Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The makings of a great weekend.

I had a couple rides during the week.  They were fine.  Worked on  getting a little lateral movement back into our lives.  I am trying to remind my body how to ride in a dressage saddle.  I do love me a forward flap jumping saddle.  And each ride I am reminded how ridiculously out of shape I am.  It is sad.  It is coming back bit by bit but damn 7 months out of the saddle takes it's toll.  Especially when you are fat and old.  While there is nothing I can do about he latter I need to do something about the former.  Weight Watcher my long lost friend, we meet again.
The pictures aren't great but they are all I have to offer.  Blurry screenshots.  I am not sure what age it is when you become capable of video tapings something without it looking like a level 10 earthquake but I can assure you that it is not 12!

Our walk

a bit of canter

le trot

more trot

I just like this shot
Our focus in our flat rides is withers up, poll up which sometimes leads to a little inconsistency in the contact but nothing terrible just what we work on.  He has improved tremendously with how compact he is. He lifts his back and really steps under now very consistently.  It isn't something I have to ride every stride to keep it, its just his way of going now.

On to our weekend.  Saturday house/farm responsibilities took up much of the day.  The girls had been bugging me all day to go out on a trail ride.  Finally about 5 pm we finished one last project and we went to explore some trails we hadn't been on yet.  I am sorry if you get sick of hearing how incredible it is to live with over 30 miles of trails right outside your door but it just blows my mind daily.  While we have been out there several times we have only really been out a few miles one direction.  So we decided to do a little exploring that day.  We found more beautifully groomed trails than we had time to venture down. 

World's best riding buddies!

We got a bit carried away and while the plan was to be back home by 6:50 to watch history be made we didn't make it. So we missed the Belmont.  But the fact that I got to see him run the first leg of the TC live from the rail in Kentucky I guess its ok.  And I was riding.  I actually didn't feel like it dampened the excitement of it.  I  mean not much can take away from how incredible that horse was!

I snapped this from the rail at the Derby.  Anyone recognize the horse in the center?

(Intermission: the life of keeping horses at home. Sitting writing on your computer and hear a storm blow in, run out in rain to put horses in their stalls.  So now I am a bit wet and disheveled but the horses are tucked into their stalls with some hay just before the storm hits.)

Where was I?  Oh yes the trail ride was amazing.  We got home ate dinner then decided to walk to the beach to spend the evening.  We brought all the supplies for fishing, a campfire, possibly a bit of drinking, roasting marshmallows and our super amazing portable hammock. (I should review some time cause I love that thing.)  Hanging out with the family, drinking, fishing, making sand castles, roasting marshmallows, and looking at the bazillion stars with my babies in the hammock.  Perfect. Night. We finally made the hike back home at about 1 am.

The view from my hammock.

Sunday afternoon we were set to go XC schooling.  The kids had a lesson with Pony Club and I scheduled a lesson right after.  The itty bitty kid and the insanely adorable gray pony focused on how to ride a dressage test.  E and the Haffy took a XC lesson and spent much of the time dissecting having a good ride with a jump just before the water, 3 strides to a jump in the water 2 strides to an up bank out.  It is indescribable feeling watching your kid start to learn the technicalities of this sport.  This mean their fundamentals are strong enough now that they get to start progressing and getting down the nitty gritty.  I don't know I guess I just never thought about the solely basics focused phase ending.  I mean I makes sense that was going to but we have been at it for so many years and then all the sudden there they are doing real stuff.  She's not a baby anymore and neither is her pony. It was all about being able to read your horses ride and make adjustments as the water and jumps changed their momentum.  The instructor made them focus on how many strides they were getting.  And teaching them that they need to start taking mental notes so that when they walk their courses for an event they can have a good idea how their horse is going to ride a certain fence and then play it out in their heads.

Then is was Mama's turn!  I wish I had photographic documentation but I just don't.  Steady was his insanely bold self as always.  He eats XC alive.  Our struggle is once he goes over a jump he sees it as a course and is off and looking for his next fence.  I was riding in a new bit and pretty much could have had more brakes if I was riding with a halter and lead rope. It took me forever to stop him after every jump.  He was just enthusiastic but not being an asshole.  It was my first time with this trainer and I think she thought we were more timid than we are because she was taking it easy on us.  Nothing really over BN.  Finally we got to the Training Trekehener and I asked if we could please jump it.  She was surprised and was like, "oh yeah, sure!  You guys can do that?"  LOL I love me a trekehener I really do and we have schooled prelim stuff. Big jumps don't intimidate me when I am on Steady.  If he is listening to me then I will do anything.  Unfortunately he does not always listen to me and that is when my confidence starts to wane.  He was actually listening to me out there so I was game for it all.  We did the training ditch, we did the water/bank exercise with a jump in front of water 3 strides a jump in the water 2 strides and the up bank out.  It was all a blast.  I did a LOT of sitting the hell back and half halting the shit out of him but I really needed a different bit, it was not effective.  He is just incredibly fun to ride XC because of his "I attack any jump I see" attitude.  There is nothing like it!


  1. It's been a long haul to get there, but your weekend sounds amazing. :-) Glad you are having so much fun.

  2. sounds like fun was had by all!

  3. so much fun stuff!! the xc lessons sound amazing too (and i may or may not be trying to live vicariously through your view from that hammock on the water haha)

  4. The last time I had a 12 year old video for me she got all of the inbetween of setting up a jump shut but none of the actual jumps. Whoops!

  5. What an amazing weekend!! I have to admit I am so jealous of your trails and beach... seriously can I move in? I'll do all the manual labor on your farm... have your horse groomed and tacked and ready for you hehe. :D


Steady and I love your feedback, so don't be shy!