Last Sunday, when I was talking to Shannon about my latest problems with riding Tercel, I asked her if she had seen racing blinker hoods for sale nearby. She hadn’t, but then she remembered that she had an old “made up” driving bridle with blinkers that she had used for training ground driving with a horse she had sold many years ago. Shannon dug it out of her tack room, telling me the cheek pieces with the blinkers was supposed to be part of an old custom…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on March 28, 2015 at 1:00pm — No Comments
My Back is Still Hurting
Spring is here! The Bradford Pears and Forsythia are blooming, and I can see the leaf buds are starting to swell. I hope it lasts for a while.
I did not have a very pleasant ride on Tercel. Grooming him was fine, I had almost no problems brushing his ears or putting the poll cap on. He was a little antsy when I started my lesson but we walked around the ring and he was not horrible--UNTIL--a rude duck flapped its wings just after we passed it. …Continue
The Time Springing Forward Leads to Confusion
I rode all three horses this week. That was good. But losing an hour of sleep last weekend has made my mobility slightly worse, something that happens to me each Spring time change.
Cider had obviously enjoyed her three week vacation. Through the years I’ve ridden her I’ve noticed if Cider got an extended time off I essentially have to retrain her--this means halt, this means turn, this means back up, etc.. Now I know that…Continue
I apologize to my readers for my lack of production this year, I just get so tired and discouraged that I can’t seem to write.
At least I kept riding last year, and that seemed to take up all my extra energy. I even made progress with my riding, Cider no longer reminds me of a pretzel as we walk and trot around Shannon’s small ring. Thanks to Cider’s refusal to accept anything less than perfection, my body finally seems to have figured out how to keep centered in…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on January 10, 2015 at 12:02pm — No Comments
Gosh Darn It--Mia Changes Her Mind Again!
Mia, the nearly 30 year old Arab mare I ride, seems to be going through various issues as she ages. Bits that used to be fully accepted start bothering her and she always lets me know in a few weeks if she wants me to change then.
Mia, in the past, has not particularly liked bitless bridles (old jumping caveson bridle, LG bitless, Nurtural cross-under bitless, Dr. Cook’s cross under bitless, Light Rider bitless, all three of…Continue
A Week of Forgetting Things
The heat has definitely arrived here in NC, not full summer heat and humidity yet but it has been a challenge living without air-conditioning. Bless the person who invented the electric fan! I have managed to stay cool enough so I am staying stable physically with my MS, but my memory is not as good as it is during cooler weather.
So Wednesday I forgot to do my final check-off of all the stuff I take to my riding lesson and forgot my Corrector…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on June 15, 2014 at 2:59pm — No Comments
Mia Patiently Tries to Explain Something to Me This Week
When I was riding Mia on Friday I had a great time. She continued to keep contact with her JP single jointed full cheek snaffle, reaching out confidently and not flinging her head or curling up when I made a mistake with my hands. When I made a mistake with my hands she would start inverting, but when I corrected myself and sent her on she would reach out again and accept the bit. She was quite alert and looked around…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on June 8, 2014 at 3:30pm — No Comments
I Give Eli a Helpful Hint
The heat has started to come to North Carolina, and due to thousands of dollars of unexpected expenses plus expected money not coming in I am having to adjust to living without air-conditioning this summer. Just today we got an air-conditioner in one room, the room we fixed up after our water pipes froze last winter, the smallest room in our house. So I am not doing as well as normal, but that has been the story of my life this year.
Added by Jackie Cochran on May 25, 2014 at 6:24pm — No Comments
Two Ways I Triggered My Hip Bursitis Riding This Week
After several sweaty rides it cooled down this week. We had to go through 3 inches of rain first, but for my last two rides it was cool with a pleasant breeze, cool enough that Mia protested standing in the breeze since she is now in her summer coat.
It was on Mia that I triggered my hip bursitis the first time. After a nice ride walking around with no problems I decided it might be a good idea for me to practice gripping…Continue
Gnats, Mugginess, Slippery Breeches, and Even More Gnats
Down here in central southern North Carolina we are now paying the price of our plentiful winter rains. The gnats are truly horrible. Debbie has ALL of her 30 plus horses in face masks and she asked me 1) if gnats are poisonous since she has swallowed so many of them this year, 2) if gnats are good for anything, and 3) if there is any other critter that eats them. I could not give her an answer, I guess I better start…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on May 11, 2014 at 12:30pm — No Comments
Mia Changes Her Mind About Her Bit
I had a wonderful week of riding all three horses. We have had absolutely wonderful spring weather and everything worked out.
