I had plans to ride Eli last night … until a dump truck spilled its load across I-35 … right at the exit I take to get to the barn …
While this is beyond my control, it does not alleviate the guilt I feel when I can’t get out to see Eli, whether to ride or not. I get sucked into the rabbit hole of anthropomorphism, literally worrying that Eli will worry that I won’t come back. He nickers loudly at me every time I walk in the barn in the evneings, fully expecting me to pull him out of his stall as soon as he sees me. Which I usually do. And so I think he must feel disappointed if I don’t show up … which is actually really vain and idiotic, but I am human and humans are vain and idiotic.
I also have this same experience with Conrad, as I leave for work every day.
All I can do is reassure them both I am going to keep showing up! Perhaps they understand.
After a string of tempestuous weather plaguing Central Texas on Saturdays, this past Saturday was not much different. Storms were forecast. I walked Conrad in a drenching drizzle. I almost didn’t bother taking my tall boots with me on my way out to the barn. Somehow, the barn hadn’t seen as much wet weather. It was chilly and damp, but the footing was really good, and a line of storms from the west was still a ways away. It looked like I would ACTUALLY be able to school Eli with my trainer.
(How cute is that grey? His name is Shrek.)
And he was foot-perfect. I am finally getting the hang of living with whatever distance comes up and not trying to change that at the last minute. And Eli responds beautifully to that style of riding. It’s really hard, though. In case you hadn’t noticed.https://player.vimeo.com/api/player.js
The video is some jumps, some talking, and some jumps. And then my trainer pets Eli at the end. He got apples and cookies and Sunday off! It wasn’t a lot of jumping, and that’s the way I like it for him.
The weather is finally cooperating around here so hopefully summer Eli is here to stay for a while. It might be time to break out the roller ball spurs! But only for flat work.
So windy. But characteristically, Eli didn’t seem to mind.
Lovely evening, and I tracked this ride with Equilab. I got in more time at the canter, but apparently that means less trot?
I seem to have a 25-minute clock in my head for rides and I should push it to 30. Plenty of transitions, though. Honestly, how does a ride without many transitions even work? I don’t know. This is a pretty good visual representation of how we can walk-to-canter but still struggle with canter-to-walk.
Too pretty to work. Eli and I strolled around the wildflowers at sunset.
Eli rode SO WELL last night. I jumped him a little bit, not knowing whether we’ll be able to beat the weather Saturday. He seems to love it when I shove my hands at him and let him jump from a snug distance (provided I keep my shoulders back–it doesn’t work otherwise). Sometimes we get a little too snug because I ride right past the distance into an add step … maybe I should just, ya know, do nothing. That seems to work best.
He got new shoes on Thursday, too, and moved out very well with this new setting. I am also noticing the benefits of copper-coated nails — nail holes definitely stay tighter (and of course copper has some anti-microbial properties but Eli doesn’t seem prone to thrush). We’ll stick to flat work again tonight and MAYBE I will FINALLY get an actual Saturday lesson with my trainer in what seems like ages because I guess Saturday is Crap Weather Day.
I know many readers may not be following closely, but just in case …
I have boarded horses at the same barn for a long time. I hope to continue to board horses there for a while — as long as I have horses, I don’t want to board anywhere else, really. But this barn has a new owner now.
From my perspective, not much has changed. Eli still receives excellent care, and thoroughly enjoys the new owner’s feeding program, too. I still ride with my trainer. I still feel very much at home at the location. The new owner has gone to great lengths to accommodate all the clients, and the former owner most definitely deserves a leisurely retirement!
So you may see me wear my Kings Bridge baseball cap, but now you are just as likely to see me wearing my Hilltop baseball cap. I am very happy to call Hilltop Eli’s home!
Eli schooled lightly but very well over fences on Friday evening. As it turned out, it was a good thing I jumped him then, because Saturday, while sunny and bright, was too windy to jump anything. I had trouble just trying to trot. We had sustained winds out of the north at 25-30mph with gusts to 50mph and greater. Eli and I wound up just strolling around in the wildflowers at a walk. He never seems to mind wind, although on Saturday he did have a bit of a snorting fit when we first started walking around, but with that much wind and dust and dry air I can hardly blame him for it.
Sunday was a much nicer day and I spent the day working outside until 5 or so, then drove out to get Eli some grazing time.
The weekend was not a total waste — a good friend was in town on business and we went to Lamberts Sunday night. If you ever visit Austin, I definitely recommend checking out Lamberts–as long as you like meat. Don’t bother going if you don’t eat meat, though. I don’t think there would much on the menu for you.
And that’s just the bar menu, where this friend and I prefer to eat while there. There is a lot more meat on the full menu.
Hopefully this evening will be less windy and I can have a decent flat work session on Eli!