So here’s the next round of guest bloggers who have graciously agreed to share their experience with their horse this week… We want all of you at home to feel included in our Aiken trip! This one is from Emily Roepke, a senior in high school from Bowling Green KY who has a terrific new young horse. Enjoy!
First of all, I just wish all of you could’ve been here in Aiken with us. It is certainly something very special, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
This week has been one like no other for me. It was the first time I had ever ridden a brave horse of my own, and I learned loads. Koda, unlike my previous horse, is ridiculously brave. I have never had to slow down going up to a jump before! This week has been a huge learning experience for the both of us, as Koda is green and I have not been able to ride him nearly as much as I would like.
On Sunday, Koda jumped his first XC fences at Hitchcock Woods. It was amazing and a really great way to start the week.
Monday, we were able to hack the horses out and do some flat work.
On Tuesday we got to school at the PSJ showgrounds over their show jumping course. That was a pretty big deal for me, as Koda had never schooled a course before. He was great, and I was able to better understand how to ride him over fences.
Wednesday was spectacular! Everyone rocked the XC jumps at Jumping Branch Farm. I was super proud of Koda, we had no refusals and were able to slow down much easier. What made my day was the water we schooled. Koda and I, as well as everyone else, did a log drop into the water to a bank back up. He was incredible and jumped it with no problems!
On Thursday we watched the training sessions taught my Captain Mark Phillips. It was super neat to watch them ride and to (somewhat) hear what Captain Phillips was saying to them. That evening we schooled dressage and I learned a lot of different exercises to help Koda grow more in his flat work.
Friday was amazing! We went to Full Gallop to school more XC and it was possibly the most fun I’ve had at a XC schooling ever! We really focused on ditches, water, and banks, all of which my previous horse would have nothing to do with, so my confidence in those areas wass not too stellar. After today, I am thrilled to do ditches and such! Koda was a superstar and jumped everything on the first try, and it was amazing to get to watch the more advanced pairs in the group to jump the more challenging fences.
This trip has been incredible! I’ve met new friends, eaten new foods that I thought I would NEVER try, and my confidence is through the roof! Koda will be coming back home a new, more broke horse, and I will be coming home with more confidence in myself than ever! I’m sad that it’s already Friday night, but I can’t wait til the next Aiken Excursion!
Emily and Koda