Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 in Review -- part 4

This is the final installment of our 2014 review - covering the end of fall and onset of winter. Follow these links for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

October
-Isabel and I celebrated two years together.

-We had two jump lessons at OF. One aimed to help with landing on the correct leads (Isabel and I proceeded to do exactly the opposite lol). The other had us battling sloppy, soupy conditions to eke out a fairly decent lesson. (video here).

-The chiro came out to work on Isabel. She was out in almost all the same places as her previous session in April - despite intensified focus on improving her way of going. Thoughts here. 

-Schooling show at OF. This essentially served as a dry run for our next HT - so we parked and warmed up in all-new places. Isabel was 100% professional and I managed to hang on well enough. (Still not convinced our jumping round was worthy of 1st lol)

-Lesson with new trainer C. The focus was on being *still* to the fences. She wanted me stretching into my legs and letting go with my knees. Also - hands UP. For Isabel - we needed to slowwww down.

-Another Horse Trial!!! This HT was our biggest event to date, and showed improvement in every single dimension, except, uh, one big one. We were eliminated... oops. But we had our best yet dressage and stadium rounds, and our xc run proved that Isabel is into it (except water and mud, ew), and moving up to BN is not totally unrealistic. 

-Bio-mechanics lesson. This session was too short to dig into the meat of Kirsten's concepts - but she introduced me to the topics of side-to-side v front-to-back balance.

-Lesson with Dan. Biggest takeaways here were on the flat - tho the jumping went well. 

November
-Rode inside for the first time. All was well, except this was the first of two back to back OF lessons where my eye made a dash for the door when the jumps went up (second lesson here). Le sigh. 

-Hunter Trials were an absolute blast! The wind was howling and it was colllldd... but Isabel was a pro and trucked us around the 2' course of natural obstacles (essentially doubling as xc schooling) twice, winning both classes. (so there goes my assumption that Isabel can't be successful in hunter type classes!).

-Learned more about Isabel's breeding and history. And BABY PICTURES!!!

-Went on a phenomenal fall trail ride

-Jumping under the arena lights was deemed not an issue. (at least, when the lights work)

-Celebrated my birthday - and gifted myself some plexi-glass to enclose the trailer

-Trainer P suspected that Isabel may have ulcers

-Jumped 2'6" and didn't go splat!!! This included the roll top of doom again - tho it was backwards (and therefore less scary) so I'm not sure it counts or not lol. My confidence is maybe turning a corner. 

-Planned to go to a nearby jumpers show with a barn mate, but she cancelled at the last minute with a lame horse. Proceeded to focus on grids in our OF lesson instead.

-Had a break-through bio-mechanics lesson that will be the focus of this winter's 'dressage bootcamp.' Big take away: must be laterally balanced before Isabel can balance front to back - and therefore truly be straight and engage the hind end. 


December
-Isabel finished a two week course of gastrogard and started preventative supplements

-Lessons at OF included more grids and focus on positional details (like our release!!!) - both indoors and outdoors. We jumped hands free! And I started shortening my stirrups for jumping in an attempt to stabilize my lower leg.

-Rode with Dan again. He wanted me to work on the timing of softening my aids, and the quality of my gaits - both during transitions and while jumping. 

-We missed a lot of riding due to trashed arena footing and lights that only worked sporadically. Then we missed literal saddle time due to swellings on Isabel's girth area from a bareback pad (oh the irony). 

-Replaced saddle time with bareback time. Hilarity ensued (with onlookers doubled over in laughter after watching me awkwardly clamber up onto my short mare's back...), tho I managed to avoid falling off. 


-Isabel endured unspeakable torture for my own holiday amusement. Good times were had by all (except Isabel Scrooge) lol

24 comments:

  1. I'm still jealous of your bareback skills.

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    1. haha thanks! that was definitely fun - tho now i'm really trying to be more aware of bracing in my stirrups... such a bad habit!!

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  2. I will never get over that last picture. You two are the funniest pair.

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    1. haha thanks - that horse mask was maybe the best decision i've ever made lol

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  3. Just the thought of the amount of work required to do recap posts for the year makes me tired! I loved reading through them all, especially since I started reading mid year.
    Isabel is such a cute little mare, reminds me of the arab my best friend had when we were kids. Her and P had quite the love affair!

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    1. i kinda like doing the recap posts bc it's a good way to relive some fun moments :) - also very cute about your best friend's arab and P. isabel has a new boy friend now and it's adorable lol

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  4. Another who is jealous of your bareback skills :) Loved the recap posts, so much accomplished this year, congrats!

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    1. yay thanks! and the bareback stuff was fun - i just wish i could recreate the feel in a saddle!

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  5. Replies
    1. horse masks are the best way to cap off any year - good or bad lol

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  6. I love that picture of you jumping bareback! Your leg is amazing! Sounds like it was a pretty good year :)

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    1. thanks! it was a big year full of firsts - that's for sure! and thanks about the leg comment - i only wish my legs behaved so well with stirrups!

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  7. Wow!! I know I keep saying this but you guys look fantastic!!!! You make that bareback jump look easy! Sounds like 2014 has been a busy and fun year - doesn't that make you look forward to 2015 even more!! Hooray!

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    1. thanks! 2014 has been a great year for us! definitely looking forward to 2015, tho i suspect our progress will be much more incremental than this past year of big 'firsts'. that's ok tho :)

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  8. Yay for jumping 2'6" and all the bareback jumping - seriously impressive!

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    1. thanks - it was definitely a lot of fun :)

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  9. Sounds like a good year overall! I look forward to a 2015 goals post (hopefully!) and hope next year is just as good if not better :)

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    1. thanks! i'm super happy with how the year went, and am looking forward to 2015 too :)

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  10. Woop what a year, cannot wait to read about all your adventures in 2015 ☺☺☺

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    1. yay thank you!! and happy 2015 to you too!!

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  11. You've done such a great job with her! Sounds like an awesome year! I hope 2015 is even better!

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    1. thanks!! she's been an amazing partner through it all - and i'm super excited to see what might come in 2015 :)

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