For the past week the weather forecast has been predicting snow today - at 100%. So, I worked from home and cancelled my appt at the gym for tonight. We had icy cold wind, frozen mist, hail, sleet and slanting rain. But, no snow.
Tomorrow morning, after chores and breakfast, we will load Winston into the trailer and drive due east into the desert. The show is in Thermal which is between Palm Springs and the Arizona border. It's in the middle of nowhere.
Yesterday, I rode Winston and our canter improved. I don't expect to get high marks on that part of our test but I was pleased that he finally bent around my leg and lifted his back for me. It was hard work. To get Winston there, I pushed with my inside thigh against his side while making sure he continued to move forward with energy. No pulling his head around or playing with his mouth. No shortcuts, no cheating. I want him to move up the training scale honestly and we will take as long as we need to getting there. He doesn't kick at my leg in the transition anymore and only gets high headed when he anticipates so I try to mix things up.
After I rode, I cleaned his bridle and oiled his saddle. I pulled his mane and banged his tail (cut the bottom so it is even across). He looked spiffy. Brett loaded my tack trunk into the trailer.
Today, Winston stood in the sleet and rolled in the mud. He does not look like a show pony and his blanket is filthy. We are going to look like hicks from the country at the show with its fancy horses from the big show barns around Southern California. But, that's okay.
Even though we didn't get snow today, it was miserable outside. I worked and thought about getting back into writing poetry. I played with some words and then I read a blog post that sent me into a numb empty place. Leontien died today at noon. She's a blog friend; I never met her; I read her stories and I laughed; she fought her cancer and I cheered; she got the news that she was losing the battle and I cried. Tonight I feel like there are rocks, hard and heavy, piled up in my heart.
Rest in peace, my friend. I will think of you every time I see a BMW racing the roads, a black horse in a pasture, and fields of dairy cows.
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