Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adventures of Achilles

With a week of much warmer weather and Achilles' wolf tooth now removed, Achilles and I are off to an exciting week!

Yesterday's temperature was in the 40's, making it an amazing 60 degrees warmer than last week's coldest day that registered -21 in the barn. Being so "warm", my assistant and I hit the trail. I had a blast on Achilles. It was our 2nd official trail ride and he rode like a pro. We walked up the slippery hill that was still iced over in the shadows, barely glanced at the crazy herd of deer bounding over the fence, manuvered through the field of holes, walked calmly across the "land bridge", trotted and loped while remaining very relaxed and responsive to my cues. I was very proud of Achilles.

Today we began to conquer a series of jumps created by my assistant. I love it when my assistant or others create obstacles for me as they tend to challenge me more when the obstacle is not something that has come from my own mind. The series of jumps was three jumps in a row, none probably over a foot high. Two included tires that we found laying around the barn and the other included the funny pink mounting block. Jump #3 was no higher than jump #2, however it was interesting to see that Achilles over-jumped this one every time, whether we jumped it first or last.

I made the comment to my assistant that Achilles is my soulmate, a comment I have found myself stating more than once. I really feel that he is. My passion for horses expands beyond just the typical one discipline riding that riders often persue. I love cross-discipline riding and Achilles seems to also. I love how willing he is to try anything I give him and how he finds a renewed energy rather than uncertainty as we change up our daily routine.

My best friend, also a horse lover, will be visiting next week. Strangely enough she has never seen me ride Achilles and I am excited to show her our progress! She has been an excellent motivator in preparing for my competition. She regularly asks me and quizes me about what Achilles and I will be doing next to prepare for the competition. Thanks to her and all the countless others for helping me stay on task!! :)

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