Thursday, September 18, 2014

Trail Practice

Here is a quick snap from our trail practice two nights ago. It was our first pass at the bridge (technically second, but I didn't have the camera ready for the first pass). I was so elated that Abbey stepped right up, walked over, and stepped off without falling off the side, panicking, or being a spaz in any way. All of the disappointments I was feeling about not being as ready as I wanted to be to show with the big kids evaporated in that moment, and I almost cried with joy. I was really having a hard time with all of our setbacks, and especially with her being so witchy and angry. That seems to have dissipated for the time being, so thank goodness for a happier horse.
Trail Pony - Deluxe Edition
Her lope is still not what it should be, and she is definitely heavier than ideal after lots of time off over the past few months, but we will get back to things and start working towards next show season this winter. By then hopefully we will be solid one-handed and ready for the big-pony classes with loping. We may even try for some hunt seat and showmanship, but that all depends on the almighty dollar and how much I have to spend on saddles and show stuff for myself. I have learned that even when you buy things second hand they still cost a pretty penny. I got one of my jackets from Show Me Again and it was a pre-owned item from Wood's Western. It was a great price, and I was able to have it altered to fit me a little better. Whoever owned it before had crazy-long monkey arms, or was a super model.
Altered and ready for action!
After getting my jacket back from being altered and having it fit me perfectly, I am beginning to feel more confident. Things are falling into place. I will say that as much as I love all things sparkly, I have never owned something as bedazzled as my two show jackets (the other one is coated in rhinestones). And I'm not gonna lie, I am pumped about how shiny I will be. For a totally tomboy who lives in leggings and workout gear which is mostly all black, I sure do enjoy getting gussied up every now and then.

As a special bonus, my mom is coming up from Florida for a visit, and she is letting me drag her to the show this weekend. Even at 34, I fee like a little girl getting ready for a dance recital, or a play, or a crew meet. I was never nervous to have my parents watch me as a kid, but for some reason I am now. I feel a little silly, but I know she is so proud of me. I suppose that doesn't ever go away for a parent, no matter how big your kids get. I am a lucky girl to have been loved and supported by them as much as they have. My hubby may or may not come, and certainly will only make an appearance if I ask. That used to bug me, but I am more okay with it now. He didn't grow up with parents at every single event that he ever did, so he just doesn't get the idea of going to watch someone run a half marathon or ride a horse around a ring. I have grown to understand that just because he isn't right there it doesn't mean he doesn't love and support me. And I may just ask him to please come one of the two days, just for me.

I am going to practice some more tonight, but it really is more about the miles that Abbey and I have covered together in the past two years rather than this last-minute stuff. The work has to come one day at a time, inch by inch, and the last few days before a show are just more to reassure yourself that you are ready... at least that's what it seems to be to me right now. For now, we will show in walk/trot pleasure, horsemanship, and trail. I feel a little self-conscious that I will be showing with people in the 13 and up category and I'm more than twice that age, but I will keep my chin up and heels down and be proud of where we stand today.


  1. I always want to do a bridge with my baby horse but i am afraid he'll just freak.

    1. P.S. to my comment below - trainer says flat bridges are far easier for them than the rounded ones, so start there if you can.

  2. I started out walking her over it in-hand last summer, but haven't done it in forever. My trainer told me to go for it, and I was so nervous about it. She actually did way better with it under saddle than on her own, I think since my legs were there to support her. Baby steps though. If my trainer hadn't been there I would have hand-walked Abbey over a few times both ways, then done it under saddle. She is used to a step-up trailer and I think that helps also. Trainer had me stop Abbey in front of it and check her a little and lean forward to get her to look at it and maybe even sniff it before we went over it... Abbey barely glanced at it and just motored right over, which is actually not ideal for trail class as they want to see control and thought from the horse and the rider with intention in each movement. We practiced again last night and my trainer's daughter had her little mini, Noodles, out walking over the bridge and Abbey almost came apart at the seams. Mini alone = fine. Bridge alone = no problem. Mini + Bridge = ohmyfuckinggodwhatthehellisthat horse. Never a dull moment.

    Your baby has seen a lot more of the world than my girl, so I think he will take it like a champ :) I'll look forward to that post from you, and maybe I will work on some baby cross rails with Abbey this winter :) Helmet not optional on that one for sure!

    1. D'oh! Keep thinking I am hitting the "reply" button. I feel like a doofus.