But Still An Almost Nice Day
Definitely hotter than yesterday, but not too dreadfully humid and there was a breeze.
I started off the day by trimming the branches that insist on hanging into the riding arena. The job is far from done, but I no longer have to cut the corner at M and I can actually ride a straight line on the long sides instead of veering in to avoid the leaves. Guess that took about an hour, so I came inside for breakfast and crashed.
I did nothing for the better part of the day--one of the perks of being retired, and headed out in the later afternoon to feed the Boys and head over to the pool for a swim. The water was still cool, but with the higher temperatures outside and the sunshine, it felt even more delightful than usual. I swam for a half hour, then took four rounds of the lazy river for another 20 minutes or so. I have to watch myself as when I am on the river, I am lying in the sun. I burn easily, so I have to limit myself. Otherwise I'd ride that tube around and around for hours. It is so relaxing.
I came home and hooked up the drag to the tractor and groomed the riding arena. I've neglected it this year so it has a lot of grass growing in there. I'm not worried about it. First, it does serve to control the dust a little when it gets dry so that's good. Second, the drag does pull a lot of it if I drag after a good rain--not today as it was pretty dry. And last of all, it will be gone in the winter so if I drag the arena then, I will get rid of most of it. It does mix in with the sand, making the surface a bit more of a mixture which is also ultimately good as the sand needs other soil in it to make a better cushion.
Then, I unhooked the drag and used the loader to clean the paddock area back of the barn where the Boys seem to leave a lot of manure. Again, neglected areas always make more work, but the tractor worked a treat and it looks a lot neater now.
While I was working, I let the Boys out to graze on the back lawn. They were having a grand time until, as the sun slipped down, the mosquitoes started to come out.
I brought Chance in to ride him while Toby and Tucker stayed out for a bit more.
I have to laugh a bit here. Caroline, on her blog, talked about how she has to walk Radar for a long warmup or else he fusses when she starts to work. Chance must have read her blog. He was tossing his head and body all over the place as I started to work him. Of course, the fact that the other horses were out on the lawn was a major distraction. I think, if I'd let him, he would have charged right out of the arena to be with them instead of working.
I'd had the foresight to carry the dressage whip with me, and it worked a charm. I never really had to touch him with it, but just the sight of it at his side was enough to help me establish a good bend in each rein. We walked in twenty meter circles on each rein until he gave me some nice soft contact with his body shaped correctly on the curve.
Once we had established a good walk, I did some trot work. This time the whip took over for my leg and again, without my even using it, he swung into a nice forward trot--mostly in a sort of round frame. What was even better, is that he felt even and sound in both directions. The extra forward inspired by the whip got both hind legs swinging along without a hitch.
We did just a little canter--not quite as good as the trot--and called it a day.
I considered lunging Tucker, but I realized I was too tired to manage.
It was another good day at Follywoods.