Friday, March 7, 2014

"Warm" nights have returned!

I must be overly hopeful for spring. Yes, I am overly hopeful. It was warm enough yesterday evening that I had to remove my jacket and roll up my sleeves during my ride. The forecast is calling for a high of 57ºF tomorrow for the show, which makes me happy. Playing photographer for a day becomes just that little bit better when the weather is nice. I'm thinking that all the classes will be moved indoors again due to the fact that the forecast for today is calling for rain.The weather was not nice walking to the bus this morning. Strong winds and ominous clouds are never a good sign. I'm preparing for another lengthy day. I pray the medal finals do not take long.

So, last night, we rode later in the day, and I managed to get to my lesson after having to ask a series of people for rides only to have my mom take me in the end. For the first time in a long time, everyone who rides in the advanced group was there. Cas, Syd, Shelby, Izz, Fifi, and me, all six of us, in the indoor arena. Thank God we get along because I have never been very kind about sharing small spaces. It was an even flat to jumping ratio for this lesson. Since this was the lesson before the show for the other girls, I just stayed back for the most part. They're all doing some sort of medal class—Syd is in 2nd for one and I think Izz is in 5th for another—and they had individual things that they needed to work on to do well. On the flat we did our usual walk, trot, and canter, and we worked on canter transitions from the walk and halt. Mine were good from the walk, but the halt needs work because Baby wasn't really okay with the standing still thing, so by the time we were supposed to go, she was no longer halted. She was, however, listening to my leg more today at the walk and trot. We had beautiful corners, just beautiful. I'm surprised how well I did considering the saddle I was in. Cas was using Miss S's Stübben, so I was in what we like to call "The Duct Tape" saddle. It's called "The Duct Tape" because it has some sort of odd tape holding one part of the seat together. It's a completely usable saddle, and it has a comfortable seat, but it doesn't fit me. I think that is the only saddle I could sit in and wish that I had a more forward flap. Not to mention the seat is flat as Kansas, the polar opposite of the Stübben. Sitting the trot in a shallow saddle with an awkward flap was not fun. I felt like I was going to slip off the back of the thing. It was just odd.

Jumping wasn't bad. Baby was too fast, but she wasn't nearly as fast as usual. She was more strong then fast, actually. We warmed up with a figure-8. She made sure to jump over the ground pole every single time. After that, we did a line where we had to stop at the end. We went past the arena barrier twice (it's open on one end because the arena isn't completely finished), but the third and fourth time were good. The lesson was over after the fourth line, but with six of us having to do it, it took a while. All in all, it was rewarding, but I plan on focusing more on my flatwork next time I ride.

I did get a chance to ask Miss S about the divisions that I can do next year, and Junior Equitation and Performance Horse have received the stamp of approval! I'm so excited! Plus, I don't think you have to have a rider registration for points in Jr. Eq., so I save $15. I'm gonna buy myself another saddle pad (just kidding).

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