Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Riding in the Rain

"The difference between determination and stupidity is knowing when to stop"
Many variations on the above quote have been penned and spoken, but I have no idea by whom. Regardless, I tend to trip neatly over the boundary for determination and fall face first into stupid. Why is this on my mind? Because my determination to ride outside over the weekend meant I spent Sunday schooling dressage in the pouring rain.
The footing in the outdoor was the best its been since last summer, with almost 2/3 of the ring being good and the other 1/3 being decent if a bit soggy. Personally, I have a bit of a paranoia of tendon-sucking footing and thus tend to be very picky about where I ride & when. But my determination to ride outside allowed me to (temporarily) put aside that fear.
So Saturday I had to ride inside because we were jumping, and starting Monday it was supposed to rain all week. So in my mind, Sunday afternoon was going to br my only chance to make it out before the outdoor was once again unrideable. However, I couldn't go out to the barn till Rolex show jumping was finished, and by the time the awards ceremony was over the storm clouds had rolled in.
The first drops of rain fall as I drove out to the barn, and as I tacked up the drizzle turned to full on rain. Still, it was far from a torrential downpour... so I popped on my dressage saddle, apologized profusely to it for what it was about to endure, and walked out of the barn. I should probably add that I was without any type of rain gear, aside from an old helmet cover that I dug up to save my velvet cap from being ruined, so we were thoroughly unprepared to face the elements.  Anywho, in spite of getting completely drenched, we actually had a brilliant ride.  We got awesome canter-trot transitions, Cadence was (for the most part) really steady in the contact, and aside from being a bit dull to lateral aids from my right leg, she was light & responsive to my aids. The canter work itself was perhaps a little more gawky than I would have liked, as she was a wee bit prone to distraction, but really there wasn't much to complain about.  So overall, in spite of getting rather soaked, we actually had a brilliant ride. And afterward my dressage saddle got a thorough cleaning & oiling as an appology ;)

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