Saturday’s lesson did not go so well. Most of that is me failing in my responsibilities — I should have jumped Eli at some point during the week but I didn’t. He has been a bit “up” lately and he was not in the right frame of mind for jumping. I mean I could have got around okay and some jumps were fine, but I am getting a little anxious about this two-stride that has been set in the ring, even though we have cantered through it fine before. Eli and I both need a break from it.
Eli was fine to flat before jumping, and just trotting over a cross rail was okay, too. But I could tell he was very tense and I was losing his attention. This was affecting my own concentration, too. It was not a good combination. I am pretty sure he thought we should just be cantering the two-stride instead of trotting in and compressing for three. I really don’t want to jump it again as it is set.
In all fairness, there was a lot going on this past Saturday — the barn and property are undergoing some major improvements. I am excited about these improvements and I think they will benefit every horse there. But it also means that on Friday and Saturday, big trucks with loads of stuff were driving in and out of the property — right past the arena — throughout the day. Trucks don’t usually bother Eli, but I think the volume of them and hissing air of their pnuematics was setting him off a bit and he spooked more than once. It was also like 90F on Saturday — the up and down weather can’t be helping, either, and I think Eli was irritated that he was sweaty and felt more tired from the heat. He did finally get a bubble bath, though!
I regrouped and came up with a plan for Sunday and Eli will hopefully be getting a massage this week. I can’t say we are to the end of the improvements yet — this kind of change takes more than just a few days, but things are moving along and I am excited for more paddocks, more trailer parking, and permanent railing around both arenas, among other things. Eli hasn’t been the only horse out of sorts about the trucks and construction equipment — and honestly it makes me jumpy, too — but once everything is finished out the property will look great and be a little more horse-friendly as far as turnout time goes, which Eli will LOVE.