Monday, October 18, 2010
It's CRUNCH Time!
They say time flies when you're having fun. Well I'm here to tell you it flies by equally as fast when you're stressed out too!
This past week has gone by like a whirlwind what with prepping Al for Pau, teaching my many supportive students, exercising my other ponies, and remaining in the loop about the standings at Fairhill and Boekelo.
Really quickly, allow me to digress: First, I would like to congratulate Doug, Will, Tiana, and Sinead on a tremendous performance in the Netherlands. With the US finishing in the second spot, we can all rest assured that we have some promising young talent that are both hungry and eager as they are able to win as these guys demonstrated throughout the weekend.
Second, I would like to send out my condolences to Jen and the loss of her amazingly talented mount, JB's Star. I have been no stranger to the loss of my four-legged friends and nothing can heal a broken heart like the simple panacea of "time and sunshine." During these rough patches in our lives as horse people, the best solace comes from the barn; that is, the feeling that you have to carry on no matter how bad you feel because you have other horses in your barn patiently waiting and seeking your guidance and assuredness. Throughout all the struggle these past few years, that's the one thing I have managed to attain and that has never led me astray. Lastly, I want to send out my regards to a dear friend and a well-respected horsewoman Sharon White and wish her a speedy recovery. I look forward to seeing the coveted orange Devoucoux fly around the course in the nearby future!
As our trip to France slowly creeps closer, I am feeling more and more confident as each day goes by and with each workout on Al. Because we all feel the need to "fix" everything at once and therefore "fry" our horses and ourselves, I have managed to compile a list of things I'd like to rectify before cantering down the center line in a couple weeks. I am very happy with my trot work and walk pirouettes in addition to my extended and working walks. However, I'd like to gain more consistency over Al's top line in the walk to canter transition in addition to maintaining push from behind in the canter work. As soon as I get him in front of the leg at the canter, all of the movements flow with ease...I'm very confident that Al and I will be able to fix these issues with a couple more lessons from Kim which I plan on taking this week.
The second issue I've had to work on is my nerves in the show jumping ring. However, just yesterday I jumped five different horses over fifteen different courses and all jumped clear bringing home a wide array of colored ribbons! Al was flawless in the modified jumpers class and bounded over the jump-off round to win the class and therefore give my confidence a swift kick in the pants!!! Who needs a warmblood when your riding a butterfly? Haha, that little horse always seems to make me smile!
When it comes to working on myself, I cannot stress enough how practice practice practice has made such an immense difference when it comes to being either an entry-filler or an entry-winner. As I've grown as a rider over the years, I have learned to pinpoint my weaknesses and hone in on them with a fine toothed comb until they become commonplace and casual.
This weekend I plan to travel up North to True Prospect Farm, where Al and I will have a light jump school and a gallop and I'll finally say "bon voyage" to Bronny and my trusty steed. Mom and I will see them three days later at the show grounds at Pau (I can tell you now that those will be the LONGEST three days while I'm apart from my main man)! For the time being, I am headed to Home Depot to stock up on bubble wrap in addition to fundraising for expenses associated with the trip across the puddle that the grant does not cover (which to my dismay is an exorbitant amount)! If you are interested in donating, you can log onto my website (www.laineashkereventing.com) and make a donation via PayPal. Believe me, any and every donation will be unduly appreciated and utilized to it's fullest!
So there you have it for my not-so-concise update on Pau! So far so good and all engines are a go! Until then, eyes up, heels down, and ENJOY the ride!