Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Have I Mentioned How Much I Hate Winter?

It snowed again here Saturday night. We got around 6 inches, although most of it has melted. And the temperatures have been all over the place, into the single digits at night then up to the low 40s during the day. Since it's so cold at night, I took pity on poor Matilda, all by herself with the chickens. Horses in a herd can huddle together for warmth, but poor Matilda has no one. So I put her back in with the boys, in spite of the fact that the fence isn't completely pony-proof yet.

I was awakened this morning by neighing. My horses rarely neigh, when they do I know something is wrong. Sure enough, Matilda was loose, eating grass in the backyard and Spider the Tattletale was running the fence and crying. That's what I get for being tender hearted! Luckily, she never leaves the yard on her little walkabouts and she followed me right back into the pasture as soon as she saw that I had breakfast. I was able to follow her tracks in the snow and find out where and how she's getting through. She's jumping through the strands, not pushing under. Today I'll finish running a line between the bottom two lines, hopefully that will hold her. In the meantime, she won't leave the pasture as long as there's hay, which there is all day. The only time they run out is over night, since I'm not willing to get up in the middle of the night to re-hay them.

Since I'm not currently doing much of anything as far as training goes, I'm taking the time to brush up on theory. I'm reading Heinrich and Volker Schusdziarra's "Anatomy of Dressage". It details the biomechanical workings of the human body as they pertain to riding......very interesting stuff. I spent quite a bit of time learning the anatomy and biomechanics of quadrupeds, but my knowledge of humans is somewhat lacking. I never planned on a career in medicine, so I largely ignored the human stuff. All mammals are essentially analogous in their anatomy, but the tiny little differences in the position of the limbs and bodies makes for great variety in biomechanics. Since humans are bipeds, we have a considerable difference in the way our pelvis works compared to four-legged creatures. It certainly makes for an interesting and enlightening read.

Sometime this week I'll be receiving Jennie Loriston-Clarke's "Lungeing and Long-Reining". I don't know anything about the author or her training, but I'm hoping to get a few ideas for new exercises to try and maybe some theory to work with. I love theory. Maybe it's just the brainwashing I received as a science student, but I really believe that if you understand the theory of something you can do anything. Theoretical knowledge is the why and the how of things, applied or practical knowledge is more what to do in a certain situation. It's all well and good to have practical knowledge, but practical knowledge can fail you if you can't adapt it to your current problem. I believe that a theoretical learner can adapt more easily. Which is important, because true intelligence is not the sum of the things you know, true intelligence is the ability to solve a problem.

Related Posts:
Why Is That Pony In The Chicken Coop?


  1. Oh Matilda... I'm guessing her little bare feet didn't leave marks in the precious lawn. ;-)

  2. No hoofprints, but she left several poop-prints for me to pick up! *LOL*

  3. What a little sneak! She does look awfully cute on the lawn, though.

    I am not big on theory myself, but rather work from experimentation to solution. Then again, I have ridden with many, many excellent international trainers over the years, so I tend to have lots of techniques to try lodged somewhere in the deeper recesses of my brain.

    However, whenever you come up with a good idea here due to your research, I'll be right with you in trying it!! *G*

  4. She is so cute! I would love to have a pony. Perhaps in the future.

    Thanks so much for the reference about Anatony of Dressage.
    Another good book is this one :

    "Balance in movement" by Suzanne von Dietze. Lots of about human anatomy ON the horse, lost of exercises for correcting, suppling. It is a superb book. Plus the riders are of ALL shapes, but the horses are beautiful WarmBlood very well-ridden. It is a reference.
    Thanks I am going to order Anatomy of Dressage ;-)

  5. Sending you good weather vibes. The forecast looks dire...I am trying to send the storm in another direction with my telepathic energy...*sigh*


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