Thursday, March 28, 2013

Kind of Like Mine

So, my trainer offered me a half lease on Champ, which basically means that in exchange for paying a portion of his expenses (farrier bills and some vet bills), I can ride him pretty much whenever he isn't being used for a lesson. Right now, I am just about the only student riding him, but there will be some beginner adults, and some of the kids riding him this spring and summer, I'm sure. Still, it's a good opportunity for me to ride more, which is one of the things that really holds me back in advancing my skills -- one lesson a week = maybe two hours in the saddle per week, which =/= a rapid accumulation of skills. I signed the lease agreement this morning, after my lesson. I'm excited, and Wren is completely thrilled, even though she is still sort of wary of "my" guy.

I probably have about a year to a year and a half of riding him before I am probably going to want to move up to a horse who can maybe do a little better in the dressage department, and maybe jump a bit more. We'll see, though, because right now I want to get my chickeny self under control, and be okay with speed, and jumping, and competitions. Contrary to my nerves, I actually *like* going to horse shows and participating. I even got a ribbon this last time! And it's hanging in my kitchen now, until I can find a way to display it (and the other three I have from YEARS ago).

It's actually prettier than any other horse show ribbon I've ever gotten. I love it.

And while I'm mostly competitive with myself, I do like to *be* competitive in the class or division, so I know there will come a day when Champ will probably not be the horse for me anymore. For now, though, he is smart and honest and safe and sane, and I'm happy with that, even if he's not a killer in the dressage ring. Quarter Horses rarely are. 

I had a great lesson this morning, even though it was --once again! -- freezing cold and windy. Ugh. When will spring get here for real? Champ and I really need to spend some time developing the canter a bit more -- transitions, rhythm, that kind of stuff. I had a couple of beautiful moments where he was terrifically light in the bridle, balancing on the 20m circle without leaning on my hands, and it was SO nice! I love it when it's all of a sudden like riding a rocking horse. And if I want to consider riding something other than the World's Most Boring Dressage Tests, then I need us to be together on the canter and its up and down transitions, as the next level up (Beginner Novice) has canter circles in the dressage tests. We didn't jump at all today, which was fine with me, but I expect I will be doing a lot more jumping soon. My trainer said he looked really good with the trot work we were doing, too, so that was positive. he definitely was not in a mood to halt square, however, even though I know the stinker knows how and when to do that.

So, Champ and I are a team, more officially now, I guess. I am already looking through tack catalogs to find him a nice dark green halter, and maybe another saddle pad or two. He's been using all of Keepsake's stuff, but it's time he had some of his own things!

I'm so happy. 

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