Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Freestyle and Liberty Testing

This morning I helped Suzy load up Thai and head out. She let me put Tim Sullivan on my laptop. I gave her a big hug and she drove off. She is an amazing lady and a very good friend.

I hustled out as soon as we were dismissed for Freestyle testing. After warming Blu up to saddle then to ride, I made haste for Arena Grande. The grand plan was to warm up Blu in Arena Grande down by the end that Blu is nervous in.

I wanted take Blu a lap around the Arena Grande before testing to let him relax. Ryan was testing follow the rail and clover leaf in there, so that happened to work out great. I took Blu for a lap then we began our test. That lap was a good plan and then I only asked for the walk for our follow the rail, so Blu was great. I trotted the cloverleaf and Blu did a great job on that too.

Next we squeezed over barrels, did canter/back up yoyos, and controlled catastrophe with Elli. Blu did GREAT for all of it.

With Bonnie, we could not hold neutral lateral flexion without reins for 30 seconds, but he did have nice FQ and HQ yields without reins. His sideways without reins went well to the left, but not to the right.

Finally, Tanya watched us saddle from both sides, go through the cinching process, bridle from my knees, then mount and dismount from both sides. That went REALLY nicely.  Blu was such a partner by stepping to me when I waved my hand, taking the bit from me for bridling, and standing while I mounted. Thanks, Kristi.

We finished early and I took some time to wander around and cheer other students on as well as encourage others.

After lunch, freestyle testing began. Blu and warmed up in the 100' rp with transitions. All the testing for finesse was in the Arena Grande. With Elli, the test was to leg yield at the trot twice and to half pass at the walk, down 20m of a 60 m line each maneuver. Blu did well for where he is with understanding that.

Our canter to walk transitions at the far end did not go well, in fact, cantering was rough after waiting in line--his impulsion went out. He got a bit emotional, too. We did haunches and shoulder -ins and he got emotional again.

Next, we nearly killed Tanya Bennet in the canter circles with lead changes. Blu was making his first circle and began drifting out toward Tanya. Tanya jumped out of the way and I couldn't tell if it was theatrics or real, but I was glad she did. That is going to be a funny story for the scrapbook. But then Blu did a good job on the trotting circles after blowing out.

Finally, after all of the tightness and drama, Blu was relaxed for Bonnie's pattern. We trotted to her, halted for 7 seconds with a soft feel, 9-step back up, then did a FQ and HQ yield in each direction.

Testing finished early, again, so I had some free time to blog. Then the campfire started. I had my first burger--it was delicious. Campfire Wednesdays are always fun because Tim Sullivan is a great entertainer. Members of the community come over for the BBQ and Dennis cooks a mean bread pudding with tequila sauce for dessert. Tonight was so relaxing; testing was over and everyone really enjoyed one another's company.

Charity, a fellow fast tracker who is from Australia began to teach us the Fiador knot, but my roommates were tired so I only got 1/2 way through it. We went home, and watched a couple episodes of McLeod's Daughters and hit the hay.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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About Me

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I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

What We Are Currently Playing With

  • Moving Close Circles at Liberty
  • Soft, Balanced Canter on 45' Line
  • Zone 5 Driving