I had lunch with Patty again today (the editor of Dressage Today) and while it was enjoyable, talk of elite dressage has a dampening effect on my enthusiasm for the sport. It only served to sharply remind me that my FEI work isn't up to snuff, and I don't know what to do about it. Patty suggested seeking out a trainer who is especially gifted with teaching changes but I don't know how to go about such a search, plus it's been my experience that establishing a good relationship with a trainer is like blind dating; you never know what you're getting to get, and you can't rush the trust that's needed. My biggest concern is taking a lesson with an instructor only to find that she doesn't want to work with anything that's not a warmblood. And that would be Owen.
I did hop on him for a bit today...we just did a few minutes of canter work before taking a short hack. It is seriously unseasonably warm, somewhere in the mid 80s, and Owen even worked up a bit of a lather on our little ride plus the bugs were bothering him something fierce. It's still March, yet I had to sponge him down and use fly spray and rub SWAT ointment in his ears. Owen also occasionally has some trouble with inhaled allergies which can leave him a little out of breath...I ausculted his lungs with a stethescope, and fancied that I could hear just a bit of a wheeze in his dorsal lung fields. But it's hard enough to get him to eat his doxycycline, so there's no way of adding an antihistamine to his diet. Who knows? I might be imagining things.
When I returned home the postman delivered yet another garment for my sidesaddle stable. When my previous shad got eaten I ordered a new one from Cindy, this time a very light summerweight in a charcoal gabardine. But since I was able to get the fabric on sale I went a head and had a matching apron plus a lower level dressage coat made. As always I was concerned about a rippling apron with the pommels poking through, so I had Cindy use a very heavy black denim as an interfacing so this apron has a nice stiff body with a sharp rear corner.
The habit is darker than it looks
here. This is shown with the
regular dressage coat.
Here it is with the shadbelly.
Alistair loves it; what better endorsement could there be?
Barb Thelan and I are going to be giving a sidesaddle demonstration to some 4-H kids in May; perhaps I'll get to wear it then.