hunchback of notre dame

Murray can never, never live in a snowy place, I think.  It’s been downright hot in California the last few days, and he’s been so well behaved that I can hardly handle it.  If his extreme quirkiness is seriously just the rhythms of the seasons and the world and the phases of the moon, and he’s as unpleasant, girthy, and dorky as he is during California winters, can anyone imagine what he would be like in the snow? On the East Coast?  During some kind of polar vortex?

Just no. Let’s not never ever do that. Please never.  To celebrate Spring, I made Murray a garland of flowers and adorned him with it.  Guys, I suddenly get why putting shit on your horse’s heads is so fun.  I get it now and IT IS AWESOME!!

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I did have a lovely ride with Murray on Monday, and started working on some of the things Sprinkler Bandit talked about from her dressage clinic.  I just asked Murray to be engaged, stretching through his neck, and moving forward at the walk and trot (with some canter breaks to help keep him limber; it moves the pelvis in a different way from the trot does).  Shockingly, I got Murray’s best ever stretchy walk/free walk, and some great, connect trot where I think we were really starting to track up and push from behind.  At least a little more than before.  The downside is that he was super Trippi Hedrin, hopefully just out of laziness, but possibly from his sliding stop the other day.  He has a chiro appointment Thursday regardless (bye, bye, skrilla….).

I also discovered how serious one of my own foibles is.  I’ve been struggling seriously with Murray being pretty crooked, with his shoulders out and haunches in a little tracking right (especially right, sometimes also left).  I was practicing some 20 meter circles, and as I tracked right realised that I could see my right shoulder out of the corner of my vision.  I seriously did a double take — that shoulder should have been nowhere near there.  I adjusted myself and pulled my right shoulder up and back, and made sure to twist from the waist in the direction I was moving.  It wasn’t immediate, but I definitely felt Murray improve his straightness to the right over the course of our ride, requiring less insistence from me to keep it.  He still wants to fall right a little, but that’s a separate issue.  After just ten minutes of moving like this, my right shoulder was seriously starting to feel it, and when I relaxed I felt it pop forward and down and had to remind myself to sit up straight and hold it back again.  Seriously.  Quasimodo status right here.

I also got the little horse out again for some playtime.  Eclipse’s biggest struggles right now are accepting that he has to leave his friends and relaxing during work, so I tried to keep things short and sweet and end with some grain and lots of praise.  He objected not once, but simply cried out for his friends (truly pitifully at times).  We worked on relaxing a little on the lunge line, and voice commands (woah being the most important, he’s quite happy to go forward).  I’m not in any rush to get him under saddle, so we’re just thinking fitness relaxation right now.

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I have a job interview this morning (Tuesday).  First time with a real job interview.  Wish me luck!

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16 thoughts on “hunchback of notre dame

  1. Ahhh such a cute flower crown! I love it!
    Riding square turns instead of circles is a great exercise for getting their shoulders to stop falling out (if fixing yours doesn’t do the trick)!
    And good luck at the job interview!!

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    • Such a good idea!! Thank you! I’ve been working hard on fixing mine (and confirmed with my trainer today that yes, they have been rather crooked for a while now) but I am totally going to do square turns too. They are good.

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  2. Quasimodos unite!! i’m so crooked these days that any kind of proper alignment feels insanely wrong haha…. always good to think about tho… good luck at the interview!!!

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  3. I had the same problem with being crooked! I went to the chiro (for humans) and it turned out that my first rib was up near my ear….what?? He cracked me back into place and that helped a ton.
    Love the flower crown 🙂

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  4. One of my biggest surprises coming back to riding as an adult was how incredibly sensitive horses are to their riders’ every move and position. When I was a kid I had NO IDEA that they could feel our seatbones or that having our shoulders slightly forward would make them crooked too! What an epiphany that was 🙂

    Best of luck at your job interview!

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