Hoping I can keep up more that things are slowing down and we have extra help at the clinic now.
First announcement - I have lost 30 pounds and 4 inches on my waist, and still losing. I feel so much better and I am super proud of myself!
Secondly, Amber is doing excellent! The muscle supplement I put her on is really helping her. We are starting to attempt to get our lead changes on the flat. I think it's really more I need to work on my aids.
She is currently doing 2'-2'3" courses. We've started throwing in some small oxers.
Casey's trainer from PA came and brought us some new jump equipment, including several standards, more poles, boxes, gates and some barrels.
We currently have the opposite problem that I used to have. Rather than feeling like I'm going too fast, when I'm going to slow, I feel like I'm going too slow when I'm going too fast. In the last lesson, our distances were a little funky, and when I watched the video I realized that she was doing a little more than the horse stride - we used to have to really push to get that!
Our first show is in November, but I will just be doing a couple of flat classes. Amber has never shown, I've never done hunters, so it's a test run.
Also, something exciting, Amber is going to be ridden by a beginner who is learning to canter. I think she will be a great teacher. Her canter is smooth and she is easy to stop, and will stop on her own if she feels her rider off balance (we tested this - I pretended to lose a stirrup and hung off her side. I felt like a trick rider, but she slowed down to a trot and then a walk nice and easy without me asking). One of the advanced kids, who is 10, but she is tiny for her age, as been riding her a little on the weekends for fun. She can really get her going nice!
I have a few pictures (grabbed them from my instagram), and I will try to get a moment to upload some of the videos from the lesson in a couple of days. I'm just so proud of what we've accomplished! 2'-2'3" isn't a high level at all, but for someone who was pretty sure 18" was the limit, it's a big deal!
The barn drama has been diminished, by the way, and we are glad of it. Everything has changed for the better. Everyone helps out now, and I think in a previous blog I may have complained about how the kids weren't being taught the "unmounted duties" of working with horses - feeding, cleaning and maintenance. And now a little more is expected of students, encouraging independence and responsibility for the ponies they ride. I didn't really notice the amount of selfishness and snobbery we once had until things turned around - everyone is so encouraging to one another now.
I should add - these jumps are mostly 21" with one or two 2'. I was jumping with some of the younger kids and some who were just starting out jumping. I voluntarily stayed (to Casey's surprise) after to upped the jumps for one other girl, but Jessie didn't video that for me!