Okay so last I left you it was snowing....AGAIN! Well it snowed into Friday and the only benefit was a second day off of school. Saturday I spent the day at the PA Horse Expo with friends from the barn. And I met ..... wait for it ...... STACY WESTFALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!. She is pretty much my idol. Seeing her championship bareback and bridleless run on Roxy to "Live Like You're Dying" was inspiring. It was why I started bridleless. I met her and got to talk to her a little bit and got her autograph on a poster of her and Roxy from their big run! Of course I went home and immediately hung it on my wall. LOL! I got to watch her do a bareback and bridleless clinic on the infamous Roxy. It was awesome! She is a fabulous clinician. I learned some great stuff that I can use to improve my bridleless with Miss Satin. She talked about the different "buttons" on the horse's side, as well as, adjusting and building speed and steering. She also said that taking the tack off was really about getting people to take notice. She doesnt need to take it off for her or Roxy, they know how good their relationship is. But no one would have gave it a second glance, never mind say it moved them to tears, if she had been fully tacked. And its so true. But, it still makes me want to perfect my bridleless, especially after watching her clinic.
Anyway so Sunday I went H's farm and took photos of her boyfriend and their tons of awards. Then I stuck around and got some jumping shows of them and some of H's barnmates. Then I went and rode the princess bareback for a bit, but the ring was still a bit slushy and snowy. Monday I actually got a real ride in as more of the ring had melted. We were able to do some walk, trot, canter work and her canter was better, not as quick as it was in our lesson. We also did some work on quarter turns and practiced some keyhole. Her stops were AWESOME and she did some good roll backs once she got going. Her canter transitions are back up to par as well, which I knew they would be once she got back into working regularly. Afterwards I rode L's stb mare Lexie. We did 25 min of walk, trot, canter. She was good except for trying to take off on the first canter which is unusual for her, but they are all a bit fresh from not working regularly.
Tuesday we did walk, trot/jog, and canter work again. She was a bit quick in spots because we also did some work cantering over polls, which always makes her a bit quick. In the end I got her under control and focused and she did pretty good. Wednesday we did walk, trot, jog, and actual lope. She did very well so I decided it was a good day to practice some bridleless. Well you could tell she had done it in a while when we began loping. In the beginning she did okay listened to me bending and turning at the walk. She was a bit quicker at the trot than I would like, but ok. I asked her to lope in a circle around a jump. The first direction she was great -- nice and slow and stayed in the circle. The other direction was a different story. She started aong the circle then took off down the straight away and across the ring until I was able to turn her into the fence with the neck rope and stop her. So I brought her back to her circle again and asked her to lope, and again she took off, but I was able to stop her much quickly and sent her into a spin. Her spin was quite nice I have to say. Anyway so I again brought her back to where we had been working asked for the lope. She thought about tearing off again, but I quickly reminded her that was a bad idea and got her to lope in a nice controllable manner around the jump once or twice than stopped her there on a good note. We finished up working on sidepassing bridleless which she did pretty good as well.
Today we again did walk, trot, jog, and lope work. Her pace at the lope was pretty good. She got a bit quick and points and a little rambly, but I got her back engaged in the hindend and into a nicer pace. We did work on lowering her head at the jog as R showed us. She put it down a little, but not much really. She is not really a fan of a low head, but she can put it level when she wants to. Then we popped over a few crossrails which she, as usual, did a bit quickly and high, but after a few settled just fine. Then we did one or two slow barrel turns, which she did pretty well.
As far as school, next week will be hell because I have three midterms Mon., Tues., Wed. But at least I have spring break the week after :) The weather has been nicer too in the low 40s and supposed to be low 50s this weekend into next week. Can't wait to hit the trails!