Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Finally, a lesson day!

Wow, has there ever been HUGE gaps between my lessons lately, thanks to the hot summer we're having. I'm pretty happy that the current forecast sees the temperature hovering right around 30 degrees today, so I'm game to go out.

HOPEFULLY tonight we might get a chance to canter (oh please, oh please!), and just try to get back into our groove. After our 'learning' trail ride on Saturday, I'm just wanting to get him working and used to the requests I make of him, so that we have consistency when riding with other horses. I had a post on HGS and pretty much came to the conclusion that the fellow galloping around and standing so close to my horse afterwards did NOT help matters (and apparently is bad trail etiquette), but that Moon needs to learn to focus on me, and trust me. Someone actually went so far as to call it a 'hole in our training', but realistically, it takes time to bond and get a horse to trust you. Beyond 8 weeks of lessons over 3 months, and averaging 2 visits/week since Christmas when I got him.

Personally, while progress is slow, I'm quite proud of him and myself. We're not going to be perfect right out of the gate, and all of this stacks up to being better the next time we're out. I actually think I FINALLY am starting to stop focusing on the 'ugly' moments, and instead are focussing on how they improve us. I WANT more ugly moments, as I really do feel like we can tackle anything. And THAT to me is the best part. Anyone can buy a push button horse, trained to the 9's and ride perfectly, everywhere. And I just don't see the fun in that. You can never stand back and say "Look what WE did!", "Look what I taught him!". And man I love those moments.

So tonight, we lesson. We learn. We have fun! (Aurgh, it's amazing how excited you can be after not having a lesson for 2 weeks! I'm giddy!).

Tonight, I ALSO get to FINALLY try on my new Courbette. I KNOW. You guys are all as excited as I am! I'm putting my camera in my purse RIGHT now. I was speaking with someone who owned a very similar dressage saddle, and had it on a horse with similar body structure as Moon. Apparently it worked GREAT for them, so I'm remaining really hopefully.

Rick Payne is going to be in my neighbourhood in a couple of weeks, and I'm contemplating doing a saddle fit with him. My only issue is that I'm not really in a position to purchase yet, and don't want to mislead him or anything. Then again, maybe we can just figure out an intermediate option...hmmmm....someone convince me to do this, even though I have to shell out big $$ on my sister's wedding in 2 weeks (don't get me started!).

Tomorrow, we're booked for our first regularly scheduled trail ride with Teresa. : ) I'm THRILLED at the thought, and super excited to go riding at BHP with her. The trails are gorgeous, it gets us out and about, more experience, and just fun fun fun with a good friend! Maybe even on the new saddle...

Oh new saddle we will fit, oh new saddle we will fit. Hi-ho the dairy-o, the new saddle we will fit.

....and anyone have a good way of shining up a saddle? I'm using "Leather CPR", which seemed to work well to clean the leather, but it's not suppling it overmuch (there's some minor cracking, not through, but topical on one of the flaps), and I'd really like to try and supple it up and add some shine. The CPR-stuff seems to almost leave a bit of a film, and you can see your rub marks...hmmmm...

Aside!!! I received my letter of acceptance as an occasional student into the U of M's Community Health Sciences program! Yes, that's my first step towards a longtime goal of getting my Master's degree, something that while I dreamed of pursuing, never really seemed that possible.

While I had a B.Sc. in Animal Sciences, I knew that I definitely wanted to investigate a different field of study. But nothing seemed to interest me, nor did it seem suitable. I didn't want a Master's just to have one. I wanted one because I was serious about acquiring more knowledge to put to use. I also had this HORRIBLE feeling that my grades wouldn't cut it (like even make the minimum cut-off). After a year in my current job, I started to REALLY enjoy doing epidemiology (the study of health-event, health-characteristic, or health- determinant patterns in a society) as well as health policy and international health relations.

After some investigation, I realized there's a whole Master's program surrounding the field. I put off actually pursuing it, convinced I couldn't get in, and convinced I didn't have the time or money for it. Until our Summer Student applied for his masters, and when talking, encouraged me to apply as well. He was soooo convinced that my grades were fine (apparently I'm too hard on myself), and that clearly I was passionate about the subject, that I couldn't help but go along.

Not knowing how it'll all work out, and not sure if I'd even get in, I just applied to be an occasional student to start. Man was I surprise on Friday to get a letter of acceptance!

So starting September 8th, I'll be in class 1 morning/week, doing Epidemiology Concepts I. : ) Luckily, the University medical campus is across the street, and my class is there. : ) I hope to do one more term in the winter as an occasional student, and then apply to admission next Fall. : ) Finger's crossed.

Yay to learning!

Last thing, I promise!

I won a free banner design from Mare, over at Simply Horse Crazy ! I love reading her blog (she's an uber hard working young lady who has a very awesome horse), and I'm beyond excited that I get to send her some pics of me and Moon for a new banner on our blog. I love theirs, and know that it'll liven things up around here. The prize was a result of her 300th post, imagine 300 posts! Wonder how many more Moon and I need...hmmm...we're just shy of 100 posts! In 6 months...I'm addicted ; )

Anyway, keep your eyes open for it! I'm going to be gathering my pictures this weekend!


  1. It's awesome weather for lessons! Sheryl and I had a lesson Monday night and it was cool, breezy and low on bugs. Have fun tonight. I hope the saddle is everything you dreamed of!

    I used to use Horseman's One Step on my tack and I found it left a film too. Overtime, dust, hair and dirt sticks to the leather and leaves a grime that's really hard to get off. Maybe try giving it a good glycerine soap wash and then oiling it really well with Neat's foot oil.

  2. Hi there! Kudos on a really great blog! I am looking into the UofM Community Health Sciences program and came across your blog. If you can, I would love to hear about your insights into the program, and about the application process!! :)