"Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion. It seizes a person whole and once it has done so, he/she will have to accept that his life will be radically changed." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cold weather can't keep spring away!

We have had some very cold temps the last few days.  I am tired of it but there are ways to keep busy and stay warm until spring is here for good.  

Fred and I had a great lesson with Sarah on Friday.  Sarah taught me about the timing of a canter depart.  While I am still late with my commands, I have the understanding of the timing. Canter departs in the indoor are not Fred's favorite activity.  Sarah also taught me that the down transition should be a 2 beat half halt and then the trot directions.  Fred and I had such a great down transition that we called it a day on that note.  

I helped my friend LClark move her pony, Scotch, to his new home Friday night.  That pony makes you smile, he is so darn cute!  Lauren is still close enough that she and I can take our boys out for field trips this year.  I hope they both settle in quickly and enjoy the new location.

 LClark and the PonyBoy 

I had a marvelous private jump lesson with Fred and Cindy on Saturday.  We did a trot gymnastic - rail, jump, rail, 15m circle.  My position was back to what it had been.  No chicken wings and my leg stayed still.  After sorting out my aids to jump straight from the left approach, we called it a day after several very good jumps.  I needed a simple, confidence building ride and that is exactly what I got.

Cindy's birthday was on Sunday!  I organized the jump painting party.  Cindy and I brought the jumps from the outdoor to the back of the barn on Saturday.  We had two huge tables of food and lots of helpers Sunday.  I barely moved the last painted jump inside when it started to rain!  The jumps will sit for a day and then we will set them up according to Cindy's new course design.  

Thank you to everyone who came out and helped!  The ring will look amazing this year.

The painting crew!  We painted everything - rails, standards, gates, and more!
Laura and her family built a brick wall with a matching rail and standards!  
 The southwestern coop.  I think this is the best version we have had so far.

 Melanie and Olivia transformed the old boring red gate into a cute obstacle! They also transformed their clothes a bit throughout the day.
Many of the colors are similar for mix and match purposes.

The last standard in had a few rain drops on it before the downpour arrived.  It looks like the easter bunny threw up on the jumps.

Today I am taking Graham to Laurel Hill for cross country schooling.  With Tyler out of commission and Graham in need of some more XC experience, we are a good match for the outing today.  Graham will help give me confidence before taking Fred out again.  

Sally and I leave for The Fork on Wednesday.  I'm packing today to make sure I have everything, but not too much.  The weather should be about perfect!  I plan on updating throughout the day via Notes on Facebook.  I will do in depth reports here.  My mom is lending me her Nikon so I can capture lots of photos.  
Tyler is doing quite well.  He can stretch and contort to reach grass under the fence now so he is back to full time turn out.  I will schedule his checkup with New Bolton after I return from North Carolina so he can go back to work.  (Unlike me... grrr... that is a whole other blog.)  I turned him out nekkid yesterday.  It was a great idea until I had to curry him so he could wear a sheet.  What a dirty, shedding horse!  But when Tyler is happy, I am happy.

My next blog will be from sunny, warm North Carolina!  :D  I hope my reports do the trip justice.

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