Blog Banner

Blog Banner

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Debbie Stephens Lesson

Those of us who live in Florida are incredibly lucky to have access to lessons with the best of the best of the best.  Until now, I haven't really taken advantage of their proximity for a number of reasons.  I suck as a rider.  No money.  Not a great horse.  No money.  Still suck a rider.  No money.  Great horse.  No money.  Still not a great rider.  I am sure you are getting the picture.........

Lauren finally convinced me that I should take a lesson with Debbie Stephens. (In case you don't know, Debbie has ridden on Nations Cup Teams, Pan Am Games, etc.).   Lauren got a lot out of Debbie's lessons on Maven, her 2* horse.  Debbie is close to us (45 minutes).  Debbie is also back in town, from 4 months of showing up and down the East coast.  As I have a fantastic red pony mare in the barn, I finally agreed with Lauren and figured I could at least try.
My biggest concern is my wonderful ability to panic in a stressful situation.  This can happen when I ride for any dressage judge I know (IE going off course with Bill Woods judging).  I also apparently love to get the "deer in the headlights" look when approaching jumps I am unsure of, like drops into water.  Lauren said I'd be fine, but I am known for over-thinking riding, getting embarrased and then turning off my brain.  Not really a great set up for a lesson with Debbie.  Lauren was optimistic; I'm not sure why as she was present for the full blown panic I had prior to my first Novice).  I think Lauren forgets the bad things easily.....or at least on purpose.

I did manage to stay on, even when we almost fell in the rain.  I also managed to get yelled at, for forgetting where I was going.  Debbie asked me why I rode to the fence like I was day-dreaming about something else (I am sure that was my deer in the headlights look).  I did finally get it all together, however.  Farrah was amazing, and Debbie said I shouldn't let Karen O'Connor see her.  I knew Farrah was scopey, but not THAT scopey.  Debbie said Farrah is a freak of nature.  THAT I already knew!

Lots of fun and we'll have to try it again....I'm thinking a cocktail ahead of time might be a good idea for me!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The redhead soars........

Over the fences.  Even when her owner doesn't exactly get out of the way.  Sigh.  One day I won't look at pictures of me jumping and think "good lord, that is embarrassing".  At least, that is what I hope.

I am not sure why I insist on sticking my elbows out like a chicken.

Maybe one day I will get it right!  Now, on to Debbie Stephens for a jump lesson on Sunday.  Then Wednesday is Bill Woods for dressage and we are then primed and ready for Training at Rocking Horse.  Or so I hope.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rockstar Farrah

A year ago this month, I was contemplating my first ever event.  For myself and the red head.  We ran that BN course (we were 2nd) and I had the most fun I'd ever had on a horse.

This past weekend we went schooling at Longwood Farm in Ocala.  The goal was to see if we are truly ready for training level.  Farrah carried me to every question that was asked and loved it!  Drop fence into a sunken road, up and over a log on a hill, to a drop bank 3 strides to a chevron.  Riding her, I could feel her thinking "Why have you been keeping so much fun from me?  This rocks!"  And so the XC rockstar is ready.

I am not so sure I am ready, but I am certainly willing to try.  We'll do that same schooling show as last year and see where we are at!

Yeah Pony!

Friday, September 9, 2011

And so the red pony likes Big Jumps!

Photo by Dawn Riddle

And so we have found that Farrah likes the bigger fences!

As in pull you to them, yippee!  Ah well, we'll work on that.  You have the perfect distance and then she has to override your decision, making her work harder to get over the fence as she is then too close to the base.  Letting my trainer (Lauren DeNeve) ride her a bit now!

After almost a month of no riding (Farrah got a respiratory infection) she is GAME ON.  Which is a good thing, considering we are schooling Longwood in a week and attempting Training for the first time in October (schooling show venue).

I am so proud of the little red-head, opinions and all!