Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pretty in Purple

Doesn't Cupid look cute in his new purple saddle pad?? 
Our favorite retailer (Riding Warehouse) was running a labor day sale so I got a few necessities (Magic Cushion for his feet, stud chain for travel so he doesn't drag me around new places, white pad for dressage) and a few things for fun - the purple pad, sun shirt for riding in the heat, and a navy hunt coat!  I also ordered some white breeches which I promptly returned when I realized they are very see-through!

We are entered to a combined test this weekend - dressage Intro test B (walk/trot) and jumping 2".  I'm already getting nervous, but we had some great practice sessions the past week.  I've been working on my turn down the centerline and my halts.  I'm not quite there yet (turning too wide, and Cupid isn't stopping square or staying still) but making a little progress. 

My first lesson this week was flatwork.  More of turning off the outside rein, and squares.  My trainer wants me to go more forward on the sides of the squares, but I have a hard time asking for it since I know another corner is coming right up!  We also worked on transitions, and making sure I don't throw away my contact during them.

Today I had a jumping lesson.  We actually did quite a bit of flatwork first - for preparation and also because there was another crazy horse lunging and the arena was being watered and the hose was stretched out across.  Cupid was feeling a little cranky by the time we were going to start jumping, he seemed like he thought he was done and didn't want to go back into a trot.  But once we started jumping he was happy!  We warmed up over a crossrail.  It was in the middle of the arena at a bit of an angle, and I thought it was angled differently so our first approach was less than stellar but since it was small Cupid wasn't too disturbed.  We trotted a figure 8 around it a few times jumping from each lead, then cantered.  I had to do a simple transition going from right to left because Cupid landed on his right lead. 

Then we did a pretty challenging course.  We started with the warm up crossrail from the right lead, land and go left and circle back around to the brush box, land go straight and roll back left turn to the barrels, land and go right and circle back around to the first crossrail, land and go left and around to a one stride combo vertical to oxer but with a jump interfering with the approach so you had to come at an angle then straighten out.  A bit confusing!  I botched the turn to the barrels so circled around there, then chickened out going into the combo so circled around again.  We did just the last combo again, I was still a little intimidated but not as bad, and it felt pretty good. 
From the far end of the ring, 1) right lead to the green and blue X, 2) loop around left to the brush box, 3) straight past the barrels and roll back over them, then 4) right circle back around the green and blue X
5) Continuing left circle back around to this one stride combo
 Despite my piloting errors Cupid was super, and very game!  He was listening to me, my trainer said his ears were flicking back and forth going okay where's the next jump!!  I did a much better job sitting up before my jumps, and Cupid listened and waited not taking the long spot.  I need to work on being able to get myself organized quicker after landing to prepare for the next job and be able to have better approaches.  Overall I was super happy with Cupid, he was a rockstar today!!  I have things to work on, but slow and steady I feel like I'm making progress and my nerves are slowly getting better too.  I hope I will feel this good after the show!
Earned his carrots today!
Ready for the show.... I think!

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