Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

School is crazy awful, so hopefully things will settle soon. In the meantime...

- K & C

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lesson Recap 3 & Weekend Hacks!

Sorry the lull in blog posts- I have had a not so great week the last week and a half between a terminal surgery, hot mess of an exam, and struggling to mire through quizzes and assignments that come with the 3rd year of vet school. Still tentatively horse shopping; my parents are coming down the weekend after next and I need to speak with my dad before I purchase anything. I have a few prospects, nothing concrete, and nothing "perfect", but for my budget, I doubt I will find perfect.

So let's get on with the good news and recap some lessons and hacks!

Lesson 3: Thursday before last
I had tentatively signed up to go to a show in Birmingham, AL, but backed out because A.) it was a Hunters only show, B.) it was before my terminal surgery and reproductive exam, and C.) I really should be conserving money (LOL). I told my trainer, go ahead and I'll ride a hunter-style lesson, so she put me on Charlie. For those of you who don't remember, Charlie is a Warmblood who goes around the 2'6" ring like Rothchild: ears pinned, bucks in the changes, sassy, and unlike Rothchild, tongue sticking out the entire time. It kills me; I adore him. I'll try to get a video or photo of the floppy tongue because it's ridiculous. So Charlie and I would obviously emerge from the Hunter ring as winners from the get-go.

But he is very lovely and has a great step once you get him going and "down" from his "up" jumper mindset. I think we jumped roughly 2'3"-2'6" courses, so definitely the most I have jumped in a while. It went really well on Charlie's part; most of the issues I struggled with were my fault as a rider. He will drift and pop his shoulder to the left, so I kept having to find the fine line between keeping him bent around my left leg, holding him straight, and not getting frustrated and resorting to my spur. I think with practice we'll get there; each line got better and smoother. I do notice when I ride Hunter style lines, I have a tendency to collapse after jumps, and duck, but I think as my strength comes back, I'll get better and more solid over fences.
Charlie's ears- love bay Warmblood ears.
Labor Day Weekend Hacks:
Over the three day weekend, I hacked lesson horses: Silver, Charlie, and Lexie. With Silver, she was very "OTTB" that day; sensitive, somewhat hot, and tense. We spent a lot of time working on getting her to listen to me, doing a lot of walk-trot transitions to get her to stop anticipating and settle a bit, while asking her to push through her hind. She's very willing, but a sensitive ride, and that Saturday, I didn't ride her my best, so she got a little hot/uppity. I never got her to fully settle, but I did get her to relax through her poll, so it was still productive overall.

With Charlie I focused on asking him to push from behind and really work from his hind end. He has a tendency to pull with his shoulders and just go around flat, so I really asked him to bring his hind under him with circles, spirals, and serpentines. Again, solid in theory, but my strength is still lacking when it comes to riding.

Cool down on Charles. Equis In Style reposted this photo on their Instagram. How cool is that?
Lexie is an absolute blast. I think she's my favorite lesson horse I've sat on so far- she has a very similar personality to Candy (except she isn't a stopper), similar build, and as an ex-eventer, very similar buttons to Candy. Overall, she's a very familiar ride. She's still regaining strength through her back and hind end from having the summer off, so I focused on asking for a lot of stretching trot to collecting back to stretching, and added a little lateral work at the trot to get her on the bit and in contact.

Since I've had a lack of material and this is a ton of word vomit, I'll recap lesson 4 and this previous weekend's hacks later in the week!

(I know I don't have many/any readers, but those of you who do read or glance at my blog, do you want to hear about vet school? Or strictly horses? Any content you want to see?)

Candy is his usual champ; he's been getting the four star grooming treatment every weekend. He's fat, happy, and pasture sound!