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 Bruce Ropata on Sept 29, 2019 17:10:14 GMT -8
Bruce was excited about kicking the year off, and while he knew it would annoy a majority of his class, he was going to start the year off nice and easy. Give him a chance to see where his students were at, and he'd work from there.
It didn't take him long to set up the poles, cones and gate that they needed for that lesson and then tweaking different parts of the equipment that he had been busy striding out. Happy with how it looked, he folded the paper he was holding and shoved it into his pocket.
After a quick check on Dazzle, who was half asleep in the yard she had been put in, the man chuckled and went to tack an enlarged picture of the pattern onto the easel he'd set up just outside of the arena, so the kids could get a mental picture of what would be asked of them before they started and while they waited their turn. It was simple enough, and the end of the day so their horses would either already be warmed up or wouldn't need too much, and this pattern wasn't going to over-exert them in any way.
"Come on in and get your horses used to the arena, and what's in it." He greeted the students. "All I ask is that you don't take them through any aspect of the pattern until we've run through it as a group." And while they did this, it would give him a chance to tack Dazzle up.
Post by Ben Ayers on Sept 29, 2019 17:35:34 GMT -8
Ben was glad to get back into the swing of classes, and even Rowan seemed to have plenty of extra pep in his step as the boy tacked up the gelding. They headed to the trail arena in amicable companionship, and then, once it was in sight, Ben checked his girth and mounted. After approaching, he greeted Mr. Ropata briefly and let himself into the arena from horseback, closing the gate again behind him.
Showing off? Yes. But hey. They'd been practicing, he could show off a little bit. With a nod at the rules, he set Rowan off to track left and started getting the Lusitano's head in the game.
Post by Elijah Taylor on Sept 29, 2019 17:50:33 GMT -8
Eli and Nav were more in sync than when they'd started at the school, and it was definitely showing. Eli had spent the summer really working out the kinks of Nav's 'extra gears', as he called them, and learning as much as he could about the mechanics of the various gaits that he now had access to. While the Morgan was by no means his first choice, they had definitely bonded with time, and Eli had found Nav's many good points.
They headed to the trail arena and, after greeting the teacher and getting instructions, Eli led Nav inside and mounted after checking his cinch. He glanced over at the boy that had arrived first, taking in the English tack with a sniff. Pretender, obviously. He would need to give them some space, in case the fancy horse freaked out about something.
Post by Avery Durand on Sept 29, 2019 18:16:15 GMT -8
Avery wove around her classmates, having turned off her hearing aid and as such, easily ignoring all of the coos and comments that followed them. They had places to be, and she had to admit - ignoring bad etiquette was a lot easier than engaging. She and Key made their way to the White Oak Barn and grabbed Dolent. Saskia laid out of the way as Avery groomed the gelding and then tacked him up, ready to task should it be needed, but otherwise unobtrusively resting. Once the horse was ready, Avery collected her FM hearing aid and set that up, buckling it into place with her helmet, and left Dolent briefly in the cross-ties as she walked away with Key. She left the dog in the barn manager's office, in the pop-up crate they'd discussed using during equine classes. She left Saskia's vest on, but curled the leash on top of the crate, then left the dog to get another nap in.
From there, she headed back to Dolent, quickly adding the orange bows to his tail and bridle, and then unclipping the ties. They headed for the arena, and Avery looked around, spotting the instructor. She approached him, grinning as she saw the headset and, after making eye contact, touched her earpiece and flashed him a quizzical thumbs-up. After ensuring everything was ready, and working, she headed for the arena, checking Dolent's saddle and then mounting, finding them a place on the rail.
Post by Caspian Collins on Sept 29, 2019 19:04:26 GMT -8
Cass hated his crutches, and hated it even more that he was having to use them, and it wasn't even the end of the day yet! He'd obviously let his fitness go lax over the vacation... that and the fact that he was still getting used to his new prosthetic.
Leaving the crutches in the corner of the stall, he groomed Slick and got the gelding ready for class. He was in two minds about his leg, but decided to leave it on, and with a shrug, he led the gelding out of the barn. After mounting up, he strapped his lower leg into place and clicked the gelding forward.
Arriving at the arena, he nodded to the instructions given and leaned down to let himself into the arena - he'd kind of been opening gates from horseback, since he started riding again, as it made riding a lot easier if he didn't have to dismount and mount all the time. It was while he was getting Slick used to the arena, and everything in it, that he wondered if he should have taken the leg off before mounting up.
