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Wizard Ride 68; JR Session 24: No Joy in Mudville

April 2, 2009

Wizard & JR

Thursday, 4/2/09

I bounced out of bed this morning, eager to go to the barn. The sun was shining, the air was warm, and I was eager to ride Wizard outside in daylight. When I arrived at the barn, I found out that there had been A LOT of rain overnight. The arena was perfectly usable Wednesday night, but today, it was wet. The arenas at the barn drain very nicely but the rain must have come down very recently. It will take at least a day for it to dry out. And we have more rain expected tomorrow >:^(

There were several people riding indoors so I tried to longe JR outside. I tied up his tail and took him around the farm, looking for a dry spot to longe. All we could muster was a bit of jogging on some moderately squishy ground. I gave up and let JR graze. JR-2 points, Sarah-0 points.

Next up: Wizard. I grazed him for about 30 minutes before our ride. Wizard was being so nosey- he walked me all over the farm, snorting and snooping around the paddocks. He’s such a funny horse.

I tacked him up and rode indoors. Today, we had the opportunity to work with other horses in the arena. One horse was at the far end of the arena being longed and one was doing groundwork by the gate so we were in the middle. I took the opportunity to work on some of our exercises form the lesson the night before. We walked for about 10 minutes on a loose rein and then picked up a trot. I forced myself to trot Wizard on the buckle. Everything in my head is screaming to pick up the reins when he speeds up, but I shut off the voices in my head and kept trotting. To the right, his rhythm is less steady so it was even tougher to do. We only managed half a circle at the time before I chickened out and picked up the reins. Because of this, I made it my goal to trot on the buckle at the end of our ride during the cooldown part of our session.

For the rest of the ride, we worked on several patterns, as well as walk/trot transitions. Wizard was a little on edge because of the horses around him but I embraced the challenge and we worked through it successfully. Transitions were tough at first. I repeated to myself over and over: If the horse gets tense, ride softer. Changes of direction were easier than transitions for Wizard tonight, but we got a few nice walk transitions after Wizard got into the groove. It seems like with a horse like Wizard, everything can be solved by methodically, calmly working through it. He’s very game and has a very good work ethic. By the end of our ride, Wizard’s transitions improved and he was bending better. Sometimes, when I feel him really connecting to the bit, I like to let him open his trot up a little bit and we do a little forward trot down the long end of the arena. The entire ride was almost an hour, including walking to warm up and cool down and standing for a little chatting with barn buddies. I am continually amazed how fit Wizard is getting- he’s becoming quite a little beefcake.

Charles Owen AYR 8

Product rave: Charles Owen AYR8 Helmet. Pictures in black/silver but I bought black/black.

I purchased the helmet from The Tack Shelter in Colts Neck NJ. They are having a spring sale- the wonderful thing about spring sales is walking into the store looking for polo wraps and walking out of the store with a brand new helmet and a Joules shirt :^)

I was in need of a new helmet and I wanted one that’s tough enough for schooling but nice enough for shows. The AYR 8 fits my head like a glove- it’s really soft and lightweight and the fit is so secure that it feels safer than my old helmets. I also like that it feels a little more secure at the back of my head. The vents help air flow and it looks a little more conservative than the more stripey helmet cousins. There is something about the helmet that makes it fit even better than the GR8, another Charles Owen helmet. Two thumbs up for this fabulous helmet.

Here’s the Charles Owen description of the helmet:

The stylish Ayr8 by Charles Owen is taking the show jumping circuit by storm, with leading lady rider Ellen Whitaker making heads turn whenever she steps into the ring. The low profile helmet combines fashionable microfibre suede side panels, with a mesh centre to maximize air flow through the 12 ventilation apertures, achieving the perfect combination of cool equestrian chic. Developed for the equestrian athlete the slimline helmet uses advanced modern materials and incorporates the latest in thermoregulation for helmets to keep your head cool. The soft suede harness incorporates the revolutionary Gpx™ technology which creates a snug and secure fit using scientifically designed grippers. The harness is coordinated to the specific colours within the range to give that complete finished look. The brim is gently rounded to flatter the face and a press stamped metallic logo is positioned centrally above the peak. Another embroidered logo features on the back of the helmet to replace the traditional ribbon . The supersoft headband is embedded with high tech silver ions, providing built-in antimicrobial protection, helping to keep the helmet hygienic and free from smells.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2009 11:13 pm

    hey – I just wanted to say, after following your pictures for a while now on Flickr THANKS ! for inspiration & motivation!
    I try to take horse pictures too (I’m still learning) & i ride &…. well, i just think I have shared some of your experiences & i always look forward to seeing your work..
    Thanks again,
    PS. If you ever need a assistant at the track ….just let me know !
    I’m in NY & ne PA

  2. September 24, 2009 12:20 am

    Thank you so much, Andrea! Best wishes on your own creative endeavours. I’m proud to have inspired you.

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