Thursday, October 21, 2021

Field Trip: Sherwood Forest

 Trainer A moved her program to a new facility, and last Friday I hauled up for a trainer ride/lesson. A has been looking to move for a while, wanting to expand her program, and while I had hoped she'd stay close to where she had been located, she moved farther north, to the outskirts of Portland. The facility is amazing with big indoor, huge outdoor, lots of paddocks and pastures, and 80 acres of xc fields and trails. I had been toying with the idea of moving Cinder, depending upon where A landed, but board at SF is about 3x what I'm currently paying and it's a little over an hour away with no traffic (and there's always traffic in this part of greater PDX) so hauling in will have to do. 

 SF has about 60? stalls and there was a big h/j program moving in, lessons going on in the outdoor, and a vet working on horses when we got there. Cinder was pretty wide eyed so A got on her first in the indoor. Cinder could see the walkway on the hill from the barn down to the arenas and whenever she saw a horse along the path she sang the song of her people. Not in a too obnoxious way, more of "Hey I'm here" way. Over all she was really well behaved, if not as quiet and relaxed as she has been on previous outings. 

There were a few fences set up, and after adjusting fence heights (I learned I HATE the stupid metal cups seen above that just rest on the standard) A started popping Cinder over a few things. Cin peaked at some of the filler, but never thought about stopping or running out. She did get a little excited on a bending line into the one stride, and almost ran into a standard, but she figured it out and saved herself. A's been working on getting her to add a stride and not just leave super long and she's really starting to get it. She doesn't like it, but she's doing it. 

I then got on for my first off property ride and jump school. We trotted a vertical a few times including one where Cinder let out a lovely whinny and bulged sideways, but I kept my nerves under control so at least one of us wasn't freaking out. Then A said to do the one stride and my brain promptly left my head. Thankfully Cinder is a very good girl and put her brain back on track and hopped through it like no big deal. We quit with that since Cinder was getting tired but I was so happy with how she did and myself for not getting too nervous. I'm hoping we can haul up once a month or so for lessons/rides and I do want to take her out on the trails there. We'll just have to see how time/money/traffic works out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

WW: Show Pics

 It's hard to get good show pics in a dark indoor, over cross rails, but the show photographer was a teen using the money to pay for her own shows and at $5/pic, I had to buy a couple.

"wot are legs?"Cinder, most definitely

When I sent this one to A, she said she felt so confident in Cinder that she decided to take a nap mid course

Friday, October 1, 2021

My Rides

 I realized I haven't really talked about my rides on Cin lately. For the most part, she's been really really good. So good that I tend to forget she's only four. But then she'll have an ADD day and I remember. 

I've been luck in that we've had weekly lessons with J and I feel like each ride we've made progress. We started with just trotting a single fence, to being able to trot a course of cross rails. Baby steps, but still steps! 

Always pat your pony

We had a lesson last night and since fall is here, it was starting to get dark during our ride. Cinder was a little more up than she normally is and I let that get to me. I was nervous about riding down to the far end because Cinder was tense down there and when we did make our way down there I forgot to ride and sat there like a sack of potatoes. After a couple of circles Cinder relaxed and I remembered to actually ride her and then the far end was a non issue. 

Not from last night but back when daylight after 6:30 was still a thing

We ended the lesson by trotting a fence out of the scary corner towards home and again, the first time I sat there like a lump and let Cinder get crooked and take off early. Thankfully she doesn't hold grudges (well, not in these instances) and the second time I remembered to go deeper on the turn and use more left leg to keep her straight. We had a nice jump, landed on the correct lead, and had a soft canter after. What more could a girl want?