Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Saturday of a Very Busy Weekend

By the time I got back to school from Harrisburg it was about 1:30 am. So as you can imagine I was really excited to wake up in four hours to take a ride to Briarwood Farm for our next IHSA horse show.

Since I was not competing I was not so worried about my lack of sleep, but on the way to the show something very exciting happened. My coach told me that there had been an opening and asked if I was interested in showing!! Of course my first response was "absolutely!" but I instantly remembered that I was not prepared. I did not bring ANY of my show clothes! Can you believe it?? After all of those years of always bringing riding clothes everywhere because of my trainer's reminder that you never know when you will get the opportunity to ride, I finally have the opportunity and I was completely unprepared! So I expressed my concerns to Cory (the coach) and she didn't seem concerned. She was sure we could find some clothes to borrow before it was my turn to show. So I didn't worry about it for a little while because I figured that everything would work out.
About an hour before my class I started to ask around trying to find teammates that were even remotely my size. It is a lot harder that you would think to find clothes that fit!

Tall boots were the easiest to find. I was shocked because they were my friend's custom fit boots, they fit me like a glove! I really lucked out. I ended up finding everything pretty easily except for a jacket. The jacket situation was rough. I probably tried on five jackets before I found one that Cory approved of.

About five minutes before my class I finally had all of the clothes that I needed. It was an amazing thing! Now I had to focus on relaxing before my ride so that I could be successful after all of that hysteria.

I ended up having an excellent fact probably one of my best. I ended up with second place and I was thrilled. Considering how last minute everything was I felt like the day went really well.

So the moral of today's story is... No matter where your going (especially if you know there will be horses there) always bring your clothes because you never know... you might get lucky enough to ride! And if you happen to forget your clothes make sure you are traveling with someone who wears the same size jacket as you. ;-)

Talk to you soon!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Pictures from My Very Busy Weekend

Well Here are a few pictures that I have finally been able to upload unto my Computer.. Enjoy!

Pennsylvania Horse World Expo

Clinicians Tiffany and Micheal Richardson
This picture was taken at the Expo In Harrisburg while we were waiting for the clinic to begin! Aww isn't Dee Dee cute??!!

On the Right:
Expo during Richardson's clinic.

On the Left:

This is a Picture Taken right after the clinic in Harrisburg, Pa.

Dee Dee (The TB Mare that we brought to PA), Tiffany and Micheal Richardson.

Sunday Hunt Seat Horse Show At Red Wing in PA
Hosted by Temple University

A group of us waiting for one of the classes to begin.

Terrence, Megan, Me, Emily (Captain), oh and Diane is all the way on the right (Co-Captain)

Well thats all for now stay tuned to read about the details of the weekend!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Start of a VERY busy weekend

OK, so the weekend starts with a trip to Harrisburg for the Horse World Expo. I will be riding my Thoroughbred Dee Dee in Tiffany and Michael Richardson's gymnastics demonstration. I arrive at the Farm Show Complex just in time to sign in and check in with Michael to make sure everything is running smoothly.

As I quickly groom and tack up Dee Dee, I realize that since we have both just arrived she has not been able to see the ring where we will be performing. So we might put on a quite a show! I will ride with one other girl that rides a Warmblood pony stallion, so I do my very best to keep my mare away from him because I don’t want to put on that kind of show!
There is nothing that I love more than walking into the ring with my horse when I know that the stands are filled with people. It is an incredible adrenaline rush to ride in front of such a large crowd...I love it! When we step into the ring Dee Dee behaves exactly the way I expect her to-a tad bit wild. We begin our warm up at the walk, then trot and then she decides that a spook, a buck and a gallop across the ring will be what she needs to get away from all the scary things in the grandstands around her. I have spent years riding Dee Dee so I know to that I must relax and put her to work. It takes a while to settle her down but once I am able to keep her attention, she is excellent - athletic and forward.

The demo starts off with ground rails down the center of the arena. After we trot through them a few times to set the pace and timing, the rails are raised into cross rails and verticals in a gymnastic format. The biggest issue that I am having with my mare is that she will not stretch her neck over the jumps so she is rushing and jumping very flat. Michael recognizes that because I am tense, Dee is tense as well. She can not stretch into my hand because I am just too rigid through my arms and shoulders. Well, Michael has a solution to that problem!

The final exercise that Dee and I attempt is the gymnastic with no reins...yes that's right NO REINS! Given her attitude early in the ride I am apprehensive about letting go and getting run away with in front of a crowd. But to my surprise, she is excellent and we accomplish exactly what Michael wants. Once I trust that she won't bolt through the line, she is able to use her neck and body efficiently getting nicely supple and round. This is the mark of a good trainer - he can see exactly what is needed and he finds a creative approach to the problem.
This is not the first time I have ridden with Tiffany and Michael as I also rode with them in Maryland for other clinics and each time I had a fabulous time. If you ever get a chance to ride with them, I highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity. They are both kind and very talented trainers.
Stay tuned for Saturday's adventure - I have a feeling that it will be an exciting one!