Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Contact: Lesson Recap 9/27

Yesterday I was REALLY dragging all day. I was so tired that I felt like I couldn’t keep my eyes open and my head hurt all day. I made it through work, barely, and left about an hour early. I used my extra time at home to make some good food and make sure I just sat and rested for a little while and then I headed to the barn for my lesson.

I struggled to stay awake on the drive there but once there as soon as I started moving I felt better. Because of traffic I was running a little late so I tacked Katai up fairly quickly. As I was getting her ready both Jane and I noticed that she was being quite sassy. There was a lot of ear pinning, ugly faces, and she even nipped at me when I went to tighten her girth for probably the first time ever. I’m going to consider treatment for ulcers but also I’m sure it’s her time of the month. She was touchy about her lower back and was so, so, stiff that she turned around without bending her body at all, like a 2x4.

Poor mare! I really like Jane’s take on this though and that is that riding can be the best therapy if you take the horse’s needs into account and ride them correctly. Instead of saying poor baby and leaving her in her stall to be stiff, we headed to the arena to help her get moving correctly and feeling better.

We started off focusing on a nice relaxed, regular walk rhythm while doing 5-6 loop serpentines up and down the arena. Jane wanted me to really focus on the bend and think of my inside arm like a piston that I draw straight back to keep/get/enforce the bend to the inside. After a few of these going both ways in the arena we moved into a trot around the full arena. With big circles focusing on almost overbending her at each end and in the middle.

She started off very choppy and stiff but as she worked out of it we started to do some leg yields down the center line. I’m still a little ways away from really getting these but I’m so much closer than I ever have been and was very nearly there towards the end yesterday. As usual, as soon as I figure out my body and stop doing wonky things Katai is actually able to use herself and do these correctly. Jane is having me focus on keeping her straight and wants me to think about almost having her haunches lead. She also wants me to stop flailing getting ahead of the motion.

After that we took a brief walk break and then went to canter. For some reason our transitions are good but Katai’s canter has fallen off the rails a bit. Not sure if it’s #hormonalmareproblems or if it’s one of those things were it’s going to get worse before it gets better but at the very least it’s a change and that’s always interesting/encouraging. She’s having trouble maintaining her canter in both directions and it’s really flat but she’s transitioning into it well, that is when she doesn’t get extremely tight and tie herself in knots like she was tonight. I’m going to start working her at the canter in side reins to see if it helps her to figure it out without me up there also flailing trying to figure out where to sit.

Jane said something really interesting to me though. Basically that I have very light sensitive contact, which she likes, but that sometimes I need to have more contact to get her to the right place and then immediately lighten. That makes perfect sense, and I’d like to think that I’m aware of that, but what I realized as we were talking is that I’m actually, finally RIDING the trot right now. Very actively, keeping/putting her where she needs to be and making quick effect corrections to get her to a good place as needed and then being soft and steady. However, I am NOT doing that at walk or canter. In both gaits because of her fussiness Katai has turned me into a passenger who tries to just be quiet and not upset anything so that she doesn’t freak out. It’s not effective, it’s not helping, and I need to just RIDE both gaits like I am at the trot.

Something to think about/work on during my next few rides anyway!

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Very Busy Weekend

When your owner gets out of bed and you're not ready yet
I would have liked to join him
I've been quiet because I've been feeling a little like crap all weekend. I think it's partially the weather and I'm wondering if with the recent colder temperatures I might be fighting off a cold.

On Friday I still had some energy and after a couple of days off I made it out to the barn to ride. Katai was sassy but pretty good and her canter transitions were continuing to improve. I had a friend at the barn with me and we tried to get some pictures but the lighting is just too dark so the only pictures we got were really blurry.

On Saturday I did a 5K with my work colleagues. They're amazing and we all just walked, solidarity for those who aren't runners, but it was a great albeit cold way to start the day. Since it was near the barn I had decided to go there next but the walk took a little longer than I expected and I had an apartment viewing scheduled, more on that later, so I was short on time at the barn.

Caught this picture on the way home from getting sushi
'Merica...
I pulled out all of my tack and went to get the pony. Just like what you would expect, she was lit up and didn't want to play along. I tried to put her in the crossties and groom her but she was having none of it so instead of fighting with her I decided to just lunge. She was doing all sort of crazy out of character things so I was really glad I didn't ride. She kicked out multiple times at the line, spooked and bolted twice (which she NEVER does), and did lots of head tossing and porpoising.

