Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Sunday, June 3, 2012

In the Arena # 125 - We shall overcome...

Our big excitement this week was the first tropical system of the season - Beryl. Say what?! No, not even kidding.

The beginning wasn't too bad - several hours of blustery winds and torrential rain. Eventually the eye / center of circulation passed directly over us. The moment it cleared us the winds went from 0 to gusts of 70. Tide came roaring out of the sound, and up the streets. People were scrambling to move vehicles to higher ground and attend to their boats. As usual the forecast hadn't called for any of the drastic-ness...

All I can say is if my tomato plants had gotten killed I would have kicked that storm's ass! (I parked my truck to block the main winds from the garden, and it worked.) Actually, all I can say is that if this had been August instead of May, I dread even to imagine the destruction we would have suffered. Island life can be dicey.


Weather and subsequent footing issues kept us out of the arena until this weekend. Yesterday afternoon I dragged the arena, groomed and tacked up for our first ride in a week. Val tried to convince me that the part of the arena beside Captain Outburst's property was a no-fly zone. I persuaded him differently by practicing leg yields into the area in question. I concentrated on my position, namely opening up my hip angle and getting my leg more underneath me, as well as all the usual non stop self reminders and adjustments.

This morning dawned with bright sunshine and cool breezes. After morning chores and the usual preparations, with extra attention to repelling flies, we got to work. Again, I paid attention to my alignment - ears, shoulders, hips, heels, as well as keeping my elbows at my sides and my eyes straight through Val's ears. As I have no one on the ground and no mirrors, I must rely on Val to let me know when I've got things right (or wrong!), which he gladly does.

Also, I put the cones back into the arena. They really help me to focus on keeping the school figures accurate. After picking up contact and achieving a nicely forward walk, we worked on trot transitions. There was a halfhearted canter stride the first ask, and after that I got the trot when I asked. Once again feeling the rhythm of the new gait was the first go at the transition - leg and crop only if necessary. Overall I think we gained some ground. Apparently it's going to take a while to restore confidence - mine and Val's. We'll chip away at it.

Afterwords Val got a scrubby bath plus a relaxing pick of grass. Then he helped me reinstall the stall awning that got trashed in the storm. He oversaw handling of the tarp, inspected the tools and licked my legs while I was on the ladder. It was a perfectly lovely day with my horse.

If you turn up the volume, you can hear Val happily snatching away at mouthsful of grass right in front of poor, poor Cowboy...

 and groaning with pleasure - there's nothing like a good roll in the sand.



  1. LOL I love how the rolling is "contagious" as the horse in the background rolls right after Val!

  2. Glad you survived the storm. Island living must be bittersweet.

    Your Val is such a sweetie pie boy. It is nice to hear about his help with chores/repairs and his happy grass munching!

  3. Why would there be more destruction in August?

    So glad your tomato plants - and most people's property! - survived the storm. Cowboy's super floppy camel nose cracked me up!

  4. I always loved the sky after a TS or Hurricane. Clean.

    Sounds like you and Val are progressing back to where you were with little drama.

  5. Funder-

    Basically we got a direct hit from that storm. In peak hurricane season that could easily have wiped us out...

    Hurricanes feed off of hot water and we are the closest spot to the gulf stream (very hot water) on the east coast. Storms often blow up when they get near us.

    This time of year there's usually nothing for the tropical systems to feed off of. August and September are peak hurricane season.

    Mini meteorology class over... aren't you glad you asked? ;D

  6. Oh man, is that why it's been raining like crazy up here? Glad you got out fairly unscathed.

  7. We must have gotten some of the remnants of your storm. Mad wind and rain got us for two days. Glad you, the farm and the tomatoes survived.

    Sounds like you and Val are progressing nicely. Love the videos too. Keep those smiling pictures coming, it's so nice to see a girl and her horse enjoying life.

  8. So glad the storm wasn't too bad!

  9. YES, I am! Very interesting.

  10. We have had some really angry rain clouds lately. I am glad that you were able to protect the tomatoes!

    Val looks cute rolling around. :)

  11. Your smile really lights up a blog post, that's for sure! Also, LOVE the videos. Oh I never get tired of watching a horse being happy.

  12. Glad your garden wasn't damaged. Sounds like a scarey storm.
    Cute videos - Cowboy is a cutie pie. And I see the horse next door thought Val had a great idea about rolling :)
    I wish I could be as vigilant as you are in correcting your position. Good work.

  13. ...that sand is heaven for horse to roll in. We have an arena with nice dirt/sand. Whatever it is, they ALWAYS want to roll and I won't let them because I'm afraid of creating the habit... and one day they might do it with a new saddle on!

    By the time any storms get to us in central NC, they are much, much smaller!

  14. DAG IT C!! Those storms are frightening! Yea, if the Toms got hit , what a pitty. I am so happy to hear of the light affects for you and that the T%t worked at buffering.

    I am NOT liking the news that the worst is yet to come potentially.
    Oou Island life does have a little drawback.

    Your Smile does so much...Love to hear your voice and she that smile. Sand is the best for the itchies..mine does that semi up and back down several times in a good roll session! Cute!


  15. THANK YOU. It's going to be alright...with my first 'free' morning, I was at the barn for hours. XO Therapy is already in place. :-) He wanted us to have faith in The Plan (God's) no matter what...


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