It has been absolutely amazing here lately. I’ve been riding in sunshirts, and it’s the middle of December. Cally’s gotten a few baths, and promptly went out and undid any good that may have done, because it felt so good to be able to go roll without a blanket on in December.
Part of me has considered clipping the rest of the hair back off of her, because it’s SO warm, but then I realized the second I turn that Irish Clip into a Full Clip, it’s going to be 20 degrees instead of 70. So she’s staying partly fuzzy and we’re managing her workload.
But oh, is she happy to be working now that we’re back in the swing of things, because it means JUMPING! Granted, she was not particularly happy to start off the jump lesson with some solid flatwork, because it means she actually has to do something difficult for her. But Holly’s big on starting off with some good flatwork exercises to get her supple, adjustable and using herself; lately we’ve been doing a lot of alternating shoulder in down one long side, to haunches in down the other. Just a little difficult, and very helpful to get her supple and listening to my aids.
Once we were there, we started with what was a deceptively simple line of crossrail to a little wall, which was set at a 7, and I was told to trot in and do it in an 8 or 9. I figured 8 would be pretty easy, but going away from the barn, starting over the crossrail, it wasn’t too difficult to sit up and do it in a 9! I was very proud. It was harder coming the other way, over the wall first, and we did that in 8 both times, but it was a nice quiet 8, so while Cally was not a fan of having to do the adds, it worked out well.
And then the real fun began. Holly set a grid that we went through a few times, two crossrails to a vertical, set as a one-to-one. Cally woke up a little then and realized she was going to get to have some fun, and it was so so easy for her, even after the fences went up to verticals and the last fence went up to an oxer.
Once we were feeling solid and confident through the grid, we incorporated it into a little course, with a rollback and a trot fence, because we’re totally going to rock the Adult Eq even more in 2016.
When we’ve got our act together, it feels EASY. I just need to keep figuring out how to get to that mental space while on course, because obviously we’ve got all the pieces and can put them together, but doing it in a lesson where you’ve got a supportive coach aiding you in getting around is a lot different than doing it on your own in the show ring when the pressure is on. I think the big thing in 2016 will be figuring that out.
The other big thing in 2016 is going to be sidesaddle. This beauty is heading down I-95 from Connecticut as I type, fingers crossed it shows up before I leave for Florida.
Tracking info says YES! so hopefully I’ll get to make a quick run out to the barn on Thursday morning (not a normal barn day for me, and the day I should be finishing up packing!) and sit in it to make sure it works for us. Wither tracings were good, and Cally is not an odd fit, so hopefully it will just need a few flocking tweaks and we’ll be good to show! It’s such a big exciting step, and even though I’m totally saddle-poor until I get paid again, the delight and fun we’re going to have is worth it!