Sunday, May 22, 2011

A little bit

So we didn't go to Spy Coast this weekend.

I took a hard look at the way he looked and pulled the entry. Otherwise, he was ready.

I guess it boils down to being picky. Sincere is still shedding out and gaining weight back from a hard winter. I'd rather show him at his best the first time out. He deserves that much. He handles really well on the triangle and in different situations he knows a lot more than your average just-turned-two-year-old.

The other thing that had bothered me about the entry was the rule stipulation that, mandatory, two year olds have to wear bridles with bits.

Let me clarify, at USDF shows, it's optional for two year olds. You can show in a halter or bridle (with or without a bit) and you see a lot of long two year olds sporting snaffles, usually stallions and usually at the major high-pressure shows. 

Sincere turned two less than a week ago, and would have been the youngest in the class. I wasn't 100 percent comfortable with a short two year old even wearing a latex covered french snaffle and being run around a triangle by someone who I barely knew.

Instead of showing, I started working towards the next one. I started walking him in new and different places, standing him up, and walking him out. He got his first (and several subsequent) bath since '10 and had his mane pulled. He's learning to be braided, and I'm learning how to do buttons... again.

The more he does, the happier he is. Even though he has a slight worrisome personality (more or less doesn't know what to do), he really does try and more importantly, wants to do his best.

Feels like home again

Training wheels are off and we're flying solo for a while.

While it's great to be at home with everyone under one roof, there are certain things I miss about being away.

We put the pedal to the metal and seriously ramped up arena time. We've been actively schooling since last Friday and finished up the eight day marathon yesterday with being able to gallop and trot steadily over the hills for the first time in weeks. We were both happy not to see an arena for 45 minutes.

Somedays are better than others.

There are some days where we nail a sold canter- halt or a not so large pir. Then there are days where tempi's are non-existent. But for the most part, the solution to the bad days isn't to back off, it's to pick up again the next day and work on it until resolved.

The last official lesson was Wednesday. In a packed arena, we went through our paces. Sinari, recovering from a bad week of being in season and non-stop schooling indoors, was still a little stuck on the right, but was on target in the deep footing, giving good lateral work (baby zig zags), good changes and improved mediums. Her warm up is getting more consistent. I got picked on (and validly so) about the curb rein. 

I've received what seems like two months of marching orders. Smaller pir's, stronger mediums, work on the tempi's, and get the halts down. I've also received the order to get current tape on the mare at least once a week.

So far we're right on target for a June show. Hopefully it means completion of my bronze, L program requirements, and being able to focus the summer on solidifying other levels.

It also means revamping an entire kur. I've been listening to new music and coming across different things and sent a few ideas onward.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Boy you've got to see what tomorrow brings

It's been a long time since I posted something about Sincere.

To be honest, what can you write about a yearling? He eats, sleeps and has a basic lifestyle. 

Sincere is a bit more advanced in the fact that he loads and has been some places. At this point he hasn't shown anywhere (or at least publicly, the vet clinic doesn't count), hasn't really begun work and hasn't experienced much of the world by himself. 

About two weeks ago, I made the decision to move him to where Sinari is to begin training. This is a huge change for him. It breaks him away from his normal herd, it puts him in a concentrated situation and mentally/physically starts preparing him for his future life.

It's also the first time I've been able to consistently touch him on a daily basis since he was born, it's also the first time I've really watched him move in a long time on a decent surface and had him evaluated.

In short, I have a really nice horse. Where he'll go is beyond me, but I think he'll end up in the dressage arena.

Minus some minor mishaps (he thought picking a lock was great fun), he's been progressing every day. I started started free lunging to develop his gaits, he's had multiple baths, is in the process of getting his mane razored to a respectable length. Over the next few days he'll start wearing a bridle, and go out for walks around the grounds.

The idea is to aim for the Spy Coast Young Horse shows which are taking place down the road from us. The series starts later this month, and I figure it would be a good place to start.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Gone baby gone

My time in boot camp is slowly coming to a close. We've been intensive, daily work for the past five weeks, with only, maybe a handful of non-riding days due to weather or out of town status. It's been a non-stop marathon of learning and creating a program for the next few months.

The away part of the program came to a close in the past week.

The pony and I traveled all of 10 miles home and the challenge of working without training wheels or daily eyes is only starting. I'm slightly scared about backsliding, but I know help is only a phone call and video away.

Sinari has gained so much fitness over the past four or five weeks, we bumped up the schooling to all of fourth level. The changes are clean and pretty, but I need to learn to count. The mediums come and go, but they are getting better Her current favorite trick is to drop her shoulders and run. But by far her lateral work can be considered an easy 7 if the tempo is kept up.

April has flow by and so has our goal list:

-Gain more elasticity in the trot
Definitely more power, but could have more sit.
-Ride anything over 15 hands.
Didn't get to do, timing and the fact I was shipping horses around like mad, I only had time for one.
-Make the most of the next six weeks
Almost up, but it's been a thrill of an adventure. Can't wait to do it again.
-Finalize saddle
Sent the cheque
-L Program
Finished up session C, preparing to do sitting hours and find a 2012 final session site.
-Just ride damnit.

May Goals:
-Not allowed to drop the shoulders on the forehand
-Small Pir's
-Accurate 3's and 4's.
-Sitting hours
-Nail second/third level
-Find boots.