The weather in Texas has been outstanding! I took Friday off last week because Halloween is totally a holiday no matter what the banks and post office tell you. A new course was set in the jumper ring, so I took Eli through it while the jumps were set at 2’3″. He took it all in and marched right around. So Friday night, I braved downtown Austin while Halloween AND the F1 Fan Fest caused traffic snarls and parking issues but lots of fun people-watching opportunities. Fortunately, Austin has a commuter rail from my neighborhood to downtown, so I took full advantage of that.
My bestie came up from San Antonio and we met up at an absinthe bar that serves up French-ish cuisine, and the only pictorial evidence I have of the whole weekend is this:
Sazerac and fries. So very delicious. We happily ate all the duck fat and white truffles we could before walking over to the Mohawk, a small concert venue in Austin’s Red River District, to see the Afghan Whigs. We danced our booties off, and Greg Dulli even came into the audience and walked right past us before some chick with cojones and poor judgement stuck her tongue in Mr. Dulli’s ear. My friend and I were like, “Ewwwwwww.” Not cool to sexually harass/assault the entertainment, but if you are familiar at all with the Afghan Whigs, it’s not surprising. Whatever. The show was, as have been all Afghan Whigs shows I’ve attended, out-fucking-standing. And I bought yet another Afghan Whigs tee-shirt.
After about four hours sleep and making breakfast for my friend and my brother, who was also in town, I went out for my regular Saturday lesson on Eli. First we jumped a warm-up course at 3′:
Other than me trying to kill us at #4 by seeing one distance but riding for another, the course rode easily for Eli. The two diagonal lines were short four-strides, so we didn’t exactly have to zoom around. The next course my coach dreamed up was definitely a challenge, but all of the flat work exercises I’ve worked on with Eli paid off:
I rode 1 to 2 to 3 three as a shallow serpentine rather than a straight line. Eli was so unbelievably handy! Jump 4 is a skinny with a crap ton of flowers, and he did not care. We sailed over the oxer where I tried to kill us before, and held for a very tight one-stride before bending to another oxer, and finishing over an oxer coming home. Eli landed on all the correct leads, except off of #5, and he swapped anyway like he’d never had an issue with lead changes. He was so good, so clever, and so right on at all the jumps that my coach and I decided to call it a day. I’ll have one more lesson before the show on Saturday, but I feel like we are pretty much ready.
While bathing and wrapping Eli, I got a text from a friend that we had reservations for 4 at a popular place on South Lamar. How he managed that during F1 weekend, I have no idea, but two rich dinners in a row means I’ll be eating kale for the rest of the week!
On Sunday, Eli and I strolled around the property and had a light work out on the flat. My hope is the weather will hold through the upcoming weekend, but rain is in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday. Maybe it won’t rain too much, and we’ll still be able to show. My job schedule gets a lot more demanding starting on November 10, so this is most likely my last opportunity to show until next June!
Now to take advantage of a quiet Monday–I’ve got a lot of blog reading to catch up on, not to mention getting back to updating my own regularly!