Also, it's been blazing sunshine (blazing, freezing sunshine) this week, which usually means wind, which usually means that the barn doors are closed, which left Prair illuminated in a nice shaft of sunlight coming in from her window.
She's so calm and peaceful here, I think she likes it.
Sacrifice is hardly the right word however, as I always end up really enjoying watching Prair from the ground (I guess that bodes well for the rest of the year when I'm grounded..). It's really valuable to watch someone else ride and work through the same issues I feel when I'm in the saddle. Helps to get a good perspective on what the hell is going on and apply that to my own rides.
As what is quickly becoming usual, the mare was really good. I cannot emphasize how frigging calm she's been. This week in particular the wind has been something fierce and makes that terrifying pop-crack-snapping sound on the metal building. It sort of sounds like massive amounts of ice cracking off a glacier - which as you can imagine sends a bunch of the horses into orbit. Prair notices the sound, but she has yet to really react with her feet. I tend to just feel her pop above the bit and turn a giant ear and eyeball toward the noise. (where is this mare COMING FROM).
Amazing-Groom-to-the-Stars was just getting Prair out of her stall to tack up, but I grabbed her back and opted to tack her up myself and tke care of her quick Equiband lunging warmup before handing over the reins and watching from the middle of the ring.
N's ride looks very similar to what she has me do during our lessons (it just looks a bit smoother, a tad more relaxed and a ba-zillion times more consistent). Lots of haunch/shoulder in, some spiraling in and out, leg yields, reversing the bend, etc.
Prair is continuing to relax more and more in her work (especially jumping) and getting comfortable (and happy) in a slower, more balanced jump. She's more easily rocking back and fitting in extra strides and really starting to pull her shoulder up more when the fences go up.
In general N is asking her to work on less contact and get used to holding herself up without constant support. I really like where it's going, but you'll see in the video it leaves Prair a little busy looking.
I'm very happy with all the floppy ears and quiet pace though. I continue to be astounded at how much leg (and spur!) the mare is accepting and using to help lift her frame instead of zooming off to god knows where.
A couple quick clips.... first of some warm up trot work. You can see some of the loft returning to her step. I think that has more to do with the injections and getting comfortable using her back again than anything else - but regardless it's nice to see.
Finally, a short jump video. This is really indicative of how we've been riding. Small fences, circles in between to reestablish the quality, and very.... low... key.
It looks like we might drop down to 2'6" to start at Thermal and really try to solidify a happy, easy, experience. I'm so curious to see how the mare responds to the atmosphere and I really don't know what to expect. I feel like Prair has always stepped it up at previous shows, but this is a whole other caliber. I know it will be great miles for both of us and lots of learning no matter where we end up!
This weekend is slammed, so I likely won't get to ride again until Tuesday, then N leaves Wednesday but I'll either sneak in a hack or a lesson with the assistant before getting everything all prepped to go on Friday!
Prair has officially started on both her GastroGard and her Regumate so everything should be good and happy and not too stressy for the trip.
Loving this mare right now...