Jampy has been pretty fantastic of late.... I'm not sure why really, but I hope he keeps it up! I schooled him over jumps Thursday and Sunday. Both days went well, but Sunday he was really great. Very soft and was listening to everything I asked.
You all remember Huey right? This guy:
Well, his owner wanted to take him to the Nona Garson clinic happening nearby last Saturday, but she doesn't jump anymore. She invited me to ride in the jumping portion of the clinic after she did the flat. It would be silly to say no to that! So obviously I jumped at the opportunity. For my non horsey and/or non hunter/jumper readers, Nona was a member of the US Olympic Show Jumping Team in 2000. She's a very accomplished rider, with many big wins under her belt.
Saturday morning was CRISP to say the least. The temps went from low 80's on Friday to low 50's. Brrr. And WINDY! But it was the perfect setting to see how Huey would behave away from his farm, especially in unsavory conditions. I'm not gonna lie... I was relieved to not be riding first. But as it turns out, Huey really could care less about new places, cold, nor wind. Quite a difference from Jamp! It was kind of refreshing to actually be able to focus on the task at hand rather than worry about what might be spooky.
I'm sorry I don't have any photos from the clinic, but it was a lot of fun. I'm not sure I walked away with a ton of new information or things to work on, but Nona did reiterate the same things my trainer tells me. So I guess I already know what to keep practicing! Namely, I need to be looser through my elbows when approaching the jumps. I tend to get a little stiff through my arms when I see a distance I need to shorten our step for. Must stop doing that!
Sunday morning I went over to my trainer's farm to try one of her jumpers as another possible alternate for finals. This horse is a mare, also tall like Huey, but not as round. Her name is Cara. Here she is with my trainer winning the $10,000 Welcome Stake in VT in 2014:
My lesson with Cara went great. I had jumped her once last year, and had a tough time staying with her in the air. But I must be stronger this year, because that was less of an issue. She listens so well, I was actually able to be softer through my arms without even consciously thinking about it. The one possible negative toward using her for finals is that she does sometimes swap her leads in front of the fences. Not a problem in the jumper ring, but it's a pretty big mistake for an equitation class.
I'm hoping to have a lesson this weekend on Huey with my trainer since she hasn't seen me on him yet. Then she and I will decide which horse should be my alternate.
I'm pretty lucky to have these options! Sometimes I have to stop and ask myself if this is real life. I'm so grateful that I get to sit on such amazing horses. They are so far out of my budget, it's really special to me.
Rio has been hanging around happily as per usual. That leg of his is still swollen, but it does seem to be improving. They are getting fall vaccinations tomorrow, so I'll have the vet take a look while he's at the farm. Hopefully it's just a splint. Fingers crossed.
The puggers are a bit annoyed with me since we haven't been able to fit in much play time outdoors. These already shorter days are the WORST! We miss summer! Thankfully, they have been getting in plenty of nap time:
Saturday night, I met up with a bunch of friends and we went to a local fair. It was a ZOO! SO many people. I forgot they have a fairly major headline band (this year was Martina McBride) and that concert is always on Saturday night. There was a lot of trying to find each other throughout the night, as it was easy to get separated, but it was tons of fun! I ate lots of terrible food, pet some moo cows and llamas, and was just generally happy to be out doing something with friends. (I need to get out more!)
|Pardon my 15 layers... it was freezing!|