What happens when you're just about to start your trot work in the ring after a great warm up and you really have a feeling it is going to go well...? You get swarmed by 1,000's of bees. That is the logical answer no? Well, that is exactly what happened to The Pickle and I on Friday afternoon. August, is a relatively slow month in the office and I take advantage of that by taking Fridays off....let me back up to Thursday's lesson...
Backing up to taking advantage of August - I was able to book my lesson with the Boss for 6:00 p.m.! Amazing, isn't it?! So, I show up around 5 or so ...was going to give the Pickle a good grooming and get all ready to go...so, the Boss shows up around 5:30 and we're chatting, getting ready to go and one of the mother's says to me 'Do you have a lesson at 6? Because that's when we have our lesson'...now - please keep in mind the following, the outdoor is a MASSIVE 100 x 200 structure...the other coach in question had no problems with me riding in there with the 'daughter' ..however, that didn't suit the mother's needs. So, after much discussion, The Boss goes 'It's fine, we'll ride out in the field'...in which we proceeded to work on my xc position and Chester's gallop...yes, you can actually work on galloping. With him right now - we are working on making his stride BIGGER, not necessarily faster..there is a difference. And how do I do this? I do this by keeping my leg ON and lifting my chest up to almost vertical..sort of the same as when you ask for lengthening trot...we totally changed my position, shortened my reins and worked on opening the Pickle up...it worked, and he loved it. Joyce is somewhat concerned about Chester's head coming up too much, bu I told her I think I am okay with it for now because he 'comes back' really well. I don't want to START to put a whole bunch of unnecessary equipment on him (ie running martingale) if I don't have too. Then, we worked over some of the xc jumps...really focusing on rhythm and striding...annnnd my release - I need to work on that - The Boss said that when I don't release enough, I am blocking him from using his front end and he'll end up hanging a leg if I'm not careful - well, that is all the 'advice' I needed to hear. The last couple of jumps we did were FANTASTIC and I am feeling really good about taking him xc on Sunday at Canterdown!
Friday - the Bees - OH. MY. EFFING. GODDDDDDD!!!!! We were literally swarmed by thousands and thousands of bees!!! They were hitting my face, my whole body and poor Chester was getting attacked. Needless to say, I hightailed it out of there as fast as I could. Amazingly, I managed NOT to get stung (I have no idea how that happened) but poor Chester got a couple stingers in him which resulted in some lumps ....but, he's okay.
Saturday - was SUPER FUN...because Shannon and Lindsay came out to watch me ride - we jumped a little bit for them and then the best part was his 'cool out' When Shannon and Lindsay were his cool out riders!!! :) We went back to the apple orchard and back and they each took a turn on him. So cute. It was so amazing to see how happy they were to get to ride him! I am glad they got to experience the joy I get from doing it....
Sunday - The plan was to do some conditioning...work on his gallop and on my position. So - I show up early afternoon and the sky is grey. No big deal. As we are setting on our way, it starts to mist/drizzle a little bit. No big deal, we are at one point going to have to show in the rain, so we can practice in the rain too. Well - that idea was about 20 minutes lived. We were wayyy in the far back corner of the field (pretty much as far away from the barn as you can get) and the sky just friggin opened up and poured. We got SOAKED. Ugh. So, we book it back to the barn. We'd only been out there for about 20 minutes so I decided to do some ring work...okay - trying to get a very FIT event horse to come back into the 'ring work' mind set after galloping....is somewhat challenging....we argued about it a little bit, but then we agreed and we worked well for about 20 minutes...let me tell you - we've been working HARD on our transitions...and we are going to NAIL them on Sunday... :-)
Oh - he has an effing cut on his front left heel - I THINK from when he freaked out from the bee attack - which is causing em a little bit of concern. It is just in a bad spot that is impossible to keep dirt and shit out of...ugh - so I put bell boots on him for turn out (which I probably should have done a long time ago) and am hoping that will help.
So - tonight, we try again for our conditioning and he has tomorrow off.
Canterdown is in 5 more rides. Bring It.