Well, the time has finally come; we leave tomorrow for our first outing of the year. And did we pick a schooling show, a local clinic, or just a ride to another farm? Heck no, we are headed up to Boyds, Maryland to the scenic Wyndham Oaks Farm for the USDF/Nutrena Region 1 Hilda Gurney clinic. I must have lost my mind when I sent my application. I’ve seen the list of other riders. We are the pair that was selected to represent the beginning of the journey up the training scale. I can only hope that I make Ms. C, my husband, and my parents proud. I can only hope that Ike is the gentleman we know he can be rather than the spooky goof who runs from birds.
We had one last tune up with Ms. C today. She put us through our paces. We are as healthy as we can be and as fit as we can be after the wretched winter we endured. We focused on the proper bending on circles; I’m still bad at letting Ike’s outside shoulder head in the opposite direction we are traveling. Unconsciously my outside hand and rein creep over Ike’s topline to try to fix the problem. Bad rider, Bad Alison. I have to constantly remind myself not to do that and to use my outside leg. My inner thighs are still protesting as I write this. [Note to self – remember to pack the Advil.]
Ike still has not finished shedding and the temperatures just aren’t quite warm enough for a full bath. I’ve done my best to make him look more presentable and less like a wooly mammoth. The bridle path still needs some final prep, but my arms ached from trying to reach the necessary height to get the job completed. Could someone please tell Ike to stop growing?
The trailer is packed, the tack is clean, and my new boots are polished. A few hours of work in the morning and then let the adventure begin!!