Thursday, April 22, 2010

Enough sense to come in out of the rain

This morning when I woke up, it was dark and rainy. It suddenly occurred to me that I'd heard it raining overnight, all night, and that thought launched me out of bed and into my barn clothes: I hadn't put Panama's rain sheet on yesterday, not realizing that when they said "Chance of thunderstorms," that actually meant, "Non-stop rain."

I was picturing Panama wet and shivering, but it turned out that I needn't have worried. When I got there, I found this:

My prissy pony, dry after a rainstorm!

Yep, that's my prissy pony — it rains all night and all morning, and not only is he completely dry, but he's clean as well. His fur was only the slightest bit spiky on one side, so he'd obviously gotten sprinkled on, but otherwise spent the entire night and morning in the shelter.

Having found that my concern was not needed, I decided to ride so that the trip wasn't wasted. I groomed him (almost done shedding now!) and tacked him up.

The outdoor arena was waterlogged, but it was gorgeous outside and really didn't want to have to ride inside. I took Panama to the obstacle course behind the outdoor arena, but found that even there, the ground was rather mucky. So instead, we went inside.

We rode for about 30 minutes, not counting all the time setting up and putting away ground poles, but it was a good ride for me. Panama was really excited about the ground poles, and I had to get him used to the idea that just because they were out, didn't mean he was going to go over them every single time we passed! We trotted around the arena several times in each direction before I took him over the poles, and then after riding over the poles a few times, we did figure 8s at the trot for a while before going over the poles some more.

I had the poles set up as trot poles initially, but toward the end — when I was ready to stop, but Panama clearly wanted to do more work with the poles — I put the three poles in a pile and we went over that a few times. Once Panama jumped them unexpectedly, and to my dismay I let the saddle hit me on the butt. The next few times I kept my position more forward, but he never jumped them again. I know my trainer would say that was fine, because it is me learning the correct position that we are working on right now, but I was still disappointed. I didn't have the guts to try jumping without her yet though.

We did have one big spook. The individual turnouts for the indoor horses are right on the other side of the wall, so sometimes we can hear the horses squealing at one another when we are riding inside. They were doing something strange today, though, and Panama started staring very hard at the wall. When he spun and bolted, I wasn't ready for it at all, because I'd been letting him walk on a long rein as a walk break for both of us! I lost my left stirrup, too, but I stayed on and managed to pull him up, even with ridiculous amounts of rein. After that we spent the remainder of our ride walking back and forth along that wall until Panama calmed down somewhat.

There was a trail ride scheduled for tomorrow morning, but with all the rain I'm thinking we may not go — even if it isn't raining tomorrow, my trail riding friends don't like to go when the trail is very muddy. I also have a session scheduled with my trainer in the afternoon, but I think we are going to practice trailer loading, in preparation for the schooling show in June!

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