Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2014 > Daily Dispatch #239

September 6, 2014: Spit and Polish

I don’t know where this phrase came from. It’s appropriate, but also somewhat disgusting. Spit belongs in the mouth, not on things like leather goods. It’s for keeping the interior of the mouth wet, and for wetting dry food, so that it might be better digested.

Spent most of yesterday and today getting ready for tomorrow’s dressage schooling show. Yesterday Pete and I first went to pay our friend Jessica for the Jim Brigg’s clinic. Jessica is also doing the schooling show, so we talked for a long time about this. I mentioned in passing that we were heading to Anchorage because I needed to get a pair of breeches and riding boots. She immediately said she had a pair of paddock boots from Ecuador, and that I could have them if they fit. Turns out they did. So today, I applied the requisite polish, which is a product called Cadillac Boot care.

Today my friend Heather came over with her horse Rio. Heather had said that lately Rio had not been himself, so we worked with him. We first went for a walk, taking both Rio and Hrimmi along. Then we went for a ride, which is Pete, Heather, and me, along with Rio and all our horses. The rain had started while we were on our walk, and had picked up considerably by the time we started out.

We began by riding around the loop, and in process we discovered that Mr. T was out of sorts and that Hrimmi was feeling unusually willful. Pete quickly became frustrated – and once on the trail he suggested that I keep Raudi on Hrimmi’s butt. I explained that this was not going to happen. Raudi, bless her little horsey heart, was being very careful on the super-slick trails. I was actually pleased, for this meant that we are at the point in which she no longer feels the need to rush up on other horses when she’s in the rear. So I don’t undo the training she’s had by pushing her do otherwise.

We did canter on the lower trail drag strip, an area I call Raudi’s Racetrack. And she did just fine. And all the horses did commendable in passing the trailhead hunting hoo hah. I could have taken Raudi to the local indoor arena and worked her there – however, I figured that being on the trail would serve the same purpose, which it did. She got a workout and I determined that she is feeling very focused.

After, I attempted to polish Raudi up a bit, but to no avail. You can remove surface mud from a wet horse; however, you can’t remove below surface mud. In the case of the latter, one must either blow dry them or let them hang out in the sun. Don’t use blow driers and can’t dry a horse in the sun on a rainy day. So I crossed my fingers in hopes that on Sunday, the day of the show, that Raudi would be dry.

Later, after Heather’s departure, I applied polish to my bridle, English saddle, reins, and new boots and new belt. I also ironed my white shirt. This was tedious and exacting work, which went well into the late evening. This activity can be described as being akin to cleaning one’s house because visitors will be coming over. Just an excuse, really. If the show was cancelled or Raudi and I instead stayed home, we’d at least have clean gear.

The last thing I did today was personal polish. I did some yoga and then sat and visualized the dressage pattern – that is, me and Raudi working in unison. And of course, I felt good about it all at the day’s end.

Next: 240. 9/7/14: “Keep Up the Forward Thinking!”