Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Oh Glorious Day!

 We are getting a real, true SPRING!!!! It's mid April and it's not humid yet... it's glorious weather! The skies are brightest blue.. the grass and leaves are almost neon green! It's glorious! It was even a tad chilly this morning. Ahhhhhh.... Spring in Georgia is amazing. I really think this could be what Heaven is like. 

I spent the morning catching up on paperwork and records. And then Dan and I headed to Ashland. We met up with Kelli for a quick hack as my warm up for my lesson with Jacel. Dan was so excited to see Marvin and went up to him at the trailer. He was all friendly but then he squealed and got all sassy and kicked out. And then tried to spin so I had to spank him. Poor Marvin! So then we set off and Dan was vibrating!! He wasn't vibrating enough that I didn't feel like I couldn't have him on the buckle, but he was vibrating and had I asked, he'd have been off! He kept turning around to try to say hi to Marvin again. Kelli said he had flames shooting out of his eyeballs! Oh Dan! We walked to lake and let him splash for a bit and then we basically headed back up to the XC field for my lesson. I did two trots up the hill and then a little canter and then Jacel arrived. I know... we had just jumped Sunday... and we're showing this weekend, but... I wanted a quick short XC school because ... you know... I started to get a little freaked out about the weekend. We warmed up over a teeny log and then she had me go over a line of two. She asked if I was okay with going over the coop with the log on top, which was probably novice. And then told me to pick either of the two roll tops... the BN one or the novice one. I was like "That's novice?! It looks huge!". She may have rolled her eyes at me. Ha! Not really, she's too nice. So we did it. I even went to the big one! We jumped the coop fine and as we got to the roll top, he swapped behind and started to drift hard right. He could have run out. Easily. I could have let him. BUT.... go us! I said... no, we're doing this, and closed my right leg and he said Okay and went! And he went out of stride too! He didn't hesitate but he questioned. But when I said yes, he said yes ma'am! Yay! So then we did the bank. And by golly if it wasn't just about perfect! The only thing was that instead of moving my hands left, I dropped my left hand and sort of shut him down onto his shoulder. However, since our canter was great and it was smallish, he was able to rock back and do it anyways. :) We then did the hogsback and down the bank and over the log and he was super! Then we went and did the water. We jumped the white and stone wall thing after the water and he backed way off of it. I didn't ride it very well and again, instead of moving my hands left... I held. But he still did it. So we circled and did it again and when I rode with my shoulders more up and moved my hands to the left together, he was able to jump it much nicer. Then we did the small drop into the water (well, novice) and then a small roll top into the water. Then we went to the ditch and he jumped the coffin great! It does have a false ground line and sucks them in. And he slid! Twice... His back shoes with the pads made him slide, but he was balanced enough and brave and went easily. And we didn't fall into the ditch this time. :) So yay! What a super good boy. Oh, and the best part! Before we did the water, Jacel asked how I felt about the chevron. You know, the one I came off on at the last XC school there. I told her I wanted to do it and I especially wanted to do it with her there. So we did! Good thing as there will very likely be one at Stableview. And we did! He never thought about stopping, but he did question it. But again, because I had him in front of my leg and was sitting up and keeping my shoulders up, slightly pushed my arms forward and kept my leg on. (And I may have added a small crop pop, but more for me).. he went! And boy did he jump it! He got deep to the base and rocked back and jumped up and over... knees to his eyeballs!! It was awesome!

So yay! This was a MUCH improved ride over the last schooling at Ashland. He's much braver, I'm much braver... and we have confidence in each other again. Whoo hooo!!! I'm feeling much better about Stableview now! Especially since they posted that the XC course was set with the fact that we are mid-season in mind... ie... tougher! 

Then we went to the lake and splashed a bit and then headed home. What a good boy!! And what a great day!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Grid Day with Auntie Beth

 Today was grid day with Beth! It was so nice to get back to Morning Run. We got to jump with Jamie and Atlas and Jill and Brady. It was fun to hang out with them again and Beth! And a good day for us all.

We started out with poles and one vertical and progressed to four fences with super tall crossrail oxers! And everyone was super!

