As the holidays approach, I try and keep in perspective the whole point, for me, OF the holidays. It's family, thankfulness, and not getting sucked up into the whole whirlwind of Black Friday, 48 thousand things for the child for Christmas, malls, traffic, etc.
Good things are happening for me. I will be working extra days at Joyce's so that I can buy a trailer. I DESPERATELY need a trailer, and it's time to do whatever I need to do in order to get one. I FINALLY have a horse, after 29 years of waiting, sometimes not so patiently;) That horse is fit, sound (knock on wood), suitable for the job I'm asking of him, and oh so willing to always give me MORE. I'm able to scrape up enough money here and there to go do fun things like hunter paces (Sunday!), schooling shows (December 4th!), and clinics (February!). The weather has been absolutely BEAUTIFUL, and the ring is about to get a load of sand. So, yes, I have lots to be VERY thankful for.
Stil haven't really gotten back into the riding 4-5 days a week groove yet. I've been a little tired/lazy. I need to get out and start running again. I HATE to run, but it does get me to shake the slight little doldrums I seem to get this time of year. Tiki was a superstar at the IEA show on Saturday. I got to warm him up, and it was fun. Jumps were the same size as the ones at the trial, but he didn't touch a single one, and nor did he try and pull me around the course. He totally picks up on any tension I may carry! He got a nice compliment from one of the coaches that hadn't seen him for awhile. She commented on how nice he looked, and how much better he jumped around the course. Yay. His kids did great on him.
Lucky boy got Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday off. I had an IEA show for my school team I'm coaching this year on Sunday (Tiki won't be going to any of those), I stayed home and did housework on Monday, and the boy got new shoes on Tuesday. Finally rode him on Wednesday, and worked on precise transitions again. Tried out the Beval bit, and I do think I like it pretty well. Set up a little course of 2 inside cavalettis, the cabinet jump but with 2 poles propped up on it like a huge crossrail to make it bigger, and a cavaletti on the lowest setting then 7 stides to a 2'9 vertical. I cantered him around the cavs to warmup, and he felt nice. Came into the cabinet jump sitting back and supporting, and he hopped right over! Did the big vert, and it was lovely. I'm SO glad I'm seeing a distance more consistently; it's nice. I feel like I finally can adjust him, and not screw him up too badly.
Thursday I had to drive an hour and a half to Alpharetta to coach a kid at the local GHJA finals, so couldn't ride then. Today, I rode with Becca. Again with the Beval bit and the dressage whip. He was good. Worked on a working walk on contact, halt/trot/halt/trot/walk/canter/walk/canter. Then I had him move off my leg in some leg yields so he didn't anticipate and try and jig off. Finally got a couple of PERFECT walk/canter transitions, and patted him like crazy. Like I told Becca ... he may not be a sweet, warm and cuddly animal, but my boy tries SO HARD to please me and do what I ask.
Course was same as Wednesday, but Becca had added a low oxer with a liverpool (blue yoga mat), and the cav "pole" was now a 2' coop skinny that she had built herself. After each jump, I walked, leg yielded him over, and picked up the canter coming into each jump. Everything felt good except I was coming in long to the liverpool so I did what I always do; nothing. So he jumped it like a goober. Let Becca go, then went again and this time jumped everything great. Did the coop line by itself, and added a stride in the line. Came one more time, and did the "Jeff Cook". Built scope and pace in my corner by cantering in 2-point, then dropped my seat down in a half seat to the "easy" jumps, then brought my shoulders MORE back for the "scary" jumps. Hmm, wow. He was GREAT, and I nailed every distance. Nice!
Going on a hunter pace Sunday with Becca, Marisa, and hopefully our friend that owns Bob and Ducky at Patchwork, Kristin. I'll report back with pictures!:):)