It is an unwritten rule at my house that we never, ever celebrate my birthday on the actual day. We just don't. Inevitably my actual birthday will be an awful compilation of work stress, a crappy boss and some mix of karma and the evil powers that be. It ends up being the worst day of the year. So a long time ago I just refused to acknowledge the day and we celebrate my birthday on the weekend before or the weekend after.
This year was no exception. Mother Nature decided to give us a break last weekend and came up with two very nice days with warm, DRY! weather. Saturday was mostly spent getting all my horses feet trimmed by K. the Farrier Fairy. We discussed the necessity of shoes for Fox this year and basically gossiped for an hour and a half. Then my friend A. came out and we played with our ponies a bit. But really we were both just amping up for Sunday. When myself, A. and one of my other friends K. found out it would be 65 degrees on Sunday a call to ride together was made. This was my birthday wish to ride my horse with my friends.
So Sunday rolled up and right after I fed the horses I started prepping to get everything ready to go. I had packed my tack the day before so that was done, as well as stuffing two hay bags for Fox and Charm. So really I just needed to double check things and start scraping the mud off Fox for while he's blanketed 24/7 he still manages to pile ten pounds of mud on to himself from the knees down. It was super warm so I left his blanket off and only made sure he was clean and swapped his regular field halter for his fancy leather one with this name engraved on it.
A. arrives and we start getting Charm ready to go. This is where the differences between me (Eventer Chick) and A. (Hunter Princess/George Morris worshipper) really come in to play. I threw my pony on the trailer after he was clean and his hooves were picked out. A. groomed Charm, oiled his hooves, wrapped his legs with a complicated polo pony style wrap, then threw on his matching cooler. Then we loaded him in the trailer. I only go all out with full "Here to Impress" gear when we're hauling to a show, even then if its a local show I really don't do much beyond make sure my pony is super clean and his tack is good to go. So A.'s full out Princess Up threw me for a little loop.
We did have a fabulous time over at the barn where my friend K. boards her draft cross mare Birdie. A lovely arena with real footing. No mud or slick spots to worry about. There were even jumps to jump! After going though our warm up routine that infuses lots of bending I rolled in to our new fitness regime that requires ten walk to trot to walk transitions in each direction. Then it was time for a little jumping. Just baby fences at barely a foot. But Fox put in good efforts, never refused, though he paused a few times to look at things. He even cantered off after a couple of the fences which made me happy. And I worked on not looking at the fences but rather just waiting and feeling my pony getting ready to jump.
I did discover something about Fox that really hadn't ever come up before. He absolutely does not like horses coming towards him head on. A. and I were cooling our two boys off, walking together and every time a horse came at us from the opposite direction Fox tried to glue himself to Charm. Good to know for the future.
So what's up for us next? Well not a whole lot. The weather is still ugly and work hasn't gotten any happier or easier so we will work when we can on strengthening Fox's butt. There is a bit of happy news though. Last year I was a spectator at the Carolina International CIC. This year I will be a VOLUNTEER! Woo Hoo! Four days of nothing but eventing, eventing, eventing! Bring it on and keep it between the flags everyone!