Thursday, December 20, 2012

My heart's on the loose

First week back is the hardest for everyone.

Every time I go someplace I miss my horses. iPhone has made things easier by carrying photos and video of them wherever I go, but getting to watch people ride, and work can be exceptionally difficult especially since you want to take part and join in. I have a blast getting to know everyone and watching progress happen, but secretly I am a little jealous.

The weather hasn't been helping. I went from 70 degrees and sunny to cold, mud, slop and rain in Kentucky. Motivation has been lacking. Freezing my fingers off in the wee hours in the morning doesn't help.

Last week proved to be busy with make up appointments, riding, trying (and failing) to get the house cleaned, dinner with family/friends, phone calls, creating my 2013 calendar, running errands, attempting to go to a movie, and catching up on the ever elusive sleep. Riding time was carved out by the skin of my teeth and with more emphasis on correct spurts than full sessions.

The best part about coming home is getting to try out the work that you've learned.

Last week I had a fantastic lesson with an old friend and former local rider- Chrissa Hoffmann. Chrissa was one of the first to see the pony start out (four or five years old then), the first to get me to Florida to host, and the first rider in the area to really break out to the CDI and international levels. When she left for Florida and to further build her business, I have to say she left a hole in this part of the woods. While there are a few people moving to this area, I don't know if that void will be filled completely. I've had a lot of respect for her over the years, and she has a great eye for teaching and horses. 

It was my first lesson in a few months, and it really served as a vollying point to kick off the season. 2013 is bringing some ambitious goals and an equally ambitious calendar that spans a solid portion of coastline for all three horses. Plus those who are incoming. The calendar includes two weeks at Hilltop for training, some time in Florida (still feeling a little grumbly about this), a trip to Canada, and travel to shows.

Sinari has been on again and off again since October, she was turned out for a week and has been hacking ever since. She's had a tough schedule of travel, training and competition; so I felt that the downtime was really needed. I wasn't expecting much from the lesson to be honest because of this. But instead we ramped in and up into the I1 and some of the I2 work. Even did half steps and worked our butts off in the pir work. I feel pretty stoked for January and February if the trends continue on.

Reba sat this one out, I wanted a few more key details sorted out before we really go public. Her first real clinic will be in Florida, if I can squeak in a test that would be awesome too, but really I'm aiming her to be a spring pony. Right now, the focus is correctness and fitness. Something that is always going to be a long term project. But I'm super happy with her ability to collect and work the half steps from the ground.

Sincere on the other hand will be aimed towards eventing this year. The young man has a lot of ground to cover and if he's still around by fall I would like to see him at the AEC's as a BN or N horse. I'm not a fan of shipping to Texas for the championships, but we'll see. He's not FEH material and I don't necessarily agree with the program criteria. I'm really pleased with his training overall and he should be a sub-20 horse based on how well he carries himself and gaits.

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