Hot and Humid and a Bit of a Rant
Again the heat and humidity are building after a day or two of nice weather. It was nice for the County Fair that's been going on this week. I really need to drop over for a quick visit. Walking is worse every day with my knees, but I should be able to manage a hike around the fairgrounds.
Swimming's been good with nice water temperatures and not too many crowds. I guess families are on vacation this month. There are plenty of people at the pool, but not as many as were there in July.
The Boys are all fine as far as I can tell. When I went out for late feed yesterday, they were all out in the pasture and not at all interested in coming in. So I just put hay in their stalls and no grain. No point in putting hard feed out for free choice feeding. Tucker will find it and eat everyone's portion, and heaven knows, he surely doesn't need it.
I loaned my friends one of my Ansur saddles for a try. She rides endurance and, while she has a saddle that fits her horse well, she has had some saddle issues in the past. I will be interested to see if the Ansur works for her. She has two lovely Arabs--one for her husband and one for herself. They both completed a 50 mile ride last weekend and have one scheduled in another week or so. I can't quite picture myself lasting that long in the saddle, but I have to admit, every time I see pictures from one of their rides, I keep thinking how wonderful it would be to ride some of those trails.
I realize now that my knees have had more of in impact on my riding than I realized. I was often in pain when I was in the saddle. Mounting and dismounting were always a tricky deal, and walking afterwards hurt too. I am hoping that after the surgery, things will be a lot easier for me. I'm not very much interested in competing again, although I might want to take Chance in a dressage test at least once. Competition costs are expensive and all the effort it takes to just get ready for a show doesn't seem worth it, unless you have a horse that's talented enough to show well against the "big boys."
Frustrating, in a way. I used to compete in the hunter circuit and did really well. But as time went on, more and more politics started to move in as more and more money poured into the horses. People began to spend tons of money to buy horses that would win, leaving us "backyard" riders no divisions to compete in on a level playing field. I moved on to eventing, which was a lot of fun--winning again at times but mostly just enjoying the rides. Then, I started finding myself overfaced and I lost my nerve. At the same time, many of the "rider friendly" events fell to financial issues and the offering of "fun" competitions dried up. The rules changed, heights of jumps elevated, and I realized there was no way I could still compete with a smile on my face instead of a grimace.
So, I moved on to dressage.A moderately new discipline to the riding world around here, there were plenty of schooling shows, and once again, fun competitions to ride in when I started. Sometimes I won, sometimes I lost, but all in all, I always felt that when I went into the arena, I at least had a chance to do well. But dressage grew in popularity too. And now, like the hunter circuit, it's become a "big money" sport. Expensive warmbloods dominate the arenas. My best test will rarely score as well as a good moving warmblood's test of the same caliber, "just because." While I have long ago learned not to ride for anyone but myself and to set goals other than pinning in a class, it does take the fun out of it when you know you have little chance at all of earning a ribbon in a show you've spent well over a hundred dollars to compete in. I mean, it's nice to hold up a 60+% score for a class as a mark of achievement, but that darn ribbon makes it even nicer.
I simply do not have the finances to enjoy showing at this point. Spending money to have a judge give me a "0" on a leg yield (It happened and I have a photograph of that movement proving I did do a leg yield) just isn't my idea of good value for a dollar. My horses are interesting to ride, interesting to train, but not that most talented dressage horses on the planet. And if I could afford one of the most talented dressage horses on the planet, I'm not even sure what I'd do with him.
Do you think Totilas or Ravel would make a good trail horse?