Saturday, September 27, 2008

LOTS going on... Wow.

Thursday morning I had to SI again (*sigh*) and it went ok. I felt better about it than I usually do; I got a VERY firm grip on comma splices. It's hard because I'm trying to learn the material fast enough so that I can turn around and teach it five minutes later. I am definitely going to say NO to SI-ing next semester. I actually said no this semester too, but I got scheduled for it anyways.

I spent all Thurs. afternoon doing homework and then went out to the barn late afternoon. I took Grady out the XC course (he walks out quite nicely now, or atleast he has been lately) and rode him in one of the big open fields. He is SO much happier out there, he just went right to work. He's very forward, very solid, very responsive, and actually quite eager to work. We worked on transitions and simple changes for a bit, and then I let him gallop a few laps around the field. After the gallop I brought him back to trot and worked on stretchy chewy circles. The concept has finally seemed to *click* with him, and I was very pleased.

When I got back Jill and Tess had just gotten there. Jill wanted me to come riding with them so she asked Patty (barn owner) if I could ride one of her horses. So I got to ride Walter, a 7 year old prelim event horse that is the EASIEST horse I think I've ever ridden. It was very disorienting to get on a horse and have him autimatically go on the bit without even having to ask him. It was actually quite bizarre, but he was very fun to ride. We went out and went for a nice gallop.

Yesterday I rode Isis early and she was pretty good. Then I had a XC lesson on Sackett and it was AWESOME!!! We are starting to jump higher jumps and harder questions, and it's actually going really well. I pretty much did all Novice fences and a few of the easier Training fences. Rocky had me jump the hardest Novice jump Birchbury has. It's on an incline going into the woods, it's a skinny with a tree on both sides, and it's a very intimidating looking jump. Or I guess it's supposed to be, but I didn't think it looked very scary. Anyways, I jumped it perfectly the first time! I find that the hardest XC jumps for me are "square" roll tops where the top is flat. It's really hard to find the distances to those... But Rocky said that that's normal and that it's hard for most people.

Then I brought Grady over to Lindsay's and had an excellent lesson on him. We worked on getting a firmer connection to the left and smoother transitions. Our work was actually really nice. I discovered that my connection is much steadier going to the left if I lower my right hand. Isn't it weird how dumb little things like that can make SO much of a difference??!! Lindsay was also very impressed with his sudden improvement in stretchy chewy circles... She said that all the ones we did were worthy of atleast a score of 8!

THEN I rode Julia and had a great ride. First we worked on lengthening the trot, but the word extending is probably more accurate. We were doing WAY more than a lengthen. Then we worked on cantering and keeping her body straight. She has a tendency to push her haunches to the inside (something typical of more advanced dressage horses) so I had to really work on getting her straight. I was having a heck of a time until I started just *thinking* about riding a half-pass. Not actually DOING a half pass, but thinking about it. Suddenly she got straight! At the end we worked on leg yields and they were the most beautiful and excellent feeling leg yields I have ever ridden. Yay!! Lindsay was also very pleased with them.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bad boy!!

It rained all day tuesday. Not just rain, but thunder and lightning and wind. I got up at 6 to ride Isis (I was planning on being at the barn by 7), but it started to storm shortly after, so I didn't ride her. SO I cleaned my riding boots and Isis' bridle - And watched Dinosaur. Yep, I did. I like Disney movies, always have, always will.






I rode Grady that evening. He was AWFUL. Just awful. I had to ride in the indoor. Birchbury's indoor is very large, open, and bright, but it's just not the same as riding outside. He pulled his typical stunt of picking a corner to be "scared of." I do a pretty good job of curbing that behavior now, so when he figured out that he wasn't winning he decided to buck, rear, and run sideways instead. This sort of behavior is pretty typical if he doesn't want to go somewhere. It's the same behavior he pulls going out to the XC sometimes. But this was BAD. We battled for probably a good half hour. Eventually he came around and went forward without balking at the corner, but over all it was just not a good ride. But I'm glad that I "won."






I rode Isis yesterday morning and she was ok, but the footing was pretty bad after the rain. It was either too deep or too slippery, so the quality of our work wasn't as good as I would have liked it to be.




