Friday, May 25, 2012

And I want more

The last few weeks have been a blur between a lot of highs and lows.

The season is here, and it's breathing down our necks and after two straight weeks of training, it feels like we're prepared enough to roll down centerline this weekend at 4-1. No promises for photos and videos, I have no idea about the amount of extra hands I'll have about.

In between I tossed both ponies into Houston and Hess' clinics.

Sinari, dug deep on the first day of Houston and produced a solid school with really ramped balance and collection. The second day, riding in the heat of the day, we ran out of juice and schoolmastered around trying to keep her comfortable. She was able to pull a little bit out of work, but we mostly worked on biomechanics and positioning.

Sincere benefited as well, getting a base feeling and direction as to where to take his training in the next few months. In the end, I know the more we develop on the ground the more we will have under saddle.

A day off from work and we shipped over late to Rolling Hills to train with one of my all-time favorite judges, Christoph Hess. Christoph, who has an equally quick eye as Houston and Koford, picked up on the work quickly. He began ramping us into this week with emphasis on scores. We picked apart and reviewed and picked some more. His goal aside from setting the stage was to push an electric ride.

Talk about a different ride entirely! Sinari became positively hot off the aids, to the point where we were pushing control issues. But that's where we needed to go, just to the edge.

Hess also noted a year over year improvement on the mare, which was great to be not really re-humbled back to a 20 meter stretch circle for 45 minutes.

I also brought out Sincere to this one as well. The purpose was two fold, the first being that getting him off the property and getting him into a job (even a basic mindset of work) in a new place is fun and he shouldn't worry about it. The second, is I have a huge amount of respect for the people I work with, Hess being one of the top people in the young horse world I wanted his thoughts on what was produced three years ago.

While Sincere was a trooper, and I didn't kill either one of us in long lines, Hess was not as impressed. Sincere pretty much looked like a turkey trotting around tense and not his loose usual self.  But, given that he shipped in 30 minutes prior, was groomed, tacked up in a busy barn and lunged in a strange arena, I give him more credit.

Overall it went well, and we'll be back for more.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Plastic ponies anonymous

I've been trying to find the time to write this, it seems so hard these days to find time/energy to write due to the schedule!

So other than putting about 2,000 miles on the truck and working odds and ends and dealing with an extremely busy schedule, there's been some news as of late.

A while back, Breyer (y'know the plastic ponies) announced it's annual festival at the KHP.

I have Breyers, and while I'm not a super-nut for plastic ponies like some of my friends, I do have a soft spot for some models that dot my book shelves and my nightstand.

I still have Erin Go Bragh, Black Beauty, Merry Legs and a limited edition arabian horse that a friend gave as a graduation present. I still pick up the yellow box to read the back stories on the model.

However, I normally avoid Breyerfest weekend at the park (these days I'm rarely in town to really do any avoiding).

This year's theme is British invasion (London 2012) and apparently since Sinari is technically considered British by default (Welsh), she came up and was accepted for Breyerfest.

Which leads to the dilemma-- what do you do for Breyerfest?

Enter one freestyle. There have been a bunch of ideas thrown about in the camp, but the one main requirement is that anything we do be, well, English-themed.

My initial freestyle is done to Dr. Who, composed by BBC, however I think the music is too serious for a bunch of girls who are in it more for entertainment than anything else.

Then we thought of Queen and while the guys thought it would be spiffy to dress up in drag (pleather full seats anyone?) and get sparkly Petries, again, age plays a factor. Beyond, We are the Champions, I don't think anyone remembers Fat Bottomed Girls.

The final decision went down to Coldplay. The modern band isn't my first choice, but a relation (e.g. my brother) pretty much booted a Paradise/The Scientist/The Verve remix that is total fun/high energy.

Riding has also been interesting as well, we ramped her up in VA, and this week we're taking it a little light due to an upcoming clinic and show. Doesn't mean the work isn't serious, just means that we're doing more suppling exercises.

Sincere is out long lining, the wee guy (well not so wee now) turned three yesterday, and he's been going on the lunge now (on and off) for the last three weeks. What a guy, just takes everything in stride. It's been forever and a half since I've gotten to play with a baby, and I've forgot how much fun it can be. Yesterday he went out long lining in the fields, took everything like an old pro.

I'm guessing his summer plans will include lunging, some free jumping, getting out on the trail in long lines and then by late summer/ early fall have someone jump on him a few times for some work, perhaps a cheapie in hand show to get him out there. 

May Goals (I'll cap April off this week):
-Above 60 percent scores at 4th level
-hone the pir's
-hold the count on the tempi's
-up the balance point

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

All around the world

I've been really naughty and not posting. Partly for good reason, partly because my internet on the road is more than sketchy at best. 

Part of what I've become since last year is more active. I used to barely travel outside of Kentucky to ride, and now I'm hauling to the big East. My trailer time went from an average of maybe a once a quarter trip in the spring to now a once a month thing.

I blame Koford.

After last week's clinic with Houston, the pony and I traveled out again to VA to see Koford, Houston and Shannon Peters.

I was going to host Shannon (that was a whole another kettle of fish that was cancelled) that weekend and pick up more time training with Koford and Houston. While Shannon didn't happen due to a strange airplane cancellation, spending time with the amazing Morningside crew, Koford, Houston and company did.

Sometimes karma just works out in your favor.

We really ramped into training with Koford, the balance came way up and we rolled through PSG. Found out that the pony had a fitness issue and needed to work on condition for the marathon test ahead. But for the most part we both agreed that we would be ready to roll (barring a flop at 4th) PSG in July.

Houston saw us after the three day ramp in and still had stuff to tweak on my position and accuracy.

It's nice to have the guys in your corner pushing you and helping you go in a direction.

Between rounds, I had a Wednesday photoshoot with photographers Wendy Wooley and Matt Wooley. Since they participate in what I host I felt turnabout was fair play and became a working model for about 45 minutes for 8 photographers.

It was the first time I wore a shad in public. Not entirely too sure about it still, but we rolled through elements of fourth and the PSG (plus some half steps). The pony was braided up and looking spectacular. One of the images above is one of my favorites, I'm looking forward to seeing the entire results.

I'll recap April and do May's goals soon. But for now there's just too much going on.