We were due for rain. Overdue really, and we finally got it!
In fact, it came just in time for my weekly lesson. Linda and I warmed up in pouring rain because we are just “those” type of people who wont use the indoor no matter what the conditions(and hooray! we can use the outdoor ring without all that nasty dust!). Linda said that as soon as Margie showed up, the rain would clear.
We had a pretty good lesson. I think I must have forgotten a thing or two in the 2 weeks we had off, because I felt like there were a few silly mistakes. Mostly just me forgetting to collect him and being a bit too casual with my loose reins. He was a little limpy for the first few minutes of trotting, and I had that wave of dread pass over me, but Margie saw it too and didn’t ask me to stop, so we kept going. Usually in that situation I have a habit of jumping off the moment i notice hes lame. Good thing I didn’t, he worked out of it in 5 minutes!
Our canter had its very high and very low points. We had some great canters to start and I was so darn pleased with myself. But after the good canters, it was very difficult to trot again. Part of the problem was he was excited, another part was I have a tendency to pull him to the side when i bring him back rather than doing a square transition. Lastly, my excuse is we were having such nice canters, neither of us really wanted to trot, and therefore 2 strides of trot between was usually all we could muster without a fight. At one point (now I missed this because i was distracted by whatever else, or maybe just too focused on my riding) a horse got loose from its rider and came zipping out of the indoor. Of course he took off, but at that point I didn’t know of the excitement, i thought it was just another antic. I lost a stirrup and while cantering around tried to obtain it again, upsetting Bentley more due to the movement of my leg. So for a while I just tried to rein him in without stirrup, and was surprised how much my seat has improved over the last little while. Pat on the back for me!
It took a little while for Bentley to calm down from the excitement, and I felt a bit better knowing he took off for a good reason, not just silliness. Then we got back into nice canters again with better downward transitions. Going the opposite direction however was terrible. He has trouble picking up his right lead (perhaps because of soreness?) multiplied by the fact that any movement on my part translated to him to be “yee haw lets go fast!” So while trotting and trying to flex and straighten to get him paying attention, we frequently burst out into wild canters on the wrong lead.
I don’t really know what changed, perhaps I was just fed up with this or because Margie was probably quite frustrated with me by that point, but we somehow got back to our nice canters. Still a little explosive in the transitions upward, but once we got it, I got a BEAUTIFUL canter out of him. My butt didn’t leave the saddle at all. I have been working so hard on my position to get this right, and we totally got it by the end. We had some spectators at that point. I really hope they were jealous. I have to say, i don’t care much for the hunter style stand up, stick your butt out and hold your hands at your crotch style riding. The relaxed dressagey sit seems much more harmonious to me. I actually got pretty distracted because the canter was so lovely, it was like a dream sequence through a meadow, with my hair flowing, and tall grass and flowers all around. Maybe I am wearing a sundress. Maybe my feet are bare. Maybe there is no saddle at all. Just me and my horse. Oh drat! Don’t forget to steer Sarah, snap out of it there are 3 foot jumps in your way!
Ok I woke up in time to steer, but my point was made to myself, its ok to have fun but I really have to start looking at where I’m going rather than only at his shoulder to check leads, or looking into a dream world where obstacles don’t exist.
It was overall a silly day for the horses. Sable was also giving some problems, however they were the exact opposite of ours. Bentley wants to go fast, Sable didn’t want to go at all. Sable sticks her nose way up in the air, Bentley’s is practically in the dirt and pulling me out of the saddle. Why cant they just be the same so Linda and I can have a game plan made up together?
We went for a nice cool down walk around the field, and before i knew it, my GPS had registered a ride of 10.25 miles. We are totally ready for coates! He wasn’t tired at all. Cool weather certainly didn’t hurt either.
As for the thunderstorms, those came much later. While I was sleeping last night. We woke with a start in the middle of the night, there was so much flashing it was almost like daylight. Abbey is a complete wimp of a cat and was sitting straight up in a panicked state. Eyes wide with fear. I call out “its ok Abbey, come here” and she leaps over Lees legs (she was on his side of the bed) trotted over to me and immediately curled up pressed close to my side. Apparently Mum is much better at warding off evil storms than Dad haha. She stayed there all night, even when i rolled, just wiggled her way closer to me. What a great sleep!