First off, if anyone is interested in watching Mondial du Lion, they’re live streaming the 7yo dressage here, and the order of go is here. Because seriously, that’s way more fun on a Thursday morning than, like… working.
I was finally able to make it out to the barn yesterday and ride Henry/mess with Presto. I hadn’t sat on Henry since the jumper show on Saturday, which was before this 45 degree temperature drop and disgusting, never-ending rain (for real, send an ark and a waterproof parka and a few gallons of hot chocolate). It had also been about a week since I’d put my hands on Presto at all. The turnouts have been too slick for turnout since Sunday, although the barn worker has been turning them out in the arena on half hour rotations, when the rain lets up. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing. Still, Henry and Presto are both starting to get that slightly frazzled, freedom-seeking look in their eyes. Y’all know the one.
Henry handles captivity pretty well, for the most part. His manners don’t change, he just gets a little spookier under saddle and does a lot of crowhopping when you canter. It’s 0% intimidating, as evidenced by the fact that I chose to do a bareback and bitless dressage ride in the arena yesterday. In true Henny form, he was totally fine except for a few slightly dolphinesque canter laps that are nothing but entertaining.
Presto, on the other hand, is having a little bit more difficulty coping. He’s back in his shed row barn now that the water system out there has been fixed, which is actually a good thing in this situation. He basically has a double stall out there, giving him more room to move around. He hasn’t made a pest of himself too much yet… nothing is broken and the buckets are still attached to the wall, although he appears to have spent quite a while pulling his halter over his gate and playing tug-o-war with it, if the layers of dried slobber are any indication.
As soon as I started leading him into the barn I could feel him slowly turning into a baby horse balloon. He was snorting lightly, and growing steadily taller with each step. You could feel the crazy rolling off him. I decided to pass right by the barn and head to the arena first instead, to let him blow off some steam. Clearly there was no way he was gonna stand politely in the crossties for grooming at that point. So I turned him loose in the arena, where he spent the first two minutes ambling around, sniffing things, then all the sudden took off like a little banshee. There was a lot of galloping, a lot of bucking, and a lot of screaming and squealing. Quality entertainment.
What Presto doesn’t have is much stamina or dedication. His psycho circles lasted all of 2.5 minutes before he broke back down to a trot for a lap and then promptly trotted straight up to me, declaring himself finished.
At that point I took him inside to the crossties for grooming, where he was semi-behaved. As long as he stayed in his space, I let him be. Some days you just have to pick your battles and lower your expectations a little.
By the time I left the barn it was raining AGAIN. It’s supposed to keep raining til Saturday, then stop just long enough to make us realize what nice weather is, and then start again. I give up. Good thing I have a pretty new raincoat on the way.
It should be here tomorrow, just in time for my volunteering gig this weekend. I also entered one more show for the season, because sure, why not. Nothing like a solid couple weeks of rain to inspire me to throw money at situations in which I’m unlikely to arrive prepared. Meh. I can dream about sunny days, right? In between all the squealing and crowhopping, that is…