Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Huge Post (Because I've slacked off over the past week.)

Yeah, I've been doing a lot of stuff this week other than typing blog posts. For example, I was waking up early in the morning so that I could watch episodes of House online; they absolutely will not work unless I do it early in the morning. I've also been working on my project books for State, as I'll be leaving this Wednesday for the biggest horse show of the year. And, of course, I've been laboring over Chemistry and Latin work. 
I rode a chestnut pony named Bugsy on Tuesday last week. He was very cute and very fun to ride. I liked his trot and canter, and he was very polite. On Thursday, I...actually...rode...a horse! His name was Magic, and he was a very large bay gelding. I loved riding him. His gaits were pleasant, and I enjoyed being on a horse for once. I also liked the saddle that I was using a whole lot. We even jumped! Teresa set out a small crossrail for those who had previous jumping experience, and I was the second person to go. My first jump sucked (I have almost no upper body strength, and I kind of fell forward onto his neck.), but they got better. I haven't jumped in a while, and, even then, it was just tiny crossrails on Stella. 
The only downside to Thursday's ride was the pain. My hip has been bothering me for the past week or so, and riding on Thursday seemed to aggravate it. I remember riding a canter-trot transition that was particularly painful. After the lesson was over, I dropped my stirrups, tipped my head back, and nearly cried from the pain. Teresa obviously never saw the papers that I filled out during the orientation meeting, because I specifically noted my hip and back issues and the fact that they've kept me from riding in the past. She asked me if I'm nervous about jumping, and I had to explain to her how I was feeling. She was quite understanding about the whole thing. 
My hip is actually hurting right now. 
I went to a show this weekend too. It was a western show, so I planned to go and just school Stella, maybe do a bit of showmanship with her. When we got there, however, I decided I was going to try riding in a go-as-you-please class for a bit of fun. I just wore my paddock boots, jeans, one of the show shirts that I loaned to my sister, and my schooling helmet in the classes, and I used one of the extra saddles that Larry put in the trailer. I rode Stella just like I would if I had been in an English class, except I sat the trot instead of posting. I kept plenty of contact, trotted, cantered, rode with both hands (She was in the same snaffle she normally works in, but on a western bridle. The only problem was that she's 6, and the cutoff age for snaffle bits is 5.), the works. Of course I didn't place in that class, but she went along perfectly. She was calm, focused, and just...oh, I had to go in pleasure and equitation after that class! 
Pleasure was okay. Stella stayed calm, just like in the previous class. We got the wrong lead BOTH ways of the ring, though. I have no idea why. It was probably my fault, especially since she was behaving herself. Sometimes she gets worked up when I'm riding and, no matter how well I cue her, she'll take off on whatever lead she feels like. But I really think something was off with me. After the pleasure class, the judge stopped me and asked me how old Stella is. I told her the truth, but I also told her that we were just in the class for schooling purposes and that we're normally an English pair. She said that it was fine, and that Stella was a very nice mover. She was the same judge who judged at the last show--the one who said that Stella needed to round up and collect. I guess she recognized us. She asked me how old Stella is at the last show too. 
Equitation went very well. I didn't expect much in the way of ribbons, mostly because I had to sit a full-out trot while everyone else was sitting a comfy little jog :) Stella behaved herself for our third and final class, and I was so proud of her. The judge asked us to drop our stirrups at the jog. I got so excited because I love stirrupless work. Call me a masochist, but it's true! I came out of that class in 5th place, which was pretty good in my opinion. It was a pretty big class. 
All in all, I was very pleased with the show. I hadn't been there in a very long time. It was actually where I had my first horse show, and where Squeeky fell over with me at that first horse show. Err, yeah. He had a little tantrum and ended up toppling over sideways onto my leg. It was actually one of my least painful falls, maybe my least painful. Haha, but I digress. 
I rode after we left the show as well. Larry and I worked Chester for a while, which was a lot of fun. Chester reminds me so much of Mac; it almost makes me cry sometimes when I'm riding him. Today I rode Stella and Tatiana. Stella was very good. We did lots of stirrupless work, and I have the bruises on my knees to prove it. I was so happy with her. I almost did a bit of bareback riding, but I've learned my lesson about pushing my luck when things are going just THAT good. Tatiana was frustrating. It was my first time riding her without Larry holding on to her in some fashion, and I'm not quite sure she understood everything I was asking her to do. It took a lot to make her turn and move. We trotted a little bit, which was a whole lot of fun. 
I had a good weekend, and I am so ready for State. 

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