Thursday, August 14, 2014

Moving up to Training Level! And Barn Slumber Party

 Friday I rode without my trainer again because some of the other girls were at a show, preparing for dressage championships. I trotted around the dressage arena, working on serpentines and then leg yields at the walk. They are getting better! I'm able to get Chester to actually go sideways, which is good. After a successful one, I did some more trotting to reward Chester, then went through my dressage test, Intro Test C, without cantering because Meghan wasn't there. I've been doing a lot of cantering lately though so maybe next time I can do a little bit without my trainer. As I rode I worked more on getting Chester to look to the inside.

 Monday, I had a really good lesson. Before trotting, I did some walk legs-yields in both directions. I seem to be better at going right, but I am improving at getting Chester to go over not take a diagonal. After some trotting and serpentines, I began a new dressage test, Training Level 1. Meghan says I should work on this one so that when I do get a horse, I can start competing at Training and skip Intro altogether. Training level tests have a lot more cantering. The test goes like this: Enter at A working trot, X halt salute. At C, track left, circle at E, then begin another circle at A. When at centerline, canter the rest of the circle, down the long side of the arena, doing a half circle at B, trotting at E, and heading back to A. Stretchy trot at A and walk at the corner by F. Head across the diagonal to H and do the same thing the other way, heading up centerline after the stretchy trot.

  The test went fairly well the first time I went through, except for me loosing my stirrup during the circle right. I continued to canter because I hadn't really lost my balance, but at E Chester began evading the circle. I pushed him back on the circle and continued the test.

 The second time through was better. The canter transitions were good and my geometry was for the most part correct. I focused on getting ready for the half circle at E before I reached the letter so Chester wouldn't move to the side again. I also pushed him with my outside leg. I love this test and can't wait to try it some more.

 After the test, I put Chester on a circle left at A and worked on getting his head to lower for the stretchy trot. It is much like getting a horse one the bit; I squeezed the inside rein to encourage him to lower his head. He doesn't always lower his head because it's harder form him to balance, but I managed to get his head to lower a bit.

 I stayed after my lesson because all the girls Meghan trained were sleeping at the barn that night. I gave Chester a shampoo bath, then Anica and I washed the lesson horses to cool them down. We also helped feed them grain and supplements before cleaning tack. When everyone was there, all the girls got on bareback, including myself. Chester has a bareback pad so it's more comfortable than without. We all took turns trying to see if we could sit the trot all the way around. I gave it a try, and manage to do it. It's fun, though it makes my legs sore.
After swapping mounts. I'm on Roxy, the bay with the blue ear bonnet.

 The more experienced girls cantered, and then we all swapped mounts until everyone had gotten a chance to ride every horse, except two of them(one had come home from a show the day before and was tired, and other is a more hot tempered Thoroughbred). I rode a bay gelding named Bentley first. Bentley is trained to 2nd level and has smooth gaits. Next, I rode Roxy, the speedy bay Thoroughbred mare that Anica owns. I had to slow her down because she went so fast she half-cantered. Finally, I rode Frankie, an older bay that doesn't have a lot of go. His back was a bit bony, but his trot is smooth and easy to sit.

 Swapping mounts was fun; we all gained experience riding a new horse, especially bareback.We cooled out around the property on our own mounts and had a scavenger hunt at night.

 In the morning, several other girls and I rode(with saddles, except for Anica) and took turns practicing our dressage tests. It was nice to ride together. I had a lot of fun and I love the new dressage test.

 Also, if any of you are on Facebook you can find me here. Just let me know that you read my blog and I'll accept your request.


  1. AWESOME! Bareback is great for developing your seat, and riding other horses is tons of fun =) sounds like a great experience

  2. Looks like fun! I sent you a request :) Be prepared for a lot of horse photos, lol.

  3. It sounds like you had a great time! I'm glad that you are having so much fun with your riding and at the barn :)

  4. What a fun time! You are really improving in leaps and bounds -- you go girl!


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