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Hot Summer Nights

We live in the Pacific Northwest. Vancouver BC area to be exact. We are known for rain, the ocean and mountains. Rain, umbrellas, rubber boots are the norm. We are not known for extreme heat. This year, so far, we have smashed several heat records and the area where Mav lives reached over 42 degrees Celsius (or approx. 108 for the Americans). We are not made for those temperatures.

I took a couple of days off riding when the heat and humidity was just too high to exercise safely. It never really cooled off, even at night. The horses got lots of showers, fans were set up in the barn and we fed them popsicles.

Popsicles?! Yes, we froze carrots and apples for a nice cool treat for them. Mav enjoyed his but eventually realized he could leave it to melt then eat the goodies. He might be a bit too smart for his own good.

After a nice cool shower, I took this shadowy picture of him while he waited for dinner to be placed. The barn recently added a 6' overhang outside their stalls and it gave them an extra shady place to hang out! They get locked out while their stalls are done and food is placed for them. It is a very good system!

The crazy heat broke after a couple of days and we went back to mid 20's which felt heavenly after the crushing heat wave. Back to work!

The following weekend we headed out again, to the same facility we have been hauling to, for another lesson. We wanted to run Training Test 2 in a lesson where he will be showing. I say "We" I mean me. Mav has very little say in these decisions and since when asked, he generally requests extra food (not that he needs it - he is as round as I would like him to be right now), he is not asked.

This time we went without a chaperone. We did take help with us (See previous entries on Excellent Groundcrew), and met Amazing Coach and Super Husband there, so in no way were we alone. Unless you count other horses. There were no other horses with us for this adventure. Which means he goes in my trailer. New in 2017, it has not seen too many uses but hopefully that is all changing now. He fits well in it and was very quiet the whole short 12 min ride munching on some hay.

We went to work in the indoor. Which is insulated so feels cool and nice to ride in! Plus, Amazing Coach actually has somewhere to sit on the bleachers so is probably happy I told her to meet me there at my usual lesson time. She never complains regardless, but I do try to recognize her comfort, or lack thereof.

We do some circles, as you do in Training Level. Its almost all you do.

And some canter. With more 20m circles.

Then, contain your excitement, we do some diagonals. Which is a skill added to Training test 2. No lengthens of course, those will come at first level.

And finally a skill we have yet to master. The stretchy trot. The stretchy trot at the "Scary" end of the ring too. We do it twice since AC tells us we need to look like we are attempting it. I actually am attempting it but the video shows almost no change. I have 6 days to fix that. or at least work on looking like I am trying.

I present to you the non-stretchy, stretchy trot. For posterity sake since one day I will laugh that we were unable to do this today.

And finally, final center line where Mav suddenly realized there were light spots. The first couple he did not notice, nor did he notice them at all the rest of the ride yet for a brief second they were coming for him. But he recovered and carried on to X, where, while it is cropped out, I assure you was a beautiful square halt. Except it wasn't and I had to do it again. And again. And again. We are trying to work on landing the halts but he likes to shift around. I think he thinks he is supposed to since I have been working on making him square. I may have to leave that for a bit and come back to it so we do not end up with major stationary halt issues.

I got some nice pictures to compare to earlier ones. He is starting to open more in his neck and is overall rounder. I will take it!

He gets a quick shower before going in the trailer. It also served to water the grass and plants. We probably could have gone to the wash-rack but there was nobody around to ask and this seemed to serve more than just one purpose. We went with it. He likes showers so no issue there.

Before the shower we cooled out around the paddocks. Alone this time, he was brave! He marched up there and around without batting an eye. It is amazing how far he has come in a short time, I am a proud mom.

Next week is another little show. This time it has ribbons and placings, the pressure is huge. No, there is no pressure. We are there to have fun, do a nice little test and give him the experience.

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