Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

A sneaky ride…

Posted by mandyhuckins on March 26, 2009

I did sneak in a ride (but don’t worry, I worked late to make up for the time at the barn during the middle of the day.)  I was just so worried that the rain would move in for the next few days and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to ride at all.  (Boy, do I miss the indoor riding hall in Germany – add that to the long list of many things I miss about Germany.)  It was cloudy all morning, so at 11:00 I threw on some riding pants and dashed outside.  As I got in my car, the first rain drops started to fall.  But, it was such a light sprinkle and I was already dressed….so, I headed on out.  The drizzle increased to a steady rain the closer I got to the barn.  I almost turned around, but I figured since I was already almost there, I might as well say hello to everyone.  By the time I pulled up and parked, it wasn’t raining.  So, I pulled Dancer out of her stall and tossed her saddle on (I had already brushed her and picked her feet during the 6 am medicine run).  By the time I put on my boots and helmet and came out of the tack room with her bridle, I heard the WHOOSH of a torrential downpour on the metal roof of the barn.  I actually had a fit in the middle of the aisle – jumping up and down, stomping my foot and pouting.  Everyone thought that was really funny. 

I took off Dancer’s stuff and my stuff and put everything away.  I stood around and gossiped a little bit with my friend.  Just as I was about to leave, I noticed it wasn’t raining.  Not only that, but the sky was lighter.  Hmmm.  I waited another 5 minutes without the weather getting worse, then I pulled poor Dancer out of her stall and did the whole thing again.  By this point, I knew I wouldn’t have too long to ride, but I figured 30 minutes or so would let me test out the things I worked on during my dressage lesson.  (Read about that from Monday’s post.)

It was pretty interesting.  After letting her walk around for about 5 minutes, I went to pick up the reins and she remembered what we had been doing and immediately lifted her head (not sure that is a good thing….).  The ride felt better than when I first started in the lesson on Monday, but not as good as it had felt at the end.  However, I am super excited about the canter.  It is so nice to have her slow and balanced and standing up straight.  It was a good thing I only had 30 minutes, because the muscles in my arms were burning and exhausted by then.  In dressage, the goal is to have the horse carry himself – the rider should not have to “hold” the horse’s head.  And, if you compare the size of my arm muscles to the size of Dancer’s neck muscle, you will know why.  Instead, the feeling should be more like a handshake.  The rider should be able to feel the horse with a slight pressure on the reins, so I know I am working toward getting her away from this feeling of holding, but that may take some time. 

Bottom line – she was a good girl today and I am very glad I was able to get on her.  Later in the afternoon, it really did start to rain steadily. 

Also, after the ride, she was just standing, tied outside of her stall, relaxing.  I was overcome with love for her.  I asked the assorted ladies standing around to look at her – “even just standing here, doesn’t she look pretty?  She isn’t unimpressive, right?”  They all dutifully sung her praises and told me how lovely she is.  They may have been keeping their real opinions to themselves (if so, probably smart on their part), but to me, she is the most beautiful horse in the whole world.  I am totally head over heels.

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2 Responses to “A sneaky ride…”

  1. Meg Young said

    Okay, first off, thanks for coming by my blog today!
    Second, I LOVE your stuff, I need to take some time and go back and read more of your posts!

    Third…we MUST be bloggy friends, I could learn a lot from you!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. mandyhuckins said

    You are the sweetest! Love you! Bloggy friends for sure – keep checking back.

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