Of Uphill Drift Challenges and Bootcamps

I don't care that we moved as long as there is food!

On Sunday last week, eventually the adventure of staying a month at my trainer’s started. After a January full of sunshine and warm (way too warm) temperatures, all of a sudden on Friday before we left, it snowed 30cm. So far so good. Saturday we had bright blue sky and sunshine – and they said something like: a little bit of snow on Sunday. Fact is, we had to drive uphill with the trailer with heavy snowfall and at least 5cm of snow on the street! 

That was the scariest and most dangerous trailer ride ever for me! While I was holding tight of the steering wheel, playing with gas pedal and ESP, driving through certain curves sideways (did not even know THAT works!), Stephan was white faced and horrified – the only one being calm and enjoying the ride was Hafl! After some of last year’s rides ending in disaster with a horse almost jumping out of the trailer (ok not that bad but almost) he stayed super calm and stood in the trailer like a boss. After more than 20mins of horror, we eventually arrived at our trainer's barn. Hafl felt home in the very first second, while we had a coke he was already lying down to sleep in his cozy stall. We just handwalked them only on Sunday, and had our first ride on Monday.

And yes, he feels great to ride these days. Thankfully, there are mirrors in the indoor arena giving us a chance to again see what we are doing and I was pretty happy with him – though he was easily distracted by quarter horse cantering and bucking around and a halogen light that was dying right above his head – that noise was a welcomed invitation not to concentrate anymore.

Tuesday we had our first lesson and it was not too bad. Fortunately, my trainer could see an improvement in our canter work - so the double lunging and riding during winter had an effect. Wednesday I was all of a sudden sick such that Hafl had a day off. 

Thursday I was still not feeling too well so I decided to let my trainer ride - and oh yes, that pony can move - when he is willing to! Also in the saddle, he felt the difference to his last ride on him. Sure, there is tons of things that we need to work on, trot extensions for example - getting them straighter is more exhausting for Hafl but will eventually lead to higher marks.

Friday I was not able to get to the barn (more on this later this week) so another day off (well, it is his first week...) but we had super rides on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, classic dressage work but believe it or not, on Sunday we did some trot and canter poles! AND we JUMPED! Yes, it was a cross only, but there were moments where all four were off the ground. Hafl really likes that kind of work and so he was very enthusiastic - and he is way better than me! He actually almost lost me over the fence once but was so diligently trying to wind himself underneath me again to catch me that really made us laugh. 

This week we are looking forward to not only lessons with my trainer but also a two day clinic with a well known judge and trainer - he hasn't seen Hafl for a while so I am curious what he thinks about our progress.

Tired after training day number 1

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