I had a jumping lesson on Grady and that went pretty well. It was in the indoor since the footing was so bad outside, and we did the dreaded "circle exercise." Grady was quite confused by it and was NOT very smooth, but he was pretty well behaved the whole time. The exercise is where you have four ground poles and/or jumps equally spaced on a circle. Sound easy? IT'S NOT!! It's hard enough on Sackett because I have to think so hard to get the striding equal and the distances correct. On Grady it was next to impossible. Thankfully, Rocky didn't even have me worry about striding; it was just my job to ride a circle and let Grady figure it out. We had jumps where he took off WAY too long, jumps that he came in so tight he had to take launching bunny hops, and several jumps where he simply crashed through them. He was completely bamboozled by the exercise, and he was having a very hard time both mentally and physically... And that's good! It's VERY tiring (for both of us) and by the end of the lesson I could tell that he was really struggling. It's so hard because you're constantly turning at the same time you're trying to jump. It's great for him!
I've been doing LOTS of homework. I'm swamped... SO I'm off to do more!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Web Design!


I'm getting more and more excited about web design. I think it's the perfect supplement and back up to my riding career. I have tons of fun doing it and my creative juices can run - no drawing needed! (I suck at drawing) I'm looking into more advanced online web design degrees that I could possibly persue while I persue my dressage career. So exciting!
I didn't have a jumping lesson this morning, but I still rode Sackett. I went out to the XC course and worked on dressage. When I jump him I don't care about having a dressage head set, and I have a feeling that nobody else who rides him does either... So when I asked for it it was a bit of a struggle to start. But he came around fairly quickly and we had some really nice, steady, consistent, on-the-bit work. He has a really fun canter, it's very floaty.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No Title

I am very tired. Just worn out... Just from being so busy. On Thurs. I had a lesson on Julia and it went really well, I had some brilliant medium trots. Then I rode Grady out on the XC course. I was so proud of him, he marched right out there without misbehaving at all! The ride went VERY well too, he was very forward and responsive. I rode Isis early yesterday and she was pretty good. I had an AWESOME XC jumping lesson on Sackett. Rocky said that my jumping on Sackett has improved alot since I've started jumping Grady. She thinks that's because I have to be extremely tight and secure (so I wont die) on Grady, so my leg and seat have to be extremely solid and I have to be very motivated to get over the jump. That solidness has translated over to Sackett, and my jumping has improved by quite a bit. I even jumped a few Training level fences, all with great success. Then I had a lesson with Lindsay on Grady. He wasn't naughty persay, but to quote Lindsay, "Our dressage sucked." It was just not good. He wasn't forward and he was constantly trying to bow out his right shoulder. I was supposed to ride Julia again, but Lindsay said to ride Grady AGAIN instead. So I did... And I'm very glad I did. I got on his case right away about being forward, and the quality of his work was much better and his body was much straighter. We even had an "ah ha!" moment! I was having trouble getting him to smoothly transition from the canter to trot in the left lead, so Lindsay had me go into a "leg yield along the wall" position while I asked for the downward transition. This got his right shoulder underneath him and made the transition very smooth. I can't wait to work on it again!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Odd...

The slideshow does not appear to be working. *rips out hair* I am so sick of this!!!

Slide Show

Agh! No Photoshop!

I came up to the computer lab all geared to work on my banner strip for this blog and *gasp* no Photoshop!! How can the computer lab not have Photoshop?? The computers in the Academic Support Center do, but funnily enough (I know funnily isn't a word) you can't use it unless you're doing homework. So the one place I CAN goof around is the one place that DOESN'T have Photoshop. I also made a slide show on Photobucket, but I am having a heck of a time figuring out how to get the slide show onto this blog as a feature. I figured out how to SHARE the slide show and put it into a post (I just posted it today), but I can't figure out how to put it in that slideshow thing in the Layout tab. If anyone has any brilliant suggestions I'd love to hear them!

I am LOVING my web design class. Once I have my current web design project published I'll put the link up here so you guys can see my work. Have I mentioned that I am going to be making Pferde Farm a website as my "big" web design project? I am so excited!! I've already been brain storming like wild.

