It's sort of sad when 80' feels cool...
But it was a lovely day today. The flies thought so too, as they were out in force. I'm trying Pyranha fly spray this year, and it seems to work fairly well... for about 10 minutes. But it's (slightly) less expensive than the Endure I used the last two years, and it works just as well, so... It has citronella oil in it, which smells good, but it surely does attract a lot of dust. I'd definitely recommend against using it on any white bits you want to stay bright and shiny..
At any rate, Eric was running behind when I got to the barn, so I hung out and chatted with C while I waited. Not sure where my head was today, but when Eric sent me to retrieve Buddy I returned with his next door neighbor (who I'd just returned to his stall minutes before after his turnout). Sheesh! My only excuse is the barn lights were out to cut down on heat, and Buddy and Fancy both stick their heads right in their halters.
We'll ignore the fact that Fancy's head is several inches longer than Buddy's. he's a good hand taller, doesn't have high white socks, and he's a gold chestnut, not red. Doh! Eric gave me a funny look and asked me if I was planning to ride Buddy, at which point I actually took a good look at poor Fancy who I'd removed from his dinner. It was dark over there, darn it!
Once I had the right horse in the crossties, grooming, polo wrapping all around and tacking up went smoothly. In the outdoor Buddy stood patiently while I got on... and realized I'd forgotten to refresh his fly spray. Thankfully one of the lookers-on took pity on those of us on horseback - I wasn't the only one whose pony needed a second spritz - and made the trek back to the barn for us.
Eric had two of us riding and C was also working her lovely bay gelding. It's a big arena though. And having a joint lesson actually meant I rode longer and Buddy got several nice breathers. It may have only been low 80's, but that's still warm when you're working. And if sweat means anything, we were working!
Buddy had a week off after Region 6, and with this past week in the 100's, I'm pretty sure all of the horses that aren't gearing up for a show in the near future, and/or being started had a break from riding, as well. We warmed up, then spent quite a while working on achieving a collected walk. Eventually he decided it was easier to cooperate than to continue going hollow with his nose stuck out, and we moved on to trot. Where we had the same discussion. He'd commit for long enough to get a release, hold it for a few strides, then pop back up.
Canter on Buddy's part was probably our best gait. On my part? I kept losing my lower leg - lack of practice showing up. When I had him nice and round and cantering evenly, Eric had me move up to hand gallop. Which was kind of a hot mess. If he'd tripped, I'd have gone right over his head. Half-chaps would have been a huge help. Guess what I wasn't wearing.
All in all, not our best lesson ever, but not a complete disaster. Our last couple of transitions were decent, and Buddy definitely enjoyed his bath. I have another set for Wednesday, and I'm taking Sunny/Thunder along so I can use the arena after my lesson. My poor pudgy pony has no idea what's in store for him. :)