Monday, March 21, 2011

Camp: Day 1

I am currently propping myself up at my trainer's desk, trying to stay awake while a video she took uploads so my dear husband can convert it to .wmv. It occured to me that this would be the perfect time to make my first camp post. I can't go to bed for twenty minutes, and that's just about the right amount of time.

Drawings and photos will have to wait until I'm a touch more coherent. This is not a trip for the faint of heart. The twenty hour drive is a beast all on it's own, but when combined with hours in the saddle every day? I'm sleeping earlier than I have in months and it's a struggle to not have a nap in the afternoon. The weather has been glorious, with temps in the 80's and sun while back home they deal with another blast of cold and snow. It makes the drive so much more bearable.

We arrived Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday we only did a walking hack to help loosen the horses up after the long haul. Today started camp proper, with a dressage lesson, a lunge line lesson, and then a big stadium jumping school. My trainer hasn't seen Fiona since January, so it was nice to show the progress that we made while locked in the tundra. She did very well in her dressage lesson. We even had civilized canter departs! Clearly the 24/7 turnout is agreeing with her. The princess has her own paddock that is probably about a quarter acre with paddocks all down the row with horses to keep her company. She has rolled so much that I will never get all of the South Carolina sand out of her coat.

As always, I was a bit of a nervous wreck for my jumping school. Because the princess lacks patience, I decided to wait and play photographer/jump crew while the rest of the group jumped. I didn't tack until almost everyone was done. That part worked well for me, but her next door neighbor in the paddocks was calling for her from the second she walked away. This was a bit distracting. Okay, it was a lot distracting. After our first warm up cross rail he called for her and she immediately dove right to see him. Minor detail there was a pine tree in the way. I got the limb right to my face. Those that saw it said it was very amusing. I was less amused.

Aside from the warmup, I was all smiles. We actually completed a Beginner Novice height course, the whole course jumped from a canter. It was such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment to jump that last jump and think 'we did it, we really did it'. Good thing we did, since we have a two phase schooling show on Wednesday and we're entered at Beginner Novice.

Tomorrow is dressage in the morning and pace work in the afternoon. Galloping? I suspect that Fiona will be all over that. I'm bringing the metal bit. Just in case.

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