Are sequels ever as good as first installments? Not in this case. Saturday’s lesson was a HUGE flop. No pictures, no video, and for that I am thankful. Turns out that even when the thermometer may only hover around 91 degrees, if the heat index is 112 degrees, Eli and I suck at everything. I had no horse under me, and I could barely ride. After a handful of jumps, including a stop–Eli’s first with me and very demoralizing–I threw my hands up and begged for mercy. My coach agreed that Eli was not himself and we should stop before we melt. We were the athletic equivalent of congealed bacon grease. And to be honest, with the heat index that high, it was dumb and dangerous to try to do much of anything.
I chalk it up to the unbearable heat and possibly his heel does bother him, even though he showed no signs of being even slightly off.
However, Sunday proved redemptive, much in the same way The Last Crusade made up for The Temple of Doom. Not only did I FINALLY find bell boots that fit, Eli and I had a brilliant ride.
After trying many different brands in both medium and large sizes, ranging in price from $9 to $35, turns out the medium size Centaur bell boots fit perfectly. And they are the $9 ones! And they come in emerald green!!! I just might order 5 more pairs. Or 20. I can’t yet speak to the durability …
Sunday morning’s more forgiving weather gave us intermittent clouds and a fresh breeze. I took Eli out for a nice big trot around the property’s fields, walked him in the dressage ring for a bit, cantered around the jumping ring once each way, and snuck in a few courses while the fences were set at about 2′. Eli felt great! My horse had his motor back. I could tell he enjoyed the ride. We rode playfully, easily, with confidence and energy that had eluded us Saturday. So maybe his heel doesn’t bother him?
Eli got a break on Monday, and his heel continues to heal up well. I am hopeful that next Saturday’s lesson will go well.