Saturday, January 7, 2012

Aiken Weekend-o-fun

Monday, March 17, 2008

So this past weekend (well, some of it was weekend, i guess technically it was Thursday through Saturday) was a fun weekend. Me and most of the fellow SWAG eventing team (SWAG stands for Shi**y Wives and Girlfriends because....well, our hubbies keep telling us we suck since we're always with the horses!) headed to Aiken, SC for a weekend of fun. And it was!!!
So... we left Thursday morning and arrived in Aiken after a little bit of construction traffic woes. We then unloaded the ponies and got our stalls fixed up. Then we reloaded the ponies and went trail riding at Hitchcock woods. How fun!!! That place is beautiful! I must say that we have some good ponies too. We had to park in the road pretty much! My trainers 3.5 year old was a fantastic boy. Her plan for the weekend was exposure and man! did he get it. And he did great! In fact, he was better behaved than Fleck for the most part ;) But anyways... so we went on the trail ride and had fun. Fleck and I jumped a few of the brush/log pile type jumps. He was a goober but good. Here's the only picture we got. Not the most flattering, but hey! it was a trail ride!

so's the rest of the SWAG gang!

aren't we hotties?! must be why the hubbies put up with us :) then back home and out to dinner. Yummy mexican. Unfortunately I had a horrid migraine, combined with the flu, so I felt like crap. Luckily my friends all gave me various OTC drugs to help alleviate it. That, and I had a raspberry daiquiri to try to help too. So eventually I felt better... mostly due to the hot shower and nightquil I took. So I am just about to fall asleep...or maybe already had, when the phone rings. Oh, we're sleeping in our trailers at the barn. So the phone rings and I accidentally hang up on my friend. So she calls my trainer and tells us that tornado's are hitting our home town! eeek!!! So I called the husband and he says it's just bad storms in our area. So I go back to bed. Well, at 6:30 am someone from my old job calls to tell me the tornado's are now even closer to me and before I can get off the phone with her, my mom beeps in telling me about the tornado's! Jeepers!!! Apparently they hit downtown Atlanta but that was about it. All my critters and hubby were fine. So anyways... I felt SOOOOO much better that morning.
Friday was XC day :) We had three lessons scheduled with Steve Milne, who... is FANTASTIC!!! I would definitely clinic/lesson with him if you ever get the opportunity. I had a good XC lesson. Fleck was being NAUGHTY!!! Well, Fresh might be the better word. He also was awfully fussy and bucky! I think he needs his teeth done, which...will happen this week! And I think I was a bit more nervous than I was hoping after the Ark weekend. But it was good, especially since I still felt sorta icky. I don't think I have any pics...just video, but I'm not going to post those on here. So the things I learned and need to remember are...
... When Fleck gets fussy and throws his head up, my hands need to also go up to maintain that straight line to his bit. I tend to want to drop my hands below the withers and that makes him worse. Also, I need to learn to get Fleck to pay attention upon landing and not go off in his own little world. Sometimes, we have things to do!! I also need to practice jumping at angles, because Fleck is pretty happy when it's straight on, but gets a bit worried at angles. So we'll set up a jump and jump it straight, then a slight angle, then a bit more of an angle, etc. let's see, what else....? That's all I remember for now. Darn it....good thing I have video!
After everyone had their lesson, we hauled the ponies to the Saddle Doctor for a saddle fitting. The poor ponies...lots of traveling. But it wasn't far to the saddle doctor and THIS time, we went the right way the first time. So that was good. She did a really good job and sounds like i don't HAVE to buy a new dressage saddle yet. Whoo hoo. Good for my check book. So then we did dinner again. This time YUMMY pizza!!! It was soo good and I was starving. So then back to the barn to sleep and get up again for the next day.
Saturday was Dressage Day. We all had another lesson with Steve and luckily we all got our lessons. The weather was a bit iffy. Started out sorta dreary, but the second half of our lessons were SUNNY! Again, Fleck was being a bit of a butt. He just kept neighing at his girlfriends back at the barn and seemed a little racy. But it was a good lesson. I had a breakthrough. Sorta...Again! keep myself from forgetting...
INSIDE LEG TO OUTSIDE REIN!! duh!! but I can't forget to actually USE my inside leg. The inside leg is used to create a bend around it so that Flecks' shoulders are actually coming in - the shoulder in. But I should use my inside leg to create it. Then my outside leg can go slightly back to help keep his haunches from being thrown out.
Get your guns! hee hee. it's silly, but it helps me. If I point my index fingers like guns, they should be pointed at the bit. Otherwise I need to (probably) raise my hands to get them in line with the bit to keep that direct line going.
Use my seat....SIT!!
Keep Fleck SLOW and in a nice rhythm. The goal is the quality of the gait...the long slow reaching strides are much happier than the short fast choppy ones. I know... Karen's been telling me (and pretty much everything else too) forever now, but... still. Obviously I haven't quite grasped it yet.
So whoo hoo. It was a yucky lesson to the witnesses in that Fleck and I had to work some stuff out, so it wasn't pretty, but... I learned alot and have a lot to work on.
So after dressage lessons, we were originally planning on leaving town. However, the weather in Georgia had gotten scary again. So...while we were waiting to see what happened we decided to go for lunch. Man!! Yummy! We found a new Mexican place down a little bit but still close - Mi Ranchos! Sooooo good. Then when we got back we decided it was okay to haul home, so we madly packed up and left. The trip wasn't too bad, but we did hit some hail and heavy rain. But the horses were champs and we made it home fine.
Fleck was pretty tired the next day. He spent most of it snoozing in the sun, so he got the day off. But... we'll definitely work on the stuff we learned on our next ride.

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