Thursday I had a real lesson on Badger. Like one with my trainer standing on the ground and telling me what to do. A REAL LESSON! It was fantastic. I convinced her to make the jumps stupid small by telling her when she thinks she's made them tiny, put them down two more holes. She was surprised they could actually go that low. Ha! Anyway, we started out just trotting and cantering out of a line in 6 strides. It was an X to a little vertical. After I managed to do that correctly a couple of times, she made the X a bit bigger and the vertical became an oxer set about 2'6". Badger is jumping even better than the last time I was down there. He's still jumping in fabulous form, but he's not overjumping, and his arc is actually over the jump instead of past it. MUCH easier to hang on to!
|I have no riding media, so enjoy this photo of Badger by the gate he recently broke.|
After Badger I got to ride Cara. She's completely perfect in every way, except for her inexplicable fear of the cows next door. (Yes, there are cows living amongst the horse farms in Wellington. They only moved in last year, and Cara wants none of it.) Trainer has given up the battle since Cara is absolutely perfect and spook free in every other place on the planet, and we just ride the quarter line on that side of the ring. Anyway, she was perfect. Trainer said I could jump her around, so I hopped over a couple and decided to wait until the next day when my legs were more fresh. That Badger lesson was a workout for me!
|The most perfect girl ever|
Friday, Trainer had me ride Cara first so I could jump some courses. She was kind and kept the jumps around 2'6"-2'9". Cara was perfect as always, and I almost wanted to jump bigger. Almost. SOMEBODY has no leg to speak of however, and was pretty tired by the end. We didn't do a ton since it was 88, sunny, and humid. Cara has terrible allergies, so we have to be a little careful in such conditions.
We cantered a few singles and bending lines, and then trainer had me do a short course. Please enjoy this awesome drawing of said course possibly done by a five year old (nope, it was me). The jumps and entire side of the ring nearest the cows have been omitted because as far as Cara is concerned, they do not exist anyway.
We started out cantering an oxer (which I think might have actually been 3', almost a real jump!) across the short side of the ring off a short turn on the right lead. It worked out ok, but I let her drift right a little and the distance got a little tight. Cara doesn't care about that though! From there it was a left hand turn to the outside 5 stride line, oxer to vertical. I really tried to just go forward through the turn and not pull. And what do you know, it worked out perfectly! After the five stride line we went directly to a vertical in a bending four strides. It looked like it was closing up quickly but I made every effort to just use my shoulders and upper body to shorten instead of going to my hand. By some miracle, it totally worked. Who knew trainers were right all the time? (Also, Cara is perfect, and probably knew what to do whether or not I told her.) From the vertical, we made a short turn back to a tall crossrail on the diagonal, bending line to the oxer from the outside line. Can't lie, I got a little grabby hands at the cross rail, but I redeemed myself with a nice forward pace to the oxer off my eye. Trainer had me quit there, and said I was definitely improving. Thank goodness. Being an amateur with questionable mounts is hard you guys!
After my school on Cara (in which clearly I was the one getting schooled, not Perfect Cara), I hacked Badger. He was good, but I could tell he'd been ridden only by me for a few days. Translation: he was getting heavy on his front end and our canter was a mess. Despite cantering on his front end and being disorganized, he was still well behaved at least. No spooks at all, and I managed not to piss him off almost the whole time! Baby horse has a lot of opinions. He also feels it necessary to share them.
After riding, it was more tack cleaning, then back north for some work. Since it was Friday, I stopped getting emails around 4:30 and decided to call it a day. I had a gift card for a mani pedi that needed using!
|Important vacation things happening here|
Saturday was my last riding day. Trainer takes Sundays off instead of Mondays whenever possible so she can spend the day with her daughter now that she's in Kindergarten. Badger totally knew it was almost his day off, and he was making it very clear that 1. he was ready now for his weekend and 2. trainer hadn't ridden him allllll weeeeek. Thanks Badger for pointing out all 13 reasons why I'm a terrible rider. Sheesh. Tough love from that one! Trainer wanted me to jump Badger again since you know, I need the practice. But our canter was an epic mess, so I asked her to get on and put it back together. She did, quickly in fact. And then I hopped on for a few jumps. We were pretty good in the line, but apparently I like to get a little goosey with my leg at the single jumps. Oops. Sorry buddy. We finished over the one jump I was able to find with some consistency and without goosing him off the ground. Happy to report that #nobodydied. It wasn't my FAVORITE way to end our week together since obviously you want to leave on a GREAT RIDE (all caps) but honestly, I don't mind leaving on a satisfactory ride and some learned lessons.
