Monday, February 10, 2014

Marathon Weekend

What a marathon...
Friday, Saturday and sunday were rough for me, but in a totally good way. The kind of weekend that makes me secretly happy that today and tomorrow are supposed to be cold and rainy. The kind of weekend where I trailered a billion miles, took a ton of lessons, and I ended up much more tired than any of my horses.
The best kind of weekends.

First there was my Friday lesson. I felt like I was just getting too competent at this riding thing, so in an effort to knock myself down and unearth a whole new realm of areas in need of improvement, I'm trying to take one jump lesson per week.
There happens to be a wonderful hunter/jumper trainer less than ten miles from me, so Deli and I loaded up on a cold, windy, rainy afternoon and showed up ready to leap tall buildings and possibly sample some arena sand.
"Ready? I was born ready!"

Shortening those stirrups
 Yes, I showed up with a 'hony' (god I hate that word), with a roached mane in dressage tack. To the trainer's credit, she didn't even flinch even though we had an audience for most of our lesson.
 It started well, leaping over the ground poles with way more power than necessary.
 The more we hopped, lept and jumped, the looser Delight's back became.
Weee... Trainer then started introducing us to gymnastics since Pony was obviously neither intimidated nor overfaced by the 12" jumps. I didn't even fall off. I got really really close when Trainer added a solid box under the middle gymnastic and Delight gave it her best 'WTF?' look and duck. As I was comtemplating how embarrassing it would be to fall off my horse in the first lesson with Trainer, while riding her neck with no stirrups around the jump, it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I could save myself. All I had to do was sit up and push myself back into the saddle before the jumps came up again and voila!

An hour and a half later, a very tired me and a happy, energized pony untacked and headed home. Now for another attempt next week...

Saturday's event: Dressage lessons north of Houston for me and both ponies.
I trailered both Tilly (who's trailer loading technique has much improved) and a hopefully relaxed and tired Delight in for two lessons. We ended up spending the night and taking four.
Tilly and I worked on really reaching under with her little pony hind end while maintaining a contact. She gave one launch into the air in protest before quietly resuming her work.
Pony Says 'WHAT!?!?'
Delight was a champ.
 I guess that all the leaping and allowing her to figure things out for her own gave her a nice calm mind and back for out dressage lesson. We did a lot of lateral stuff, focusing on the counter canter in the shoulder in to prevent anticipation for a lead change. Delight can be such a fun pony when she's calm and relaxed.

Day two of dressage lessons was actually a day of cavelettis for both ponies. Delight loved it (even though we had some excessively exuberant canter poles). In contrast, Tilly thought that ground poles were on the same level as water boarding. She was NOT a fan when confronted with a 4" obstacle on the ground. Her face was a picture of long suffering betrayal every time I asked her to trot or canter over those poles. Poor Ponita.
After those lessons, I had to rush the tired Ponitas out to the barn, unload the mares, catch and load RC to bring him to Cowgirls practice for picture day and dress rehearsals...
For those who don't know, Katy Cowgirls is a mounted drill team composed of KISD students who carry flags before the rodeo and perform for the National Anthem. I did it for 12 years with Opie, and RC has done it for two years with a friend of ours. This year, a neighbor/student is borrowing him and doing a great job with him.
After dress rehearsals, RC did a few practice runs around the barrels. Adorable! He really looked like his mother there for a minute. I cannot wait until the rodeo to watch RC carry flags and run in Jr Barrels. It may not be his forte, but that little quarter horse can do it all!
But for today, I just want a nap!
(That's a poodle, under the covers, sleeping with a toy in her mouth)

1 comment:

  1. Nice pictures. We UP North are jealous. This morning we had -28 by my house.
    RC makes a nice Dressage horse gone Western. Try to get some video of him doing the barrels to post.
    Your horses look very happy.
    Reggie and Smokey want to move to Texas also, but only until summer. They do not like the heat.