I had her do lots of, on cue, trot/canter transitions going in each direction. I didn't have her work that long, just until she was able to settle a little. I walked her for awhile, let her eat some grass and then left.
Don't worry, I was stopped. This is why I've been tired recently,
this picture was taken during the day.
I'm looking at apartments with one of my three roommates. In our current situation our landlord has all of the decision making power as far as who roommates are and this last one isn't someone I'd chose to live with. Since I now know someone in this area that I'd like to live with we're looking at 2 bedroom apartments where hopefully we can save some money and not have random people cycling through without our say. Unfortunately on Saturday the owner didn't show to give us a tour. However, that roommate and I went out for sushi and only got slightly sidetracked at an amazing local farmers market that I'd never been to!

I got tons of cucumbers, tomatoes, kale, and baby bok choi for only $9!!! After putting our amazing groceries away at home we went back out for sushi at our favorite sushi place. It was amazing! My favorite is their sweet potato role but I always love cucumber/avocado roles. Finally we went for groceries and got some coffee. I cleaned and did laundry when I got home so by the time I sat down to watch a movie it was almost time for bed.

Sunday I rode in the morning and although I didn't feel the need to lunge before I rode she was even more sassy than normal. She was full of herself and determined that she gets to make the call on when she's going to canter. I was really proud of how I handled that ride and we ended with some really nice, slow, stretchy trot but it took awhile to get there. Im thinking that she is also struggling with the new, colder, darker weather just like I am.

She got today off and I'm hoping that she feels more like cooperating at my lesson tomorrow!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Blog Hop: Horse Thief



I love this idea for a blog hop!

However, I had a tough time thinking of who I'd steal. I think that based on the rules of this blog hop I'd probably steal my friend H's pony. He's around 14.2 and quite a sassy, sensitive gelding. He's also got amazing gaits and he is fun to ride. I've only had the chance once or twice but I would steal him for a joy ride if I ever have the opportunity ;)


I would also really like to steal my co-student (C's) horse Sasha, for a day. She is a 14(ish) hand Arabian who is showing 3rd level. It would be very, very cool to see what that feels like!

My runner-ups are Ozzie, L's horse, and Jules, Jane's PSG school master but I honestly just don't think I could go back to riding tall horses. I do enjoy riding Ozzie occasionally and it sounds like I may have the opportunity to ride Jules at some point which is so, so exciting!!!


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bounce: Lesson Recap 9/20



After my ride with Katai on Friday last week I started feeling more positive because everything Jane was telling me to do was so clearly working that I just kind of let go of my need to try to figure this all out and was able to convince myself to just sort of go with the flow. Because of that I was relaxed and feeling really positive on Tuesday which isn't normal for me since I normally have a good amount of lesson anxiety.


We started off working on my position. I've always had a really tough time keeping my leg back and my conformation hasn't been helping me. We spent around 10 or so minutes at a halt with Jane putting my body where it needed to be and then explaining to me where I should have tension and where I shouldn't we talked a bit about some stretches and exercises that I could do.

Then we went to walk and after a bit of walk in each directly, mainly working on me, we went to trot. This lesson was pretty much more of the same as my last lesson with some additional specifics and just focusing on giving me more time to get things right. I'm still really struggling with getting my body turned enough to the right. I feel like I'm turning all the way around but Jane says that I'm still barely turning. Plus, my right hand has always been better at releasing than holding and I'm having a tough time keeping an appropriate amount of contact when I turn her in that direction.

Playing with running water in the tank is better than Netflix
Katai REALLY likes the new rider that I'm turning into. She's moving SOO well through her back, I've got good connection on both reins and I'm starting to have proper bend about 90% of the time. Because of her amazing new relaxation she's moving so, so well. It's so fun to ride her and feel her so traveling so through, it's a good step up from what I've ever felt from her before.

Then we went to canter. Jane is such an amazing calming influence on me. I'm not that nervous about cantering but Katai is such a little firecracker and add the fact that I want to do a good job in front of my new instructor and it makes me tense up which certainly isn't good for actually getting a good trot/canter transition. One of my friends always refers to her instructor as "her Yoda" and I feel the same way with Jane. Initially there were some fireworks and Jane was working on describing to me how to sit differently. We had talked about how I push my right leg out in front of myself in the canter so we worked on that first and then went the other way. Jane was trying to get me to sit differently and I kept trying different things and then I got it!