Post by Kyoto Kimura on Sept 29, 2019 22:56:27 GMT -8
Ky was a bundle of nerves when she entered the barn after lunch to get Ella ready for trail class. She knew that there was really nothing to be worried about, but that ever-present worry was always there. She groomed the mare, trying to talk herself out of being so worried about it, though the nerves were always there.
She rode the mare down to the arena, keeping her hand light on the reins and making sure that she wasn't sending too much of her worry to the mare. She entered the arena and began to walk the Hanoverian around the outside track. It was time to get her game-face on, she knew what she was doing in here, and she needed to show Ella that she was a good rider.
Post by Mikala Palakiko on Oct 4, 2019 17:53:04 GMT -8
Mika had enjoyed the summer in Hawaii, not so much the fall now that he was back in Kentucky. He was, however, pleased to be riding Butch again, in lessons, and a chance to check out the newest competition that had arrived while he had been home.
It didn't take him long to get his Dutch Warmblood ready to be ridden, he led him from the barn, swung into the saddle and he nudged the gelding forward. Arriving at the arena, he frowned slightly at the course, patter, whatever, that had been set up and he frowned. He flashed a smile at the greeting and instructions and he swung his leg over the gelding's neck as he dropped to the ground and opened the gate to the arena, before mounting up again and warming the horse up.
Post by Victoria Greco on Oct 4, 2019 18:28:33 GMT -8
Tori kissed Poe's nose as she entered the Quarter Horse's stall. "Wake up." She laughed. "We've got class!" She had often wondered about taking Stella to the trail class, but she always decided against it when it was time for that class. She had a feeling the Warmblood would find the likes of trail patterns beneath her.
Arriving at the arena, she gave Mr Ropata a bright smile and entered the arena to get her gelding warmed up. Though, this is Poe we're speaking about, so being half-asleep is his normal mode.
Post by Bruce Ropata on Nov 21, 2019 21:34:21 GMT -8
While the teenagers got their horses used to the arena, Bruce took this chance to give Dazzle a quick sweep with a brush and then tacked him up. Riding the unflappable mare into the arena and let her stretch out a little. "Haere mai, tamariki ma." He said loudly. The students who had been here the previous years knew what he was saying, and hopefully the others would follow suit.
He smiled toward the gathered students. "Welcome to Trail class." He greeted. "For those of you who don't know me, I am Mr Ropata. Today's trail pattern is really easy, and you're probably going to be bored with it, however, it gives me a chance to see where everyone is at, and it seems the best way to start so I know what we can move on with next time." He paused, giving his students the chance to voice their complaints, not that it would change anything, and they were welcome to leave. "Righto. The rules are simple: Just like in a competition, only one person on the pattern at a time. If I ask you to stop what you're doing, or return to the group, you won't pretend you didn't hear me and continue. If your horse is new to you, or new to trail, don't try and race them through things, as you won't be teaching them anything other than to hate coming to class." He squeezed Dazzle forward. "I'll explain the pattern, as I ride through it. Picking up a jog, trot, whatever term you want to use, go over the poles." He reined the mare back to a walk as they approached the gate and asked for a halt as they reached it. "Open and close the gate, left hand, and continue at a walk." He opened the gate and arched an eyebrow when Dazzle stepped forward and shook her head when asked to turn on her haunches. "And of course, today is the day that Dazzle decides she can only go forward." He laughed, and finally got the mare to do as he was asking, and closed the gate before moving on. "Jog a setpentine through the cones and around the last one. Walk over the poles and into the box. Stop and turn two-hundred and seventy degrees to the right." He chuckled when the mare decided she wanted to turn left instead, bracing her neck against what was being asked, and then turned to the right with a swish of her tail. Walk out of the box and pick up a jog. Jog to the end cone and stop. Then you can join the others when I dismiss you."
He remained where he had finished, though dismounted, and looked over that the group. "Ben, you can lead the pack."
It was a sign of how much the Academy was starting to feel like home, that Ben recognized all of the horses, and most of the riders, that entered the arena after him. He headed for the teacher once they were called and listened to the instructions, nothing too crazy. He nodded along, watching the teacher demonstrate the pattern with his pony, and then, when given the go-ahead, nodded again.
Rowan was an easy-going guy, and Ben wasn't worried about this basic course at all. He focused on making sure he nailed each obstacle, although he wouldn't have wanted anyone to measure his circle with a protractor - There was a reason reining wasn't something he tried to get better at. Once he'd been dismissed from his halt, he headed back to the group, ready to see what his classmates could offer.
