Friday we did our first lesson in almost a month and a half. Cally isn’t at her fittest, and neither am I, but we needed to go get our butts kicked and work on some basics, so that’s what we did with Kelley on Friday. We started off on the buckle (which Cally liked) working on loosening up my legs; I started in hunters/eq, where you want that nice tight leg, but apparently that’s the opposite of the loose relaxed leg you need in dressage, so we worked on that a bit, getting me to have a floppy leg and shoulders in the proper position. Then I picked up some contact, and we worked on remembering how that works, on both our ends. Cally had to get used to having someone touch her face, of which she’s not a particular fan, and I had to work on keeping my hands soft, with open thumbs and closed ring fingers, and really softening up by inside hand on the circle. There were a few really ugly moments, like when I tried to ask her to let yield out a step or two, but eventually she loosened up nicely and we started getting back to that nice swingy trot I remember. Then, despite not really having cantered in a month, we did a few circles of that, too, working again on me keeping shoulders back and thumbs soft, and we actually had pretty nice transitions, and a canter that was reasonably relaxed, and even decently bent for a few steps! That was the perfect note to end on, as it got us back in the groove of where we need to be working, and plenty to work on, as we both get fit again.
This weekend had, in the Original Plan For The Year, been our planned first PVDA show of the season. However, because of her leg wound, I didn’t enter, and the show ended up being cancelled anyway. Which is ultimately a good thing, as we’ve had so much precipitation this weekend that I’m not sure it would so much have been dressage as patterned horse kayaking. I thought Saturday was bad enough, which the constant drizzle (which led to me saying whatever, I’m not riding, let’s go to Union Market and Hank’s Oyster Bar, and to the Angelika for a movie). But it was still raining this morning when I got up, and miserably went out to walk Daisy A. Dog. That somehow didn’t deter me, and so, crossing my fingers that the horses had been left inside (and being a big believer in turnout, I’m not normally all rah-rah on that happening), and drove through what went from drizzle to rain to sleet to something icy mixed with snow as I arrived in Damascus. Well, whatever, I was an hour from home and already there, so whatever, I was getting on. Does that sound less than enthusiastic? I’m just so over winter, and Cally very obviously is, too.
So we did a little bit of dressage work, just enough to get her legs un-stocked-up, and her body loosened up a little. By that point, as you can see from the picture, it was snowing for real, so I figured we did a nice light workout and ended on a good note, time to call it a day. Which was a good idea, because til I untacked, groomed, and put things away, it had snowed enough that I had to clean off my car! The drive home was a little hairy at times, since there was snow laying on the highway as far as Gaithersburg. The ground is an awful mess right now, but hopefully with a few warm days we’re supposed to get this week, it’ll mean that we’ve got good grass coming for the next few months.