Saturday, May 10, 2014

Lesson 96: Hacking Away and a Clinic!

I had a hack in place of a lesson, yesterday. It was the first hack I've ever been on, like ever. I've been on those really boring trail rides where every horse is just following the other in a line--pretty boring. While I was waiting for the class before me, to return, I was having an informal session on the Pessoa Lunging System. It's an interesting looking contraption of ropes, pulleys and clips. The system was invented by Nelson Passoa, an international show jumping rider from Brasil. The purpose of the system is to gradually encourage balance and a gradual build-up of the topline. One day, more information and lessons on lunging in general. So, back to the hack!

This was the first time I was expected to have full control of a horse in the open with a small group of people. I did ride Ariel and we went out with me being on hyper-alert and Ariel being on another type of hyper-alert. She was looking around everywhere and I was feeling more nervous than I thought I would. The scenery at that time is amazing... rolling hills and lush fields or vast farming lots with nothing done yet. It was certainly a different experience and I really want to do it more frequently b/c you just have to be "on" and Ariel's way more zippy out there.

We didn't do too much other than a few trots and lots of walking. It might not have seemed like much but that was enough of a start to get me some exposure because I didn't realize I was actually pretty tense. But, I look forward to going out again b/c I'm sure my confidence will become better in time. Of course, there's always a little bit of adventure at Gosling Stables and I managed to fall off of Ariel at the walk. That's right: she was walking and I fell off. LOL. I might sound pretty ridiculous just saying that but somehow, she tripped and she did a curtsey on her knees and I slid off over her head and landed on my feet. I know, I'm in complete disbelief too. While I was a bit shaken because falling off wasn't actually all that smooth and was mostly unexpected, I did my best to recompose myself.

We didn't intentionally canter though Ariel took off a few times when we were out in an open field and had a great time just going nuts... which doesn't make sense to me because you leave her in her paddock and she does nothing but eat. Then, you get on her and she just wants to run around all over the place. I'm excited to go again and hope that there will be plenty of more opportunities!

Tonight, I went to the show clinic where the standard rules (+Laura details one of her clinics about showing here) were reviewed and we just learned the basics of what is required to show. It's a lot of work. Nobody really gets what it means, to get ready for a show. Well, the schooling shows the requirements are more lax and they're not as stringent on requirements but not at the Trillium + levels. I'm not showing at Trillium but many of the girls are. I'm usually the only adult in these sorts of things and I seem to have many friends who are 13 or so. It's funny because I actually like them better than my coworkers who are of similar age.

We started with the "classroom" stuff where we reviewed the information about feed and each horse's specific diet. We then proceeded to other health related things like taking a horse's vitals: temperature, respiration rate and heart rate. When we went down to get our hands dirty, we worked with the horse we primarily ride/part-board. I don't part-board but I ride twice a week and Ariel is my primary mount. In addition to taking her temperature rectally, we measured her height, weight, girth size (that's pretty variable though), bridle size, bit size, blanket size and boot/wrap size. There is a lot to learn about these animals! And I'm so happy I went because this is the sort of thing I wanted to get more familiar with. I'm really excited that we did that and I'm looking forward to learning more! :)

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