James and I have been working evenings, after he gets home and after my stuff in the barn is done, up in the shop on some woodworking projects. I really do like working on projects and it has been a good feeling to see some "to do" items being scratched off the list.
As far as my horses are going, after having finally, mostly, gotten rid of this bug I've been plagued with, I've been able to squeeze in a few rides. The cool front we had this week definitely spiced things up with BB, because he certainly felt the need to be self-expressive as he responded to the temperature drop. I have found that literally counting to myself, "One... two... one... two... one... two..." in my head or slightly whispering it, has helped steady my body rhythm and has definitely influenced him to respond with stability in his own rhythm. Which in turn helps him to relax. I also find that my aids will seem clearer and my brain is more organized as I school him.
Today as I rode, I began to overbend him to the inside as I added my inside leg, and I waited until he brought his nose/face to the inside (since he will try to turn his nose to the outside so as to avoid relaxation or vulnerability) and for his inside ear to come back as recognition of the aid. I rode him like this both directions and at the walk and trot. After about 20 minutes, with which he at first (typical) tried avoidance tactics and tossing out behavioral bombs as a distraction, he actually began to focus and respond, and when his neck finally over-bent to the inside, his nose came in and his ear came back, he softened, and his strides became softer instead of the jerking/jolting/pounding ones he always starts with. The counting thing kept me more rhythmic despite his attempts to throw me off rhythm in the beginning and then later he was just responsive to the consistency. And then I noticed that as he began to get "up" or tight or to go back to his ADD-tactics, I just added my inside leg and overbent him to the inside and he settled right back down and went back to more elastic rhythm. It was really a great ride. The only major behavioral I got was during one of our trot circles; Rhonda, who was sitting beside the arena, went to crumple up her Chick-Fil-A bag and I made the mistake of looking over at her as we rode by. He knows just when I take my focus elsewhere besides him, and had I not looked, and thereby suggested to him that it was something he should focus on too, he probably wouldn't have responded to it. But because I did he went ahead and did a quick bolt for about two strides, and then it took about a half circle to re-settle him, and then a couple more circles to get him to pass that area again without any physical response to the frightening bag.
He keeps me on my toes, this one.
Drama also did well. I did bend/counterbend circles at the walk and then the trot, and lastly the canter. They helped really loosen him and helped to drop him more reliably on the bit.
I spent yesterday trimming most of the horses, I still have Sammy and BB to finish and I did not get to them today.
James got another job offer AND a "raise" (because a few weeks ago he had declined the offer on the account of not enough pay) but even after looking into it again, we figure that we'll be just scraping by because this new company doesn't offer health insurance at this time, and from what we've found with purchasing private insurance... it will nearly be rape. Perhaps if I got a job at say, Starbucks, I could get the health insurance and he could work for the company because of it being a good career move and better hourly pay. We don't know for sure what we are going to do. I have thought about getting a PT job in the evenings long before this, because of how badly we are doing in the income department and how seriously stressed out we are because of it. I just wish it wasn't like comparing apples to oranges and not being very clear-cut as a *definite* improvement of our financial situation. So we mull it over and ask God lots of questions, add in a few whinings about why does life have to consist of such greyish matter instead of black and white lines and clear signs, and wait and see. Actively wait, that is.
Now this, this is something that makes me go crazy.
This I would give just about anything to be able to go see, since so many of them are my absolute idols in the Dressage world. But alas, tickets are $250 and that is a significant deposit into my boot fund, which I also absolutely need for next season. Sigh. Because these are what I'm saving up for: Sergio Grasso, the Imperia. Custom-made that will last me for, probably, the rest of my life. $800-900. (*cough*)
While I agree with you that that is just way too much for boots, I have to also clue you in, that non-custom but decently-made boots that will *only* last 2-3 years tops if they are not worked in, but just for show, are around $500. So it doesn't seem like that much when considered that they will fit like a glove, last for work and hold up for 20 or more years.
I have a long list of things I would like, and they are all grossly expensive, which is also why I would be considering the PT job. :)