She wanted me to stop moving my torso as much and allow myself to feel like I was bouncing straight up and down. As soon as I got it I felt it and Katai's canter slowed down, she re-balanced herself, and it just felt magical and amazingly controllable. I felt sort of like I was sitting on a yoga ball (her hindquarters) and there was this light unweighted yoga ball in front of me that I could have steered anywhere. It was the most amazing riding moment that I think I've had.

Jane got all excited and we quit there. Now I just need to try to replicate that during my rides this week!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

My Breeches Collection

I thought it would be fun and possibly helpful for me to share my current breeches along with details and some pictures to show fit and what they look like on a non-model. I'm going to share these in order of cost just because I think it makes the most sense.

As a note, I'm currently in between a 24 and 26 but closer to a 26 and I'd rather have breeches a bit too loose rather than too tight. I'm also quite short, and have especially short legs (you can see how some of these wrinkle around my ankles), and these are all regular breeches so if you have long legs these would fit differently. If anyone has any questions about any of these please let me know!





Horse Active Full Seat
Price: Free!! (of course as long as I bought over a certain amount but since I was buying another pair of breeches and some other stuff I made it without trying)
Size: Small (looks like they're a 24)
Fit: As mentioned they're a size 24 and I normally get 26s. With that being said these do fit me quite well and since they're cotton they've got a good amount of stretch
Wear: Worn once and washed once - not sure how much more I'll wear them haha
Positives: The price and the color is great
Negatives: Pretty much everything. I love Horze's more premium brands but their cheaper stuff is just that, cheaper. These stink, I'm guessing from the dye? but even after being washed and worn once they still smell strongly of chemicals. The seat also doesn't stretch so you get that really uncomfortable feeling of being suspended above the saddle by the crotch of your breeches, and they're my only breeches with velcro bottoms and they rub on my ankle bone.




Horse Spirit Full Seat (no longer available)
Price: I believe these were around $45 on sale but were more like $89 new. I wouldn't pay $89 for them so I put them here.
Size: 26
Fit: loose and I probably should have sized down. They're also cotton so they've stretched a bit
Wear: Owned for about 1 year and worn a fair amount through that year. Washed multiple times.
Positives: These are very comfortable and have stood up well over the past year or so that I've owned them.
Negatives: I really hate the color, I was thinking they'd be brighter blue but this color is awful. I mostly just wear these when I don't feel like wearing nice, but less comfortable breeches or when I know that I'm going to get especially dirty like for pony bathing.




Riding Sport (Dover) Basic Full-Seat Breech
Price: $49.99
Size: 26 but after they've stretched now they're more like a 28
Fit: Comfortable!
Positives: Comfortable! Great color, nice pockets, awesome sock bottoms, price! Plus these have a comfortable stretchy full seat especially for the price.
Wear: I've owned these for about a year but I've worn them and washed them more than any other pair of breeches probably multiple days a week for awhile.
Negatives: These are cotton breeches so they will stretch out. However, I've worn these a TON and washed them a TON since they're my most comfortable breeches and they still look great. They're just starting to get pretty stretched out. For the price and comfort though they can't be beat and I plan to get at least one more pair in burgundy.




Ovation Slim Secret Full Seat
Price: $98.95 from RW, I think I paid just over $100 when I bought them
Size: 26
Fit: The fit is awesome and are really great heavier fabric that doesn't show imperfections but is also not that hot.
Wear: Owned for 3+ years and worn a LOT. For awhile I only had a few pairs so these were in constant rotation. Washed a ton.
Positives: These are the breeches I've had the longest (just over 3 years now) and they still look like new despite lots of wear and washing. They have really cute details like the suede trim on the pockets  and some embroidery on the back belt loop.
Negatives: VERY uncomfortable sock bottoms. I do have slightly large calves (I wear regular Ariat boots thought) but still, you can see from the picture how much these dig in. Despite that I've still kept them for 3+ years and have worn them a ton.




Horze Desiree Full Seat - Burgundy
Price: I got these for just under $100 on sale
Size: 26
Fit: AMAZING, all of Horze's premium brands (Crescendo and B Vertigo) fit me the best of any breeches I've tried)
Wear: I've worn these several times and washed at least twice
Positives: Everything! These might be a bit much for some people but this is for fun right. I love the wide waistband, the seat is nice and stretchy, the silicon makes it nicely grippy without being too much, they're really nice stretchy technical fabric that still doesn't show too much, and Horze (premium) breeches have the nicest, most comfortable sock bottoms that I've tried.
Negatives: The wide band comes nearly to my ribs when I'm riding but it didn't bother me much because I bought a second pair and I've got my eyes on the new fall 2016 color!




