Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ground Work

This seems like a perfect time to give thanks to a very smart trainer, who 14 years ago made it her job to train the owner while she was teaching the horse. The horse was the better student.  While there were many tidbits I learned, her main focus was to make sure I understood how to be aware of my horse and to listen to him, protect and guide him, be the benevolent ruler he wanted and needed. The second was the importance of ground work.  Ground work made us a team long before we had saddle time. I learned about ears,

and tails, his body position in relation to me, what made go and what made whoa.

 He learned about my cues, space and where and how to go if scared or startled. That lesson was the hardest to accomplish and the most important. This weekend, Gene needed to cut down trees in the paddock. I led the horses up to the far end away from the falling timber with a carrot only, no halters as I certainly didn't want to to be tied to a horse who would likely do a bit of spooking and snorting, let alone two. The plan was he was going to yell "Timber" I would put up my hands and step back away effectively leaving their "space" and making my own. Well, the tree made the biggest snap crack sound before he could even yell timber and those two good horses, stepped well back from me before they pranced out, about 12 feet away, tails and noses high and snorted at the downed tree and Gene.  They were more curious to go see the fallen tree.

 Thank you Bridget, I can't begin to count the number of disasters, large and small, good ground skills have averted.  It is the gift that keeps on giving and has made both my horses a pleasure and a joy to be around. Priceless.

On the fiber fronts, just a little weaving but a lot of sewing prep. Sunday morning I went into pattern cutting overdrive.

 I ordered a passel of new patterns and went to work. Three from Vogue, V1410, V9060 and an oldie but goodie  V8430. I downloaded a pattern from a new to me company Jocole, their pull on skinny pant, and also cut some tried and true favorites. The Sewing Workshop Liberty shirt in medium weight linen and Indygo Junctions Retro Raglan done duster length in wool with a silk lining. This will be a winter repeat of my much loved bright red linen duster I made this summer. A long crossover tunic in a baby wale corduroy rounds out the frenzy. I actually ran out of pins!

 All but the corduroy came from stash, some of it has been in there for over a year. Time to clean off the shelves and use some of those precious fabrics I've curated. 4 tubs full of sewing goodness and space for new fabrics on the shelves. What's not to love!

Lastly, it's Election Day, don't forget to vote and then treat yourself if you can to some wonderful little fiber something something.  :)

Parting shots: The Mighty Hunters, Buzz and Juno.


  1. Ran out of pins??? LOL! That's a lot of projects waiting to be sewn! Have fun!

  2. You have motivated me to organize my sewing room and start cutting. Usually my cut items are in piles here and there. Time for some new tubs and baskets. Love those animal pics.

  3. Great post; that's one BIG yellow tabby!

  4. Groundwork is undervalued by many. You are phenomenal at it. I had a nice ride on Woodrow today and as I was getting him back under control for the 4th time, I thought, "shoulda done some ground work"

  5. Running out of pins makes for a lot of projects!!
    You are inspiring me to sew clothes again.
    Most of the tops that I love come from an high end shop with all natural materials. Problem is I can't afford them and every time I look in the shop, I keep thinking about how simple they are. I used to sew so I know I could make them. Love the photos of the kitties!

  6. Curating fabrics. I like that turn of phrase. I can see the idea of groundwork applying to many areas of life but specially when dealing with creatures who can crush you in an instant! Your cats are looking beautiful in the fall light.

  7. What a lovely post expressing your sentiments to Bridget. It's not everyone who remember those whose early help lives on and on. It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your hoofed sweeties.

  8. Oh, gosh, you stay so busy! I do the same thing, cut out a bunch of stuff, then sew away. Love it. That Buzz is a chunk!!

  9. Coco, Buzz is kind of a chunk but I have seen him in hunting action. He is superb and my barn never has pests in it, or at least not for long. They are quite the duo.

    Hilary, Yes, I am so lucky, to have had a good start with my boy Cooper and not too much later to have added Dandy to the family.

    RL-I curated some really good ones yesterday as replacements too. ;)

    SH&N, I got one of the patterns started and of course, was able to put the pins back into the cushion! There are a lot of great indie patterns out there too that have some good simple lines, so easy to change and fit as you wish...

    Mary, Hardly phenomenal but I will admit that I love ground work just as much and sometimes more than riding. Glad you got out on Woody and that he is still as spunky after all these years!

    Michelle, Buzz is pretty special, although other than me, he is afraid of people. He was a feral capture way back when and while I can pick him up and we have some spectacular cuddle sessions, no one else even ever sees him, only Juno.

    Donna, I have a very small space for sewing, the master bedroom closet, so I have to be organized. Glad I could be an inspiration! :)

    LA, I will, some pins already back in the cushion and the first project well in process.