Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cool, calm, collected: maintaining a rhythm

One of the most rewarding things is seeing your goals come to fruition.  For the first time since the pony got down here, my big in my sorority, Sarah, came out to see her.  Sarah is captain of the dressage team, and also boards her horse at the same barn (though Moose won't be down here for another two weeks).  Sarah had come to visit during June, and watched one of my lessons on the pony, before the pony became my project.  At that point the pony was not bending, was not ratable, and simply knew that kick meant go, pull meant stop (sort of, she did have a tendency to run through the hand).  She also ran at the fences, and had no balance.
Today on the other hand, I was able to show Sarah the pony's leg yields, shoulder in, w/t/c on a loose rein (see picture: I'm talking NO contact), and transitions solely from the body.  What Sarah saw was a calm and confident pony, happy about the job she has.   Now all we need is a kid who loves to ride!

Today was a jumping day, so first thing this morning I set up the jumps I wanted.  This included the green brush boxes (two side by side), one by itself (no standards), the barrels (no standards), a single jump, and a gymnastics - bounce, bounce, two strides.  We warmed up on the flat, showed off a bit for Sarah, then began our jumping session.  I warmed up over the single jumps in the arena first.  I challenged the pony to the jumps without wings, and she didn't bat an eye.  With a little encouragement from the leg she willingly pops over anything.  She even went straight over the single green brush box that had no standards on the sides and was only about six feet long!  Anyway after we warmed up we began to tackle the gymnastics.  This was the only part of the session that posed an issue.  I struggled to keep her from pulling left at the last second as she launched over the fences.  The out of the two stride was set up around 3'.  By the end of the ride, as long as I maintained impulsion into the beginning of the gymnastics, and kept my left spur in her during the two and off the ground, I was able to keep her straight.

A friend of Grayson's who boards several horses at the barn saw her for the first time today and seemed to really like her!  I told him all about her, what she does, what she is good at and about her breeding and stuff.  He was impressed and said he was going to talk to people he knows, and ask around if anyone is interested in her!

Today were the tryouts for the Elon Equestrian Team as well.  And though previous members don't ride during tryouts, I volunteered to drive some of the freshmen out there, so that I could also have a chance to talk to our coach about the pony.  I spent the afternoon telling her about what we have done and what my goals are (selling her obviously), but in terms of riding.  She was extremely supportive, and even said that she can swing by the farm one day on her way to the bank to see her go.  Hopefully after Moose comes down I can have Sarah trailer me over to Townsend occasionally for another change of scenery.

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