Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

A horsey post . . .

A random post for the horsey crowd that's still sticking by this blog even as it's drifted from it's purpose (thanks guys!)...

So I've been thinking recently about the benefits of XC. Over the last month I've taken three riders from H/J world out on their first ever XC run, and every single one of them came back with a stronger position and significantly more confidence. The change I've seen in them has, across the board, been amazing. And while I'd love to take credit for that (yeah a 2h private lesson can work wonders but still :) some of it has to be the activity itself. Position gets stronger because I won't let them go out w/o a solid base so some effort gets applied in the warmup *g* And then once that's done they tend to keep it. But *also* because your position has to be strong to ride up and down hills and over changing terrain. And self preservation kicks in. You ride downhill in a reasonably controlled manner and find you're losing your balance, you're going to sit up. Etc etc. Do this often enough and you'll find both your balance and your timing improving. And then of course, the confidence improves because "oh my god I jumped *that*!!!!" and suddenly you trust your horse more because well, if they jumped scary fence X, this little hunter fence is suddenly not nearly so intimidating. hahaha I'll prob write that up in a better form later -- in the interim - any other XC benefits?

Had to laugh the other day. Was chatting w/ an epitomic AA (that'd be adult amateur :) rider the other day about her show season. She's doing schooling level H/J and forever happy there. Just wants a nice safe horse that she can go out and have some fun on and the shows she attends are far more about the social environment than the actual competition. But I thought it was so perfectly summed up by this: "Why am I here? Well I put these braids in his mane. And I did a really good job. And he looks beautiful. So I wanted other people to see him." hahaha end of story. But I just thought it was sooooo perfect and so far from my own mindset that I could really appreciate it. It reminded me of N and I watching some kid riding across the finish line on XC @ Checkmate cheering and her telling me "now you should be doing that when you cross the finish line" -- n it was a great reminder of hey, this is a baby level not the Olympics and by the way, it's supposed to be FUN! Every once in a while I think we do have to step back from the competition side of things and remember why we started... And for the record -- I was grinning ear to ear by the end of the run :) Also have to say I will never again consider "nice braids" from a dr judge the kiss of death -- it will forever more translate to "have fun jumping!" hahaha

Manage to draw more strange "crazy eventer" looks from hunter land again tonight. With the sun setting so much earlier, I've moved all my lessons earlier so they can keep going -- this means I now ride my horse after dark instead of mid afternoon. Said horse has been off for the last two wks or so so it's been a non-issue, but today was to be the first real ride. I get there shortly after 8 and it's almost dark. So I tack up my pony and head outside to ride - to the serious consternation of the 6 or so hunter people all crammed into the indoor. So I go outside and proceed to have an amazing ride. And yes of course I did a safety check before I got on -- no jump cups, pylons, random poles etc scattered anywhere that we could run into/over in the dark so it was all good. The ring is flat - can't get easier terrain. AND there was even light spilling out of the indoor, so it wasn't really all that dark. Used to ride under the stars at the last barn -- that was always beyond amazing. I mean seriously -- horses have decent night vision and once they get over their natural "monsters come out at night" spookiness, they're usually just fine. And I tell ya, it takes all the distractions away. Can focus entirely on what you're feeling and what your horse is doing. And it's quiet (albeit less so where I am now, but still). And you should've seen the dressage we had happening -- I didn't realize Miss Sienna could move like that! The combo of rider entirely focused and horse entirely high made for some ummmmm interesting maneuvers Gotta admit though, this is not something I'm going to try and convince HPs to try -- not because there's anything bad or scary about it, but because I'm going to be selfish and enjoy having a nighttime ride to myself :) hahaha is that bad of me? ah well -- the secret's out -- I'm human. Mostly.



Yes you did have a giant smile on your face, I remember it well... probably because I got to see it a whole lot more during the rest of the summer. Not to mention I was able to experience the smile quite a few times myself this summer, its a good smile to have.

God I miss having that smile...cross...riding....having that smile after riding cross... :P


hahaha was a fun summer. Way too short. Next year we need to get you to some shows too! Like as in as an actual competitor :)


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