Slowing it Down

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.

because it is mother effing HOT

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.

Someone was really pissed about doing dressage as a cold front blew in. He hates rain.

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:

listening to the coyotes in the distance
chasing a bunny
until he licked Henry, then it was a MooDemon

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:

which seems sexist

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.

listening to the church band

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?


17 thoughts on “Slowing it Down

  1. Remus would love a ‘slowing down period’. But he doesn’t get one. Well yes he does, he will after this weekend as most of July I am traveling for work…but still.

    Poor Henry is so abused 🙂 That hack looked like fun. I can’t believe you found that much area to ride since that farm is so landlocked now with development!! (The cows were adorable too bad they licked Henry).

    You should have totally walked Henry into church. 🙂 HA that would have livened things up even more….


  2. Luckily it is not quite that hot here so I’m just winding down my season for a break in July/August. I am definitely looking forward to our fall show season when things cool down.


  3. Mine are forcing a slow down by all being lame. Sterling gets his second stifle lance/drain this week and Simon came in from turnout yesterday off on his right front. Coco (fingers crossed) is doing well and she might actually go to a H/J show in OK in July to do some hack classes and just get out and about. And this cooler weather is GLORIOUS!

    Did you already sell your CWD? I think you need to post about your new monoflap. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome! That was fast! Are you getting a new or used monoflap? I’m sure you see all the saddles posted on FB groups, but I have a strong urge to tag you when I see an 18″ Devoucoux monoflap. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Used. Cannot afford new. I need an 18 with 2AA flap (must have that flap) and D3D panels (must have that panel – plain D3D, no lift). It’s been a tall order lol. I have one on the line, waiting for a couple more pics before I officially make an offer.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. I very much struggle with ‘slowing down’. A few weeks ago I had to force myself to not go into an arena for a whole week. Even when I’m on the trails I struggle with wanting to school baby things and not just leaving him alone. It’s a work-in-progress.


  5. I was having some issues with no shows up on the horizon after our last HT in April but the break has been good for us. Need to find a new unicorn saddle stat so you can jump all the things!


  6. Unless it’s indoor shows, most Vegas associations don’t have shows from April/May until September. Which is smart cause it’s so bloody hot, but it sort of forces people to “break” for the summer. I like it though because it gives me a few months to work on the holes I discovered at the beginning of the year shows 🙂


  7. I honestly love being able to wind down and chill sometimes. Going out for an exploratory hack sounds perfect right about now. Alas that’s a trailer ride for us and right now I’m trying to balance out how much the big guy needs to be on the trailer. Really tho it’s all a balance. When I’m busy busy competing, I yearn for relaxing romps about. When I don’t have anything upcoming on the calendar, I wish for more exciting outings. It’s always the way, it seems.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Looks like Henny had a lot of fun on your little tour. He has the cutest ears, especially when they’re focused so hard on something.
    Love the little moos…


  9. Around these parts everything freezes over in our off season, so it’s not too hard to give up riding. But since my horses mostly limp most of the year, I’ve been stuck in a slow season rut! I really miss showing. I hope I can get back out there soon.
    Sounds like and Henry had a nice adventure though! I love wild bunnies! (Not so much coyotes though.)


  10. So jealous of the hack photos, what a blast! I use to do that all the time when I was younger (trail ride and hack around town) and I’d love to get back to it. I think Rio would really enjoy going on some trails. I feel like all I have had is down time- so I’m definitely antsy to get Rio in show mode for several months at a time- maybe by winter I’ll be ready for a break (but doubtful lol!)


  11. I despise mornings so much that I will usually skip riding even if I tell myself I should. The alarm goes off, I hit it until it stops, then I roll over and go back to sleep. Nothing much gets done in our off season. I admire your dedication.


    1. Luckily I am much more of a morning person. The only problem is that I have to be a work (as in… showered and ready for a meeting) by 8am, so I’m up around 5 to get that done. I don’t really mind though, there’s something pretty magical about getting on my horse as the sun is rising.


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