These last two weeks I have been busy, busy, busy. School is wrapping up, with only 3 weeks and then finals week. This means all the professors are cramming in their finals tests, panicking over the amount of material they have yet to cover, assigning homework like it's candy, and trying to wrap up final projects that are due. Most of my teachers are pretty cool, but I have one professor who is slowly morphing into Cruella deVille as we get closer to the end of the semester.
Needless to say, she has gotten under my skin.
So these days, instead of spending my free time out at the barn, watching lessons, bathing Dante, and organizing show stuff, I am confined to my house, studying and doing homework.
I did all the normal things last week with Dante, jump lesson on Tues and Sat, trot sets on Thursday, and dressage on Wed and Fri. Wednesday he was very heavy and low, but I think a major part of that was because of my 'realization' about my hands, which turned out to be a bit wrong. It turned out to be wrong because while Dante was definitely very steady, he was also incredibly heavy, down hill, and behind the vertical. Oops. We spent Thursday trot sets practicing uphill trot and presented a much improved frame to Mike on Friday, which carried over into today.
Sunday morning we went to the track (after a bit of fail on my part including a late evening text, a bit of drinking about an hour from my house, a friend's couch, and an unknown, completely unreliable alarm on my cell phone) and Dante felt great. Mike rode Maisie, and we galloped together, which is great. When Dante gallops against a TB who is also competitive, then we tend to get into a battle of wills. But Maisie is pretty laid back and has no problem running slightly behind. Both horses galloped quite well, and I'm feeling confident about Dante's fitness.
On another note, here's the XC video from Poplar. I'm really proud of how Dante rode the course. Upon watching the video, I wonder if maybe I shouldn't have gone for five strides instead of six, but since it was so downhill, I don't mind that we patted the ground first. And he's also obviously a little wiggly through the huts on an angle, but we've practiced that since, so hopefully he gets it now.