The internet is a double-edged sword. It is a way to waste hours and have nothing to show for your time, but it is also an amazing place where I have helped network animals needing homes, learned of the amazing work animal rescues do on a daily basis, and interacted with some cool horse-minded people who I would never have met otherwise. Case in point, I’m cruising Facebook one night recently and come across a group called Dressage for Adult Amateurs. There are only 504 members currently. When you join, they ask you to share something about yourself, so I mention that I’m bringing along a Dutch Harness Horse in dressage and post a photo of Ike…and this is where the world shrinks to about 2 degrees of separation or whatever the proper number is. A fellow adult amateur posts that she knows my horse, has ridden other horses belonging to his breeder, that he sold before she could ride him and that he is a snuggler and very sweet. Say what?! Amazing. There are millions and millions of people on Facebook, and I find someone who has met Ike.
And speaking of the big man, he and I have a date on Sunday and our ride times arrived yesterday evening. We ride at 4:08 and 4:50 p.m. We are the final horse down centerline on Sunday. Is that a good or a bad thing? We have been the first down centerline this year, first in our class order, but never the last rider of the day. Saving the best for last? Ha! Our competition includes a horse that earned a 77% for Training Level Test 2 in the class that Ike received a 66%. We have our work cut out for us.
Luckily Ike is getting back to his fighting form. For the past two days, we practiced our trot loops, trot circles, centerline halts, turns onto and off of centerline, canter transitions, and the dreaded canter turn onto long diagonal and trot at X. The stiffness is waning, but if it is still noticeable next week, I will have the vet come out to see if chiropractic adjustment or acupuncture can help speed the healing process. Since Ike is doing his part for the team, I suppose I will do my part and memorize Test 3. This will be our first time out for Test 3 – turn left off centerline, trot loop (it is a loop, not a triangle, a smooth curve, not an abrupt change of direction), canter after A..circle….half halt constantly on the short end to prevent knocking the arena over, SCREECH- turn onto the long diagonal, then the dreaded trot transition at X…..or in the general vicinity if we are lucky. Sunday is going to be an interesting day!