July 27 – August 2

I had a lot of fun this week riding Dante and Fairing, and I even got to join in a jumping lesson Wednesday afternoon because Fairing’s owner got stuck at work and couldn’t make it. I hadn’t jumped a horse in a lesson since Jasmine last fall, so I was a little anxious. But I’ve had some practice taking Dante and Fairing over crossrails, and knowing that this lesson was scheduled, I jumped Fairing a little when I rode him Monday. I think the last time he jumped was with me on July 18th.

The cartwheel exercise was still set up. It’s course #9 out of Woff’s training book, and it’s also in his gymnastics book.

Thing is, and I didn’t realize this until lesson time on Wednesday, when we set this up a couple of weeks ago I forgot about using straight standards for this exercise, and I’m pretty sure we didn’t measure from the end of the pole, but to the inside of the standard, so the distances would be a little off since the wing standard is wider. If that makes any sense. But to be fair, it’s been 20 years since I’ve built the cartwheel. Anyway, Fairing was way better through the exercise this time.

On Wednesday afternoon we were going to build a gymnastics grid for the lesson, but it needed 14 poles (at least) and 14 standards, and all we have at Southaven is 12 of each. So instead we made the barrel oxer into a 2 stride combination and left everything else. The trainer ended up moving the cartwheel crossrails so that they were more evenly spaced around the circle. Which meant it was no longer a cartwheel, but a “circle of death” or whatever.

After going through the circle exercise each direction we then jumped a short course. Here I embarrassed myself by not not being able to remember the course and then jumping the wrong last fence. Again, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to memorize a jump course.

Skipper came into the sand ring and rolled while we were moving the jumps Wednesday afternoon. He’d just had his dinner and been turned out, and at first I thought he was curious about what we were doing and wanted to check it out. But he just needed a roll, which I’m sure felt awesome but made him filthy. When I groomed him Thursday he left a fine dusting of sand all over the floor mat. This happens quite frequently since he likes rolling in the ring. I don’t blame him, the ground has been really hard lately. We need rain.

The weather early in the week was gorgeous, though. The temperatures stayed below 90 degrees, and we got a break in the stifling humidity. Tuesday morning Dante and I went on a long hack around the farm with Mya. Her abscess is all better and she got her shoe back on Monday afternoon. After the long walk, I took him in the ring to trot and canter since the ground was so hard. He didn’t even get sweaty enough for me to hose him off–just a couple of sweat marks to brush off. That rarely happens in July. Dante and I did pretty much the same Thursday, except we only trotted a little since the ring was super dusty and that horse has a respiratory condition.

Anybody who knows me in real life understands that I’m a total old lady and rarely leave this house after dark. But Tuesday evening I actually went out on the town and took my kids to the Cumberland Blue concert/CD release party. We’ve known the keyboard player since preschool, and it was his birthday that night, so we ventured into Nashville to hear the band (they’re very good) and wish him Happy Birthday.

That’s pretty much it for my horse news this week. As for barn photos, I didn’t take that many. But I caught barn cat Tigger sleeping on a stall ledge, the orange tack room sentry was still guarding an ever-increasing pile of stuff, and the black and white cat didn’t look very pleased about life.

Barn Cat Go Night Night Don't Touch What You Can't Afford State Your Business or Feed Me

I also got a couple of snapshots while hacking out Fairing Monday morning, but I didn’t encounter anything exciting. Which can be a good thing.

Fairing Hacking Out Lovely Day for a Ride

I didn’t get to ride Friday or Saturday because I was busy editing and uploading pictures for that side project I’m working on. There are hundreds of needlepoint canvases that need to be photographed and added to the shop’s website. Needlepoint isn’t my cup of tea, despite my grandmother’s best efforts to teach me, so I have no clue what I’m looking at, but this equestrian angel canvas caught my eye. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do with it once you’ve finished needlepointing it, though.

Equestrian Angel Needlepoint Canvas

I’m going back out to the barn to ride Monday morning, thank goodness. Oh, and in case you missed it, this week I shared my college essay as a “Throwback Thursday” post. It’s pretentious and horrible, but back when I was a teenager I thought I knew everything. And eventing was my whole life, so I didn’t even realize what a limited frame of reference I had. I’d like to think I’m at least wiser now, if not less wordy.

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