Poor Morris on Monday had the anti-holiday...he woke up not to a day off but to a dressage lesson over at Linda's! He should have known something was awry when Karyn (his new girl) had him sparkling and standing in white wraps....never happens early on a Monday morning. He is such a sport, always up for anything and this was no exception. He was a little nervous about having to walk the gauntlet between all of the youngsters turned out on either side of the walk way from Kaleidescape up to Linda's. However as soon as I got on his back he was Mr. Professional and as soon as Linda got out to the ring we were busy busy busy! He felt great after a little warm up and so we went right into executing some of the more difficult movements for Linda's amazing eyes to watch. Taken separately the movements aren't anything special, shoulder in haunches in a counter canter serpentines are all among the highlights. However trying to do these things sequentially on a very, very fit TB really does become another sport. As usual the WALK is something that Morris just doesn't care for and we ended the day with a bunch of work on our turn on the haunches. We nailed the last two (Linda told me to quit after the first one but I just couldn't help myself) and called it a day. It was quite humid and Morris had really worked up a sweat. Okay, I had really worked up a sweat, too. Glad though that he recovered so quickly and certainly wasn't going to admit he was tired. Fitness is always a major concern heading into a 3 day, no matter how fit your horse is I think you have these moments where you doubt yourself and your program. However Morris has a great baseline from a very long season of competing this spring, and he had a great work out on the hills at his last compeition at Virginia. Add in one or two Linda lessons to really get you puffing and viola, a horse fit for a 2*!
Poor Freddie fell victim to being the next horse I had to ride following my lesson. Maybe he could sense my seriousness about the quality of work for the day, as he really rose to the occasion. I had maybe trotted around the arena for 20 minutes, doing all sorts of figures and changes of directions and transitions, all difficult areas for this long legged baby, and he was just having his best ride since moving to the United States. I let him have a walk break and he stretched down and did an extended walk to die for, so I ended the ride then and there! Let him go on a nice walk around the farm, it was absolutely gorgeous outside, and took him in for a shower. Couldn't think of a better way to spend my holiday!