A jam-packed week

I’m in the middle of an insane week of activity! It all started on Sunday when I volunteered at Olney Horse Trials in Md. It was a 2.5 hour drive, but I needed to earn my volunteer hours for Area II awards, and I am literally riding or working at the rest of the events this summer and fall in my area. I’d never been to Olney, and it was definitely an old-fashioned event. Lots of coops and logs on cross-country and very few portables. The entry list was small, with just about 70 or so riders entered from Beginner Novice-Training. I worked as a fence judge and area steward. It was hot, but I stayed in my car most of the time and put the AC on once in awhile. It was a shorter day than most, and traffic was not too bad coming home.

Monday I had a jump lesson with Oh So. I rode Sam in the morning, and was feeling the heat. We just did a short ride because of that and the fact that I haven’t ridden him regularly for about 10 tens. He’s been on and off for a couple of weeks now, so if he feels sound, we do some work, if not, we go for a hack. My lesson with Oh So was quite good. We jumped a bounce to one-stride gymnastic and played with lots of skinnies, a corner and trotting low, wide oxers. I do most of this type of stuff at home, but I’m glad my trainer Lisa decided to have us do it. We seem to always work on cantering courses, which is definitely good for us to practice, but I think he needs more gymnastic work to help his form. We cantered to an upright barrel too, which was freaky, but he was dead straight!

On Monday evening, I stayed over at my brother’s place in Arlington to beat traffic the next morning to Warped Tour. When I got there at 8:30, he decided he wanted to go see a discount movie at the Arlington Cinema and Draft House, so he talked me into it! We saw Fast Five, but it only cost a dollar, so why not? I had a martini and some popcorn, and we had a great time. I didn’t get into bed until after midnight though. Yesterday, I went to Warped Tour in Columbia, Md. at Merriweather Post Pavillion. I’ve been going to this tour every summer since 2003. This year, there were only a few bands I really wanted to see, but I had a photo pass and found some other interesting bands to shoot throughout the day. I’ll have a full review up later this week.

I got up early this morning to go to Loch Moy and school the competition course. It started off tough when Oh So misjudged/peeked at  jump in the woods and nearly stopped. He crawled over it, but it was entirely unexpected. After that, I think we both lost some confidence in each other. My trainer said he was behind my leg and I expected him to go, but he didn’t. It was a good wake up call that I need to really ride and be proactive. He jumps anything in his way on course, but when schooling, which we hadn’t done in awhile, I can’t be afraid to use my stick and “rattle his cage” a bit. I’ve never liked schooling. I feel like I ride terribly, but we need to do it, mostly for me to practice my position.

I also had a stupid moment at the trekehener where I asked for a long spot and jumped ahead, while he added a stride. After that, plus a stop at the down bank into water, I wasn’t feeling very confident. He was spooking at the shadow in the water as he was jumping down the drop, something he did the last time we schooled. We did it a few more times, plus went up the bank and he got better. We also jumped on and off a bank, did an angled two-stride combination and did a pretty big drop with a log on top into the second water complex. He got better as we went along, and we ended up on a positive note. Overall, I didn’t ride up to my usual standard, and he threw a couple of curveballs that I wasn’t expecting.

Tomorrow I have a flat lesson, then I’m going to shoot a concert in Richmond. That, plus working at the library on Friday ends my crazy week! I’m afraid to know how many miles I’ve driven!

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