Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lots of updates...

So since my last entry about 3 weeks ago much has happened both in my horse life and real life.
In my personal life I started a new job at a popular online tack shop called "Bit of Britain". So far its been pretty good and I think its going to be a great learning opportunity for me on several different fronts. I've already learned about the various different kinds of crops/whips and their uses. Who knew that there were like a hundred different kinds of crops? So I'm excited to see what the future holds for me there and for what God has in store.

On the horsey side I've had some great opportunities to do some fun stuff lately, I've had a chance to take one of my barn's horses and get a practice ride in (something I hadn't done up until this point). So I was riding out in the ring all by myself, something I've never done so I was quite proud being out there practicing and coming up with things to do all alone. Although Balley did whinny at one of his friends (which freaked me out for a second) all went well.
Shortly after that my trainer moved on to another farm, after what I believe where several months of this being in the works, she and a friend of hers leased a local farm and are now running things exclusively on their own. So needless to say I had to leave 2 friends behind at my old barn; Gwen and Sophie.
Gwen was the very first horse I ever rode in an official lesson and I rode her for the first month or two of my riding career. She is getting up there in years and I hope she can enjoy out the rest of her life. The I had to leave my dear pal Sophie behind as well. Both of those horses belonged to the owner at the barn that I rode at and did not belong to my trainer so they have not gone with her to the new place. I have to admit that I am a bit sad about losing Sophie as a riding partner (& teacher), although I've been riding Balley, I felt like I overcame so many beginning riding fears on her, like learning to take my first canter steps and jump over my first cross rails. So its with a bit of sadness that I leave my old barn to follow my instructor who after a year has brought me so unbelievably far with my riding.

I also celebrated my 1 year anniversary as a rider (maybe that should be for another post) and I just can't believe looking back, how much I've learned and how far I've come and yet how very far I have yet to go.

Finally for the first time today I rode a horse that is not a lesson horse at my barn but instead a horse of someone's that I met at a riding club that I joined recently. This was the first time that I felt like a rider and not just a student in a lesson but at the same time felt so much like the beginner that I am. I have heard from so many people that horse's humble you and I believe that first hand. Just when you think you are confident or good with something they say "I'll show you" and they do. So I rode this other horse to try her and see if I could use her for riding club outings and I'm still undecided on her. I felt like she may be a bit advanced for me and a bit more excited than I'm used to but maybe she's been put in my life to stretch me as a rider out a bit. Am I up for the challenge? Time will tell. I know she has lots to teach me. The amazing part is the person that I met even offered to let me take a few lessons on her with my trainer so I'll be talking to my trainer about trailering her in a few times. I'm really excited about this opportunity as its been one that I've been praying for, a chance to ride more without investing in my own horse yet (I'm not ready).

Wow! much has happened over these few weeks and I still haven't written my actual riding notes.

My next post will be about celebrating my 1 year anniversary as a rider.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Can't think of a good title...

My husband came and videoed my lesson last week and I will try to add those to this post tonight.

Anyway last week's lesson consisted of more circles, which I actually think mine were pretty good, figure 8's and some keyhole (a game). I again rode Balley and I had a chance to canter him around the ring this time. The first time I rode him we only did some small circles so I could get a feel for his canter. He was very happy to be able to go a bit faster and I had to really work on half halting him so he wouldn't run away with me. Otherwise he has a nice canter and I think once we got things going it actually looked pretty nice. One thing that I have a hard time with him on is that when he is about to canter he drops his head which in turn tends to pull me forward. Need to watch for that this week.

I was still struggling with keeping my diagonals and then changing them nicely at the figure 8. I keep forgetting when it is I'm supposed to be out of the saddle (outside leg out/butt out of saddle).

My leg seemed to be drifting back too and we thought maybe the knee rolls on the saddle might be too big and might be pushing my leg back a bit so I'll try a different saddle this week.

We also played a game called keyhole which was actually fun although I would have rather spent the time jumping but because I forgot to put balley's splints on we decided to skip it. This week can't forget those.

So I've also been thinking more and more about buying my own horse. I've started doing some research on that. I really would like to lease though first but I think there is some uncertainty on whether my trainer is going to stay at this barn so I'm trying to weather that out a bit before I commit to a lease. I am also starting a new job in a couple of weeks with lots of horsey people so I am hoping to pick their brains a bit. I would really like to get more riding time in with one horse that I can really work with, maybe balley is that horse, who knows? Hopefully the next few weeks will bring some answers and I'll be able to move forward on that.

I will try and add those videos later...