Thursday, July 4, 2019

Fireworks incoming

Anyone remember the mad man with the gas can I rode with last year?

Guess where I'm going tomorrow.

Last year's class, apparently almost all of them are returning

I'm clearly insane.  Out of my gourd crazy.  This time I know exactly what I'm walking into and I signed up anyway.  Three days of despooking courtesy of a mad man with a gas can.

A few changes from last year.  Last year it was early spring and freezing.  This year it's going to be 91* for a high on day one.  That should bring energy levels down a notch but I'll be managing Theo closely so he doesn't overheat.  Paste electrolytes are packed.  In addition, the deer flies are absolutely appalling this year so having Theo in the ring for six hours will be a lesson in coping.  I'm going to put his riding fly mask on to give him a fighting chance and I bought a whole new tub of Swat.  I'd say that he needs to learn to focus but I've seen the size of the welts he gets and I've been bit by those flies before.  It really hurts.

I'm also swapping to my western gear as I now have a western saddle that I know won't roll or slip.  I think the bigger tree will help Theo since I'll be riding a lot longer than usual.  I also think the horn and cantle will help me stay on.  I'm swapping my split reins for the rubber reins off my jumping bridle since I'll be sitting about 100 spooks and spins each day.  I don't want to drop a rein by accident.

We've got a stall and I'll be using this to test some coping strategies for multi-day shows.  I know he's going to get more explosive each day, so time to see if I can get him into a rhythm.  Hand walking doesn't do it, I'm thinking a morning lunge/buck session may be what he needs.  He does settle nicely after getting to absolutely lose his mind for 20 minutes on a lunge.  Time to embrace the fact that Theo needs a daily flip out and give him a nice, safe opportunity to let all that naughty out.

Because someone hates being in prison

But the big question is:  Is it appropriate to pack a flask for this kind of clinic and, if so, what should I put in it?  I have a very nice aged tequila that would be much appreciated about the time he busts out the gas can.  Or maybe the maple liqueur.  Or just load it up with vodka since it's all about taking the edge off the rider.

Tonight there will be explosions in the sky but tomorrow the real fireworks start.

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