Sunday, August 26, 2012

Having fun with the ponies

So things have been busy.  Not always ON the farm, either.  I figure if I'm going to keep up this blog (finally) I might as well keep chronicle my off-farm adventures as well as the on-farm ones.

So in that vein...  I have a new "ride"... meet Noble Rain ("Noble")... a 6 year old Thoroughbred/Appendix cross by Noble Houston.

pic taken during the Greenstone Hunter Show on 8/18/12

Noble is owned by Jennifer Shimp, owner of iTolt Training Center.  Jen has been gracious and generous in allowing me to ride Noble.  I've watched this horse grow up as he is out of an appendix mare named Rainy who was Char's turn-out BFF.  

Noble has been doing FANTASTIC!!  Friend and dressage rider Anita Mays has been working with him on his dressage and he's really coming along beautifully.  As for jumping, he's gone XC schooling (after only 2 jumping sessions), attended the Greenstone Hunter show (as pictured above) and just yesterday competed at the Greenstone Combined Test in both the Tadpole and Starter divisions.

For Tadpole (Intro C dressage, 18" jumps - combination of crossrails and verticals), he was pretty distracted in dressage.  I was told it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it went, and that's what the scores showed.  After a fairly non-existent halt earned us a 3, the rest of the scores were 5's, 6's and 7's, earning him a 39.5 penalty score.  Jumping went better than dressage and we got around clean (no time on the round) landing us in 4th place.

For Starter (Beginner Novice A dressage, 2' jumps), there were still some distracted "baby" moments.  Those times, like during our free walk, where he just kept looking for his buddies.  Oh well.  The scores were even better earning us a 35.5.  Jumping went better than the first round... a bit smoother which is what I was looking for.

Things to work on... besides the distractedness, he kept picking up his right lead during jumping, almost exclusively.  Also, just continuing to smooth out the jumping -- so he's jumping out of stride instead of picking at the fence and bunny-hopping it.

Riding adventures coming up:
Saturday, September 1st - Greenstone Hunter show -- showing Chiraz in Baby Novice
Saturday, September 15th - Stillwater Pony Club Hunter show -- showing Noble.  Not sure what level yet, but want to take him so we can do our dressage test in the dressage ring... then go school cross country... then enter a hunter class or 2.
Saturday, September 22nd - Bluegrass Pony Club's "Not Very Scary" Mini-Trial -- showing Noble in Puddle Jumper (2' division)

After that, we have to see but I hope to take Noble to the Octoberfest Horse Trials at the end of October... and with any luck, at Beginner Novice.

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