My jumping lesson on Grady was AWESOME today!! Grady is finally starting to get over it and just JUMP. Before he would jump nicely, then when Rocky would switch up the program (like adding a new jump) he would put up a fight. We'd fight through it once, then he'd be cool. Then it would happen again the NEXT time we switched it up. But today he was really quite good the entire time. There were a few jumps where you could tell he was questioning or hesitant, but he never once refused. At the end we jumped a nice little course and I was praising him like he'd just jumped a clear round at the Rolex!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Breast Cancer Benefit Show


This weekend I went to a breast cancer benefit schooling show. The proceeds went to Laurie Nelson, a local dressage trainer with breast cancer and no insurance. Jo, Kaitlyn and I rode while Lindsay coached. It was an exhausting weekend! I worked all day saturday and then went straight from the library to Birchbury. I had Grady loaded and ready to go a bit after 6:30 at made the long journey to the barn the show was being held at. It was about an hour and 45 minutes and it was basically dark when I got there. I brought Grady into the barn and started searching for my stall when all ofasudden I heard galloping hooves and the barn was flooded with horses. Evidently that barn lets all the horses in at once and they find their stalls. Grady and I were caught in the middle of it and I am SO lucky that Grady didn't freak out and that none of the horses attacked us! When an employee came in we were still surrounded by stampeding horses and I just started yelling "help!!!" It's always nice to have something get your adrenaline pumping.
The others had gotten there only a bit earlier and were just finishing up riding in the show ring to get the feel for it. (Side note: On Saturday Lindsay brought her filly to an Oldenburg inspection. Her filly got premium and was the highest scoring horse at the inspection!) I took Grady out and walked him around the arena a bit, but I didn't want to ride since it was pitch black and getting pretty late. I live close enough to the facility that I spent the night at home. On my drive I stopped to get gas and as I was filling up an all out brawl started by the gas station. Cars honking and screeching, girls and guys screaming, swearing, punching, drinking, kicking, slamming... I put in fourth of a tank and got out of there!!
The show went (I think) very well. Grady was 100% well behaved the whole time. He never once spooked or pulled any sort of tricks. Thanks again Lindsay!!! I didn't get any pictures because no one was taking any and I didn't have any parents there to take them for me. But anyhoo, Grady's first test was *ok*. It was actually fairly smooth, but there were certainly things that I could pin point that we needed to improve. It was doing this awful cold drizzle the entire day and the warm up arena was very slick. Grady kept slipping so my warm up for my first test wasn't very comprehensive (although Grady was well behaved!) and my warm up for my second test basically didn't happen. I got on him while the rider before me was doing her test and went in cold turkey - he did well though.
The judge was scoring VERY low. There were only a few people that got above 60%. I got a 59% on my Training 2 test and third place. I got a 57% on my T4 class and WON!!! I think that's very sad that I won with 57%, and there were 8 people in the class. Lindsay saw both my tests and said that if I had had a test like that at a rated show that I would have scored much higher! Both of my tests were fairly good and I was pretty happy with them. There are three things that I need to work on: Keeping a more consistent contact (Grady has gone from pulling on the reins to be a little too soft! Now he has to PUSH to the bit), snappier upward and downward canter transitions (these are generally pretty good at home, but they weren't as sharp in a strange place with no warm up), and not screwing up my halts!! I totally messed up on my last halt and it was so utterly embaressing. He halted very evenly but I thought he was crooked so I bumped him a bit to try and even out his legs and of course he took a huge step. I've decided that when we halt at shows I am not going to worry about straightness after we've gotten the halt!! The halt we get is the halt we'll have - That way I don't risk messing up a perfectly good halt with my stupidity.
The day was a BLAST though. Both Jo and Kaitlyn did very well, and it was very fun to see them ride at the show. Jo is the barn manager at Pferde and Kaitlyn is her daughter. They are both pretty new to dressage so I think they did VERY well. They got some 2nds and 3rds and were scored just as horribly as I was.
During the middle of the day we had a fairly long break between classes so since we were freezing our buns off we decided to sit in the office. I told Lindsay about my chinchilla Jupiter and how he does is girlfriend pink fuzzy slippers... She found this to be quite hilarious and wants videos, so you might be seeing some X rated pink fuzzy slipper videos soon! Lindsay is the queen of burping so she was trying to teach me how to birp, something I've never been able to do very well at all. I downed Dr. Pepper and only had a few small, inaudible birps. No window rattling ones like Lindsay can do. *sigh*
We also watched some equ classes and Lindsay and I chatted about training with Conrad Schumacher. She hopes to go to Chicago for a few days in Oct. to train with him and asked if I would like to come with. I wouldn't be able to ride with him (you have to be invited to), but if I go I would get a chance to have Lindsay introduce me and recomend me for lessons so it would be worth the trip. I'd love to go, I just have to get my work covered!! He's going to be back in Nov. so maybe I could ride then? We'll see. Update you more on this later.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Busy Again!!