Horze Desiree Full Seat - Stone
Price: $150 from a vendor at the NDPC
Size: 24
Fit: These were sold out but the vendor still had a pair in 24. They do fit but I'm glad that I've been losing weight :)
Never worn to the barn, hoping they'll fit a bit better soon and sort of saving these to show in.
Positives: See above, the seat also feels a little more substantial so I'm hoping that they'll last longer than the thinner seat in the burgundy pair.
Negatives: See above




B Vertigo (Horze) Rachel Full Seat 
Price: I got these on sale for $175 but they're normally $199
Size: 26
Fit: They fit the best of any breeches I've ever owned
Wear: Worn three times and washed once
Positives: These are seriously the best breeches I own. They are as comfortable as the Dover breeches but are a technical fabric so they won't stretch out as quickly. The seat is substantial enough to last (I hope!) but is nicely stretchy and they have the amazing Horze sock bottoms. I also love the color and all of the amazing details.
Negatives: None other than the price. If I ever win the lottery though I'm going to go buy 10 more pairs. I am curious how they'll last though. The seat leather is fairly thin which makes them extremely comfortable but I'm just not sure if they'll last as long as some of my other breeches.




Lauria Garrelli (HKM) Golden Gait 3/4 Seat (basically what we consider a full seat)
Price: I got these from my local tack shop through a special order at $179.95. On the site they're $167.95 so not bad mark up for shipping to the US.
Size: 26
Fit: Good but they are looser at the waist and tighter through the hips. They also bind a bit on my knees I think because of where the leather from the full seat comes on my leg.
Wear: Worn twice and washed once
Positives: I really like these breaches. They're also a great technical fabric and the orange detailing is really cute. They are clearly very well made and I expect that they'll last a long time.
Negatives: Hmmm, so they're actually less new than the B Vertigo breeches but Horze has sales all the time and for this price point I like the previous breeches better. It's the little things like comfort, and some of the details like the three button closure on the B Vertigo breeches. I also managed (which happens to me on some other breeches as well) to bust out the stitching in multiple places on the seat. They aren't too tight, in fact I need to wear a belt with them, but the stitching is falling apart, it's good that I'm good with a needle. That didn't happen at all with the B Vertigo breeches and the B Vertigo breeches just fit better. I'm really curious to see how they both wear over time.

So I think by now everyone knows that I'm a Horze fangirl, I especially love their B Vertigo line,  and you can tell from how many breeches I have from them. I've got several more styles from them as well as other companies on my list so look forward to an update post at some point next year.

Also, I know that I haven't had some of these for very long so this isn't really meant to be a review post. I'm guessing that some of the newer breeches will show up in one of my "favorites" posts in the future!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

My Daily Routine


I am also stealing this idea for the "unofficial" blog hop.

I work, full time M-F from around 8:00ish - 4:30ish. I have always done better in the morning if I keep my perp to a minimum and then pretty much head straight to work so I get up around 7:30 (I'm lucky enough to have a 10 minute commute) and that leaves me from around 4:45pm-12:00am in the evening so that's when I ride.

Normally my routine is to take a day off riding on Monday and Thursday to just to do other chores at home, spend time with friends, veg out, and/or work out,.

On Tuesday I have my lesson at 6:30pm so I get home from work, eat a quick dinner and then drive the 35 minutes to the barn (45 if rush hour traffic is really bad) which means that sometimes I get there just with enough time to groom and tack up quickly.

The way the barn looks in the evening
Wednesday and Friday I leave the house around 6:00-7:00 after playing with Veggie, eating dinner and changing into my riding clothes.

Weekends are my favorite (really who can say differently) but I sleep in a bit normally until around 8:00-8:30, make myself some coffee, grab breakfast and then head to the barn. I usually get home by noon which includes the extra time that I spend at the barn over the weekend.

Not my pictures but my weekend cold press looks very similar :)
Since Katai is in full board my time at the barn, other than when I have a lesson, normally consists of pulling all of the stuff I need out of the tack room and putting it on hooks/saddle stand near her stall. I  grab my helmet, grooming bag, saddle, saddle pad, saddle shims, girth, pink dressage boots, and bridle. I put my boots on and then get the pony. During the week she's already in her stall so I just lead her the 5 or so feet from her stall to the crossties but on the weekend I pull her out of her paddock. I get her groomed and tacked up, boots, saddle, I put my helmet on, and then put on her bridle and finally put on my gloves. Then we go into the arena where I normally ride for 30-45 minutes but sometimes more if she needs it.

