Saturday, all the workshop participating riders were scheduled for two rides. The first ride was 30 minutes, and video-taped. It consisted of an initial assessment and a way to identify areas for improvement. We were then able to see our videos at lunch time, before our second ride. My baseline ride was at 9:30. It was 88F in the outdoor dressage court.
I am not a fan of heat. My body does not do well in the heat. I have a tendancy to get nauseaus, dizzy and pass out. But, 30 minutes isn't a horribly long time and 88, while very warm, is bearable for a short time. Lucy was a bit looky in our warmup (in the covered arena) but she listened and she settled... eventually. She was less tense in the dressage court -- she likes being outside and I had hand walked her around the court the evening before. There were no trolls residing at Clay Station Ranch. Phew.
Most of my assessment ride consisted of me riding with my inside thumb hooked through the bucking strap so I could focus on making transitions with the ouside rein and my seat. Lucy was tense and my fussy inside hand wasn't helping her relax. A few minutes after we started, Sandy asked me if I thought my inside hand was contributing to Lucy's tension in the transitions and I said "No, I think it's pretty quiet. But, don't put a robotic sensor on my or anything because I'm probably wrong." Once I hooked my thumb and forced the hand to be quiet, Lucy immediately settled. Hmmm. We tried some canter transitions and Lucy was a bit sticky. We worked through that and had a nice canter going on a circle, in front of the area where people were sitting under some small trees. One person scooted her chair back, rustling the tree branches, and Lucy jumped forward and crow hopped. But she settled back down and we finished on a good note.
My second ride was at 2:30. It was 95F by then and Sandy had moved to the indoor. I have a Cool Medics vest and I soaked it in a bucket of water while I got Lucy ready. Without that vest, I never would have made it through the lesson. While waiting to mount, and while I watched the rider before me, Lucy rested her forehead against my cool wet vest. I didn't make it through my entire 45 minutes but I was pleased with our improvement and impressed with how much energy Lucy still had. She has a very forward brain, that horse. Sandy wanted very prompt, very forward transitions. Lucy was on her toes. We also worked on transitions from shoulder-in to haunches-in -- back and forth as we went around the arena. ...and then I was out of gas, unable to retain any of Sandy's instructions and starting to feel a bit queasy.
It was a difficult day, mostly because of the heat, but we made progress.