Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Zahra's First Clinic!

Well, Zahra continues to be amazing. Thanks to the fabulous weather we've been having lately, she got to school her very first water complex last week. She was pretty skeptical at first, but after she had the chance to have a good drink and paw violently at the water, she hopped right in, and never looked back. She marched right in a second, third, and (tried to trot in) a fourth time! Since it was a brand new water complex, we were supposed to be gentle with the footing. Zahra didn't get the memo as she pawed at the edges and then tried to trot through! I wish I'd had my helmet cam on to capture this "big moment," partly so I could show you all how high she was picking up her front leg to splash the water!!

But getting into the water was only one of TWO great accomplishments this past week! Over the weekend, Zahra and I hit the road for the first time. We went down to Versailles Equestrian for a Jon Holling clinic. Jon is one of the trainers who really helped me establish myself as a rider, so getting a chance to ride with him, and show off my New Hotness was very exciting!

As the first shin dig of the 2012 season, I was obviously completely disorganized a little frantic in my packing. The important thing was that I got myself and Zahra there in one piece, with all our accouterments strewn about the trailer. Nothing was clean, and of course, I had the 8AM ride time. D'oh.

So after a spit and a promise to my tack, I went to bed, with dreams of jumping running through my head.

The 8AM ride time ended up being a blessing in disguise-- neither horses nor riders were really used to this heat (80 degrees in March??), so Zahra and I lucked out by not needing to worry about heat stroke!

Saturday we started with a trot grid. This was Zahra's second grid ever, but she acted as though she'd done them her whole life! Same with the canter grid. Absolutely no question. Even though it must have looked like a sea of rails to her, she flew threw it!

The second day was course work with a little flair of cross country. Again, Zahra stepped up to the plate. Never jumped a fence on an angle, or a corner, or a 3' oxer... but in what I'm beginning to realize is "typical Zahra fashion," she did it all! The last two run throughs, all the jumps were set at 3', and she got it done!

Now, of course, it was not all wine and roses... She struggled with her right lead all weekend, and she was exhausted by the end and started ticking rails. We really pushed her this weekend, much harder and further then we had so far at home, so while there is definitely room for improvement on her fitness, the attitude was an A+.

Jon can be pretty sparing with his compliments, so when he said she was the nicest horse I'd owned, I knew I'd found something special.

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