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The last few weeks here in the MidAtlantic have been miserable.  Last week particularly, was essentially a mess of ice and snow, with two systems passing through during the week, and highs in the 30s.  My absolute least favorite weather.  Plus, since the barn is an hour from home, higher, and colder, what we get here is not always what is on the ground there.  So while the roads were icy here and snow was being cleared away at the barn, I stayed tucked in warm at home with Daisy A. Dog.  But by the end of the week I was able to get out, and managed to get in a quick hack around in the indoor; I could definitely tell when we were warming up that she’d not been ridden, or able to move around the field much faster than a walk.  But with a little bit of work, she stretched her muscles out and settled down, nothing intense, mostly just bit loopy trot shapes through the ring.  Then we ended with a walk down the driveway, which was at least cleared of snow and wet, but not icy.

Happy to be out and about!

Today I managed to rev up the motivation to go out and ride, after spending most of my downtime at work this weekend looking over the 2014 show schedule in the latest PVDA newsletter and the MDHT site, figuring out the start of a battle plan for 2014.  While we’ll stick with Training Level at recognized dressage shows, I’d really like to try to do First Level at a schooling show or two, so I decided to ride through it today.  There are a whole lot of additional letters in the arena to figure out, that are not posted around our indoor, so I had a helpful diagram I made on the test to figure out where the heck I was going during the 1-1 test.

Since there was snow and ice sliding off the roof and that was a little exciting in a few places, and I got lost once, we didn’t actually ride through the entire test start to finish.  But we did get through it, and even had a pretty decent canter lengthening on the left lead, until she kicked a frozen bit of footing up into the wall and scared herself.  The biggest problem point I can see for us in the test is the transition from canter lengthening down the long side to working canter, then at C a trot, and then a trot lengthening across the diagonal.  She really wanted to canter again there.  Obviously it was far from perfect, but it certainly felt like something that with some practice over the winter would be feasible for us.  That’s pretty motivational!

Also motivational is the email I received last week letting me know that Cally and I have won a year-end award for our USEA BN tests this year through PVDA!  I’m very excited about that, since we put a lot of work and effort in to that, and I’m planning on attending the dinner on January 11th to collect our prize.