Thursday, January 22, 2015

field trip!

Yesterday I wrote that we managed to finally ride!! Yay!! And observant readers may have noticed that we were in a different indoor! One of my 2015 Q1 goals was to explore alternative arenas for schooling while our facilities at home are unusable. 


So B and I brought the horses over to the hunter barn ST for a little schooling session. The facilities at ST are really VERY nice - and the footing is all kinds of technical with these cushy little fibers mixed in. The indoor isn't huge - but after riding in OF's 20x40m indoor for the past few weeks if felt downright luxurious lol. 


 she located the feed room immediately haha

This barn's arena fee is a little higher than some other nearby farms, so we will probably check those out too... but it was nice to get out and get some fresh exposure for the ponies. 


Wick wants to know where we've taken him this time 

Isabel was predictably a rock star - behaving herself well while getting tacked at the trailer, even with the wind blowing like crazy. The conditions actually reminded me a bit of the super windy hunter trials we did last november - and my philosophy re: weather is that 'if you'd show in it you should school in it too', so it was definitely good practice. 



Isabel settled in to the new arena pretty well - nothing was particularly offensive, tho the fake boulders piled up in one corner earned some strange looks lol.

the outdoor arena looks downright idyllic right now...

We were testing out the Bates too - and Isabel seemed to go very well in it. I think she definitely appreciates a saddle that isn't constantly moving around on her back (shocking, I know) and she flatted very nicely. Not perfect, but surprisingly good (in both directions!) given her lackluster performance over the weekend. 



I kept it pretty simple - lots and lots of trotting and circles. And she actually had some very nice moments during our right lead canter - making me think our last lesson was just a blip rather than a full on regression. Honestly, I don't think she really likes the indoor at OF. It's small-ish and there's always so much going on in there. Oh well princess - winter sucks... 


getting ready to jumpy jump

There was an interesting course set up in the arena - kind of forming a circle in the center. I decided to give one of the lines a whirl - two skinny green boxes along the diagonal. We trotted the second element first just to make sure Izzy was cool with the astro turf (she was cool with it). Then we trotted in to the line and got a forward four strides. So cantering in gave us a forward three - except when we got a tighter distance and balanced for four instead...


quick video of last time through for saddle fit assessment

Izzy was spot on and just felt fantastic. She moved up to the fences really well and did a great job finding good distances. She's also been landing on all her leads lately, which I definitely appreciate! I think that's actually a function of riding in the small indoor - she knows that turn is coming up fast and takes care of the leads over the fence. Whereas in the outdoor we've got all the space in the world and leads matter less (in her mind anyway). 



I think the distance/pace thing might be improved due to all the many gymnastics we've worked on in lessons. In fact, even the exercises I set up at home (when we could still ride there...) included lots of placing poles and focus on footwork. So lately we're jumping right out of stride more often than not, and even our more questionable distances are pretty ok. I like it!!! (tho we'll see if it lasts when the jumps go up...)


Anyways, it was definitely a fun and productive outing and the horses were very well behaved. Part of me dislikes the idea of paying an arena fee every time we want to school... but mostly I just want to ride my horse. So hopefully this will become a common occurrence! 

24 comments:

  1. Yay sounds like a fab day! I really, really like the way Isabel looks in that saddle. I'm not saying I know anything about fit but I just think the colour is fantastic on her.

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    1. thanks - it WAS fun!! and i like the look of this saddle too... but then you touch it, or worse, sit in it... and yea not so nice haha

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  2. It sucks paying an indoor fee on top of everything else, but if you can find someplace reasonable, at least it gives you a place to ride, even if its just once a week.

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    1. yea that's what i'm thinking - and there are actually quite a few nearby farms to choose from!

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  3. Bah I would hate having to pay an indoor fee, but at the same time I would hate not being able to ride my horse. It's a meh situation all around ><

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  4. Sounds like it was a good time though meh on the indoor fee. I have to pay as well if I want to use the indoor at the fancy barn owned by the same BO. It feels so lame ): All your trailering adventures makes me want to get my own trailer- despite how far off that idea still is lol

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    1. yea the arena fee really stinks - but on the other hand i'm still paying the lease on the mare even when i don't ride... so i'm trying to view it as just a temporary lease increase lol

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  5. Awesome you were able to get out and use someone elses arena, hopefully the other options in your area are awesome and more affordable!

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    1. thanks! so far it's looking promising!! going somewhere else is a lot more work than just riding at home, but so far it seems worth it!

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  6. That place looks gorgeous! Bummer about the higher than usual fee.

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    1. yea... pretty much ALL of their fees are 'higher than usual' (one of the reasons i stopped lessoning there regularly haha), but man those facilities are nice and the location is SO convenient!!

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  7. Go you! I've been meaning to jump Riesy but I'm just being a fraidy cat! Seems like you are no longer the fraidy cat!

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    1. haha thanks!! not sure i can claim that honor tho - as i declined to jump anything else set up (even tho they weren't outside of our normal range)... eh, i just try to take it one fence at a time!

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  8. Don't you just love trailering out places?

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    1. it's definitely more work/time/money than just waltzing over to the arena... but still better than just not riding!

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  9. What a creative way to make things work! It's totally worth it if you get to ride and have a good time! What a nice way to practice going to new places/arenas too. I loved the video you guys are flying!

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    1. thanks!! i agree totally about practicing in new places - and that's what i've been telling B too: that by the time we make it to actual shows the whole process of packing/traveling/hanging out by the trailer will be totally old hat. and thanks about the video too - she felt SO GOOD!!

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  10. Totally agree with Carol above: trailering out to all of these different indoors at different barns is going to turn Isabel into quite the pro in new environments when you start going to shows! :)

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    1. thanks! i continue to be impressed with how well isabel travels - tho i actually expect this show season to be even *better* than last year, since last year i went everywhere alone and now there will be 2 ppl to help manage the horses etc. definitely makes things like registration and course walks easier!!

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  11. Have you asked about their board prices to see if it's equivalent to the board you're already paying plus arena fees plus gas money? Maybe you should switch barns in the winter? Just a thought. I don't know anything about boarding hehe. :)

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    1. yea, that has occurred to me too... this particular barn's board is absolutely higher than Isabel's current barn, and i'm not sure about the other barn we go to.... tho that barn is significantly further away too

      the real issue tho is that isabel doesn't belong to me (and i don't pay her board), so it'd could be tricky convincing her owner that a short term move would be worth it, and i'm also unsure if we'd be able to reserve her stall at her current barn while we're away (since there's currently a waiting list to get in...)...

      so short answer: we've got a trailer so might as well use it!

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    2. Oh yeah duh!! I completely forgot while reading this post that she is leased haha. Blonde moment. :D

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    3. lol no worries - i can assure you that the idea has crossed my mind plenty of times, lease or no lease haha. oh well, hopefully spring will be here soon :) !

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