Just kidding on the dying part.
Yesterday started out cool and cloudy AND Brian went to work with his dad, so I had every opportunity and intention to ride Russell. But I had this little addiction thing going that I found hard to put down, and when I finally did, I saw Russell lay down flat out for a nap. It's a well-documented fact that horses need sufficient time to sleep like that or they can actually get sleep deprivation, so of course I couldn't disrupt his beauty rest. I started spinning again, and then it got hotter, and there went my riding time.
I have been getting in some conditioning rides every week since getting back from Cowboy Campmeeting. He got shoes all around for that, so we have been riding around the one-lane gravel roads in the area. Schooling in the arena is very unappealing when it is this dry, as it gets so very dusty. But one hardly needs an arena to school dressage! We incorporate good connection over the topline, lateral work, a bit of collection and extension, and lots of flexion wherever we ride, and I think doing these things outside an arena keeps a horse from getting ho-hum about his work.