I watch as others are off at Event Camp having amazing lesson after amazing lesson. Yes I do envy some and long for the thrills of XC. But I made my scheduele, I am happy with it and it has worked well for us thus far so I am sticking to it. I am actually grateful to not have to put in hard training rides in this unbearable heat. Instead I have taken these dead of summer months and spent them playing, traveling and having fun with my family. This is why there is much silence here. I ride a few days a week and nothing spectacular happens. I feel very little pressure because the only thing we have planned for the rest of the year is a Novice Derby and I feel we could do that with our eyes closed...lol...ok not literally but I have no concerns about a schooling Novice Derby. Isn't that funny???! A year ago I would have most likely peed myself at the thought! Now, it is no big thang.
I give lessons to my daughter and Lily as often as I can and those two have progressed wonderfully. They jumped their first vertical last week and did great! My daughter is super proud of herself for that. Long over due here is the post I typed up right after fair week.
The fair: Exhausting, emense amount of work, hot temperatures, cranky children (not mine thankfully), rude adults. Yet priceless memories, numerous good times and so many wonderful moments and after about 4 days of recovery the feeling of 'I am never doing that again' turns into, 'I can't wait until next year!'
|This makes it ALL worth it! Look at those two! A perfect pair!|
So much to fit into a post. First off, my daughter was amazing. She worked hard, took care of her pony, never complained and rode like a champ. She came home with 2 1st place trophy's, a second, 3 third's, a fourth and a sixth place ribbon. Not bad for a first year member on a pony who has been under saddle for all of about 2 months. I learned a ton about Lily this week and I am pretty excited about her potential. I have always thought that this pony had something special about her. I knew she had a good mind and a steady personality. Both things that are very important to me when thinking about a mount for my children. Then I found out that she is a willing and quite adorable jumper. Once I started watching her being worked I noticed she has lovely gaits. She has a lovely over reaching walk. She also LOVES to stretch over her back. We found this out when my daughter who had never ridden western pleasure a day in her life and this pony who has pretty much done nothing except get started under saddle goes out and wins the Western Pleasure W/T/C (or walk, jog, lope as they call it) class! No joke. She got out there in the arena and Lily just wanted to stretch so she fit right in the mold of what a WP judge is looking for, nose to the ground frame. I was cracking up!!!
|Seriously? This kid is even happy cleaning out her pony's stall.|
Then they also went out and had the nicest round out of about 10 riders(mind you some riders were 16, 17 yr olds) in the beginner jumper class. Elaina and Lily had a steady rhythm and just jumped each jump right in the rhythm. They were the only ones who did not have a refusal or a rail out of the entire class. That was by far my daughters highest point of the week. She has that jumping bug like her mother. I was so proud of her and her pony.
Lily is put together very nicely. She has a proportionate body and neck, a head that is substantial enough for her stout body yet delacate and precious with a perfectly cemetrical stripe. One of her nicest conformational qualities is her hind end. Baby got back! Really though she has a round butt but more importantly she naturally comes under herself. She scored high in both conformation classes she was in, placing 2nd and 3rd.
She is smart. I am not kidding when I say this pony is a genius. No lie in 10 minutes with my daughter riding, that pony learned how to side pass!! They were going into a trail class that required side passing all the way down a ground rail. My daughter insisted that she wanted to try to do it. Just to apease her, because I knew there was no way they were going to be able to do it, I worked with them on it. And in 10 minutes she had her doing it! Then they went into the class and they nailed it! I am still in shock about that.
My daughter did have one spill when Lily spooked at a Gator driving by with a bunch of stuff on it. But she got right back on finished her class, then went directly into the next class and won it! That kid has a whole heck of a lot of grit. She has also been told she is tenatious by a trainer and I think that sums her up pretty well as a rider.
Lily has the mind, the conformation and the ability. Now she won't be sailing through training level anytime soon or ever but she has the ability to pack all three of my girls through Beginner Novice. What more could I ask for. Her biggest downside but even that I consider a plus is her GO button seems to be broken. She takes a lot to get going. Once she is going she does well but my daughter cannot ride without a crop or spurs. Cause she can sit all day long flapping her legs and kicking away and Lily will just stand relaxed as can be and just hang out. Now when I get on it is different because she moves beautifully from and off of pressure but as a 9 year old kid you just don't have the strength to use the kind of leg pressure that she needs. But even in her fault I am thankful because I would much rather have my daughter on a horse that resorts to slowing down when, tired, off balance or scared than those that get hotter, faster and more reactive.
I am not sure if I will be able to pull it off but I would LOVE to have those two out doing a Green as Grass derby in the fall.