Friday, November 18, 2011

Knowing is half the battle!

If not more so. I finally had a really solid lesson on Wednesday, thanks to finally acknowledging that I am putting undue pressure on myself to always be 100% awesome. Since I only have one day a week in which to ride, I try to make every moment count. Nothing wrong with that - until it starts creeping into obsessive compulsive, must-be-the-best-every-minute-of-the-lesson territory. Long story short, I finally verbalized that to Rachel and in doing so, laid the ghost, so to speak.
Wednesday's courses were challenging, but I felt up to the task. Lots of rollbacks and bending lines galore - and boy were they fun! Rachel said it was some of the best riding she's seen from me. Hopefully I can keep it up!

Monday, November 7, 2011

This past week...

...has been a fun one (blah lesson notwithstanding)!
Wednesday's lesson was...mediocre. For some reason, I seem to have developed a lead foot when it comes to long approaches. I keep my leg on unnecessarily after we've turned to our jump and so every stride gets longer and longer until - oh crap! - I can't see a distance whatsoever and Keenan is forced to take off super long or chip. I don't know when this started happening or why I can't seem to knock it off, but it's really setting me back - and making me look like an idiot.
Actually, I think I know how it's come about. I think I'm so anxious to have a good canter and keep Keenan in front of my leg that I forget that a.) a good pace DOESN'T mean you have to freakin' steeplechase over the jumps and b.) once I have the proper canter, I can stop squeezing and keep that canter. Sounds like the classic "Missy is trying to do too much and she's getting in Keenan's way" scenario. Hopefully knowing is half the battle.

Thursday kind of made up for a less-than-stellar lesson. Henri and I drove up to TREC to deliver a check that I had forgotten to leave the day before. Henri has been to the barn a handful of times before, but he has either been sleeping or too little to really be interested in the goings-on. Well this time he was wide awake and very interested!
When we got there, Rachel had just warmed up Keenan and was getting ready to school him over fences. Henri was fascinated. This was perfection, as far as he was concerned - he was bundled in mom's arms, enjoying the fresh air and watching something big move around. All his favorite things! After Keenan's workout, we visited him in the cross-ties and that's when the real fun began. I took Henri over to show him how we gently pet horses' soft noses. He caught on immediately and was soon stroking Keenan's nose all by himself. Then, before I knew it, his little hand made its way right up Keenan's nostril! Ewww, horse boogers! Fortunately, I caught Henri's hand before he put it in his own mouth and managed to wipe it clean. Keenan, bless his heart, didn't bat an eye - he actually seemed to enjoy the attention. He was sure enthralled by little Henri! In fact, he was so enthralled, that when I stepped back to talk to Kristine and Rachel, he reached out and started tickling the bottoms of Henri's feet with his upper lip. So cute! Lead line classes in a few years anyone?

Finally, we took Henri to my favorite tack store, Gallops, for the first time on Saturday. I had money burning a hole in my pocket and have been desperately in need of new show breeches (I ended up getting a pair of FITS Bekas in tan and a pair of chocolate brown Devon-Aires to school in). Henri enjoyed all the interesting things there were to look at, as well as the rich leather smell. He even took his first pony ride - well, a rocking pony, that is. Keep it up, my little equestrian!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's that time of year again!

Time for Racing's Greatest Day: the Breeders' Cup! Admittedly, I have next to NO idea about any of the horses who are racing (except champion turf mare Goldikova), but that doesn't matter. This is the event that solidified my passion for horses. The 1995 Breeders' Cup is my favorite of them all, and no Thoroughbred will ever come close to Cigar's place in my heart (well, Thoroughbred RACEHORSE, that is!).
Here's hoping all horses and jockeys have safe trips and that we see some true champions crowned this Friday and Saturday. And hey, let's bring back the iron horse - or, as they say, breed more Secretariats! Or Cigars.