It is also winter riding season. I enjoyed my first Aiken weekend although it failed a bit on the "go south to be warm" front. I got in Friday evening and it was quite pleasant, still around 50 degrees at 9:00 p.m., but that didn't last long. I woke up to below freezing temperatures and a nasty wind. Knowing that this can happen in Aiken, I came equipped
After getting Keegan settled back at the farm, I headed back and did some work. I can report that the document editing apps available for my Nexus 7 are far superior to those I had on the iPad so that was great. Caitlin and I met for dinner. Ryan was off clinicing so we had girl time. We did discuss the sadness with what seems an unreasonable number of serious horse injuries and fatalities, particular Santa's Keeper and Lionheart, but also Waitangi Notebook, Astro, and Seahawk. Hug your ponies. But, we also had lots of fun with plans for the upcoming year, trying to sell horses (please, let 2014 be the Year of Horse Sales), and general updates.
Sunday, I went over to Boyd's and saw Hoku go. She looks like a million bucks. Caitlin said she is doing really well although the cold winter weather means keeping on top of her skin. Caitlin is using a human aloe vera, vitamin E lotion that seems to be doing a great job keeping the skin supple and helping any minor blanket rubs grow in. I also got to give Remi a kiss and check out the way too cute dogs at Windurra South.
After a farm tour of the very impressive Bridle Creek layout, I headed back to Sally's for my lesson. The focus was to be riding forward to the fences (both needed and alliterative). The lesson went really well and I was a bit surprised that I didn't have too much trouble even with reasonably big fences. We really focused on two things: 1) getting the right, sufficiently forward canter to the fences, and 2) quicker reactions times on the landing. Sally also says she is very focused on straightness. The quote, "good jumper riders can control and adjust their horses back to front - great jumper riders can do that laterally." Keegan was jumping fabulously and the lesson was a lot of fun. Following my lesson, I watched Sally ride a couple, including Hannah Ong's handsome Stash.