Friday, May 28

Day 12 - charm's a big jumping pony!

It's been a fun week! Totally flown by, I can't believe it's Friday already. If the whole summer goes this quickly it's going to be over before I can even fully wrap my head around the fact that I'm here!

Most important fact - EVERYONE loves Charm. I obviously think she's the best pony in the entire world because she's mine and I've known her since she was 5 minutes old, but it's pretty awesome that everyone else thinks she's so great. Andrea and Caroline (the girl whose parents own the barn) are betting against each other to see who will steal her first :) Charm's been going through pony boot camp, tho! I don't think she'd even jumped above 2'9 before coming out here and is going Beginner Novice at her first event - Plantation Field - which after jumping a 3'6" square oxer on her today seems a little unnecessary!!! It'll be fun to put it all together in a show context, though.

So, what's been going on these last couple days. Buck and Andrea didn't come back til Monday afternoon, so Monday was still a pretty chill day. I got to ride Fergie again, she's an awesome mare. Obviously not as cool as mine, but she's just so big and powerful and really fun even just for a trot set, which is saying something! Later, I got a dressage lesson on Charm. Getting her to really step under with that inside hind going to the left is always her big issue, but she's going great. Buck says to the right she's the winner, and to the left she's about 5th. So we just have to get that left side stronger and my pony will be unstoppable :)

Tuesday was to a real day with Buck riding lots of horses, so lots of running around tacking everyone up! It's fun getting to know the routine a bit more, though. I still check pretty much everything with either Kenzie or Brandon, but they're now more likely to just say 'yes' instead of having to tell me what to do, which is a nice feeling. I got to ride Archie, a 4 year old OTTB mare (why someone would call a mare Archie is beyond me) who was really sweet, and apparently will be really fancy one day! It was fun riding a baby again, haven't done that since Charm was little! I then got to go with Buck to his lesson with Marilyn Payne - the FEI judge. That was really cool to see - Buck and Bobby in action - but it was also awesome just to hang out for a couple hours in the truck with Buck. When he's not attached to his phone he's a very funny chatter. No radio, and you can see his brain work in cycles. He's very quiet for about ten minutes (and I would never start a conversation, always wait for him to make the first move), and then would randomly launch into a whole story about how he was a high school All - American athlete in soccer, ice hockey, and baseball. I said, 'oh so you didn't ride in high school?' and he said 'oh not seriously, I mean I went to Kentucky when I was 17 but I made a total fool of myself'!!!! Definitely impressive :)

Wednesday was a big riding day. I got to ride Haifa, a fancy two star horse who was actually SO lazy and impossible to get his head down, but once I got him working (this took almost 15 minutes) he was great! Then rode Libby, a sweet bay mare that I switched onto early last week, and then Lilly another cute baby mare. Although a HUGE brat on the ground, Lilly was actually really fun to ride and went about her job very happily. Not what I expected! I got to do a short trot set on Mensa, Andrea's fancy show horse who was just coming back after being off a couple weeks after Fair Hill. He's SO sweet, it's a little intimidating riding Andrea's horse in front of her, though! After riding everyone else, we got to go XC schooling even tho it was boiling hot. Charm was SUCH a super star!!! Started off jumping all the normal little stuff, and then Buck said to go jump her over a training roll top, which she actually jumped a lot better than some of the little stuff. Combination of me riding harder, and her having more to look at. We ended on a HUGE corner - Prelim height I'm pretty sure. Charm was amazing! Not phased in the slightest, just picked up her little toes and took care of me when I stopped riding the last stride. Katie Schaaf may end up killing me - Buck's getting me much more in the back seat to make sure that Charm GOES after each XC jump. It's a weird feeling, but is really nice when she lands already galloping like she's supposed to.

Thursday was fun - I got to ride Titanium!!! He just got shipped back from Bruce Sr.'s place where he was relaxing after Kentucky. He got his shoes put back on in the morning, and then I was the first person to get on him since Rolex! Pretty cool. I hacked him out to the XC field where Buck was teaching a lesson and got to trot him around for 20 minutes, then Buck asked me to jump him over a little log, which was so cool! I've jumped a 4 star horse!!! Ty is sooo fun to jump. He's an incredibly chill little horse and just hangs out, but the second he gets jumping he gets soo into his job and felt AWESOME. I did some dressage on Charm in draw reins which helps me be able to really use my legs, but have enough contact to actually push her into. She went great! It ended up thunder storming really hard Thursday night, so we left the barn at 6ish, but ended up going back at 8 to haul all the horses back in. Long barbers were never so appreciated! We moved as many horses in as possible, and put the other ones in the top paddocks close to the trees, so hopefully the lightening would hit those before the horses! Everyone was still in one piece Friday morning, thankfully :)

Today was much cooler, which was very much appreciated. Buck was heading out to a weekend full of clinics at 11:30, so it was a fairly rushed morning, but I got a jump lesson on Charm which was fun. I rode with Susan and Caroline, and Charm kept up with the big horses just fine! We did 3 canter poles into a big oxer, trying to get us into a defensive position so we could trot, and then canter a stride out over another oxer. Charm jumped a big red skinny, and an outside line of 3 one stride verticals, then two strides to a BIG oxer! The first time Buck dropped the front rail, but then second time she jumped a 3'6" square oxer! GO CHARM!!! She can cover the distances too, even if the other horses are pulling and she's pushing to make them, she was doing great. Everyone oo's and ahh's over her, which is always a great feeling. She got called the baby Teddy O'Conner - I was OK with this!!!

Heading out to Buck's County Horse Park for some long trot sets tomorrow in the rain, which hopefully will be fun!

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