April 1, 2013

March 30th Ride

This weekend was the first dressage show for the club of the year. The show took place at the University of New Hampshire. Unfortunately I stayed behind to work. I wasn't chosen to ride on the team for this show so instead of tagging along I knew that getting a full days work in at the barn was a better option. Since everyone was gone the barn was super quiet which was HEAVEN! I love it when you sweep the barn isle and it actually stays clean, nothing more frustrating than sweeping and then having people bring in horses and making a mess. But it's a horse barn so it's bound to happen.

Chores were done by 12:30 and I had about 3 hours to ride. My plan was to ride Fiona and then groom a couple horses in preparation for our home show this weekend coming up. But because my plans never going accordingly, I ended up riding and groomed Fiona for 45 minutes. She is shedding like a beast and I knew she would enjoy a good grooming. I really wish I had a camera or could send picture messages from my phone without it costing me anything because the amount of hair was unbelievable. People would walk by and say "Did Fiona get clipped?" "Nope, just groomed" haha it was great and she looked great afterwards. I feel that grooming a horse well before and after riding is a way of being appreciative to the horse (and of course the horse's owners if you are not the owner). Like everyone there are days when I am in a rush but this was not one of them. 

The ride on Fiona went pretty well. I am still working on trying to get her round at the trot. Since I am able to get her round at the walk we worked on staying round during halt/walk transitions and she did great! I also attempted to do some cantering serpentines with some simple changes through the trot when crossing the middle of the arena but the transitions always seemed rushed and very much unbalanced so we didn't do that for long. 

While cooling down Fiona worked on being on a long rein without yanking the reins out of my hands. This is a problem we have during our tests at the free walk and when riding it is just annoying. I feel like she has all the reins she wants, she doesn't need to be trying to yank you forward. I attempted to fix this by starting off with short reins (not ridiculously short) and letting them out smoothly a little bit at a time. Every time she tried to yank the reins were shortened again and we started all over. Fiona caught on quick until I was holding onto the buckle, we had to repeat the shortening and lengthening at least 20 times, but she ended up making the connection and was able to walk around on a long rein without any yanking. 

Overall it was a great ride with minimal frustration. I try not to be frustrated when riding because if the horse isn't doing what I want I know by now that I'm usually not asking correctly. When this happens I attempt the task a handful of times and if I am not making progress I move onto something else.

Well that's my weekend in a snap shot. I hope everyone had a great Easter! Hopefully my next post will be full of pictures and congratulating the team on the kick ass show!

Thank you for reading :)

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