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Really, truly, I’ve had enough.  As if the cold weather weren’t enough, I came down with the Martian Death Flu last weekend, and lost another weekend of riding.  Which is probably fine anyway, because the high last Saturday was like 22.  So laying on the couch unable to breathe and binge-watching “Shaun the Sheep” was not such a tremendous sacrifice.  But it made me really really want to get back out and start getting in shape and ready for show season.

Plus, the day before I came down with the Martian Death Flu, I sent in my entry for our first show of the season, just a little dressage schooling show near our barn, to get out and get going for the year.  So, definitely feeling motivated.

It’s wet and sloppy, so it was good weather to do some grooming and practice my mud knots.

We started off with some unimpressive footing on Friday, so it was back in to our usual routine of Flatwork Friday. Cally wasn’t super thrilled with this, but we did a lot of lateral work, really working on staying round and through and using her hind end and back. Mostly we did a lot of walking, so that the footing wouldn’t be an issue, but ended with some really great trot work, just working on keeping her long and low and swinging through her back with a big stretchy trot.

Saturday the footing was perfect and it was 65 and felt like spring, so it was a great day to get in a little jumping. Cally was infinitely more agreeable about this, if slightly exuberant. Like, the lead change didn’t need to be THAT thrilling, you know? But it was, and it felt so good. She really lit up when we came through the corner and she locked on to the little oxer and just carried me down to it and felt so so happy with herself. I felt pretty happy with that, too, so called it a day on that!

Today it felt like we’d been working enough that it was time to break out the sidesaddle again and start getting more comfortable with riding in that. And I really am, at least on the flat. Walk-trot-canter is pretty comfortable, and today I even worked through some basic figures and circles at the trot, and a 20 meter canter circle. That left me feeling pretty darn confident in our ability to do some sidesaddle dressage this year, and maybe even try out some licensed dressage shows aside, if the first few schooling shows go well. Since the flatwork went so well, despite the fact that it had started sprinkling rain, I decided to try a few little fences, which I definitely need to get more comfortable with. I picked up a canter, and we found a perfect distance to a little 18″ vertical; we landed and I twisted left and really had to rebalance myself, but Cally kept right on going, and we came around again and found the perfect spot again. I twisted less, but really need to do more jumping to figure out how to not do that so much; I think it really is just a matter of practice and figuring out what works for me and becoming more comfortable with it. Cantering left felt crazy the first time we tried it, too, but it feels totally fine now, and it’s just been a matter of practice. We’re starting to look good, though!

And in more good news on that front, the folks at Mears have been absolutely amazing in helping me figure out that they have the fabric in stock that matches the cutaway coat I bought, and are going to sell me enough to make an apron.  I just need to call them and settle the payment details, and it’ll be winging its way over from England.  Just like my whip is slowly making its way here, and I am so obsessively stalking it that I set up text alerts on the tracking status of the package through the US Postal Service.  Fingers crossed, it’s in customs now and should hopefully arrive this week!

In the meantime, I’ve got the prizelist for the first two shows with Ladies Sidesaddle Hunter printed out and am ready to set up our entries just as soon as we have our Coggins and EHV paperwork in line, which should be the first week of March.  I’m also ready to do our first PVDA entries too, as soon as we have that health paperwork and their entries open up.  Depending on weather, I may try to hit one of the BEST shows at the end of March to do some 2’6 hunter stuff to just get us back in the ring, then aim to do our first 3′ medal stuff at WBTA in late April.  The scheduler in me is loving that all this is starting to come together, and I’m filling in dates on my calendar to meet our goals for the year.

Can my bathroom remodel start coming together so smoothly?

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