Tuesday, November 27, 2012

On the first day of Christmas...

I have literally had this song in my head all. day. long.  (Thanks Katie!)  I'm sure the horses are being driven bonkers by my incessant humming, and I feel especially bad for Vitruoso, because while I was warming him up today I was stuck on six geese a-laying but trying very hard to work out the others, so it was a very halty and repetitive tune...

Anyway, lots has gone on since last I updated! (Ooops... it's funny how easy it is for this to get away from me!)  I went to a horse show with Martin last Friday.  We took along Justinian and Puccini for the Series final.  Justinian jumped great and was clear the first round at 3'6 with a couple of rails in the 3'9 second round.  There are some great photos of him by a local photographer on Facebook.

The next day I stayed back at Rancho Pampa to work the horses at home while Katie took Benito, Quantum and Garufa back to the Hippico for a show.  I ended up on 12 horses, including preparing, tacking and untacking all of them-- it took all day!  And I was quite ready for bed by the end, I must say...  the trailer didn't get back from the show until nearly nine, but it was with good news:  Quantum was Champion in the free jumping competition for four year olds, and Garufa was 3rd in the three year old division!  Quantum is truly such a sweetheart: not only a flashy and scopey jumper, but a pleasure to work with, and a four year old stud at that!  I'm gonna try and hunt down a photo of him for the blog if I can.

Sunday was a fabulous day that almost wasn't.  After taking a Nyquil the night before, I legitimately slept in til 10:30 without stirring!  It felt amazing and I was quite game to continue sleeping, but Katie and I had promised Rodrigo an outing to the Abierto Argentino (Argentine Open) polo game at Palermo... so off we went, and it was honestly a blast.  Nice weather, great company, FANTASTIC polo (Ellerstina won again!) and afterwards a cool afterparty at one of the promotional tents, having some beers and snacks and chatting with people.  It really was great, and relaxing, and a fantastic change of pace.

On Monday we awoke to rain, which was depressing.  It hadn't been in the forecast and I was looking forward to getting back to consistent riding.  However, we also got some exciting news: a new working student was arriving that day.  Camilla is from Brazil (though has lived in Argentina for two years now) and a dressage rider.  She was tossed right into the excitement, since we had clients coming to see Holendesa, Herodes and San Jorge that afternoon and had to get them prepared.

Now that the reality that I only have eight days left here is sinking in, I'm starting to reflect on how I've improved... and I really feel I have.  I recently jumped a course on Herodes at a meter and slightly over, with liverpool and a few sharper turns, and I really do feel like a more confident and accurate jockey in the saddle-- still tons of work to do, but a very different rider than I was three months ago.  Finding the pace used to trip me up constantly and I'm pleased that it hasn't been an issue the past few times.  There's still tons I need to work on, and habits that I can't seem to kick-- but I'm aware of them now and working on them every ride, so I'm hoping that carries over when i return home.  And I really, really hope that the dream doesn't die here.  I want to ride the 1.20m jumpers, and I really do think I can do it if I can be methodical about approaching the whole "finding a horse" issue.  The great thing about this time in Argentina is it has given me such a sense of what type of horse I like to ride, and what type I don't.  Now my plan to enjoy my last week, work hard, and keep riding the momentum I have gained from this experience!

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