Have you ever wondered what to do with all those ribbons that you and your horse(s) have earned over the years? Not the really pretty end of season ones or the coveted neck ribbons, but the average, every day schooling show variety that you have piled in boxes in the closet. After a while, you run out of wall space, so the older ones get pushed aside to make room for the new ones. I pulled out that pile of ribbons and decided that I was going to make a Valentine’s wreath with the red, white and pink ribbons. I embellished with some pompoms and ribbon from the local craft store to fill in the holes. Don’t look too closely or you will see all the flaws.
I did get in a quick 30 minute ride this afternoon. Ike was relaxed and all was going well until the local terror on his four-wheeler arrived home from school. I could feel Ike tense up and the game plan had to be changed in order for the rest of the ride to be a productive one. The plan changed from riding some of the Training Level test movements utilizing the whole arena to working on walk/trot transitions and 10 meter circles at the end of the arena closest to the barn (the safe zone). Yes, yes, I know Ike needs to learn to work with distractions, but why risk it on Valentine’s Day when no one else was at the barn? Better to be safe than sorry and fight the battle another day when there is someone to dial 9-1-1.
Ike tried hard to focus on our work. We ended up working at a slower trot rhythm on a 10 meter figure eight. The smaller circles force me to ride every step keeping my reins at the proper length. That is no small feat for me. I’m notorious for letting my reins get too long – hard to give an effective half halt with a floppy rein. Riding the smaller circles helps me help Ike to keep all body parts on the one bending line; it is not uncommon to see us losing a shoulder or the hind end as we cruise around a 20 meter circle. Now I know we aren’t suppose to turn on cruise control on any size circle, but who doesn’t have those momentary lapses (Olympians, Grand Prix riders, more focused amateurs) – I’ve got nothing to lose by admitting that I lack focus sometimes. Can’t really get mad at my horse when he does the same thing. Like I’ve said before, we are a work in progress.
Tucked Ike in for the night with some Valentine’s Stud Muffins. Tomorrow looks to be another good day for riding. Saturday is questionable, but thankfully I’ve still got a pile of ribbons to repurpose. What shall I make next?
Got Ike tucked away in his stall with some special Valentine’s treats.