356 Days

It’s been 356 days since I decided to start taking jumping lessons.

It’s been 335 days since I took my first jumping lesson.

I’ve had approximately 18 jumping lessons since then, and have gone from petrified of even ground poles to jumping small verticles. Yay!

Next week marks the same event I originally went to where I decided to begin jumping. I had hoped to be competing in it this year. In hindsight, I think that was a bit of an overly aggressive timeline. 😏

But… this year, when I go watch, it won’t be with wide, fearful eyes, but with an eye toward identifying what I know, to watch how others do things, and learn more about the sport.

And wine.

I’m really going so I can sit on the sidelines with a single serve plastic cup o’ wine while “Ooh”ing and “aaah”ing over the cross country jumpers.

It’s gonna be a blast!

I can’t wait!

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Don’t ask me how far it is

I saw an exercise online that I wanted to try with Ava and Joy. Basically a 3 loop serpentine over ground poles.

Trot the first set of ground poles, canter the second, trot the third. Then you’re set up to go the opposite way and do it all again.

I liked that it not only incorporated ground poles, but also worked on bendy lines to increase suppleness AND transitions between gaits to work on collection. Really neat exercise.

So I tried it with Ava first. She whacked every pole with her feet. Knocked them all over the first go round. It didn’t go well. I didn’t have the spacing right. Oh well. Instead, we worked on rhythm and straightness, combined with relaxation and suppleness. She did well.

I reset all the poles for Joy and tried it with her. Little dynamo perfectly picked her way through the poles at the trot. When I asked her to canter, she stepped right into it in balance. I was really happy with how it went. I didn’t have the canter pole distance right though, so we ended up trotting through those too and did transitions before and after each set.

She did really well.

I really need to get better at distances though.

This was also my first run of having the puppy tied out near the arena while I rode. He’s only 5 months, and not ready to make his own decisions yet, so he had to be contained for his safety (and mine). But, I wanted to get him used to the idea of me being on top of a horse. He did really well. Altogether it was an hour and a half of him basically being left to his own devices and he happily sat and watched, played with the kitties, and dug holes (he loves digging holes!). About the hour and a half mark and he started up with the most woeful howl you’ve ever heard.

Polar

Polar

Nothing earth shattering or awesome. Just a fun time.

This and That

“If you build it, they will come”

I’m working on a website to list horse related events. I know.. there’s a million already. But mine will actually have good search functionality! ‘Cause it drives me nuts that I can’t friggin’ do a search for dressage clinics within 50 miles of my zip code, and then filter it by date.

Except, I’m trying to write it in Angular 6 and PHP, but my php is rusty, and my angular skillz are non-existent. Ha!

I’m struggling to learn the new language.

Which is kind of like learning dressage. New vocab, concepts are either new or applied in new ways, and simplistic definitions with immensely deep meanings.

Anyway……

I’ve (knock on wood) finally gotten both Ava and Joy back in work again. All kinds of mystery lamenesses (seriously, knock on some wood. This shit seems to crop up everytime I think I’m past it). Not sure what was going on with them, but they’re doing better now.

Joy saw a turkey and little turkey babies crossing the pasture today, and Joy thought she’d go say “Hi” and give them the neighborhood welcome. The turkey wasn’t having any of it. She booked it across the pasture with Joy trailing behind in this happy-go-lucky jog trot pursuit. It was quite comical.

Ava’s trying to kick down the stalls, constantly. We had to reinforce hers AGAIN. Gesh. You’d swear we were housing a tyranasaurous rex in there.

The big “Wow” for me was last week. I was on Ava, in the arena, and along the side of the arena in the woods, a giant tree fell. I thought for sure Ava would bolt when it started to fall. Heck, it scared me! But she held her ground. Stood like a live wire, tense and ready, but she stood. And afterward, she calmly walked around again. I was incredibly impressed with her. And thankful she didn’t take me for a hair raising ride away from the noise, since I wasn’t quite sure I’d be able to stay on.

Pics:

Pasture

Stall damage

Stall damage