Not gonna lie, I was getting desperate for a dressage lesson. It’s been a few months, and the last one we had was SO BAD (yes, horse, let’s pretend like you’ve never heard of contact before in your life), I’m not even sure it counts. So I was bound and determined to get one in this weekend, and wasn’t even deterred by the fact that the only time Trainer really had available was 3pm on Sunday.
Spoiler alert: this was a mistake.
I think I let myself be lulled into thinking it really wasn’t all that hot anymore, since this past week we’d had a good 10 degree drop in temperatures. What I failed to consider is that it was still in the low 90’s. With 70% humidity. And you know who’s not really acclimated to the heat anymore, since we ride so early in the morning? Me and Henry both.
I got there early so I’d have ample time to walk around the XC field and get some stretchy trot before our lesson started. Whatever was in the air yesterday was bothering us both, because we were both sounding a little bit wheezy. I’d given Henry a double dose of his allergy med before we left, but that didn’t really seem to help. Once I got him thinking forward I decided to just walk and wait for our lesson time. But we were still dying so the walking quickly morphed into standing under the trees while sweat poured freely down my face.
Trainer showed up and we got right to work, fixing our crookedness to the left (my bad), working on some sitting trot and 10m circles and shoulder-in. All was fine at first. Then we got to the canter and were doing a shallow counter canter loop down one long side, lengthen down the other side, and repeat. That was all fine (you know, when I let go and use my leg so the horse can actually move his hind end), so we took a walk break.
OMG HUGE MISTAKE.
As soon as we stopped working, my world start spinning and I wasn’t sure if I was going to pass out or throw up. I quickly slid off my horse and sat in the shade for a few minutes, head bent over. Trainer kept handing me more water bottles (please don’t die in the dressage court) and eventually I figured I felt as good as I was possibly going to feel, so I hopped back up so we could do the exercise to the left. We did it 3 times that way and finally got a proper counter canter loop, so we called it a day and I promptly went back to collapse in the shade. I loosened Henry’s girth and undid his nosebands and we both just looked at each other like “This was an idiotic idea”. The glare I got from him was well-deserved. Sorry, bud.
I think it’s safe to say that we’re done with afternoon lessons until like… October.