The Past Week

It’s been a crazy week and a half, and I always find it so difficult to catch up on my journal once I’ve fallen behind! So, short snippets of what I’ve been doing:

Last Tuesday Robbye and I had a great dressage ride. We had our first moment of “reading my mind” – I was trotting down the long edge, thought, “I should ask for a yield off of the wall here”, and…she did it! AWESOME!

I then jumped Lizzie about 2’6″. She was great, with no hint of stopping or running out.

Last Wednesday I rode bareback with no bridle. I started out with just a neck strap, which was great until the moment Robbye realized she could totally push me around…at that point I got off and put lead rope reins on her halter. With just the sidepull, she was absolutely perfect. Great steering, great whoa. I think it would be reasonable to make tackless riding a goal for next summer, especially since I’ll have the wedding looming, and so won’t have as much time for “serious” riding.

Last Thursday we had a great jump school. I really tried to encourage moving out and galloping. She did take a while to catch on to what I wanted, but once she realized I wanted her to move out, she was very eager to. She never got out of control (not even close!), but she definitely moved up a gear. Of course, this made jumping easier for both of us – imagine that!

I also insisted that we do longer and more technical courses, including angled and curved lines, rollbacks, and weirdly placed cavaletti. After each course, I made sure to make at least a half lap of the arena before trotting or stopping. It’s time to get in shape, and not die after every fence!

Best of all, Robbye started offering lead changes. They were ugly and dirty, but now I know she can do them. Woo!

Last Friday we did the same jump school, with the same results! It was great. We ended on a really nice gallop up one of the long sides. That girl has some power.

Saturday and Sunday, Julie, Kathy, Yogi, Lizzie and I headed up to Columbus for SPHO-OH’s Grand Circuit Classic. Some highlights from the trip:

  • I rode the resident star of the Standardbred club, All American Legacy (Al or Albert), and totally swept. We won 2 larger equitation classes and a very big ground poles class, along with a ton of other ribbons. He was great.
  • Kathy and Lizzie had a very successful debut as a pair. Lizzie really knows her job in the show ring, which was awesome to watch! Kathy’s only blue came from a class of two where the other horse fell over, which was…hilarious.
  • Yogi earned Reserve Champion driving horse. The Ride and Drive class was particularly awesome, as usual. He and Julie also earned a really great ribbon in a large pleasure class.
  • Kathy, Lizzie and I did the costume class, and it was awesome. We should have won.

And some lowlights from the trip:

  • Julie has decided not to show Yogi in harness, maybe ever again. He always shows lame in harness, even though he doesn’t seem in pain.
  • Lizzie has decided that she likes to run out of fences. Even I couldn’t get her through the 2′ course.
  • I missed Robbye!

Monday we were feeling a bit lazy, but I wanted to work with Robbye. I rode for a short while – we worked on canter variability by making a line 5-8 strides – and then…we harnessed Robbye! I ground drove her around the farm, which was a ton of fun. She figured out her job very quickly.

Tuesday we wanted to hitch Rob, but she was not having it. She knew what we wanted to do, and she wasn’t in the mood. We fought with her for a while, and then finally gave up. Instead of hitching her, we pretended to by pulling the carriage right behind her. Maybe next time!

Wednesday I rode bareback (with a bridle). I asked for some big canter/gallop, which was so fun to ride. It’s so weird to think that six months ago I was scared to trot in the indoor, and now I’m jumping and galloping around the outdoor. Of course, Robbye has made the same incredible progress.

Thursday, yesterday, I stayed home like a lazy bum.

Today I’m hoping to ride again. Nothing fun planned for this weekend (except for wedding dress shopping), but I want to do another gallop/jump school and a dressage school, since I’ve been neglecting dressage lately.

At the moment we’re registered for two really cool events: a jumping clinic on the 22 with the trainer I hope to take lessons from, and the Serenity Valley Farms CT and Dressage show at Trail’s End in October, where we’re entered in the BN CT, BN Jumper, and 2′-3′ Gambler’s Choice.  Hey, maybe we can make some money!

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