Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 13th - 10:19pm

Being content with my life is an ongoing goal of mine and today was definitely one of those good days. First ride of the day was a jumping lesson on Twilight. We warmed up in the little schooling ring, jumped a warmup jump and then into the big "show" ring. Everything was set at about .90 so not large by any means but not nothing either. The course had a couple straight lines, water, a combination and a bending line. I was really happy with my ride. Went in, found all 11 fences, got all the striding and zero faults. Martin had me re-do the bending line to the water since I rode it a little too direct and overheld to the water by a hair but all in all, I was happy. Pats for Twilight. And maybe one for Katie! After we had another jump lesson over the same course and height with Holendesa. Started out well and I really liked our warm up. Felt it had some great points to it. Especially in the trot work. But in the end, I felt I rode that course a little less well with some over holding in some places then trying to recover by gunning a bit to get up the lines. No rails and some decent jumps but it just didnt have the flow Id put together on Twilight. With him each jump had just been apart of our canter. On Holendesa I turned some of them into real obstacles. She's a good girl though and jumped from everywhere for me. After I was on Nacar and again felt like I was really able to get some good work out of him on the flat. Martin helped me with the canter transitions the other day and since then, theyve gotten so much better. Just by tweaking how I ask. Today they were all right there. After the warm up, we went through a grid (cavaletti, three stride, vertical, two stride, oxer, three stride, oxer). Obviously it started lower then got higher but we finished over some decent sized jumps. Nacar was a little rock star especially since it was his first time ever in a grid (as I found out after!). He's come so far since June when I was watching him be broke to ride! After Nacar I flatted Picaro who was fantastic. The series horses all had the day off after jumping yesterday so we finished up decently early. Brian came out and had a jumping lesson on Herodes while I was on Picaro just before lunch. He ended up staying to eat with us which is always fun. When lunch was finished Martin asked if we wanted to go into town in the afternoon. I jumped on the suggestion for another in town adventure.
Meg and I ended up snagging a ride with Brian back into town which was super fun. On Martin's suggestion he dropped us off a couple miles from Plaza Italia on the bank of Rio de la Plata so we could walk up the coastline a bit. Brian dropped up off next to an amusement park with the most bizare theme ever: the crucifiction of Jesus. The had their own crosses and burial cave that Jesus rose from every 15 minutes. We opted not to go in but you could see a lot from outside the gates. Very strange. But as we walked down to sidewalk, the river proved to be as beautiful up close as it was from a distance the few times Ive seen it. The river is the widest in the world and just being able to spend a few hours walking part of its bank was a great expierence. The river itself was a little strange for me to get use to at first coming from an area right on the Atlantic ocean. To me, huge expanse of water equals salt water smell, sea gulls, greyish water and the like. But after a few reminders to myself that it was a river and therefor allowed to not be ocean like, I got over it. The sailboats were the same view as always though. On the sidewalk, there were tons of people fishing, watching the water, eating at one of the food stands, riding bikes and the like. As usual, a lot of stares from the natives but we're slowly getting use to it.
Once we turned off of the bank onto the road to bring us to Plaza Italia we saw people lined up waiting for an outdoor concert as well as people out enjoying the weather in a park. People were playing street hockey, rollerblading, playing football, drinking mate and doing all sorts of other out doorsy things. I honestly dont think Ive ever seen that many people at one time. Ever. In my head I know there are something like 13 million people in Buenos Aires but thats such a large number its hard to picture. Looking at all those people in the park and know its not even a fraction of the people in the city was mind blowing.
We hung around the park/pond for a but before heading toward the plaza once more. Probably one of the first times Ive gone to town where we werent ever lost. Walked right to where we wanted to go with no confusion. Score for Megg and Katie. Walked around Plaza Italia a bit and bought a few things we needed (sunglasses and ice cream). Finding the correct bus was far easier than last time even if we did have a slight bobble at actually getting on. The amount of coins needed to go places keeps changing and we were short a few. Only paper money. Bus driver wouldnt take it. But once again, some random girl offered us her Sube card and we were able to get on. And refused to let us pay her back. Talk about random kindness to total strangers.
And earlier as we left the ice cream place and were headed for the bus stop, Meg and I both came to the realization that the chances of us doing anything like this ever again once we leave is minimal. A morning of riding incredible horses with a top notch trainer then spending the afternoon wandering a beautiful city in South America. Experience of a lifetime.

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