Sorry for my absence last night; Pa and I actually tried to be outgoing and we ended up going to see a movie and didn't get back until NIGH on 9pm, at which point I was exhausted and passed out. Clearly, we're living the wild and crazy life.
Yesterday we got up at dawn and headed out to the Aiken training track to watch the morning gallops. There really isn't any better way that I could imagine spending an early morning (besides being in the saddle myself!) and it was a great start to the day.
We also ran into a grand total of five other snowbirds who we knew, so it turned into a bit of a Northerner's Hootenanny. Good times =)
(classic track shot)
We finished off the morning with a trip to the Track Kitchen (Pa's favorite place to eat in Aiken) for a delightfully gut-busting breakfast of hotcakes and french toast. It was divine.
Then, the past two days at Suzi's I've been doing some little proto-jumping exercises with Kiki. Yesterday we just did canter poles, and she was pretty naughty!! It was her first time doing anything jumping related in seven months, so I don't really blame her, and I definitely spent more time smiling than grimacing as I got taken for a ride ALL over Suzi's big jump field. Still, she felt a little like she used to back when I first got her, which made me a touch worried that we were in for another loooong spring.
Then, it was extra exciting to come back today and have her be much, much better! She cantered quietly through a line of poles probably a dozen times (where normally she goes to pieces as soon as she figures the pattern out) and then trotted a single cavaletti and a little cavaletti bounce! As uninteresting as the jumps were in themselves, it felt great to be back doing something again =)
Ringo has been continuing his streak of absolutely perfect behavior with aplomb. We did some more continuous trotting today, and he felt straight and even. I'm trying to keep myself from getting too excited and dreaming too big every time I get on him, because with horses there's never any guarantee for anything going the way you plan for it to, but it's getting pretty hard not to get optimistic with him feeling so good. Fingers crossed for continued progress!
(Handsome dude - also, check out those blue skies! drool)
Tomorrow is Pa's last full day in Aiken. Where did the week go? It's seems like just a few hours ago that we arrived in the nick of time for the training sessions. I've really enjoyed getting to spend time with him again, and even though I'm sinfully lucky and get to spend two more weeks in Aiken after he goes home, it's not going to be quite the same without him. At the very least, I'm going to miss my running buddy! We've done three 3-milers and a 4-miler since arriving, with one more 3-miler planned for tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be, if possible, even more perfect than it has been, so it should be a great day to hit the roads.
(This also happened. AMERICA!)