Okay, so, drought is bad. I shouldn’t complain about rain in the forecast. But I’m going to anyway. The most annoying thing in my life is sitting inside at work all day on a nice day, only for storms to crop up and rain out my after-work ride. So, so, super extra gratingly annoying. UGH.
It rained over the weekend, too. Big storms Friday night. I snuck in a walk/trot ride in the fields on Sunday. The dressage ring was dried out on Monday evening, as were the turnouts (they were still muddy Monday morning) but no less that FOUR riders were lesson-ing in the dressage ring, you know, 20m x 60m, over fences, in footing not designed for jumping. To that I say WTF. Not my trainer. Sub-optimal. But the jumping arena hadn’t dried out yet. There was lots of clucking and kicking and clapping and yelling. Not my thing. Sooooooo, I stuck Eli in a turnout and played with him and didn’t go up to ride until like 8:30pm once the chaos moved from the ring to back in the barn.
We worked on circles, especially working on not dropping the inside shoulder (mine or Eli’s, take your pick) and making Eli carry himself. He does seem to favor carrying his haunches slightly to the left. Perhaps body work will address that, perhaps not. My right leg is also much stronger than my left, which makes bending to the left harder for me, and that is obviously a contributing factor I need to work on.
Something cute I’ve noticed recently in Eli’s behavior is his tendency to hide behind me (yes, I anthropomorphize). He was sticking his nose out to sniff at a big dog while I was walking him from a cross-tie back to his stall, and the dog turned and bopped Eli on his muzzle with a big old doggie tail. Eli promptly backed up and stuck his head into my back. I was like, “Awwwwwwwwwwrr, did the doggie get you, buddy?” He also hid behind me while he was staring into the woods behind the turn outs. This is not me getting in front of him, this is him walking around me to get behind me. Super adorable, but frankly also weird. He has really good social skills with other horses, gets along with them, doesn’t scream for anybody, but with people …. eh, who knows? He might like you, or he might bite you. Or both.
I have to work late tonight, so no barn time for me. And if it thunderstorms over the barn Wednesday afternoon I am tempted to take Eli on a very muddy walk anyway. An Asmar Rider Jacket is starting to look like a worthwhile investment, no?