Back in the saddle again. After three days out of the saddle, it was nice to slip my boots into the stirrups. The image above is how I found Ike when I arrived at the barn. He was contentedly eating the grass renewed by the recent rain even without his beloved Lady in the paddock next to him. He usually has a meltdown without her, so this was a big step for him.
Today’s ride albeit short was productive. No crankiness during warmup today – makes me wonder if it is the saddle or just a coming 4-year-old testing Mom’s patience. Could be a bit of both. In any case, warmup went smoothly and we drilled some turns onto and off of centerline – a really smushed figure eight. I checked my straightness near my turns and detected a bit of drift – the kind where you would get the comment, ” fell right” when you were turning left. Some of that is me with my non-focusing eyes, some is Ike since the hind end is still sometimes in its own separate orbit from the rest of his body. Ms. C and I have decided that it is better than it was, but we still have some work to do. Practiced our trot circles followed by our canter circles. Ike did fine at the far end of the arena. We then moved to the end of the arena with the gate through which his friend Lady had just exited…well, let’s just say that the solar system expanded at that end. I’m circling left and I swear the hind end was going to catch up to the front end as it swung out further and further. Not a chance in you-know-what that we could get the correct lead, let alone even consider cantering. Sunday will be interesting since the canter circles start at A – yes, A, where there is a big, gaping hole through which to escape. All we can do is try our best.
Our farrier arrived a short time later and gave Ike his pre-show pedicure. We opted for the au naturale hoof. I just don’t think that dressage judges would be all that impressed with red glittery hooves. I don’t think I would be either.
I’m ignoring the weekend weather forecast for now. Fingers crossed that the weather gods are kind to us. Three more days to prepare and still much to be done: lesson, saddle fitting, boot shining, trailer loading, bathing (weather permitting), a bit more mane taming, braiding, tack cleaning, mental test riding (there is an app for your phone with the dressage tests, but I’ve not broken down to pay for it yet), and 10 other things that I know I’m forgetting. Why does the list seem to keep growing??