Once it warmed up a bit, I loaded my barn bag with a snack and a plan to stay until late afternoon. I started off by riding Sydney which was a bit of a disappointment. Since it was my birthday, I was hoping for a nice, obedient ride. He was lovely the day before, but as soon as I started grooming I knew he wasn't in the mood. Too bad. The neighbor was loading firewood, the gardener was mowing, JL was giving a lesson up the street, and on and on. Again, too bad.
After one lap around the arena, I knew the ride wasn't going to work unless I did something different so I grabbed the lunge line and set to work. Eventually Sydney realized that my way was probably the better choice. I hopped up but didn't get anything even close to relaxation. No biggie. I had him do lots of bending with LOTS of leg and before too long he finally let go through his withers and neck and gave me some softness. Happy birthday to me!
Next, on my day at the barn, was an hour or two down at JL's to watch Cha Ching and his mom take a jumping lesson. Watching JL give a lesson is a lot like getting a lesson for free. Since Cha Ching's Mom and I are such good friends, I feel comfortable in the arena resetting poles, asking questions, and simply being part of the lesson. After the ride, we spent the better part of an hour just hanging out sharing meeting our honey stories. Being with friends on your birthday is a real gift.
Cha Ching was staying at our barn for the night so I walked them down and helped get him situated in a stall. Speedy was up next on the list. We had a nice ride where we continued the walk to canter transitions as well as some canter lengthenings. And then, since Sydney hadn't been at his best earlier, I saddled him up for another ride. He was much more relaxed for the second go round. While I was saddling Sydney, my BO gave me a very special birthday gift in the form of lovely, lovely comment about my character.
By the time I got home, I was pretty thoroughly awash in birthday goodness, but ready for a birthday dinner with my hubby. Before dinner, flowers were delivered (he's an AWESOME guy) and so was the gift from my mom. As soon as I saw the delivery box, I knew what it was for there emblazoned on the side for all to see was the word Stübben. Oh, what a lucky girl am I! My mom had sent me the bridle that was on my Dear Santa list.
Before we left for the restaurant, I opened the gift from my dad and stepmom, a lovely little wooden box with a galloping horse inlaid across the top. Hidden inside (tricky, tricky) was a very generous gift card. Hubby's gift was a new pair of breeches (and the movie Magic Mike - can't wait to finally see it!). He thinks those kind of gifts are just "eh," but ooh la la - I LOVE new breeches!
We finally made it to dinner, one of my favorite restaurants, followed by my birthday pie at home. I am not a big cake fan, but I adore coconut cream pie! Just before bed, I snuck into the kitchen and filled up quite a scrap of paper to add to THE JAR.
All in all? One of the best birthdays I've ever had!