Monday, April 14, 2014

It has been a month

A long time since I have last updated my blog. But fear not! Everything is going very well here. I suppose I could say that the reason I have not written in so long, is that I am amusing myself very much. As I expected of myself before I emigrated, I have been busy and occupied myself with fun things.

Mainly; horses.

For those of you who have me on Facebook, you probably see a dozen of horse pictures cruise by your news page. Yup, I'm that person. Instead of smothering everyone with a hundred pictures of my ugly baby in yet another outfit, I spew forth a constant stream of horse pictures. Doni sitting on a horse, Doni and horse jumping, horse face, horse butt, horse baby. Horse, horse, horse. My apologies friendly, loving and amazing readers. I'm afraid I really, really like horses.

My jump face is dreadful

Not only do I volunteer at Haile Equestrian and Eclipse Sporthorses (both owned by the same person), I ride twice a week. This puts me around horses on 3 fixed days. Tuesday (volunteer work in the midday/evening), Wednessday (volunteer work in the morning and riding lesson in the evening) and Friday (early afternoon riding lesson). However, I also often cover shifts for my fellow volunteers. I figure, better save up some brownie points now when I do not have a job, and cash them back in when I do have a job.

Ah yes, you wonder about the job situation? The work permit request has been filed. The government is not known for their fast and thorough work, so it will probably be a couple of months. I have not yet received notification that they have started to work on my request.

Back to the main subject.

Ricki and Gia, the horse I do groundwork with.
They are both 3 years old.

So I am around horses 3 days a week. But since the owner has given me permission to do some groundwork with the horses, whenever I want, I find myself almost 5 days a week at the barn. I will drop Michael off at work and drive straight on to the barn. There I will play/work with the horses, and chill out in the sun and talk with whoever is hanging out at the barn.

It is absolutely amazing. Being outside makes me happy. Sunshine makes me happy. Nature makes me happy. Horses make me happy. And I have it all! I come home exhausted and feeling great. I dread the time when I have to go back to work and give up these amazing moments. I cherish every moment I have right now.

Michael and I play a lot of Diablo 3 the expansion. Because I entertain myself so thoroughly while Michael is at work, I don't drag him on walks and hikes as much as in the beginning. This way, Michael gets to spend his non working time the way he really wants to. Playing games and watching shows. We don't solely play Diablo though. Jessica and Harm have given me Rivals of Catan, the card game for 2, for my birthday! That game is awesome. It has so many levels of depth and strategy in it that we keep playing. Michael has lost a couple of games though, so now he refuses to play unless he is fully sober and alert. He desperately wants to win this next game, "to put me in my place".

Gotta love it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

First riding lesson in over 2 months

Finally I had my first riding lesson. The lesson was half flat, half jumping. To my surprise, the jumping was sorta? fun. I rode a gigantic horse named Pedro who had the sweetest facial expression. I suppose I should have taken a picture, but I don't think of these things. The riding went well, I wasn't as rusty as I thought I would be. The adjusting to a new instructor always takes some getting used to. But in principal, every instructor tells you the same, but describes it very different. Once you get what they mean and can translate it to what you already know, it all flows easy.

The instructor today was very nice, I liked her way of teaching. She was patient with me, noticed I was a little insecure about the jumping and thus made sure the jumps weren't too challenging. We were supposed to be with 3 riders (including me) but one girl didn't show up. Pretty much a private lesson I'd say!

We started out just riding around warming up, just like I'm used to. Only less focused on the figures. Direction and figures are up to the rider, but I think - not sure about this - that the pace is determined by the instructor. She made sure I was riding like a frog, perching on top of my saddle. I felt ridiculous, but I suppose that's normal in the jumping world.

Right off the bat I did a double jump. Not having successfully done a double jump yet, I was a little nervous. You had to stop (halt) at the end of the jumps to make sure you have the horse under control. The arena looked like this:
blue = water (it had been raining) brown is other jumps we didn't use
So the first one was a horizontal jump of maybe up to my knees and the second one a cross. The first time I went over it I was a little wobbly but it went well. I went 3 times total. After that a third jump was added.
And it wasn't even that difficult. Apparently the key to jumping is the horse. You need to have a horse that wants to jump and is build for it. Then all you have to do it stay out of it's way! That makes jumping a whole lot more fun in my opinion. There is a lot to work on though. My balance could be better, I don't put enough pressure on my stirrups and as a result my heels are not low enough. And once I start jumping higher I need to crouch down lower.

A very successful day. I still have a big preference for dressage though. The jumping is fun, but I rather work on the horse. Have the focus on it's body and what's happening underneath me. Hopefully the dressage lessons will start soon, they are working on it!