My brain has been on over drive this past week. I have been going none stop all day, every day from about 6 in the morning till midnight. I'm tired and when I get this way I think my brain starts to malfunction. I can't remember simple things.

Yesterday was quite a busy day. I rode Sackett first in a jumping lesson and that went pretty well. I still get a little thrown by larger courses of jumps, I need to get a better feel for taking each jump at a time without getting psyched about the next one. A course will start out very organized and then it will get sloppier and sloppier as we go! Rocky seemed to be happy with our work for the day, but I felt like I could have done better.

Then I rode Grady over at Lindsay's. I love it over there, it is so much fun. I tried Bev's Albion saddle on Grady and it seemed to fit him pretty well. I've had a heck of a time finding a decent fitting saddle for Grady. If I decide to buy this one it will be my 4th saddle for him, but I think it's the best fitting one I've tried so far. I am going to ride in it today and tomorrow and see if he seems to like it with a few days of use. The lesson went pretty good... He tried to pull a few fast ones but we worked through them. I am so thankful I have someone who is helping me with his issues!

I rode Julia next... She is tons of fun to ride. It's so nice to be on a big, flashy, well trained,horse - and she actually behaves!! Maybe someday Grady will get there, but he's not there yet. I think Lindsay was impressed with how well we do together because Julia is NOT an easy horse to ride. She's well trained and knows enough that your cues have to be dead on to get the correct results... Plus she's just a, well, a b****y mare!! I am so happy I get to (finally) ride an upper level horse that I really click with.

I rode Isis in the late afternoon. She was very good and we worked on more transitions. I upped the difficulty a few notches and I was very pleased with how she responded.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Videos of Isis and I

Well I finally got my act together and got some videos of Isis for you guys. Actually, I had my dad video tape me because I wanted to see how Isis's lengthenings/ leg yields/ and medium trot were coming along. As you'll see in the videos, her gaits aren't that great - particularly her canter. I love her to death, but she just doesn't have any brilliance in that canter!! her leg yields are functionally correct, but also not brilliant. When I watch Grady leg yield in the mirrors in the indoor his inside leg literally crosses a good two feet over his outside, but isis just kind of steps across. *shrug* Anyways, enjoy! Please ignore how utterly retarded I sound. Infact, turn your sound off!!!

I had another jumping lesson on Grady today. Lynn joined us with her baby horse Natalie, an awesome Oldenburg. We started with a grid (eventually built up to two feet) and then added additional fences on. Grady was a bit thrown off by the "turn/jump/turn/jump" thing because so far he's just had to work through a grid... There was one jump with white (OMG!!!!) poles that he found scary every time. I rode him hard towards that fence and he'd be fighting the whole way over!! Rocky said that I have to be like cement to get him over those fences. Lynn was laughing at me because of how "cementy" I was!! She was like "there was ALOT of 'grrrr!!' in that ride!!"

You'll see two simple changes, a canter lengthening, and a trot lengthening in this video.

video

You'll see two leg yields to the right

video

You will see some medium trots across the diagnol and then a leg yield to the left (my tricky one)

video

Another leg yield to the left

video

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Transitions!

Oooh man, today was brutal. Last night I was up super late working on my archaeology homework. Then I got up at 5 this morning... And it was only 35 degrees out!! I'm sorry, but that's just too dang cold for early September. I rode Isis this morning at about 7:30. She's been such a trooper lately and we've been working so hard on 2nd Level stuff... So today I decided to go back and work on something that any good dressage trainer would say you should do often, on any horse, at any level: Transitions!! It was a great tune up session.

Then I had to tutor for the first time. It went pretty well over all. Fortunatly I'm with a group of other tutors that I really enjoy. I worked with a girl on her english paper for about a half hour and then I worked on the computer with another lady. She was taking an online class about computer concepts... Well, the problem was was that she really wasn't even sure how to get into her online class. So she hadn't done any of the homework for the first two weeks. I worked with her for about three hours. She was super nice and I was tutoring the subject I enjoy, so it was a good experience, but it was exhausting... I literally had to teach her everything from opening a file to how to do her homework. But that's ok, that's what I'm there for. And she'll get it - it'll just take time. At the end she gave me a big hug and thanked me about six trillion times, so that was really nice. It was also in front of my boss and that can't hurt anything!

