Another Polar Vortex has arrived, so yet again, the arena is frozen and riding has stopped. Have a to-do list a mile long this week, but I did manage to get to the barn for two rides. There was no way my ankle or my list were going to keep me from the saddle. I also managed to sneak in a lesson with Ms. C for the first time in over a month.
Has it really been that long? Sadly, yes. Trying to ride this winter has been like a game of Red Light, Green Light. Oh, the sun is out and the temperature is above freezing! Quickly tack up and ride before the rain/sleet/snow/sub-freezing temperatures return. Bummer – Put on those brakes boys and girls, because it is time to stop and stare wistfully out the window as the snow obliterates any view. Sigh, just as the snow melts, you get catapulted off your horse…more red light time. About the time the body heals, Mother Nature dumps another 10 inches of the white stuff. Ugh! Then as temperatures warm up, the snow turns the ground into boot-sucking mud and slick riding rings. Then, a glimmer of hope appears on the horizon and Mother M graces us with two gorgeous 60+ degree days! Green light! Burn some rubber and get to the barn as soon as possible.
As excited as I was about getting back in the saddle, I knew better than go with a full head of steam. Ike has had limited work; I’ve been out of the saddle. And as much as I’d like to say that I’m better from the fall, I must admit that my ankle is still not 100%. Still has pain and swelling. Grrr. So we tacked up and met Ms. C in the ring. Since Ike has just been decorating his paddock, we knew that his topline would not be as strong as it needs to be. What did that mean for our lesson? A lot of long and low work getting him to stretch over his topline. Well, that was the game plan once we got through the initial crankiness…I think someone has been enjoying his winter vacation a bit too much. The boy finally decided to be cooperative and our lesson was very productive. Could not trot for as long as I would have liked and had to stop and relax the ankle from time to time, but some saddle time was just what I needed. By the end of the lesson, Ike gave us some excellent stretch down trot, fluid walk/trot and trot/walk transitions, and a pleasant attitude. Canter work would have to wait for another day.
I’m a bit achy today and walking like a cowboy that just finished a seven day cattle drive. The hip flexors hate me, but I’m happy as a clam.
Can’t wait to keep building our strength and filling out the entries for our first show of the season. Barn time is good for the soul.