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! :)

HITS Ring

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.