Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Has Sprung and Hope is High

Hi blog-land. Just wanted to pop in and share with you the photos from our rid eon Saturday. It was 80 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. It was beautiful and a great day to spend time with my Gran-Man. I rode (and had the ring to myself!) then gave Granite a much needed bath before grazing him by the pond while cleaning my tack. Daphne and TK were obviously there to complete our happy little family on this beautiful first spring weekend. 

Granite was pretty good. Fairly soft and responsive. We've been trying to school over little fences more often and Granite really seems to enjoy himself. After reviewing the pics it becomes glaringly obvious that I haven't jumped with any consistency in about 7 years (wow, I'm old) and that Granite really has a lot of work to do to learn where is feet are and where they need to be in order to safely and efficiently clear fences. It will all come in time-- baby steps for now. 

Unfortunately, the big let down was that we were unable to attend the Hunter Pace today. I had the stomach flu and was out of work Mon-Wed and apparently a variation of the same streamed through the barn. The barn manager and her entire family got sick and were unable to go. Dianne had filled her trailer, so I didn't get the opportunity to take Granite out, but the Hunter Pace season is a long one and we will have plenty of opportunities in the future. If nothing else, Jen promised she would save a spot for me and come out of her way to make sure I can ride in the Hunter Pace on my 25th birthday next month (I think thats all I want... that and some tall boots of course). 

Well, its back to NCAA basketball watching for me... enjoy some pictures TK took on Saturday of our schooling. Granite is looking pretty good. I have to say I am impressed with all of his progress these last couple of months. I'm so ready for spring and all its promise!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our First Lesson at Oak Meadow: Win!

Hey guys. Sorry for my habitual absence. Thanks to the prodding of some fellow bloggers (Nicku, Marissa... not naming any names), I have been convinced to use some of my sick day to send the blog world a quick update. I managed to contract some horrible GI bug and have been out of work for the last two days. I HAVE to go back to work tomorrow, but I'm really weak and haven't really tried eating solids in two days (wait, do bananas count as solid?). I also haven't seen the big grey monster in 2 days. 

We did leave on a good note. I saw Granite 6 days last week (and rode 5 of them)! The cherry on the sundae was that I had a lesson with Jen on Sunday. She has an amazing way of communicating with me so that I understand what I'm doing wrong and what Granite understands. 

We worked on me slowing down my posting and not bugging Granite enough with my legs. He was a really lethargic baby horse and I just keep pestering him to move forward. Turns out, he IS moving forward and I am causing him to rush! 

We worked on Granite doing softly and keeping him from dipping below the bit. We also added some sitting trot circles and canter transitions from them. THEN, we worked on jumping. We did the highest fences we have ever tried (maybe 1.5 feet). Granite did so well! No refusals. Jen used poles on either side leading up to the jump to encourage straightness and she used a crossrail with high sides to encourage him to hit the center of the fence. Granite was a pro and I was a proud momma. I was worn out after my lesson: it was amazing! I cannot wait to do it again.

AND... we will be competing in Granite's FIRST ever Hunter Pace at Yadkin Valley Hounds on Sunday! Wahoooo!

Until that update... enjoy some photos of last Sunday's lesson. Courtesy my lovely assistance, TK.