May 19, 2009

It doesn't always turn out as planned...

I had a little mishap Saturday...
While cutting potatoes, I also cut some finger.
Suddenly there was a bit of the finger tip lying on the chopping board.
I acted quite irrational, and threw the finger tip bit in the kitchen bin before going out to my husband and telling him what had happened.
We tried to (yes, I know it sounds macabre) locate the finger tip in between everything else that was lying in the garbage, but we couldn't see it. No, it wasn't that big! It was a bit of the fleshy, rounded part on the top...
So if there was nothing to sew on, I concluded that we could just as well bandage up the finger at home.

But I had my dressage lesson booked for Jimmi on Sunday morning.
And I couldn't ride with that finger.

Me was sad.

And Fame and me were to have half an hour session all by ourselves, and continue to train on those flying changes.
The other two lessons we had shared with another rider.

Me was really sad. Like someone-snatched-a-candy-bag-on-a-five-year’s-old – sad.

Well, not much to do.
I sent a message to tell I wouldn’t be able to ride after all.
But then I got a message back where Jimmi suggested he could ride Fame instead.
Now that was a good idea!
I instantly turned a bit happier, even if I really wanted to ride myself that session. But this could get interesting!
So on Sunday morning Fame got to work while I was just standing by, watching.

Jimmi used the time to check out what worked, and what we needed to train more.
When he was finished, we discussed things through.
Jimmi wanted Fame more flexible and active behind, things that I agreed upon. I would also like that.
He also said that she can be a bit strong on the bit sometimes instead of accepting the halfhalt. I agreed on that too.
It is so nice to get feedback from someone else, it is very easy to get “home blind” when you ride the same horse all the time.
I was also relieved that his “map” over Fame wasn’t all that different from mine. Then I feel that we can get to work and not be quite lost on the way.
Jimmi will come back in a month.
He advised us to work on haunches-in/half pass until next time.
We worked with that on Saturday, but as we hadn’t trained much on it on beforehand the result was a bit so-so.
But it is a good exercise to improve both flexibility and hind leg activity.
I am very motivated to get to work, so I really hope that finger won’t bother me too much!

Outside it is getting greener and greener.
I enclose some photos....

Three weeks ago I took the ferry from Oslo over to Copenhagen with my job.

Here we are just going out of Oslo harbour.
If you ever are to visit Oslo, try and come from the sea, by the ferry from Denmark - that is definetely the most beautiful way to arrive.
The ferry is going up the Oslofjord which is rather narrow. You sail close to the islands and the shores, and you are sailing at breakfast time too, so it is nice to sit and sip your coffee and look at the scenery outside the window.

Last weekend (a week ago) I took my daughter downtown Oslo to do some shopping. She has grown a lot and we needed some new spring and summer clothes.

When the temperature goes up and the sun is shining, suddenly there are people everywhere....

And in last week I was out in an area southwest of Oslo, Telemark.
I believe this is a beautiful part of Norway, with narrow valleys and high mountains. They have some apple farms there as well, and the trees were in bloom. Marvellous.

During WWII one of the most spectacular actions by the resistance
was the sabotage of the heavy water production site in Rjukan, Telemark.
This was "Mission Impossible" in reality, but they managed in spite of all odds to destroy the factory, and thereby delay Hitler's atomic bomb project.
If they had not made it, the outcome of the war could have been completely different.
This is worth a blog post on its own, because the real story beats fiction.
I will come back to it another time.


stillearning said...

Oh! So sorry to hear about your mishap! That stinks! I hope you are healed and riding again soon.

Thanks for the lovely photos. You live in a very beautiful country.

Anonymous said...

so sorry to hear about your fingertip. Ouch.

I recently read Out Stealing Per Peterson...and didn't quite understand the Nazi resistance alluded to, so sometime do give us a history lesson..

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the finger - I'm always doing things like that - hope it heals up soon. But at least you got some good feedback on where to go next, and so things worked out, in a different way. Lovely photos, thank you!

wilsonc said...

Hope your finger heals quickly and your back riding very soon. The pictures are lovely. What a beautiful place you live in. I am wondering what your Jimmi told you to do about Flame being a bit strong in the bit and not accepting the half halts? My guy is the same way.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Ouch! That finger looks painful. Hope it heals quickly and you are able to ride soon.
I think it was a good idea to have Jimmi ride Fame in a lesson, at least she got worked this weekend and now you have a good perspective on what you want to do with her.
Your pictures from the ferry look wonderful. I would love to visit Norway sometime, it's such a beautiful country.
I'd also love to hear about the 'mission impossible' during the war.

HorseOfCourse said...

Thanks for the nice greetings, all!
My finger seems to be healing well.
I went on a short bareback trip this afternoon, and it managed a couple of short trot and canter sessions too :-)
Anon (Alberta?) Yay! reading a book by a Norwegian author! How cool! Espescially taken into consideration that there are only 4.5 mill living here. I have read the book myself. Did you like it?

I will try and put together a post about the Vemork operation on the heavy water, it is really quite a story.
Coming sooon in a blog near you.

Wilsonc - no we did not discuss it, we just agreed upon the fact that this needs to be addressed and improved.
I can give some personal comments though:
Most horses from time to time turn a deaf ear to the halfhalts, and tend to be heavy on the bit instead. Espescially if you have an eager horse with a lot of go.
The trick is not to give the horse anything to hang on.
A good help in the work is transitions.
As soon as the horse gets a bit heavy in the hand, use your seat and make a transition down, and ease the contact. Note! the latter is very important! Then go up again.
In the transition, try and let the hands make passive resistance and stand against the motion and avoid moving them backwards.
If you use the hands/reins too much in the transition, your horse might lean against the bit, or even worse, dive behind it. If your horse doesn't listen enough on your seat and upper legs that says "slow down", make the transition on a volte, or as a last resort point the nose to the wall/rail - just to get the message through.
If you don't use the hands and the horse still is heavy on the bit, correct it by riding forward and try again. Then the problem is lack of engagement behind, so the horse needs to put some more energy in those hind legs...

And a lot of praise when the horse does it right! That does the trick!

If you remember a short while ago, I struggled with Fames canter extensions (explosions) on the diagonals, which is kind of the same problem, but worse. The treat session really did the trick. Now she is making very nice transitions from canter to halt or walk.
I believe our horses most of the time really wants to work together with us, but sometimes they don't have a clear picture of what we want.
Giving a treat in a situation where you are struggeling to get a message through might be worth trying.

Anonymous said...

yep anon from Alberta,

I did love the book. Of course I was first caught by the title... it is on my Top Ten list of recent reads... I need to read it again. When I really get into a book, I read it in one go...a couple of very late nights and it is done, gone...and then I struggle to remember parts, because I read it so fast.

RuckusButt said...

Oh no! What luck. I have been known to give myself some pretty serious gashes while cooking, but never an actual piece!

Great idea for Jimmy to ride her, too. It must be nice to have someone else's perspective and, I imagine, validation for all your work with her.

Once Upon an Equine said...

Gasp! Sorry about the finger mishap. Hope it heals quickly. Looks like it is well bandaged. Beautiful pictures. It looks so pretty there.