Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friends, Family, and Fun!

Saturday was glorious. PC was still upset about being alone, but we soon remedied that by getting him tacked up and going out with a group. J, Brooke, and Merideth all went out to school/ride in the morning before it got too hot. Let me say that Falconwood is an amazing place, worth the drive already! They have a top of the line grass jumping arena, a superb sand dressage arena, and four or five different pastures all with incredible, state-of-the-art cross country jumps from BN through P. WOW. I could live here!

We started out doing some flatwork in the SJ arena, doing some X rails and them some smaller jumps, and finally a grid. I was impressed with Brooke, who was on a Friesian cross who was doing LOVELY flying lead changes. Turns out she’d shown him Grand Prix dressage all last year, and he was learning to jump now. WOW. It was a total illustration of how flatwork really DID improve jumping; the horse was “up” and collected so that every fence was round and beautiful!

I had a blast jumping over the N and T jumps. PC actually stopped at a silly barn-like jump (N height, much like the ones at Greenwood he’s done 5+ times…!), but I made him jump it from a standstill. NOTE TO SELF: even if the jump looks familiar, don’t become a passenger! Squeeze with my legs to let him know I’m “with” him.

We did a T&P bank up and down, as well as some other fun jumps like a ditch and wall and a trakehner. The only other problem he had were with the drainage ditches scattered throughout the property (it used to be a rice farm!). He’d never seen such things: ditches with actual water running through them! He stopped then jumped several of them. Finally, I think he’s getting “over” the newness.

J’s horse Phillippa is gorgeous, but she wants to GO!

I got to watch Brooke school the gorgeous Friesian dressage stallion Rintse 386. WOW. What beautiful movement! She was quiet and effective on his back, being still and relaxed but definitely “pushing” him to go. They made a lovely picture. J jumped on to see what “real” dressage felt like….and he, too, looked good on the stallion. He wasn’t used to holding his hands still, allowing the horse’s impulsion to “rest” in his hands, but he did a good job. Brooke encouraged him to push him forward more, and NOT to “break” at his midsection following the sitting trot. That was something new to me; J tried it, and he had a hard time…but when he did it for even a few steps, he looked GOOD. Brooke said that if you broke, your core couldn’t lift the horse—you’re coming down to the horse, rather than asking the horse to come up to you. I think I “get” it cognitively, but I don’t think I have a clue what it feels like…so since the “he-Law” is full Monday for private lessons, I’m going to get a lesson with Brooke on Monday am. Let’s hope I can feel it enough to work on it at home.

The family flew in this afternoon, and we all went to the beach just a half hour down the road after a DQ lunch. The Gulf water was glorious, warm and inviting. We all walked out to a sandbar, then the boys began jumping the waves and frolicking in the water. Alas, though, our fun was cut short when Ellis was stung by a jellyfish. He had 10 or so stings on his leg—OUCH! We went to find some white vinegar which took care of his pain. I’m looking forward to going back with the family, AND to the beach ride tomorrow!

Thanks to J and Joyce (who make quite a team) who were able to fix the plug on my trailer (and to Kelley for finding/buying the plug!). Now the boys are staying in my trailer, and Joyce and I are in the Taj Mahal. Life is good.

1 comment:

  1. Becky! I'm so excited that you're doing the Leslie clinic this year! It is Grant's and my favorite horse activity that we do all year!! It's a blast, you learn so much, the hospitality is awesome, and I always ride tons better (or at least I think that I do)afterwards! It's a big party, and everyone is so supportive!
    We'll be coming in Monday morning. Don't worry! Ronan will help to keep Paycheck company!
    Sarah Goodyear