We’re having a heat wave and it’s officially still spring. Because the thermometer was due to hit 90 deg by noon, Barbara scheduled our lesson for 7:30am. That meant I had to leave my house by 6:30am. Not a big problem for me, since I’ve usually started work before 6am.
Unfortunately, by the time Maryann and I had tacked up, it was already in the upper 80s, so instead of riding in the sandbox, we went down in the hunt field where there are lots of trees and shade. Even after hosing PJ down before getting on, he got hot quick. I started out trotting around the entire course to get PJ moving. Then we got right down to business, cantering up and and trotting down the hill. Going to the right, things went well. We got one of our best canters – he really opened up his stride.
When we changed directions, we had the same problem we’ve been having. Turning up the hill, PJ sucked back and then wouldn’t turn. Barbara told me I was collapsing in my chest. I didn’t feel like I was. When she said I needed to use my core more, something clicked and I adjusted my position. I don’t think I was collapsing in my chest but that I was collapsing below my chest, if that makes sense. Whatever I changed, it worked and he turned and was much more consistent in both reins. We quit with that. PJ was huffing and puffing and so was I. We walked back up to the barn and hosed the horses off until they cooled down.
As I’m writing this it is 94 deg. My poor elderly dog is not happy. The horses are not happy, and neither are the humans. It’s supposed to get cooler tomorrow. We all can’t wait.