Thursday, August 1, 2013

Let's Shake Things Up

Now, I know that most of you guys think that us Dressage-obsessed riders are perfectly happy endlessly attempting that perfectly round circle or ideal balanced turn onto the centerline... Occasionally I feel the need to shake things up.

Of course that could be because I broke out my second pair of new Tailored Sportsman Breeches- which are knee patch not full seat (oh, and I LOVE, btw)- that I felt the need to try something new.
Quick side note: Have you ever noticed how two pairs of the same brand of breeches can have completely different fits? Today's TS front zip mid-rise Trophy Hunter breeches in '50 Shades of Grey' fit like a glove. I love love love them. If I could order 2 more pairs in tan and some other fun color, I would. Now, compare that to yesterday's breeches. Also TS mid-rise Trophy Hunter breeches, only difference is side-zip and awful color choice (dammit, me). The waist gaped and just made me feel like I should have ordered down a size. That being said, I still liked them... I just didn't love them. You guys know what I mean.

Anyway... moving on.

I brought the horses in for breakfast and a few hours of being by themselves.... Where three of my four horses promptly laid down and fell asleep.
"Dude.... It's not easy being herd stallion."
But that made my 'who to work first' quandary an easy decision. Which is good... I'm not good at tough decisions early in the morning.

Delight, you're up! You lucky, lucky girl.

So what did we do that's so different? I set up two itsy-bitsy-speed-bump sized jumps and hopped her over them for half an hour (in my Stubben close contact saddle - without knee rolls. Bonus points for effort). I will say that I think Delight had fun. She hopped over every single tiny x-rail and cantered merrily off. Right about the time she started to add a little more gusto to her post-jump canter, I decided maybe it was time for a little 'flatting' as the h/j crowd calls it. You know... or basic dressage...
I have to say that her canter was the most up hill and easy to bring back to more sit than I have ever ridden out of her. Loved it!

Now time for a little audience participation:
Here's my conundrum: Delight did not qualify for the championships, so she only attended one show this year. I am a self admitted ribbon ho'. I do love those ten cent ribbons! Should I man up and take her to the County Fair Jump Show? Let's be honest, Delight is more than capable of the heights offered and I'm pretty sure that even I can master an 18" course in a month. Man up and attend? Or wimp out and 'focus on dressage"?
And if I take Delight... Should I just toss RC in the western classes while I'm there... or is that just unsportsman like?

Anyway... moving on....

Tilly was next up on my roster. RC gets today off since he has evidently taken up stripping as a past time and lost another shoe. We're down to one! And I'm out of sympathy... so he'll  have to work barefoot.

Back to Tilly.
Tilly's inherited the Bling Browband
After my jumping experience (and yes, I am using that term very very loosely), I wasn't really feeling it in the ring. I took her across the street on a little trailride.
  It's hill work,  I justified. Really, I just wanted to get out of the arena. We trotted up and down and over and around the hills for about half an hour. By the time that we'd trotted around the property, I was pretty sure that she wasn't going to spook me off (since, let's face it, Tilly isn't a bucker... but she can be quick when she spooks) I asked for some canter up, over and around the hills. And we had some of the loveliest, most mouthwatering canter that I've ever gotten out of her. Just beautiful. The kind of canter that makes you imagine top hats and tails, Olympic rings and pomp and grandeur. Or maybe that's just me.
Now, the down side to cantering along in a field is that there are deer. And one thing I have learned about deer is that they can be bastards; leaping out in front if vehicles, loitering in the middle of the road or even waiting until your horse is close enough to notice the terrifying white flash of tail as they flee for safety. Now, in this case deer are bastards because they lay down and make a round 'nest' in the middle of what would otherwise be a lovely - if fallow- hay field.
Tilly and I discovered this as we medium cantered across one.... and evidently a deer lie-down spot looks quite similar to the Gates of Hell to a cantering pony.
Tilly spooked and in a heroic mustering of courage, lept the Pony-Eating-Hole, thus saving us all... at least in her little pony mind. To her rider (me), it felt like someone catapulted my pony into the air with little or no warning to the poor unsuspecting passenger (again, me). I'm pretty sure that at the apex of her leap I was a good ten feet over the Gaping Jaws of Hell... a good three feet above my brave, stoic pony... And just praying that when I came down from that height that the pony would still be under me. I was not relishing the thought of finding out whether Tilly is the type to stick around after dumping her rider, or would rather flee to the safety of the barn (ahm, Delight. I'm looking at you).

Fortunately, gravity continues to work and I some how ended up back on my pony who then rolled to a stop to give me a reproachful glare for my moment of poor riding. After all, she put in the effort to save us both when she could have whirled and left my ass to deal with the pit of demons.
I'm sorry pony. It will never happen again.

Ok, I lied. It'll probably happen again. Sorry about that. Gotta love those ammy friendly temperaments, right?

1 comment:

  1. Three out of four horses were napping?