Sunday, September 28, 2014

Indian Summer and the Not So Good Ride

Cassel poses in his snazzy new bridle
Cassel's winter coat is coming in. His sleek sun bleached wanna be bay coat is shedding out and is being replaced with a soft fuzzy black velvet fur. A couple weeks ago when the temperature dropped and it looked like Fall had won the Season it was just fine. But this weekend the mercury is topping 80 and there is no shade in the outdoor ring and it's hot.

We had a great lesson last week. Non horse people often ask, "You know how to ride, why do you need to take lessons?" It's like asking the Boston Symphony Orchestra, "You all know how to play your instruments, why do you need a conductor?" If you're serious about riding and want to do right by your horse, it's a good idea. You can't see yourself ride and you never know when your scrunching up your left side and your horse is careening around the corner at a 45 degree angle like a motorcycle and you just can't figure out WHY. Why does it feel like I'm sitting on a bag of squirming kittens? Then your trainer comes along and unlocks what you need to be doing muscle by muscle. She gives you great things to try. Trot poles to canter transition? I never would have come up with that. And if you're lucky by then your horse is soft and willing and you just think and breathe and things happen when you want them to.

I had one of those lessons last week and that feeling lasted well until Thursday. Then it started to slip. Today was hot and cranky and he was quick and pull-ey. He wasn't being naughty. He was just trying to anticipate the NEXT THING and do it RIGHT NOW. Then right as I was just about ready to decide to call it a day somebody decided to walk their dog down the conservation land by the end of the ring and my horse decided the dog was really a HORSE EATING CTHULHU. He threw up his head, grabbed the bit and started to do a super fast hula dance. Sort of canter, hop, canter, hop this way and that with me sort of looking the blaze on his face which was sort of horizontally in front of my face while my iPhone flew out of my pocket due to the momentum.

I tried to sit up and continue the canter which only incited more hula dancing, so we trotted and trotted past the CTHULHU until he would trot past it quietly in both directions. Then we cantered again. It probably took less than ten minutes if that. But when I got off we were both soaked with sweat. Between the 80 degree day and the winter fuzzies the pony was hot.

So, I gave him a thorough neck to tail hosing in the washstall which he didn't seem to mind one bit and let him graze while I got everything cleaned up.

After today I decided we need less ring work, more lessons and cooler weather.

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