South Farm and the 4th of July Holiday

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

There's not too much that's better than a long holiday weekend.  I have to say I was really looking forward to the 4th of July weekend.  Ron was kind enough to let us out early on Friday at 3:30, so I enjoyed getting out then.  Of course I used my extra time to head out to the barn.  Astrid was there and Carlee and Colleen came soon afterwards for Carlee's lesson.  While Carlee was riding I tacked up Kaye for a jumping lesson.

Once again I am reminded how freakin awesome Kaye is.  After we had warmed up, we started jumping the single vertical that was set at about 2'7"  Jumped that once or twice and it was time to knot my reins and jump with no hands.  Been a while since Bonnie has had me do this particular exercise, but man does it really just fix my position so quickly.  So we jumped that several more times and then I got my reins back and was told to head to the triple bounce.  And instead of collecting Kaye to it, I ran her into and we stopped.  Completely my fault.  Tried again, but now I was a little afraid and so we had another stop.  So we went back to the single fence and jumped that a few times to get a nice jump, while Bonnie took down the first fence in the triple.  Then we turned for the bounces again.  Although Kaye was slow and I was holding her back through it, we jumped the bounces.  Second time through was much better once I realized that there was nothing to be afraid of.  So we jumped just the two fences a few times and then Bonnie put the first one up again.  Although our first trip through wasn't pretty, we did.  Jumped the triple a few more time, getting better each time, before we called it quits for the night. 

Saturday morning I picked up Astrid early, we headed out to the barn to feed and then we all piled into the truck to head to South Farm.  Bonnie and I had volunteered to jump judge for Sarah, and we figured it was a good opportunity for the kids to learn.  So Astrid, Rachel and Katie all decided to go with us, and of course Chloe tagged along too.  Made it to South Farm just in time for the jump judge briefing.  The TD was Cindy DePorter from North Carolina.  Super nice lady, very knowledgeable and very entertaining in her briefing.  Once the briefing was finished, we all grabbed lunch and headed out to our fence.  We were at fence number eleven on the prelim course.  It was a corner with a sharks tooth option.  And yes it was the infamous Rob corner, the one that you jump between the 3rd and 4th board.  We saw quite a bit of bad riding at the corner,  several kinda scary jumps and a few refusals.  And then there were several riders who never even made it to the 11th fence.

After the prelim division finished up we headed back to fence number one for the training division.  It was an easy, inviting log.  So we didn't really see any problems there, some bad riding of course though.  I did manage to get some good pictures from both the first fence and the last fence.  For novice we stayed with fence number one, although we did have to move to a different part of the cross country course.  Another easy, inviting log, but man was there some bad riding!  Including a very ugly, scary jump from a well known local trainer.  Then to finish up the day, we headed over to fence number three for beginner novice and starter.  Both of the fences were little coops, very easy for beginner novice.  Altogether it was a fun day.  But even though all I did was sit outside all day, I was beat by the time we got home.  I helped Bonnie feed the ponies and then I headed for home and my bed.

Sunday morning I was up early and out to the barn.  Mom was having the whole family over for a picnic at dinner, so I wanted to get my riding time in the morning.  Started out the day with some stall work.  Got Annie and Jade both cleaned while they were outside.  Then got X, Kaye, Bugs, and Cuddles done as well.  After we finished up with stalls, Bonnie had me tack my pony up for a lunge lesson.  She let me keep my stirrups for the whole lesson, but that was the only way she went easy on me!  X and I both had to work a lot.  We did a lot of posting trot and then quite a bit of canter work each direction as well.  By the time we finished poor X was lathered!  But he got a good bath which he enjoyed, and then he had his nice clean stall to go lay down in.  We grained the ponies and then headed home.

Mom's picnic was nice, always good to see the family.  Would have been nice if my brother and his family could have been there.  But Todd had to work, the hospital recognized Monday as the holiday, and Kris took the girls to one of her sisters.  It was still a nice evening with the rest of the family.  Jeffery was even able to make it down from Pittsburgh for a bit.

Monday, I had the day off, so of course I was out to the barn.  Ari, Victoria and Katie were all there as well. So we got quite a bit done.  I picked all the stalls I had cleaned the day before and then cleaned Fanny's stall as well.  The kids got Twinkie done and Katie worked on some of her stalls.  Bonnie gave me another lunge lesson on X.  Poor pony I think he was horrified when I tacked him up again.  But he's going very well right now.  He actually had a really nice canter on no contact at all.  So as much as he doesn't like the work, it's been very good to him.  I did feel bad though, pony was pooped!

Ari and Victoria tacked up Kaye for lunge lessons and I headed out to the hay field with my trusty steed Edgar.

I brought in the last ten bales for Bonnie.  I did pretty well, didn't have any problems until i was bringing in the last bale.  It was a heavy one and as I was coming up the hill, the front end of the tractor was off the ground!  So I was trying to use the brake pedals to steer, that didn't work out too well.  And then I lost the bale off the back of the tractor.  Of course it landed on it's end.  I use the fork on the tractor to tip it over on it's side.  And then I watch as the bale goes rolling back down into the field.  So I turn the tractor around and go back for it.  I was a little more careful and managed to get it up the hill on the second try.  I was glad that was the last one though.