Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Saddle 'em Up

A quick update on what I've been up to:
I wrote my last set of exams in the week preceding Easter. I then moved back into my parents house, spent Easter with my family, packed, and headed off to the RK3DE! Rolex was brilliant, and hopefully I'll get around to uploading the pictures to my computer one of these days.
After arriving home from KY, I spent a few days at home before driving down to NY to spend the weekend with my extended family and celebrate my godfather's 50th birthday. I then came home for a few more days, before leaving for a 3 day dressage show with Miss Cadence. That went pretty well, and we earned scores ranging from 59% to 70% at training and first level. Once again, I spent a few more days at home, and then headed down to see my cousin who was in an absolutely jaw-droppingly good production of Les Mis.
During my days at home, I've been working and studying. My summer semester started on May 8th, but as I'm only taking two courses I've been basically working full time on top of that. My normal day consists of 2-4 hours of school work, riding 3-6 horses, mucking stalls, and then babysitting, tutoring, or whatever other form of work I can manage to cram in to the remaining hours of my day. I'm also trying to  paint and move in to the new house I'm renting, but (unsurprisingly) I haven't had a lot of time in which to do that!

The Interesting Part:
I currently have 6 horses that I'm riding regularly. In addition to Cadence, I've been conditioning 3 event horses for a friend, riding them a couple of times a week. This has been great work for me, as all 3 are lovely horses and having the opportunity to sit on such nice horse flesh (let alone getting paid to do it) is always a treat. We've been spending a lot of time hacking, and recently we've added flat schools to our repertoire. I've also been riding another horse for her full time, with the intention of either taking the mare in a baby event this summer (maybe popping around an Entry/BN level HT) or taking her out hunting.
I've also taken on another mare, owned by the barn manager of a lovely (and MASSIVE) private boarding facility in the area. This horse, let's call her Miss P, is a chestnut TB mare and acts every bit of the stereotype. She's been off the track for a little over a year, & has a bit of a bolting issue, as well as a bit of an attitude problem. After scaring away a few part boarders, Miss P has fallen into my hands to ride. She's actually quite a lovely mare- nice and athletic- but highly inconsistent, very crooked, and exceptionally green. We had one ride where she behaved like an angel, and people riding with us commented on how beautiful she was. Two days later, she started off the ride bolting in every which direction every few seconds, and it took me over an hour to get her to respond to me. Unfortunately, she's been put on a 30 day tranquillizer (for turnout-related issues, not riding issues) which is going to make my job a hell of a lot more difficult once she comes off the tranq, but my goal is just to make the most of these 30 days so that by the time it wears off, hopefully I'll have a straighter, more educated psychopath to work with ;)

Cadence Update:
Cadence has been doing wonderfully. We had our first XC school of the year yesterday, and she jumped like a pro. Didn't bat an eye at any of the training & prelim level complexes we worked through. Even rode a drop & skinny combo that might have made it onto a challenging prelim/easy intermediate course. Our issues came in the form of bossiness. I schooled her in the myler, and while we could get all of our canter gears... I got a fair bit of attitude with them. I think we schooled through the issue pretty effectively, but I still plan on riding her in the dreamcatcher at our first HT this coming weekend. Better to nip the attitude at the bud early in the season, rather than letting it build!
We're going to run our first event at Pre-Training (Novice) level, and then if all goes according to plan move up to Training level in two weeks time. I'll admit, it makes me a bit nervous as I've never gone Training before either, but I've got no doubt in my mind she can do it as long as I ride her effectively :)