Here there be dragons...

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

Day Two: Outdoor Adventures!

Day two was a fun follow up to day one.  Lots of riding, lots of playing with Sasha, and best of all, OUTSIDE!!!  Woohoo :)

We started out the day with setting fences for the jump school.   Both girls have done the "theory" of gymnastics before -- now time for the practical application of.   I suggested they build a placing pole to an x, one stride to a vert, two strides to an oxer.   And I left them to it.   Returning ten minutes later the pylons had all been cleaned up into a neat stack and two very puzzled girls were trying to think of what to do next.

hahaha well a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step right?  So a massive gymnastic starts with a pole. Put one pole on the ground.   Now what's next?   "An X"  Ok, where does that go?  There was a bit of deliberation, but they figured it out.  And put one pole there.  Hmmmm need a few more supplies to build an x... >;-P  But it did get built and with it came some confidence -- the vert was set very quickly.   The two strides to an oxer took a little more discussion, but eventually it was located in about the right place.  Only issue?  Nobody checked if the jumps lined up.  hahaha would've required a fair amount of skill to hit the center of each of those fences.   They tried for a few minutes to get the jumps to line up and were on the way, but in the interest of moving on to something more fun I cheated and told them where the jumps needed to go to get them lined up.   But all in all, once they got that first pole down it came together well.

The girls got their horses ready and the first ride of the day was on :)   We had a discussion about picking relevant warmup exercises and as a group decided on what needed to be done to prepare to jump the gymnastic they'd just built.  The focus of the warmup became straightness and adjustability.   Rebecca was doing a slightly different exercise, working on learning basic lateral work which Dixie was happy to oblige.  They got a great start on leg-yield and a solid canter.

Then it was time to jump!   D very quickly proved to be having more fun than Rebecca, so we did a quick horse trade and Olivia swapped her Nick for Dixie.   That gave R, who hasn't been jumping very long, a chance to have a quiet ride and focus on her position and gave O a chance to play a little higher and go a little faster :)   Arguably a *little* faster than she should've been going, but the giant grin on her face seemed to suggest she wasn't terribly concerned about this.  Meanwhile Chelsea was working super-hard on crazy-gluing her leg to her pony's side -- and did SUCH a good job of it, she got to break her old height record.  Woohoo!!!!

Ok so I taught a quick extra lesson while the girls took care of the ponies and did their stalls (btw - doing stalls is WAY more fun with multiple people :)   Then a lunch break, some wonderful weather, and discussion about how one memorizes dressage tests.  Homework?   You guessed it - memorize tomorrow's dressage test.  hahaha

Shortly after lunch the lights started flickering in horror-movie fashion.  Fun fun fun.  Then they went out for good.   Thankfully it was a bright sunny day out, so we didn't care all that much.  Apparently there was a tree on the hydro line -- we all went home before the power ever came back, but it made the afternoon tacking up a bit more entertaining :)

The on to the practice ride of the day with my three in training: Charlie, Jack and Athena.   Switched up today with Chelsea on Athena and Olivia on Charlie.  I started Jack again -- simply because he needs the most work *sigh*.   All three though were awesome.  I was really happy with them.  Also really happy with the girls -- they're starting to do a lot more than go around the outside :)   I saw some lateral work, some interesting figures, some transitions, and for a while Athena on the bit!   Way to go Chelsea!   As for my rides - Jack was trying really hard today.   Got some decent bending and moments of lightness.   Will never be my favourite type of ride, but I figure that's why it's almost more important that I ride him; best way to improve right?  I will *love* it when I get him to the point where he can carry himself though.  Can't. Wait.  Got on Charlie next and he was lovely.  Best ride I've had on him yet.  Still weaker right than left, but he's balancing out faster than most horses.  And just keeps trying - he has such a good attitude.   After that I got on Athena while the girls put the boys away and brought their horses back in to get ready for the next ride.  It's a stretchy day for Athena so was a nice relaxing ride that I mostly spent enjoying the nice sunny warm day *g*

Then the last ride of the day was OUTSIDE!  The first outdoor lesson since we moved to the new place.  We played a bit splashing through puddles and exploring the new ring.  Both horses were alert but exceptionally well behaved.  Neither one put a foot wrong or ever broke gait.   Not bad for first/second  (Nick/Lissy) outdoor ride of the year and on a very windy day.  And *since* they were so well behaved, I was still able to teach the lesson I'd intended for indoors.   Sweet.   The focus was on accurately riding a 20m circle and on the difference between circles and corners.  Picky details, but important in dressage.   And by the end I was seeing a noticeable difference in their accuracy.  These girls work *hard*.

By this point we were, admittedly, a little late :)   But the girls put their horses away and got their tack cleaned in a fairly impressive amount of time so that their patient parents didn't have to wait tooooo long :)

And tomorrow the games continue :)  Woohoo!


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