Lessons at Last

Finally, Carl has arrived – and he didn’t waste any time getting to work!

We’ve had so much fun already and we all sleep really well after trying to keep up with him all day.  I was so excited to finally have a lesson and get some feedback about all the work I have done so far this summer.  Even more exciting is the news that Red, one of Carl’s horses, recently became my little sister Ally’s new horse.  She was so excited that she immediately went to his stall and started petting him and crying. They are such a perfect match and that horse loves taking care of her.

We three girls, cooling the horses off in the shade after a long lesson with Carl.

Even better, Carl was very pleased with how all the horses were working on the flat and was ready to school us over fences.  He really likes to use gymnastic exercises in order to make our horses better athletes so this week, he had us set up a line of four bounces.  The first one to go through it was Fly and me.  We had a blast and it went so well that Carl even put up the middle fences to three feet.

(Let me just say, when the bounces are set at 10 feet apart and the fences are raised to three feet, it feels like you are going almost straight up and down!)

Next Sarah rode Charlie through the bounces.  Charlie has done these bounces several times, but for whatever reason he decided that it was not his day to do them.  He would jump and immediately plant his feet to stop on the landing.  Poor Sarah fell off three times, but she got on every time and eventually rode him through it.  After she got off, she could hardly walk from smacking the pole with her leg.  She is so gutsy and tough but I was scared for her!

Then on her turn, Ally took a spill off Red, but he went through it every other time with her.  The exercise just surprised him the first time and he didn’t have enough impulsion.  Later, we even got Augy to go through the bounces (we just added one at a time, and he worked on figuring his feet out).   Solo and Jelli both went through like old pros.  Solo even managed to save me one time!  (The fences were at three feet and I got a bad distance to the first fence.  Somehow he fell into trot, halfway jumped the first fence, and then jumped all the rest like it was nothing.  What a good boy!)

The past two weekends, we decided to give the horses the day off and head over to Horse Shows by the Bay in Traverse City to watch for the day.  Carl is friends with Karin Flint, who is the owner of the show grounds, so she gave us the grand tour.  We got to sit in the VIP tent for the Grand Prix and she introduced us to her beautiful horses.  (She even took us to the Black Angus farm across the street and we sat in the middle of a herd of cows and calves.  The babies were so cute and curious!)  Before we left the show, I ran into Sandi, Augy’s owner, and updated her on Augy’s progress.  She was really glad to hear how wonderful he was doing.

Only two weeks remain before I have to go back to school and I am sure going to stay busy until then.  When I was asked about when I will ever rest, I just told them when I get to school – I have to make to most of every minute of my summer!

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