Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunshine!.....or not

The sun has decided to come out and dry up the arenas, but unfortunately it's slated to rain again this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, which will (likely) cancel my next upcoming show as well. Alas, this year's show season has gotten off to a rocky start. A rainy start, rather. In fact, no start at all, due to the rain. Sheesh.

To top things off, Spirit somehow scratched her face and jaws all up. Pretty bad. I've been gooping them, but it still looks pretty bad.

On the bright side of things, I had a wonderful ride on Spirit last night. It had felt like forever since I've been on her. She certainly had a few bucks which we longed out of her first, but then she settled down to work nicely. I had so much fun and I'll likely go ride again tonight, even though I have a lesson tomorrow. Just because our shows were cancelled doesn't mean we can slack off on our studies - it's not like Spirit comprehended that we had events coming up anyway.  Hopefully these schooling shows will get rescheduled - I need to get my feet wet before I can get to my real goals of 2011 - real Horse Trials!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All Weather Sport?

So, less than a week away from my first schooling show of 2011 (dressage only), and sassy Miss Mother Nature shows up with her rain clouds to screw things up. (Ever since I had a previous horse at a co-op boarding facility, I have hated rain. Rain makes feeding, mucking, and tacking up take twice as long, and makes riding dangerous. Its just a nuisance. I haven't been at a co-op for many years, but my annoyance at rain hasn't gone away.) I had bathed my horse this past weekend, and now I know she'll be a mudball. The footing is not safe enough to exercise my horse, so we're not getting the practice rides I was counting on. Plus, the show is likely to get cancelled, and I'll be out the $25 administration fee. Grrrrr.

Update - show officially cancelled =/

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Countdown to our first schooling shows of 2011

So it's official: Spirit and I have signed up for our first schooling shows of 2011! They're at El Sueno Equestrian Center in Somis, just a short drive from my barn.

The first is on Saturday the 19th - we're signed up for two Opportunity dressage tests: Training Test 1 and Training Test 3. I've been memorizing like mad, reviewing the letters of the full-size dressage court on my breaks from work, and moving my finger through the test. I must look like a crazy person to my coworkers!

Then we've got a schooling derby on Sunday the 27th! Unlike other derbies I've been in, this one is jumping only and does not have any dressage. I'm excited to get out there and see how we do under a little bit pressure (show nerves). The event poster boasts water obstacles and banks, so I'm excited to do both of those things as part of a course - I've only schooled those two in the past.

Goals for the events:

1. For the dressage show, I want to do the movements accurately and precisely.
2. I want to have good control of my transitions. For my up transitions, I don't want to go running away for 5 strides - I want to go quickly (preferably straight into) a collected gait. For my down transitions, I don't want them to feel like "splat". That's the best I can describe it for now.

3. For the jumping derby, I want to get through my bogie obstacle (down banks). Just live through it.
4. I want to be the one riding the course, rather that Spirit just taking me a long for the ride.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Equine Affaire 2011

Yesterday some girlfriends and I headed down to Pomona for Equine Affaire. It's the place and time to stock up on inexpensive horse items such as treats, grooming supplies, and wormer. I also got some really cute Kensington saddle pads and some more hot pink buckets. Can you ever have too many buckets? We watched parts of two seminars, and I spent a little bit of time manning the Paint Horse booth. Any time doing horse shopping with girlfriends is fun, but sadly the expo was much smaller than last years'. Hardly any vendors were giving out samples and I didn't see as many good deals being offered. But I sure got my supply of treats for the year!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

First XC Schooling of 2011

So we had our first cross country schooling of the year this past Saturday. Once again Spirit proved to be the most amazing horse ever. We took on water and down banks (our bogie) and even a Novice sized rolltop. Spirit was a pro. First time at that facility, and no problem. How am I so lucky to have her?

Unfortunately, I'm not quite as pro as she is. She's almost 6 and has been doing this for basically 1 year, whereas I've been riding for 18 years, but that didn't stop me from being a bit of a nervous nilly! It was the first time my trainer got to see me ride when I'm nervous/tense, and she gave me a list of things to work on. I'm so impatient to improving my riding - I want to take lessons every day until I can do it right! If only the day job and pocketbook didn't get in the way...  Meanwhile, in between practice rides and lessons, I'm reading up and working out. I've got a whole slew of books from my trainer, but if anyone has any suggestions for books, maybe something like "The basics of dressage and jumping for you and your young horse" or "How to train yourself and your horse at the same time" or something like that, just let me know!