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Archive for October, 2010

Mr. Levi

So it appears I have found a horse to continue my lessons on and possibly shareboard in the future. Hi name is Levi and he is a 13 year old Hanoverian gelding. He hasn’t been doing much lately due to his owner having an injury and is a little out of shape. But from what I understand, he used to jump and show and do all of that good stuff.

So Wednesday was our first ride. It went well! I felt safe on him the whole time like he wasn’t the type to try and pull anything. He seemed pretty happy throughout our ride as well. We did mostly ground work so I could get the feel for him, and like I said, he’s a little out of shape so he’s not doing a ton of jumping right now. His trot is pretty smooth. I’m used to Chazz who has a little more bounce in him. And I’m not sure which side it is but he is definitely weaker on one side. I think Nikki said it’s his left. Which I noticed right away while riding. But that will only get better as he continues training and gets stronger. Oh! And he’s another gray! I think it’s my destiny to only ride grays from now on. This is 3 in a row.I will take a photo very soon so you all can put a face with my stories. We did trot an X a couple times with that first lesson. Pretty uneventful.

Today I had another lesson on Levi. It was pretty fun. I think the transition of getting use to him will be short. He feels pretty good and aside from figuring out where a few lines are with him, I think we’ll do just fine. Those lines I speak of are things like when we halt and then go to move forward – not backwards. The first lesson, he seemed to like going in reverse when working on transitions. Although we didnt have any reverse action today. =) He’s also very willing to stop cantering if given the chance. So I need to find the right amount of half-halt to use that will keep us from breaking to a trot from canter. just some little things like that.

Today we warmed up trotting around… then over some poles… and then we started to canter. It was just us and a big chestnut jumper in the ring who was also warming up. We were about 4 lengths behind this other horse when we both started to canter. Mr. Levi perked up and was totally into following this other horse. It was so cute. We all noticed right away his attraction to the chestnut. So we went with it and had a little game of catch me if you can. It was so fun! We had a nice brisk pace. He was just taking me. We really started to gain on the other horse towards the end and I circled out. As soon as we broke our path of following, Levi broke to a trot and felt like the power had just run out. It was pretty entertaining. So apparently he likes the big chestnut ponies and they really get him moving.

We then trotted an X a couple times. Then we cantered it a couple times. And then we did a little 3 jump course which included a bending line. It was pretty fun. He did a great job. Again, I need to figure out how much I can half-halt and manipulate him to get a good spot in. But he seems very willing to jump and we got it. =) He seems like a very sweet horse. =)

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Pictures.

So Wednesday, I had my friend and fellow photographer, Jeremy Lawson, come out to the barn to photograph me with Chazz. I had planned this before I knew Chazz was going to be sold. It was perfect timing since he is leaving on Monday for Florida. I take photos of other people and their horses all the time. I wanted to do photos of my own with Chazz because he is THE BEST horse I’ve ridden. Such a good boy. But I have to stop talking about what kind of horse he is because I’m getting choked up.

The pictures! We started off by introducing Jeremy to Chazz of course. Chazz busted out his biggest smile ever as soon as Jeremy pulled out the camera – as seen here. I just wore some more “normal” clothes for the pictures at first. I got on bareback and walked around back to the hay field. We did some of me on Chazz and then I got off and we did some more from the ground.

Then it was time for a wardrobe change….. My wedding dress. =) For those of you not familiar with my dress… here it is below.

I tested it out the week before with Chazz to make sure he wasn’t afraid of it. So Betsy helped me get into it, and then came the task of actually getting on Chazz. Betsy held Chazz at the mounting block for me while Beto and Cuco watched from the barn… entertained I’m sure. Lets also not for get that the wind speed was about 30-40mph that day with gusts around 50mph. So we are getting pelted in the face with sand, I’m on the block analyzing how I’m going to get on Chazz, and the wind whipping that dress all over. Chazz was fine though. I managed to get on, and he didnt move.

The train of my dress pretty much came to the ground. I had to keep moving and keep pulling it up a little. We walked past Juan who was bringing in another horse… that horse was freaking out at he sight of us. We made it to the field and started taking pics. I did a little trot even. I had to keep adjusting the dress because it was blowing everywhere. The train was completely wrapped up around his barrel at one point. Then I got off and we continued on the ground. There was this little wooded thicket between the barn, the hay field and the pasture. Chazz and I hiked into the tall grasses and twigs. I really can’t explain what we did for photos other than what Jeremy showed me on his camera was so freaking amazing, it was like a fairy tale. The sun was lower and dramatic, we had this huge white horse, and then there was the scarlet dress with massive amounts of fabric. I cant wait to get the photos not only for myself but to share with everyone. I will post some as soon as I get them. =)

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Well, Chazz is leaving me. =(  Monday morning he will be on his way to Florida in search of a new home. Last Friday was my last ride on Chazz. He had a series of vet appointments and is feeling sore this week, so Nikki will only be doing pro rides on him for this week to make sure he’s good for FL. Tomorrow afternoon, my friend Jeremy Lawson is coming to the barn to photograph me and Chazz. I do so many sessions of other people with their horses – I wanted to do one of me with Chazz. I know he’s not mine, but he is by far the most amazing horse I’ve ridden to date and I feel so lucky to have had that opportunity. I will post some of the pictures on here once I get them from Jeremy.

So we begin our adventures with a new horse. I will introduce him/her once I know who it is.

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Again, it’s been too long. I’ve been super busy with work. But here’s the run-down on the last two shows of the year. In September, we went with high expectations of taking over the lead. I was only 6 points behind the leader and like 3 behind second place. At the rate I was going, it seemed to be no trouble. Or so I thought. First class over fences we had a really bad distance that made Chazz stop. I hugged his neck and whispered sweet nothings in his ear. I stayed on. We circled and finished our course. No ribbon there. Second class over fences went well and I got second place. Then came the under saddle portion. We were all set to go kick butt. They called everyone in. Chazz took a step and clipped his front foot resulting in a sprung shoe. Doh!! So we couldnt participate. =( So I didnt take over first place overall like I had planned. Below are photos taken by Nellie Carlson. There is even one of me during the refusal.

So over the next few weeks, I really had to work on my approach into a line. Making sure that I made good decisions on the in and not leaving it up to chance and Chazz. So last weekend was the October PTS show Finals. woo! I was a little worried about my issues with finding the distance in of course. First round over fences…. We were doing ok… I was being conservative and I think we had a shorter, but still soft, in on the first line. Then we had a diagonal towards home… we had a late lead change going into it and I was a little confused because there were no flowers on that side of the jump. So I was like… am I going to the correct jump? We did that line fine. Then the next outside line was fine and we were coming to the last diagonal coming home. We were going to have the perfect distance into this last line. One stride out and Chazz looks down, bulges to the left and stops. NO! ugh…. I’m like what happened? Well the sun was low behind the jump because it was early morning and it was casting large shadows on the backside of that jump. Chazz spooked at it. He has never spooked at anything before with me. Darn it.

So we circled and I legged the poo out of him going in. He looked again but went over. Then the last jump in the line he also gawked at but went over. It wasn’t pretty but we did it. So no ribbon. =( Next round we flew through like pros. No looking at the scary shadows. Nicole thought it was my best round ever. We got first place. woo! Then we had the under saddle. Totally paranoid he’d pull a shoe just before walking in again. But he didn’t. Phew! We rocked it out in there and got first place. =) Over all we were the champs for that show, and for the whole series we came in second place. We will be attending the banquet in November to claim our big fat 2nd place ribbon. =)

These pics are from September’s show.

Hugging the neck…

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