Just a little rain! Hardly! We have had our share and then some. I did just plant trees for shade for our pastures so, really, I am not complaining, Hammer of the Rain Gods. (Please don't punish me with a drought!) Anyway, I do so love to go on and on about England...I think we must have moved there when I wasn't looking...or else I am joining my Northwest blogging friends, Paint Girl and Pony Girl. I know Kate at A Year With Horses has been having trouble with the rain and rich grass. I am being challenged with consistency. Pie and Sovereign need slow and quiet repetition. We have the slow and quiet, but repetition has been a struggle. So far they have made such fabulous progress, and I do believe that everything happens for a reason. Maybe this rain delay is nature's way of slowing our lessons down. That way I will be sure they truly have understood. We certainly have had plenty of time for grooming! Sovereign can use all the practice he can get in that department. He is honestly the most thinned-skinned Thoroughbred on the planet. He did so well in the beginning with grooming because he had a winter coat. Now he is a ticklish 1000 pound wiggle worm. He can not stand any of my grooming tools. He loves water, and most days splashes in the fresh water trough (ugh!) until I hose him down. I know at the track that they are routinely hosed off in any normal day so it is not surprising that he enjoys that. Still, it is important to learn not to wiggle so much when groomed, so we are working on that. Pie is another kettle of fish entirely. He LOVES being groomed because he is so itchy from the gnat bites. He gets in all sorts of contorted positions in order to get the full grooming treatment. They are both leading well and both are a joy to ride - when the weather cooperates! I rode Pie in a skort the other day because I hadn't planned on riding, but it was not raining for a few minutes so I tacked up. I sure had good contact! Talk about half-chaps! The skin on my legs did not get rubbed because we were only walking, but I wouldn't have liked that if we were doing anything else. Janet, my friend in Florida, has special fleece to cover her stirrup leathers because with their hot Florida temperatures they ride in shorts often. I need to get something like that. Pie went very well considering all he was faced with that afternoon. He wanted to trudge out through the high hay field rather than on the nice paths I mowed for him. There was some flat spots in the hay where deer had slept or else the rain had mushed and Pie was very scared of them. He side-stepped and acted like it was not solid ground. Next, we came to an apple on a fence post that our neighbor left for us. The grass was waving madly between us and the apple so Pie was having none of that. In addition, all the rainy "together time" has re-bonded Pie and Sovereign to be two tight peas in a pod again so Sovereign was back in the pastures screaming for us to return. Through it all, Pie responded to my leg cues and voice reassurance. I asked a lot of him that afternoon (which makes me mad at myself), but he was a good boy and spoiled me. I rode Sovereign yesterday afternoon and took my time with our cross-country departure, like I should have done with Pie. Sovereign and I walked around outside of the pastures so he and Pie could separate slowly and calmly. Just as we started out "for real" a clap of thunder boomed overhead. Sovey wanted to keep going, but I made us go back. My husband, Brian, was struck by lightning when I was pregnant with Maizie. Miraculously, he was ok (it blew his shoes off his feet and threw him to the ground), but I know not to mess around with storms. Pie and Sovereign never get upset when it storms. Years ago, our mares would always get hyper long before a storm actually hit. They just seemed to sense it. Pie and Sovey don't get too upset about much, fortunately!