Hurricane Hanna hit south Texas this past weekend, and while Austin is too far inland and north to have really felt any hurricane effects, she did bring us some much needed rain and a break from the triple digit temps. I dunno about y’all but it feels like it’s been summer for about 8 years now and we’re only halfway through it.
Since they weren’t quite sure how much rain we were going to get from this, I switched up the horse’s schedule a bit in the preceding days. Presto got ridden on Wednesday, and they both got worked on Friday just in case it was too wet on the weekend. On Wednesday, Presto went for another hack out to the back. Ride #20! Feels like some kind of milestone. Honestly pretty thrilled with where he’s at after 20 rides, especially considering how slowly we’ve been going. Most horses have 20 rides within their first month or so of being started, but he’s 5 months under saddle now. He’s gradually getting stronger and more confident, which was the plan with this approach, without making him sore or tired or sour or overwhelmed.
For his hack I got on him at the barn and rode straight out again, no lunge or arena riding first. He had a lot of pep in his step, and he behaved, aside from one genuine honest-to-god spook when something moved in the bushes. That’s the first time he’s really spooked under saddle, and it was mostly just funny. He did a very obvious wind-up to where I knew what was coming, and then he just spun around in a pretty darn balanced pirouette. I was barely even jostled. Considering that Henry’s spooks are more like teleporting 15′ away with little to no notice, Presto’s was fairly adorable.
We walked back to the scary bush, made a couple circles, and then carried on. He got over it immediately and that was the end of it. I was pleased with that. Horses are gonna spook sometimes, that’s just the nature of the beast, what’s more important to me is how quickly he moves on from it.
On Friday Presto did a quick lunge session. I set up my Pivo at E this time, mostly because I wanted to see how well it worked from there. The new Beta tracking makes it so that you no longer need to have it in the middle of the ring, and I figured E would give me a better view than C. It never really occurred to me before to use it to film a lunging session because, well… that’s boring. But I actually got some interesting footage (to me anyway) and some good screengrabs from it, so I might start including some of that footage in Presto’s monthly vlogs.
I did a quick dressage ride with Henry (because it was approximately 9000% humidity on Friday and we both start to feel like death after much longer than 20-25 minutes) with the Pivo at E and I definitely think that’s my new favorite placement. Having it outside of the arena is obviously easier, and it tracked perfectly from there. Seriously tickled with the new tracking, I’ve now used it for jumping, lunging, and flatwork without any issues. Y’all don’t even know how exciting this is as a thirsty blogger who always needs media but is also always alone. Revolutionary.
Plus I really like being able to watch the rides, it’s helpful. I don’t get lessons very often (um it’s been like a year almost?), especially not right now with covid plus the heat. Being able to see the footage gives me some kind of feedback, at least.
Luckily the rain held off until Saturday afternoon, so I was able to fit in a quick jump school (we did some little gymnastic-type exercises over small jumps so I didn’t bother to get the Pivo out) with Henry, and just groomed Presto and added more air back his ball. I dunno what they’re doing to that thing at night, but it was waaaaaaaaaaaaay in the back by the neighbors fence and looked like it taken some serious abuse in the process. I feel like this ball might not be long for this world either.
I was hoping to ride Presto on Sunday, I had plans to set out some poles in the arena and trot him over them, but Sunday morning it kept raining more. Both boys got a mini-spa day instead (ok mostly I just groomed them, brushed out and re-banged their tails and chopped some mane off).
While there wasn’t as much riding this weekend, it seems like a fair trade to have a short reprieve from the heat and some moisture for the ground. My jump field was starting to get hard, and any kind of rain in July is nothing short of a miracle around here. The last remnants of Hanna should be cleared out by tomorrow, so hopefully this week I’ll be able to do Presto’s first groundpole ride!