Monday, October 17, 2016

geese + grace + gorgeous skies (+ gushing)

AND. The the highly anticipated return of shoddily edited video and screenshots to 'Fraidy Cat Eventing!!! Because it's been way too long since we've seen some low-quality riding video and pictures!!

"who are you calling low quality?!?" - Charlie
Ahem. Sorry if I'm a little excited haha. One of the unintended consequences of changing barns is that I lost my carefully cultivated cadre of videographers. So fresh riding media have been hard to come by. But I managed to get a little in-hand video from Charlie's and my exploration of the mare's field the other night.

#ready4rolex
While this may be an h/j farm, they happen to have a smattering of xc jumps scattered around the premises. Including this adorable little bank they built into the mare's field last summer. I knew the moment I spied it from a distance a week or two ago that it would be seeing some action from Sir Charles.

And the moment finally came late last week, when I arrived before turnout and giddily pulled Charlie out of his stall to hand walk him up and down and all around the bank. Honestly? He cared more about sniffing all the mares' manure piles than he did the bank.


As evidenced by his, erm, less than graceful attempts at going down, caught on film. lol. And please to note - he had already been up and down a few times before I snagged this video.

Oh well - honestly I care more about his nonchalant attitude about the whole thing more than I care about masterful technique at this point.

so sad about how early it gets dark :( love the pretty skies tho!
Anyway, things have been good on the riding front too. He's still a different horse every day - tho his "range," as it may be, is narrowing. His spectrum of soreness levels is narrowing (except when he whacks one of his legs with another, ugh c'mon buddy!) and his various responses to the aids are becoming more consistent too.

blurry watercolor-esque skies partially help mask the inverted disengaged race horse lol
He hasn't actually gotten so stuck that I've needed the crop in quite a few rides now. The occasional nap is in there, but it's more halfhearted and he will eventually go off the leg (sooner rather than later, too).

He's also been reliably forward off the legs enough that I've been practicing working on the brakes. I kinda didn't want to focus too much on halting if it was going to cause a fight to go forward out of the halt, know what I mean? But that's been a nonissue so we've started lots of walk-halt-walks and trot-walk-trots. The downwards are still very slow to develop, but they happen. Small steps y'all.

still cute tho :)
Mostly the growing consistency just makes me hungry for lessons. It's been a month since I rode with one of my trainers, and I miss it terribly. I'm eager for help in developing a better contact with Charlie, since our current de facto way of going is inverted, disengaged, heavy on the forehand, and against my hand. Typical off the track stuff that will take time to sort... but yea. Lessons can only help!!

In the meantime we keep chugging away. And actually Charlie's canter has just been freakin' fantastic lately. God I just love it. Could ride it forever! He has both leads more or less easily enough (usually, tho sometimes he can be picky about one or the other) but tends to go a little nicer on the right lead. Especially when it comes to finding the ground poles. Which he canters like a goddamn professional.

target acquired!
We haven't actually cantered any jumps yet - preferring to trot our little cross rails - but I suspect it'll be a highly pleasant experience. Bc damn, I typically hate trotting fences but this guy just makes it so easy and fun!

yup i'm pretty much in love
Charlie hasn't figured out to try to rush to the fence yet (tho he can get a little strong in trot) but he definitely perks up when we start popping over stuff. And he always gives these tiny cross rails a cute little effort! I mean, obvi he's not really using his body very well yet but I still love how he snaps his little knees up :D


It just makes my cold dark little heart happy that Charlie's showing an interest in this jumping thing! The first ride where we hopped over some cross rails he could be quite wiggly on approach - but this second night (from the video) he was just about as straight as he ever gets lol.

so many pets for a good boy!
Part of me kinda wants to defend or explain away or rationalize why everything isn't really perfect or whatever right now (like I've already done a little bit in this post)... Really tho, I just couldn't be happier with this horse. Sure we have a LOT of work ahead of us, and I could use some professional guidance lol... But until that day comes, we are having so much fun and Charlie is learning the ropes!

workin hard and figuring it all out :)
Ahhh I just feel so much like a 12 year old talking about this horse lol. My plain but promising little big ol' bay ottb. It's about goddamn time.

69 comments:

  1. What a beautiful facility, and you sound so happy with your horse 😊

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    1. thanks haha, i really am quite pleased!

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  2. What a perfect place. And Charlie is doing so well. It takes a while to develop and I think you're doing it right.

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    1. it's a good time of year to be taking it step by slow step, that's for sure!

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  3. Charlie is doing great! You have every reason to be thrilled with him!

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    1. thanks - i really can't wait to get him into lessons too

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  4. Yay Charlie! Rome wasn't built in a day, no need to ever apologize for making progress 😀 go Charlie!

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    1. yup i'm totally cool with our rate of progress - we're just having too much fun lol

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  5. What a gorgeous facility! Progress takes time and you two are already going leaps and bounds.

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  6. You guys are so cute together! And it takes time but you guys will get there.

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  7. hahah omg hes hilarious down that bank

    thats really promising tho. a lot of times their first bank turns into their first launch pad on a rocket ship TO THE MOON.

