Blue Ridge is a fictional town located deep in the heart of Kentucky. It is home to one of the most well known equestrian academies in the United States. Students and staff from all over the world join the academy for what it has to offer. Do you have what it takes to join us and learn from the Academy?
Post by Kate Richardson-Hall on Jun 24, 2019 1:20:53 GMT -8
Kate leaned back against the inside of the fence, regarding the poles laid out within with a thoughtful air. Of course, students were free to rearrange them as they liked throughout the year, which could certainly lead to some weird and wonderful configurations, especially with the older students who liked to experiment, but even so, she liked to put up something different every now and again over the summer as something of a challenge to anyone who wanted to get some practice in over the summer.
Perhaps she would try a grid, she thought, putting her head on one side as she contemplated.
Post by Kyoto Kimura on Jun 27, 2019 23:05:38 GMT -8
Since being assigned a horse, life at the Academy was a little more livable, or at least made her miss home and her oji a little less. However, with it being summer, she found herself at a loss of what she was supposed to do. She'd been surrounded by tutors, or instructors of some way, shape or form, when she was at home. Here? She seemed to be left to her own devices, as long as her stable chores were done, room was clean and Ella was taken care of.
Not feeling in the mood to take the mare out on the trails, she tacked the interestingly coloured Hanoverian up and led her toward the arenas. With still no real plan in her mind, allowing herself to be led by the fates, she tightened the girth and swung into the saddle and nudged her forward.
Her eyebrows rose as they approached the show jumping arenas, noticing that a course of fences was set up. "Let's see what that's all about." She whispered to the mare as she used her seat and legs to guide Ella toward the arena the woman was in. "Excuse me, Miss?" She said as she halted Ella by the gate. "Are you planning a lesson in here, or may we use this course when I have Ella warmed up." As an afterthought, she wondered if her words had been too straight forward and not respectful enough.
Post by Kate Richardson-Hall on Jun 28, 2019 14:58:37 GMT -8
It was getting very hot, Kate reflected, and she was beginning to wonder whether it might be more sensible to come back when it got dark. After all, there was no particular rush; she had a long time yet before she even had to start thinking about the beginning of term. Just as she was coming to the conclusion that yes, it would probably be for the best to abandon it, given that she'd never planned on staying out here for so long in the first place, she heard a voice from behind her, and the blonde turned with a smile to consider a face that she hadn't seen before.
"No, no, of course!" she invited cheerily, with a wave in the general direction of the course behind her. "Feel free to change it around if you like; whatever works best for you. And I don't believe we've met! My name's Richardson-Hall; I teach... Well, a few things, but mainly Jumping."
Post by Kyoto Kimura on Jul 6, 2019 1:33:58 GMT -8
Ky smiled to the woman, and shook her head at hanging the course. She liked the way it looked right now, and she still didn't know the mare well enough to just move fences around, and was sure that this would be a good way for her to get to know the Hanoverian's jumping style.
She felt her cheeks heat up as the woman introduced herself. "It's lovely to meet you. I'm Kyoto. I do a bit of everything on horseback." She knew that she should probably start focusing on one discipline, but she found riding was too much fun to settle on one or two things.
Leaning down, she opened the arena gate and had the mare side-pass through and then turn on her forequarters as she closed the gate once they had entered. "Good girl." She said with a grin as she straightened up and rubbed the mare's neck before squeezing her forward again, using the outside track to warm the mare up.
Post by Kate Richardson-Hall on Jul 11, 2019 13:46:05 GMT -8
Kate nodded with a smile. "The best way to be!" she assured the girl- God knew that there were so many areas of riding that she would have loved to explore further, but cross country riding had never really been for her, and so that had ruled out three day eventing, which was more or less the only way of competing in a diverse range of categories that had been available to her back in the UK. Still, there was always the hidden silver lining; as it was, she'd taken up driving, and that had brought her over here, where she was very happy and fully intended to remain so.
"Don't mind if I watch, do you? I'm not making notes, I promise," she assured her newest student, leaning against the fence as she put up a hand to tie back her hair. Of course, it was always a good way to get an idea of what she could expect, but that wasn't likely to inspire confidence, she didn't think.
