Not gonna lie, I’m envious of everyone that’s in the middle of show season. It kinda felt like we had just started an upswing when summer hit, and now September seems really far away. But the weather last week was a good reminder about why I don’t show this horse in the summer.
The morning rides have been going really well though. I quite enjoy watching the sunrise from the saddle, even though it means that I’m constantly sleep deprived right now. Luckily a cold front blew through on Saturday morning – literally right as I swung up onto my horse, cue the wind and rain – which means it’s only been the 80’s the past few days.
Since I’m currently without a jump saddle, we’ve been doing a lot of dressage, and Henry has been really good. Like I took his temperature one day because I legit thought maybe he was dying. I’ve been able to carry a dressage whip and he’s had a grand total of zero meltdowns… a vast improvement from Henny of yesteryear who would last about 5-10 minutes into a ride with a dressage whip before he got so tense I had to drop it. So far all it’s done is given me a pretty perfectly forward horse. Of course, I would never dream of actually touching him with it, lest Henny spontaneously combust. Carrying it is working out well though!
So after a week of all dressage, on Sunday I thought we both deserved a break. We did about 15 minutes of hill work and then headed out to explore some areas of the property that we generally don’t wander into. It was quite the adventure.
There was lots of wildlife:
We wandered up through the front field, which normally has crops of some kind in it but is currently vacant. I didn’t realize there was no fence on one side of this field, so once you pass the water tower:
You can get right out onto the road. We stopped here because the church next door was seriously rocking out (for real, the whole building was vibrating), but next time I think we’ll wander across through some of the backroads and see what other fun stuff we can find.
It’s not as exciting as show recaps and cross country videos, but I think the mental break does us both good. I definitely have the tendency to get caught up in the schedule and in the constant pursuit of goals, so I have to make a conscious effort to actually chill out once in a while. We’ll keep plugging away with dressage and hacks, then July is his big vetwork month, then it’ll be time to start gearing up for shows again. In the meantime we’ll keep chasing after some fun, low key adventures.
Anybody else have a hard time slowing things down (at least mentally) in the off season?