Sunday, October 23, 2011

October trail ride

Camilla and I, along with one of Camilla's friends, went on a trail ride in a nearby state park this evening. The weather was great and the foliage was beautiful. I rode in a hunt-seat saddle with short stirrups, and that felt really strange! I wasn't quite sure what to do with my upper body. But other than one unplanned dismount (ducks are scary!) which ended with me landing on my feet, I did pretty well. Huey enjoyed himself too. I hadn't been on a real trail ride in ages.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Texas bound, once again

I should probably just stop posting Willow updates, because just as soon as I publish, things change. Half a day after my previous post, I received a message from the eventing trainer in Liberty Hill, Texas, that she has two, and possibly three, students now interested in Willow. So, once again, the plan is to send Willow to Liberty Hill. If the logistics work out, she'll be hauled over on October 30. I'll likely let her spend the winter there, and if I can get her leased or sold there, great; if not, I'll think about bringing her back to Oregon in the spring. Unless everything changes again!

I had a good lesson on Huey last night. I'd been out of town for a week and for some reason forgot where to set my stirrup length, so I rode the whole lesson in stirrups two holes too long, which was pretty much like not having stirrups. I could have stopped and shortened the stirrups, but things were going well, and it really made me focus on keeping my legs quiet. Sitting trot felt really good.

There's a new gelding at trainer Leslie's barn -- a Hanoverian who is 18.1 hh. That's 6' 1" at the withers, for those of you playing at home.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Change of heart

About ten minutes after I wrote that last post, the prospective lease-to-buyer changed her mind about wanting to try out Willow. There have been a few nibbles since then, but nothing has come of any of them. And . . . and . . . I think I've decided I'm going to keep Willow and bring her back to Oregon.

She's been for sale for almost two years at this point, and I'm hearing that the people who have tried her have found her too sensitive. For such a freight train of a mare, she is terribly picky about the rider's balance and contact. The trainers have no trouble with her, but the amateurs who try her don't get along with her.

Additionally, in the intervening time I have been riding at a facility with no indoor arena. Where I have to scrape through the giant mud ball to find the gelding underneath. And I guess you might say I have gotten less persnickety about the barn I'm at. I no longer feel that I must be at a dressage show barn. Any facility with decent care and a covered arena will do.

I've been watching old videos of Willow and really liking what I see in them. Sometimes you have to get a little distance and see things with fresh eyes. I see a mare who was solid first level and schooling almost all of second.

Willow has really been enjoying learning to jump, so what I'm hoping for is this: 1) find a cheap but decent barn with a covered arena, and 2) find someone to pick up a half lease who would like to keep her jumping. I think she'd enjoy the variety, and I would really like not having to work her six days a week. Also, I'd like to find a way to keep riding Huey at least a couple days a week. Since I sent Willow away, I have met several riders in the jumper/eventing worlds, so I'm feeling much more confident that I can find a half-leaser than I was two years ago.

Isn't it strange how things work out sometimes?