Last night, M asked if I wanted to ride Blondie, or have a jumping lesson on Jimmy. It was a difficult choice, but I ended up picking the jumping lesson. I trudged out to the pasture for the second time to get Jimmy, having just taken Doc out so M could get started with Brooke's lesson. With all of the rain that we have had, the paddock was a mushy, muddy mess. This is one thing that I am not looking forward to when Blondie is out on pasture board.
Jimmy was also a muddy mess, but most of his filth was dried and caked onto his coat. After brushing him off, I started to get his tack together, having to pause and ask M questions about what to use. I don't usually ride huntseat, so I didn't know what to use. I finally took him out to the arena, only to discover that I had put the bit on the bridle upside down. Oops, don't think I'll make that mistake again. I didn't realize there was an upside down - Blondie's only has a backward to worry about; no upside down.
I started to warm Jimmy up as Brooke took Harley back to his stall. Then we started walking, then trotting through a square made of ground poles. M was explaining basic hunter concepts when it started to thunder, quite loudly. She told me that I probably didn't have to worry about Jimmy spooking at the incoming storm, but if he did have a shaky moment to just sit back and hang on. The rain started to pour down, which made a nice, damp breeze blow through the arena, but also caused M worry about the ring flooding. She closed on door, and then moved the ground poles so we could work on something else.
She made two rows of poles, and then had me first walk in and halt in the middle, and then trot in and halt in the middle. We worked on transitions in the chute she had made, trotting in, stopping, and trotting out, then trotting in, stopping and cantering out. I tried to turn Jimmy the wrong way when he was cantering, causing him to trip, and making me think that I need to work on canter leads again.
Riding in the hunt saddle was a little weird, and it took me a while to get used to sitting in one again. It's been about a year since I've ridden hunt seat, and at first I was feeling a little insecure. I was also holding my hands too high, and had to keep forcing myself to keep them down closer to the horse's neck.
M moved the poles again, setting two in a line, and then she had me walk over them, then trot over them. Then she had me two point over them. We did this two times when the tornado sirens went off. She had me walk Jimmy, while she called Tina to ask were the tornado shelter was, just in case we needed it. She had me jump off of Jimmy, and take him back to the aisle. While I was untacking him, Tina ran into the barn and had me close the back door, as rain was getting sucked into the monster fan that was on. Then we just stood around and waited, peering occasionally out of the doors. M turned on the radio, and we heard that there had been a tornado spotted in Lapeer, but nothing near us. So far, so good.
I waited until the rain died down a little, and then darted out to my car. If I couldn't ride, I might as well head over to Meijer to get my grocery shopping out of the way. There was hardly anyone at the store, so I was in and out quickly, and back home by 8. Though the worst of the storm had blown over, it rained all night long.