This past Wednesday I was planning on doing a dressage ride, in anticipation for my dressage lesson on Thursday. Alas, we got a freak 2 to 3″ of rain. Arenas were closed. So I ended up cleaning tack, plumping up Spirit with extra pellets, then getting some cheap chicken wings with friends afterwards.
Thursday the arenas had dried up pretty nicely, but we still decided to call off the lesson – don’t want to ask too much of them when it’s sloshy footing. “We need to baby them a little bit before shows” my trainer said. Love it. But I still needed to get Spirit out so it was time to longe.
She was antsy at the tie-rail. Rain and lack of exercise does that. I could tell that she was ready to kick up her heels. I made sure she had her boots on.
On the longe we started off with a nice long walking warm up. She kept looking at me and tossing her head; I kept a steady flow of sing-songy voice commands to keep the pace and settle her nerves. Then we moved into a nice slow trot. It was pretty darn funny – I could tell that she just wanted to buck and rear and play and run, but she understood that we needed to be calm. She would trot lightly around, then leap into the air and kick out a nice buck, but then immediately resume the light airy trot. She didn’t run or slide – she had nice collected gaits with the occasional “woo” fun kick/buck. At one point she got fussy and reared up the highest I’d ever seen her go, so I immediately barked at her and forced her FORWARD. I’ve decided she is not allowed to rear ever. I guess maybe the possible exception is if she is turned out on her own.
She then waited very nicely while I helped my friend long her horse. I gave some preventative anti-thrush stuff (they make it in dry powder, nowadays!) and plenty of pellets. Gotta take advantage of reduced exercise to plump her up!
We’re 2 weeks away from our horse trials, so this Saturday will be dressage test practice.