Starting with the best stuff: So we've been having trouble with our canter departs. And when I say "we," I mean "I." Rev can do prompt, balanced, quiet departs with MT, but with me, all I'd been getting is bouncy faster trots. My fault entirely. On Saturday, when MT rode her, he narrated his canter aids for me briefly. I'm not sure if he knew how much trouble I'd been having, but whatever the case, the narration made the difference. On Sunday, when I rode, I decided that I was going to try what MT had said and then make. it. work. And I'm damned if it didn't!! :D
We had a lovely, rhythmic canter that I felt would go on as long as I wanted it to without her falling out of it. Matterafact, she started to slow down at one point, and I was able to just squeeze and get her to not falter. What's more, I felt like I was riding it correctly! I could feel my hips swinging and my butt stuck to the saddle, and everything was smooth. Bliss!
It was a little harder getting the canter to the right -- everything with us is harder to the right -- but I got it.
And better yet, the person who'd ridden before me had been practicing cantering over ground poles; just two poles at about 5 strides. So ... we had a canter. We had ground poles. We had the inclination to play a little.
WE CANTERED THE GROUND POLES!! :D I know, it sounds like such a simple, easy thing, why would I be excited about it? Well ... yknow, you take your victories where you find them. :) It's the beginning of jumping! She jumped a teeny tiny bit, just basically a little bouncier canter stride, and I was right there with her. No problems. It was SO fun and SO rewarding! I haven't felt that delighted on a horse in a long time. Thinking about it still makes me grin and tear up a little. Yes, I know, I'm overenthusiastic. It feels a lot better than the edge of despair I'd been having, so ... yep, I'll keep it!
I'd also asked MT if it was realistic for me to plan on entering the crossrails class at the next event derby. His daughter (the super-high-level rider and oughta-be-Olympian) said, with some skepticism, "well, has your horse jumped yet?" She has, on the line, but not under saddle. MT made my entire weekend by saying "Well, let's start jumping her!" I asplode with excitement. ;) Seriously. SO FREAKING EXCITED. :) Jumping!!
So -- in other awesome news, it looks like this summer is going to have a lot of great stuff going on at the barn.
- In the first week of April, we'll have the first Test of Choice night. I hope to get our canter departs ready for Training 1.
- The weekend after the TOC night will be the first stadium/cross-country clinic of the season, at home. As long as our jumping is going okay, I am SO THERE. Finally I get to ride in a clinic instead of just audit!
- Lots of little shows starting up in May, and I will probably start out just going with some friends and paying the grounds fee to just ride her around, get her used to the environment. If I'm feeling froggy and up to it, maybe I'll post-enter a class, but ... still. No huge expectations.
- In June, MT, TW, and TD (Their Daughter) will be running a Camp. Two and a half days, two riding sessions a day, educational seminars in between, including how to walk a cross-country course and how to walk a stadium course and then how to ride the courses based on your walk. And more stuff too. This could not be more perfect for me. Heh -- they designed it with the Pony Clubbers and 4-H kids in mind, but I am SO going to join in. My friend Kate might go too, and hopefully Crystal -- we'll be the geezers of the group. :) Super excited about this.
- I think I'll be able to go to the derbies up in Bellevue and other places around here, too. And the Test of Choice nights go on every first Wednesday of every month, and I'm all in for that.
- And so much more. Just ... squee! :D