Monday, October 6, 2014

wherein i ride the horse and we do things

Ms. Princess got a few days off from me after her rock star performance at the HT. In all honesty, with back to back show weekends and all the related prep (and my own nerves), I think she was a little sick of me. So. Time off aplenty!

When I finally went out on Thursday, she wasn't super pleased (maybe she thought she could go feral?). But I fed her dinner and she was ok with it. Poor thing looked like an orphan tho, with a matted mane and crusty coat (not that she cares). Long manes are a bit alien to me, coming from hunter land. But I guess it's kind of blasphemy to pull an arab's mane? Plus she doesn't belong to me.... so I get to deal with this:

FUN!!!

Anyways, my plan for our ride Thursday: keep it REALLY simple in regards to what I ask from her, and focus on *me* instead. 

This meant getting a head start on our October goals: 2pointober!!! My baseline is about what I expected: 2:47. Kinda weak. That's fine tho - plenty of room for improvement! 

While in two point, I focused on all the angles in my legs - starting with pointing my toes straight ahead, which then moved my upper calf onto the horse's side, took my pinching knees out of the equation, and changed up my hip angles. Hopefully turning this into muscle memory will be an added bonus of practicing so much two point!

Meanwhile, there was a little grid set up for the lesson kids - three Xs one stride apart and I couldn't resist :). 

this totally counts toward my grid goal

Friday night followed almost exactly the same script. Notable differences: added a minute to my 2point practice, and the 'c' element of the grid had been moved up to a 2' vertical at a bounce distance. Yay!! 

I love that this just magically happened. I don't really trust my fence setting skillz at short distances, and was expecting to have to ask my trainer P to set a bounce for us in saturday's lesson... so hurray that the bounce just appeared! Isabel and I went through it twice quite nicely - good girl!

2pointober tracker

Meanwhile, our lesson on Saturday went well. Isabel flatted very nicely and P had me focusing on lowering her head and feeling her back lift. Had some nice moments at the trot, and even got a few steps at left lead canter wherein I felt Isabel's hind legs really step up underneath her. Progress, slow and steady. 

Our jump exercise was deceptively simple: figure 8-ing around an outside line. We started this at the trot - repeating the loop until trainer said to stop. Then we did it again at canter. The key was to be very aware of your track - esp since the jumps were close to the rail and the turns were tight.  

(i am an artiste, clearly) 

P didn't want us going deep into the corners - just land, trot a step to fix lead if necessary, then canter back to the rail to approach the next jump. In an ideal world, when the horse figures out the pattern, they start landing on the correct leads every time. Or, ya know, if you're a balanced and subtle rider, you can cue for the correct lead. 



Or, if you're me and Isabel (who typically lands on her right lead, period), then you will land on the incorrect lead EVERY SINGLE TIME. Seriously. Mare landed on her left lead for that right turn 4 times. That's gotta be some kind of record. But, in any case, I was focusing so hard on the leads (and failing so utterly miserably) that the jumps actually took care of themselves and we got pretty bangin distances every time. Huh. Go figure. 


there was a petting zoo at Isabel's barn this weekend for an event. i could not get enough of the pygmy goats in their teeny halters. soooo cute!!

Sunday was all about trail riding. It had been a few weeks since we'd been out, and there's a new rider at the barn who wants to explore with her newly leased gelding. So out we went for a nice mental break. Isabel was a phenom trail mom, as always. 

doin what she does best: motorin with a mouthful of grass :)

So it was a fairly productive few rides - tho also low key. Chatted with P about the last few events of the season. She said there's one more horse trial fairly close by that would be a nice outing for us - and a good way to cap off our introduction to eventing. Stay tuned for more info about this!

12 comments:

  1. Sounds like a fantastic weekend! Thanks for the figure eight chart - I'll have to try something like that with max sometime, and a bounce too!

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    1. thanks! it was fun! and that figure eight was a nice exercise - not very difficult to set up + no measuring required (yes!!), but still can ask some technical questions

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  2. OMG, her face is so cute! Sounds like some good stuff goin' on :)

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    1. thanks! she loves mugging for the camera lol

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  3. I feel ya with the leads. The struggle is real.

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    1. right?? tho i heard an interview with andrew nicholson on his recent burghley win, and he mentioned one particular combo on a bending right line, and that he anticipated getting an extra stride there since avebury lands on his left lead every time. so we're not the only ones with this problem!!!!

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  4. It looks like a braid than a mat/dred. Maybe she was playing beauty shop?

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    1. haha maybe?? idk how she does it really. it's actually two sections that twisted individually, then somehow twisted together, then flipped around a few times... she does this all the time and it's a MESS lol

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  5. I'm clueless, but maybe do one of those running braids on her? Sounds like some great rides, and major successes with the leads! Love those moments! :)

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    1. thanks! i do actually put in a running braid when we travel for lessons or go to shows, and it DEFINITELY helps. but i don't like to leave it in for long periods of time bc i worry about her rubbing the hair our and her owner getting mad at me lol

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  6. Leads... bleh. They exist only to frustrate me.

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    1. lol right? that's the story of my life.... at least the mare is handy!

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