The days here should be long, we've come a long way most of us. But I'm preparing to be tired when I get home once you add jet lag to 30 degrees outside with horses, 5.30am alarms, back at 8pm each day, doing your horses pen each end of the day and lugging buckets of water up the hill, I have the almost furtherest away pen, - but I like it like that.
So today - arrived at 7.20 with vanilla soy latte drunk on the way, a Large no less.
It had rained last night so Heart was covered in mud. Tried to brush her but didn't have time to shampoo her plus I thought if I do, and put her back in the pen wet she I'll just roll again so I had to deal with it later on.
Class at 8am - basically an hour or so going over testing today (online and freestyle). We can choose to test for liberty at the end if we want - I will.
Then I tried to brush Heart again, realised I'd left my water bottle at the apartment! Doh! That's pretty serious, in 30 degrees clear blue mountain air, even my SPF 29 wasn't cutting it. - I will need to reapply more often tomorrow.
I wasn't too nervous because the instructors did a really good job of not making us nervous. I was very impressed with Jaimie and Grady especially.
Heart is amazing and I feel like a bit of a cheat, she does everything at phase one, usually, and compared to Garbo she is very centered on the LBI chart. Although LeAnn had said to be you have to show her who is the leader, well I am well and truly used to that!
We could have used the 45ft and got graded higher, but I chose the 22ft because I had not played with her yet, so had no idea what she would be like, and wanted to feel and look as confident as I could to her.
I float loaded her first try from the fender!!!!!!!! Woohoo. I am beginning to see how all of Garbo's challenges have really taught me alot.
One testing station was, can your horse go near the tarp, sniff the tarp, walk on it or trot over it... Easy peasy with an LBI....trotted straight on it, then the other one too. It was just like having Garbo do it.
I was really pleased with everything although to get graded initially as L3 (for that task) I would have had to yo yo for example to the end of the 45, and I didn't use it, but hey - it's about where you are at, and putting the relationship first.
Having an LBI meant we were done much quicker than the others. So after I had a water and loo break I saddled her up. A western saddle! - never put one on before lol. Just has well I have bareback pad is all I can say...
Cradle bridle too, had to think back to the cradle bridle DVDs. She's still got tinsel in her brow band maybe from the 4th July, I haven't taken it off yet. It looks quite permanent - I'll ask LeAnn tomorrow if it's ok.
I took her to the logs by the seat builders and hopped on, rode around the grassy area at walk for a bit getting to know her. She wanted to go back towards her paddock mate in the mastery pens, ie fast walk towards there, slow doodle away from there lol.
I went to a round pen and decided to try trotting first in there, bearing in mind her druthers. There was no mounting block so I thought oh well here goes another first, mounting from the ground, and I did it!! Just couldn't do it from the other side. She trots nicely, I can sit to it, and she follows a focus too. Canter - well - faster and shorter than Garbo's so will take a bit of getting used too.
Again for the freestyle testing I chose not to do the canter cloverleaf since I didn't know her too well yet - we did it at trot. Couldn't do sideways without reins though. Did it ok with Reins.
We were tested in 5 stations (sometimes two tasks) for both online and freestyle. I was proud of myself not getting too nervous riding a new horse I really know nothing about. I decided to get off and walk over to the honeycomb though, as there were alot of horses in the arena grande and it's a very big wide open space. Not quite ready for that on day one of riding.
Again, I finished quite quickly, so washed Heart, and let her dry off a bit in the shade and on the way up to the pens. She had her hay waiting for her so she was pleased.
We had a cool off in the shade, then watched the three people who were on their 2nd Flex Track, do their liberty testing, the we had dinner because it was 6 o'clock already. I had the vegetarian tofu chowmein.
Then I cleaned Hearts pen (we get graded on that too), and got her some more water and went home via the supermarket - needed more soy milk and hot chocolate!
Phew. Up again at 5.30 tomorrow so I'd better get to bed.
The drive home..