Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Long Time No Blog

Wow! I've really been slacking on the blogging...not that I ever truly started. I suppose I was waiting for a good opportunity to write about Bailey and I so far, but in my life, there's never that much spare time. So maybe I'll just have to scatter that information in as I go, because I have lots to write about and I just can't wait any longer. I was thinking about this topic last night as I "put Bailey to bed," so I'll go ahead and share it.

Things Bailey and I have in common:

1. Neither of us are morning people.
I am not a morning person. I drag myself out of bed way too early, and I attempt to eat breakfast as I drive to school. I'm always borderline late for my first class. Bailey tends to leave most of her breakfast hay and doesn't even finish her grain in the morning, although she finishes it all when she comes back in for the evening. I can just imagine her groggy little self trying to get up in the morning.

2. Both of us prefer the outdoor arena.
I get to look at the pretty show jumps and practice taking Bailey through puddles in the spacious arena. And despite the sloppy puddles, scary show jumps, and neighboring goats, Bailey is much happier, calmer, and easier to control out there. The indoor arena feels cramped and Bailey is sure that the arena ghosts are going to get her. So we've come to an agreement for the moment, although she still has to behave in there if it's necessary to ride indoors.
(And do you see why we both like it so much? It's nice, and this picture only gets half of it, maybe. You can see a little over half of our indoor arena, too.)

3. Both of us need some confidence-builder fences before we can get down to business.
I've only jumped with safe schoolmasters until now, and Bailey has never had real or consistent jumping experience. Ok, maybe not the smartest combination, but it's a challenge and it's making me into a better rider fast. Once we get done with the first couple of refusals, Bailey realizes that maybe she can make it over, and I become determined enough to get us both over. Then we'll get used to the fact that we're (OMG!!) jumping, and do just fine. We're working on the whole refusing thing, and it slowly gets better with every lesson.

4. We both want to enjoy riding outdoors. Really, we do. Sometimes.
But there are lots of scary things that jump out, like the Killer Blue Heron 15 feet away from us. Bailey keeps on her toes in case Killer Blue Heron is lurking in the bushes again, and I'm on my toes in case she sees Killer Blue Heron, or his equally scary imposter (bush, leaf, horse, bucket). So we're both a little on edge. But I honestly do believe that when I can let myself relax, we'll learn to enjoy it. Just repeat, "Riding outside is fun. Riding outside is fun." It'll transfer into actuality eventually.

5. We both want to gallop on the track.
Unfortunately, we have different ideas on the execution of said gallop. It's been a childhood fantasy of mine to gallop my horse on the track. But it's mostly nervous excitement for Bailey.

6. Lastly, our feet.
They're flat and they need more special attention than they've gotten in the past. Bailey is finally getting the farrier care she needs. And me? I might shop for shoes that legitimately fit my awkwardly-shaped feet if I ever stop spending money on Bailey. Maybe after show season...

Things Bailey and I don't have in common:

1. Our appetite.
I want to eat food all the time! I swear I'm always hungry. Unfortunately, Bailey hasn't acquired this constant hunger, and I just can't stuff anymore food into her. She's just barely below perfect weight, but she still needs the extra to make her look less like a little thoroughbred and more like a fancy show horse.

2. Our will to jump.
I want to jump, I've wanted to since I first saw show jumping on TV as an eigh year-old. I've wanted to event ever since I learned about its existence. I have not done much jumping, nor have I had good jumping instruction until this year. I'm so eager to get out there and get over some fences. Bailey, on the other hand, has mixed feelings. The first few jumps are not exactly willing and they're not pretty. But once she gets going, she gets pretty excited about it and sometimes I get a tiny peek of a jumper. She's still not too sure about it.

3. Our jumping talent.
Completely different from my jumping will, my jumping talent is squat. Not that I've had much training yet, but I have plenty of bad habits that need fixing. My heels pop up, I forget to release, I get left behind, I get ahead, I round my back, forget to bend at the hips, and my timing is something that needs major work. Thankfully this doesn't all happen over every fence, but still. Jumping doesn't come naturally to me, but I hope that one day it will feel right. Bailey, unlike me, is a jumping superstar. She has wonderful form and really knows how to launch over the (foot tall) fences. Not that she needs to, but she does anyways. She has never knocked one down, but if she ever brushes a rail, she is QUITE SURE to get over it the next time. My trainer, who has an excellent eye for talent, has told me multiple times that I have a talented mare who could jump big jumps. Maybe one day, it'll happen...

Hopefully I'll begin to actually write more on here. My goal is one post per week, and I'll increase it as I incorporate blogging into my schedule. I still have lots of thoughts to share, and I'm still excited to share them.