Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Not The Usual Exciting Day

Kind of a Dull Stage of the Tour, But I Did Ride!!!

The peloton never caught the breakaway riders in the Tour de France today so the finish was one man over the line first. Cool for him, but not one of those exciting "who's going to win" finishes. Always in interesting race, but not quite up to the excitement of the last few days.

So far, I have lunged Tucker in the cool, shady morning arena. But the day is still beyond gorgeous. So I will likely do more later.

I did go out to mow the lawn. I found two flat tires on the riding mower. Bummer. Now I will have to watch those tires. For some reason I have terrible luck with tractore tires around here. I have no idea why. I have a compressor, so pumping them back up is easy. I did, and off I went.

Mowing takes a bit over and hour. When I was done, I trimmed some tree branches that were hanging low enough to make the mowing annoying.

Meantime, they are preparing my road for repaving. That meant police traffic control and big noisy machines roaring and banging outside all morning. Good time to mow. Who'd notice the extra noise? I and my garden tractor fit right in.

I got an email from Stacie yesterday I need to share--news I would have missed. The USA's Steffen Peters with Ravel--already World Cup Champions--swept the Grand Pris classes at the big Aachen show in Germany over the weekend. The main deal is that he defeated Anky riding Salinero...one percentage point in the freestyle too!! This is a major accomplishment.

If you have never seen Steffen ride Ravel, you are missing something special. Since the Olympics when they were wonderful, the pair has progressed to "take your breath away!!"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sB5pov3B64&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUM5ajI3KJg&feature=related

The first video is kind of "Squished" but it's taken from the German TV broadcast. The other one is from "A," but horse and rider look more "real" sizewise. The German announcer is so enthusiastic, especially on the right half pass when he says..."Super, Super." I need a translation, but you can tell he is mightily impressed.

Way to go, Steffen. There is a video on Youtube of his warmup too and Ravel is stretchy and round on a loose rein. He looks like such a content horse. Love the relaxation.

Something we all need to aspire to.

It was such a glorious day, when I came home from my swim, I decided to take everyone out on a hack. The only downside to this is that I had to put the Bug Armor on each horse. This adds about 5-10 minutes to the tack up time. A bit annoying, I'll admit, but well worth it.

I took Toby out first. He had a good time snatching tree leaves along the way. He trotted on his own a time or two and I am always intensely grateful for how sound he feels. He has a wonderful bouncy feel to his trot and I just love it!! I did keep the ride short as he has not been out much, but he got two carrots when we got home.

I rode Tucker next. He and Chance had been frolicking while I was out on Toby, so he was all warmed up, and surprisingly settled. A good snatch of tree leaves suited him just fine, but once it was gone, he was more focused and delightfully forward. He has a nice ground covering walk with super impulsion when he wants to use it. Having felt it on the trail, I now realize I need to encourage it in the arena as well. I have not been asking for as much as he gave me out there.

With Tucker back in the barn and carroted, I saddled up Chance. I rode him a few turns in the arena before heading out. Talk about forward!! I have a feeling the trot he offered was motivated by a bit of annoyance that I was keeping him from the woods, but it sure did feel good! Best thing was that it was perfectly even with none of the hind end problem at all. So that mystery continues.

I took him on a bit longer ride and on the way back, trotted a little ways along the field, just because. He was quiet, happy and the third good boy of the day.

How much better can it get than that??

4 comments:

  1. Steffen Peters and Ravel had a beautiful ride. That horse is gorgeous and so talented. I am so glad he defeated Anky.

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  2. Wonderful day indeed! Where did you get the Bug Armor - I'm looking for it in the catalogs but so far without success.

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  3. Here's an Internet link to Jeffers Equine to order the Bug Armor:

    http://www.jeffersequine.com/ssc/product.asp?CID=1&mscssid=6UJD0GKJM80M9H5NV6L0VABA41D79E6B&pf_id=0026541&cmkw=bug%20armor

    Also check eBay. Or just do a Google search. Many online stores sell it.

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  4. steffen peters is getting plaudits everywhere i look this week, and glad to know Anky lost! whether she learns anything is another matter...

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