It's Monday again! For Squeaky Tiki, that means a jump school and an anti-fungal bath. For "Tails" readers, it means another Tip of the Week! PLEASE e-mail me with your tips and tricks at firstname.lastname@example.org
This week's tip: Always keep a box of baby wipes on hand at the barn. After riding in the sweltering August heat, you can simply wipe away sweat and grime off your tack with baby wipes. What I really like is the fact that you don't get build up. I used to wipe down all my tack with a damp sponge and glycerine soap, but my tack started getting that "gummy" feeling. The wipes offer a much needed "quick clean" on virtually anything:)
On to today! I've decided to follow in the footsteps of many of my fellow eventers, and take up running. I have tried and failed to start running on numerous occasions. I actually did pretty well when I had a running partner, but I suffered an achilles injury running in her neighborhood, so I had to quit for QUITE some time. It was a pretty nagging, painful injury. The COTH forums had some good advice on how to start and maintain a runnig program, and I've decided to set goals for my running. I will be running a 5K at some point before Christmas:) I have a tentative date of some time in September, but that's awfully soon for me to actually *run* it. I can walk it, for sure, but I suck at running. Which is why I've quit as soon as I've begun. But, my alarm will be going off at 5:48 in the morning, at which point I will hit "snooze", and then get up and go for my run. I did run yesterday, and while I'm not sore from that, I am SO SORE from the lunges/push ups/crunches I did afterwards;)
Tiki was AWESOME today:) Put on the wonder bit and the cc saddle, and he was a happy little camper. I walked on a loose rein, then picked up contact and cantered both ways. Made sure I kept leg on and didn't let him drop that shoulder and fall in. He was SO light and relaxed, and looking for the jumps, lol. Came down to the trot and worked the trot for about 15 mins. Put him on the 20m circle and did transitions. Felt GREAT. Did some halts, trying to keep him from hollowing the back during those, and he did all right.
Still had the x rail/one stride to the 2'9 oxer set. Changed the outside vertical to a real corner jump! Laid down a barrel, and made me my first corner jump. I didn't anticipate any problems because Tiki doesn't care about the barrel, and I'm comfortable over fan jumps, so I felt like we'd be fine. Set a cav on a diagonal, then a cav oxer on the other. I knew it was risky, but I set the oxer a little wider than normal. I was careful not to do it TOO wide, so he wouldn't think it was a bounce, but I DID want it wider than normal for the form benefits:)
He was awesome. Could have cared less about the corner, of course. I did GREAT during the one stride; didn't do too much once;) He felt amazing through that every time! I was glad I'd thrown on his boots today. I don't always use them for jump schools; sometimes I leave him bare-legged. I've gotten to where he's naked for the flat schools, unless we're in the field. I'm so glad I used the boots when he almost wiped out; there was a big chunk of dirt on one of the hind boots, and I'm SURE he would have taken a chunk out of his LEG had I not had them on. So in the field, I always throw them on. My gut feeling was correct, and he did mis judge and make a mistake on the oxer about the third time I jumped it. Caught it HARD with a hind leg and pulled the cav completely over. Glad I'd put the boots on, because he didn't even limp off. I did lots of jump/halt/trot in to get him straight, collected, and focused on ME.
As an aside, he has gotten perfect about not anticipating when I shorten the reins. When I go from no contact to contact, he waits on me to tell him what to do. So proud of the muffin man! Tomorrow I will be running, and Wednesday I'm thinking I will do some "field dressage" in Star's pasture.