This week has sort of been all over the place, on the equine front. Monday it was super hot and sticky, and we’d done the Jumpapalooza the day before, so I just went out to the barn and groomed and bathed, and did some work on scratches cleaning/removal, and cleaned my tack. Naturally this effort led to a text from the BO on Tuesday, that her leg had blown up where I’d removed the scratches and was oozy. So I had her spray some MuckItch on it, and headed out to look at it Wednesday. We’ve been through this song and dance several times now, and I’d removed them in an effort to keep on top of them, but you always run the risk of irritating them more. Which led me back to the other default treatment, wrapping with panalog. I was a bit hesitant on that one, because of where they were (back of heel/pastern) but wrapped loosely with gauze and vetwrap, and crossed my fingers, figuring it would be fine. And Thursday, it was, though the wrap was sort of bunched around the pastern but not too badly. The panalog did it’s job and she was looking much better, though still a bit sore. I added more panalog, and crossed my fingers she’d be OK for my lesson on Friday.
It was looking a lot better by Friday, and while there was the occasional hesitant step, she felt fine, very happily going forward, and relaxed. I’d explained the situation to Kelley when she’d emailed the schedule out earlier in the week, and so we decided that while she was looking fine, we’d take it easy on her, and stuck with crossrails. It was, as most Kelley exercises are, a deceptively simple thing: a crossrail in the center of the ring that we made a figure-8 over, landing on alternating leads and cantering halfway around, coming back to a trot, and repeating in the opposite direction. Cally stayed nice and relaxed and while we did pretty good landing our left lead, the right was a little sticker, though we eventually got it, I just had to think a lot more about our bend. That was really the art of it: staying straight to the fence and thinking about landing with a bend but not turning that way, staying straight for 3-4 strides before turning.
Then we changed the exercise, so that it was still a figure-8, but it was making a turn to another crossrail about 5 strides away. Cally was totally unphased by this addition to the exercise (she seemed totally underwhelmed by the tiny fences), but it made me really have to keep thinking about sitting up and not closing my hip too much in the air, so I could keep us straight and turn correctly to the next fence. It was surprisingly difficult to do well, with us coming through a bit drunkely the first time, not quite straight either landing or to the fence. The next time through, we were straighter, but I half-halted too much in the turn, and we ended up a bit underpowered and awkward to the second fence. Finally, I managed to both sit UP, while letting her to forward steadily. Yep, nailed it! So we ended our last Kelley lesson on a great note, feeling confident in our foundation and rideability. Kelley deserves a lot of credit for how far Cally and I have come, and for the wonderful, well-rounded foundation that we have. And she said that she thinks the move is going to be a good one for us, and Cally’s going to be happy in the hunter/eq ring, especially with my goal of doing the MidAtlantic Eq Festival this fall. I’m going to miss our lessons, but I know that I’ve taken a lot away from them, and appreciate it all.
Today was a nice relaxing one. I worked on a nice relaxed bit of flatwork, then through the exercise from our Friday lesson a few times, with a bigger fence out, and it rode nicely. Then I put some more goop on her scratches (downgrading to Fungasol from the panalog), and worked on getting stuff sorted out and cleaned out in my locker, in preparation for our move next weekend. I show Saturday and move Sunday, so it ought to be a busy couple of days!