This year I invited Karen to come with her stallion for a 'horse weekend'. She checked her calendar and decided it was doable. She also brought her husband, Jim with her. I was happy to have them both and spent friday getting things ready. And by things I mean vacuuming and begging the dogs to not shed for 24 hours, checking that the toilets were clean (and then cleaning said toilets) and running to grocery story and throwing some steaks, potatoes and ice cream in the cart. I baked two blueberry pies- one for a fund-raising supper and one for us.
Oh and I also dropped Ripley off at the vet's to be spayed. She did well with the surgery and is not ramming her cone into everything around the house. The horses snorted a bit at the mobile satellite dish running around the barn but have decided that I've clearly lost all sense and they should just roll with things.
After torrential rain on Friday, Saturday dawned clear and sunny. I quickly dragged the ring and go the stalls ready. Karen, Kalimo and Jim rolled up around noon closely followed by Cynthia. After a bit of puppy chaos and many cries of 'ouch' as we were pummelled with Ripley's cone we settled down for lunch and then the really important stuff of riding!
Carmen and I went first and Karen gave me a little lesson. It was great- Carmen was being all snotty about troll corner and Karen agreed with my approach which was- we are going there so deal with it. In between the snotty bits we had some lovely work where she finally softened over her back and decided to play the game with me. We were trotting down the long side in a haunches in when Karen called 'and now half-pass to the center line'.
"um what? I said
'you can do it- give it a try.
So we did. It wasn't anything to write home about except that oh my god I am half-passing my horse and she's trying to do it, look at us DOING THE THING'. I tried a few more times and it got better.
The neat thing about Carmen is that the lateral work is easy for her when she's relaxed. I was happy with my ride and Karen complimented me on my seat and that's it's improving. One funny incident- I cantering Carmen down the long side and she was trying to fall in toward the center, so I put my leg on and asked her move back out. Which she did, but too far and my foot hit a post and got knocked out of the stirrup. Which made Carmen spook and jump so I lost the other stirrup. At this point my knees clamped on and I started asking her to come back to me. I also tried telling my knees to let go and it would be better for getting her under control but they yelled 'screw you, we want to live!'. But we got everything back under control and went back to work.
Cynthia had a lesson on Irish and then I tacked up Carmen again. She gave me a bit of the hairy eyeball but we had a plan. See, Karen and Kalimo were joining us in the ring because Karen and I have this idea that we could do a Pas de Deux Tango. It's for a fun costume class in October and is also a fundraiser. The first part was to see if they could work close together without issues. To be honest we weren't expecting any but it was good to check. We started at opposite sides of the ring and then worked closer.
Carmen did not care that there was a stallion in the ring with her. She was more fixated on the certain death lurking outside the ring. It was a bit of a hassle but once Karen and I started trying out different moves and seeing how they worked we all forgot about the wind and started to have fun. Carmen and Kalimo have different striding so t that was fun to work out. However, since it's a 'mood' piece we're not too worried about matching the footfalls.
I put Carmen away and then came back up to the ring to help Karen work on her piaffe. That was fun to do and she had some lovely steps. By the time we were done we were all very tired. We fed the horses and it was time for us to eat. Unfortunately, Cynthia had to go home. Next time I may just take her car keys and make her stay.
And here's the best part:
I know, right? My house guest made us dinner!
You see, Jim is a master chef and my two course meal of steak, potatoes and pie were not sufficient. So he took over. I told him to rummage through my kitchen and do whatever he wanted.
And that is how, after our ride, Karen and I sat on the deck sipping cold drinks while Jim brought out some tortilla chips and salsa. Followed by roasted red peppers stuffed with tuna and cream cheese, an asparagus egg dish (can't remember what it's called) and then BBQ steak and potatoes. Fortunately my pie was not terrible -although ice cream fixes everything.
The next morning Jim then made breakfast. Seriously. I have never really wanted to 'steal' another woman's husband before but honestly...Not that I want to trade in Ed. But now it looks like I want' two husbands and it's getting weird so I'll stop now.
Karen and I rode early before the heat. Carmen was completely different then the day before- mellow and easy. We worked out a few more moves and some played really well. Others not so much but it was fun to stop and chat it out and try again. There was one moment when were trying this canter pattern and forgot who was inside and who was outside and the horses were like 'oh oh, where are we going? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOMAN WE'RE GOING TO CRASH' But no one crashed and we figured it out. The horses may have rolled their eyes though....
It was a busy and exhausting weekend. But so much fun! It's wonderful to have fun while riding. I don't have a lot of friends but those I do have are amazing. Spending time with them is what makes life richer.
So what did you do this weekend?
|not from this weekend. I really need some new photos!|