Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Miscellaneous Midweek thoughts

I now should be able to start settling down here. I won't know what to do with myself! It will be just me and my little guy until schools out. Well, unless I find employment before then. I want to just relax a little bit for once. What would be even nicer would be to find something I'm good at, that I can set my own schedule and do my thing on my own time :)) I'm not like that though, I'm more of a behind the scenes someone that likes to help, but not be the main focus.

So until then, here are some misc things. Awhile back on one of my other posts, I had mentioned cakes that I had made for the boys for their birthdays. Well, we had to get a new printer (ours took a dive with no return) and my dear hubby decided to go shopping for a new one while I was out. I'm glad it was him instead of me because I would have bought the cheapest thing that printed and got the job done. He however, instead got one that has print, copy AND scan!! If I had gotten his text message while at the horse show (no reception in the building), we would have also had faxing capabilities. But he declined the last option. In any case, I was able to scan the picture of my sons birthday cakes that I had made for their first birthdays. My mom was a cake decorator and did many many wedding cakes and other event cakes. Needless to say, we as kids hated cake. lol For our birthdays we would get cherry cheesecake :) Still do to this day even though I'm more agreeable with cakes now. Without further ado, here are my lovely creations that I'm very proud of.

This was my very first cake. (I've only done two, lol!!) For my older boy's first birthday. It took me about two days to make. The cake itself was a cinch, the frosting on the other hand is what got me. Anyone that decorates cakes will tell you that you can't just use that can stuff. You make your own little powdered sugar concoction. Well, I couldn't find my mom's recipe and my sister's (who used to help my mom) recipe went something like "add some water, some powdered sugar, a little bit of vanilla", etc. Nothing specific at all, which is what I NEED since I cannot cook. lol. It turned out pretty good eventually.



This is the cake for my younger guy. I got a little more daring the second time around. No just smearing on frosting on a portion. Nope. Millions of little dots it was. Again, I think it turned out pretty good. (Yes, I'm tooting my own horn)



Let me tell you, true red and blue frosting is a $*!&# to make! I think I used a whole little tub of the dye gel stuff. Anyhow, I'm glad I did it. Everyone like them and I know I could at least do one little special thing for my kids to make their birthdays special.

Let's see, what else? The horse show went well and was fun to be at. I was lamenting about how I wished when I was picking out a career, that I had known about equine things. In hind sight though, I guess my little $15k in student loans is better than $25k for ONE YEAR. Yeah.

Here's a good one. I went grocery shopping this morning, first time in about 3 weeks, and I see these hot fire fighters in there shopping. The grocery store is less than a block away from the fire house, so this isn't an unusual sight really. well, I happened to turn the corner down the ice cream isle and what do I see but the cutest one there. He comes out of the little freezer door and looks at me and OMG. I know him. lol!!! I went to high school with him and he was my major time high school crush. Who didn't know I was alive, but that's ok. A girl could dream. He was, I believe, like 3 years ahead of me. He was Coming Home King (Home Coming was the Queen) his senior year. And, I just happen to be friends with an aunt of his (well, my mom was, when she died though me and this lady bonded). hehe. I was kind of frumpy looking or I would have been like "hey, Gary right?" hehehe. Then he would have run the other way thinking who is this freak and how the heck does she know my name?? lol Anyhow. It was nice to see he was a fire fighter. I really don't remember what it was that he wanted to be, but it definitely suits him :))

