Thursday, April 24, 2014

Christle: 1, Weather: 925275395908493275

I haven't abandoned my blog, I just haven't had much opportunity to ride lately. If it hasn't been pouring down with rain, the paddocks have been recovering from the effects of said rain. In an effort not to turn our horses' food into muddy mulch, we've been avoiding riding in the paddocks when they're quite wet.

Cue, tonnes of road riding. We've been riding bareback, doubled up, ponied off another horse and even one attempt at riding backwards. Hey, if you can't have fun doing dressage and jumping - you have to find other ways of amusing yourself. It also takes my mind off the fact that our first dressage show of the TP Winter Dressage Series is next month and we do not have our working trot down pact >.<

We were just starting to get there with our lessons last season, but a small hiatus whilst me and L focused on setting up the farrier business means that Oscar-woppit has fallen back into his sewing machine trot. Ahhh.

Reverting back to my mention of Winter Series, L's farrier company is sponsoring the TP Winter Show Hunter Series, so effectively it's been re-branded as the LB Forge Winter Show Hunter series and I couldn't be more proud!

I've decided to enter both Oscar and Smooch in the show hunter series - I've never done a show hunter round before and so I'm clueless as to what's involved but excited as it's an opportunity to get ribbons, in winter!

So today, I finally got one in on the weather by beating the rain clouds and riding not one, but both of my newly appointed show hunters!

(Oscar also got a bath prior to being clipped tomorrow so technically I should get double points against the weather!)

Oscar:  I decided to do some fitness work with Oscar as I plan to jump him tomorrow (weather permitting) and I like him to be slightly tired when he hasn't jumped in a while. Otherwise he has a tendency to buck which leads to tenseness and I need him to be relaxed so we can do some excercises to get him jumping in good form. 

Today we just did a couple of trot and canter sets, and I let him open up a bit and set his own pace on both reins. He didn't reach a gallop but he chose to go faster and stretch out, so he must have been feeling good. On the right rein we had a few issues. Initially he didn't want to canter at all, and then he wouldn't stop bucking, but he seemed to settle down after a few minutes and was happy to canter from then on. 

Once I finished I checked both his back and legs for soreness, especially as he was reluctant to canter initially, but found nothing. I clay poultice him to be on the safe side, and L tried to convince me to put shoes on him. More on that later.

Smooch: As Smooch is still being brought back into full time work, and she's never been at the level of schooling that Oscar has, I decided to treat her like I would with a fresh, new horse, and go over some basics. Lots of transitions, and large circles in walk, trot and canter.

Smooch has a tendency to bear down on your hands and jump straight into canter. She is my sister's horse (my sister is currently studying at university and I am caring for Smooch in her absence), and I know my sister is a conscientious rider and never just goes and jumps straight to canter without warming in first, so it surprises me as to why Smooch has this habit! I think she finds it easiest to work in a canter and I'm trying to understand why.

Despite leaning quite heavily, and having plenty of late downwards transitions, she eventually started listening. At the point where I would almost say she was 'on my aids', I finished and rewarded her by cooling off. There was a fair bit of chewing towards the end so I take that as her thinking, which makes me happy.

I really want to use her for the show hunter series, as she is a beautiful mover, is very pretty and has lovely form over fences. She also holds a rhythm very well naturally so I think it's something she will be good at. She will never be an eventer as she lacks courage on cross country, but I think she's well suited for the show ring. Maybe Oscar will be my eventer, and until my sister finishes studying, Smooch will be my show hack. An exciting possibility.

Oscar is being clipped tomorrow ready for a winter of dressage, show hunter and fingers crossed, we'll finally join in on a hunt! Until tomorrow, enjoy a picture of two of my favourite boys enjoying a pony kiss! :)

1 comment:

  1. Glad you were able to beat the weather a couple of times! Good luck with the rides tomorrow.