Humidity, flies, and natty bugs were out today – the trifecta of misery. Fly masks and fly spray were a must. Even with those defenses, Ike was not a happy camper and convinced Ms. C to bring him in for the sanctuary of his stall where I found him happily munching hay when I arrived. I can’t convince myself that the horses can actually see anything with the fly mask in place. I’ve held it up to my eyes before and promptly tripped because I could not see the ground in front of me. The horses must have better eyesight than me since they seem to get around just fine. As for the humidity, all I can say is “yuck.” This is mid-summer humidity and I’m still in the spring frame of mind.
Today was lesson day. Decided to carry a dressage whip for the first time 1) since Ms. C was on the ground in case I got into trouble, and 2) it might help me communicate with the hind end that likes to stray. The whip did not faze Ike at all whether I used it at his shoulder or behind my leg. It has been a while since I’ve carried one, so I was a bit clumsy when it came time to switch sides/hands. The ever patient Ike just kept trucking along. [Have I mentioned lately how much I love this boy?]
We started schooling the Training Level test movements. You pick up your canter on the second half of the circle that starts at A…that is a full 10 meter arc to lose our hind end. If we get the correct lead, we then have to canter half way down the long side without knocking down the ring, and finally another half a circle before the down transition to trot. But then thing get really hard – when you arrive back at A, it is time for the stretch down trot. Seriously?! Evil, simply evil. Ike comes out of canter with a gorgeous, forward trot. Trying to get him to stretch into my hands is challenging. When I give an inch, the engines kick into another forward gear with no stretch. Worst part is that there is a coefficient with this movement. Like I said, evil.
We did find that with me holding the whip, I nailed my canter transitions. Coincidence? Or just dumb luck? I will have to try using it a few more times before deciding. The canter is still quick, but improving. I still need to sit back; Ms. C is the constant voice in my head as I try my best to comply.
Hoping for a lower dew point and fewer bugs tomorrow.