Thursday, May 28, 2009

Another Fabulous Lesson!

So just to give anybody reading this some background: I just moved barns back in October, so obviously that means I also started with a new trainer then and I absolutely LOVE her. I get so much out of every lesson and she gives us stuff to work on in between lessons. She is super prepared for every lesson and is very detailed and precise with her explanations which really helps. She shows us little things to do to fix things or get what we want that you would not think would make a big difference, but it makes a huge one. I take my lessons with my friend who rides her Standardbred english and does jumpers and hunters and what not, and she has us do a lot of excercises together that really help us even though we do different disciplines.

Anyway, I had a lesson today and it was great. My trainer rode a horse she is working with in the lesson with us, which was cool because we were able to see the things she wants us to do instead of just hear it, and we did some different excercises. We rode three across staying stirrup to stirrup, did some walk, trot, canter, halt excercises in a circle, etc. Then we did some jumping excercises as a group (yes I do jump my western pony). Satin's flat work was awesome. Her canter and jog were at the perfect speed and her headset is really improving. Her jumping was good too. We did some raised cavalettis and then a cross rail and small gate vertical. She bombed (overjumped) them a bit (as usual) in the beginning, but then she started doing them very nicely. My trainer said she had some of the nicest jumps she has seen out of her yet (and me as well :) ). Then we began on some grid work, just some cross rails and cavalettis at first. She was speed racer through that, especially as more cavalettis were turned into crossrails. She would zoom through the grid then gallop off and after that she was so hyper she was running through the single crossrail, so then we had to calm her down and she ended the jumping nicely. Then we did some work on our spins, starting with quarter turns and rollbacks then going into the full spins and Satin did great! Her spins are getting much tighter and more precise, especially her bad way. I'm so proud of my girl! We have our next show coming up on June 7th, so if we keep training like this it will be awesome. My trainer gave us some pre-show advice about what to focus / work on so I think we will be good to go. We may squeeze in another lesson next week before the show depending how our week goes, so we will see. I may decide to do another one even if she is doing awesome because it just makes me feel better to get some good work in with my trainer pre-show. She is so calming and relaxing, so she makes me feel more confident about my showing.

We are shooting for a trail ride tomorrow as long as the weather cooperates, so fingers crossed!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hi There!

Hi Everyone! This is my first blog / post so I figured I would use it to introduce myself and what I will be blogging about. I am a college student trying to balance school, a job, and a horse, which is not easy. I commute 45 minutes to college and keep my horse at a farm near my home. My riding time depends on my schedule that semester. I was lucky in the past to have good schedules and plenty of riding time, but now that I am getting further into my college education getting a good, flexible schedule is getting harder, but I am making it work.

I have been riding my entire life. My dad used to take me to the barn where he kept his horse when I was just a baby and it has been true love ever since. I ride western, hence the title "College Cowgirl". I have a 20 year old chestnut QH mare named Satin (who is pictured in my blog title pic). She was given to me by a friend two years ago and she is everything I have ever dreamed of. She may be 20 but she thinks she is 2 sometimes, which is one of the things I love about her. She was a reiner in her youth, then my friend used her mainly as a pleasure horse doing trails and clinics just for fun, but now we compete in western pleasure, horsemanship, trail, and sometimes showmanship at local horse shows. I also have begun doing games such as barrels and poles with her just for fun. We also love going on trail rides and both find their is nothing better than a good gallop. She really is my partner and best friend. Most of the time she knows what I am going to ask before I even ask it and vice versa. She is such an extremely versatile and trustworthy horse. I can so anything with her from bridle-less riding, speed events, and jumping to pleasure, bareback, or a pony ride for a little kid.

I also have had the opportunity to work with off the track standardbreds, which has been a great experience for me as a horse person / rider. Though the Quarter Horse is my favorite breed I have learned the Standardbred is more then what people think they are. They are very versatile animals with a good mind. I have worked with and shown a friends STBD gelding in western and also have several friends with STBDS in various disciplines.

I am majoring in Journalism and minoring in English since I have always had a passion for writing. My ultimate goal is to write for an equine magazine. I also love photography and would love to photograph for a magazine, as well as, write. I would also love to maybe write a book one day, but its going to be a while before that happens.

As far as jobs go I work in my cousin's office part time though hours have been short lately so I am currently looking for something else to substantiate me a bit more. I have a few options I am pursuing so we will see what pans out.

Anyway thats pretty much my life at the moment. Look for updates soon!