki's right bend for a student, or doing halt/walk transitions to demonstrate for a student on baby o. this is fun and useful, but it would probably do me and my boys some good to get in some "us time"....

i've been using the metaphor of the communal organism/centaur more and more with my students in the last year, and am increasingly pleased with it. maybe i'll write some of it down sometime? i asked a student about it and she said "it's not always applicable as soon as you say it, but it stays in my mind and always turns out to be useful at some point" and one can't ask for better than that.


my resting pulse had been climbing steadily since november (politics? maybe) going from a bit under 50 to the mid-70s, which was quite troubling. a couple days ago i took some propranolol for unrelated reasons, and my pulse dropped back to 47. right now it's 59, which isn't bad. something i will keep an eye on, and possibly try to manage with beta blockers if it stays weirdly high. (yes, i have an appointment with my gp on the horizon, but i do believe that none of this is extraordinary enough for medical intervention at any observed level.)

happy new year, gingicat!

may you enjoy much excellent media and fansquee this year <3


i swear i thought that would NEVER happen.


the circus animals' return

0. sometimes you have just the perfect spotter and things come together. today i did four press-up straddle handstands, thanks to a classmate! this is joy.

1. i've been riding both my ponies, and i always feel like not enough for either.

2. stjarni is stiff. he's lovely on the trails, and his x-rays are clean (wtff how does that even happen??) but in the ring, he's stiff. he's mostly good for my students, with occasional moments of crankitude. what he needs is to be ridden more.

3. baby o has lost a few pounds, which is annoying (ljufur gained them, arrgh) and i need to adjust everyone's feed. but he's moving better. he is stiff in a weird way -- front-to-back; side-to-side he is jell-o. today we (elf on ljufur) warmed up with circles and shoulder-ins, then went tolting around for approximately ever, in teardrop exercise and then that gone full-arena with circles. he's *starting* to get some whole-spine movement in the tolt! -- only when it gets faster he gets pacy (although blessedly not trotty, today). i need to keep working on letting him have his head to move down, which is a bit rough bc he often thinks a loose rein means OK GO and i am like ....no. he went OMG WUT when i switched the whip between my hands (jell-o sideways did i mention? :) the first time. i keep petting him with it, he knows he's not scared of it and i know it too. but he does like to GO.

4. i need to learn to relax my seat for paciness. i'm just not used to it and i'm all BOUNCEBOUNCE and no.

5. what's funny about o is that i put little kids on him and he's just super chill and careful, and a bit stoppy. he's so great <3

6. i am obsessed with somebody's capt america-based fanfic; i did a cosplay of it and it's renewed. i had previously mentally plotted most of a novel about two of their oc's. then i found THE RIGHT OBJECT on clearance at a store for $4.90 and did the cosplay, and we had a conversation, and now i have a short fic about another of their oc's in mind. so much fun!!

7. and now it's time to join elf my elf and watch steven universe. life, it sucketh not.


i also ride falki, my student/boarder's horse. usually as demo for part of her lesson, which today meant trying to get him to do some lateral work (shoulder-in, he is SO STIFF poor guy he needs it) and then working on "walk on".

falki was very green when we got him, so his early "walk on" cue was pretty big (from the seat, and involving "walking" with your seat like it would move while he was walking). he's a lot more tuned in now, and i could easily get him to walk on like i would my own guys. which is a quite small cue -- you get rein contact and release a little forward (so they can put their head down into the first step) while pushing your belly forward a little (minimizing the sideways or other directions your seat takes at the walk, which is a 3d experience). and with a little practice my student had him doing that too, which was awesome :)

next will be for his rider to keep working on the lateral stuff (possibly including a lesson in it on one of my guys who are used to it), and minimizing his halt cue as well (currently takes about four steps for me to get, including resisting movement with seat and hands and "talking" on the reins -- it's like ten steps if you just stop your hands completely).

fun times :)

more with baby o

i need to get an icon for him. and it's a darn shame i've never gotten much into using tags...

rode him in my lesson today. had half a cup of coffee :) he does rush! but i am becoming more chill about it, and as the lesson went on, i could feel myself becoming ACTUALLY RELAXED and riding with an ACTUAL LOOSE REIN. circles are great, as are shoulder-ins, and figure 8s at tolt and trot. we sort-of-considered cantering, which led to a kind of lead-leg-hopping in front but not an actual three-beat gait. but our rhythm got better and better and better. so nice!

at the end he was PANTING madly (not sweaty though), and that took forever to quiet down. eventually there wasn't much left to eat from breakfast, so i just turned him out with the other boys and fed him candy.

...i need to ride stjarni more, though. he'll be getting cranky....

i have the world's best sister!


i love and i am loved. <3

adventure with baby o

i have a six-year-old student who adores ofeigur, so generally we use him for those lessons. this past week student's mom wanted to visit a campsite in the forest, so we went thataway on the trail. student has previously been hesitant about going over bridges (these are narrow and wooden and honestly not the safest-looking), but i was just like "sure, fine, let's do it". (i have ridden stjarni over said bridges -- stjarni doesn't mind at all, and he's a couple hundred pounds heavier.)

well. o took the first few bridges fine, but when we came to the one over an actual meaningful quantity of running water, he balked. i could get all four of his feet on the bridge with a treat, but no more than that. i told student to "just sit there" (my go-to advice for most riding situations, tbh) and finally picked up a big stick (we were in the forest, conveniently enough). waved it in the direction of o's behind, and he walked forward perfectly nicely :)

rest of the ride was lovely and uneventful. we went through the relevant campground; o was fine with barky loose dogs and everything. no problems on the way back home.

student's mom said afterwards that she was terrified! -- but kudos to her, because at the time she was completely chill, trusted me and trusted o. more than that i cannot ask.

i wish i trusted me and o better myself. we seem to deserve it -- !


riding lesson and trail ride with o in the morning. pretty good actually! half a cup of coffee first. he's stiffer to the right, working on laterals. worked him on the lunge with some contact, asking him to modulate his speed and drop his head. did a bunch of good free trot on the figure 8 (i still feel like we sometimes get disconnected on long straightaways?) and EVENTUALLY some good relaxed riding with no rein contact. SUCH AN AWESOME HORSE.

i also went to handbalancing class which was kinda not good. couldn't kick up worth a damn, zero trust in being spotted by my classmates and barely okay with my instructor. best exercise for me right now is probably the handstand to flop over flat on a thick mat, just to keep me moving enough. it's hard to not wimp out every single time.

two ponies today

elf my elf is doing mystery hunt (and has snagged my sister into it, yay) so our teacher rode ljufur while i rode o. i didn't sleep much last night so i had caffeine, and in a way it was kinda good? -- because he was goey as always and i was just like YEAH OKAY FAST FAST IS FINE. so we didn't calm down to as good a walk as we sometimes do, but we were good, did tons of circles, some super nice round trot, and what the teacher said is our best tolt yet. huzzah. afterwards i took stjarni in the forest where it was VERY VERY WINDY and he was goey too, and we tolted and cantered and generally ran about like crazy centaur for half an hour or so.

i'm frustrated with various professional things, i guess, but at least my people and my ponies are the best <3