Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pride in the name of love

I have become the Epsom salt queen.

Not for the pony, but for myself. In the past three weeks, we've taken a total of four days off. Two purposeful, the other two due to weather. Even in high winds and so-so weather we rode.

But I've discovered muscles that haven't been existent for sometime, and some that still need developing.Still figuring out the mediums and extensions, still need to make the pir's smaller, and the tempi's are coming along very well.

The pony has been progressing rapidly, consistently and what seems like break through after break through. I'm the one who occasionally has the brain fart, over shooting (!) the centerline and conceptually getting my head wrapped around some of the exercises. By far she excels in the collected work and lateral, it's easier for her to work in the canter, but the trot stuff is coming just nicely.

Despite extra curricular stuff, this is easily the best time of our lives. The show schedule has been amended, and it looks like we'll be doing some out of state traveling.

For the first time in about two years, I want to do more and I don't care how much work I have to put in.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Boot camp

I've been at a cross roads for sometime.

On one hand my barn and life is pretty good on the other hand, I'm not progressing to the point where I'm being challenged.

Before the Hess clinic, I had made up my mind to take six weeks, move house and go to a friend's barn and just train. It's the first time I've ever done this, probably not the last. But it's my effort to actually give what I want a shot. So out I went to start a sojourn. This is my test to see if I can hack it.

Clinic ended Sunday, the girl had a single day off and today, well, today we were back at it.

The pony didn't know what to make of the mirrors, the good footing and the fact that being the shortest, chesnuty horse in the barn award went to her. She has turnout again. I think she honestly died and went to pony heaven.The fact her stall is twice as big as her one at home probably tickles her as well.

But as the saying goes, the more beautiful, the more work it is.

The last four days have been a feeding frenzy of nervous energy. I didn't know what to expect, or how to expect, or what to do. So finally the day came when I got to tack up, ride out and work our tails off. It was a relief.

Immediately the stirrups and whip was yanked and a few more institutions were added. We spent a solid 35 minutes working at the trot without stirrups, complete with lateral work. Canter work was really nice and spent another 15 to 20 minutes working through that. All good, pony improved after and for the next two days while JK is out, we have work. A lot of work. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cruising attitude

The weather has warmed up and I'm not around my computer as much to do frequent updates.

March was out like a lion! We accomplished as much as time would allow between the weather and everything else.

-Ride as much as the weather will allow
Check. Despite downpour, we even got to the outdoor.
-Prepare for Christoph's visit
Check, but I should have watched the tape a few more times.
-L program
Check. Session B down. Session C in the works. Sitting hours scheduled for May.
-Run through third
I did this with Christoph with mixed results. But hey, we ran through third!
-work on walk turn on the haunches
-Half pass and lateral work
Good, but, really need more respect for the inside leg.
-Purchase new dress boots
Unfortunately I ran into a bit of a bind on this. I have my eye on a pair. 

Ever since March, we've been running non-stop from point a to point b. Finally, Christoph came into town and while I didn't think we weren't prepared enough we did find out a lot about ourselves during so.

We were in good company for this clinic- everything from a green broke just turned three year old all the way up to an High Performance pair of geldings. It was a huge population of 12 rides. Sinari was the only pony, and only Welsh.

Friday we went over to school, and ran into old friends and made new ones.  I spent the afternoon schooling around the arena working on minor things, and making sure we have the right stuff in the right place.

The first day I put her in the double and it didn't go as well, I'm not coordinated enough for the reins and Christoph was constantly asking me to get off the curb. She was behind my leg, and worked on creating a cruising altitude for trot and canter which seems twice as quick in the tempo from what we normally go through. It felt like we were on the verge of out of control, but at the same time it was like driving a sports car. We also worked on a ton of lateral work. She excels at the lateral work, especially half pass.

Second day, we slapped the snaffle back on and while my hands looked out of control it went better. We ran through 3-1 at the end of the day, despite not knowing the test and testing out a new saddle we muddled through alright. I was happy with her changes, and the improvement on the second day was easily marked to where Christoph cracked his infamous smile and nearly pulled me out of the saddle when he shook my hand.

But now comes the hard part.

April starts the marathon part of my season. We are temporarily staying with friends down the road to be in training with a rider and to figure out a few things for the upcoming future.

April Goals:
-Gain more elasticity in the trot
-Ride anything over 15 hands.
-Make the most of the next six weeks
-Finalize saddle
-L Program
-Just ride damnit.