Post by Kyoto Kimura on Jul 12, 2019 19:41:33 GMT -8
Ky flashed a smile, pleased that someone thought her decision to not settle on any one thing was a good idea.
Her eyebrows shot up in concern as she warmed the mare up, she knew that this bring the first time she was jumping the mare, nothing was going to look poised or show ready. In fact, it could end up looking like she'd never jumped a horse before in her life. Having not seen how the mare jumped, she was going to be relying on her legs to guide the mare, as she didn't know how much Ella used her head for jumping. One of her mares, a very pretty black Standardbred, had been raced in an overcheck, so the mare tended to turn into a giraffe when jumping. While annoying in so many ways, it had taught Ky quickly not to balance herself with her reins.
Once she had the mare warm, supple and flexing nicely, she turned her attention to the course and rode toward the smallest jump. Rising into two point, she made sure to keep her legs on the mare's sides to keep her going straight, as she moved her hands up the mare's neck, giving the mare slack in her reins. She moved her body with the mare as Ella's muscles bunched up as she prepared for take off and she gave a little more as the Hanoverian stretched out as they flew over he jump below them and she made sure not to get left behind as the mare landed and cantered off on the other side of the jump.
Post by Kate Richardson-Hall on Jul 14, 2019 6:44:30 GMT -8
This sun was ever so slightly ridiculous in Kate's view, but then she was aware that, being English, the sun was not something which she was accustomed to see often, and so perhaps once she'd been here for a few more years, she might be a little more used to it and therefore able to be rather more productive when it came to the summer months. Maybe. To be honest, she doubted it, but then stranger things had happened, and the blonde liked to keep an open mind. Not to mention being an optimist, and there was no doubt that the sun here was something of an impediment to her at times. That being said, she did currently have her sunglasses tucked into her hair rather than on her nose, but then in her defence, she never had been able to see through the things properly, which made judging courses rather more difficult than it was to begin with.
The mare was moving well, though, and the rider was coping beautifully, though there was a certain unfamiliarity about her movements which suggested to Kate that she probably hadn't been riding this horse for long. Which of course she'd known anyway, given that the girl was a new student and the horse one that she'd seen many times on her travels through the barns, but then it was nice to know that you were right before you even began. She resisted the urge to call out either compliments or critique; she'd told the girl that she was going to watch, after all, and watch was what she was going to do. It was all that she was going to do, at least for now.
Post by Kyoto Kimura on Jul 16, 2019 1:30:59 GMT -8
After going over the low fence another couple of times, Ky finally felt confident enough in her understanding of the mare's jumping style, that she was ready to have a go at tackling the course that Ms Richardson-Hall had set up.
Thinking about the woman who had set the course up, reminded her that the woman was standing there watching them... watching her, and that scattered her thoughts in a million directions. Her distraction completely ruined her set up for the course, so she turned the mare away from the first fence and after riding a large, and controlled, circle, she had her head back in the game and her attention once again on the task at hand, the upright in front of them.
Approaching the fence, she silently counted down and rose gracefully into two-point as Ella prepared for take-off and she smiled as they flew over the fence and smoothly landed on the other side, heading to the next fence.
Post by Kate Richardson-Hall on Jul 26, 2019 11:08:59 GMT -8
Leaning back against the fence, the blonde watched the mare's form with her lips pressed together. Of course the pair hadn't been together for long at all, so she wasn't judging too harshly, and she'd promised herself that she wasn't going to comment. After all, classes were over for the summer, and she was sure that people wanted to be able to practice without someone looking over their shoulder and making critical comments. Still, she was glad that Kyoto elected to circle around rather than take the fence the way that she'd been coming at it; Kate wouldn't have been particularly happy jumping from that angle, but then she'd been somewhat less happy with everything since she'd obtained her injury. It was just a matter of time, she knew, but all the same, that didn't make it any more pleasant to go through.
Post by Kyoto Kimura on Aug 1, 2019 21:54:10 GMT -8
By the time they were half way around the course, Kyoto forgot all about the fact that they had an audience, albeit of one person, and all of her attention was on the mare she was riding, and she listened to the Hanoverian as the mare let her know how she liked being ridden.