Post by Elijah Taylor on Dec 11, 2019 20:46:41 GMT -8
Eli followed along with the group, staying quiet through the demonstration and the instructions they were given. Simple enough, for anyone who knew what they were doing, but apparently that wasn't a prerequisite for this class. However, he had to raise an eyebrow in surprise when the boy in English tack that he'd noticed earlier went through the pattern quite well. Well, anyone could do anything on a push-button horse.
Then it was their time to shine, and Eli asked Nav to step out into a jog to head over the poles. The course went by in a blur, and before too long they'd made their final stop. They joined the group again after being told to do so, and then came more waiting and watching the other students.
Post by Avery Durand on Dec 11, 2019 20:53:16 GMT -8
Avery was definitely interested in the variety of tack she saw represented, and the different faces. She herself was new to the organized 'trail' competition, and still had difficulty not picturing a trail ride whenever she saw it on her schedule. However, she was here, and Dolent was game, so they were going to do their best. They headed for the teacher when the other students did, and then she watched him go through the course, focusing more on what he was doing than on what he was saying. She did have to smile at his comment about not hearing him, though. She didn't want to make a scene, but she'd have loved to ask about that choice of phrase, if she had permission to keep going.
She was glad that two students were ahead of her, and neither had trouble with the course, so she was able to follow along and get a good feel for the pattern. Then it was her turn, and she headed for the poles, fighting Dolent to make sure he stayed at the trot, not taking off as he wanted to. The gate was a bit fumbly, and took them a lot longer than the smooth operations of the two students ahead of her, but she managed in the end, and then it was off to the cones. This was all easier, except the turning thing. Dolent was a show jumper, not a dressage horse, and it showed that he didn't consider spinning in a circle to be necessary. Finally, they'd completed the course to the best of their ability, and they stopped at the last cone. Once there, she patted Dolent's neck - He'd given his best, and they would work on it together.
Post by Caspian Collins on Jan 3, 2020 22:33:23 GMT -8
Cass leaned back in the saddle as he watched and listened to their teacher, rolling his eyes as he felt Slick go to sleep beneath him.
He watched the students in front of him go through the course with just as much attention as he'd given Mr Ropata. His eyebrow lifted as the girl before him seemed to have a little trouble with the parts of the pattern that required a little extra footwork, which gave him the idea that her horse wasn't a dressage mount, and he wondered if she would like someone to go over some patterns outside of class time.
It was his turn before he had too much time to think about things beyond this class and he jiggled the reins to wake Slick up. "Hey, I'm up here!" He protested as the gelding gave an almighty shake, almost unseating his rider. Getting himself settled in the saddle again, he nudged the horse forward and they approached the pattern.
The gelding went through the pattern, doing everything that was asked of him, but not showing any real excitement about it, and heaved a heavy sigh as they halted at the final cone. Cass shrugged as he touched his good leg against the gelding's side and they ambled forward to join the rest of the class.
Post by Kyoto Kimura on Jan 3, 2020 22:56:16 GMT -8
Kyoto kept Ella to herself while they warmed up, which gave her the chance to observe everyone else. Her eyebrows arched at the instructor's words, but she shrugged and followed the others as they headed toward the man. She listened and watched as the man went through the pattern, and she pressed her lips together to hold back a smile as the mare he was riding decided it was opposite day.
"We've got this." She breathed when it was their turn and she squeezed the mare forward. Working though the pattern, she kept her mind on what they were doing, not allowing for a moment of doubt in their movements, and smiled as Ella paused for a moment before completing the movement to close the gate and they continued. the rest of the pattern passed in a blur and she rubbed the mare's neck as they halted at the final cone and then joined the others.
Post by Mikala Palakiko on Jan 4, 2020 0:36:45 GMT -8
Mika's thoughts were a million miles from where they should be, or at least in Hawaii, and he warmed Butch up while on autopilot, and only gave Mr Ropata half his attention as the man demonstrated the pattern. He didn't give any of the students ahead of him any attention and before he knew it, it was his turn.
The reason he'd taken this class; was because it was going to be easy. He didn't feel there was any real skill in trail class, and his skill in all the other aspects of riding should allow him to sail through this one, and with a pattern this simple, he could pretty much go through the motions with his eyes closed - not that he was stupid enough to actually try that.
He halted the gelding at the final cone and arched his eyebrow at their instructor, flashed a quick smile and then rode back to the others.