I worked at the library through the afternoon. I was close to brain dead by the end. Typically on tuesdays I go to Birchbury after the library, but there's a show this weekend, so I figured I'd better try to get my homework done before the weekend since I wont be able to work on it then. I'm also getting other things like paper work, answering emails, and other stuff like that done too. *sigh* I hate having to choose homework over my horses. My only consolation is that my classes this semester are the classes I need to get my career going, so it's really just a short amount of time before horses can be the focus. Stay strong Kristie!!!

Yesterday Lydia and Taylor dropped in at the library and gave me some prints of pictures from Otter Creek. Two of them were of the downhill portion of the canter stride, so neither where that great, but I scanned the other two which are both ok.



Monday, September 8, 2008

CONGRADULATIONS LINDSAY!!!!

Lindsay is the USDF Region 4 Grand Prix Open champion. Yaaaaaaaaaay!!!! Congrats to Lindsay!! Everyone else from Pferde Farm did very well. There are no other championship titles, but everyone placed and scored well. So congrats to everyone, I can't wait to join you next year!!

My jumping lesson went really well today. We worked on a grid with bounces and then added that grid into a larger course. My sharp turns after fences are greatly improving (Rocky continually told me not to run through the arena fence), and ever since that fence snafoo at the show, Rocky has been having me practice alot of sharp turns. (The turn wasn't the problem though - it was my memory!!) I over jumped the first bounce we did and Sackett tried to jump two jumps at once... But after that our bounces were quite smooth.

And guess what, somebody GAVE Rocky a 3rd Level dressage horse and his $5000 custom made saddle. Yes, GAVE!! Lucky!! Yes, I am extremely happy for her... I just can't wait for the day when someone will be giving ME free 3rd Level horses! The horse's name is Arthur and he has been consistently scoring in the mid 70s at 3rd Level. *sigh* Some people have all the luck. Of course, she is a trainer with a great reputation and lots of experience... So I guess I just have to wait my turn!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

INTJ

As part of my on going tutor training I had to take a personality test... It was a very interesting test and I am supposedly an "INTJ." I saved the results page on my favorites, but it will not display my results any more... So I can't give any exact quotes on what exactly an INTJ is, but it was pretty interesting and amazingly accurate. Basically it said that an INTJ is extremely unusual and only about 1% of the people who have taken the test are INTJs. But it described me almost exactly: I like to make plans, I feel uncomfortable when I don't have a plan, I can make quick decisions, I don't waste my time doing anything I don't need to do, I get everything that I do need to do done on a timely manner, I enjoy socializing but would rather not be overly social, I'd rather not lead but I can if I have to... I'm not particularly compassionate and I'm all about gettin' er' done. The test actually said that INTJs are unconventional geniuses. Of course, a survey quiz is never a 100% garuntee, but I was surprised by the accuracy of this test. I guess I always thought I was different in the exact ways INTJs are supposed to be.... And that's also probably why I'm so abnormally and maniacally driven.

If you're interested in taking the test here's the link:
http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

In other news, I rode Grady earlier today and he was pretty good. I rode him out in the jumper ring and he hasn't been out there for a couple weeks. The jumper ring is a complete hazard zone of jumps and jump parts laying in and around, so it's a great place for Grady to get his spook on. He actually did try a couple times, but I've gotten pretty good at preventing and correcting him when he's naughty. (Thank you Lindsay!!) He was "on edge" the entire ride, but he was absolutely obedient and was actually quite brilliant. He even walked over a liverpool several times without (hardly) any hesitation.

It's such a beautiful day today, I'm going to go out and take Isis for a trail ride soon...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Some Pretty Faces

Over the next couple weeks I am going to put up pictures from the "other parts" of my life that have nothing to do with horses. That way you can see that there ARE other parts, even if they aren't very big parts! I have two very precious cocketiels named Pete and Polly (Extremely original, I know). I have had them for 11 years... And they still hang out with me pretty much every day. They like to help me eat my food and sit on my head and shoulders. Pete is quite sociable and is pretty much a dork. He maintains a running commentary almost constantly and can whistle a very vague version of the Andy Griffith theme song. On the other hand, Polly is very serious and gets extremely annoyed at Pete's antics. BUT she is far more tactile and loves to have the feathers on her neck ruffled. She asks you to do this by butting her head up against your hand. While you ruffle her feathers she closes her eyes and rotates her head from side to side... But then you do something wrong and she bites your hand. These pictures demonstrate their personality's perfectly.

