G’Morning – it’s a beautiful 63 degrees here in Florida at 6 am. It should reach mid 80’s today, but low humidity so it’s still very rideable all day long. My days are packed with training and teaching, and now I have two weeks to get completely organized to fly to Amsterdam with Ayscha on May 11th. Whew.
I am going to fly with her from Miami on a Martinair Cargo plane – so that means I will go down to Miami one day next week and take a course to certify me to fly safely on the plane I will be on. I have done it before and it is always interesting to find out all the safety features on the plane and what I need to be doing in case of a problem. Not for the faint of heart! I will be with her in a “pre-quarantine” at a barn near the airport for about 8 hours and then we go to the airport and load into cargo containers for horses – they are like small horse trailers. Then we get carted around the runways to our gate, and we are lifted (the scariest part for me) by hydraulics and pushed into the cargo area of the plane. I have found that as soon as the horses are loaded in the plane they are fine, and they deal remarkably well with take-off and landing! But getting bumped and banged and lifted around during the loading process is the most stressful for a worried horse, and that’s when I am really glad to be there to help her deal with it all.
I am trying to remember just what to pack for her and I – it’s a fine line between absolutely necessary and just too much – it costs almost $3.00 per kg for equipment so I cannot afford to ship anything that is not indispensable. I am busy ordering my last minute stuff from SmartPak and taking complete advantage of their great shipping rates. And their customer service reps are always so helpful, even when I am stressed to the max.
It helps that I am having great rides on Ayscha – I just rode in a show just to get down the centerline again, and Gary Rockwell gave us a 68.9%. I was thrilled with her – she has very limited experience showing and she just gets more confident each time I take her in the ring. I rode a pretty bad zigzag – not her fault at all. But otherwise it was a great test and I am so happy that her tempis are getting very straight and bigger, and her piaffe is getting more on the spot. She is still very green and I do have a mental problem asking her to piaffe on the spot – but it is getting much better as both she and I get more confident.
I had a super ride today – I have paddocks out the front with good footing in between the fences, and I took her out there for a fun ride – in the snaffle and without spurs or whip. It is just so much fun to ride her there, and I am really getting confident in her training. I was able to do piaffe, passage, beautiful extended trots, and lots of super tempi changes that had to be straight (otherwise my knees would not be surviving)! If we can do this work in a snaffle and no spurs, I am pretty sure that we can do even better in the ring. It’s really cool how when I ride with no spurs my seat gets better………