Monday, March 12, 2012

Ahhhh Spring....

SO, this weekend was just beautiful. Simply gorgeous... 50 degrees and sunny, what more could a girl ask for?

Of course I wasted half my day sitting on my front steps soaking up the sun while trying to ignore the insistent pushing of a tennis ball into my lap by a very persistent poodle. My bad. But I did catch up on my vitamin D that has been lacking for the last four months or so, so it wasn't a complete waste. Oh, and it felt great...

Anyway, after my overdose of Vitamin D, I headed out to the barn, full of ambition and eager to be able to ride in real breeches and real tall boots, not those thick layers and those bulky Mountain horse winter riding boots. Finally! I get to look and feel like a dressage rider again!
Of course, ten minutes later, I was covered from head to toe n little read horse hairs after brushing RC down, and the transformation was complete. t's really amazing how much hair that horse can lose when he didn't grow any hair all winter...
Anyway, I rode RC hard. We did walk-canter-walk on ten meter circles. We played with the half pass - leg yield - half pass on the long sides. We did renvers, shoulder in, travers. It was all so easy and flud that I felt comfortable asking for more. A 'positive push', as Dressage Today called it in one of last month's articles. I started playing with the half steps. Also easy. This is where I should have called it a day, given RC a pat and put him up. In stead, I asked him to collect and step a little more on the spot. We got one step, sitting further underneath himself, two steps holding the sitting, three steps starting to get a little tight in the neck, four steps... coil like a spring and leap straight up into the air with his front legs tucked up underneath him in a remarkably graceful leap by RC, hit this rider in the back of the head when flagging his tail, land and resume half steps like nothing happened.

Then I petted and let him call it a day. I was laughing too hard to get anything else done, and RC was mighty pleased with himself as we strutted around the arena to cool out.

Then it was Delight's turn.
Funny thing about spring... Mares start coming in to heat. In Delight's case, it seems to be a flaming heat. Of course, by the time I got Delight ready (she too would have preferred to be sunbathing on a day like that), there were other riders in the ring. Delight was , in fact, delighted about this. Boys!
Daydreaming of Stallions: Champion De Lux, Stibby Me,
FS Don't worry and Casino Royale
Here was my first clue that she was in heat. Instead of her usual approach to other horses n 'her' ring - the 'ignore them and maybe they'll go away' method- she was very very interested in those other horses. So interested, in fact, that she tried to pee on them as they walked by. Of course, after a few smacks with the whip, she settled down and we had a very good ride (her shoulder ins are coming along nicely!).


Of course,  I have two mares.
Ponita Tres was also coming into heat. Unlike Delight's flagrant attraction to anything with a Y chromosome, Tilly chose to display her heat in the touchy 'do NOT touch me' kind of way. She was rude enough to give me a tap when I tightened her girth. I hesitate to call it a kick, since really she just touched me in a very deliberate manner about half way up my thigh with her hind leg as I secured my saddle. Of course I hit her and yelled at her as soon as I realized what she did... Not that it did much good, as she then proceeded to turn her eyes large, liquid brown and blinked beseechingly at me in her best 'how could you do that to me' manner. I think she was even working up a tear... Then I proceeded to work her til she sweated (again, she's not a fan). We came to an understanding that heat or no heat, I can still ride and groom her as usual.
"I have got to rub that working sweat OFF!"

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