Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Drizzly Show

Our show that I have been looking forward to for the last month or so finally arrived last Sunday. I got the Misty-monster all bathed on Saturday morning and wrapped up in her sheet and sleazy. Miraculously she was mostly clean by the time that Sunday arrived.

Our first class was Training Test 2. Misty was quite awful in warm up. All was going well until I asked for a right lead canter. NOPE. Misty just couldn't do it. We haven't had issues with this lead since I got her.... Which was about 2 years ago. But for some reason, the show day just brought it back up. She got all worked up in warm up by the time she finally decided that she could in fact canter on the correct lead.

She was quite good for her test though. She was very tense the first half and didn't want to really soften until we got to the first canter. Besides that though, I couldn't really complain. Our first halt was very braced, but that was part of the tense-ness that pervaded the first half of the test. Plus she's just awful at nice, relaxed halts. She did a good job on both her stretchy walk and trot. She even got a 7.5 on her stretchy trot circle! She was a little unsteady in contact in some areas, as per usual. She picked up her right lead canter just perfectly, though I asked a little too exaggeratedly. And I was very pleased with a 7.5 on our final halt with the comments, "straight and square". Who'd a thought she could do that!

Collective marks were nothing new, except for the fact that she said Misty had a "terrific walk and canter". I know she's got an awesome canter, but I've never been a super big fan of her walk, so we've been working on it. Guess it must have paid off!

I was surprised and pleased to see that we placed 3rd in a large class of 17! She got a 66.54%, just shy of 2nd place by 0.4%. 

Our second class was Training Test 3. I kind of forgot that there were the bending lines in it, so I didn't even warm those up. Right before I went in the ring I remembered that and thought uh oh, hopefully she does them ok. I was super pleased with how supple and calm she was through the bendy lines. Sometimes she loses impulsion in turns and either her shoulders or haunches falls out, or she gets tense with the change of bend. Not today! But our scores didn't reflect how good I felt about them. 6.5's on each... with no comments. Helpful.

But I was very excited to see an 8 on her left canter circle. And a 7 for her final square halt. At least we can do a nice final halt even if we get a crooked first halt?

Collective marks were more of the same, but with the comments "She's nicely forward but not well balanced through movements so she falls on forehand or loses bend/frame". I happen to think that she wasn't nicely forward at all, she was behind my leg so I should have sacrificed one movement to tap her with the whip and get her thinking more in front of my leg so we wouldn't have those heavy forehand/unbalanced moments. Overall, I was still really pleased with this test and our score of 65.9% putting us in 5th place in a class of 14.

Not a bad kickoff to our first show of the season! Unfortunately no video because I absolutely failed and forgot my camera and didn't charge my phone. But I may be getting some pictures from a friend. We shall see!

I'll leave you with this picture of Misty showing you exactly where she wants to be scratched...

"Scritches right here plz"

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring is Here

Ahh, I love spring. The weather, the getting rid of winter coats, the flowers, just about everything. I feel like I have so many things to update on! In reality, probably none of it is super exciting, but things have been going really well.

Misty has been getting ridden about 3-4 times a week, which I'm really pleased with. We've been doing a ton of dressage and a little bit of jumping.

First off, the shedding has been ridiculous. I don't know how this little horse is capable of growing so much hair (especially since she barely looks that hairy in the winter) much less how she is capable of losing it at such an alarming rate. The good news is that she's almost done shedding! The bad news is that my car is covered in white horse hair and Jetta is just beginning to shed. Sigh...




Misty's dressage work has been feeling really good lately. Sure, plenty to work on still but she's starting to really pick up on the stretchy trot, leg yielding and transitions have been quite perfect lately. I've introduced 15 m circles and lengthened canters finally with some pretty good initial work. I'm really looking forward to the dressage show next weekend!

We have jumped a couple times and she has been pretty awesome as usual. I was super, super happy with her. And we even did our first triple line! She definitely looked at it and we ended up trotting the entire line the first time, but she was awesome! Now if I could just set the line better next time so she can do it all smoothly, that'd be great.

Additionally, we had a really fun trail ride last weekend. I took my boyfriend for his first trail ride with me. The deal is if he went trail riding with me, I would go on a motorcycle ride with him... Terrifying. But he endured a torturous three and a half hours, so I think the least I could do is go riding with him!

We ended up getting pretty lost on the trails (hence the almost four hour ride... I seriously intended a nice short and sweet hour long ride!), but it was an absolutely gorgeous day so it wasn't all bad. He used to ride as a kid so he looks like a natural. Misty was great as per usual, though by the end we were all a tad grumpy and just plain "done" with the ride. Overall though, it was definitely a success!

Gorgeous weather and views!