Greetings from sunny California! I'm very much enjoying the change of pace of being back on the west coast, even if it is only for a few weeks. I had a great road trip out, driving through rural North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon--a route I had never taken before and really enjoyed seeing. I took tons of photos which I've now been busily processing and editing over the past 10 days. If you'd like to see that work, check out my other blog:
I was pretty resigned to the fact that this month in California could have the potential of being pretty horse free... but I did pack my riding clothes just in case ;) And very kindly, the folks at the Red Barn have been letting me hack a horse or two every day for the past week or so before the regular school year starts. Yay!!! It's so good to be back!!
Of course, it's not quite the same without Stanley, but it's still been awesome. I think this may be the most fun I've had at the barn recently, because since I'm no longer a student and so not on the team the level of applicable drama is wayyyy down, so it's just all wonderful ponies, all the time: a set up I could definitely get used to, given the chance!
All my favorite horses have been feeling really good, and I think the dressage team is going to have a blast with them. Additionally, I've been able to ride Freddy, a horse I rode very briefly before Nationals last year but really didn't know that well, almost every day with the thought of potentially easing him more regularly into the dressage team's group of mounts (he's currently pretty much exclusively a hunt seat horse).
(Freddy is a handsome dude, and one of the first bright chestnuts I've ever liked)
I had a great time riding him last spring and have been having an even better time riding him this fall--he's so cool!! He's a real natural athlete and so it all comes very easy to him... if you can convince him to go forward, haha. So I've been getting a good leg work out trying to get him more responsive, but have been really pleased to feel him come out every time I've ridden him a little more forward-thinking and willing than he was the time before. That definitely makes me very, very happy :)
(A very happy me on a very good Fredman after a great ride)
Meanwhile, back at the home front, Ringo has been in the capable hands of my Pa, and they have been getting along thick as thieves. Pa reports no spookiness, even going by the stuff that Ringo told me he was convinced going to kill him (Oh Ray, always keeping me humble...), and they've been taking weekly dressage lessons with Kim and making great progress. Additionally, Kiki went to King Oak with her lessor, going Novice, and finished on her dressage score. Good girl, Piggy! I'm so happy she's found a rider who loves her as much as her lessor, Robin, does--she deserves it :)
Ky has been the only one of the ponies on vacation, which I think is fine given that I plan on riding him pretty much all winter (which he usually gets off). But come October the little dude better buckle up, because Kate Erickson Boot Camp is about to begin!