Sunday, May 23
Day 7 - i've survived a week!
It's been a week! It's that thing you always feel - I feel like I've been here forever, I can barely remember being at school, but then it also feels so new and I'm still definitely learning new things every day! Susan, my roommate and the other working student, comes tomorrow so that'll throw a whole new loop in the day to day plan I've almost gotten good at! As I'm literally going to be around her 24/7 hopefully we'll get along and she won't be too 'pointy' ;) (my dad and I have inside jokes... aren't we cute!)
It was awesome having my parents out here. While I do like being grown up and taking care of myself, coming home after 13 hours of hard physical work to a home cooked meal is totally OK with me! They left yesterday after cross country schooling (I'll talk about that in more detail in a second, haha) and my house has felt very empty since! I do like having a single though. I had one all year at school as well, so having a roommate tomorrow is going to be a bit of a reality check!
So, what's happened the last few days. Day 4 we went galloping at Bruce Davidson Sr.'s place. SO COOL. Packed up the trailer nice and early with 8 horses including Bobby and Reggie standing next to each other. Wonder how much those 5 square feet were worth!!! Took about 2 hours to get over there - it was Buck, Andrea, Kenzie, Callie, and me and it was nice and relaxed in the truck, even though the 550 was struggling a bit to pull the 9 horse trailer!
We got to Bruce Sr.'s, which was absolutely gorgeous. Field of mares and babies at the front, jack russels running all over the place, and a lovely day. My parents came along to watch, and Bruce actually remembered them and Charlie from 10 years ago working with Jacek! Impressive.
I was in the first round of gallops, so tacked up Sal, who was actually one of Bruce's one star horses. Only slightly intimidating to ride Bruce's horse in front of him! It took about a 15-20 minute trot to get over to the hill to gallop, which was a nice warm up. Sal was very sweet, if not the auto-framer that all the other horses are! Bruce and Buck's relationship was very funny. Bruce felt the need to lay out every little detail on how fast to go and where to go for Kenzie, and Buck just laughed in the background knowing that Kenzie knew it all perfectly, but let him get away with it!
So we trotted down the hill, hiked our stirrups up 4 holes, and then were ready to go! Buck, Andrea, Callie, and another girl who joined us were all on three star horses, so they went first, and then Kenzie on Catalina and I followed them. Kenzie told me to put my boot touching hers and shove Sal as close to Catalina as humanly possible. I thought that would just make them race, but it actually calmed Sal down a lot and showed me how to do a gallop. MacKenzie managed to find a speed to please Bruce, and we did the whole gallop up the huge hill twice. I don't think Charm would've made it halfway up! A nice big trot and we were back at Bruce's farm. I was left in charge of washing off all the first round horses, and the others went out for round 2 with Reggie, Bobby, Fergie, and Ollie.
We didn't end up getting back to our barn til about 5, and then with stripping down the trailer and doing all the days chores, we were there til almost 8! 13 hours of work is a LOT. Let me tell you. Came home to scalloped potatoes, though, so really couldn't complain too much :)
The next day we were just stretching out all the horses that had been galloped to make sure they were still sound and feeling good. I got to do a trot set on Catalina, and then... they announced that hay was coming. A semi truck full of hay. Which normally would've just been a whole lot of work, but this was ridiculous 200 lb bales of hay that I literally could not pick up off the ground. Luckily we got 2 nice guys that were working on a fence on the property to help us, but it was still a RIDICULOUS 2 hours of pushing, rolling, and attempting to pick up hay. Buck did take us out for lunch with his mom afterwards, though - I think he felt guilty!
I had a dressage lesson on Charm when we came back, which was fun (I said dressage was fun! No way!). Buck was working hard to get Charm to actually move her butt underneath herself and be responsive to my leg. As he says, 'She's really cute, and is obviously the winner, but needs to be really through, not just framed,' which totally makes sense. Lots of work with shoulder fore trying to get her butt to curve around my inside leg and get her to GO when I put my leg on. She was a pretty tired pony afterward! Buck promised XC in the morning though, which made everything worthwhile :)
Saturday morning was my parents last day, and my first cross country school since last summer! SO. MUCH. FUN. The property is wonderful as two of the big paddocks have lots of XC jumps in them, which are perfect for schooling. Buck came down on Bobby and Kenzie on Dinero, which was a little intimidating but fun. Pictures from my dad show that my position leaves much to be desired - sorry Katie! HEELS DOWN. That would help a lot. But Charm was a super star and jumped everything I asked her to, including lots of funny questions. In between the two paddocks there was a two stride of roll tops. So you jumped out of one pen, two forward strides across the road, then into the other pen. The first time through she backed off the first roll top pretty hard so I turned my stick upside down and hit her over it, jumped the jump with one hand on the reins, and she ducked hard left on the far side to which Buck and Kenzie were very impressed I stayed on! I have good 'sticking power.' :)
Charm jumped ditches, roll tops into water, banks into water (with all 4 feet at once...) and everything else. Very good pony! She was a bit shocked by the hills and was tired at the end but proud of herself. Andrea was doing a clinic for the rest of the morning, so my parents headed out and I did a trot set on Albert. He's the first three star horse I've ever ridden - SO COOL! He felt very fancy and easy to make go well. A little spooky, but totally worth it :) Buck and Andrea left that afternoon for the whole weekend, too.
So today was a very chill day as Buck wasn't around. Didn't have to come into work until 9 - those extra 2 hours of sleep felt AMAZING!!! Changed over turn out, and then Kenzie rode Bobby and I rode Fergie. Bobby is such a fun horse, he's a complete armchair when you want him to be (which isn't what you expect out of a horse that fancy at all), and then perks up and has the most gorgeous extended trot ever!!! Fergie was another three star horse, and felt incredible. I can never make them go as well as they should, but she was very sweet to me, and we had a nice forward trot set. Kenzie and I took an hour long lunch break to Subway, and then I rode Charm around when we got back. I made sure she still felt good after her XC school, and then we practiced our flying changes. She knows what she's supposed to do, her hind end just changed 3 strides after her front end. We'll get there, she's a very good pony.
I got to feed while Kenzie was riding Bobby the second time (he doesn't get turned out, so he gets ridden twice a day instead). I got a nice little crib sheet and was proud of myself for knowing who all of the horses are! I still get Ben and Bill confused (Buck chooses his barn names after famous people - Ben Stiller and Bill Gates), but pretty proud of myself for getting all the rest of them down!
Buck and Andrea come back tomorrow afternoon, so it'll be back to real life tomorrow, or if not then definitely Tuesday. It's been an amazing week, can't believe it's only been a week!
Also - CONGRATS TO TUFTS CLASS OF 2010!!!! Graduation was today, love all my seniors, miss you guys already :)