Friday, January 29, 2016

Ocala Trip

I'm back! :) I always wanted to check out Ocala and I finally got to! My instructor went down for a month with her horse and another she had for sale with two other girls from the barn to live with her trainer and get in lots of horse time. I was the third student to fly down there to ride the sale horse that she brought down with her. I haven't shown or jumped a course in a while, but hey, why not?

The flight was just $49 so I had to do it. Because of all of the snow, I didn't get the full 4 days, but instead, just two. It was OK because I shoveled out of the storm and made it there to enjoy two BEAUTIFUL days of weather. It was flurrying there on Saturday so I missed most of the cold and it rained the day after I left. It was in the 60's on Saturday and 70's on Tuesday. PERFECT weather!

Monday was the first day of exploring the area. We went to 3 of the many tack shops  and stopped at some food trucks that cater to the local "horse people" since that is what Ocala is all about. Since I was planning to do a schooling show with the horse on Tuesday, we tacked up for a ride and rode from the house over to HITS where we schooled on the most beautiful footing I have ever ridden on. I popped over a cross rail and a small vertical in preparation for a full course the next day to get a feel for Copper. The jumps there are so very beautiful, and the Grand Prix ring was awesome to see! He's for sale! :)


Tuesday morning, we went to Longwood South to do the schooling show I decided to go for. A COURSE?! What?! I haven't done a full course in quite some time. Maybe 6 jumps, but 10?! WHAT? What'd I sign up for? The farm is absolutely AMAZING! I have never been to a nicer place, and it was quite intimidating to see so many high level professionals in one area as the day went on. Their cross country courses and several barns that I saw were picture perfect, and the whole place looked like it came out of a magazine. I rode like a slob, but the goal was to finish the courses and not fall off - both happened. Now, we just need to work on breathing.

This weekend I plan to ride Spyder both days. We still have a lot of snow, but I hope the track melted at least. I will also be judging a musical show at the barn that several of the kids are participating in. I'm excited to see what they have been practicing and hope that they showcase all of their saddle time they have had in the indoor these past few weeks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year

It's been a while and I'm not even sure where I left off. (Yes, I didn't even read my last post). Anyways, Spyder is done his visits to New Bolton. They were WONDERFUL with him and even said they would see him again prior to jumping again, if I wanted. Since he has had no heat on the flat, I feel like everything is going well still!

We have still just been doing flat work and have continued to work with steering and using his back. He's come a long way since the injury, and I feel like he's matured enough to finally get somewhere. He still will throw a nice buck or kick out, but they are far less and the spooking is a lot better. I'm not even sure where I want to go from here. I know I want to jump again at some point, but I don't want to push it. I'll keep with the flat work until the spring and go from there.

I got a new saddle (I'm in LOVE). It's a Devoucoux. I rode in one at the farm when the sales person came out for demos, and I knew I would end up getting one the second I sat in it. There was more room for my leg to be on him and the seat was wider which I loved. It puts me more upright and I feel like I can sit back and enjoy the ride vs. being pushed forward and not sitting down. It's a lot nicer on the back, but I was still sad to part with my old saddle. It went to a little girl for Christmas, and it makes me happy that she will love it like I did.

I also booked a trip to Ocala yesterday. I always wanted to see the area, and I'm happy I'll get to trail ride it and possibly show while I'm there. I will be sure to post photos of the trip and post about it. I haven't done much since grad school has been in the way, but I have a break until March 1. I have just 2 courses left until I am completed with the program, and I can't wait for it to be over!