Monday, September 1, 2008

Starting Out

I went home this weekend so that I could see Stella and go to a show. The show was okay; I came out of my classes on Stella's back rather than on a stretcher, so I was happy. She wasn't afraid of the standards in the middle of the ring,  but that's probably due to the fact that she now knows what they're for. I got fifths all around in the Adult Hunter division, and I got a fourth in the Open Adult division. The judge did make a comment to me that Stella's a great mover, but she said that she should be more round and collected. I'm well aware of that, and Stella actually rounds her topline and collects herself when she isn't focused on running around like a giraffe and freaking out because people are throwing frisbees several hundred feet away. It was just one of her days, and it didn't help that I haven't been doing much riding at school. 
There was one funny thing that happened while I was schooling in the field, though. Stella and I were working a trot circle when I saw Tina, who was supposedly tied to the trailer, put her head on the ground. The lead rope fell out of the tie ring and landed on the ground. Tina, being a wonderfully calm four year old, started to mosey around and nibble at the grass. I jumped off Stella, led her over to Tina, and captured our loose horse before she could wander off. Then, I led both horses over to Larry and told him that Tina got loose. He started fussing and asked me who had tied her. It wasn't me, haha. Abby also got untied from the trailer. She came running over to us while we were watching some classes, dragging her leash behind her. If two loose critters isn't enough for you, Sydney also got loose. Sydney hates being tied, and she hasn't been to a show for a while either. She got upset about something and started pulling back. I don't know if someone untied the lead or if it broke ('Twas the old red cotton lead.), but Sydney trotted off and Larry had to go catch her. 
Yeah. Our horses and dogs normally don't get loose like that. And normally we also don't let our dogs get stepped on, which happened to poor Abby. Abby decided to lie down by Tina's feet, and Tina accidentally stepped on one of Abby's paws. Abby let out a terrible squeal until Tina let off of her, and then she started running around and jumping on people. I think she was saying "Oh, I just got stepped on! Please give me pats and kisses to make it all better!" Abby didn't seem hurt at all afterward, so I think she's fine. 
I went to the barn to work and ride yesterday as well, which was great. Mindy was there, and she rode Chester while I rode Stella. We schooled for a while, and then we halted in the center of the ring. Mindy wanted me to take a picture of her on Chester, and then we got into a conversation about how calm Chester is. Mindy and I both helped Larry back and train him just a few months ago. Now, we can do just about anything on the horse. To prove this, Mindy stood in the saddle while Chester dozed off. Next, she sat back down and started swinging her legs up on the swell of the saddle. Chester's response? Cocking his back foot. I told Mindy about Stella's response the first time I attempted an emergency dismount at a walk, and she asked me how to do one. I showed her at a halt, and then we started talking about doing them at a walk, trot, and canter. Next thing I know, I'm trying (and actually doing) an emergency dismount at a walk. Of course, that didn't satisfy us. I cued Stella into a trot and tried an emergency dismount at a trot for the first time. On my first attempt, I couldn't quite get my feet out of the stirrups, so I dropped them and tried to bring Stella into a slow trot. I tried again, and I finally was able to bring myself up and out of the saddle. I'm thankful that Stella stopped, as I hit the ground laughing so hard that I wouldn't have been able to run alongside her. 
It was so much fun. I'm going to miss Stella this week, but I'm hoping to go home again this weekend. Larry and Mindy are going to a big show this weekend, so I won't get to see them. I wish I could go, but I know it's impossible for me to get a ride there from here. Oh well, I'm sure there will be others. 
I get to ride tomorrow, which is exciting. I kind of hope I get to ride John T again, but I'm up for a new horse too. I don't know who will teach the lesson. Perhaps it'll be Beth. She hasn't taught us yet; last week, it was Teresa, and Beth only watched. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

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