I'm sitting in my kitchen. With my cup of tea. I'm going to wash my hair soon. Seems somewhat pointless to spend all that time washing it and to then put a riding helmet on, but at least after washing it will make it less tangly.
I'm stiff and sore today. I'm telling myself firmly that this is because of all the gardening and raking I did yesterday. Not the riding, because I'm getting more fit, not less, so I shouldn't be this sore from Snips. But my neck and shoulders hurt today. I sigh, and remember that I have to clean the windows and get the cob webber thing out. Cleaning stables is far more fun than cleaning the house.
My hard drives continue to frustrate me, because that dedicated "I will do nothing other than sort my hard drives out" time continues to elude me. I'm beginning to fear that the broken hard drive is going to cost me images from the Spring Carnival and Stud Season of 2010. I don't know what to try next. A data recovery person I guess.
I am glad that I am seeing Snips today. Maxie jumps onto my lap. He complains that the iPad takes up valuable lap space. And he tries to get comfortable. And I try to position the iPad more precariously on my knees. I guess it is time to get ready and go and see the horses in my life, and let them help to make the day nice again.
It's time to get up and get moving... My little kitchen stool makes me stiff. Especially with the kitty on my lap. I think I'll take the camera in the car today, and see if Emma will help me take some nice headshots of Snips.
I arrived back home to a meowing and purring kitty. I've been out most of the afternoon it turned out. I bit my lip as I pondered the cowebs which are still there, and the windows which are still not washed. I had a nice time on Snips. Forest Park is a bustling hive of activity on the weekend. Children everywhere, all doing their riding lessons. I work so many weekends so I've avoided having Jessica riding on the weekend.
When I led Snips out and got on him (he was still a toad to bridle, I must give that more thought, and get it right.....), a group of kids came around the corner. They all gasped and said 'oh, he's so pretty, he's so big'. I smiled and showed them how he liked to eat a sugar if I leaned forward from on top of him. They thought the way he turned back towards me to get it was funny and cute. Most of the kids had their dads with them, and they all smiled at me. I smiled back at them all, and said I loved him too.
Because of all the lessons going on I rode down in the bottom arena. Josie came and helped me when I got on (she's the young girl who I've photographed jumping Snips). She's only 18 and she's a terrific rider. She warned me that the arena was slippery in parts. Snips was fresh and leaping out of his skin. I'd warmed him up for 10 mins in the indoor before heading down. But we are beginning to understand each other, and now that I can get him round and between my legs and my hands, I can manage him far better. He wanted to boggle at all of the jumps, and I could feel him asking me 'why aren't you turning me to jump them???' and sense him thinking 'any minute now!', but I am not brave enough yet to jump him without Grant or Krystal or Emma there, and so I just worked him on the flat.
Snips and I worked on him being soft and round, and on his rythym. He wants to charge along at times. In the canter he's so easy to sit to, but he was fresh and strong. When he's like this it's tempting to restrain him, but I must remember to let him stride. And to not jam him up. And to ask him to be soft. I can actually feel the left rein improving a little, and I have to remind myself constantly to NOT hang back onto in response to his being heavy and hang on to the rein. When he's on the left rein, he doesn't want to flex and wants to ignore my inside leg a little and be stiff and pull through the inside rein. And on the right rein he wants to have the outside (now his left) rein stronger than it ought to be. But these are all things we can work on. And I just have to work on my balance and core body strength, and to sit against him when he gets strong and to control him through my seat.
I'm going over to my brother's house for dinner tonight. And back out to ride Snips again tomorrow. I must spend some more time on Freelance's paddock too, as that has slipped the last couple of days as well. I've been given a truly lovely pair if long Ariat boots by my friend Kathy, in Sydney, who is unable to ride anymore. They are gorgeous, and almost brand new, but are a touch long in the calf, and riding in them everyday is making it pretty obvious that I will need to get them adjust a tiny bit because they are just digging in a little bit too much behind my knee. They are great boots though. It was a nice gift from her.