Monday, May 31, 2010

The Bechdel test

I ran across this video on Twitter a few days ago and thought it was really interesting. In the past ten years, with the popularity of Buffy, Sidney Bristow of "Alias," and Zoe of "Firefly," I really thought that the zeitgeist of women in television and movies was changing. Now I see that, if it is changing, it's doing so at a glacial pace.

Today, I found both of these pictures in the same article at TVGuide.com. [Insert inarticulate cry of rage and despair here.]

Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Huey video

A harmonious schooling session; the kerfuffle at 4:52 is not a spook but a trip. Huey is famously fumble-footed except when jumping 3' 6" cross country. Go figure.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Random stuff that made me giggle

This is Simon, the electric schoolmaster. Now, I don't want to be entirely mean and snarky. There are probably many great uses for Simon. But my first thought was of the actual schoolmaster, Aron, that I got to lease while I lived in Lubbock. Which led me to wonder: Can Simon be programmed to be afraid of baggies? To randomly offer a capriole when cantering across the diagonal? I'm fairly skeptical about just how much knowledge will actually carry over from Simon to a flesh-and-blood equine.

And this, according to the blogosphere, is BP's planned logo redesign, undertaken before the mess in the Gulf. Should we laugh or cry?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bantry Bay

Bantry Bay was the last place we visited in Ireland. We were there for two and a half days. It's a picture-postcard of a town, situated where a steep valley winds down out of the foothills and hugs the bay. The town runs up the valley, and it seems like every building is a different cheerful color.

Not to be outdone, the boats on the bay are equally colorful:

We saw a handmade sign for the "Whiddy Island Festival," so we decided to take the free ferry over to the island. All we found was a bleak, windswept island populated by a few dozen sheep and cattle. The "festival" consisted of a pub, a bouncy house, and sumo suits. I think that in Ireland, if you have a pub, then you have a festival.

Another super ride on Huey this evening. He offered bigger strides when I asked for a medium in trot, so he's starting to get the idea. We also schooled working canter to collected to working. That's easy-peasy for him.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Falling in love again

I had one of those rides today that make you fall in love with dressage all over again. Huey was eager, bendy, and listening, so I threw a bunch of stuff at him and he handled it all without turning into a stress ball, as is his wont. Trot-shoulder-in to a few strides of medium, 10-meter canter circles, counter canter, working canter to collected back to working. He only tried to throw his head twice, and instead he just started to raise it, and then I saw a thought bubble reading, "Aw, fiddlesticks, that never works," and he went right back to being soft.

Medium trot will probably be our biggest bugaboo, so I'm not asking for much, but am instead focusing on the downward transition to very collected trot for a few strides, then back to working trot. I want him to really sit down and build those butt muscles, and hopefully that will help him get the idea for medium.

Camilla had a jumping lesson on Huey yesterday, and I took pictures. Here's Air Huey doing his thing:

What a versatile gelding!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Second lesson on Baby Huey

I had a really fun lesson on Huey on Saturday. Camilla hauled both Huey and Flash over, and she took a lesson as well. The plan was to stick Flash in an empty stall while I had my lesson, but Huey had a meltdown when I got him into the arena and he realized Flash wasn't coming, so rather than spend my entire lesson getting Huey to stop shrieking and leaping about, Camilla brought Flash into the arena and stood with him. Silly Baby Huey.

With his buddy back in the picture, Huey was very good. I can tell the quality of the trot and canter has improved since our last lesson. I'm also able to keep a solid connection much of the time. (Huey would rather float behind the bit.) No more crowhopping in the canter departs, and transitions in general are looking much more relaxed. Camilla took Huey to a cross country clinic on Sunday, and she said the instructor complimented her on Huey's flatwork. Yay!

You'll see in the video trainer Leslie with her arm in a cast. She was helping the head trainer work on piaffe to passage transitions as a ground person, and the horse kicked out and broke her wrist. Two pins and no riding for eight weeks. Her mom, next to her, has a broken ankle from a bad step a month ago. Together, they look like they've been in a rumble.

Saturday, May 8, 2010