Saturday, October 22, 2011

Well I still don't have dressage saddle photos or video, but I do have fun jumping photos and video from today!

Yesterday my friend trailered her pony up to my place for a fun pony play weekend! This is the same pony who came up earlier in the summer for a trail riding adventure. Yesterday afternoon we just hacked around in the arena at home with Bugzy and Paddy (just got him back from his lease situation) and popped over a few crossrails. Last night we decided we would give XC schooling a try today with Bugzy and Mac.

Mac has been to this place once before to walk around and check things out - he'd gone through the water and walked up a bank but I was in my Western saddle so we really didn't do anything else and it was shortly after I got him. I've had him about a year and a half almost and I've jumped him maybe five times and only cantered him over a fence once. So jumping is VERY new to us. Bugzy has also been jumped only a handful of times and has never been to this venue and my friend has never taken her XC schooling. So this was to be an adventure indeed.

After recovering from our mild hangovers we decided to venture out. We got the trailer packed, put the ponies on the trailer, got into my truck, turned the key and clickclickclickclickclick....dead battery. MoFo!!!! We transferred everything to my friend's trailer and then I had to do some magical trailer-backing-down-the-driveway-and-turning-around-between-two-gates to get her trailer facing the right direction and we moved the ponies from my trailer to hers. They were so good about it and didn't care.

We drove to the XC schooling location and we had the entire place to ourselves - everyone is at a HT this weekend so we lucked out! Mac and Bugzy are old friends at this point and they trailer very well together and hung out in their paddocks eating hay while we got ourselves organized. We then tacked up the ponies and got on and did a bit of warm up in this lovely grassy field area. Then we went into the water. Mac lead the way for Bugzy to follow and despite having a staring contest with a frog, she went in and so we did a couple laps in and out of the water complex.

Then we moved on to another field and did a bit more trotting around before taking some jumps. Mac is not very good at trotting jumps so I cantered him instead and he was better, although he kind of crow-hopped over a lot of them because he just doesn't know what to do with himself. Bugzy just went over them like it was nothing and she's been doing it all her life.

Bugzy video:

Kali and Bugzy.MOV

We moved on to a little ditch area and the ponies could have cared less about it, they were so good. So then we did some more logs and I put two together in a line. Mac was good and actually jumped and cantered away vs. crow-hopping and landing with a hump in his back.

Mac video:

Susan and Mac.MOV

Then we tried an up-bank and Mac trotted up and over it but crow-hopped on the landing side and so Bugzy thought she should do the same thing!

Off to another field we went, via going down an embankment, through the dry creek, then up the embankment on the other side. Good ponies!

This field had a flock of geese in the way - great. The horses didn't really care, though, and the geese moved out of our way so we could do some more water and then one more log. Mac had a bit of a fit trying to get to the log (part of the approach was alongside a line of tall trees that he could kind of see behind and something was getting his attention) so we had to school it a couple times at the trot, but then finally we cantered it and he was good. Bugzy did it after us and was awesome!

Mac video:

Susan and Mac 4.MOV

Bugzy video:

Kali and Bugzy 2.MOV

Back to schooling the front water one more time for Bugzy so she could go in by herself, not following Mac, and so I could get a video, and she was great. Called it a day and ate some lunch and now we're drinking a beer while the ponies are grazing in the pasture.

Bugzy in the water:

Kali and Bugzy 4.MOV

I'm so proud of us weenie eventer wannabees and our brave ponies who went over everything we pointed them at - they were so good!!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It just keeps getting better

Well unfortunately Colin hasn't had time to video tape me riding lately, but I'm happy to report that things are going well. I had a great lesson last Wednesday, then Friday we jumped! Mac went back to "hopping" over the fences, so I decided to be brave and canter him over, instead. He actually got it and from the canter jumped over the fences - he got himself to a good take-off spot and jumped well. They were just small cross rails so it was more like a big canter stride, but he did a good job.

Sunday I trail rode bareback, which I love to to do, and that was fun. Colin came along with his mountain bike but had some chain issues so had to cut his ride short.

On Monday I went back to the dressage saddle, and our ride was better than the last one. So far with this saddle every ride is better than the last. His canter is really improving, we worked on more interesting exercises (turn on the forehand, turn on the haunches), and we were getting nice forward work.

Hopefully I can talk Colin into getting a video for me within the next week or so.