Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend 3 - in which there is no event and I work on dressage

I traveled to Florida on Friday afternoon, after spending Thursday and Friday at an NIH study section. It is so annoying when work gets in the way of the riding scheduling, but given how flexible my job is, I really can’t complain. Unfortunately, the flight was delayed for mechanical reasons and I didn’t get down to Orlando until late in the evening. Saturday, I spent much of the day doing other things, including a yoga class and an oil change for my car. I did ride 3 horses, working on the flat. I was lucky enough to ride Private Treaty (Calvin), a very cool upper level horse. He is super trained, but really long. Well, maybe in normal horse world, not so much, but since all my horses barely have any back left behind the saddle, he felt really long. It was good for me to think about riding his hind end forward and he was very nice in the bridle and comfy to ride. Later in the day, I had a dressage lesson on Squire. I rode with Bev, a former student of Hilda’s who now lives in California, and in the continuing small world saga, not just anywhere in California, which is a big state, but in Ventura about 25 minutes form Ojai where my brother and mom moved this year, so I have a standing invitation to get a horse fix (at the barn where she rides) anytime I’m out there. Aren’t eventers the best? Squire was great. We worked on shoulder in, since we will be doing Preliminary Test B next weekend (thank goodness the training is still Test A, so I only have to learn one new test) and on the medium trot. Hilda had schooled it with him on Wednesday and it really showed. I then did a flat lesson on Keebler. We are trying a new approach to get him to pay attention, lots of transitions in straight lines, with fewer small circles. This met with moderate success, although toward the end, we got a pretty amazing walk to canter transition and some decent canter to walks when Hilda (taking her life in her hands) stepped out onto the track in front of us as I asked for the downward. Keebler isn’t that interested in downward transitions, but we’ll keep working on it. As Hilda says, he is so cute, it is hard to get really mad at him. Sunday morning, I did a quick ride on Keebler, without any canter work, just walk, trot and halt. Not too bad. I did a jumping lesson on Squire at 8:00. The weather was really perfect (sorry to all of you living where it is snowing and below zero) and so was the lesson (well, except for the one time I made a bid at a long spot and Squire smartly took the extra step, but also the rail). I do feel ready for next week and look forward to telling you about Ocala II. Meanwhile, I did miss being at Sporting Days, which was happening in Aiken over the weekend. I read the general weekend update on Chronicle of the Horse, but haven’t heard the Cairn O’Mount Stables results yet (results not posted on the website yet either). Susie was riding 2 in the horse trials and Choo and Isabella in the combined test. Lesley, Gillian, V, Caitlin and T were also riding and I thought of them all several times over the weekend. Unfortunately, it is still impossible to be in 2 places at once. Hope everyone else had good weekends despite less than ideal weather in some quarters.

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