Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Here we go....


Okay, we made it! This last weekend we just endured the two-day riding "boot camp" at Spokane Sporthorse. I am so sore I can barely move. Every month now we will have lessons with Karen O'Neal - Olympic Eventer extraordinaire - and be barely able to walk on Monday. I am so not kidding.
For Valentine's Day my husband asked me what I wanted the most and I told him an "emergency riding lesson" to prepare to this event. So together we got on our horses for the first time this year at a neighboring indoor arena and started to work out all the bugs. His horse would not canter - although they did the most amazing extended trot! And mine, well, he was certain to let me know that this was NOT what he had planned on doing.
And so we plunged ahead and started our jumping lessons the next weekend. This is the second and third time we have been in the saddle. Thankfully, at the end of the first day I was told that Traveler and I were back at where we had left off in the fall. But now I need to get him in shape.
My husband is riding his gelding (smooth), Joker. Joker is very sensitive and has a hard time adjusting to the artificial flowers in the jumps. Much to my husband's dismay. I'm riding our stallion, Traveler, and he is asleep most of the time and wouldn't notice the flowers if they jumped up and bit him.
Things went well - considering how out of shape all of us were and how sore we were on Sunday when we returned to the second dose of training. I'm glad we took the pictures because frankly, I was not feeling that happy about our performance but at least we got some good shots so I must not have done that badly. However, at the end of the lesson I was given some pretty honest advice about my riding style and areas of improvment. (note: replace honest with brutal)That's what I am paying for so.... I promise, next time I will have QUIET hands.
We start out each lesson with about an hour and a half of dressage (this is what really kills my legs, seat, etc.) and then progress on to jumping. At the end we start working through different courses. Joker "won" on the barrels jump and didn't even flinch - Traveler did it, but not gracefully. We both ended on a good note and limped our way back to the trailer.
On a side topic, I am happy to report that Traveler did not exhibit any stallion behavior, although the sun is now shining and spring it seems is around the corner. He did chortle, very quietly and under his breath, twice, at the beginning of our lesson and he was quickly reminded of the task at hand. Definitely not breeding. Guess who caught his eye? There were morgans, mares, geldings, warmbloods, arabs, thoroughbreds, etc. Oh, it was the minnie. Yes, the miniature horse that my friend brought to keep her horses company really seemed to interest him. Good grief. No accounting for taste. (Not that I don't love her minnie, but let's be realistic.)
All for now - I'm going to go and sit in the hot tub.


2 comments:

  1. Beautiful! But, isn't the tired feeling a great feeling too? The few times I've jumped I could hardly contain my excitement...unfortunately, the horse could really tell. Keep up the good work, best wishes, Angie

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  2. You are too funny! Hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Traveler probably feels like a Big Man when he is around mini chicks. Your training trip sounds like it was a blast.

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