Monday, August 6, 2012

Dog Days of Summer

I'm finally starting to feel rested again after my trip home and immediate trip out to Millbrook... just in time to head up to GMHA in Woodstock, VT, on Wednesday to jump judge at the annual GMHA Training Three Day! The Training Three Day is one of my favorite USEA programs and is a big goal for me and Ky, so I'm excited to give back on a year where I can't compete myself. But, with a 6:30am call in Vermont, it's going to be another early morning and long day.

In the meantime, I've been having a blast riding not only Ringo, but Kiki and Ky as well! Kiki has been leased out to my friend Robin, who actually bought my horse Sam from me a few years ago, and who is a wonderful and experienced rider. They've been doing great together, which makes me so, so happy. Robin has been away on vacation for the past few days, so I've gotten the ride again and have been very happy to feel the progress Robin has made with her.

Ringo has been going better than he has in a long time. He feels very relaxed, supple, and happy in the bridle. I'm delighted with the bit change I discussed a few weeks ago. It was an immediate night and day difference in his way of going, which hasn't faded in the weeks since the change. My dad was kind enough to come out and take some photos of us riding a few days ago, so you can judge his progress for yourself =) :

(Tongue out, Ringo's usual M.O.)

(Big smiles after some stellar changes across the diagonal - I think Ringo looks fiercely pleased with himself too)

(Oh hello, uphill canter! Too bad I've decided my hands need to be in my crotch for some reason)

(Stretchy times)

(Man. I look stupid.)

(OK, admittedly, I got a little showboat-y here, and did a few one-handed changes, trying to channel my inner Reiner Klimke - good boy, Ray!!)

For comparison, here is a side-by-side of Ringo in February and Ringo in August:

I think the uphill quality of his canter has improved drastically, as has the quality of his step behind. I, on the other hand, look a bit of a scrub... but that's what my lesson tomorrow will hopefully start to fix!

My dad repeated the favor this evening with Ky, whose lessor is also on vacation for the next few days. Man, this little horse is special. He'd had a couple days off and isn't ever pushed very hard on the flat with his current lessor, and he came right out of the barn late this evening (well, besides some major spooking, but no matter, haha) and went to work. His lessor has done a great job getting him into shape and he felt much fitter than when I rode him in May. I can't wait to start our adventure!

(Again, the hands in the crotch. Get your act together, Erickson!)

(Oh Ky, you so fancy! Meanwhile I look like a real scrub)

(Work it, ponayyy)

(I actually like my position here)

(here too! And he looks so uphill! Giving Ray a run for his money!!)

(My perfect carousel pony)

His lessor has the reins until the end of the month, which I'm more than happy to give her as they have had such a wonderful partnership over the past two years. She started riding Ky following the sudden death of my horse Boris, who had transitioned into a new career as her first horse at the time of his passing. They have been wonderful partners and friends, and I'm so happy that they've had each other in their lives.

...But at the same time, I can't wait for him to be mine!!!


Hillary H. said...

I haven't read all of your posts but I do love your blog- Ky looks cute. What is his story?

Heidi said...

Holy long legs, Kate! LOL Your ponies look great. Hope you have a fun and productive lesson!

Heidi said...

P.S. I mean that as a compliment ;-)

Katherine Erickson said...

Haha thanks Heidi!

Hillary, Ky was one of my family's homebreds that I helped to start and rode a bit as a young horse, and now just came back to me as a 14-year-old. I'm really excited to get to ride him again!

Alessandra said...

What a cute pony Ky! I'm happy to read some news about Kiki...definitely leased?

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