If Only This Had Been a Long Weekend

Eli had the weekend off, and hopefully we can put Thursday’s horrendous episode of meltdown behind us.

Thursday, I got to the barn a little earlier than usual and consequently rode Eli as the sun set and the arena lights came on. Weird lighting is not Eli’s favorite and he was pretty lit up on high alert. We got exactly zero accomplished. I don’t really think it’s possible to “ride through” this sort of behavior with Eli, so we just walked; even walking, Eli peppered the ride with leap-y, spooky moves, set off by things such as a dog outside the arena, a horse cantering in the other arena, wind, and my leg. Fun times. While a few years ago, rides like this were commonplace, lately they have been almost nonexistent. I will leave this behind, chalk it up to prey animal instinct, and try to avoid riding him in super low natural light.

Friday, Eli got his routine injections (under a little extra sedation, oi). He had plenty of turnout time over the weekend and I can ride him again today. I’ll wait till night has fallen and the arena lights are on full blast.

But this weekend I did ride! Just, not my horse.

2017-02-06_03-45-40.jpgMy barn hosted an IEA show and I helped with warm-up rides and stuff. I absolutely loved a grey I rode first, although he eventually got kicked out of the show’s line up for rambunctiousness in a flat class. Sounds like my kind of horse, right? The second horse I warm up rode was a total trooper, a bit downhill, and the saddle was awful. Suddenly, 2′ verticals were terrifying. Of course we got around just fine, though. I reminded myself how nice it is to have a relatively uphill horse. And the right saddle.

2017-02-06_03-45-29.jpg

I may have to steal Whisper somehow.

If you are unfamiliar with IEA, it’s a horse show organization that offers showing opportunities and scholarship opportunities to middle and high school students. The show is judged entirely on equitation, and riders draw horse names for each class, so it’s completely random who rides what. IEA shows require a ton of volunteers to run because they need warm up riders, horse handlers, and in gate people keeping everything running smoothly. Honestly I don’t know the rules but my understanding is there are quite a few to keep the show as fair as possible. And apparently if you have an IEA team at your barn, your barn has to host an IEA show.

On Sunday, I cleaned up Eli’s back legs and tail a little bit, but I am starting to die a little inside over how impossibly badly he needs a full shampoo bath.

Of course Sunday also brought us the Superbowl and a Budweiser Clydesdales live cam. Who else besides me thinks the Monday after the Superbowl should be a national holiday?

12 thoughts on “If Only This Had Been a Long Weekend

  1. I, stupidly, rode my 3yo OTTB for the first time at my place at dusk on Saturday. And, to make it more fun, my husband let our 9 dogs outside at exactly the same time as I was mounting. Granted, husband didn’t know I was riding or he would not have released the hounds. Thankfully Simon was 90% a good boy and only seemed spooky’ish once or twice. I rode him again the next day during proper daylight and he was the laziest creature I’ve ever sat on. Yay! His last race was 11/26/16 so I’ve been impressed by how docile he is.

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  2. I have never done an IEA show, but the catch riding aspect is intriguing to me! After riding more horses with lots of variance in success, I’m definitely interested to see how I would do in an environment like this. Could be a disaster, but almost guaranteed to be fun!

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    • Other than IEA and IHSA I don’t know of a format like this, certainly not for adults! I think I would pass on showing on a horse whose name I drew from a hat. The warm up riding isn’t judged or anything.

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  3. I’m getting my 5yo used to riding at different times, so I can commiserate!

    I didn’t care much for the outcome of the SB, but thoroughly enjoyed the commercials and Gaga.

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  4. I feel you on the IEA warm-up sitch! I rode on my college equestrian team (NCAA format, still on unknown horses though) and it is not fun having to ride in ill-fitting saddles. I’m 6 ft and drew basically a large pony once with the equivalent of a kid saddle ๐Ÿ˜‚. Bareback would have been better!

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