Archive for September, 2010

I have been working my ASS off. Woody is so funny, everytime I think “There, I’ve got him figured out. If I keep down this path, steady eddy straight ahead, everything will be blue ribbons and big smiles.


Then I find out Woody wanted me to take that left we passed 2 miles back.


Liza came up for a lesson on Monday and Woody was a bit of a douche. I was feeling all competent after finding all of my fences well at Maryland, and then [image]

It had cooled off a good bit and Woody had (temporarily, lets hope), been rehired by Don’t Touch My Freaking Face, Incorporated, and taken back his position of Vice President in charge of Over-Reactions.


That horse can go fast without going forward unlike ANY animal I have ever encountered. So we ate some oxers, but then both of us finally got our shit together. I keep telling myself that lessons are ugly so competitions don’t have to be.

Our flat work has been STELLAR though! Who would have EVER thought that this horse:

would make dressage his bitch… Although looking at that I’m not sure who has come farther, Woody or me.

Olney Times aren’t up yet, but it’s supposed to be a beautiful day on Sunday!


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So, per usual, Woody and I have a “plan” for the fall season. This “plan” is multi-phased and began today with me taking to the MD Short Course. The first time I’ve competed him since we imploded Rubicon. :P

So, to ensure Super Happy Fun Time for all I entered him in the Beginner Novice Division, and Super Happy Fun Time was obtained. I’ve realized it’s not the size of the fence that matters, or at least that is not where my and Woody’s issues live. So we might as well get out sh*t together (rhythm, focus, forward) over smaller fences.

We finished on our dressage score and won the division, but more importantly (wait, there is something more important than taking ribbons from children?) I have my XC machine back. He was AMAZING! I also got my head out my ass, which was nice.

We have video!

I’m apparently determiined to lay Woody down on XC at Maryland. I was expecting the water to slow him down, as it ALWAYS has in the past. Yeah, it didn’t and that turn came up a bit faster than I had expected.

So, I think I’m going to do the unrec at Olney in a couple of weeks and then Liza’s taking him to Morven, then he’s mine for the rest of the season.

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So, first.  Liza has moved.  It’s a WONDERFUL thing.  She has a great opportunity in Charlottesville, and the people there are lucky as hell to get her in their backyard. and I already miss her like whoa!  I would be remiss if I didn’t spend the majority of this post singing her praises.

It’s no secret that Woody is a strange bird.  He’s an amazing horse, with a work ethic that is beyond reproach, and has talent that I will probably never be skilled enough to tap into.

That said, he is also a TOUGH horse.  He is sensitive and has little to no ability to take a joke.  Me?  I tell a lot of jokes.  Woody thinks few of them are funny, but as an amateur, making mistakes is how I roll, and unless I become independently wealthy and can take lessons everyday I don’t see that changing.  This is why Liza is worth her weight in gold.

I don’t know where to start, so I’ll summarize.  Without Liza?  Woody and I would probably BOTH be ruined.  Some OTTBs are not for the faint of heart nor the unassisted.  I have always considered myself a decent rider, but some skills HAVE to be taught.  Liza taught me how to wait, and be QUIET and patient.  She taught me how to ride the VERY fine line with Woody between forward and running away, and before I could ride it, she had to teach me how to feel for it.  She taught me to balance, not grasp, and she taught me when to fight/press and when to allow.

These lessons on a horse like Woody are NOT easy.  Yet Liza’s way with him is exceptional; I call her Woody’s Xanax.  Not only has she turned me into an exponentially better rider over the past 2 and a half years, but she has turned Woody into a horse that can be touched, and bent, and pushed and WORKED!  Neither of these were a small feat.

She has also taught me how much more I have to learn, without making me feel like an idiot.  Which if being heuristic is your game?  Well, Liza’s your gal.  So, if Liza Horan is in your neck of the woods, and you have the opportunity?  Jump at it, because she knows horses and will work you and teach you and you will be better for the experience.

Woody and I are getting ready for our fall season.  This included a couple of unrecognized events and then Liza is taking him to Morven.  Should all that go well, he’ll be mine for the remainder of the season.

Before Liza left on Friday, I had a flat lesson on Thursday (Liza gave me 5 pound weight loss-lesson as her going away present) and a jump lesson on Wednesday.  She was kind enough to video some of the lesson on Wed.  So I’ll share that here!

We’re getting it together, and I’m looking forward to the fall season.  Liza is an amazing training and a dear friend, and if you’re lucky enough to get the change to ride with her, take it!

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