Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Flight Plan

We've been experiencing windy days in the valley as Pacific storms push inland. This creates a riding dilemma. As with most stables, windy gusts rattle the large doors of the barns and arena. The wind tugs at blankets on their hooks, rocks the pitchforks hanging on the wall, and sends dust and shavings sailing down the aisles. Thus, wet and windy days tend to become longeing days, as no one wants to ride a horse spooked by all the creaks and groans.

Only today we had sun breaks, plus the new outdoor arena. What to do? Risk the rattling arena doors inside? Or brave the wind gusts outside?

Semi-brave individual that I am, I took Phantom outside after a brief longe inside. There was his accustomed spooky corner (I haven't yet figured out exactly what "horse eater" resides in that corner, but it seems to be a permanent resident), but otherwise he did pretty well. I worked on a large circle in the middle of the arena, making smaller circles within the larger one. Phantom's inside shoulder bulged toward the center of the circle going both directions, since he had to keep watch on the "horse eater." So my goal for the day was to just get his head centered and his body bent correctly.

The whole exercise was "enhanced," shall we say, by the steady wind and occasional gusts. Up Phantom's posterior as we turned northward. Spiky mane in my face as we circled eastward. And gasping, in-your-face wind as we headed south. Between the deep footing and wind resistance, Phantom got a good workout in a brief period.

I really did feel like I needed to file a flight plan today before taxiing onto the outdoor arena.

1 comment:

wilsonc said...

I can just imagine what it was like out there today. Wanted to come, but this week has been crazy. I plan on Friday. Hope to see you there.