Another week in Aiken. Where to start?
Hope and I are prepping for a busy month. Sporting Days this weekend, Full Gallop next weekend, and then Pine Top. I was advised that I shouldn't do Paradise Farm's Training two weeks ago for several reasons; too big, too technical, and tough terrain. More of a "last training before Prelim." than a 2nd Training. After serious consideration I decided not to enter. So torn. Then I went to the event and walked the course. Yes the terrain created cause for concern, but as a whole the course seemed fair and doable. Just ride smart and know your horse and in my case, the course (I will never live that down). I knew Hope could do this. The following Monday I had a lesson at Paradise with Kristin Schmolze and we schooled the entire Training course. Like. A. Boss. Since then we have addressed adjustability in the canter, which has become the single greatest deterant in consistant over-fences work.
Rose is going through an adjustment period. I started her on Omeprazole, rice bran, and beet pulp. I am focusing a majority of my efforts with her on relaxed and independent rides out alone. This mare has some serious attachment disorders, so I am hoping to help her find some security with alone time.
Grace is Grace. Food is always on her mind. They say horses are a reflection of their riders and I do admit, and those who know me know this, food is always on my mind. The last two weeks have been centered on conditioning. Trot the trails, canter the uphills. Always squeeze in a ditch. Looking forward to a jump lesson with her in the near future.
Outside of riding I have been working relentlessly. First thing in the morning I clean Kristin's stalls, then do my own morning chores, then work here at Sporting Days until late afternoon, and then ride. If I am lucky I usually am only riding one of my three rides in the dark. Then feed and pick/clean stalls. Sometimes clean tack. Not always though. Then dinner and bed. Is the work exhausting? Yes. But those moments at Paradise make it all worth the while.
Off to bed. I am hoping to wake and find Hope in the field I turned her out in. For the third time since New Years and the 6th time since last Spring, she has exited her quarters. Fully blanketed. Eye-carumba . . . . Cheers to only counting sheep jumping fences!