In a nutshell, that sums up my weekend - I am SORE. But it is a happy kind of sore. Every time I raise my arms, the aching shoulders remind me that the t-posts are all set. Each grip of a pen with the responding sore hands brings to mind the endless insulators that are now snapped or nailed into place. And my thighs - oh sweet heaven, my aching thighs and abs remind me that I lived up to big goals in my riding this weekend, and it makes me grin through the pain!
Saturday was filled with riding - after we finished driving loads of t-posts out back to subdivide the big field. I started off with Jonah, who had even better flatwork and the best jumping thus far. I set up a tiny vertical for him instead of a crossrail, and he definitely jumps better over the vertical. At the end of the ride, we cantered the approach and he took it in stride, finding the perfect spot. I was so pleased I hopped off, loosened his girth, and let him be done. He has already gained a bit of weight, which tells me he is a much easier keeper than I had suspected - he just needs to get it on a regular basis. We upped his grain again two nights ago in accordance with our plan to gradually increase him, so we are almost at his full ration now.
Samson got ridden next. He only has one half-leaser at the moment, so he is in need of some extra rides to get and stay fit. I joined Susan and Robyn in the front field, and we decided to go exploring in search of the power lines in back of the property. Sure enough, we found a gorgeous stretch of wide open land to explore. They headed back to the barn, but Samson needed some more trot work, and I found the perfect trail to do it on. There is an awesome little cleared trail that steadily climbs uphill, has great footing, and it perfect for making him really work his hind end. We trotted to the top, then wandered around to the power lines and then headed back.
Last, it was April's turn. By the time I was tacking her up, I was already a little tired. Then I realized my last ride of the day would be my no-stirrups ride....yikes. Thursday night I had worked her over fences, which was pretty interesting. I used to ride my favorite pony at the old farm without stirrups over fences quite frequently, but April has a much different style over fences. The good part is that it forced me to stay quiet in my seat all the way to the base of the fence. The bad part is that she kept shooting off on the landing side of the fence, which can be a little hairy without stirrups. Amazingly, I made it through the entire thing without coming off, and ended with a really good fence, both on the takeoff and landing sides. So needless to say, I was already sore before getting on for Saturday's ride.
I decided to forgo jumping in an attempt to save what was left of my muscles. It was basically one of those "setting myself up for success" things - I knew I didn't have enough in me to stay on. The flatwork, however, was glorious. I worked on counterbend, in an attempt to free her up through her shoulder, and when I switched back to asking her for true bend she was soft and supple. It was one of those rides where every little movement had a bit of magic in it, and I hated for the ride to end.
Sunday was super productive in terms of farm progress. We had a glorious volunteer that spent two full days with a chainsaw clearing the back paddock. Robyn and I got all the cedar posts ready for the polyrope by nailing in insulators, then snapped caps and insulators on every t-post. My favorite electrician added an exterior outlet for me to install my new fence charger, and will be back soon to eliminate our last dreaded extension cord permanently!
So today I am sore, tired, and dragging a little. But the cumulative result of our efforts is completely worth it. I am working on uploading some short videos of Jonah to share his first week. He is such a cutie, and we really enjoy him!!