This has been a low key week after the whirlwind activity of last weekend. I have been bombarded with real life after living the carefree life for four days in Lexington, Virginia. Sadly, the magic house fairy did not clean the house while we were gone, the laundry fairy did not wash and fold the four loads of laundry we generated at the Finals, and the work fairy did not complete any of my pending projects…Thus is the life of an Adult Amateur who has to work to support her horse passion.
There were no epiphanies this week, so all I have to share are my random collection of thoughts. A small window into the internal workings of my brain.
I feel I must give another shout out to my amazing husband. If you recall, he patiently drives Ike and I to all our clinics and shows. I trust him completely to get us to where we need to be in one piece. He calmly told me after Ike was in his home paddock that we had no trailer brakes for our return trip. Yikes! You have to climb and descend Afton Mountain on the interstate we use. Not a good place to have no functional trailer brakes. It just underscores the importance of the appropriate tow vehicle for your horse trailer as well as the skills of the driver. Thank you Ford for our reliable F250 diesel truck. To you crazy people that pull fully loaded two or three horse trailers with a Jeep Cherokee, I am talking to you. Rethink what you are doing.
It is time to restart our First Level training in earnest. Our lesson this week with Ms. C included schooling trot and canter lengthenings. Ike can show a comeback from a trot lengthening, which is really only 4-5 decent strides of a half-ass lengthening of his stride followed by 4-5 strides of gangly young horse movement. Hey, he is only 5 and not one of those freakishly talented horses that are showing second level already. He will get there soon enough. Our canter is another story entirely. Our working canter is still a work in progress; it can look like a canter lengthening on any given day. When I do ask for more, he is more than willing to do it…the comeback, well, that is almost non-existent. To get any change my half halt is HUGE and not worthy of public display. I think he has been talking to his brother who encourages more speed and lack of listening.
Sadly, my body is starting to show its age and my many years of running are beginning to haunt me. For the past month, I’ve struggled with extreme cramps in my right hip when I start my ride. It takes my breath away and forces me to stop until it passes. Thankfully, once I get warmed up, the cramps stop. I only made it through Finals weekend cramp-free with large doses of Tylenol before and after my rides. I am diligently practicing yoga and praying that it fades away as quickly as it appeared.
Finally, where did fall go? It was present last weekend, but decided to make an early exit. In its place are temperatures normally not felt until late November in the mid-Atlantic region. I need time to adjust. I am still dressing like it is fall and paid the price today at the barn. Brr, blue fingers are not normal and make half halts that much more challenging. I guess I really need to get Ike measured for his new blankets sooner than later. If this weather is any indication of the winter to come, it is going to be a cold one. Time to win the lottery and buy that winter home in Wellington!