As every post will say from here until October- it was hot this weekend. Rio has been sweating really good this summer, but I have been constantly anxious that he will stop as the temps continue to rise. Well… he didn’t sweat very good on Saturday. His neck is usually covered in sweat and the “panting” breathing has been almost non-existent. Not so much on Saturday. I noticed he barely had any sweat on his neck. A little on his chest, and under his saddle pad was sweaty, but not as much as he has been sweating lately, and definitely not enough considering the heat. He was also panting pretty heavily.
We kept our lesson short. He felt really good in our warm-up, acing the trot and canter poles. We jumped one full course and one half course and called it good. We also spent the time in-between courses hiding in the shade. Despite limited jumping efforts, he was AWESOME. Promptly listening to my aids and staying way more balanced in the canter. We often have this short turn off the diagonal in our courses and it used to be the bane of my existence. If we didn’t land the lead there was zero hope for us. I’d always have to pull up and then turn before continuing on with the course.
I am happy to report that both times we did it on Saturday we landed the wrong lead but easily threw in a balanced lead change and were able to make the tight turn. I am still semi-shocked honestly. Our arena is big, but so is Rio and we really struggle with tighter turns that require a lead change. To be able to get two in a row so effortlessly feels like a giant break through.
Sunday we had a light hack. He felt amazing and I didn’t push him hard. I noticed the little to no sweat trend continued. A light dusting on his chest and plenty under his saddle pad, but not all over his neck like before. It wasn’t quite as hot as the day before and I didn’t push him hard, but still. My anxiety is on high alert. I am already feeding him more than the recommended dose of his True Sweat (because he’s the size of a moose and not a horse), but I am going to bump it up to a full double dose and see if that helps. If not, this is still better then he was last summer and I’ll just start being really careful again and wiping him down with a wet rag frequently during rides.
Send good sweating vibes my way, and until then watch this video that shows our new found lead change success!