My birthday was last Friday, and per usual, I managed to stretch it out into several days worth of fun things. Sometimes all you need is a good excuse.
I kicked it off on Friday in the best way possible – behind my favorite set of ears. I flatted Henry a bit, popped him through some cavaletti, and then took him out for a gallop down the side of our road. His fans will be happy to hear that he is a cheeky little shit, dolphined aaaaaallll the way down the front fence line, and was extremely pleased with his efforts when he was done. I keep thinking I need to take him out one of these mornings for a fun little XC school somewhere to REALLY inflate his ego, but can the farm even handle Henry when he’s that full of himself? Guess we need to find out. For science.
After that I loaded Presto up and took him down to Steph’s for another jump school training ride. He’s been getting better and better these last few times, and he was really good this time too. Except for his first time down to the line of bounces to the oxer where he was too busy looking off at her mom pulling weeds in the dressage arena/the pony hacking and didn’t even bother to actually look at the oxer, which was a good foot taller than it had been the last time he jumped it. He jumped it as if it was the same little oxer as last time, thus ended up swimming through that thing pretty spectacularly and sent poles flying. Luckily he somehow managed to stay on his feet. He seemed extremely embarrassed about his gaff for the entire rest of the ride because he majorly dialed back on his Presto-ness, listened, and paid much more attention to what he was doing. So ya know, I guess all you have to do to improve his rideability and attention span is go through a jump. Dingo.
My birthday present from the SO was the light blue Laguso coat I’ve been lusting after for months. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve even tried it on by this point, I just love it so much. And I can’t even really tell you WHY – its not like light blue is one of my colors or anything, but it just looks so good with white breeches and I think it’ll look especially pretty on Gemma. Gold star to the SO for this one, although I was about as obvious with this birthday present suggestion as humanly possible. The first time I took him to WEC I went directly into that store and tried it on and showed it to him and made sure he knew the name of the store and exactly what coat it was and what size I wore. Subtlety… it’s an art form.
On Saturday morning we took Gemma and Henry for a road hack – the SO’s first foray outside of the farm. He passed his basic proficiency “test” of tack up, mount/dismount, go, stop, steer, and make it the entire ride without grabbing the saddle or saddle pad – those were my requirements before he could road hack. Gemma got selected to go with him because Presto is a Troublemaker on hacks and ain’t none of us need to die. I’ll only take him out with other people who are experienced, because he tends to uh… manufacture problems. Gemma though, she’s a super good girl out there. No issues with traffic or cows or any of that, and she’d rather die than cause problems for no reason. She gets nervous about lots of barking dogs or galloping horses, but at least with her I know she isn’t going to try to murder me purely because she thrives on chaos (like, uh, someone else we know).
This was only her second time going out on my “northern” route, up toward the rehab facility down the road. She was super good though, and led for a good bit of the way there. Once we turned around to come back, Henry’s pace magically tripled (amazing how that works) and she really had to powerwalk to keep up.
On Saturday night we headed to WEC for dinner and the Grand Prix, since it was the last one of the summer circuit. It was pretty well attended, all the best seats were full, and there were like 55 entries in the class. I dunno about y’all but my attention span does not last for leadline, a drag, then 55 rounds, 2 more drag breaks, and a jump off. I made it about halfway through the class by the time I was ready to go home and go to bed. Old lady problems. It was fun though… sitting at WEC on a nice summer evening eating tacos and watching horses jump is never a hardship in any way shape or form.
To round it all off, yesterday we went to Universal Studios in Orlando so I could finally see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’ve always wanted to go, and now that I live 1.5 hours away there’s literally no excuse not to. Well ok, it’s not exactly a cheap day, there’s that. Worth it though, at least once. It was really neat to see everything and go in the shops and have a butterbeer (tried both the cold and the frozen) and ride the Hogwart’s Express and just basically be a complete nerd for a day. My favorite part of the whole thing was for sure Knockturn Alley and Borgin & Burkes. LOVED IT.
One big bummer though – I was kind of excited to get a wand, but they were totally out of Snape’s. Like, every single store in the park was sold out of Snape AND Sirius Black, both my first and second choice. So alas, no wand for me. I settled for a sweatshirt and journal from Borgin & Burke’s instead, and some candy from Honeyduke’s. Plus we had fish and chips for lunch, then some ice cream in the afternoon (had to try a scoop of the Sticky Toffee Pudding and a scoop of the Strawberry Peanut Butter, of course). By then it was all getting a little bit too “peopley” for me and I was ready to go, but still… really fun to see it all. I would go back (when they have Snape wands, anyway).
Now it’s back to the grind, working on pedigree reports and socal media packages! Hope everyone else is having a good week.