I did have lovely weather on Saturday and Sunday, though, which meant back to back two days at the barn. Yippee! Saturday, the first order of business was addressing the yak. Lucky’s front end has almost shed out, and you can see the red that makes him a blood bay about 60% of the time. His back end is brownish-gray clumps of hair coming off in huge chunks that blew down the aisle almost as fast as I could curry them out. His mane is also long enough to give a pain to any hunter princess, but I really did not feel like pulling it yet again. (Though a few more episodes of The Tudors and shots of the Household Cavalry’s horses and I might give in to temptation and roach the whole thing off.)
I tried a bit on the track, but the wind was just too much. He was a little bouncy, and I was nearly getting blown off his back! The arena at least has some protection from the houses and the barn, so it wasn’t a constant roaring in my ears. Anyone who wonders how prevailing winds can affect race outcomes? They can. Trust me. Apparently my being out and about gave one of the B.O.’s grandsons, T., an excuse to get Dom out and ride a bit. Dom, I’m sure, is still carrying a grudge about that. Technically, at 14.3, he’s a horse, but the attitude is all P-O-N-Y. As T. has ridden Lucky before, I offered to swap for a bit after I’d worked him. Okay, I was also curious about riding Dom. It would have helped if I hadn’t picked that day to wear schooling tights and tall boots, which were not at all conducive to sitting in a western saddle where the stirrups were too long! And it’s very disconcerting to see that short pony neck in front of you, especially when he’s flipping his head crankily at the idea of steering. (A side note: I really don’t like rope/nylon reins. Maybe I’ve spent way too long using only laced leather or rubber-grip racing reins, but it’s like I can’t feel his mouth at all.) Crabby pony is VERY crabby. T., meanwhile, looked quite good on Lucky, who was content to walk around the round pen slowly.
Sunday I had the ring to myself, after even MORE scrubbing of the fuzz (someday, he will shed out completely, probably right around the time he needs to grow in a new winter coat.) Stuck to the ring, and worked on stamina–his and mine, as my knees and thighs were burning from the day before. Apparently some muscles need to get worked more often! As do Lucky’s. His canter is smoothing out a bit, and I swear the little bugger knows what is likely to follow walking, then trotting, then back to a walk–when I pick up the reins after that walk I’m starting to get a bounce as he anticipates a canter coming next. I set up two jumps this time, at right angles to each other. Nothing too gymnastic–I circled out and came back the other way rather than trying any tight turns. Right now the focus is just a good straight trot in and cantering out as well as possible, ideally without a cross-canter. His fitness level is picking up, so that’s been less a problem last week.
Sadly my car may not be long for this world, after an incident (a mechnical failure, shall we say) on Monday, so taking the rental out this weekend is up in the air. (I don’t want to pay detailing for horsehair removal!) In any case, we may all float away before then. At least on the plus side for Lucky, he probably found some nice mud to roll in.