Polly

Pete


In other news, yesterday I rode Grady out on the XC course. The weather was cold and windy and I wasn't sure how well he was going to behave... But he was a super star!! I only rode him for 20 minutes because there was absolutely nothing more I could have asked of him. I also rode Isis and Sackett and they were both very good. My jumping lesson schedule has been a little hairy this week because of Labor day and Rocky's daughter's first day of kindergarten... But next week it will get back to normal.

I had to work all day at the library today and that was fine. Then this evening I rode Isis and dad filmed my ride. I wanted to see her lengthenings, medium gaits, and leg yields. I was really pleased with what I saw when I watched the video. I hope to post some clips on here later this week... So stay tuned!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Agh! No picture!

That blog thing on 07 didn't put the picture in... So here it is.



Word 07 Experiment

Well, so in my adventures of taking computer classes I ran across a feature of Word 2007 that I didn't know it had… The ability to make blog posts. So I'm giving it a try. Hopefully this will work; I've never done it before so this is more or less an experiment. It's kind of odd though and the blog post document is behaving in ways that normal word documents don't. I was hoping I could add borders and all that, but it doesn't seem to have that capability.

Anyways, have I mentioned that my sister graduated from basic last week? Here's a picture of her and my dad looking rather serious. My parents went down to her graduation, but I didn't since I have school, work, and (of course) my poniez. Did you know that dressage riders that are in the army can compete in their dress uniforms? I keep telling my sister that she needs to start doing dressage so she can ride in that sweet coat she's wearing.

Hmmm, I'm not sure if I'm liking this blog thing… Oh well, I'll try it this one time and if I don't like it I won't use it again. It's also annoying because it's catching all my grammar errors. Well, DUH, of course I'll have grammar errors when I'm writing casually.

Oh, and by the way, Lindsay and the rest of the competitors from Pferde Farm or down in Mason City, Iowa for regional championships right now. Good luck to them!! I wish I could have gone, but I didn't make it to enough shows to earn enough qualifying scores. Oh well, there's always next year! And if Grady continues in the way he's going now, he'll be absolutely FABulous by then! There is actually one show for qualifying for next year that is on the first weekend of October, so I'm very excited about that. And it's at Otter Creek… Grady seemed to be quite comfortable there. It is SO nice to be with a competitive barn. I'm going to go to practically all the shows next season!

Yesterday I was extremely tired and didn't feel very well. I was a little sick to my stomach and had a head ache. I know that on days like that it's better if I don't ride Grady. I just don't have the energy to ride as hard and discipline the way I need to. So I didn't ride him, I just brought him in and groomed him for 45 minutes. The one thing I definitely DON'T normally like to do is groom. My grooming is typically about 5 minutes max if I'm going to ride - just getting the dirt off before I put the saddle on. So Grady thought it was weird that I was just sitting there and brushing and fussing. I feel really bad though because I picked his feet and left a bunch of dirt on the floor and forgot to sweep it up. I had every intention to, but I was putting his stuff away and thinking about how nice it would be to just be at home and lay on the couch. So I forgot. So I feel terrible about it.

I rested for awhile and rode Isis in the evening. I went the "Anky van Grunsven" route last night and rode her for about an hour and a half. You know, a lot of people don't like Anky but I think she's great. We worked on pretty much everything: medium gaits, simple changes, walk/canter and canter/walk, haunches in, shoulder in, leg yield etc. Isis did very well. I think one of the most valuable and helpful things Lindsay has taught me so far about leg yields is that you DON'T look in the direction that you're going. My old trainer always told me that I should and it always felt extremely awkward. The other day in a lesson Lindsay was like "are you looking at the wall? Don't! Look straight ahead!" And it made a WORLD of difference. My leg yields on Isis are also far easier if I ride with my head straight forward. Whatta ya know.

Well, it's off to the barn. He he, I have ALL my homework done for the week. Absolutely everything is completed and turned in. Quizzes are taken. Yesssss. And I have an A in all my classes so far. So I'm going to start working on next week's homework tonight so I can get ahead!! Incase you haven't noticed, I'm no procrastinator.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

English SI


So you know that I really didn't want to SI. I don't remember if I've mentioned that before. SI is Supplemental Instruction. And it's for english. The whole "sentence structure" thing just isn't for me. Thank goodness we wont be spending much time on this. I can write and, believe me, when I'm writing for a college paper my writing is GOOD. Much better than on this blog. But I more or less write with feel, not mechanical knowledge... I can write a good sentence but not know what each part of the sentence is. That is why I didn't WANT to SI for english. *grumble*

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

JUMPED GRADY

Well, I'm back in business. Sorry about my lack of posting, but my internet service was on the fritz for the last week and a half. It was extremely annoying, particularly since all my classes are online!! I'd get online then get booted off in about ten seconds. Over and over. It sucked.

