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It doesn’t really take much to get Cally gorgeous, because she’s a pretty girl all the time.  But the arrival of a few days of temperatures in the neighborhood of 60 degrees left me itching to get her bathed and reclipped, so that we’re ready for the clinic with Carol this weekend, and our big Dressage show in two weeks. (EEEEEEK!)

Monday, I schlepped out her full cooler and the new Irish knit I’d bought her for Christmas and had been waiting to use, and bit the bath bullet.  Fortunately, we have really good hot water at the barn, so she didn’t seem to mind the process too much.  I wasnt as thorough as I might have been, were it warmer, but it was enough to get the brown rinse water out, and get her clean enough to clip.  We then layered up the Irish knit and the cooler, and headed out into the sun to dry off.

Obviously, she’s looking for grass, and as you can see, while the snow is gone, we’re not quite at “grass” yet.  So we did a good bit of walking around, up and down the driveway, even up and around the big top ring, where it was almost, but not quite, dry enough to ride.  By that point her neck was feeling dry, so we headed back into the barn and busted out the clippers with their freshly replaced blade drive, and fresh blades, and crossed my fingers.

Turns out that the new blade drive was just what the doctor ordered.  The parts of her that had previously been clipped went really quickly, no problem at all.

However, note the folded back Irish knit/cooler.  Despite wishing hard, the previously unclipped hairy hindquarters were still not dry by that point. I pulled the layers off, put her in her stall, and let her eat dinner.  Still damp, so we went out to walk some more.  Finally, finally, that dried out too, and I was able to attack the rest of the hair.  Turns out that while it looked all short and slicked down because of blanketing, it was really quite thick and long, and took forever to clip through.  I felt like I was trying to clip a bear.  Cally is normally pretty good about clipping, but that amount of standing got her fidgety and irked with the entire process.  But oh, how nice she looks!

Also, oh how happy am I at how good her weight and condition look coming out of winter?  This is seriously the best she’s ever looked!  I feel like we’re finally getting all the pieces of the puzzle in place, and ready to go for the year.  Her paperwork for USDF All Breeds went in the mail yesterday, so that’s our final bit of registration we need to deal with to be setting year-end goals.  Not that I have any illusions about getting anything there, but to me, getting the qualifying scores is a great goal.  We can do it, if we work well all season!

Now I’ve got things all cleaned up and ready to go for our two lessons with Carol this weekend, who is up from Florida for a mid-season clinic with us.  Clean horse, clean tack, clean saddle pad, cleaned boots!  We’re ready to get polished up and shine this year!

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