I had planned for Cally to have a solid week off following MAEF, and stuck to that plan. I only went out once during the week, to brush her off. She was totally loving life as a slacker, mostly hanging out with her Mare Squad, regaining the very slight amount of weight she’d lost during our long weekend of showing.
As you can see from the fact that she (second from left) looks pregnant, no trouble in packing the weight back on while not working. I hopped on her then on Sunday and lightly hacked around. She’d been off, I’d been off, it was blustery and cold, I wasn’t really feeling doing much, so we hacked around for 15 minutes, she was perfect, and got tucked back into her blanket and I went home to a hot toddy.
But then of course it was the week of Thanksgiving. And I am very, very thankful for Cally. However, my work schedule was totally crazy (because TV doesn’t take a holiday), so I managed to squeeze in a lesson Wednesday morning, during which she was incredibly frisky and happy to be jumping something again, and then nada again until the weekend.
Since she had a bit too much fun jumping and found remembering how to listen to half-halts a little too difficult, I pulled out the dressage saddle and did some serious work. Cally was greatly displeased by this being asked to counterbend while walking on a large circle, because it is difficult, and she didn’t feel like doing difficult. But once we worked through that with some patience and persistence, we had some really nice work. She was left pretty wet and sweaty, since she’s grown back practically her entire winter coat, and it was warm. So she actually got a bath, with the plan to come out Sunday or Monday and reclip her.
Due to it being all wintery damp and cold and rainy, that hasn’t happened. It’s too wet to ride (the one negative about this barn is the lack of indoor), and I have zero motivation to go outside in this kind of weather. And it felt mean to clip off all her hair while it’s wet and cold. So the light work schedule continues.
We are making some progress on the sidesaddle front–I’m hoping that will be Cally’s Christmas Present. I’ve been in touch with a woman out in Middleburg and am going to go try a few saddles out next weekend, to see if anything she has for sale will work, and also get a better idea of what models of saddle will work for Cally, since we’ve only ever tried the one. I’ve also done a verfied wither tracing on Cally.
I made the initial tracing with wire, copied the outline onto the posterboard, and checked the negative space against Cally’s back. She was obviously a little WTF?!? about the whole thing, but it was a match. So that’s getting sent off to another woman, in CT, to see if a few of the saddles she has might work for us.
The hope is that I can find something over the winter and start getting more comfortable aside, and be ready to do some showing come spring. There’s a rated show right down at PGEC the end of March that has Ladies Sidesaddle, so weather-dependent, I may aim for that as our starting point for the spring, at least going and doing the Undersaddle there, maybe the Hack if we get some more experience jumping. I know we’d be ready for Undersaddle from a riding perspective, we’ll just need the attire and appointments to get in line by then. But I’m liking it as a target date to try and get ready for.