A week of rain. Every since we've been training in the neighbor's outdoor (for free), I have been loathe to go to the indoor. It's a very nice indoor, but the footing is deep for reining and it's small for Brego. He doesn't move forward in it. As a result, I have not ridden since Monday at all.
Friday after work, there was a break in the rain and we rode to the fairgrounds and tucked ourselves into a corner of the parking lot, a full mile from the actual fairgrounds fence. The place is HUGE. In that particular corner, there is a well drained field that is surrounded on three sides by banks and trees so it's almost like a perfect rectangular outdoor that is 500' x 1000'. In other words: plenty big.
We mostly focused on canter work, after a warmup. Brego can trot all day, but his conditioning hinges on his ability to canter. He was stiff and cranky, which is normal after more than two days off. He just really didn't want to work. It was pretty warm and humid, but I was a little disappointed in his fitness, which is 100% my fault. I felt like he did better on his conditioning ride a couple of weeks ago.
And that's the crux of it, the last conditioning ride was a couple of weeks ago. Eventers at my level should be riding six days a week, five days bare minimum. There has not been one week this year where I have ridden four days or more. That's just not going to keep him fit enough for his safety and health.
Seeing Andrea's pictures of King Oak made me wish we were out there competing. That course looks so fun. I know it's not in the cards this year, but that doesn't mean I can let Brego's conditioning base erode, especially since the long term goal of 2010 is to go Novice at the end of the year. Which means, if things go well this summer, I might do a schooling Novice by October of 2009. My 2010 season starts today.
So even though it's raining, again, we're suiting up and riding out. Are we men or are we amoebas???
I am shooting for four days a week to start, and if the weather ever clears, bump to five. The farm and work still squabble for my time, but being on the back of my horse is where I am truly happy, so I should strive to be there more often.