Lol, welcome to GA in the summer! I cannot WAIT until we are able to move further north. When we were coming home from VA, you could literally feel the change in the weather as you crossed the TN/GA state line. It was practically instantaneous. Ugh. Rode the boy today; it was right at 12:15 ... utterly miserable! I rode for about 20 mins with frequent walk breaks, and he was dripping sweat by the time we were done.
My legs are going to be S.O.R.E. tomorrow! I typically ride with about a 3 hole difference in my cc saddle. My 'hacking' length, my 'jumping' length, and my 'xc' length. Today, I jacked up my stirrups 2 holes from 'xc' length; I've actually never done this before! It was GREAT to get me in my heels; torture on my thighs! I did a lot of 2-point; I 2-pointed until I couldn't any more. Even my posting trot was so tough; I was spurless again, and he was super quiet today, so I was focusing on keeping my heel under my hip, and keeping him moving forward.
I LOVE that little Beval 'wonder bit' that I use for stadium jumping. It is just enough of an elevator lift to keep him nice and light, but not so much that I wouldn't ride in it every day. His trot felt super amazing today. I kept pushing him forward into my hand, and it didn't take much of anything to keep him on the contact. I wasn't planning to canter much, but I really wanted to work on my hands, so I cantered more than I had initially planned. I kept my reins short and allowed my shoulders to be in 'hunter princess' placing rather than 'dressage queen' placing. He actually felt really nice; he never got heavy, he never got quick, and he was super responsive to ALL my aids.
As I said before, I took frequent walk breaks because I could barely breathe in the thick, humid air, and I was DYING with my stirrups so short:) The canter felt so nice, I decided to jump the teeny cabinet jump out of a canter, and on a circle. I was tracking left; cantered up to it, and he landed left every time. His rhythm NEVER got fast; you could set a metronome by his tempo. I actually felt pretty secure JUMPING in the short stirrups; didn't feel my leg swinging back. Tracking right he landed cross cantering a few times, but those were on the jumps when he got in too deep. I came off the circle and popped over the coop about 3 times, just working on his responsiveness ... that felt pretty awesome every time. After coming around the circle one final time and hitting the cabinet perfectly one final time, I gave him a nice big pat and ended on that note.
Took a walk down the driveway and next to the road to the adjoining pasture that borders Joyce's property. Turned around there and came back. Just hosed/sponged with apple cider vinegar since he got a full bath yesterday. I DON'T like to bathe with soap every day; I find the horses are more prone to skin ailments when you strip away all the natural oils with soap. In nearly 3 years, my horse has had mild rain rot on his ears twice, a light case on the front of the hind legs once, and a pretty "good" case of it on the front of the hind legs once. Treating with MTG and bathing with hand soap for less than a week cleared it right up every time. I think my grooming regiment is pretty good.:) Dressage saddle for my sore legs tomorrow, most likely with some no stirrup work!