After finishing the course, Ky rode the mare around the outside of the arena, sitting back in the saddle as they cantered, looking at the course they had just ridden over. She nodded as she gathered the reins a little more, circled the mare as they rode toward the first jump again. they took the course as a team this time around, rather than Ky just being a rider, and just because she could, she took a couple of the turns a little sharper than the first time, and she really pushed the mare to see how sharp and angle she could jump her on.
"You were awesome!" She said, when they had landed after the last fence, and she hugged the mare as she brought her back to a trot and started cooling her out.
Post by Kate Richardson-Hall on Aug 7, 2019 7:53:07 GMT -8
Nodding, mostly to herself, in approval, Kate clapped gently as the mare came down to a trot, before brushing her hands off on her jodhpurs and glancing down at her watch. Was it her imagination or was it getting hotter? Probably the former, she decided; despite having been here for a year or two by this point, she was still nowhere close to becoming accustomed to the summer heat here, and she doubted that she ever would be. She'd spent too much time in the rather more temperate climes of England to ever be really comfortable here, but that was of little account; she loved the work, and she had no intention of going anywhere any time soon.
"Very good," she commented brightly. Of course there were always improvements that could be made, but she'd promised to keep out of it, and in any case, if the girl wanted further feedback then she was perfectly capable of asking for it, in which case the blonde would be more than happy to provide it.
Post by Kyoto Kimura on Aug 16, 2019 12:11:45 GMT -8
Ky bowed her head at the sound of clapping, and then she felt embarrassed, as for all she knew the woman could be dusting her hands off.
Moving her left leg forward as the mare walked around the arena, she pulled up the saddle flap and loosened the girth by a coupe of holes and then lowered the flap and moved her leg back. Dropping her stirrups, she crossed them over her pommel and circled her ankles as the mare cooled down.
She smiled toward the woman at the compliment. "Thank you." She replied, a small concentrated frown brought down her brows. "I think I might have been annoying her towards the end, because I kept holding her back. It's too hot though to keep going, so she'll have to settle with a hose down and then a haynet." She'd talk with the barn manager and see the earliest time she could come down to the barn, and really give the mare a run for her money one morning.
Post by Kate Richardson-Hall on Aug 16, 2019 15:51:44 GMT -8
"It is hot," Kate agreed, with yet another glance skywards, though why she did so was something of a mystery; it was easy enough to tell that the heat was pressing, and visual cues were far from necessary. One of those things, she supposed; she always looked at her watch when someone asked her the date, as well, despite the fact that it didn't show such things. "Make sure you get plenty to drink as well, won't you? It's easy to get dehydrated in this weather." Of course the blonde didn't doubt that the girl would be sure that the mare was comfortable before leaving her; the vast majority of Blue Ridge students were here because they loved riding and loved horses, and so the occasional neglect of an animal was generally more due to genuine mistakes than wilful laziness, though of course the barn staff never let things get very far along that route. "Would you mind dreadfully if I gave you some suggestions? I know you didn't come out here for a lesson; you're absolutely allowed to say no."
Post by Kyoto Kimura on Aug 16, 2019 16:04:56 GMT -8
Ky nodded at the woman's words, though she'd find a drink for herself after the mare was settled back in her stall. Her uncle often reminded her of the same thing, and wouldn't hesitate to come out to the arena with a water bottle id he felt she had been working too long without hydrating herself.
She glanced over at the question and rode the horse back toward where the woman was standing. "I'd be grateful for any suggestions I can get, Ma'am." She said with a smile. "I tend to grill people about the ponies I have bought in the past, but didn't do that for this girl." She rubbed Ella's neck affectionately.
Post by Kate Richardson-Hall on Aug 16, 2019 16:19:19 GMT -8
Smiling slightly, Kate nodded. "That's always a good idea," she agreed. "Well, firstly, I think you're right; she is trying to rush, and well done for not letting her. Many people are inclined to go with it because it makes their lives easier. An exercise that might be worth doing for you when it's a little cooler would be to try circling away from a jump a few times before you take it, just so that she's a little less worked up. She's new to you, I can tell, but you're doing an excellent job with her, so keep it up. I can't remember whether I asked; will I be seeing you in my classes next year?"