The good rides continue for me and Murray! I’m reveling in the glory of how great it feels to develop a connection into which you can actually ride your horse. Even after 4 nights of no turnout (hello, tiny fall rains!) and a rather sassy start to our ride where we both struggled to just trot, Murray was like “oh right, this game again. super!” And off we went, working on better gaits and pushing into the contact and even doing so with a fairly straight body for the most part. IT JUST FEELS SO GOOD.
Yesterday we launched the zoo research challenge projects that I have been working on for the last month with Experiment.com. You should head on over and have a look, if for no other reason than to watch adorable animal videos and have a look at some of the really super projects that are being done in zoos. Like studying thermal images of tortoises and their environments to understand how different heat source influence their body temperature. Or looking at circulating markers of fibrosis in gorillas (heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in captive great apes!). Or a project that addresses how hooves of wild giraffe differ from those in captivity — something all of us ungulate-lovers should be able to get behind. (PS That group has their very own GIRAFFE FARRIER I mean SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.)
I love all the projects that the researchers put together, but for the sake of brevity I won’t link them all here. But they are all definitely worthy of contribution!
But let’s get on to some end of the year goals, shall we? I’ve missed all the major quarters this year for goal setting, but as the year calms down a bit it seems like I could get some shit done in the next 60 days.
- Continue/resume work on lengthenings so I can more easily incorporate them into trot improvement work
- Put significant effort into sitting the trot (i.e. at least 5min per ride, 2x per week). I somehow avoided no stirrups November AGAIN this year, because it seems rather stupid to sit (very poorly) on Murray for much of a month while I’m having such success encouraging him to lift his back and move his whole body more. I will make up for it with a no stirrups month early next year if trainers think we can handle it.
- If trainers approve, re-incorporate some lateral work
- Really nail our straightness/squares so we get good marks on our straightness homework when JM comes back in December
- Have the fitter out to evaluate dressage saddle and price replacing foam with wool
- Eat ALL the grass and roll in ALL the mud
- Clip again towards the end of December
- Avoid being mounted by friends in playtime turnout
- File the thesis (still not done… sigh)
- Get all my Experiement projects funded
- Finish MAF grant application
- Finish UFAW grant application
- Increase tutoring hours – if I can get up to 20/week (a rather heavy schedule with all the driving included) I will be in really good shape, even including breaks for holidays
- Get Macaron skills back!
- Run once a week – work up to 5k
- Apply for jobs?