It is no surprise that come Fall, our small town rapidly ascends into the season of monsoons. We luckily escaped most of them in September and for a period of October, but battling the constant wet has made it difficult to get any kind of real riding in.
The pastures are soggy, soaked to their core with an excess of moisture that causes the top layer of grass sproutlings to slough off as the horses walk from one end of the pasture to the other. I thankfully don't have much in the way of mud, as the pasture slopes to drain the excess run off away from the lean-to and subsequent shelter.
The riding arena is a heaping mess though, despite the significant amount of drainage installed last year. I mean, there is only so much draining it can do when the forecast calls for days upon days of 30-50mm showers.
I've been kinda taking it easy though, still coming to terms with everything that happened only three short weeks ago. I haven't felt much like riding still, but have taken opportunities where I feel strong and determined to play with some ground-work and even lunge Annie a bit.
|I also played with a few different bridles, just to see|
what a smaller noseband would look like.
I am determined to get a few more rides in - nothing serious and nothing too far-fetched. Just enjoying my horse and enjoying the partnership we have built. Annie and I have had a very busy year, and we both deserve some down time to just enjoy one another. And the impeding Winter makes that pretty easy.
That being said, there are a few more rides I haven't blogged about yet. One of which was prior to Ella's passing and the other two were a short time afterwards.
I remember our ride on October 16th as crisp - the air had a tinge of winter bitterness in it, but the sun managed to disintegrate the cold edge. Annie was great to hack out, and although we only ended up hacking around the subdivision, we were able to throw in some really good work. Most of it was leg yielding, as well as serpentines where the footing would allow.
|A good egg.|
The next two rides were after everything that had happened, and the first ride was more or less to get myself back in the saddle sooner rather than later. Grief has a funny way of making us avoid or feel bad about enjoying the things we love to do, so instead of pushing it off for another day, I made myself tack up and swing aboard.
|From a different ride, but a cute face.|
Not too soon after passing the park, she was back to her business-like self and plodded along quietly. Unfortunately, I was having a very tough time just sitting and relaxing. So we did a bit of a school - alternating between 'extended' trot and a more collected trot, asking her to stretch down through her topline, etc. It also had to be a bit of a quick ride, as Kelsey was coming to check the fit of my saddles one last time for the year. Thankfully, both saddles were fitting just fine and we had a good chat about upgrading my jump saddle sometime next year and what kind of saddles to look for.
|She also brought me not one but TWO beautiful|
ogilvy pad's. The second is a show pad with purple ;)
It was a good ride - a ride I needed. I needed to get my mind off of everything and I needed Annie to just say "You want this/that? Ok, let's do it." And she dug in, did everything I asked, and took care of me.
When I slid off at the end of the ride, I thanked her profusely for being such a good girl. At the time, I don't think my brain could have handled a wirey, hot young horse, so I was thankful she was a steady rock despite her time off and lack of work in the past weeks. I really shouldn't have been surprised tho, she isn't naturally a very hot and energetic horse - but in the same breath she has played that card a few times in the past.
Our last ride together was on Hallowe'en. My brother was up visiting for the week and when he saw me looking out the window at the clear blue skies, he offered I should go and ride my horse. I'm glad he did, because I was waffling between being a good hostess as well as trying to bargain with myself I'd go "another day".
|"We're ready if you're ready."|
All in all, it was a good ride and we finished it off with a little bit of bridleless again. I pulled the bridle off a few feet away from the driveway, and Annie happily walked home, casually observing some Hallowe'en decorations the neighbor had put up.
Since then, I've mostly been unable to ride due to the terrible weather and my new work schedule (oh and that darned daylight savings time!!), so I've spent time grooming, hand-walking, and lunging instead. Since it is my birthday this weekend, N has already planned to kidnap me for a ride - rain or shine (and we both know she means it!).