Last weekend I free lanced at Surefire Horse Trials for Red Horse Photography. I had a lot of fun and was able to be creative and choose my spot to shoot, which was nice. I shot the intermediate, prelim and training water and some other fences for novice and beginner novice. It was hot, but I survived. And I feel like I made some good contacts for the future.

I also wrote a blog item for Eventing Nation. I’ve been talking with John, who runs the website, and I thought I’d try it out at Surefire. I just wrote a quick note about the event and some of my observations. I think I want to call it “Observations from a lawn chair”, because I’m pretty much stuck in one spot all day!

I awoke Monday morning to find that both Sam and Oh So had lost front shoes, so my riding was shot for the day. I put a hoof boot on each and just walked in the ring and worked on some lateral work. Oh So will be getting glue on shoes this weekend. His walls are so weak, which is unusual for him. But, putting your hoof in the water trough every morning is not helping the situation!

I took Oh So to school at Surefire on Tuesday. Needless to say, he was raring to go. My arms are still feeling it! We did a nice half coffin in the woods, and he locked on well. We stepped on and off the bank to reinforce that he needs to “step”, not launch. We also tried out the training water combination that was causing so many issues at the event. The water was dyed blue, which was interesting. It was really interesting to be sitting on him while he figured out his footwork to step off the bank into water.

Overall, he jumped great, but was a bit fussy up front. My trainer said it was because he was excited to be out and didn’t like the “start/stop” of schooling, but he needs to deal with it. We’re going to check out a new cross country facility next week before MD horse trials on July 11. I drive by the place all the time, so I’m excited to go.

Today I had a jump lesson with Sam. We worked on riding half pirouettes on a square and jumping small fences, just trying to align his shoulders to get the correct lead. My lesson last week with my event trainer really made me realize how much we’ve fallen back into old habits. So now I just need to be aware of where his shoulders are as we approach and go over the jumps.

I had a flat lesson with Oh So, and we started with some walk pirouettes, and tried a couple of flying changes. He’s really understanding them now, but as a result, it makes him get pretty strong. So the rest of the ride was spent slowing his trot and then adding some lengthenings. He was really pulling in the end, but was using his back.

We’re in the middle of a lovely stretch of weather in Virginia. It will only last a few days; right now it’s nice and cool, about 80 degrees. It’s a welcome change from the humidity. This afternoon I need to start editing and posting some photos from the Jack’s Mannequin show I photographed last week. It got to go backstage and on the balcony, so I had some really unique perspectives.

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