It may be 105* (no kidding; that was the heat index today), but we're busy as anything. My sleep and work patterns have gotten very strange: I'm up at 4:30 to get on Fender by 5:30, get the horses done and my boarders lessoned by midday, then a few hours break, then lessons all afternoon and evening, punctuated by odd bouts of napping, working out, officework and coming up with more ways to cook summer squash and zucchini, which I swear is breeding in my fridge at night.
Fender always goes first because he's not a great sweater, though I think he's improved since last summer, for which there is no scientific explanation but I appreciate all the same. He is a fantastic way to start the day since he makes me smile every day. He's getting quicker, stronger, better connected. I even hacked him out in his double for the first time a few weeks ago, and I've actually worked him in it twice since. He's really fantastic in it; I might be onto something. And he just looks so grown up and fancy pantsy. I love him!
Midge heard that he didn't get a bye for the Olympic team and has decided to wreck his revenge by being freaking awe-inspiring every day. I am finding this piaffe that is so active and cheerful and on-the-spot, sometimes I just laugh. I'm taking both boys up to Michael's this weekend for our first lessons in a few weeks, Midge's in more than a month, and I'm really excited.
Ella is healing, slowly but surely. I can't imagine how frustrated SHE must be, having spent a month in her stall even though she was perfectly sound; I'm frothing at the mouth wanting to ride her, she must be beside herself! But she's been an absolutely model patient, and it's hopefully only another week to 10 days before we're back into work. The challenge I have now is to find a boot that will protect the baby skin. The wound was on the inside of her hind fetlock, so if anyone has suggestions for a boot that is hard on the outside, soft on the inside and not too bulky, drop me a line.
My students have been remarkably brave, riding in the heat. They're all a'quiver in preparation for the summer's biggest show, Dressage at Lexington (Va.), which is next weekend. At last count, we have 13 horses performing 55 rides over three days. Frantic attempts are being made to purvey a scooter, so that I can go up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, and up ad nauseum wearing my coaching hat. It should be noted that I have never driven a scooter and am really rather afraid of them, so this should just be outstanding all the way around.
I LOVE Lexington, and am excited for lots of reasons, but one is particularly special—Fairvoya, or Farrah, Cleo's 2-year-old filly, is coming along to do some in-hand stuff. I could not possibly care less about a horse's show record in-hand, as I have not found any correlation at all between high marks in hand and high marks at Grand Prix, but if a giant ribbon were to appear around her lovely neck I would certainly not complain. Moreover, she's the first horse I bred, and one of the (very few) good things to come out of Cleo's injury and retirement. It'll be fun to see that legacy continue!
Until then, we're doing our best to keep cool—fans, shade screens, night turnout and strategic midday sponging for the horses; shorts and coconut water for me. They're calling for TEMPS of 103* on Saturday… eek!