Last week I just got to ride once, on Mia, with the JP Dr. Bristol bit that I used with her before I tried the JP copper roller full cheek bit. This ride with the Dr. Bristol was fine, but my next ride was a thorough review of all of Mia’s bit evasions and protests. This was following a general deterioration of…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on April 27, 2014 at 5:30pm — No Comments
I’m Getting So Very Tired
I had another wonderful week of three rides, and all my rides were in absolutely beautiful spring weather. The only downside is that it is becoming more and more apparent that I’ve lost just about all the physical progress I’d made over the past 6-7 years. I post the trot for maybe a quarter of the ring and I have to rest. My previously taut muscles have lost all their tone. I get off the horse and I am so tired that I do not walk well. And there I am…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on April 13, 2014 at 5:22pm — No Comments
Finally--I Rode Three Times This Week
Maybe the Universe is starting to smile on me again. Maybe I will be able to stop the relentless degradation of my body. Maybe I can finally start to recover from my MS exacerbation.
The first week of December 2013 I rode four times. Since then the most I’ve ridden in a week was two times around a month ago. I am walking a little better but my physical fitness took a big hit this winter, I am weaker and my muscles just won’t…Continue
The Polar Vortex Interferes With My Riding
Last week I got to ride twice. Riding is out for this week, it is just too cold in the mornings!
Sunday the 19th I got to ride Cider. I just walked since I was too weak to do anything more. I tried the same aids for the shoulder-in I used on Mia, but I just got one or two slight hints of Cider actually doing a shoulder-in. Now Cider used to be used for eventing so she has had at least some dressage training, so it could…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on January 30, 2014 at 1:41pm — No Comments
While Others Shiver I Sweat
My sympathies for all of you in the winter storm.
I actually rode FOUR times this week! Yes, I am exhausted, but we are due to get the winter storm by this weekend, snow and ice are going to try to make it down here on Sunday, Monday it will rain and next week it will be cold again. My son’s schedule changed so I grabbed the chance to ride today since I obviously will be huddling at home this weekend instead of enjoying horses.
Added by Jackie Cochran on December 6, 2013 at 4:05pm — No Comments
It is official, Cider and Mick LIKE having warm butts!
Last Sunday it was cold with a stiff breeze so I was glad I could introduce Cider to the Rambo Competition Sheet exercise rug. After Shannon groomed her I put it on and off her back and croup a few times and made sure to open and close the Velcro that holds it together at the withers. Long ago Cider had been evented so she probably was familiar with blankets though she had not seen one in years. Shannon…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on November 29, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments
I Wimp Out In the Cold
We are on a temperature roller coaster down here in North Carolina. It is around 75° F today, but on Monday morning they are predicting a low of 19° F, if not lower.
Last Monday, when I rode Mia, it was warm, so warm I put on my technical fabric cool riding shirt, and by the end of my ride I was wishing I’d put on my ice-fill sleeves too since I was sweating. Two days later when I got to the stables…Continue
I Got Ambitious, Did Too Much, and Got Exhausted
Well, it finally all caught up with me, making the wool saddle blanket so I could use it with my Corrector, cleaning my saddles every time I rode, and going up North to take my yearly lesson at North Fork. I started getting more and more tired, then I entered a fog of exhaustion and it started affecting my riding.
Two weeks ago I started off on a good note. I had gotten the book “American Dressage” by Chuck Grant, found…Continue
Mick Elevates at the Trot Again
Sorry about missing last week, when I sat down to write my blog my computer’s power cord burnt out.
Not being content with Mick’s trot I made yet another change to my padding system, this week I put the Corrector UNDER the wool saddle blanket I had adapted instead of on top of the saddle blanket. To recap my experiences so far--with triple fold woolen Western saddle blanket Mick gave me a non-banging sitting trot but he would not move…Continue
Added by Jackie Cochran on October 25, 2013 at 12:36pm — No Comments
My Stubben Siegfried is Fixed, Hurray!
Last Tuesday I went down to the tack store to pick up my Stubben, all ready to ride with new front billet straps. It did not take very long for the local tack specialist to replace the billets and it just cost me $87.00 USD. Now I do not have to worry anymore about a billet strap breaking and I can relax and enjoy riding in my ancient 43 year old saddle. When I got it home I put on stirrups and stirrup leathers, my sheepskin seat…Continue