We had another warm day today -- I was comfortable in a sweatshirt doing morning chores and switched to a tee-shirt by 10am.
Yesterday evening our realtor called and said there would be a couple coming up late this afternoon to look at the property. This morning we started on our respective "to-do" lists. Brett's list, of course, was much longer than mine. Those of you who know Brett are not surprised by this, I'm sure. I married an over-achiever; a perfectionist - and a hard worker.
I skimmed the pool, pulled some weeds and straightened up the house. Then I went down to ride Winston before it got too hot. On my way down to the barn, I turned on the rock fountain. The fountain, like so many things at Aspen Meadows, was a gift to me from Brett.
My goal for today with Winston was to keep him sensitive to my leg, to ride corners well, to ride our circles all the way to the rail instead of cutting it short, and maybe do a bit of canter. Steffan Peters, in an article in USDF Connections, said that he uses a squeeze of his leg from his groin to his calf instead of spur or whip when a horse doesn't respond immediately. He does this so his leg doesn't move and the correction is quieter. I wasn't sure how effective I would be but I liked the concept so I gave it a try. When Winston started slowing down, I gave a light squeeze with my calf. If he didn't respond immediately, I gave a full leg squeeze and held it until he surged forward. With Winston, that was a nano-second. He's a sensitive horse. I only had to do the full leg squeeze twice. After confirming his bend in the corners and on small circles, I asked for canter. It was warm out so he wasn't exactly racing around. I kept him forward on the rail until he was carrying himself in a balanced way. Then I put him on a circle and asked him to bend around my leg. This is where we have been working with canter. When I ask for bend, he gets stiff and pushes against my leg. Today, he stayed supple, stayed balanced and forward, and bent around my leg. I praised him enthusiastically. He pricked his ears and smiled. Then he bent some more, even leg yielding out on the circle-- at the canter. We hadn't been working long but the canter was perfection. Its what I've been working towards for months. We called it a day and celebrated. Winston got a bath. I got a Diet A&W Rootbeer (here's to you Lytha).
I worked some more on my list, cleaning up the barn, while I waited for Camille to arrive. She has the flu and wanted to spend the weekend up here with me. Sometimes you just want your mom. Camille's bright aqua-blue car drove up the driveway, she climbed out and then collapsed on the couch. I checked on her between my other projects and gave her some white rice.
Our realtor called just as Brett was finishing up mowing and said that the realtor with the prospective buyers couldn't get up the Ortega highway with his clients. There was an accident and the road was closed. She had told us earlier in the afternoon that the people aren't looking for horse property, they want a home where they can entertain. My thought was that they wouldn't like our place anyway. Yes, the house is set up well for entertaining but we are kind of remote for parties. And, what the heck would you do with the barn, the arena and the pasture?
Dinner tonight was comfort food for Camille: tuna casserole and apple-berry pie for dessert. Brett's exhausted and depressed. All that work and nobody except me to admire it.