Thursday, February 24, 2011

And We're Back

How time flies when you're having a good time!  I feel like I haven't updated in forever.  Well, it has been a week... so close enough.  England was wonderfully fantastically amazing.  So much so, that I apparently feel the need to make up new and exciting words.  I toured the Tower of London, the various universities in Oxford, visited Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey, and managed to incorporate a certain horsey element (almost entirely by accident) into the trip.  We stayed at the Royal Horseguards, visited the Royal Muse (the Queen's stables at Buckingham Palace), and visited the Household Cavalry Museum, which is at the same place where the Cavalry are housed.  One of the highlights of the trip was getting to look in on the stabling area, and seeing that all of the horses were decked out in Horsewear Ireland stable blankets, with Horsewear Ireland turnouts slung over their stalls.

(A not very flattering picture of me and one of the horses, who was attempting to eat my coat)
Before I left on Thursday, Cadence had her teeth floated in the AM, and I had a lesson in the afternoon.  She was fantastic for my lesson.  No head-trowing in the canter, and much calmer all together.  I originally attributed this to the fact that she could still be slightly drugged (despite the fact that her teeth were done at 10, and my lesson was at 4) but I wasn't going to complain ;) Her canter was much nicer, and she was very even all around.  Still not totally straight, but at least she was even.  We borrowed a set of standards from a friends barn, so when we jumped we had our stool jump and then a real jump!  The stool jump probably stood around 2'6, maybe 2'9 and the actual jump was about 3'.  Not too high, but the challenge came when my coach shortened the distances between the jumps by nearly three feet.  Cadence, miss extend (never rush) through my fences was forced to really collect her stride, and use her haunches for the second fence!  She really strugled with it, and threw me for a bit of a loop when she kicked out over the second fence, after lightly rapping the first one.  That mare's got a temper!  Eventually after three or four tries, we got it and called it quits.  Oh, the other great thing about the lesson is that when we were lunging, another horse came into the arena.  Then when I was getting on, a third horse entered.  Cadence warmed up with one horse being ridden, and one horse being lunged.  Then, she was perfectly quiet when both horses left!  Yay mare! 

While I was away, my coach rode her once for me, and she was lunged twice, so when I rode yesterday she was quite good.  Our ride went well, with her right canter being fantastic.  She's still not quite even in any of her gaits, but she's nearly there.  I say that, but its almost impossible to see from the ground, and hard to notice unless you're paying really close attention, so really she's been coming along fantastically. I worry sometimes that I push her too hard.  She does learn very quickly, and likes to be doing something new, so I sometimes forget that a month ago, she wouldn't come onto the bit, wouldn't stay there when she did, and felt like she went from a trot to a pace when we changed from the left to the right reins.  Despite how wonderful our ride was, I couldn't help the feeling that something was missing.  We had a great ride, but it was lacking something.  We'll see how tonight goes.  My plan is to work on her not rushing away from fences (specifically small (and in her opinion) inconsequential ones)

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