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This weekend we got a lot of rain here in the DMV.  It had rained before my sidesaddle lesson on Wednesday, and then seemed to start again fairly shortly thereafter, and didn’t stop until sometime Sunday morning.  No big thunderstormy stuff, but a lot of precipitation and gale-force winds, according to the weather service reports we listened to at the boat.

Wind, rain, and storm surge

Unsurprisingly, my dressage show, scheduled for Sunday, was cancelled by Thursday–I think maybe I’m just not supposed to be trying First, because that’s two shows I’ve entered it now that haven’t happened!

Between the rain and the wet footing conditions, the horse didn’t get a ton of turnout time; I got out on Friday just in time to drop off Cally’s sheet and a set of standing wraps, and watch her go out for half an hour with one of her pasturemates, while their stalls got cleaned.  They at least got out to move around a little, which was nice.  On Saturday, WBBF also wanted to go check on boat, so we all got dressed up in rain gear and headed out to the barn. Cally was actually out in her big field for a bit, but when I went out to get her, the other two mares came running to the gate as well, and everyone ended up coming in. Which ended up being good for everyone, because WBBF cannot resist a cute animal (or any animal, really, it’s one of his most adorable features) and went down the barn aisle giving everyone mints.

Miiiiiiiiiints!

Cally got a light grooming, and I pulled her sheet off, so that while she’s stabled she’d be dry, but also hopefully cool enough to start getting her winter coat, so I can get her clipped while it’s also still warm enough to give her a proper bath. Thankfully, if for nothing else, this weather is good for that, because she’s now getting quite fluffy. I think I’m going to get her through the WBTA show this weekend, and hopefully get her clipped next week; I just don’t want to do it too soon and have to reclip before MAEF.

Sunday morning the rain stopped, and by afternoon when I ventured out to the barn, the bigger ring wasn’t looking too bad, no major puddles, just wet, so I decided to get on, despite the 30MPH winds. In retrospect, nearly immediately after getting on, I was realizing that that was really the perfect situation for using either a martingale or drawreins, because the world was a scary, spooky place where everything was whipping around, and she’d had 4 days off. But, we worked through it, spent a lot of time walking and not being afraid of things (trees, leaves, jump standards, leaves….) and eventually managed to have a pretty decent walk-trot-canter. Ok, so the canter was a bit of a cracked out pogo stick, but it was contained and listening. By the end of our little ride, she was being pretty good, and I think getting out and actually moving around on something that wasn’t wet grass was really good for her.

Finally relaxing

But the biggest plan that hatched over the weekend is that I’m going to try showing Cally sidesaddle! Not in the big proper Sidesaddle division, because we’re so not ready for that, nor do we have all of the very specific, very expensive gear required for it. But I’m going to take her to the little Equilibrium show on the 25th and do the adult Pleasure division, because we can totally tackle that aside! I’ll obviously be using Holly’s saddle, and she offered to let me borrow her habit, but I started poking around online over the weekend (because let’s face it, it was hurricaining, what else was I doing?) and found a pattern for an apron (what you call the skirt), and decent fabric on fabric.com (real melton! cavalry twill!), so the plan was for me to try making one, and then use just a regular show coat, because, little local show for practice. Then I stopped by Maryland Saddlery’s consignment shop on the way out to the barn yesterday, and found an el cheapo TuffRider navy jacket for $25, and figured what the heck, I might not be able to make a whole jacket (I have collar issues), I can surely modify a regular hunt coat into a cutaway! So I’m going to try that, and from Holly’s wonderful generosity in letting me borrow her habit to compare it to the pattern and get an idea what I’m doing, I think I can get a pretty decently usable for local purposes habit together for myself!

Making modifications

Now that the rain has gone and the sun is back, hopefully we’ll get back on track with the training, but in all, I don’t think it was an unproductive weekend. I’m especially looking forward to busting out the sewing machine and making something to show in! Though part of me also wishes that finding sidesaddle attire (and sidesaddles!) was as easy as clicking onto Smartpak, because it’s a very small niche market.

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