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Winter Training in Ocala FL

March 16th
Se we started off to a rocky start.  Impeccable was supposed to leave Hacienda Siesta Alegre at 3am for the airport and I had a flight for 11:40am.  When I landed in Orlando I had gotten amessage that the plane Impecc was to fly on was having mechanical issues and they wouls let me know when they left.  So I got my luggage which was intersting since I had 2 checked bags, jogger stroller, carseat w/ base, diaper bag, laptop and baby.   Bryan asked why I had 2 bags.  Because I'm packing for myself, Olivia and Impccable to live out of a hotel room for a few weeks.  My original plan was to get a skycap to help me with my luggage all the way to the rental car check-in.  Turns out there was no one around so I made it to the rental car desk myself but there was no way I was going to get to my rental car in the parking garage across the street.  Luckily th agent realized that and quickly helped me to my car.  
 
So I got a Prius.  And didn't realize that I know nothing about hybrid cars.  First there are no keys.  You have a little key chain and the car nows when you are close by and automatically unlocks.  Which I didn't know so I thought it would stay locked at first.  And then you have to ut your seat belt on, push the brke then push the power button for the car to start.  And everything is in French which I still don't know how to change it to English.  And there is park button to put it in park and I can't explain the gear shifter.  So I get the bags in, carseat in and then don't know how to start or move it and I'm alone with Olivia.  So I figure it out.  Then my GPS doesn't want to work.  It keeps saying I'm still in San Juan and I never looked up directions so I just head north.  Turns out there are tolls every few miles.  So get a pass if you're in FL!  At first I thought "this isn't bad, $.75" until I hit the 3rd one in 10 miles. 
 
So I get to the hotel. no mini fridge, no microwave, 6 cable stations.  Now I know why it was so cheap.  Our feet were black from the carpet in the room in minutes.  Thank God Olivia's not crwaling anymore.  So we wear our shoes all the time!  I drive out to check out the barn and then decide to see where my horse is.  They say he'll get in at 3am.  SO I call Bruce and he says it's not a problem and he'll take care of it when he gets there.  I'm relieved so I don't have to drag Olivia out of bed after she already had a day with out naps. 
 
So I get a call at 1:30 am saying they will be at the barn in 30 minutes.  I give the driver Bruce's number since he said to call when they were at the gait.
On to the next Day.
 
March 17th
 
So I am assuming that Impeccable got to the farm and everything is OK.  I got to HITS to watch Valentina from HSA and to meet up with Patrick but first I meet up with Olivia's Florida Nanny Jillian.  So jillian, Olivia and I got to HITS, watch a lot of jumping then Olivia and Jillian go back to the hotel for a nap, I go to see Impeccable.  I get to the barn and no 0ne is around.  Then a groom for one of the other girls show up and he didn't think Impeccable came and i had already looked in the stalls and fields and didn't find him.  Bruce was competing in Ocala so I couldn't get ahold of him.  I call the transport people, no answer.  So I head to Ocala show grounds and as I'm parking the driver calls saying he's lost.  So I find him, he follows me to the barn and finally I get my horse.  He said they tried to deliver him last night but got lost.  So why didn't he call?  I asked where he had been the whole time and he said "I'm just the driver"   But Impeccable seemed fine so I let it go.  But his supplements and ulcer meds did get lost in the shuffle.  But I'm not suprised since on his way to PR he didn't get any of the meds, grain or supplemnts I packed for him. 
 
I turn him out in a little paddock and go bakc to watch more jumping.  Valentina did great!
 
March 18th
 
I went to ride early and Impeccable was great for all the travelling.  He was a little tired but that's it.  Then I went to HITS to watch Valentina and she placed 2nd in her first class and 8th in the classic which was really good for riding a horse she only got to ride a few times the weekend before and that's it.  I went back to the hotel to get Olivia and we went back to HITS to watch the Grand Prix which was amazing.  Those jumps are so  much bigger than the horses jumping them.  Bruce said he went running out to get Impeccable the night before but it was just people coming early to get ready for the show.  so who knows what really happened.  Olivia loved the crowds and dogs.  She wanted to pet every dog and I could have really used a leash for her! 
 
March 19th
 
I had a good ride on the flat.  Starting off slow, worked on stride counting exercise and the canter in general.   The other girls and guy at the barn are very nice and from all over, Ontario, California, Massechuesettes.  There are also a lot of people trailering in from all over the US.  It's great to watch the other people ride too.
 
March 20th
 
Worked on jumping today.  I started with a canter cavaletti excercise.  3 cavalleti bounces then 2 strides and 3 again.  Then 2 cavalleti 72ish feet apart and you have to adjust your stride to put in 6, 7, 8 strides then worked on turns, forwardness and course work in general just to see where I am.  My reaction time needs to be faster and we need to be quicker moving overall.  But I was pleased overall.  There is always room for improvement but it wasn't disasterous.
 
March 21st
 
Worked my but off on the flat.  Or atleast the hardest I've had to work in a long time but it felt goodand it felt do-able.  Goals are to be more forward in the canter, be more straight in he canter, be quicker to make turns and to be aware of my surroundings to know how close and tight my turns can really be.  I started with a very clloected walk.  Went into the trot, did 10m cirles, shoulder-in, turns with more collection and flexion from front to back.  Flexion while truly straight.  Then I worked on canter transitions, cantering straight with 10m U turns at each end, cantering with bends each way staying on the same lead and then simple change of lead.  Then I worked on trot cavaletti each way on a circle then canter to trot cavaletti and changing lead/ direction in between then canter halt transitions.  Then we had a 5 minute walk break and did the entire regiment again wth out Bruce correcting me to see if I knew when I needed corection and if I could correct myself.  Another goal is for me to ride that hard in every ride and to be as hard on myself as he is on me.  Imporvement isn't going to happen otherwise.  Needless to say Impecc was standing exhausted in his stall after I was done!  Bruce Flies up to Southern Pines tomorrow so I'm hoping to show some improvement when he gets back!  I feel really good about being here and know that this is exactly what I needed.  I just wish I had another horse to work!  I won't have to worry about that when I get home.  One habit I need to break is looking too far ahead.  I need to look between my horses ears, keep leg on, reins shorter, hands in front of me.  And I need to be faster to praise my horse when he is good.  I'm so like "wow" when he does something awesome that I totally forget to tell him he's good and we're already on to the next thing or the moment's over! 
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