Thursday, September 4, 2008
Dressage, Thunder and Lightning - oh my!
Yesterday evening was my dressage lesson night. Stopped off at McDonald's for two sweet teas (my summer of 2008 refreshment of choice on a humid day), one for me and one for Miss D. Arrived at the barn to find Monty was sporting a brand new set of shoes. OOps! I kept forgetting to pay for his last set... BIG check goes in the mail today.
So I had to go and get the Plugits and clean out and fill the stud holes. We were tacked and just got into the polo arena as Miss D. arrived. I warmed up at the walk, even executing a fairly nice turn on the haunches through the walk, something I have been working on with with him just to lighten him up and he actually did his best version of that movement to date right in front of Miss D. She was surprised and impressed. Ah, seems my memory is shaking off the dust and I'm recalling how to ask for the movements. I'm hoping she works with me on some turns on the forehand with him next week. We went into the trot work and Monty was on his game this week. Much softer, more forward and lighter.
All the while, in the distance, these big clouds were gathering, and occasionally there were visible bursts of lightning flashing from cloud to cloud. But there was no thunder. We guessed it was just heat lightning and continued to work. As we went back to the walk to prepare for the canter, the cloud was marching right over the polo arena and the lightning bursts were getting clearer, bigger and scarier. We simultaneously agreed we'd end the lesson with the good trot work and hurry back into the barn as it was getting scary, now.
Just as we got in the barn, the lightning was obviously right over us and we could see flashes by the polo arena. Then the thunder started. I wanted to get Monty untacked, take his water out of the stall since I hadn't had the chance to walk him out long enough and get Miss D her check so she could leave. However, just as I put Monty away, the lightning started to really get wild. Miss D looked at me and said, "I don't mind waiting this one out, I'll help you get your stuff put away and maybe by then it will blow through."
She had my saddle, I had my grooming tote and some other stuff, we were about to walk out of the barn when this H U G E bolt of lightning cracked down somewhere close to the medical building and office, the lights everywhere but in the barn we were standing in went out and then thunder like a tremendous explosion boomed. We gasped and just stood there shaking. I don't know why the barn still had lights (but I said a very humble thank you to God for that). Slowly, one by one, the lights of the office and the clinic flickered back on. After two more half-hearted lightning flashes, the rain came in buckets and the temperature noticeably lowered. We then hurried to put my stuff away. I checked on Monty, he was warm, but we agreed it was more from the humid weather than from not having been walked out much. I gave him his water buckets back and we closed and locked up.
I thanked her so much for staying with me. If I was there alone, I think I would have just sat down outside my horses' stall and cried like a baby. That was one of the creepiest nights at a barn I can recall. What made it extra frightning is that the annex barn on the other side of the property was hit by lightning about 2 weeks ago. No horses were hurt but one of the stalls is marked from it. It blew out the lights in the annex barn and the same buildings that went dark tonight and I heard Doc had trouble with his computers from it as well. I guess lightning does strike twice in the same place or darn close to it.