Tuesday, September 2, 2008

When the best laid plans...

I came into this long holiday weekend with all kinds of grand plans for my riding/training pleasure. I wanted to ride both Calypso and Chief and put some serious long-reining time in with Gabe. I even planned to go out for a nice, long trail ride with Robert, something we haven't done for a couple of months.

It's amazing how all the fun stuff gets shifted to the side when "real" work needs doing. I managed one session with Gabe and we just worked on confirming his understanding of my voice commands: Walk, trot, canter, whoa, easy, back and reverse. The canter and back commands are still iffy, but everything else seems planted fairly firmly in his head. I didn't get the long reins on him like I'd planned.

It was far too hot, and after spending the day toiling around the farm, I knew I just didn't have the energy to really keep up with him during the trot on the long lines. I think real temperatures of 98-degrees with the humidity levels around 88 percent constitute "too freaking hot!" Oppressively, depressingly, maddeningly HOT!

I did get the new pasture fenced and my HUGE veggie garden plot tilled, composted and tilled again. I confess, Robert did a lion's share of the tilling work. I'm sure he loved hearing the words "Honey, could you do this for me? I just can't do it by myself," because God knows he very, very rarely hears me say "Help! I can't do it!" The tiller was just far too big and far too powerful and our ground too much like concrete for me to safely handle that dangerous piece of machinery. I kept losing control of the thing and it would drag me across the yard and I had terrifying visions of slipping beneath those blades and turning my legs into shredded hamburger. *shudder* While he tilled, I hauled about 20 huge wheelbarrows full of compost up to the plot and spread it out. The plot is now ready for next year's bounty. I have room for every veggie and melon I've ever wanted to plant and then some.

Gabe and Calypso are thrilled with the new pasture. When we turned them out in it Saturday morning they both took off like their tails were on fire and bucked and farted and galloped around the whole thing several times. What a sight! Gabe sure can BUCK! I hope he never does that under saddle or I'd be launched to the moon. Have I mentioned Gabe is gorgeous? And that I'm completely in love with him? Thought so. *grin*

My youngest, Kayleigh, had a riding lesson Friday night and a ranking test Saturday morning. She earned her first rank star at the barn where she rides and she's pretty darned pleased with herself. She rides at home with me about three days a week (when it's not blazing hot or arctic cold), but we got to the point several months ago where me trying to give her lessons was pointless. We just ended up arguing about something stupid, so, she now takes lessons once a week with a group of girls her age and the rest of the week, we trail ride.

Once a week I give her a lunge lesson and I try to give her gentle reminders about her heels and posture and seat while she works on balance and posting and two-point. It seems that if someone ELSE tells her to keep her heels down and head up, she does it without question. At first it was frustrating for me to see someone else give her a lesson and tell her EXACTLY the same things I've been telling her, often in exactly the same words, and she listened without question. With me, it was nearly always an argument and it got to the point where riding together was becoming a chore, not a pleasure. Now, she listens to me when I remind her of things from her lesson and she listens instead of arguing.

Riding together is again a great pleasure and we have a lot of heart-to-heart talks just plodding along in the fields. It's the best type of riding there is.

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