Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Quick Update on Growing Pains

Good news! I am leasing a new horse to play with while Candy's hocks try to fuse. I've posted about Sawyer previously, and am excited to say I signed the paperwork Monday to officially lease him!

It's definitely weird having a horse who isn't Candy, and riding a horse where I can't do exactly what I want to do with him. While I'm leasing him, Sawyer will still be in training and being ridden by trainer a couple times a week- which is a totally foreign concept to me. I'm sure I'll get used to it in time (and even be grateful for it with my school schedule), but for now, it's strange.

His owner seemed pretty firm about showing him in hunters and equitation up to 3' so it looks like I'll be dropping my stirrups and sitting pretty for the next few months- a definite change from my "git 'er done" riding style I adopted when I showed Candy in combined tests and jumpers. It will be nice to focus on my form, though; being an effective rider doesn't mean I can't be pretty too.

Overall, I'm so excited! It will be a chance to try a new(ish) discipline on a new horse, and hopefully, re-build my confidence in the jump ring. I also never seem to flinch away from the opportunity to buy new horse tack- so far, I've hoarded a halter, a bridle, and a standing (!) martingale.

My saddle is a W and since I still ride Candy a couple times a week, I can't get the tree adjusted to fit Sawyer. Anyone have any recommendations for a good half pad for a shark fin TB who fits in a MW tree?


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bits & Bobs

Made a horrible (excellent?) decision last night to postpone studying (desperate cramming) for an exam and take a riding lesson instead. Should I have slept for 2 more hours? Probably. Should I have studied for 2 more hours? Definitely.

Was the lesson worth it? Absolutely.

I've been considering leasing Sawyer, the lesson horse I've been riding- he's a bit green and very out of shape, but up until last night, never put a toe out of line. Last night, the sassafras came out full force. Apparently, Sawyer had been up in a stall for 3 out of the last 4 days with a pulled shoe and lameness. Hadn't been ridden for 4 days- what could go wrong?
This is the horse I was expecting last night. Didn't happen.

Thoroughbred brain. The Thoroughbred brain was in full force last night.

We wouldn't stand still, or he would throw a fit (baby rears). We wanted to canter sideways. When jumping a grid, he insisted on jumping like a deer and taking off at the base of the jump shadow rather than the base of the jump. While I probably didn't need exciting Sawyer, it was nice to see that his stupid behavior is manageable- when he gets stupid, I can sit the bucks, bolts, and deer jumps (thank you, Candy, for being always being sassy).

Obviously, Sawyer and I both need work, but it is a confidence boost to be able to handle the good with the bad. He never fully settled last night, but I got a few steps of quality trot, managed to make him wait at the base, and stayed on through a less than perfect jump/landing (and avoided near collision with an equally naughty pony- fall fever was in the air last night).

And did I mention he just got switched from a corkscrew D to a snaffle? Yeesh- could have been a lot more fun last night if I hadn't had brakes. (Also- thank goodness he's out of that corkscrew- makes my mouth hurt to look at it...).

I'm getting my fitness back to where it was, slowly but surely. I've been doing pilates/core exercises in my spare time, and I may join the Two-Point-Tober effort unofficially.

In the meantime, trying not to drown in schoolwork/exams- only 1 week until Fall Break and my return to KY!