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Monday, March 21, 2011

Travels and such

I am about to make up for some lost time with the blog. Things have been off and on with my riding. Between work and travel, March was a rough month for me!

I will start with my visit to the Master's in Wellington! WOW, talk about being inspired. Going to the show made me realize just how much winter blah's Gram and I both had. I think we both needed a reset. So for 9 days Gram had a vacation from me! Some of the days were because of work, a clinic at the barn or Donnie and I in Florida. Watching Steffen Peter's in person was AMAZING. You could see just how important all the basics really are even in a world class Grand Prix horse. Ravel's transitions were something out of this world. The pair just made it seem so effortless. They have a harmony that is truly a sight to behold. While Ravel might not be as flashy when compared to Toto, he makes up for it all in his consistency and heart. My favorite part of the entire weekend was when I looked back at my horrible picture taking ability... I have really bad timing, but it was actually cool for the first time. Every single picture I took of Ravel and SP, was uphill, even when it shouldn't have been. I have included a few as proof:

I also discovered a new favorite of mine: Canadian Shannon Dueck and her giant mare Ayscha. Fun pair to watch schooling with Robert Dover. The mare looks like she likes her job.

She didn't score really well, but her warm up was really nice to watch.

I also witnessed Tina Konyot and Calecto V, another great pair. It seems that all the horse/rider combo's that I really liked were bonded in a special way that came through during the test.

I came back home ready to ride... well after I lunged the big red mare first! She was pretty good, just letting out a few bucks on the line, then I got on and she was ready to work. All of last week she was amazing! She was nice in the bridle and finally remembered what it meant to reach for the bit and stretch. I felt like we were actually ready for our Ryan tune up this weekend.

During our tune up, I got yelled at a lot for holding my hands too high... I blame it on my poor conformation, long torso, short arms and legs... it is really something I need to think about more. The first day Ryan asked us to do walk turns on haunches, and I screwed them up badly. The first two steps would be good, and then I would spin her around and cause her hind end to fishtail. I got yelled at some more :). By the second day I remembered how to ride them, and the yelling stopped. (When I say yelling, it really isn't yelling, I just don't like be told I am doing something wrong, so in my mind it is yelling. To those watching it is a correction made in in a very nice way.)

We worked on a bit of canter on the second day and it was all pretty good. I still need to work on developing her muscles to allow her to carry herself in the downward and not just fall. Ryan also had us work on a nice exercise in the walk. Medium walk to an extended walk across the diagonal, then halt, and walk off again thinking only of her hind legs. It helped me to help her engage. We also worked on our half steps. I have gotten into a bad habit of lifting myself up out of the saddle. I need to remember to sit in and drive her shoulders up to my hands, not life her up with my hands. All in all we had a great weekend of lessons. I am thinking that our best option though is to use this summer to train harder and maybe not show. Showing is so expensive! I would rather take more lessons then attend any shows this year. Plus I really want to have the flying changes on her and we think her strength just isn't there yet.

I wanted to end my blog entry with a funny picture. The entire time we were at the Masters, when Steffen Peters would walk by I would get gitty, like I just saw Bono :). My husband called me a dork a lot! This picture is my friend Anne and me sitting at our table for the freestyles. In the table over one and in front of us was SP and Akiko Yamazaki... so I had my amazing husband take a picture...

I look freaked out because I am in shock that he didn't have like a bodyguard protecting him from the dressage groupies (like me)! haha!

1 comment:

  1. Great article Julie! It was such a blast to spend time with you and Donnie in Florida.:)