Monday, September 27, 2010

WEG Here I Come!

On Friday I leave for the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY. I can't wait!

Okay so here is the back story. My friend H with the horse I call boyfriend was one of the horse and rider teams chosen by the USTA to be part of the Standardbred versatility demos at the games. She was chosen to demo show jumping. Our friend L from Maine was chosen as well, and so was our friend LH from Lexington. Well being I am H's show mommy and offical photographer where she and boyfriend go I travel! L will be driving down with her mare Thursday and then bright and early Friday morning we will all be traveling to Kentucky. They begin demos on Sunday and unfortunately I fly home Tuesday night while they stay til Thursday because I can't miss that much school.

I plan on taking tons of photos of the games and maybe even doing some writing as well. The trip will also be well documented on this blog as I will be making an effort to constantly update with a play by play of our trip and of course ad pictures.

WEG Here we come!


Okay so updates since we last spoke. Satin has been wonderful as always. We had a show two weeks ago and it went well. Her turns were great and she had good times. We were reserve and Kayla was grand as always, so I was happy. We also had a lesson last week which went well. We did more work on lead changes teaching Lexie and refreshing Satin. Satin was extra quiet and lazy. I think this was due to the unusual 90 degree heat. She is usually very forward on her changes but sleeping and loping along making the changes either not happen or only happen in the front. R changed up the excercise and we gave Sat a pole to help her out. We started doing it in a figure eight with a change down the middle then moved to getting them on the diagnonal. By the end we had nice changes at a slow collected pace which was even better!

We worked on our homework yesterday that R designed to help improve her lead changes especially at a collected gait. I brought her up into her really collected canter which she is becoming quite good at it. It is getting easier and easier to bring her into it and hold her there. At the collected canter I bent her to the inside for a few strides then the outside, inside then outside, etc. I did this in both directions. Then I brought her into a semi-collected counter canter and asked her to bend to the inside. R said to hold her there until she wanted to change to the correct lead. I did and once I got her whole body bent to the inside she wanted to change and would do a simple change to do so. Though I will say I was proud of how good her counter canter has gotten that she was able to keep a nice pace and hold the counter canter even when I had her head bent to the inside and was circling her and she even held it a little when I first got her body bent inward.

We were hoping to go barrel racing tomorrow, but its been raining since last night and it is supposed to continue into tomorrow so its not looking good unfortunately :( Especially since I had R talked into coming. Well hopefully in two weeks we can go.

Now I have to brag about Hotty. I believe I mentioned I had begun riding my friend's Thoroughbred gelding. Well he has come such a long way in the short time I have been riding him. First off he thinks he is a western pleasure horse. He jogs like a champ with his head in the perfect headset. He has a gorgeous comfortable trot. We had a little issue trotting around to the left in one part of the ring which we quickly got over. We have been doing canter work and yesterday for the first time he was able to hold left lead twice around the ring instead of just half way around! Then we worked on right lead which is his weak direction (probably from being off the track) and after a few tries we actually got a few strides of right lead! I was so proud of him!! We also recently started going for walks around the property after we finish working and he has been an angel. I am also getting him more used to riding with other horses and yesterday my friend was jumping, doing lead changes, and cantering around right by him and he didn't even flinch. Also when I first started riding him he didn't want to back up at all and now he loves backing up. He does it like its his job and I have him backing through shoots. He is so ready for trail LOL This doesn't sound like much, but for this horse this is amazing progress in a short amount of times. I couldn't be prouder. He is such an AWESOME horse with so much potential. Now that he trusts me he is so eager to please and do anything for me. I just love him and hope to be able to continue working with him for a while. His owner is looking for a new home for him but I hope that doesn't happen anytime soon. I want to show him in the beginner western next year. Fingers crossed!

In other news, I have my big photo shoot job coming up for a local barn. And I also leave for Kentucky this week, but I am going to make a separate post writing all about that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Since we last spoke...

So I have been slacking yet again, but I promise it is with good reason. I have just been super busy since school started, plus fall is the end of show season so its jam packed with events. Basically every weekend of September and October is booked, including my trip to WEG, so excited!!!

Anyway, since we last spoke I have had two fabulous lessons one working on flying changes to teach Lexie and help Satin. Her changes started off a little rusty and ended great. What I was most impressed with that lesson was actually how great her counter canter has gotten. It is actually a counter lope now! The lesson before that we worked A LOT on collection and extension at the trot and canter. I had her doing the cutest little jog and nice floaty trot. She also had a nice extended canter working right off my seat and a the most collected canter EVER! She was basically cantering in place. It was awesome! Renee was very happy with it as well. And it was all off seat and legs no hand usage at all. Dressage ring here we come! LOL

We have also gone barrel racing at Curry a few weeks and Satin has had some very nice runs. Her turns around the barrels have been awesome. The only thing we need to work on is getting up her speed in the pattern between barrels. She runs to the first barrel and home but does not like to run in the pattern. Knowing Satin its basically a "Fine, Mom. If you are going to make me slow down for every turn, why should I bother to run in the pattern". We did some work on fixing that today and she did well. She has also become quite the poles horse. It seems to be her new favorite thing. She has been running them really well.

We also finally went team penning for the first time in a while last week. K and I went with Satin and Smokey and my friend J who has been dying to try penning came along. We also brought along Satin's field mate Jewel as an extra horse. J rode Sat since she is better for a first time penner than Jewel. Jewel is a great penning horse, but she is so good she turns very quick and once you point her to the cow you want she goes for it before you know it. Satin is much easier to handle in the penning ring and took good care of J. She knows her job and they got it done. I rode Jewel in a few times that night and she did very well as did Sat in our runs together. K and Smokey were our partners for most run and we had some really nice ones nothing too fast though. I think our best time of the night was 30 seconds but that was okay.

Also, last week my friends L and S and I were involved in a 9/11 ceremony at our local harness racing track. S and her Standardbred Indy rode down the track carrying a flag L and I lead her Standardbred Lexie who was the riderless horse with the backward boots. We were dressed in dressage clothes and the ceremony went well and we got many compliments. The track treated us to lunch after which was very nice.

This weekend I am busy, busy with showing. Saturday we have the Jersey Bred show. Originally I was just showing my friend H's horse which you all know as boyfriend in the in hand class. After our impressive showing at the National Show she asked me to do it again at this show. Then today she asked me if I would ride our friend JM's horse Don in the two gait adult class. He is a nice western horse and I am looking forward to it. We also volunteered K to assist and she will be showing him in the junior in hand and junior 2 gait also western. Then Sunday we have our local schooling show where Satin and I will be doing the speed division.

Other than horses, I have been busy with the start of school. Classes are going well but keeping me busy with a full course load, 6 classes. Also have a few photo and freelance jobs coming up so that will be nice.