Thursday, October 31, 2013

Video of Polly and I Jumping. Slowly.

Man alive. Polly is such a sweet girl but she's a total sled sometimes. She has an old stifle injury and takes FOREVER to warm up. In our lesson Sunday assistant trainer, Brooke, gave us a great exercise. Halt. Backup. Walk forward with bounce. Repeat several times then do the same thing at the trot and canter. The backing up really seems to engage her hind end and I'm able to get her a lot brighter much faster.
I cut out of the costume contest at work today to try to fit in an extra jumping lesson this week since Abbs was hosting a Halloween party and said I could fill in for her (according the Abbs freshman year of High School is the last socially acceptable time to dress up in costumes- just wait until college my dear).
I was hoping that Bay Area traffic at 3:45 on Thursday would be in my favor but it seems that everyone was racing home for trick or treating!
The results of our lesson are below. Ugh central. I don't video myself very often but when I do I automatically notice every. single. flaw. Like elbows sticking out at 90 degree angles. And pumping with my upper body. And leg too far forward. Between Abby and I- the sweet girl has a spur rub on her left side so I've been going sans spur to try and fix. Clearly I need to add them back on for jumping. When she's in front of my leg we hit it every time. It's when she gets behind that I start looking like a bronc rider. Frankly- she's a 3 foot horse and probably quite bored. And it's good for me to miss and realize that a bad distance doesn't equal a spill. Or death.
My favorite parts:
- Video 1: when we miss horribly at the first distance and I look at the camera and say "Not better." Meaning not better than my first go around- which was even slower than this one.
- Video 2: when I start shouting "Git! Git" as we round the corner.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wilbur Visit!!

The highlight of the weekend had to be going to visit Wilbur. Vacation seems to agree with him! Fat, happy, and can't seem to get enough of his pasture buddy! Paul accompanied me on the drive to Capay, about an hour and a hair North of Oakland.
Wilbur seems content to get some scratching from Paul!

 And a kiss from his Mom!
 He introduced us to his cat buddy. Two cat buddies (can you spot the second?)
 Wilbs gives tips on Paul's brushing techniques! Two clean horses!
 Lulu investigates the camera. Hey Lulu- over here! I'm the one with the treats!
 Treating away!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween on Horseback

I enjoyed the costume contest at the Shiloh West Skye Valley show on Sunday. Love seeing our little riders getting silly with their ponies! Never having much of a desire to hand make a costume for my horse-  the general ease of Isabel and Amour's costume was appealing-  Batman Sleazy! Notice the Tigger in the background?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hometown Riding and Old Friends

Kate and I grew up across the street from one another and rode together at Holly Hill Farm. We would round up at her house and set fences in her backyard to jump our "horses" over. Man- she had an awesome backyard for galloping around- no wonder she's in the eventing world now! Some gentle slopes, a hill, trees- all the makings of a good cross country course. We had pretty rich imaginations- folding chairs served as standards with brooms laid across for poles. And daredevils we were- the higher the better! We practiced so frequently that her Dad finally built us a real set of fences!

While I was back home in Cleveland I had the opportunity to stop by the barn Kate trains at, hop on Angelica, and pop over a few crossrails! I am so proud that my old friend is getting to pursue what has been, for the two of us, a lifelong passion!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Top of the Hill!

Polly and I had a fantastic lesson today. My jumping nerves get the best of me on the way out to the barn and I contemplate telling my trainers that I "just don't feel like jumping today."
I just need the practice and we jumped around several long courses today ending with a 2'6" course with a few 2'9" verticals thrown in. And I felt great! Total confidence builder.

After the ride Erika, Lexi, and I took the long trail all the way to the top of the mountain- quite the hike! Mount Diablo is in the background!

Sunday, October 6, 2013