Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Western Placements

After the Hunt Seat placements were all said and done, we were invited to join the Western team. I was trained with the "Balanced Seat" technique so I can go back and forth from English to Western fairly easily but my training has been in a Hunt Seat saddle. I can count the number of times that I have ridden Western on one hand. But since I am at college I figure that I could use all of the riding time I can possibly get and I have always admired western riders.

The equestrian center here at Del Val has horses trained for Hunters and Dressage, so in order to ride Western we drive to a barn off campus called Saddle Brook farm. I am really excited to ride Western but it is definitely a hike to get to the farm as it takes an hour when traffic is good. I don't usually mind driving but ever since I became a college student I realize how expensive gas prices are!

When we arrived at Saddle Brook there were a few horses tacked up to ride for placements. I drew a horse named Lux. I really lucked out. Lux is the Western coach's personal horse, so obviously he is very well trained. I felt that I had a very good ride. I don't remember ever being able to ride a truly Western trained horse so it was very cool to feel a real Western jog. I walk faster than Lux jogs! I think I am going to really like this Western stuff!!

After all of the placement rides we met to discuss what classes each of us will compete in. I was put in class 13, which is equivalent to novice in Hunt Seat. I am definitely happy with this placement. I guess we will see what happens at the first show!


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