Lesson #3 and SPHO Summer Show 2013

Horsie torture! She got a full bath – even her face!

We had yet another great weekend this weekend.

Friday was our lesson. It was really wet outside, so we were stuck in the indoor. Michele had a surprise for us – we got to learn turn-on-forehand! Robbye actually seemed to pick it up much quick than I did – when I was still struggling to get all the cues correct, she knew what was coming and was moving her hindquarters. Good girl. Hopefully we’ll have more time to practice before our lesson this week.

So, notes from the lesson:

  • ToF cue: press outside calf, half halt outside hand, play with the inside fingers, and push the outside seat bone toward her inside front leg.
  • ToF practice: make a square (at either a walk or a trot), putting a halt->ToF at each corner.
  • ToF practice: stop when she gets two in a row correct.
  • I need to work more on my lower leg/feet, of course.
  • I need to make a conscious decision to not lean through corners in the canter. As Michele says, my leaning is not going to help her balance.
  • She didn’t say anything about it, but I know it’s still an issue – I need to stop leaning forward into upward gaits.
  • I need to stop bracing against my lower leg (making them stick out in front of me) when I’m insecure/transitioning downward.
  • I can use ToF to help our back: prepare our ToF to distill any bracing/resistance, then ask for a back

So, overall, it was a great lesson! Afterwards, I gave Rob a full bath – the first I’ve ever given her. She got really stinking clean. I took three (!!) wheelbarrows of pee, water, and poop out of her stall, so she had a very clean and dry bed for the night. I did chores and prepared for the show, and didn’t end up getting home until 10PM. And I still had packing to do!

I finally found a show/barn blankie for Robbye! I’m very happy with the colors and style, and I’m glad I kept trying to find a perfect one, instead of keeping one I wasn’t 100% happy with. Words to live by 🙂

Saturday wasn’t too early of a start – 5AM. I got to the barn and groomed (though there wasn’t much needed), braided, and fed. We packed the horses and stuff, and headed out! I ended up riding with Kathy, because she was a little nervous to drive her truck and trailer for the first time. But everything turned out well, and we got to the show right on time.

Jumping was first. Rob was screaming for the other horses, and Yogi and Louie were taking turns freaking out at the race Standardbreds on the nearby track, so we were all nervous. X-rails was our first class, and we all got nervous as we watched two people fall off. Then, Yogi was first of our club into the ring – he over-jumped as usual, but was very controlled in terms of steering and gait, and I thought it was a great round. Louie was second into the ring, and he put in an incredible course. The x-rails were just high enough that he actually had to jump, and he looked very very nice. Julie and I both thought that he should have won, but the judge pinned the two cantering horses above him…which she specifically was not supposed to do. GAH! Louie and Kathy won the class, in my opinion.

Robbye and I were next. We ended up getting a warmup round, which was nice. In the warmup round, she knocked the first pole – and realized it was wood! After that, she jumped very nicely.

Unfortunately, during our judged course she landed in a counter canter before a tight turn, and we ended up trotting a fence. I was impressed, but I guess the judge wasn’t, since she pinned us last (fourth). I am still very pleased with the results. These were substantial jumps in a smallish ring, and Rob navigated and jumped very well. She put in a lot of effort and seemed to enjoy the course. Good girl!!

Hunter hack was next. It ended up being a bit of a mess – no one knew what to do. The pattern called for a hand gallop, which no one did, and the judge expected us to canter in and out, which no one knew (the pattern didn’t show this at all). Still, Robbye and I performed well (even over the little x-rails), and earned a second out of 8.

Robbye and I also earned the following ribbons: Sixth (out of maybe 8? It could have been just 6) with the comment that my toes stick out at higher gaits. LOL I’ve heard that somewhere before! First in Open English Pleasure (3-gait).

Yogi and Julie also earned the following ribbons: Third in Open English Equitation (2-gait), first in STB Equitation, sixth in open English Pleasure (2-gait), and fifth in New Vocations Adopted Horse (Pleasure).

Louie and Kathy also earned the following ribbons: I don’t remember! EEK!

I did get frustrated that Rob was yelling and crying, but it was better than last year and it did get better as the day goes on. Hopefully, in a few years, this won’t be an issue at all. Hopefully.

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