Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground." ~Author Unknown

Don't worry I didn't fall off!  I was going to tell you about my past two riding lessons, both of which were jumping!!

Thursday nights lesson was very exciting.  I have now figured out how it works... which is nice.  We are to get on and warm up in the little riding house (indoor arena) and then be ready to jump a course by 7:45.  We walk into the big ring and just start jumping and continue on for an hour and 15 minutes, sometimes more.  I didn't exactly understand this before and was always a little behind everyone else and confused why.  But not anymore!  I rode Lady, warmed up in the little ring then went to the big ring.  There was a course set up which we started out jumping a little jump and then slowly doing more and more jumps in a row.  Finally we ended up with the below course:
It started with 1 which was a stone wall jump, six strides (canter steps) to 2 which was an oxer.  A right, tight turn to 3 which was a scary jump made of a plastic drape over the poles designed to look like a brick wall then to the inside tight left turn over an oxer at 4.  Then a long gallop (where you really had to get going) to do  5 with three huge strides to 6.  Then a super tight turn back to 7 which was a triple oxer, can you call it a ramp?  It was 3 poles which got higher as they went back, making it wide and high.  Then a bending four stride line back over the oxer which is now number 8.  I don't know if I saw anyone get the last line (7 to 8) exactly right, it was a tricky turn with a slightly weird bending distance.  I know this is super confusing but hopefully with my wonderful diagram you can follow along!  It was very interesting lesson, everyone had struggles at some point... a few people almost fell off but luckily with this more advanced lesson no one did.  The horses were all acting a bit weird, being more scared then normal, or more grumpy (like Lady), or more excited and kicking out with their hind legs over some of the jumps!  I had to whip Lady for the first time quit a bit which she did not like, she wouldn't go forward, she was super grumpy but once we established that she had to do what I wanted no matter how much she bucked all I had to do was make growly "get up" noises at her during the course.  I have also learned that it is really hard to make the "slow down" noise which is a sort of "thbbbbt" made by blowing through your lips when you are freezing cold! I don't know how these Swedes do it but I can't move my lips when I am that cold!  It was a good lesson and I was pleased to ride Lady and it felt like I did a good job with her, which is always nice :)  I went home exhausted and got straight in bed!

Friday I worked in the hot shop all day.  First with Bjorn and Rosanne trying to do really ugly colored stems on the wineglasses.  I didn't make a single keepable one.  This might be because they are not the best assistants or because it is super hard to get color hot enough to make a nice stem.  After lunch I worked with Vegard and we got Micke to show us how to blow a wine glass all free hand! We blew the bubble which makes the cup, added a stem and pulled it all on our own, not stupid mushing tool and then put a foot on.  We did use the foot tool, I want to try to do a blown foot soon.  Then you put it on a punty, under the foot and open up the top bubble to make it shaped like a cup! It was AWESOME! It felt so cool to make one all yourself and know that it is really all your work and one of a kind! I kept my first one which was pretty damn good I would like to say :)  

Here are the glasses I had made on Thursday:
 They are supposed to have a straight stem which is SUPER hard.
 The one on the left it pretty but not straight... but the one on the right is good I think... well it could be straighter!
I was pretty pleased with these, they were tricky but look cool in the long run.  I think I like glasses where the stem gets narrower at the bottom better... I guess I need to learn all the fancy names for the different types of stems.    I forgot to take a picture of the ugly bubbly bourbon glass... I had forgotten I even made it until Friday night... whoops.  I will try to find it Monday and take a picture.

Friday night I went back the stables and rode Vaaaagner in another jumping lesson.  We didn't do as much, just jumped a little combination but it was fun and nice to ride a different horse.  I forgot what a weird canter Vaaagner has.  He feels perfectly normal to the left but when you canter to the right it is like riding a two man horse suit! 
Not very smooth to say the least! Also I forgot how much he goes with his head straight up in the air! It made me appreciate how smooth and nice Lady is even if she is a bitch sometimes.  I also got to see the teenager in the group, Lydia, ride Poseidon which was interesting.  It is always neat to see someone else ride a horse after you have ridden them... see what it looks like in addition to what it feels like.  AND! Lydia's mom asked me if I wanted to starting riding with them in their car to the Friday lessons! Yay, no more bus! 

PS: Sorry this is so late, I started writing it, got distracted and when I came back I couldn't get on the internet.  Turns out it wasn't the student house's fault for once but I had disabled something or other on my computer... yes, sometimes I am a computer idiot.  But its working again (a whole day later)! Hooray! 

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