Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Poplar Here We Come!

This week has been busy so far! Homework (200+ pages of Love Medicine....yay. Not) is calling my name, but I really don't feel like getting off the couch!

I left yesterday at 12 to make the 3-hour trek to Franklin. I've never driven that far alone, and I told my mom to take some Ulcerguard because she was so nervous my car and I were going to be flattened like a pancakes by a semi on I-40. I survived*! And gained even more appreciation for my parents; the interstate is very boring.

Jump Lesson
He got picked up and trailered down the street to Bill's ring to jump so we could do the grid set up (Crossrail-Bounce-Vertical-One Stride-Vertical-Two Stride-Oxer).

We were jumping out of the more forward stride again today which worked out very well. My position is stronger than it was at the beginning of the year, and I feel less of a need to go snail's pace in order to feel in balance. I do think I will need to continue to be careful about my organization after the fence (i.e. Keep riding the canter and think about where I'm going in order to do it well) on course, but we were doing fine Sunday and today.

We did a lot of angled lines today! I planned on taking pictures but never got a chance. I haven't done much of that with Ti, but that's where his experience comes in to play! He knows what he's doing and takes care of me. We did a Coop-Forward 3-stride-Angle Vertical, Angle Vertical-steady 3-stride-vertical, and a Angle Vertical-5? Strides-Angle Oxer. We pieced that together with the two outside lines and had some really great, forward rides. One of my favorite parts of the lesson was when I did the forward 3-stride (and got a little long but right out of stride to the Vertical) and then came right back and easily did the very steady 5 stride in the 4-stride line.

Good boy! :)

I changed tack quickly and had Bill hop for 5 minutes to get a quick tune up. He said his canter was straighter, and I was happy because I have worked on counter canter every single ride to get him straighter again (and myself straighter of course). Then I got on for 10 minutes and really got a supple, bendy, forward trot and canter. And we were straight!

So I'm very excited about Poplar, and I think I'm much more prepared and riding better than our first event there in January (which was also our first event in 7 months!). So off we go tomorrow morning at 8am!

*However, my poor car still got a beating. My superior reversing/driving skillz led me to scrape some of the paint off the front right side of it backing out of a garage. Today, I almost missed/kind of did miss the turn to the barn Tiamo is stabled at. How did I fix this? A mini off roading adventure by slamming to a stop, off the road (the drop ended up being much bigger than anticipated), and through grass. Except somehow my car ended up in neutral and...just yeah it wasn't my brightest moment. So far there haven't been any visible damages from it (yet).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jump Lesson

Anyway, I didn't write about it in my last post except for the title, but our next event in obviously March Poplar! It's this coming weeking, and we're entered in the Novice Rider division. I'm officially an Amateur this year, and it's kind of sad not being in the Junior division anymore. I feel kind of...old.

I had a jump lesson today with Bill that went very well and was a good confidence booster. It was fairly short but productive! I did mini courses at solid Novice/small Training height and worked on staying soft with my elbows and seat, waiting with my shoulders, and riding my canter through the turns. Bill emphasized that I needed to canter a little more forward, especially through the turns, so I had something to adjust. At the beginning, I was coming into the jumps with a pretty slow, quiet canter. It wasn't underpowered, but it didn't give me many options if/when I messed up. When I added a little more forward and power, I had something to adjust to the fence. I know I'm not explaining it correctly in my writing, but I understand it within my riding. I think I did well with this part of the lesson!

Waiting with my shoulders, especially when I have to move up a bit to the fence, is always something I'm working on! I ended on a good note with this and had some very nice jumps when I did wait with my body.

Organization and a good canter after the fence was a part of the lesson as usual. Bill got onto me about just pulling back and letting his haunches start swinging out in turns (and also pulling him to the long distance. Pulling never works out in any situation! Luckily I only did this to the vert first warmup fence and then fixed it). The turning issue happened only a couple of times, and I had to do a circle and think about my dressage canter (Bending around my leg, having the soft connection on the reins, etc). I thought about my lessons with Allison during this as well, and I became better at maintaining the good canter around the turns or after the fence. Most of the time we did approach, take off, and land in the same quality canter, but sometimes we didn't, and I have to be quicker about getting myself together in that situation.

All in all it was very fun, Ti is such a good boy, and I can't wait to go back Tuesday! I have a lot to organize and repack before then too.

Countdown to March Poplar Place

It's been a busy month since the Allison clinic last month! The following Sunday, Dana and I were "trainers" for each other and did parts of the same coursework except the one stride vertical line was a low bounce, and one of the oxers became a Swedish made with wide planks. It was a pretty successful jump school for being on our own! The next evening I got a somewhat frantic text from her asking "Where is your horse?!". Ummmm. What? Long story, short. We found out Ti had a dwarf molar right under his eye last fall, and our equine dentist Dr. Galloway wanted to remove it because it was in a terrible spot if it were to become infected or crack. We had to wait until the Spring to remove it though. My dad had driven Ti over to the vet clinic that morning for his surgery; I had absolutely no clue that it was happening anytime soon. Unfortunately, the tooth was partially removed when his palette started tearing, a rare occurance that would happen to my poor horse because of my luck. It was sutured, and he had to be in the stall for 5 days. No grazing. No hay. Just soaked Senior 3x a day, antiobiotics, and E-Gard for his stomach. During the day, he was reportedly a little terror. But when I came at night, the barn was quieter, and he was a little angel (albeit a little more hyper than usual). As of now, there is a small part of the tooth still needing removal on 4/4. So that kind of messed up any riding up for awhile. I couldn't ride him for a week, and then I was swamped with schoolwork in the pre-Spring Break cram that always seem to happen before a school holiday. So I rode him 3 times after 1.5 weeks off, and then went out of town for 6 days. Not the best timing, but it was a really nice trip and my plane tickets cost $5 roundtrip which was hard to pass up.

I got back yesterday and took him for a hack. Today, my dad and I drove over to Nashville so I could have a lesson with Bill and drop Ti off. I'll be driving back in my car Tuesday afternoon! I'm sure my teachers will be thrilled, but I only have 1 month left of academic classes and 1.5 months before graduation!