Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cantering on course

Annie cantering by enjoytheride
Annie cantering, a photo by enjoytheride on Flickr.

Here's a snapshot of us motoring toward our next fence. We both look like we mean business.

In which we sweated a lot and learned some stuff

The stars aligned and I was able to get out for a lesson at the fabulous Come Again Farm. 

I got tacked up and hacked around on part of the cross country field while the lesson before me (full of Training level riders) finished up with an enormous gymnastic.  Turns out it was our gymnastic too!

Annie and I were faced with a sea of poles and she jigged and jogged and scrabbled all over the place, eventually I learned how to be a steady rider to help my horse be steady and the poles started to form fences.  The gymnastic ended up being 3 canter poles, about 3 strides, 3 more canter poles, then a small step over fence, over a placing pole, to a one stride.  Phew.  The poles were both helpful and a hinderence.  If we weren't moving forward enough we stepped all over the poles and took down the jumps.  If we moved at a forward pace then it was like the poles weren't even there.  This was a difficult exercise for me as I tend to sit like a passenger when faced with an issue.  I had to be confident, supportive, and stear with my legs and not my reins. 

Then we added a few fences after the gymnastic, they were small fences but the first one was off a turn and my eye needs work so we got there wonky a few times. 

After that we moved onto a simple plank fence which Annie stopped at several times.  She was tired and I guess I thought if I just sat there like a lump she'd jump it.  Nope.  Then we jumped our first impressive filler fence, and finished it all off around to a very big to me vertical which jumped like it was nothing. 

All in all I was very satisfied  (and very tired) with my lesson.  I made lots of mistakes but with the instruction I was able to learn from those mistakes and get it right a few times. 

Here's a picture of us over the filler fence.  My leg has slipped back during her effort, but it felt pretty solid over most of the gymnastic so that was good.

Annie jump

anniejump by enjoytheride
anniejump, a photo by enjoytheride on Flickr.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Spastic week, good results

This week hasn't really been that crazy (compared to last week) or stressful (compared to next week at work) but I seem to be a bit spastic anyway.  Who knows what I'll do next week. 

On Tuesday (Too Damn Hot To Ride on Monday) I left my boots and half chaps at home, I was determined to ride so I got on in sneakers and breeches and did most of my work sans stirrups (ouchy pinchy ouchy).

Wednesday was another TDHTR day so I lounged at home and thought about riding.

Before leaving for the barn today I made sure I had my boots and half chaps in my trusty bag, but I didn't bother adding breeches (I blame the bag, bad bag) so I rode in shorts, paddock boots, and half chaps.  Let me tell you that is both a fashionable and a stylish way to ride.  So I spent the entire time in my dressage saddle (cursed thing) without stirrups.

I think the no stirrups work in my jumping saddle has started to pay off as I didn't feel as discombobulated without them in my dressage saddle.  I felt Sooooo confident in fact that I had a little canter without them.  It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, although the downward transition without them on a green pony/horse was a bit jouncy.  I'd like to continue that work to help make me a stronger and braver rider in the future.

Eventually, at some point, I'll have money in the bank AND time for a lesson again.  I'm looking forward to having Rachel come out (more on her later) and travelling up to my favorite eventing barn Come Again Farms (more on that later).

Monday, July 16, 2012

The heatwave continues

Well, the temps are finally cooling off (If, by cooling off, you mean down to 94 from 107) and I am back to riding.  A major car accident and dealing with useless insurance companies also kept me out of the saddle.

One of the things I like about Annie (there are many) is that she's the same horse after a few weeks off as she is after a day off.  Her version of "fresh" is trotting a little quick.  She doesn't get spooky.  Despite the temps she's willing to motor along in her new mantra of "forward is better."

Today I kept it simple since I had to go pick up my car from my mechanic, 15 minutes of walk, trot, and canter work. 

I touched some on our "long and low" work otherwise known as "Annie goes like a hunter."  She's really gotten the idea of it and she really likes to work out towrd the end of the reins while staying on the bit.  The use of her back and the quality of her trot work have improved by a huge amount.  She's not as good to the right, and she will come up if she wants to look at something but I'm getting long periods of good quality work.  We can canter long and low but it gets more into the hand gallop range and less into the canter range. 

I've been working some without my stirrups at the beginning of each ride, eventually I might work up the nerve to canter her without them.  She's got a big canter for such a little beast and it makes me a bit nervous.  I'd also like to ride her bareback.  Maybe. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Adorable buckskin pony with awful name and huge potential

I found this pony while surfing the internets and I think he's really something special.  Only 5 years old, originally ridden western, and currently ridden by a rider new to english riding and dressage.  I thought he was a cut mover with potential and then I saw that trot to the left.

Knocked my socks off.  Where this QH pony with the awful name inherited that extended trot from I do not know.  I doubt that his rider asked for it, and that's what I think makes him special.  I can see him with someone more focused on dressage, and I see him really excelling in dressage.  Somebody go get him!  He's located in CA.

Long Time Reader First Time Blogger

Well, after a stupid hot weekend I have come to the realization that Facebook simply can't handle the amount of stuff in my head so I've decided to start a blog!  Kind of scary, for me, and for the general public! 

This blog will be about my attempted adventures in Eventing as well as pretty much anything else I find interesting!  Pictures, ramblings, etc to follow!  Welcome dear reader.... you are out there aren't you?


 Hello all,  Life has been busy and I have not felt I've had anything worth blogging about.  Or that my blog is particularly interestin...