Sunday, July 29, 2012

Today I felt like a dressage rider!

Saturday, July 28, 2012, 7:00 AM
Pulling out of my garage I felt the stress of the week, melt away as I started my drive to Valley Mist Farm to ride Nikki. In spite of the lack of rain the corridors of corn appear tall and healthy so I knew a farm stand stop would be on my agenda for the drive home. In spite of the humidity I kept the windows down for the entire drive (but declined to put down the top!). My typical routine on hot days is to start my drive with windows closed and AC on. Then I open the windows but continue to run the AC. For the last leg of my journey I turn off the AC to acclimate to the heat before riding. I know it seems silly but it works for me. I have never quite recovered from the heat of the year we lived near Dallas! When I arrived at the barn I immediately regretted the decision to wear a short sleeved polo shirt instead of a sleeveless one....the humidity was thick. Lauren and Caity were getting ready to leave for a show, so the barn was buzzing with activity at that early hour. Nikki greeted me happily as she had been able to eat her entire breakfast before my arrival. She still usually tries to convince me that she has not had her entire breakfast after our ride.

Nikki was a little sluggish to start , but at least we did not have a repeat of the mounting issue! Within 5 minutes she was motoring along and I was able to work on some leg yield, shoulder in and simple changes. I gave her a nice soapy sudsy bath afterwards and I did not mind in the least that I was just as wet as she was! We were both happy and relaxed after the ride. I even rode without stirrups for a bit. Oh, my aching abs! The best feeling in the world!

Off to Leid's for elasticon, shampoo and some other supplies, rushing a bit because Isaiah was scheduled for a Tai Kwon Do belt promotion test by noon. Next stop Oley Valley Feed for bird seed. They make a nice local mix, and the birds at my house devour it! I love that when I go in there the staff knows me just as they do at Leid's. I think that is one of the best parts of living in (or near) "the country". Casually driving home and right on schedule I passed a handmade sign for fresh corn and fresh eggs with an arrow.....quick turn off and I had some lovely local food! Yummm! It was just a small stand, but wow! I bought two pies, sugar plums, blueberries, heirloom potatoes, corn, eggs and beautiful bread. Never send the hungry girl to the farm stand!!! Oh, and oatmeal cookies for my boys.

Green belt achieved, on to the rest of my day. The threat of storms in the forecast always effects my decision about Suki's night. Suki was not really sweaty, maybe just a little sticky when I arrived. I think Suki seemed a little stiff today, but not anything major. A 10 minute lunge seemed to loosen up her joints, and I know that she enjoys the work.

Sunday, July 29.
Another seemingly humid day. Running slightly behind schedule due to the Olympics, the cows at the first dairy farm that I pass were JUST headed out to pasture. The Menonite boys on the back of the family wagon on their way to church waved a hearty hello as did their parents. It was quite dark this morning, with a threat of storms. Nikki wiggled her lips when he saw me, waiting for that first taste of sugary gummy bears! Aaaah my spoiled girls!!

Today I REALLY felt like the dressage rider that I need to be. Working on shortening and lengthening within strides, Nikki was incredibly responsive. We worked hard in spite of the humidity, and finished with a stretchy trot.....FABULOUS!!! I could feel the movement in my back with each change....some days it just feels right!
Nikki received the beauty treatment today. Her mane needed to be pulled so after her bath I decided to do it. Nikki cracks me up. As I started to pull her mane she started to doze, lower lip protruding. I have honestly never encountered a horse who SLEPT during mane pulling! With the threat of thunderstorms once again, Nikki would not have an opportunity for turnout so I took her out for a hand graze. Within 15 minutes the bugs were killing us so I brought her in so that she could relax in front of her fan while nibbling hay. After a ride filled with shortenings and lengthenings within gaits and spirals, we were both happily spent. I FINALLY had a day where I felt like the dressage rider that I used to be. Physically and mentally I felt a feeling of accomplishment.....

Suki was restless and impatient Sunday afternoon. Heavy clouds blanketed the sky and while it was humid, that oppressive feeling was not present. Walking out of her stall I thought that Suki seemed a bit stiff, so I thought a lunging session was in order. What started off in stiffness, finished in an amazing extended trot, and forward canter. When suddenly extreme darkness clouded the arena, we finished and went into the barn for a spa treatment. One brief storm and Suki is out for the night. For me, a glass of wine and several hours of Olympic competition are in order....


  1. Replies
    1. Isaiah was promoted to green belt, so he was very excited! Thank you for asking!


  2. You should post videos of you lunging Suki! I would love to see her movement!

    1. That is my plan! It just never seems to happen! I did post a few on her FB page awhile ago, but it was from when she was younger.
      Thank you for reading my blog!