Saturday, March 6, 2010

Updates

Oh goodness. Lately I have been doing too much horse stuff to have any time to write about it! Which is a good thing, I suppose. Lessons twice a week, out at the barn pretty much every evening, Pony Club stuff most Fridays. I'm getting worn out, though, and I'm definitely ready to sell Pandora so I can focus my time on McKinna.

In no particular order, here's a bunch of updates.

Lesson updates: Pandora and McKinna


Both of the girls are making so much progress. I ride in a jumping lesson on Mondays and a dressage lesson on Wednesdays, alternating horses. Pandora is learning to soften and carry herself, which can be difficult for her. It can be frustrating for me sometimes, especially since that aspect of dressage is so easy for McKinna. But a few nights ago I watched video from our first dressage lesson and then from our most recent one, and the difference is huge already.

Jumping lessons are so much fun. I and another girl ride with a local eventing trainer, and she's great. She makes up good courses and isn't shy about throwing in bending lines or more difficult questions, which is a great challenge that so far both of the horses have enjoyed. This week we did some trotting and cantering over a crossrail without stirrups - "I guarantee you will not lean forward!" is what she said. Ha.

Really, though, she was right. Trotting the fence felt great and gave me a really good feel for the perfect place for my body. Cantering was a little different. The jump itself was fine but I kept slamming my crotch into the saddle on landing, and I couldn't figure out why. After watching me, trainer explained: apparently my back is nice and flat over the jump, but when I land I want to rock my hips forward and round my back, thus slamming myself into the saddle...so we worked on that a little.

McKinna is starting to develop a Real Canter, which is so exciting for me. She's never really had one before, just glimpses. It's not that she doesn't canter...it's just that her canter is fast, and strung out, and kinda hollow-backed. We are getting to the point in our dressage lessons where, for a few strides at a time, I can relax my leg pressure and just follow the motion. When she softens her jaw and uses her hind end, I can feel her back come up beneath me. She can only hold it for a little bit, but we're getting there.

Speaking of trainers, riding with only one trainer (or in my case two, one for dressage and one for jumping) has been incredibly interesting. What a HUGE difference it makes to ride regularly, in private or semiprivate lessons, with the same trainer. I feel like my riding and my horses have improved by leaps and bounds in the last two months, and it's a great feeling.

Selling Pandora Update:

I'm ready for it. I love her dearly, and she's a great horse. It's just that mentally, I've already made the transition: McKinna is my main horse, she is who I am setting goals for, she will be my primary partner for the next two and a half years. I will be sad to see Pandora go - especially because we've made so much progress and she's such a sweet girl - but I am ready to have the time and money to focus on one horse.

We have a website set up with some pictures and video, and we're ready to send it out to the Pony Club mailing lists now. We'll see if we can sell her to a PC family by word of mouth first, but if not, we'll put her up on Dreamhorse and the like. Here's hoping that we find a perfect match in short order!


Eventing:


I am getting really excited for this year. I am for sure going to ride at the Inavale recognized HT this year - I'm planning on going Novice with McKinna. If I can afford it, I'd love to make it to another event sometime in August or September. I feel so limited because my only experience at HTs is at Inavale! It's a great facility, but I want to see more.

On that note, I've talked to my eventing trainer and hopefully I will be tagging along with her to several events this spring/summer/fall to groom for her. What better way to learn to do all of it than to help out with someone who really knows what she's doing?

Health Notes (warning, poop talk!):

The girls have been pretty healthy. McKinna has had this weird off-and-on thing where something in her digestive system gets irritated. She doesn't get loose stool, but she will have gas accompanied by some manure-liquid, then a bit later some normal droppings. It doesn't seem to bother her, for the most part. We gave them a PowerPak a few weeks ago and started her on some ulcer-healing supplements, and all seemed to be going well, but she's been a bit runny the past few days.

On the other hand, in the past few days we've asked the barn owner to begin turning them out with separate groups so we can weaken their bond a bit in preparation for Pandora leaving. So the stress of that might be what's upsetting her system again.

Either way, we're planning to buy some tubes of GastroGard and administer it to her in the days surrounding Pandora's exit, just in case.


Coming Up Soon:

We are just getting into the busy season for horse stuff. This month is fairly laid-back with a jumping clinic and then an eventing derby clinic. In April, I'm taking McKinna to the Show Jumping Rally - it is going to be held at DevonWood Equestrian Center, which from what I hear is an incredibly nice facility. We'll be doing the 2'9 - 3' division.

Then on May 1st is the tentative date for my C-2 rating - woohoo! Later in May comes a Standards and Ratings clinic, which is put on so the clinician can explain the Standards and Ratings of Pony Club to the observers. Our club is hosting, so we get to be the guinea pigs. It's not a lesson per se, but the clinician discusses how your riding relates to the Standards. Then the first weekend in June is an event derby at Inavale, then the Horse Trials at the end of the month. Championships for Quiz are in August.

Plus I'm sure more will pop up as we go along!

At any rate, it is shaping up to be a fun and exciting season.


Whew, big update. Finals are next week and after that I should be back to posting regularly.

7 comments:

Leah Fry said...

I bet there's someone in PC who would be delighted to have Pandora. And wouldn't it be great for you to be able to watch her progress and say you knew her when?

Heidi said...

Good luck selling Pandora! Also, I don't know how far down in OR you are, but if you can make it up to WA for any shows, I highly recommend the ones at Aspen Farm. Their cross country course is really fun!

manymisadventures said...

Leah Fry, that's what I'm hoping. I am sure there's someone she will be perfect for.

Heidi, Aspen's on my list for potential HTs to either ride in or to groom at for my trainer :)

Andrea said...

Good luck selling Pandora! I know of a perfect kid.... all the way on the East Coast. Not exactly feasible ;)
Excited for the upcoming season and hearing around what's in store!

eryn pony davis!!! said...

i don't usually post comments to your blog, though i read when you post... we're both in oregon, and i saw this while browsing craisglist a bit ago. don't know how serious this woman is or if you have the time, but i thought i'd pop over and leave the link for you anyway.

some woman in eugene is looking for a working student at her barn.

http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/grd/1631652644.html

:)

HorsesAndTurbos said...

Too bad you are so far away...I know a little girl here in MI who would be a perfect match for Pandora! Good luck with that!

manymisadventures said...

You people all seem to know girls who need horses very far away from here! I am sure Pandora would ship well cross-country though ;)

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