Going out to ride my girl for the first time in about a week. In my post about it all coming together, I mentioned that it was nutty how I was essentially doing things backwards and someone had asked what happened because it might help them too. Let me start off with the fact that I'm glad I have someone there to help me. I think that is about the best thing. It's almost like a doctor. You can self diagnose all you want, but there just might be something missing that only someone else can see. Anyhow, on my first lesson trainer asked what I wanted to work on. I said whatever you see wrong I guess because I don't really know. We'd been plodding around for about a year now, so I guess it was time to start fine tuning. So the first thing she told me was to tip my girls nose in and do a circle. Um, not to sound dumb or anything, but I've heard so many people tell me to tip her nose in, but I didn't really understand. Because when I did what I thought was tipping her nose in, we'd do almost a 90 degree turn. No arc whatsoever. So I said that to her. What I'd been doing all along was attempting to just use my legs, not a bad thing, and try to neck rein. I also had so much slack in my reins that I don't know how I ever stopped her when she spooked. When I'd pull back, my hands could have touched behind me probably. lol No contact whatsoever. Also not a horrible thing, but it really needed to be changed. So what I was doing was when I wanted to "circle" or really turn to the left, I'd push my right leg and my right rein against her. She would almost pivot, not just tip her nose and curve. Trainer comes in and says no, you need to first of all tighten up on your reins and have some kind of contact with the bit. (I may not be explaining it all right, but I'm doing my best, lol) Thankfully my girl is really sensitive to any touch that I do. I actually had/have to work on desensitizing her sides so much. as soon as a leg touches her, she goes that way. Not to say that I ride with my legs a foot away from her, but the trainer said I need to be able to put my legs on her without her automatically just moving because it will help to keep her straight and under me. So back to steering. Apparently the way to do it (and the way that works better) is that you actually keep your hands even apart and move them off to the opposite side that you are going. Strange huh? So if I want to go left, instead of putting my right rein on her neck and pushing her to the left with my right leg, I actually move my reins back a little and up towards my right shoulder, all while keeping them even to have even pressure on the bit. That puts pressure on the left rein (like direct pressure) to tip her nose to the left, which she in turn follows. Horses follow their noses. But it didn't create a 90 degree angle like my other way of doing it did. I did my first actual circle and it was crazy. So every ride since then, we practice that and switching from going left to going right. do circles, do serpentines, etc. She's so instant with everything too.

Then on to loping. I'm glad to find out it's not just me doing something wrong. We've discussed on here and I've gotten great advice about what could be wrong because she has a hard time with picking up the left lead. I've been making sure to exercise her good to the left to start strengthening that side. I don't know if that's helped a lot or not, but I'm sure it hasn't hurt. During my last lesson trainer asked me if I had worked on loping. I said no because I need to be able to feel what it's like to do it correctly and I don't think I was doing it yet, so I wanted to wait for her to be there so that she could spot me on it. So we worked on loping. My trainer had me set her up (lifting with my reins and while we were going left, I lifted to the right to support her left shoulder) and when we were perfect, I asked for the lope. well, mare amazed the trainer because we still ended up on the wrong lead after some crazy twist and jump that my horse did. The trainer was speechless and said "I can't even describe to you what she did because it was so weird." apparently her body just doesn't know the feel of correctly taking off on the correct lead and she contorts herself and we end up taking off on the wrong lead. So that is something we are going to work on more. I REALLY have to support her and make sure she's in the right position in order for her to pick up the correct lead. But in all this time, she really really tries for me and all the new stuff we are doing, so I can't complain honestly.

Ok, that's all for now. I don't know if I even remotely explained that good enough. It not, and you want me to try again, let me know, lol. Maybe I'll have my hubby video me and I can figure out how to post it. That's all for now and I'll post again maybe tomorrow and let you know how my ride tonight goes :))

3 comments:

Mrs Mom said...

Good job ezra- what a long, long way you and that mare have come. I hope you are as proud of your accomplishments together as we who read you are!! ;) Give her a rub from me please!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

You know, I can remember when someone showed me the correct way to bend a horse into a circle and I was like...Whoa, that is so cool. Before that all I knew was plow reining. But you are so right-a person can explain it and explain it and until someone is right there to show it to you, it is very difficult to do just the right thing.
Sounds like you and your mare are going to be making some great strides with this trainers help.

And the cakes are awsome! I used to make decorated cakes for Megan when she was a tot and enjoyed it, but we are just not big cake fans and now everyone's request for birthday "cake" is actually Apple Pie.

Roxmysox said...

Seems you have been pretty busy - I seem to end up reading stuff so late that I end up too tired to come up with a coherent comment so if this is a bit weird or whatever then it's because it's 1.30 in the morning (UGH).
Fantastic cakes - I know I just wouldn't have the patience for that.

 

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