Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Trifecta!

I am happy to say I was able to get THREE (yeah, that's right, count 'em....THREE!) rides in over the last couple days. I rode Friday afternoon when I got home from school, Saturday afternoon, and then again today on Sunday. It was SO NICE to ride more than ONE day in a row!

In her typical "OMG-It's-Spring-And-I-Am-Excited" mode, Dreamy was very "up" on Friday. I think that is the nicest way to put it, and perhaps the least vulgar. Yes, I had a few choice words for my mare when she decided that piaffing and attempting to do airs above the ground would be a good choice instead of walking along like a sane horse. Now while I can appreciate her upper level dressage efforts, I really just wanted to stay on! GRRR...

Foolish mare. It was brisk, sunny, and she was ready to rock. The nice thing was she immediately calmed down after her crazy mare impersonation. I could feel her thinking, "Oh whoops, that made Mom mad since she just yelled at me." (Dreamy hates being yelled at). Plus it helped that I PUSHED her forward and made her come down to my hand.

I really think she feels good this spring. She looks amazing: her neck and topline look fabulous for having had so much time off, her coat, skin, and hooves are gorgeous, and her weight is perfect. She might be a bit heavy , but with consistent work I am not too nervous about that. Even her musculature is great considering her time off this winter.

But anyway, we got some good straight trots in the driveway and hill work at the walk on the road done on Friday. That was all I wanted. She was steady in the bridle, except her nerves were making her CHEW incessantly on the bit. Bad nervous habit. UGG.

Saturday she was great. I worked her in the field, which was so-so footing. Just some trot and walk transitions. She was calm and in the bridle quite well. Better relaxation in the jaw and some foaming! Yay! Just tried one canter and she was perfect. It was a right lead canter from the trot. She stayed in contact, relaxed and came up into the canter easily. Downward transition was not bad either. Actually it was quite nice and felt perfect three beat! No lunging or throwing of her body!

I tried the other direction but she slipped in the transition and I brought her immediately back to the walk. The footing was not conducive to cantering and I figured I had been lucky to get that one good canter. I wish I had a ring!!!!

Sunday (today) was another good ride. Again we tried the field, and it was OK for trotting. We had a battle of wills about coming up into contact, but it was over within 3 minutes or so and she did NOT lose her temper!!!! That was nice. After we worked for about 10 minutes, the sky opened up and it SNOWED like crazy! I swear, it was sun and slightly warm when I was tacking her up and then BOOM! It was a complete blizzard!!!!!!! I could barely see! I rode her for about 20 more minutes in the field (yes, I have a Puritan work ethic and snow will NOT stop me!) and decided to go out into the barnyard (where the footing is nice, but rutted so no trotting) and do some turns on the forehand/haunches, then go up and down the slight driveway hill a few times. She was perfect. :) It finally got to the point where I could no longer feel my face....the snow was pelting me and it felt like my face was burning.

I literally rode her into the barn (bad me, but the ceiling is like 50 feet up, so now way I could hit my head) to dismount, seeing as the snow was so heavy. We were both COVERED in snow. I had to laugh, because it was so typical of the season. As I was untacking her, it stopped snowing. I seriously contemplated tacking her back up, but decided that she had been good and there was no use getting back on and having things possibly end on a bad note. Then by the time I was leading her back to her pasture, the sun came back out in full force. GOOD GRIEF! It is March weather, that is for sure! And of course, the saying holds true: If you don't like the weather (in Maine), just wait a minute!

All of the accumulation was gone by the time I walked to the house, after having put my tack away and sweeping the aisle. Too funny.

So I am pleased with how things are progressing this spring. It is tough having to have a real job, because with S. home (it's mud season for loggers!) now I do not get to ride every day. POOR ME! LOL! In the past four years as a stay-at-home-mom, I could ride all the time. Now I have to plan it out to ride after work, after stalls/barn chores, and somehow get (human) dinner served too. On Friday I was able to do take-out pizza, so it worked! Not that I can do take-out all the time......at least it is light outside longer now, so even if I cannot get on until 6PM, that is OK.

Dreamy gets tomorrow off, and then my goals this week are LONG SLOW MILES (read: boring!) and more good connection to the bit. Springtime conditioning has begun!

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