Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Now exiting the comfort zone

The last two weeks have been an interesting bout in my education as a rider.

In my lessons with Kate the jump-work pressed me against the edge of my comfort zone with the combination of more canter, tight turns and a more forward ride to some big fences. All in all things are progressing with tremendous homework, self-determination and motivation. Click for Video of Hope's Lesson

Grace also went for a lesson. I enjoy riding this mare because I started a majority of her education later in my riding career when I too was a little more educated and pursuing lessons more actively. Stamina will always be the bane of this mare's existence. Instead of saying she is slow, I like to tell people that she is just deliberate in her steps. Although she was tired at the end of this lesson, she was giving me what little amount of diesel was left in the tank and for that I give her props. Click for video of lesson with Grace
 
Starting to get the hang of it
Earlier this month I casually mentioned to my friend Kelsey Hamilton (USPCA HA)(DC Small Wonder Pony Club) that I wanted to see DOC coach the training sessions and she was game. With her mini-cooper loaded we set off Sunday morning for our ten hour drive. Monday we watched nearly seven hours of USEF High Performance Training Sessions at Stable View Farm in Aiken. If you ever opportunity I would encourage you to sit in on these events and witness in person the caliber of horse and rider combinations this country has to offer. As a visual learner the opportunity was invaluable as observers were able to see how both horse and rider reacted to DOC's requests. Becky Holder is incredible to watch on the flat and I can't wait to see how Allison does with her new ride (a mare!). On Tuesday we went back to the training sessions to catch what was supposed to be the only scheduled jump session of the day and included Erin Sylvester and Becky Holder. The pairs started with a low oxer that got wider with each progressive jump. Huge would be a complete understatement. The oxer was narrowed and increased in height to become the second element of a one stride. The later half of the lesson was devoted to a grid with five fences and a stride between each (set at 22'). Wednesday we pack up and drove home. The trip was short but inspirational and encouraging. 

The next few weeks signal the start of eventing in Area II. I have Grace entered Novice at Plantation Field Horse Trials and if all goes well, she will make the move to Training the following week at Fair Hill. Hope will also go Training at Plantation as we begin planning out first attempt at Prelim. later this spring. Between now and Plantation I would like to see (through disciplined practice) an improvement in a stiller lower leg, steadier hands and soft but steady elbows.

Looking forward to some lessons in the coming weeks to further push the comfort envelope.

Houston, we have lift-off.
Introduction with rail up on one side
Worth the Trust Scholarship Funds: 2575.00
-120.00 for two lessons with Kate (Grace and Hope)
-50.00 for a flat lesson with Anecia Delduco on Rose
- Gas expenses for traveling to Aiken for training session 49.94/51.08/49.95
New Balance: 2254.03

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