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Saturday is Ride for Life, and showing there is one of my goals for the year.  We’ve got our ride times, I’ve gotten some fundraising done, my tack is cleaned, my tests are reasonably well memorized, WBBF is picking my coat up from the cleaners (along with the rest of his dry cleaning) tomorrow, a barnmate is bringing me pink yarn to braid with (ONLY because it’s a breast cancer benefit, because pink on a chestnut is not my thing, much as I like pink generally), and the weather forecast is looking good.

Today we put the final piece of the puzzle in place–a lesson with Carol.  Actually, the lesson I won from the R4L Silent Auction, so that seems very appropriate!  It was ridiculously hot and sticky; the car said it was 88 when I got on the road at 9:30AM.  But we needed a bit of a tune-up, and made sure we took plenty of walk breaks.  We discussed warm-up strategy as I was warming up for the lesson, and the plan to keep it simple since that seems to work for Cally.  Then we did some work on warming up, figuring out how to get the most bang for our energy buck, as it were.  Spirals work well for her, as do some serpentines, including a few of the shallow loops we have in T3. 

Carol then asked the question every rider dreads–“How often do you work on sitting trot?”  Dun-dun-DUN!  She said she thinks it will be good for me to really start working on, as she thinks it will be easier for me to maintain my position and be more effective if I’m sitting.  So we did a bit of work on that, which Cally did not like, since it made me more effective and her less able to engage in shenanigans like spooking at the new manure bucket in the corner.  Then we took a good long walk break, and ran through T3, since that’s the one test I haven’t ridden at a show yet.  Or actually, hadn’t ridden in its entirety at all previously.  So we talked a bit about strategy for it as I went through it, then Carol took up the judge’s spot by C, and I picked up a trot and headed down the centerline to run through the test.  I really liked how the shallow loops rode when I sat in the corner/short end before them, so I’ll definitely be incorporating that into the test.  I also have to remember to keep my leg on in the down transition from canter to trot at C, because it’s going to be very apparent if we’re even a little off.  It also drove home that I can’t let her get too hot and worked up, or we’re going to end up with too much tension.  Lots of walking, and maybe no warmup at all going into the third test.

Now I’ve just got two days of work to get through, and we’ll do a jump lesson with Kelley on Friday to get Cally’s head outside the sandbox, so hopefully we’ll be in good shape for Saturday.  Cross your fingers for us!

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