Sunday, August 2, 2015

Tough skin, Elastic Heart

Bringing out young horses is always an adventure, and much like Forrest Gump's saying, it's much like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.

Flair has been off the property in an unofficial capacity a few times. She gone to the local parks, went and did opportunity classes at the little show venue, and even has done materiale over at Spy Coast.  For the most part, she's done very well.  Not everyone can say with 30 or so rides that they have a fairly straightforward horse that goes places and scores decently.

I can confidently say, we do.

Sometime around June I felt it was necessary to take her out to her first recognized show to start giving her an official record. I'm always nervous about this because developmentally, she's still on a huge learning curve and not every place is a good place to take a horse like this out.

Venues are really important to me, and I'm known for being particular about where/how I show up.

The Virginia Horse Park isn't too far off from the Kentucky Horse Park in the way of atmosphere- it's large, with active arenas. But unlike Kentucky, it's fairly quiet and the riders who ride there are mostly professionals bringing out their kids or gaining scores for Devon or Young Horse Championships. It runs an active breed show alongside it. The footing is decent and the management does a great job hosting and running the event itself.

It was an ideal match and I wasn't disappointed with the results.

Flair, through torrential rain, deep footing, wind, kamikaze pony riders,  twirling umbrellas of doom and arena switches was unfazed and managed to pull out a solid score at Training one, ending third in a class of 12 experienced horses.

It was good to be back after a hiatus. It was good to see familiar faces and be in the fold again and I'm looking forward to eventually getting back myself.

Back at home the focus has shifted to the Keuring in August. I love inspection and there's a certain amount of pride this year going in. 

First is that Haiku is peaking just right for this. She's fit, and cooking right along in training. She's now regularly going off property, and is doing regular work. 

Flair with now about 45 or so rides is developing her gaits while maintaining her usual rideability. Over the next few weeks, the IBOP test is our biggest focus. Making it smooth and rideable without loosing the quality of the paces. 

Between rounds with Flair, I've begun to take back the ride. I finally got tired of sitting on the sidelines and so we have begun transitioning her over to me. She now rides five to six days per week. Three days is spent on new concept, three days are spent just stretching and the final day is either a lunge or hack day. 

Either way, we're over halfway through season, with one, maybe two more shows left in addition to keuring.


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