Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Catching Up

I know it's been a while since my last post...everything has been a bit crazy around here! The IHSA list came out and I am on the traveling (basically like varsity) competition team, which is super sweet! We've had two practices so far and both went really well! I'm very excited for our show season to start :) We kick off next month with an OSU show in October, followed by a home show here in November.

Other than that, riding at school has been going really well. The "post summer butterflies" seem to have abadoned me (thank god!) thanks to a very gracious man and his fabulous jumper mare. (I didn't read though my previous posts before writing this, so I don't know if I wrote about riding April or not...but in case I didn't here is the story: C and I went riding at a local trainers barn because he had hurt his back and I schooled his jumper mare over a 3'3" coarse and it just totally was what I needed to get out of my little jumping funk that I was in.) Today in my hunters class I rode Hawk, who used to show in the working hunters on the A-circut before he got donated to LEC. He's a great boy, but slightly tempermental and definetly can get a little pushy when he wants to. I've only ridden him once before (last year) and he basically dragged me around a jump coarse...needless to say I was interested to see how this ride was going to go. Wouldn't you believe that I actually rode him really well? My riding style has changed so much since last year...even M said something to me after class (our final exercise was a set of working trot poles on the short side (in two point) to a once stride (cross rail to vertical) on the quarter line to a three stride (oxer), lead change, then collected canter up the other quarter line to a set of three short bounce poles, then around to a vertical on the diagnol with a lead change after) Hawk and I had a little trouble getting the bounce poles (his avasion to collection is to be laterally incorrect) but after the third try we nailed it and afterwards M said "A million times better Kate!" she said "the old Kate would have just pulled him to the base of the vertical after it fell apart over the bounces, but you didn't do that at all...you sat up and you fixed it and got a beautiful jump with a clean lead change after...and Hawk HATES his right to left lead change."

Just hearing that made me feel so great! I was really proud of myself. I've always LOVED jumping for after my accident with Emmy I found myself to actually be a little fearful sometimes, something I had never experienced before. I wasn't thinking when I was doing a jump coarse, I was just praying that I didn't screw up. I'm happy to be out of that little funk!

Johnny has also been FABULOUS since coming to school. E has been really enjoying him and today we did some over fences work with him too. Not only did he jump his first one-stride, but he landed the canter in between the jumps on his BAD LEAD and then continued to canter on the bad lead after the second jump! I was so pleased! Multiple times he landed it perfectly! After that I had Erin canter him to a vertical on the diagnol with some flowers underneith it. They looked GREAT jumping together and E really rode him well. Johnny looked beautiful over the jump...he just has the best facial expression and his knees are getting quite tight and tidy. K got it just right the first time she watching him go...he is just so classically beautiful.

Oh, AND a complete stranger saw him the other day while E was riding and came up to ask me what he was. When I told her "Standardbred" was was like "Really?! He doesn't look it at all...he's got the most beautiful head...he's gorgeous!" I thanked her and told her how excited I was to hear that. He's really starting to fill out and look like a "real" horse! yay!

Thursday K is coming to do a lesson and work on his right lead. He actually canters on it just fine...he's just having a hard time associating the cue with the actual canter departure now that he's in a flat ring with real footing instead of a field. Hopefully K will have some better insight into a good way to re-teach him...I'm kind of running out of ideas.

Thats all for now!


E and Johnny today after their ride :)

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