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It felt like spring Wednesday, so much so that I got all inspired about upcoming spring activities–equine, canine, and adventurous with WBBF–and went to REI got myself a little FitBit Zip.  It was very easy to set up, sync up with my phone, and seemed to track things well while I went out with Daisy for a little walk, so I changed for the barn, clipped it on my belt, and headed out to see what riding would do with it.

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The horses all seemed to be enjoying the springy weather, some even looking for some grass amongst the brown winter grass.  It wasn’t quite nice enough to be able to ride in the little outdoor, so into the indoor we went.  There were two lessons going on, so we just did enough work to get her loosened up and moving well.  We started off with a lot of walking, basically avoiding other activities going on, and getting her supple.  The trot was then so, so easy.  Nice and swingy, and just a little bit of counter-flexion required to get her going really well.  Then since it seemed quieter in the ring, I went for a little bit of canter work, and was astonished to feel how quickly and easily we got a round canter.  Just one circle, and a little bit of counter-flexion into one corner, then BAM! there it was.  It’s almost hard to ask her to stop when it feels that good, but it was warm, and she’d been super, so I called it quits on that.

And it was warm enough that after a bit of very nice flat work, we went out for a walk, down one driveway and up the other.  Cally was super looky, I think because it’s been quite a while since we’ve been able to get out and do much outside.  Definitely need to put more driveway walks on the agenda.

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Then, since it was warm, I decided to take advantage of being able to feel my fingers, and did some mane pulling.  There was a not insignificant amount of hair removed, but who knows when it’ll be warm enough to want to do this again, so it was pulling while the pulling was good.

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By contrast, today was MUCH colder, and wind gusts up to 30mph.  Not so surprisingly, there were not a lot of folks out at the barn.  I lost feeling in my ears and thighs before I even had the horse out of the pasture.  I nearly decided not to ride, but the drag was just coming out of the ring, so I figured I’d take advantage of fresh footing and give things a go.

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Given the wind, it was awfully noisy, with windows and doors rattling, and the wind howling.  Plus, the pigeons appeared to need to investigate the fresh harrowing, and were a total nuisance.  It was mostly a game of get the horse to stay calm and not get hollow and freakout at the birds.  Which was hard when two of them sitting on top of the kick boards nearly flew into both of us.  That scared ME a little. So there was more than average tension, and I put a lot of work into getting her just moving steadily forward.  That eventually got through, and we were apparently moving around enough that it drove the birds back up into the rafters, and she was going well.  It took a bit more work to get her cantering well, and that also seemed to get her a little more relaxed as her back got swinging.  So I decided to call it good with that, and head home to warmer digs and the dog, and tuck Cally in to her nice warm blanket.  Hopefully next week we’ll be gearing up for our next dressage show, which I think ought to produce higher scores than our last, pre-bootcamp, outing.  I’ll be interesting to see!

The FitBit has seemed to handle the riding well.  I’ve been averaging 2-3 miles worth of activity there, which is probably been about right for the level of riding I’ve been doing.  Nothing crazy, like 10 miles or nothing, or insane Usain Bolt levels of activity.  So while perhaps not accurate to the “step” it feels pretty accurate to the level of activity I’ve been doing.

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