Two words come to my mind about this past weekend: magic and relief. There was a moment of magic, and a moment of great relief. First, the magical moment. On Saturday, the weather was pre-storm iffy – cloudy and spitting rain in the morning, with the prediction of storms later in the afternoon. At the barn, I helped clean up stalls and then, for a brief moment, saw some lightness in the sky, almost pre-sunlight. So I thought quickly, and decided there might be a brief window of opportunity to ride, so away I went to Buckshot’s pasture.
I got him tacked up and we went out to the arena. No one else was around, since it was supposed to be a rainy day, and we had the arena, newly groomed all to ourselves. And the footing was wonderful and perfect! We started our walking warm up and I came up with new patterns and exercises so that the twenty minutes melted away. I had time to think about my posture, and my aids. When we started trotting, Buckshot was eager and energetic- it was wonderful! And when, a few minutes later, I decided to canter, we had one perfect canter! I focused on giving with the reins, and my seat stayed nicely in contact with the saddle, and when we came to the end of the arena, to turn, I clearly thought about staying straight up in the saddle, not bending over, so that he would feel my balance and continue to canter through the turn, and he did! And at the other end of the arena, when I wanted to bring him down from the canter, I hummed and he came down to the trot! It was the most perfect canter ever! Buckshot was super!
After a few more minutes we were joined in the arena by the BO on a very young horse, so we walked and did a little more trotting. Then I asked the BO if I could canter (so she could stop her horse in the center and he wouldn’t be surprised by us) and we did. This one was not a perfect canter, but it was good. Once you’ve had the perfect canter, you compare them all to that one, I guess! LOL! Then we heard the BOH start using a chain saw so we decided if a tree was going to come down, we didn’t want the horses to be surprised by it, so we dismounted. After much praise and treats, I took my perfect cantering horse back to his pasture! Good boy!
That night, really bad storms and tornadoes hit Virginia. One tornado came down in the county that the farm is in. I chewed my fingernails, and worried. I didn’t call the farm to check on them since I figured they were quite busy taking care of everything and all the animals. When I drove to the barn on Sunday morning, it was with trepidation. However, I didn’t see any debris in the roads or the yards as I traveled. Even driving up the driveway of the farm, I saw only the most minor debris on the ground. Then I rounded the turn and started to drive by the pastures. All the horses looked fine! No trees were down! Off in the distance I could see Buckshot in his pasture, eating hay! The farm had gotten a lot of rain and wind but only a small bit of damage. What relief!! Wonderful, wonderful!
And Sunday’s weather was picture perfect- sunny, blue skies, and pleasantly cool. However, the arenas were pretty soggy and water-logged. Despite that, a small group of us rode in the arena avoiding the large puddles. We only trotted after our walking, since there wasn’t enough room or solid footing to canter. We then went on the trail through the woods, and they were beautiful. Full of sunshine lighting up masses of tiny green gems on the trees, with soft footing underneath- it was a lovely cathedral of mother nature’s beauty for horses and riders to enjoy and savor. Buckshot seemed a little tired when we went uphill, but I think Saturday night was hard for him and the other horses to rest much with the storms. And overall, he did great – a lovely ride.
I hope you were not affected by the string of storms last weekend and that you had a good time with your precious horses!