From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Monday, August 23, 2010

Apology for my Absence

Hello! Sorry I have been well...absent from the blog. A little catching up..

Jet was AMAZING! Straight, slow, and no head in the air! The class was HUGE (10 people and there are usually 6 or 7) and it was in the "scary ring". Last time we showed in this ring was in May and we had a tantrum every time we came near this corner. This time, he was PERFECT! I was able to get deep into all of the corners and then go straight down the rail.

The judge was very fair in the first two classes. I agreed with the placings and felt that everyone got what they deserved. We placed 4th in Equitation! (Surprising since I usually never place high since he is usually a dink). The people that placed above me were the ones that usually do plus a horse that was in the first show but not any others. They really deserved to be placed above me.

In pleasure we placed 5th! He was trotting and then dead stopped and pooped right in front of the judge...Oh Jet.. He was being so good too! That class was crazy.. three of the horses were cantering like crazy, one wouldn't trot, and then you had those that were perfect, and then Jet who was excellent besides his pooping. I was surprised when we got called for 5th!

In trail, he was amazing! Trotted over one pole, went through the backup with a bit of fuss but we did it, no problem with the bridge, didn't blink an eye at the mail box, and then there was the pin wheel. We had to trot around four poles in a pinwheel shape. Jet tried very hard for me and I was proud of him. We completely missed the third pole the first time but he was trying and that was all that counts! No sure how we placed...

Discipline rail was crazy. You would have thought that the judge would have remember the pleasure class and would go easy on us but no. One of the commands was, "Put you reins in your left hand, put your right hand behind your back, and trot." Are you crazy?! 10 GREEN horses, half of them cantered in the last class and you want us to do this? talk about dangerous! But Jet was PERFECT! We placed 5th in the class but both I and people on the rail agreed that I should have been placed in the top three but it's not about the ribbons. I was proud of him and we had a great day!

I gave Jet a few days off, then did a light ride on Tuesday I think. Thursday Natalie came over and we rode Jet. I worked on straight and just got him warmed up and then Natalie popped on him. They did really well! Jet definitely tested her at the beginning and tried to see what he could get away with. She started to teach him how to turn on the haunches and he responded really well! that is definitely something I will continue to work on! We then set up some ground poles and Natalie took him oer them at both the trot and the canter! Jet was really good. It took him a bit to figure out the striding but he got it! We took him for a walk around the street and ended it on that.

Saturday I took him for a lesson at my Aunt's house. We worked a lot at the trot and I was surprised with what he accomplished. She had us take a corner wide, then move him over with my outside leg, then take a corner short, and move him to the rail with my inside leg. It made him much more responsive to my leg when I asked him to move straight. She said that he thinks he knows what he is supposed to do, so he thinks ahead and does it. This makes him unresponsive to my aids because he think he is doing what I will ask. Doing things like this will supple him and make him listen to my aids more. After the lesson, he wasn't even hot so we went for a canter around her field. He was very good! He kicked out to the side once and it was because he wanted to go see Elsa who was walking away from him. Besides that, he was very good. I got two or three really nice canter strides out of him but I admit that the rest of it was basically a hand gallop. With time he will get better.

Yesterday and today has been non-stop rain. Uggh. We were going to do the Clover Valley Jumper show today but thankfully it got post-poned to next Monday. We are going to do ground pole jumpers! Ha ha. I just want to take him to new places and teach him that not every time we go out we will be doing the same thing. We will go nice and slow the first round then pick up the speed if I think he can handle it is we make it to the jump-off. There are only two classes so it won't be too much. I will post more often now!

I am adding new pictures to the picture page so check them out!!!

-Em and Jet