Sunday, July 22, 2012

Summer Riding (so far)

I'm home for the summer, and what do you suppose I have been doing? Well... the obvious thing, yes. I've been riding my horse! Finally, we've been able to have some regular lessons. While I'm at school, lessons are unfortunately somewhat few and far between due to all sorts of other commitments I could do without. 

My lessons have not been quite as I had hoped, because Jones hurt himself in the pasture again before I got home. He's always getting himself into scrapes with the other horses! Like my sister, he's the innocent-looking instigator, which is probably why she doesn't like riding him. He got an infection in that scrape, so the first lesson I had was on a different horse, Simon. My sister has been riding him a lot; I hadn't been on him since the first few lessons I had at our barn, maybe three summers ago? He was fun if kind of strange to ride. The second lesson I had--only the next day, after he got off the antibiotics--was on Jones. I just walked and trotted him around the ring. Thankfully he was sound! A few people commented on how good my equitation looked, which was gratifying. I think it was slightly unjustified because my shoulders are often collapsed forward. Something to work on! My leg has been looking a lot better, though. You can judge for yourself. 

I've also ridden a new horse, Hudson. He belongs to another girl at the barn and both Isabel and I have done some small jumps on him. He has a ton of suspension compared to Jones who, according to my instructor, "plods" around. Personally I like Jones's gait just fine but hunter judges prefer the more "floaty" movement so I have to learn to ride it. No questions about it, I had a bit of trouble adjusting. As always I stiffened up to start but managed to loosen up a bit after trotting around for a while. Unfortunately, none of the pictures I have of the pictures from riding him came out very well, so I'm not going to put them up. 

Since I am currently visiting my grandparents in Florida, I took a riding lesson at the carriage museum. The horse they put me on was this spunky dun fellow called CT. He used to be a polo pony, which explains a lot: the way he carries himself, his hard mouth, and his tendency to be really jumpy until you trot him around a little to relax him. 

Because of his rather lively personality, the photos of him are more entertaining to look at than the ones of Jones. I think it's fair to note that he did have a hard mouth and although I usually have soft hands, I had to really hold to keep him from galloping off. 

Needless to say, he was a really fun ride. My leg slipped forward a bit in some instances, but I'm not sure whether that was an underlying fault in my riding, or not being used to the saddle (it was weird), or not being used to the horse. It wasn't too egregious though.

All photo credits go to my mom, who was kind enough to sit out in the sun with my camera. 

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