Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Jump Panels!

My friend Kim texted me last week to say she wanted to work on a new project for our trainer, Anne. I love doing anything artsy, so I was definitely in! We primed the wood last Wednesday, then on Thursday, Kim, our friend Alex, and I designed and painted four different designs. We made two panels but did a did a different design on each side.

The diamond panel was inspired by Kim's daughter Macy's cross country helmet cover. I love how bright the colors are and the diamonds turned out perfect!
The other side of the diamonds is a chevron pattern.

The green and white checkerboard pattern seemed like a simple idea. But it is really busy and much scarier than we expected. The first day the panels were up was a Pony Club lesson day. One of the ponies stopped at this side of the panel but went over all the others. Then yesterday in my lesson, I had my first run out EVER on Jack coming up to this jump!! He looked and was wiggly to all the other sides, and I never would have expected that from him. He usually jumps anything! I guess we did our job!

Here's Macy, Kim, and me with our masterpiece, the eventing panel. I traced images of cross country, dressage, and stadium onto the panel and then we filled in the lines with teeny tiny brushes. I love this panel!

It was funny when we were planning, we kept saying, "What will spook the horses?" With eventing, we want them to jump anything, so we wanted to do bright designs that they might see at a show. We definitely accomplished that with the stops and run outs they have already caused! It definitely made me ride more defensively after my stop, so I learned a good lesson to keep my leg on and ride straight to the jump in a more defensive position.

Our next project will be this summer when we refresh all the poles and standards. We will have the most beautiful jumps ever!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Riding With Heidi and Jack

Yesterday was a slightly chilly but brilliantly sunny day. I had a really hard workout at the gym at lunchtime, so by the time I got on Jack after work, I just wanted to play around with him and not work too hard. He was happy to comply.

Here he is watching some of the other horses get caught to come in for the evening. Don't you love his sticking up mane? I worked so hard over the winter to train it to lay to the right. But once I pulled it, it popped back up!

It was hard handling a camera and two sets of reins! Not that I needed to do anything other than hold them in one fist. We only need the gag rein when we're jumping so he actually half halts. The rest of the time I only use the snaffle rein. It's just a regular eggbutt snaffle then, and he goes great in it!

I am trying out these field boots. A barn friend doesn't wear them and thought they might fit me. I need new boots, so I figured I would give them a shot. They have a zipper up the back, and I'm not totally sold on that idea. I know the zippers need to be replaced once in a while, and I also like traditional pull-on tall boots. So we'll see what I decide. They're cute, though!

Here's my self portrait in a couple of the arena mirrors. Jack and I did a little jumping outside just for fun, then wandered back up here to finish up. He was a good boy and it was fun to just mess around with him.

And if you want to know what it's like to walk around on Jack, here's your answer! I thought it would be fun if I could take a video while riding. I might try it again when I'm using my dressage bridle so I have fewer reins to worry about. Then I could trot or do something else. Jack was just happy and relaxed. What a great day!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Is It Spring Yet?

This is the view out my back window this morning. Don't we live in Washington and not Minnesota?

The dogs and I ran around in the downpour. Molly ate snow and Dylan gazed up into the sky admiring the fluffy flakes. I guess it's better to just enjoy it while it lasts... spring should be on its way soon!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

No Stirrups!

This is just a short video Dave took yesterday. It will give you an idea of how my helmet cover looks when I'm riding, but please forgive the poor video quality. It's what you get with a point and shoot camera! I was working on my legs and riding without stirrups. I did some sitting trot, posting trot, and canter in both directions. Ouch! Even if your legs are strong, they burn at some point when going stirrup-less. I have been working on building up my endurance in jump position so I will be ready for cross country schooling and the Area VII Adult Riders' Camp that I just signed up for in May. Six instructors, some of them Olympians, riding two lessons a day for three days. I am pumped!