Sorry for the silence from the Eastern front here, it's been a busy couple of weeks, and a bit of a tough time last week also. No fear, things are most certainly looking up, and don't worry - Rio is fine! I've just had to make some changes to my own routine, as it appears that the yard was slightly taking over my life.
There has finally been a little bit of riding going on, in amongst all of this though! We had the farrier out last week, and he's said that if we are going to be doing more road work than we already are, that Rio will need to have back shoes on. I'm not so keen on that, so fingers crossed now that the nights are drawing out and the weather has been drier, we will be able to do some schooling and cut down on the roads! Although the school is also quite hard at the moment, with the sudden stop in rain. We just can't win haha.
We had a fab ride out the weekend before last, we found a new trail which involved everlasting rolling hills. The boys loved it. No sooner had we hit the bottom of the first hill, Rio threw in an all-four-feet-off-the-ground jump because he was so excited! Luckily it seems my seat has developed since the last time he did this, and with a few strides of walk, we were off again. I'm not a fan of going down hills, but a few more goes on this route, and I'm sure that fear will soon be gone. What was even better, was that he wasn't too hot and sweaty when we got back, and despite his sweaty face and eyebrows, his chest and shoulders barely broke a sheen. (With all those hills, it's no wonder! It was all push, push, push!)
He had 9-10 days off after that weekend, as it was hubster's birthday last Sunday, so he was left to chill out in his field. Sarah brought him up for me on Wednesday evening, as I need to do some schooling with him before the dressage clinic next weekend. If he can take the attitude he had on Wednesday to the clinic, I will be ecstatic. He was going off the leg beautifully, was responsive to my weight aids (however clumsy they are currently...) and we had a couple of nice canters. He still drops out of the canter, but they're gradually getting longer. This may be a bit of an issue on Sunday however, as the test we are riding is prelim 12, which involves cantering the long side, circling in the middle, and cantering around to change the rein across the diagonal. Hm. He even was coming into a lovely natural outline for a few strides at a time in walk. Needless to say, I felt much better after that session. Especially when he spooked 90 degrees off the track, and my bum stayed right where it was! Haha.