Saturday, October 18, 2008

Horses & Riding

Yesterday was my lesson on Lulu. Alison is away for the weekend to a horse trial (3-Day Event) and so we had Danielle as our sub. This is a "flat" week, which means we work on our dressage, no jumping. I prefer the jumping lessons (as most people probably do), but I feel like I get a lot done in the flat lessons, I feel like I work a lot harder, so I do appreciate their value. Yesterday I really made a point of working hard the entire time, even when just walking. It's so easy to be lazy, but I was very conscious about using my seat and my legs strongly with every single stride. And it sure is hard work! But after the lesson I felt deeply satisfied that I actually accomplished something. I also felt like I did SO much better than the last time I had a purely flat lesson like this. Oh and Lulu was great. She actually collected nicely for me, much better than she had the week before and better than I thought she would for me, so I was very pleased. I'm really looking forward to getting to know her better through my lease. Tomorrow is my my day to ride her (on my own) so I'm looking forward to spending some nice time with her.

Today I went to the other barn. But when I got there, it turns out that I had signed my name on the calendar for Friday, instead of Saturday (I have no idea how I managed that one, sheesh). Anyway, Ro was nice enough to let me ride anyway, she figured it had been a mistake and she had a horse she wanted me to ride. "Panzer" is a very nice Morgan cross gelding who I thought was a real sweetheart. Ro says that he needs some more experienced riders to ride him as he tends to drift a bit (doesn't like to keep a straight line), likes to suddenly stop, needs help bending and has issues with the canter -- picking it up, going too fast, etc. I actually had no trouble with him drifting, stopping or bending and the canter wasn't perfect, but Ro was impressed with how well we worked together. She then brought me outside and had me pop over a few jumps with him, which was fun. We ended on a high note after a very nice jump over a fence she had raised a little higher.

Ro had wanted me to try Panzer out today because next Sunday she wants me to ride him in a Hunter Pace -- which is a low-key sort of horse show, basically you gallop through a cross-country field, or series of fields and take a few jumps here or there, it sounds like a total blast! She also someday wants me to come with her to a fox hunt (maybe on Panzer) -- something I have ALWAYS wanted to do. By the way, for those who are worried that they would actually be hunting foxes, please know that this does not involve the killing or even chasing of a fox. They basically drag a scent for the hounds to follow, which actually makes it easier to plot a great course for the field to enjoy. Anyway, so I said yes to the Hunter Pace for next week as it sounds like a pretty relaxed event and like a lot of fun. Since it's on Sunday, it means that I will miss one of my days with Lulu, but this sounds like such a great time, so I'm willing to make the sacrifice. I hope I can handle it! It's been a long time since I've galloped cross-country and over obstacles and I have only ridden Panzer the one time. Well, the idea is just to have fun, no pressure to perform or anything, so I think it will be okay.

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