Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun. -- Thomas Edison

(stolen from GRS blog)

So much fun at the barn today.  No real reason -- nothing spectacular happened, just a fun day.   Cold.  Very cold.  But other than that all good.

Showed up and my wonderful working student Rebecca had things well under control.  Always a good start.  First lesson was Steph and Nick - but when she got on Nick he was *high*.   Are you as stunned as I was??? hahaha that's right - Nick and high in the same sentence.  So she dismounted and I lunged him for a minute or two.  All good, but Steph didn't look entirely convinced so I hopped on him for a few minutes first.  Made quite the picture let me tell you -- I was def dressed to teach not to ride.  And it was -17.5 according to my car so I was *bundled*.  My "teaching boots" that are too massive to be good for anything but standing still but are at least warm, so many layers I start to have the Michelin Man look going on, and massive puffy mits.

Sooooo - first challenge - get giant boots in stirrups; they almost kinda fit.   But are so heavy that riding w/o was really hard on my ankles so I sort of stuffed them in.  Took off the giant jacket but had at least three pairs of pants on so flexibility was ummm limited *g*   And bare hands.  Yikes.

But Nick high is actually a lovely ride.   Floats along on the bit with no effort required.  Usually if I decide I want to get Nick to actually work, it's as much an effort for me as for him but today not so much.  So that was sort of amusing - almost wish I had pictures :)   Mental note - ever want to get your students to keep their hands still?   Simply have them ride in ridiculously cold weather with no gloves.  Frozen hands don't move.   I gave up and rode him around for a bit with my hands in my pockets.  hahaha I love school horses.   And Steph then got on and rode beautifully so was a good conclusion.  That lesson was followed by little Rebecca (as opposed to ws Rebecca) did her first jump!  Woohoo!  Those lessons are always fun to teach :)  She and Bella were great.  My working students were next up and tackled a "simple but not easy" cavelletti exercise that was just a *little* beyond what they're usually asked to do and both pulled it off.  I was pretty happy with that :)

Theory lessons went well -- the novice students mastered the quick release knot and ventured out in the cold to practice catching horses in the field.  Then the higher levels did intro to conformation -- I had intentions of combining two lessons into one but that didn't happen.  Turns out one lesson at a time is a good plan.  Imagine that. >;-P

Rode Athena after.  Was fun to ride with other people in the ring -- I don't get to do that all that often.   She was awesome.  A *little* high when I got on but settled nicely.  Actually got two and a half strides of through, round, self-carriage in the canter.  Woohoo!!!  And your reaction to that sentence will tell you if you're a horse person.  hahaha 2.5 strides?  So what?  That'd be one who *hasn't* been there...  hahaha you'll be even more amazed to hear we've been working towards these 2.5 strides for like 3 months.   I was almost starting to lose hope.  But she did it.  Perfectly.  And where there were 2.5 strides (and yes, I'm counting that .5!) there will some day be three.  Then 5.  Then 100 :)   THEN we can consider competing.  And the horse people are there are smiling and nodding and thinking of all the times they've been thrilled at equally small baby-strides.

So yeah - for those who think I was slightly insane to give up my reasonably paying day job for being broke and working 18h days 7 days/wk -- well you may be right.  But when have you ever had this much fun at work?


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