Saturday, January 7, 2012

Another Fun Weekend in Aiken

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

So... I just had a fun weekend!!! Me and four friends went to Aiken for two days. I had to work Sunday night, so we went up Saturday morning and came home Sunday afternoon. I managed to get a 3 hour nap before working the overnight shift :) After getting up at 5:45 am Sunday morning... Yep, I'm a glutton! Or just really horse crazy ;)
But anyways... so we headed to Aiken and Paradise Farm and had a stadium jumping lesson with Lellie. Man... it's been too long since I last rode with her. She kicked our butts, but we desperately needed it. She had us do a great exercise, which luckily my dressage coach had me doing also, so we didn't totally clobber it. Basically we had to trot poles on the ground (four in a square but spread apart) and after the pole, halt and reinback. Without going to the reins!! It was a great way to get their backs up and engaged and get the engine revved! The point was to get an uphill balance with a horse that was ready to respond immediately without a fight. So then we transitioned to the canter and then we jumped. And it worked!! Well, in theory it worked... I managed to throw it all away and immediately revert to old habits....sigh. .. But we managed to fix it and ended well and Fleck was jumping pretty darn nicely! So then plan was to then go school cross country the next morning and head home to nap before work. But we decided that we really needed a second stadium lesson to cement things and really make progress, so we got up at 5:45 and had a 7 am lesson! It was great. It was soooooo smart of us to do that because we were able to start off the lesson almost where we had left off and really built on it. It was more or less the same lesson, but we were able to finesse it and really cement that feeling down. The horses were doing great and I felt like I was much more together rather than flopping around like a crazy potato! So it was great. I even got Fleck sooo centered and balanced that we were able to jump the square figure 8 pattern and do a very quick tidy simple change of lead (well, about half the times) instead of our usual fly around in counter canter or only swap in front. I don't know WHY on earth we can't get our full changes in stadium... obviously I'm not asking properly or hindering him, but I guess it's so much other stuff to concentrate on... So the plan is to do a day or two of just lead changes and get those sorta squared away and then in the meantime, we'll put it all together and keep working on the whole thing. So yeah.. it was great! Much more beneficial to do the two lessons back to back. So then.. Fleck got hosed off, cooled out, and had a little hay snack and we hauled down the street and tacked back up! Poor kid... though he is pretty fit and a bit on the heavy side, so it was good for him. So we went off to school and it went pretty well. He was a bit more tired so he wasn't rocketing around, which was nice :) We had one or two issues which were OBVIOUSLY me jumping ahead and making it hard and Stupid for him, so he was smart and stopped. But we fixed it when I behaved myself and waited like a good girl. We jumped both waters and he was great! The bank complex and the double down banks went well. Although, ha ha!!, he did try to run me into a tree...well, suceeded in running me into a small tree on the double down banks. I slipped the reins a bit too much and he drifted a bit too much and smack into the tree branches I go... little crapper! So we did it again and I remaind in control and viola... no tree branch to the face! It's amazing how that works isn't it?!? So then we ended with a fairly big wide bench and a fairly big skinny to get us feeling pumped for next weekend. And it worked :) I'm super excited about next weekend and feeling pretty good, but the nerves are starting to set in.
Oh, and then... to make the weekend even better.... I was able to figure out the work schedule and my lovely co-vet is working for me so that I can go to the Jimmy Wofford clinic at Pine Top at the end of the month! Three weeks away!!! I'm soooooo excited but terrified at the same time. He's going to tear me apart... my floating hands, my weak ankle, my...everything! ! I'm super nervous, but... it'll be great!!

So I'm psyched. I'll do Chatt Hills and hopefully ROCK the training course and not get the third E, and then in two weeks from that we'll do the Jimmy Wofford clinic and hopefully learn great stuff and not embarass ourselves. So yay!!! THanks for listening!

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