Oh my god this is going to be a long one so I’m actually going to break this up into a couple of days? I mean, there’s tons of pictures too for a variety of things so I’m just going to try to split up posts in three parts and make it over a couple of days as to not write a complete novel in this post.
So to start, Bella and I were supposed to go to the beach December 1st through the 3rd with a small group from the barn I worked at. Unfortunately my former boss had a family emergency. The other three went ahead and she and I rescheduled to go on our own. However we moved forward with the majority of our plans as far as bringing Bella back to that farm for the weekend so I could ride her in the ring a couple of times. We might not have trailered to the beach but we did at least get to go out and school. The farm has a really nice covered arena with lights so I got to ride three days in a row (gasp)!
Bella loaded up on Thursday and when we got to the farm I unloaded her and immediately tacked her up and headed down into the ring. This was sort of my test run on how she might react at shows this summer if I find the time and money to do that. She was actually fantastic. The trainer there was giving a lesson so we were in the ring with around 5 other girls on their horses and Bella was definitely alert and a little tense but we took our sweet time warming up and I really focused on riding for a relaxed canter. By the time the lesson was done she was good to go so we popped over a few of the low jumps set up. Bella chipped in and peeked at every single one (lol). It wasn’t my best display of riding but when we finally got our distance issues fixed I called it a night.
Bella really surprised me though (thank you Smartpack SMART Tranquility, seriously waiting for my sponsorship deal here). She was chill, she called out once, and even when tacking up she was pretty easy going. When I turned her out after riding she hung out in the round pen quietly and just waited while I got her hay and water together. I honestly expected screaming and galloping around, everyone who knows her did. She was great.
Friday she was still calm, and D said that she’d stayed calm through out the day and just hung out. She was great in the ring. At one point we were sharing with a couple beginners and then 6 other riders came in and began warming up for their lesson. It was a little bit too much so I decided to leave the arena and make use of the jumping field. We popped over four low fences and then called it a day on that as well. For the record I am completely against jumping the legs off your horse. I firmly believe that you should jump once a week as an average and actually less if you’re not preparing for anything. But I know a lot of riders don’t abide by that. We are probably going to jump once more this year because I’ll have another chance to use the ring at my old barn when we do actually head to the beach, but she’s pretty much done for the year.
I don’t like jumping so often because of the stress it puts on the legs and joints. I feel like if you can avoid it, you should. Flat work isn’t interesting to those who like to jump but it is an incredibly necessary part of riding and your rides should be focused around it. Jumper preaching flatwork aka Dressage? I got no shame!
I don’t have any pictures of this day (whoops) but coming up? Definitely got some awesome pictures! Saturday was one fun day!