Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Keep it Simple (KISS)

I had an AMAZE-ZA-ZING lesson on Bastian today.  Today was good enough to justify an added syllable in the word.  Let me preface my tale by saying that I woke up at 1:45 this morning sicker than a human should ever have to be.  I wasn't so sure I was going to work, much less ride in my lesson.  I went back to sleep and seemed better by the time I got up at 5 for work and managed to get through the day successfully. 

I was still holding out final judgement until the second I got on for my lesson, and thankfully everything worked out quite swimmingly. 

Today was a 50/50 ride.  My instructor rode Bastian first, then I got on for the last half of the lesson.  He was a gem!  I had mentioned before that he was being an NCP about jumping, just getting very quick and ignoring half halts.  Which is why Kristin rode first, to make sure all his NCP-ness was gone.  Before she started schooling him over some fences however, she totally taught him how to do flying changes!

Seriously.  Flying-friggin-changes.  They weren't perfect, but they were pretty darn good for a horse that has never done them under saddle before.  That right there just made my day, that to me means he has enough of the basics down to start learning some of the cool "tricks."  Woot! 

Then they jumped and he was the hunter angel I know he can be.  He was so perfect that Kristin had me raise the pole on one of the jumps to 2'9".  He knocked it the first time (just barely), and soared over it the second time.  He's A) never jumped that high and B) never got quick, he came in straight and smooth and took it like an old hat.  I was tickled pink.

Then it was my turn, so I climbed on and he felt wonderful.   Forward, light, responsive.  (I love it when Kristin rides before me, my horse is so awesome afterwards! lol)  Everything was great except I was having trouble keeping my left leg underneath of me.  It is the leg that I have limited feeling/muscle control in so its somewhat understandable, but without my leg underneath me, I can't jump safely and effectively. 

We shortened my stirrup up on the left side and voila!  My leg was magically secure.  Simple solutions are wonderful things.

This is also Bastian's third day with his new footware.  After spending six years of his life barefoot, with awesome feet, I broke down and agreed to put hind shoes on him.  I don't necessarily have anything against shoes, I see their value and their necessity in given situations, but I haven't had a horse with shoes in close to four years.  My pony hasn't worn shoes in 18 years.  Bastian's feet are still awesome, but he seems more willing to rock back onto his hocks now and he maintains that feeling longer than he did before.  So while I am sad that my horse is now a shod horse, I think we are both happy about the results so far.  I wasn't able to be there when he got his shoes, but the barn owner said he was very good. :) 

Only one month until our first Hunter Show.  We are going to Erie Hunt and Saddle Club for their Summer Show I.  So in preparation, I have started to practice my tail braiding skills.  I've never been very good at tails.  Manes I can do like nobody's business.  Dressage braids, basic hunter braids, knobby braids or running french, I got it.  Here is today's effort for the tail.  At least I've mastered how to do an outy french braid.  If I can just get this sucker tighter we'll be on to something!

Bastian's hind end is very much so enhanced by the braid, it makes him look super cute!

The last part of the day that made it super?  Finding out that I have points in the Up and Over Hunter Association.  Sweet! 
I'm pretty much in the bottom of every category I am elegible for, but I have points!!!  Here is the link:

LOL :o)

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