Friday, July 29, 2011

Fun & Fat Fingers

The XC derby turned into more of a stadium and XC school, which was a leetle disappointing, but c'est la vie.  In the end it worked out pretty well though.  Cadence was brave as could be stadium, and led the pack of greenies flawlessly.  I think Equus must really have helped her, because honestly she's such a different horse.  I don't have to push her at every fence, she's there with me every step of the way.  Fantastic, and really exciting for me :)  My baby's growing up.
XC went quite well, save one refusal.  I learned that really, our only issue XC is going to be steadiness.  Keep a nice even pace, and so long as I don't let her rush we're good.  It's when she gets quick that she looks for an avenue out.  I can't wait to see what she does next time we go out.  We did run into a little bit of an issue at the end of our time though.  We were almost done, and were just going to do banks and ditches (which were located in a different area) before calling it a day.  We weren't even going to bother with the ditch, but there was a guy looking for a lead over, so we volunteered thinking 'of course she'd go... why wouldn't she?'  Now, if you remember from our last trip up there, there were lots of scary things around the ditch, like brush boxes and mock stone walls.  She got a little frazzled leading up to the jump and quit on me.  Grrrrr....... frustrating.  So we tried again; and on the third try she leaped sideways over a pile of poles and standards next to the ditch and dumped me.  In an effort to keep a hold of my reins, I ended up fracturing my pinky.  No big deal, but I have to put it in a splint to ride and buddy tape it the rest of the time which limits the use of my left hand.  That, and it'll take a couple of WEEKS to heal.  Whatever, I'll just have to show with a big huge silver thing encasing my finger....
Yesterday was a lot of fun.  I went to the barn to rub down Cadence's legs and see how they handled the xc.  We've been having a little issues with fill in her hind legs, but they were only up a touch.  She's a little loose in behind (apparently a common issue with bigger moving taller babies) and sometimes if we don't watch her carefully her legs'll be up after the simplest of workouts.  IT also seems to be related to the weather... but I digress.  My coach was taking Bronx (7y/o 4th level/prix st. George dressage horse) up to Belinda's for a lesson.  She's known and worked with Belinda and Christilot for years, and often uses them as reference/check point on her dressage horses.  Anyhow, she invited me up and since I was faced with a day of homework and housework I gladly accepted.  The facility, Oakcrest Farms, was gorgeous.  The link doesn't show you much, but it gives you a look at the outside at least.  There were two lessons more at my level before my coach's lesson, which was quite interesting.  I only caught the end of the first, but they worked on leg yields and halts, both of which we're currently working on.  In the second, Belinda taught a rider on dealing with her excited and spooky pony and getting him to work despite his extra energy.  They also had a brief chat about how and when to use draw reins. Really interesting.  My coach's lesson was really neat to watch.  Bronx is preparing to go 4th level at his next show, so they reviewed all of the 4 level movements and some Prix St. George.  I'm not sure when piaffe and passage are introduced (I didn't think it was until intermediate) but they worked on that too with Belinda on the ground to help get a little more lift out of Bronx.  His half pass work is gorgeous, and the canter pirouettes have come a long way.  It's just amazing to watch.  It was a lot of fun to go up there, and yes... I admired their fences :P

(anyone who hasn't read this blog for long: I have a habit of ogling people's fences.  Especially when we go down through the Kentucky area.  Soooo pretty!!!  My goal in life:  Own a farm with beautiful four poster fences and dry stone walls leading up to the wrought iron gate.  Wish me luck with that one... methinks I'll need it!)

Edit: I would just like to brag add that Ontario is currently second in the CCI* division at young rider champs.  Go Canada!

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