glenatron: (Default)
I appear to have just bought a saddle.

Here's hoping it fits...
glenatron: (zorro)
So I have accidentally entered Zorro and I in our first dressage competition in a couple of weeks.

We ran through the test ( absolute beginners stuff, walk and trot, nothing complicated ) on Saturday to see how we're doing on that front. Judging by that we're only going to really have a problem with accuracy, transitions, gaits, impulsion, round circles, staying within five metres of the track, remembering which letter is where, distinguishing left and right and creating the harmonious impression that horse and rider aren't actually currently engaged in a punch-up. And this was in our calm, familliar school at home, not in the local riding club show field...

Ulp.

Still, one has to start somewhere and this is a great way to get me thinking about- and working on - details. If we get to the show and perform a dressage test and nobody dies, that will pretty much be a win as far as I'm concerned. If we perform the correct dressage test, that is extra double high score...

This also is likely to result in some hilarious photos of me dressed up like an equestrian instead of slobbing around in jeans and a jumper. Why yes, I do have cream breeches, and yes, since you mention it, they are exceedingly camp.
glenatron: (Default)
At some point on the long flight between Heathrow and Dallas I was struck by the enormity of what I am doing. It's fifteen years since I left for university and even then I had a bunch of friends at the same college so it wasn't a huge deal. This time I'm going thousands of miles, totally alone, to throw myself in far over my head with people who almost certainly do the thing I want to learn both better and more seriously than I do.

It was a bit of a shaky moment, the realisation that I really am doing this, it's not just a vaguely appealing dream, it's now a practical reality with no turning back possible. No safety nets, no running away, one heck of a challenge. Why, I found myself wondering, am I even doing this.

It didn't help that all the international flights into Dallas Fort Worth airport arrived at almost exactly the same time and the few people working passport control on a Sunday afternoon were doing their best but the sheer numbers and the time it takes to complete all the biometric stuff meant it was a very slow queue. And my phone didn't work. Normally on this side of the Atlantic it skips whimsically from network to network sending cheerful texts explaining how Orange will fleece me if I use this service, but not this time. Today it may as well have been a brick. I had to borrow a phone to call our host and let her know I was going to be slow getting out. I turned out to be slower on account of having to go through the agricultural channel at the customs section and clean and sterilise all my boots. Delightful. In spite of all this, as has typically been my experience, the US customs guys were really friendly and helpful.

After that things got a little more on track- I met Kyle, who works at the ranch, and soon we were heading up the interstate in a massive black Dodge Pickup. Much more what one might expect from Texas. Meeting the other students has reassured me that they seem like really nice people but also made it clear that I am way out of my depth in terms of experience and expertise. Technically that is a good thing as I will have loads to learn from all of them, but I'll have to catch up hard and really push myself to not feel that I'm really dragging along behind everyone.

Anyways, it's late now (nearly 4am, my body clock says, though local clocks suggest it's nearer 10:00 ) so I shall prepare my bunk and retire to bed I think.

Goodnight all.

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