Dan was great and although we started out drifting a little right, it quickly fixed itself with the jumps being crossrails. And, Beth made a comment that helped me figure out exactly why we can't jump from a trot! We're trotting too big into the grids. He doesn't feel super fast, but... his rhythm is too fast. And that means that when I close my leg at the base, he has to canter. It also means that he's a bit on the forehand so he isn't as balanced so it's easier to canter. BUT.... if I slow him down a bit... slow the tempo but keep the engine... I can close my leg and he can sit and push. And it works! But it's a fine line of keeping him slowed enough but still forward enough and it's a fine line of when to close my leg and how much. But we managed to get it a few times. And it's nice because I think this is what she was telling us before, but he hurt, so he couldn't sit and therefore he shut down. Now, he can sit and push, so he does. :) And as long as I stayed mostly upright and kept my leg on, he went! In fact, he even went when I was flailing about with no hands on the reins. Ha ha. He came in one time a little underpowered and cantered the last step. But then he heaved over it and then tripped or something or popped.. I don't even know what happened, but he basically popped my straight up and back in the air, both my hands went flying up in the air, my whip went flying, I lost the reins, and I thought... "oh, this is gonna hurt" as I thought I was going over his back end. I somehow managed to hunker down and grab my rein and then my neck strap and Dan kept jumping the grid. He popped me out of the tack a second time but I still had a hold of the neck strap and managed to stay in the tack, despite now only having one hand on the reins and one foot in my stirrup. Ha ha. Good save buddy, good save. Beth was laughing so hard it took her a minute to recover. hee hee. We came through again and managed to do it properly. 

So yep! It was great fun and helpful and I'm sooooo glad that Dan is feeling good and able to sit and push. Fingers crossed he still feels good tomorrow!

Yes, Daniel, you were the bestest boy! Have another carrot :)

Saturday, April 17, 2021

I Love Spring

 Rode at Ashland: Did dressage, worked on collected/working trot and canter, walk pirouettes, half pass, shoulder in and renvers, and transitions. Attempted 3-1 and as we practiced the flying change as a simple, he almost gave me a change. He set himself up and could have done it!

Then hacked.

Then massage with Kathleen. Danny is a hoot!

Then did yard work and dinner with mike. Gorgeous weather.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Busy Day!

 Psheweeeeeee! (Is that how you spell that?!) Hee hee. Today was a really busy day, but yay for accomplishing things! I took Emma to Erin this morning to get her eyelid mass lopped off (because I don't have drugs anymore, or suture, or proper holders, etc) and... when I looked at it, I thought that we probably didn't need to do anything at this point as it was shrinking. Sure enough Erin agreed and we weighed her and Erin listened to her heart and then we went home. ;) Then I went and finished moving the jumps out of the arena. That was a chore! But my workout for the day. :) Then I cleaned stalls and had lunch. And then I decided... what the heck... since the grader wasn't here yet, I might as well go ride! So I did. We didn't ride very long (well, almost 45 min) but it was a pretty good ride. We worked on keeping him in front of my leg without the spur (because, quite frankly, I didn't have my spurs on! ha ha.. but also because.... I overuse my spur). We tried to working on quick hind legs and making him snappy. We also played a little bit with the haunches in at the canter and it seemed better! We even got a teeny start of a half-pass to the left today! We also did some more canter to walk to canter transitions. We still have a trot step or two in a lot of them. But... #progressnotperfection. 

Then I bemered his legs and rinsed him off and turned them back out as Taylor was coming to trim Funny and Fleck. Plus I didn't want to be riding around the neighborhood when the grader showed up with the bobcat! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Body Building and Babysitting

 Dressage lesson: Worked on sitting and getting a quick hind end. Turn on the haunches - ride more like a shoulder fore.. .move the shoulders, not the haunches, but keep the haunches quick. Use the outside rein and outside leg. The same problems in the canter. Must keep him round and supple. Ask for more.. he's ready for it. Shorter rein than I think for a little bit. Feel it in my back. Don't ride with my forearms.. ride with my elbows and shoulder blades, hold him there. sit up.. ride with my seat. Fun but tiring! Worked on renvers (haunces in to the rail) at the trot with Rana using the lunge whip to encourage him. Had a few kick outs and bucks. But also got some moments of nice self carriage and collection!

Then took Funny for a walk about. The gnats were awful. Went to the 1080 house and down to the lake on the left. didn't go farther because of gnats and didn't want to over do it. Dan was power walking and on the muscle. 

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Friend Day

 Relaxing hack with Peri and Kelli

Dan was goofy... eating then trotting ahead then eating... just bouncy. The grays didn't mind us. 

Good dressage ride before. Could NOT figure out how to get his haunches in during the left lead canter. He kept falling out the second I put my right leg on. Kelli helped and had me just bring my hip back. Ohhhh, that kind of worked! :) Not much bend and suppleness yet but at least he moved his haunches over and kept cantering! Yay, now to try that to the right too. I think it's cause going to the right, I don't collapse on the left side. But going to the left, when I do that, I collapse on my right side. Hmmm.... pondering thoughts!