Katai would like everyone to know that she would prefer
to be doing this on the weekends
I usually don't lunge before I ride unless I have reason to believe that she's uncomfortable or going to be especially naughty. For some reason the lunge is both of our happy place and even if she ends up being naughty under saddle it almost never shows up on the lunge so I'd just as soon hop right on since it doesn't seem to make a difference and where if she is naughty or tight I have more tools to correct it.
Part of my current riding playlist
Normally I listen to music on my iPhone speakers while I ride. After we're done I pick up poop and hand walk her for at least 5-10 minutes (thanks to my first instructor when I was 12 and reading Jec Aristotle Ballou) since I believe in walking to cool down and I may as well join her and walk next to her rather than staying on her back.

Then I crosstie her, untack her, and turn her out or put her back in her stall. I love cleaning up after my ride and after putting all of my tack away I sweep, grab any empty supplement baggies, and then head home. On the weekends it's usually around lunch time and I'm hungry so I normally stop at Taco Bell, since that's the only fast food place in the area that has vegan food,  and then head home. On the weekdays I get home right around 9:30-10:00pm so I usually watch a movie and play with Veggie or do some work and then head to bed.

I'm lucky(?) to have very little going on in my life outside of work and Katai. I have friends and we hang out enough for me to get all of the social interaction that I want but most of them are in a different place in their lives (married with kids) so that doesn't happen as often as it did. I have to admit that selfishly I'm happy to be able to spend as much time as I want doing the things that I enjoy most.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Full Moon Mares

You'll never guess what Katai did, first thing.

Well T might.

I led Katai 5 feet from the front of her stall, put her in cross ties, and she pinned her ears and bumped me with her nose. Yep, she and B are very clearly on the same wavelength. Good thing we live pretty far apart or I would seriously be concerned about the impending pony apocalypse.

The pony psychic force is strong in this one
She got in trouble and then I went back to grooming and wondering if she'd try it again, she didn't. I was honestly laughing the rest of the time as I groomed and got her tacked up. She'd even made herself especially muddy, normally she's a very clean princess pony, just to mess with me.

However, despite the fact that I'd planned to just lunge her at the first sign of sass she was actually very, very good. She was a little tight during our trot work but she never lost it and only threatened to rear once. Then we easily had the BEST canter transitions and canter work that we've ever had!! I was just focusing on doing the right thing with my body and it's amazing how that means that she can do the right thing herself. Then she was nice and relaxed and stretchy, and balanced, and her canter rhythm even slowed down considerably and her stride opened up.

I've never gotten her to that point before and it was magical. She got all of the pats and was clearly proud of herself once I hopped off. Even more impressive, the rest of the horses were fed partway through my ride, before we started our canter work, and she stayed with me and kept right on listening.

I decided after our ride that really she just wanted to confuse me. Well mare you won, I didn't expect that.



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wavelength: Lesson Recap 9/13


Further proof that Bridget and Katai are on the same wavelength. T wrote a post on Tuesday about her lesson on Monday and my lesson on Tuesday (I hadn't read T's post before that lesson) was almost exactly the same.

Katai was wiggly, bendy, sucked back, and basically just being a naughty pony. Learning of course isn't in a straight line but she's been SOOO good this whole time since the move and recently with L as well that it just felt especially tough that she was so naughty. I guess I sort of figured that she was going to take a big step backwards once we started calling her on some of the small stuff she's doing but I didn't think we'd be back to tantrums.

We started off working on getting a good trot and actually got some REALLY nice trot. We also worked on leg yields and I easily did the best leg yields of my life, probably just because Jane doesn't realize how completely uneducated I am as a rider, just expected me to do them perfectly, and just kept telling me what I needed to do to get them perfect until I did.

It was an AMAZING feeling to get them right and the only reason Katai was able to do them was because of all of the work over the past week or so and based on the info that Jane's been sharing with me.

So far I know it doesn't sound rough but then, after a walk break, when we went back to trot she had a few pony tantrums and she hasn't had any in a long time. I was already feeling a little like crap about that and then Jane said that we were going to work on canter. I've known that when we address canter the first time it would be a bit of a disaster. Our transitions have never been pretty and with her in tantrum mode I was concerned. Then between the new way we're working with her, my own ineptitude and crookedness, and her being in that mood it was very interesting.

