Yes it is true! We are able to do gallop sets in March! How thrilling! The girls have been going down the road, doing trot sets, gallop sets and getting ready for the start of our season! It is very quiet at the farm right now, all but one of my kids are gone on spring break and I am busy working the horses and keeping them tuned up for their return.
I have been very busy working hard at the gym. 3 days a week with Sam Berg, my personal trainer at the Delano Snap Fitness. Oh man I have been sore! I have noticed the results and lost 1.5%! Whoop! We just signed up for the Warrior Dash on July 1st too! I look forward to that tough challenge!
So I have been working hard in the gym and on horse back. Doing trot sets in two point, working on really strengthening my lower leg position and getting back into "summer show shape".
It was great to go off to my first clinic of the season on Saturday! The Pierro's brought in Mike Mendell, Mike has competed through the CCI****, including spending two years training and competing in the UK, Ireland and Europe competing at Burghley. Mike also has competed at the Grand Prix level of show jumping and in upper level dressage. In addition, he has worked with young horses extensively from their first experiences with riders onward.
I really enjoyed his instruction. It is great to be picked on! We got really picky about my position and worked on just tweaking things slightly that improved my ride and made my horses happier. Worked on trying not to do my horse's jobs for them and just creating a forward rhythm and balance. He talked about how legs create, the seat contains and allows and the shoulders control the rhythm. We turned my toe out slightly and talked about landing more into my heel then on my thigh and knee. I really liked this change. We also discussed in detail what a half halt is. The half halt starts with the shoulders, close your shoulder blades together, then moved downward. The back, the butt and then finally the thighs. Of course the half halt is always begun with adding your leg, balancing how much of a half halt you need and how much leg you need. The hands always stay quiet. I found these articles written by Jim Wofford very interesting on leg position and galloping position very interesting.
Why a Vertical Stirrup Leather is Critical on Cross-Country - by: Jim Wofford
Improve Your Galloping Position for Cross-Country - by: Jim Wofford
Of course we have been road riding like crazy! Group trail rides, one day we even rode all the way into Delano and made a few stops! Lots of great outings over the last few weeks! The weather is supposed to be a little bit more "spring" like now, with some rain and cooler temps, but that is fine with me as long as we are well out of winter!
This next weekend is the Spring Forward clinic held at the Leatherdale Equine Center at the U of M. Kate Phillips will be doing a dressage demo clinic on Sunday, which I will be riding the Intermediate Test B on Hannah. Jane Braddock will be doing a ride a course demo clinic on Saturday in which I will be riding Lucy. It should be another fun outing! The next weekend is Easter, I will be busy farm sitting for 10 days, the following weekend is the Ralph Hill clinic, the next weekend I hope to go schooling at Otter Creek and the next weekend is ROLEX!!! So excited!
That is all for now - stay tuned! Happy Spring!