After tack was cleaned, I spent the rest of the day getting some sunshine and binge watching 13 Reasons Why. (Book definitely better than the series, but the series takes it further, so there's that.) I topped my day off with a trip to Chipotle because
Sunday, as I mentioned, was a pony free day. But it was also my birthday! 37 this year. Phew. How did I get so old? When I was booking my flights, I was really torn on what to do about my birthday. I knew staying in Florida would be lonely. Pretty much all of my horse show friends have already gone north. On the other hand, I didn't want to leave Saturday and miss riding. And I REALLY didn't want to spend my birthday in airports and on an airplane. So I decided to stay and just do whatever I wanted the entire day. Not a bad plan, am I right?
I decided that since I signed up for a 5K on May 6th, I should probably run at least once while I was away. I hadn't been interested in going at 6:30 am any of the other days, and it had been no cooler than 85 the entire week after the barn. Too hot for this northerner to suddenly try and run through! So Sunday was the day! I headed out around 8:30. I was having the age old debate: should I skip it, or should I go. It was pretty warm already, around 77 but the the sun wasn't out and there was a breeze. So off I went! And then the sun came out. And the breeze died. So while I intended to run two 15 minute intervals, hopefully equaling about 3 miles, I fizzled pretty quick. I ran about 10 minutes before my first walk break, but after that first one, walking became more frequent throughout the run. I wasn't disappointed in myself because it was effing hot! I wound up run/walking 2.5 miles. Good enough.
Next, I spent a few minutes thanking everyone for the Facebook messages while soaking my sad feet in the pool. Then a nice shower before my epic day of whatever I wanted.
My first stop was the Lazy Loggerhead for brunch. I missed the breakfast but lunch did not disappoint:
Once stuffed full, I stopped at Starbucks for some more caffeine. I wanted all the energy I could muster because I had decided to do some shopping. Although prior to that, I came thisclose to driving three hours to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Practical me finally talked myself out of that. But honestly, if I wasn't leaving the next morning, I would have totally gone. I'll have to plan that for one of the trips next year. Anyway, my plan was to head to the outlets near the airport. Adjacent to the actual outlet mall is a strip with DSW, Nordstrom Rack, and a huge TJ Maxx amongst some other stores I had no interest in. I was heading first to that strip and then I'd attack the mall.
Nordstrom Rack was my first stop where I did plenty of damage. Luckily, for $8 they will ship your stuff home so I didn't have to worry about my packing problems. I got a new dress for the Derby party I'm going to this weekend (and a matching hat obviously), plus another dress for an upcoming wedding, and a few other things.
Next was DSW where I may or may not have bought three pairs of shoes. Shut up, it was my birthday! I also got a pair at TJ Maxx, but stop judging, they matched the derby dress. And honestly, at that point, I had spent enough money and was pretty much shopped out. So I skipped the actual outlets. My credit card thanked me.
Once back in Palm Beach Gardens, I stopped at Carmines to pick up dinner and some birthday dessert. They have the most amazing gourmet everything. I decided to do the dinner for one special. It included your choice of entree with two sides for $13. Seriously, I love Florida. I chose the giant crab cake, some veggies, and potatoes. For dessert I got a slice of boston cream cake. As I was walking to the register I decided to get some guacamole and chips for an appetizer because I got cheated out of it at Chipotle, and because BIRTHDAY!
And then Monday it was time to head home! At some point in the 15 minutes in between checking in and going through security my flight was delayed an hour. I read half of a book while I waited which I finished on the plane. So at least I used my time wisely. I finally arrived home a little after 5, fed the horses, unloaded the car, and then went to get the short kids! I missed them SO MUCH! They stayed with my mom while I was away, and of course, because mom's are pretty awesome, she made me dinner, spoiled me with birthday presents, and got me cake with princess candles!
And now here we are! Phew! That was a long post. Are you even still reading? Do you feel like this now that your'e done:
Yeah. Me too. I guess it's bedtime! Tell me about your week in the comments!