So as many of you have probably already read, I hung out with Karen from Spanish Walk and L.Williams from Viva Carlos at the Diamond Jubilee Horse Show on Sunday. It’s my first time being over in Del Mar so I was really excited for that and definitely excited to meet them for the first time.
Before I hit the show, I stopped by Mary’s Tack and Feed to pick up a few things for Scarlet. And of course, to drool. And drool I did. I don’t need most of the things in there but boy did I want them. But I’d have to have way more money than I do in order to get them.
The show was really fun. L and Karen are awesome and I’m really glad we got to meet up. We talked a ton and watched all the classes. I may have a part saddlebred but I know nothing about saddleseat.
I know the people at the show worked hard and they all looked great, but I couldn’t help but think that it has to be uncomfortable for the horses to have someone sit that far back while they invert their back and run with their head straight up. And their front hooves are so long. Sometimes they even had what looked like platform shoes on.
We got the hang of what the judges were looking for after a while and were able to pick out the top horses with regularity. Of course, most of the classes has two or three participants so we had a pretty good chance. But we did well in one class that had six and the big class of eleven as well so I’d say we picked up a bit. It was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to the next hangouts.
Despite wearing a bunch of sunblock and my sun shirt, I still managed to get burnt so I stayed inside and layered aloe lotion Monday.
Tuesday, I went out for a short ride. Scarlet was listing pretty well and I worked on getting a more connected feeling on our outside rein through serpentines. It was hard and he really really does not want to bend to the right and put his weight in the left rein. I didn’t want to do too much as I still wanted to stay out of the sun so I didn’t do much more than a warm-up. After cantering, we worked on a bit of lateral movement. Scarlet has a lot of stiffness in his right side so leg yields to the left are hard. We did them both directions at both the walk and the trot. He did his best at the trot but he sucks back a lot there. I need to work on getting those to happen with more forward movement rather than just sideways. A work in progress for sure.
After the leg yields, I took the advice I’d gotten from Karen and L, relaxed my butt, kept my knees away from the saddle (ie not squeezing) and did two laps of sitting trot. O.M.G. I’ve ALWAYS had trouble with the sitting trot and no explanation has really helped me with it. Somehow, these ladies nailed it on the head. I was able to sit to the rhythm and absorb it. Scarlet wasn’t sure about just trotting while I was sitting. He’d much rather canter. But he wasn’t objecting to me sitting, which is super good.
After we left the arena to cool out. I’ve been doing that the last few rides to get him accustomed to walking around the barn and seeing new stuff. He seems to like it. I felt oddly brave and decided to turn him onto the path that leads to the trail to see how far he would go without freaking out. He went farther from the rest of the horses than I would have guessed he would. He was so brave! He then ate all his grain, which was a mixture of the old LMF Senior and the new Integrity Senior that I picked up at Mary’s after discussing what I needed with their feed guy. Being brave must be connected to being hungry.
I think I’ll try it every once in a while as a cool out thing to see if we can inch ourselves further down the trail each time.