Anyways, life has been super exciting though!! School is (so far) going pretty well. I like the classes that I'm taking. I've decided that I don't want to go the college route right now (rather get a working student job at a barn or something like that), so since my parents want me to go this year I'm just taking classes that I want to take. So I'm taking Intro to Archaeology, Microcomputer Word Processing, and Web Design 1. I do like computer stuff!!

My riding has been going really well. My lessons with Lindsay have really improved Isis's work at home. She is solidly working at 2nd Level, really getting it together. Very exciting!! Even leg yields are going really well. Grady has been doing really, really well too. He's actually developing quite a work ethic. Lindsay is amazing!! And guess what?? I took a lesson with Rocky on Grady today. WE JUMPED!! Not kidding. We started over ground rails and then built up to cavaletti. Grady was being so good that Rocky just kept making them higher. By the end of the lesson Grady was going through a gymnastic that started out with an 18 inch cavaletto, than two ground poles, than a 2' one stride combination!! I could not believe it. And he was absolutely trucking his way through, he never once said no... It was very exciting. I'm going to keep up with the jumping on him, I think it's great for his brain.

Speaking of jumping, here are some links to some recent jumping events. The first link is of the jumping schooling show I did a couple weekends ago (yes, when I crashed through the fence - sorry, no pictures of that). I am on Page 6 and I'm the rider in the brown shirt. I like the look of the first picture but I look utterly demented. In the second picture I really like how Sackett looks but my left leg swung back. This is becoming less and less of a problem thankfully. My right leg is as solid as it can be, but my left leg sometimes swings back if I'm not thinking about it.

http://blazinglaurels.smugmug.com/gallery/5794129_KjBrz#358836272_qTieC

In addition, Trottbrook Horse Trials, Minnesota's only recognized event was Labor Day weekend. It's very exciting to watch and I hope to do it next year. We had about 8 people from Birchbury compete this year. Lindsay's student Jen was also there, and Lindsay coached her for her dressage. It was very fun and what makes it even more fun is that now I know TONS of people there. Jill did her first prelim event ever and she made it through with a 7th place finish. Lynn won her Training level division which was SUPER exciting. All the Trottbrook pictures are at the link below. Jill's pictures start on Page 27 of the Prelim pictures. I did Einstein's braids!! Jill's dressage test didn't go as well as I've seen her do... I think her brain was perhaps getting in the way a wee bit!! *smile* Her XC went pretty well, she had two refusals. The first was at a very difficult corner jump with a very hairy approach. As you can see, when she got over it the second time she broke the flag!! She also had a refusal in the middle of the bounce because she didn't have enough gas coming in. It was funny because while we were watching Rocky said "c'mon Jill, he needs more gas or he'll never make that bounce..." And then afterwards Jill said "We needed more gas to make that bounce!!" It was pretty funny. Lynn's pictures start on page 16 of the Training Level picture group. Her dressage test actually went quite well and she got a 35. Her horse is Good Bye Ruby Tuesday and she is so pretty!! Her stadium was flawless and her XC pretty much was too. Jen's pictures start on page 27 of the Training group (she got a 33 in dressage, but unfortunatly her horse, Loose Cannon, was so tired for XC that he almost didn't make it through and actually stopped a few times) and Avery and So Far So Good's pics start on page 44. Avery placed 7th and did FAR better in her dressage than she thought she would!

http://blazinglaurels.smugmug.com/Sports

In other news, I rode one of Lindsay's upper level horses for the first time last week. That was incredibly awesome and it was SO much fun to ride a horse that is so well trained. My riding had to be ten times more precise than what I'm used to. Evidently that horse, a Hanoverian mare named Julia (but pronounced Hoolia), is kind of a testy sort so Lindsay was very impressed that we seemed to get along so well. I'm hoping that if I can ride her through the winter I can perhaps show her next year at 2nd Level. She is not only a very well trained horse, but she is very stunning too so I am very excited!!