Sunday, May 31, 2009

Successful Show!!

Yesterday was my first show back since "the tree" - it went extremely well! I got mostly 6's and 7's on my Dressage test landing me in second with a 39, following the leader by only like half a point - I was a very proud mother!!! Seeing as the last dressage test was basically a slaughtering that ended with tears, this was a nice, soft test with some very good feedback other than "no submission."
Cross Country was AMAZING! The startbox and jumps 1 and 2 were on a bit of a downhill slope that had Coaster rolling and not really listening to me - I was like "Oh crap, this is going to be the course from hell again!" But fence three had a pretty sharp left turn to it and he came back to me completely on my body and the rest of the course was a piece of cake! I ran him in the big fat three piece snaffle and no spurs - I was so proud of him completely listening to my body - I hardly had to pick up the reins at all!!!
For Show Jumping we were both extremely tired (it was 90 degrees outside!) both mentally and physically. We fought a little bit, but it was either that or him bucking me off, so I figured a little bit of fighting was better than letting him have his way and get me off his back! The only problem was we had 11 time points so it dropped us from 2nd to finish in 3rd - which is still good considering I fell off the last event!! I was so proud of him on the entire day!

Oh yeah - and the trip from hell on our way there. We had a blow out on the trailer and had to limp 20 miles to a Wal-Mart to get it fixed. We do know how to change a tire mind you, but some Einstein put a lock on the spare tire and must have thrown away the key, so we had to go find a bolt cutter in the middle of no-where Arkansas! It all turned out okay though, so I was happy!

I'll post video later.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jump Lesson

Five months ago I would have never believed it was possible for Coaster and me to Show Jump in a halter. Today we proved we could. I had my first jump lesson (and my first jump session!) since I fell in November today - Coaster did really well but I was doing this weird twisting thing with my right arm/shoulder so my trainer had me put the halter on and jump. I generally warm up with the halter on the flat, but it was a true test of my confidence in my horse to jump him 3ft with just a halter. We aren't talking gridwork either - coursework. I was amazed at how much better I rode and how much better my horse responded. I'm seriously thinking about show jumping him next weekend in the halter! Though I'm pretty sure I at least want the snaffle on cross country!! :-)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Prelim by Spring?

I hope so! Coaster's foot was much better today - not off at all. So I tacked him up and rode him on the flat in my jump saddle (need to get my position and balance back!). He was absolutely amazing, I still can't get over this new horse of mine!!!!

We worked on our downward transitions and (surprise) as long as I keep my leg on and keep riding he does them great. I talked to my trainer (who said she can see a HUGE difference in Coaster's topline just in the past week) and she thinks that Prelim by the Spring is not an unattainable goal. I guess I should just focus on my Novice run in a week though! LoL!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Farrier Blues

Coaster got shod yesterday - I've been using this farrier for about a year, but I'm still not 100% happy with him. It just seems that there aren't any great farriers in this area. Then, to top things off, I pull Coaster from his stall today and he is foot sore on the his left front. First of all Coaster is never foot sore - literally this is the first time in the 4 1/2 years I've had him. Second, I have a show in a week. If it is a nail then I'm scared he's going to abscess, so I guess the best I can hope for is that he just trimmed him a little close. I gave him 2 grams of Bute and hope that he will be better tomorrow...I'm wondering if I should pack the foot or not.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

No Stretchy Circle?!

I'm so sad, the Novice test doesn't have a stretchy circle in it! It's been awhile since I've done a Novice test and I was all excited to show off Coaster's new and improved stretchy circle...oh well, I guess we will have to wait until June.

Other than that he is doing amazing. When it isn't pouring down rain we take a trail up a turf hill (fairly steep and long) to a new housing development where all of the empty lots (which is like all but one or two) have perfect turf footing. The barn guys keep it mowed up there so I can go and work on flat work. I'm thinking of taking a couple jumps up there one day because there are some nice slopes where I could set up some great gymnastic exercises. I can tell how much more Coaster enjoys working when we aren't in the arena, so I try to keep it interesting and fun most of the time.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Coaster found his inner cow horse yesterday. Yes, that's right, my warmblood thinks he can learn cow sense! We were up in the housing development riding and there were some loose cows (downed fence) and the guys rounding them up were making fun of my english horse - well, if you know me, I take that as a dare. Literally 10 minutes later those cowboys had their mouths hanging wide open in awe about how quick of alearner and responsive I could get my horse to be .... aaaannnnnddd one of those cute cowboys asked for my number, so I may have to let him take me out to dinner this weekend, so overall it was a successful ride! ;-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

This Can't Be My Horse!

So today was the first day I rode Coaster in full tack since February. He was amazing. That is all I can really say because words cannot describe. Everyone at the barn thought I was crazy because I literally started crying while I was riding.

We did a 10 meter left canter circle and the left rein was flapping in the wind. No lie! He came together for me so nicely I could have sworn it wasn't my horse. I actually had to put my leg on him so he wouldn't over-flex. I talked with my friend/trainer about it and we've concluded that since his early training was done quickly with gadgets he start now that I've taken the time to go back and put down the basics again, slowing myself down to his thinking pace (which is super slow!), he is responding better than ever! Now I just have to take my time in building up his stamina (now that he willingly uses the correct muscles!) so that he doesn't get too sore and start resenting it all again! It's just so hard not to push and see how much this new and improved Coaster can do!!!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

To Event Again!!!

I've been thinking really hard lately about my return to eventing...what level to compete, when, where...well, I think I've decided! There is an unrecognized event about 2 hours away at Jubilee Horse Trials on May 30 - I think I will go novice. Then at the end of June there is an event right outside of Chicago where I think I will go Training.

Jubilee is the course that I grew up at - it is just right outside of Little Rock. I feel comfortable there, I've jumped all the jumps - I just want to run novice to make sure I will get around without any problems. Restore a bit of my confidence, as well as any Coaster probably lost at our last run.
The course in Illinois looks really straightforward. The training course doesn't seem that beefy, but still asks some good questions, so I figured it would be good test run back at Training level to make sure I won't get hurt again!

From there, we will see - probably an event in September in Missouri then I really want to run Holly Hill in October. Then, if all goes well I'll run another Training level early Spring '10 and then pop up to Preliminary...hopefully, but we will see! I'm just excited to be putting the pinney back on and getting back out on course!!!