Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fighting out of the left corner....

So, here in North Carolina, we are experiencing quite the week. Beautiful weather so far (thankfully, a break from 95+ degree heat!), a little rumble of earthquake on Tuesday, and a hurricane by the weekend.  Ah, just the kind of combination to get us in the mood for the Fall season.

I'm truly excited to sit down and write out a 'plan' for this Fall (and by plan, I mean I scratch and doodle some events on the calendar, most of which will change).  I have the big man's name written with a tiny (whispers) "I" written next to it (meaning, if the stars align, we'll see ourselves with even bigger, big-boy pants on!), plus I have several other names to include in the schedule, besides my students of course!

The first name is a familiar one, Niki or Nik of Time who started competing with me last Spring, and has taken a bit of time off to hone the skills of eventing.  She'll be back to her fighting weight soon (if only the grass would stop growing!), and be out and about at the Buckhorn Combined Test on September 10th.

The second name is one that I should have introduced last month, but my blogging upkeep has been dismal, and I'm a slacker. So, this post is introducing Ryan.

Ryan came to me the day after my wedding (cause I'm crazy and like to schedule training horses to arrive after a night of drinking and getting hitched), to see if we could make him 'normal'. He'd spent his 6 short years in the world of "paints" and "spur training", learning that if you kick, that means head down and slower. Nice. His new owner just wanted to be able to ride him with the kind of cues most of us are taught (aka, leg means go, more leg means go faster).  I initially told her to give me 2 weeks with him to see where we could get.

Ryan didn't need 2 weeks - he needed 2 rides.  Super smart, super cute, and super willing.

After a month of so, I popped him over a little row of fences set in the ring.  He was so good! (albeit a little wiggly!).

In July, we decided to take him to a little dressage show.  We were worried about him getting uptight, as the owner had seen him do in the past, but we neednot have worried! Ryan was cool as a cucumber, although a slight bit fatigued once we got in the ring.  He scored a very respectable 63.2%, and went out for a cruise around the XC course.  He had so much fun (and me too) that we decided to take him to the Starter HT the next weekend.

Well, once again, he ROCKED it!  I don't think his little ears stopped being pricked the whole time we were there! He finished on his dressage score to place 2nd!

His wonderful owner has let me continue to show him, and is awesomely supportive. Here's to hoping for fun things from this guy this Fall!

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