Sunday 17 March 2013

Clinic/Ginny/Work Party

It was a beautiful weekend. The sun was out and the temps crept up to "long sleeve t-shirt" by mid morning. I'm still having serious horsey withdrawals so I checked in on the clinic some friends were riding in on Saturday. The instructor specializes in dressage and eventing and was actually short listed for our Canadian Olympic eventing team in the not too distant past. She's got some serious credentials! As you can guess, the clinic was heavy on jumping - mostly getting the horses working from behind and getting that nice canter you need to tackle the jumps with ease. She had a few pole and x rail gymnastics set up and a few smaller (up to about 3') jumps. She stated a few times that correct flat work is the hardest part and what we need to focus on, after you've got that the jumps are really just another canter stride. She seemed quite insightful and easily pinpointed and addressed issues with a no nonsense, yet kind approach. Sadly, I didn't pick up a whole lot of tips between videoing a friend and the fact that the instructor turned her mike off every time she had the riders come in for some constructive criticism. I do like that she does that though, as a rider I don't necessarily want my conversation with the clinician broadcast to everyone within speaker range. She's going to start coming once a month and I hope to get in to the April clinic before I leave.

Ginny just got some lunging sessions at our barn this weekend. I'm not super sore anymore, so it's time to get back in the saddle. However, the arena was incredibly busy and I wasn't feeling it was the best environment to get myself and my spooky hyperactive pony back on track. The parking spot at our trail head was packed with trucks and quad trailers as well, so I wasn't sure how safe I'd be out on my own. I know she's handled it in the past, but with our recent history I'd like to keep it simple for a little bit, if only for my own confidence. We'll go first thing tomorrow morning and hopefully get in at a bit quieter time and get a few good rides in before we tackle the crowds again next weekend. I hate the head space I'm in at the moment, and have been beating myself up a bit for not being tougher/braver/a better rider. I do know from experience a few good rides will bring me back to a happy place. I've signed up to put some more miles on the quietest greenie that ever lived, the aptly named "Chilly" and of course I expect Ginny and I will soon be back on track too :)

I stopped by the arena on my way home from the barn this afternoon to help out a bit with some grounds clean up. I'm glad I did, because there was only one other person there working away. I would have felt bad if she was there by herself! We built a fair sized fire and got rid of quite a bit of the old lumber from the stalls and arena fencing we replaced in the fall. We were all proud of ourselves, then we saw a friend coming up the road pushing a wheelbarrow. I was trying to figure out what she was doing, turns out she was bringing a big propane tank with a blow torch attached! So our fire ended up supersized and we burnt the entire (huge!) pile of old rotten lumber and had beer and hot dogs ;) They're pretty amazing ladies. There's nothing like a nice productive afternoon with friends to keep things positive and your perspective clear.

Trust me, it's a giant fire. Hard to get perspective when we had to stay 20' back so we didn't burn our eyebrows lol


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