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.
My 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.
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?