To her credit she never bucked (even though bucking is more normal) and she didn't seem to get as tight and tense through her back but it was a hot mess. A really hot mess with her trantering, gaiting, throwing herself against the wall, etc. I was trying not to be too negative about it after and Jane just said, she's got some tension but we'll work on it, but for some reason I just felt really negative about the whole thing.

In fact, over the past couple of days I've been having a tough time with it. I'll deal, it's not a big surprise or anything, but it's just felt more negative than it should. I think it was more the return of the tantruming, wiggly, pony mess and the fact that she was threatening to rear than anything else. It's been MONTHS since she's done anything like that and after how good she's been it just seemed like a big backwards step.

Oh well, I have a pony and a mare and this is pretty much what I signed up for. I adore her even on her bad days even if it is frustrating :)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

My Event-ful Weekend

I had some tentative plans with some horse friends for this weekend that I hadn't shared previously because I wasn't quite sure if they would happen or not.

First though, on Friday I went to my tack shop to pick up my HKM stuff!

So pretty!!!
I also went back and looked at their consignment section since Jane wanted me to get a pair of regular irons and found a great deal on a pair for $10. On the way I saw this.

Brown and padded with sparkles!!!
I didn't get it but I sure wanted to. Katai's halter is starting to wear out and after our recent trailer loading experience I noticed that theres a hairline crack in the ring you attach the lead rope to which probably isn't safe for long term. It's not in the budget now but over the next few months I plan to replace it.

I then went to the barn to ride and had an AMAZING ride on my incredible little mare. She was really tuned into me and was behaving so well that I was able to really focus on myself. There are so many things right now that I have to focus on that it was nice that she allowed me to do that.

So gorgeous :)
I also got this, sort of, confirmation shot where you can see what a little beefcake she's turning into!

Sport pony goals
Then on Saturday I got to go watch eventing and groom/cheer on my friends!! They were doing a schooling show at Roebke's Run which holds 1* and 2* events. It's just under 2 hours away from where I live and easily the closest facility for eventers in my area. I had never been there, love eventing, and was looking forward to spending time with friends so when Allie and Vanessa (both of which I went to the hunter pace with) let me know that they were going I was excited to be able to go with as their groom.

This is from the stadium ring at the show office and kitchen
The facility is absolutely gorgeous and there is not a bit of it that's imperfect or untouched. They've done everything so well and the cross country course is amazing, along with everything else.

You know you're at a fancy place when you pull up and see this rig
Both Vanessa and Allie were doing starter. It was Allie's first event and Vanessa had brought her greenie that was on the hunter pace. Allie would have had her green horse as well but he, of course, turned up dead lame two days before the event so she was riding a horse that one of the other boarders had lent her who is a champion hunter (over fences).

Course walk

Water complex, it was optional for starter
I spent most of the day carrying stuff, cheering them on, keeping them on time, holding horses, and bringing snacks as well as taking pictures on Allie's fancy camera so these are just a small number of the total pictures I took. Once they share some on Facebook I'll have more to share on here hopefully because it was an amazing day for photos and they both had a great show.

Look at that sky!
Both did Dressage and did really well, especially for having a green horse and a horse that had never evented before and both scored under 40. Other than circling back to a fence for a second try both made it through stadium clean and then it was on to cross country!!

This tiny pony was named Hotsauce and I just about put him in my car.
The starter jumps looked like Rolex height jumps for her but she made it through the entire course!
Allie was first and my heart was in my throat because up until that moment no one had made it past the 3rd fence and the previous riders had all fallen. Allie however went in and owned it! She jumped the entire thing clear other than, I believe, one circle. I was able to go down and check in with her before running back out on course to take photos of Vanessa and cheer her on.

Watching show jumping
Vanessa also went clear up until the last fence but got her mare over and they made it through!

Ironically this is the only jump that I took a photo of during the course walk and it's the
one where the first few riders came off.
Apparently I'm not the only one that thought this fence looked interesting ;)
It was amazing to see both of them so successfully complete their first/horse's first event and on top of that it was an absolutely beautiful day. It was in the 70s and sunny with an amazing breeze so I couldn't have chosen a better day to be there.

Allie and Dream walking back from the wash stall with HotSauce and his rider.
Too bad it's so blurry!
Then today I went out to the barn and had another amazing ride! Katai was great and was almost listening as well as she did on Friday. During the second half of the ride she did get a little speedy but the great thing was that I was able to slow her down and adjust her stride with my posting so that almost made it better just because I was glad to be able to practice my new skills :)

Since I didn't ride on Saturday I'm planning to ride tomorrow and then I'm really looking forward to another lesson on Tuesday!