The weather was surprisingly nice this weekend, and it was the perfect weekend for riding! A few weeks ago, at an alumna event, I’d been talking with a friend from college who I knew rode, and asked if she was riding now, and since she wasn’t, if she wanted to. Just given my zany work schedule, getting someone on her an extra day or two a week would be thrilling, and she was eager to get back into the saddle. Win-win! So Saturday we met up, and she came out to meet Cally. My discussion the day prior about being on her Company Behavior apparently stuck, as she was good as gold. I hopped on first and hacked her around a little, then popped over a little crossrail and tiny vertical. She woke up a little at those, but went back into a mosey mode, so I figured the time was ripe to let Gwen hop up and have a ride. Cally was a little confused, because I got off, so obviously we were done, but she was a good girl as Gwen got her riding legs back under her and I gave her a few pointers as they trotted around. Then she was grinning like a kid, and the ring was starting to get busy, so we all went for a walk down the driveway. It looks like she’s going to come out a few more times with me, then start taking a few lessons on Cally and riding her a day or so a week, which would be great. I also think it’s good for the horse to learn to be good for a lot of people with varying levels of riding fitness, so that’s also a win.
Today was just as nice and warm, and I was happy to be able to do another of the weekly gymnastic lessons. Apparently a lot of people rode yesterday, so I was the only one jumping this morning. That was nice, as Susan just asked what I wanted to work on, and I chose to build a bit on what I did in my last lesson with Kelley, when we incorporated placing poles in a little grid to let the exercise teach Cally to slow down and put herself where she needs to be to the fence, and allows me to basically sit there and actually focus on not riding like a drunken monkey. More win! We started off over some trot poles, then an X, and I was thrilled with now nice and relaxed Cally was staying. Then we added a small vertical. And I thought about sitting up. And voila, lovely horse!
Eventually we worked up to an X to a vertical to an oxer, and gradually moved the oxer up a bit. She was being so relaxed and easy I actually had to put my leg on the first time we moved the oxer up, because she was just loping through and over the fences. She actually had to try then, and it felt amazing.
It looked pretty good too! That’s about 3′ and it was just enough that she had to jump, but it still felt easy for her. Or would have felt really easy if she were in a little bit better shape. One of these days we’re just going to have to keep putting the fence up out of a gymnastic and see at what point she’s really working rather than just having to jump and put in an effort. But it definitely makes me feel good about our plans to get out to a h/j show or two this year, because now I know that when I sit up and ride well, she really can go around amazingly nicely.
Now she’ll get a few days off as I go back to work and yet another winter weather front rolls in. I’m getting awfully sick of the snow and freezing, but at least spring isn’t so far away.