I am thrilled to report that the epic month-long rain has finally ended in Texas and we have a truly beautiful forecast for the week ahead. Everything is of course completely saturated so it’ll take a while to dry out completely, but we’re getting there. I even got to ride on Saturday AND Sunday. I’m not sure who’s happier, the humans or the horses. What a dreadful month May was. Henry celebrated his first turnout by pulling a shoe, so he was punished with bacon duct tape.
On Friday it was still too wet to ride anyway so I played around more with the dutch/cobra style braids. I used this tutorial that Now That’s the Spot found, and while I’ve seen many a video by now on how to do these, this one by far was the best one for me. I actually got a good looking braid on the first attempt! I’m gonna try to braid him like this at TR this weekend and see how it looks.
I also took advantage of a beautiful sunny Friday to get all my poor neglected tack out and give it a good clean and condition. Maybe I’m weird, but there’s something oddly satisfying about tack cleaning, especially when it’s really dirty to start with. I love looking at my pretties. And no, I don’t think I have enough PS of Sweden bridles.
On Saturday, Bobby (who is so narcissistic that he pretty much just scans my blog to see if I talk about him because he thinks that makes him “famous”) and I hauled over to our dressage trainer’s place for a lesson. Henry hadn’t been ridden at more than a walk for over a week, and the farrier wasn’t coming out until later that day to put his shoe back on so I wasn’t sure how sound he would be, but he was perfectly fine and ready to work. He’s really come so far in such a short period of time… I remember when it used to take 30 minutes to really get him connected, and now he’s connected pretty much right off the bat. We’ve still got a long way to go, but I can’t complain about his progress and his willingness. At the end of the lesson we worked on a few movements in the Novice test, mostly the half circle to canter depart. We never really got a good one, but Trainer helped me figure out the best way to ride it, so we’ll just do the best we can. His canter departs are really the only thing that’s still kind of icky right now. We’ll get it eventually. Until then we’ll keep getting 6’s for it and try to make up for it elsewhere.
On Sunday since he had 4 shoes back on again I decided to take him out and do some conditioning sets. That’s really the first time he’s been out for a gallop (besides at shows on XC) for at least 4-6 weeks. I kept it pretty simple with 4 x 4min trots with 30 seconds rest in between, and 3 x 3min gallops (350-400ish meters per minute) with 1 minute rest in between. He worked up a good sweat but I was happy that despite the warm day he wasn’t even particularly winded at the end, and in fact would have liked to have kept going. Thank goodness for a thoroughbred, who can pretty much sit in a stall all month, run XC a couple weekends, and come out with a decent base level of fitness naturally. He should be just fine for Texas Rose this weekend.
Hopefully now that the monsoon is over (at least for a week) things will get a little perkier and more exciting around here! It’s so incredibly nice to see the sun and be able to ride again.