Sunday are the Barn – Wind Chill is no Myth!

Today I headed off to the barn with a lack of my usual enthusiasm.  It was a whopping 20 degrees, which meant bundling up in so many layers I could hardly move.  I had on three thermals, a vest,  a lined jacket, and my hoodie. Yippee!

At the barn, D had me get Wild Child ready first.  I actually got a little too warm while struggling to remove her blanket and had to shed a layer of clothes.  Once I had the mare brushed, Zoe helped me get her tack on, and we moved to the arena.  Then I shed another layer of clothes so I didn't start sweating while I was riding.

M oversaw the lesson, and she said that Wild Child looked really good when she was trotting.  When we first tried to canter, she picked up the wrong lead and we changed directions to try again.  Again, she picked up the incorrect lead.  M then removed one of the reins from the bridle because I had Wild Child's head upside down and had me try again.  This time she picked it up, and she was only moderately too fast, instead of her bat out of hell too fast. 

Next up was Blondie.  D took over the lesson.  Things always get cranked up a notch when he's in charge.  While I was trotting Blondie, he banged a driving whip against a wall to get her cranked back.  He rattled the bag whip and kicked at the dirt.  Blondie responds to these efforts by dropping her rearend and churning along the rail.  I am pretty much hanging on for dear life.

After trotting in both directions, he removed the stretchers from her front legs and we worked on cantering.  The first way I had her nice and slow, and even M took a moment away from her lesson to tell me how nice we looked. The second way I had a little more trouble getting her to pick it up, but after she did, she had a nice canter again.  It was faster than the first way, but not by much.

After cantering, I was absolutely freezing. My fingers were so cold!  I had on my Under Armour gloves, and they weren't doing much today.  At least the helmet kept my head relatively warm.  On Wild Child, I didn't even notice the cold, but flying around the arena at a frenzied trot on my horse, I could definitely feel the chill.

D even let me try to rack her today, but I didn't have a lot of success with this.  He thinks that my legs aren't strong enough.  Since she's still learning how to go, she needs a lot of direction from the rider, and since I am not good with the slow gait yet, the results were less than impressive.  He hopped up after I was done to "fix" her.

Later, M said that I was too far forward to keep her going.  I need to sit back on the saddle to help push her forward. 

Blondie was a steaming mess when she was finished, and D had me stand in front of the turbo heater with her until she was dry.  This was actually rather pleasant, as I was thoroughly chilled by this time.  It took about 10 minutes for her to stop steaming, and then I took her back to her stall and brushed her off.

By the time I arrived back home, I was freezing again.  I even had to put on another sweatshirt.  It took about 3 hours to warm back up!  I hate the winter!