Monday, July 15, 2013
It's too hot!!!!
I hate heat. I hate it I hate it I hate it!! My absolute top comfortable temperature is about 75, and that's if it's not too sunny or humid.
Yesterday was terrible.. I got my stalls done at the old guy's barn by noon, then I went to the office to do some work and hang out until it cooled down some... at 5:30, it was still 90 degrees out! WTF?? By the time I was done with chores, I was beyond gross. Besides being sweaty and dirty, I had sawdust embedded in my jeans and in my boots and glued to me with sweat. Ewwwwwwww.
I rode on Saturday. He was really good, and I worked the snot out of him. I wasn't really intending to work him so hard, he was just being good enough that I wanted to get stuff done, but not so good that there was nothing to do. It makes sense in my head. The past few rides we've been working on listening to what I say, not what he thinks he should be doing; and also communicating what I want better. For the former, lots of walking down the quarterline or second track/inside track... sometimes we leg yield to the rail, sometimes we keep walking on a straight line and do not drift out to the rail. For the latter, really trying to let him know in advance of trot-walk transitions.. making sure to slow posting, close my thighs on the saddle, and gently squeeze the reins. And what do you know, when I let him know what's going on, the transition is a million times better!
We cantered! First time in a long time... a month and a half or two months. Left lead, he picked right up when I asked. It wasn't necessarily the prettiest transition (I don't actually know, I don't pay attention to the quality of canter departs, just whether they actually happen), but it was prompt. We did a few circles before stopping... I still can't bring myself to let him A. canter down a straightaway; or B. canter past the open door at the far end of the indoor. I asked for a right lead canter.... it didn't happen. He got quick and unbalanced and tense. I tried two or three times and called it quits. Poor guy was huffing pretty good, so I'm sure cantering his hard way when he's getting tired is hard on him. We ended with lots of stretchy trotting, both directions. He loves to stretch.
One thing that bothers me is that he doesn't look as good as he feels. He might feel soft and appropriately round, but then I see video and he doesn't look it at all. I'm not sure what's going on with that. I tried to ride with shorter reins, thinking maybe I just didn't have enough contact. I think maybe he was better? I generally focus more on how my horse feels rather than how he looks, but when the two don't match up at all I have to wonder.
I am hopefully going to take my birthday present lesson soon! Although maybe not this week because it's so bloody hot.. I will probably also beg the trainer to please get on him figure out the right lead canter, pretty pretty please.
Show coming up! Saturday August 3. It's dressage and combined test. I'm thinking I'll probably do the same as last time--Intro combined test, plus a couple dressage tests. I'm very tempted to do a Training level test, even if the canter isn't too good, just so he can do a stretchy trot, lol. Unless there are so many entries they need two rings and therefore two judges, the judge is a woman I took some lessons from a few years ago, and I really loved riding with her and I learned a lot. I'd actually be willing to suck up having to ride outside if she's judging! I haven't sent in my entry yet, hopefully I can get my lesson in before the closing date so trainer can offer some input on what we should do and help settle my fears.
In conclusion, here's a picture of my cat Axle and my dog Amos outside this morning waiting to be let in:
(I've quit actually putting Amos on the cable unless he's going to be out for a long time... he's too old and arthritic to go far, plus he can't really breathe too well. But he's alive, even though he was supposed to die about 7 months ago!)