My horse life has been quite wonderful. Reading everyone’s blogs has been nice – there’s good positive energy in the blogosphere right now. Plus Hemie is just the best pony of all time. And I have a funny store to share.
~1.5 weeks ago, my area of Southern California finally got some winter. And by winter, I mean just some rain. No cold weather, no wind, just precipitation. We’ve been in a drought, so rain of any kind automatically becomes STORM WATCH 2014!!! with mud slides and horrific traffic predicted. I guess the news anchors were jealous of all the Snowpocalypse/Polar Vortex the rest of the country has been having.
With rain predicted, my boarding facility sealed the footing with tractors and closed (and literally padlocked) the arenas and round-pens. ( O_o I know, right?!)
The rains started on Thursday and continued through the weekend. Thursday and Friday evenings I couldn’t get Hemie out. Between the downpour, the darkness, and the closed arenas (which have the lights), it just wasn’t going to happen. For the weekend I checked the hour-by-hour weather and saw my opening: 2 hours, mid-day Saturday, of light rains only. Perfect! I knew the arenas and round-pens would still be closed, but I figured I could ride him around the gravel paths all over the facility.
We suited up. I put on a rain-proof saddle cover, and received several compliments from barn-mates of being “brave” and “badass” for riding in this weather. Other people were hand-walking horses around the facility, if anything. Most were just cleaning their horses and hanging out. But I replied to them that eventing is an all weather sport, so we better have practice going out in the rain. I mounted up and we ventured off.
Hemie was really, really great.
For 10 minutes.
Then he got stuck, halting and not moving forward. I encouraged him on, and he got a little light up front, but then marched on. I told him he was the best boy ever and we continued marching. A minute later, the same thing happened. We marched on again. Then, maybe 15 feet on, he gave 3 giant rears.
These were not the “oh my gosh we’re about to die a horrible death flipping over sideways” rears. More like the “gee, should I try taking my feet out of the stirrups now, or just wait until he’s finished” rears. He was balanced and I felt secure in my seat.
Once he was done I immediately hopped off and gave him a smack on the neck (since rears are not allowed period) but then coo’d him since, really, it’s not his fault that he was hot and had tried to tell me more subtly but I just didn’t take the hint. We spent the next 10 minutes trotting around in-hand, which left me drenched in sweat and Hemie not even breathing hard.
In hindsight it was a stupid decision to ride him rather than just do a super long hand-walk. My normal rule of thumb is to longe Hemie before riding when he’s had 1 (or more) days off. He’d had 2 days off, plus no turn-outs (they were too muddy), no longe, and was being ridden in light rainfall on gravely footing. So at the end of the day I’m actually quite proud of him for the 10 minutes of keeping his act together. And I will certainly not make that same mistake again!
In other news, we’ve signed up for a dressage schooling show this Sunday at a local facility. In fact I’m competing against Karen and Sydney of Not So Speedy Dressage! What fun!