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    1. lol i don't know if charlie has ever launched off of anything - doesn't seem to be part of his lexicon haha.

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  8. He is the cutest thing evar and I just luuuuurve him!!

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  9. You are creating such a fun, positive new world for him. :) He's a lucky pony! And, what a gorgeous facility!

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    1. that's my goal - it's definitely important to me that he enjoy and understand the work

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  10. Love everything about this! It's those quiet moments that will build the relationship. So cute on the bank too!

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    1. so cute on the bank lol :D and agreed - right now i'm really focusing on that relationship and that building, maybe moreso than the training part

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  11. I'd be super happy with how much progress you guys have already shown!

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    1. Charlie is just a good egg :) i think he likes the laid-back approach too!

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  12. Things are hardly every perfect with Young horses, I think there is no need to explain that because realistic people know.

    I'm super happy that you are having fun and loving the decision you've made!

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    1. lol i like 'explaining' things mostly for my own benefit - to help identify (and recognize) where the weak spots are and what the path forward might look like (including potential pitfalls and obstacles) while simultaneously being really happy with how our journey down that path is currently progressing. objective constructive criticism is mah frend!!

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  13. Cuteness! I think the "baby racehorse off the track ten weeks" is ALL the justification you need. I've recently been re-hit with the appreciation for how important it is to do things slowly and correctly and not rush things for the sake of rushing them (or thinking that you know what you're doing). So I, for one, appreciate your approach.

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    1. ha thanks! it's so crazy bc he really doesn't act like he's that fresh off the track, it catches a lot of ppl by surprise. but he is and that's fine and i'm fully all aboard the 'slow going' train, honestly as much for my own benefit as for his :)

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  14. I just LOVE him! He's so darn cute and is going to be a super fun event horse!

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    1. thanks - i sure hope so!!!!

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    2. Um, this is KC. Not sure why it's saying I'm Anonymous!

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    3. lol thanks for the clarification. sometimes i'm pretty sure blogger is just trying to fuck with us haha

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  15. Aww, Charlie has the cutest little trot jump! He's going to be a superstar!

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    1. his little trot jump is basically just the best thing evar omg! :D (not that i'm biased lol)

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  16. 1) totes #readyforrolex 2) way past goddamn time.

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  17. I about lost it when you said "Graceful" in the video

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    1. haha i like to keep it real around here ;)

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  18. You really need your sound on for that down bank. "kathunk thunk thunk." Goofy guy. At least the second one was much better in the video! He's gets all over the place. It's hard to keep track of those sometimes!

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    1. lol yea i probably should have mentioned that in the caption.... and yea that's exactly it - he's not used to doing anything other than straight lines on level surfaces. meaning, he basically have never thought of his hind legs at all !

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    2. That should say "he's got legs all over the place" but seems like you figured it out. Lol.

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    3. lol yup i can read typos just as easily as i produce them!!

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  19. You should feel so giddy about a new pony! Nothing to be ashamed about! And I hear you on the lesson thing- even though I've been through the green horse thing a few times, it's always nice to have someone an extra pair of eyes around!

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    1. yup - i've basically exclusively ridden green horses (even isabel - she was broke, sure, but everything we did was new to her too) and continue to be a huge believer in lessons

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  20. He sounds like such a good boy! And he's so chill about that bank, love it! :)

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  21. Ah he is so cute!! And a comfy canter? I'm so jealous!!

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    1. omg his canter is legitimately everything i've ever dreamed of! isabel had a nice canter too, but damn it could be a lot of work and was easily our worst gait in the dressage ring (plus. ya know. we occasionally failed at jumping). but his canter just gives me so much hope - i really can't wait to start jumping for real!

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  22. It's so nice to see how much you're enjoying him :)

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    1. thanks - it feels like it's really been a long time coming. pretty sure i'd be able to enjoy just about any horse i got to call my own, but i like to think Charlie is special :)

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  23. I don't think you need to defend anything!! you and Charlie is still learning to mesh and grow with eachother - nothing wrong with that!!

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  24. I want a Charlie! He sounds perfect :)

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    1. i think everyone should have a Charlie - he feels good for the soul :)

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  25. Honestly I'm just ridiculously happy reading this. Gush away Emma, please do!

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    1. it would be my pleasure!! plenty more where that all comes from lol

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  26. I'm so glad you're enjoying your baby horse so much!

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    1. meeeeee too!!! especially enjoying that he's blessedly not actually very babyish for his age!

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  27. He is such a cool dude. I'm so happy that you have him and I'm counting the days until you guys are flying over a cross country course!

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    1. ha thanks!! i'm banking on a strong winter working on building foundations and fundamentals, and hopefully a promising start in the spring!

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  28. Love the excitement around new ponehs & all the new experiences. Charlie is such a cool dude, I cannot wait to stalk *ahem* follow your progress 😇

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    1. haha meeee too!! i'm also eager to have more to report on than single tiny cross rails. all in good time tho!

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  29. Lol I'm pretty sure you have the opposite of a cold black heart!

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  30. What a good baby!! I love his graceful moments :)

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  31. ohmygoodnessgracious i love him.

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  32. Green horses jumping cross rails are so adorable <3

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