It's still been above freezing at night, but there have been hints of frost and plenty of foggy horsey breath when I get to the barn in the mornings. As such, I've declared it time to not only dig out my endless layers of barn coats and vests and gloves - but also to get Prairie's cozy snugglies out and ready for winter chills.
This morning was the first time I thought I could justify our cute new Rambo exercise sheet for our ride. I debated about riding inside again, but while the air was heavy with a misty, wet fog layer; technically it wasn't actually raining so an outside ride was totally doable, especially armed with a snuggly rug.
S and I constantly joke that Prairie is not always in communication with her hindquarters, (in fact we usually insinuate that she needs a tin-can telephone like the progresso commercials, which prompts us to constantly say "ring, ring" whenever P2's butt is on a totally different wavelength than her front half).
This disconnect is relevant in lateral work, transitions, half halts... oh - and whenever anything brushes over her back while we're riding. Like say... a jacket you're taking off, or her flappy exercise sheet.
Since I have every intention of riding in some drizzle this winter (I don't do well shoved in an indoor for 9 months, and I can't imagine Prairie would appreciate it either), today seemed like as good a time as any to start getting the mare used to her flappy, swishy, fleecey rug whapping and rustling about while we rode.
Shockingly she was pretty good about it.
At least, she didn't do much more than roll some big eyeballs when I rubbed all over it and eventually took it off to drape on the fence. Good first steps.
The rest of the ride was fairly mediocre. I was in the dressage saddle and did lots of stirrup-less stuff again (really trying to attack the pinching thing) and transitions. None of it was great work, lots of tension and bracing so I finally sort of gave up and dropped down to the walk for some correct, true lateral work.
That was a good idea and we ended with some very soft and forward shoulder-ins, leg yields and turn on the haunches.
But then I got off and let Prairie step on (and break) my reins. Wah.
Some days the best thing about your ride is your color coordinating polos and pad. Thankfully that's usually enough to keep me happy :)