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There is no video from my lesson Monday.  Mainly because my weekend of bathroom remodeling didn’t go according to schedule (does home improvement, ever?) and I didn’t get out to ride.  And the vet was out to to shots and coggins and the like on Friday, plus I had to go from there straight to work, so I didn’t ride.  Which meant it had been Wednesday since I’d last been on Cally, and Unworked Cally is not often Easy Cally.

So the lesson was not the lesson in some fun turning jumping exercises that Holly had planned.

We started off with good flatwork, just working on me keeping my outside rein really steady and making her accept the contact and work into that, and eventually got some really lovely trot work, big and swingy, and some nice canter transitions.  Which seemed promising enough.  The first jump exercise went well, too, a simple little jump (2′) with placing poles set on either side of it to help me see a good spot and help Cally rock back and jump from her hind end.  That went well, so we cantered it a few times, then went around to a larger jump, maybe 2’6, set the same way.  And landed GOING.  So we circled and came back and did the small one again, very nicely, and came back to the larger one and just totally ran through my hands.  Circled, tried the exercise again, made it around both, and rolled back to a swedish oxer and it was Off To The Races.

At which point we decided discretion is the better part of valor, and set ourselves up for success, by asking Cally to quietly trot the smaller fence, now raised to about 2’6 itself.  And it worked wonderfully.  We did that a few times each way, then ended by walking over a raised cavaletti a few times.  Called it quits with that going nicely, and she got lots of pats, and hung around the ring like a pro while I watched Holly school a friend’s very lovely horse who’d hauled in.

Yesterday, I was bound and determined to have a productive day, and a productive ride.  The weather was gorgeous, mid-70s, and it felt like spring had arrived.  Most important was getting her bathed and clipped, but I also wanted to do a little school in order to prepare for our dressage show this weekend, where we’re doing two Training tests at a very low-key show at a nearby barn.  I’d been on the fence whether I wanted to do it astride or aside, so I hopped on in the Mayhew and rode through a few bits of the test to see how it was feeling.

So yeah, she was going great, felt wonderful, and I rode through a few bits of T1 in various pieces, as well as practicing a bit of posting trot, which we’d need for our stretchy circle, which is required to be posting. She felt great, the 20 meter circle on the left lead canter didn’t feel too precarious, and I think we’ll be good to go aside. So first sidesaddle show of the season!

Since she was being so good, even though we were in her dressage snaffle and not the pelham I use for jumping, I decided to try the little crossrail set in the ring.

It looks a lot smoother than it felt, and I’m still twisting left on landing, but at least me twisting means that she actually lands and goes straight, rather than ducking right as is her natural inclination. So it sort of balances out? I’m able to recover and feel pretty centered again after just a couple strides, so I think with a bit of practice, I may just be able to try doing the Hack class, along with the flat/appointments class, at Showplace Spring Festival on April 1. Or at least I’ve entered both of them now, so fingers crossed I figure it out enough to jump two fences by then.

Then, since I didn’t actually ride aside very long, it was BATH TIME! I’d been waiting for this for weeks, because while her chestnut color hides the dirt well, I knew she was dirty, and she was starting to get long goaty hairs and needed clipped. Plus, she needed a good clipping for show season, too.

It felt good to bathe, and watch the dirty sudsy water rinsing out brown, and my horse looking beautifully shiny as she dried. Clipping actually went faster than expected, because despite the goaty hairs, she actually hadn’t gotten super furry where she’d been Irish clipped back in December. The front half clipped really quickly, and it was just the long thick hair on her hindquarters that took some work. Because I had to leave and get home to get ready for a big dinner at work, I just didn’t have time to do her legs, so left her with a hunter clip. If I don’t get around to doing them before our show this weekend, it’s low-key enough that she’s fine as is, and if I do, it’s not a ton of additional clipping to clean them up. But she now looks and feels ready to go for the season.

And I’m feeling ready to go, too. I’ve done some show entries and am slowly moving entered shows over to the official show calendar as the paperwork gets submitted. I think we’re gearing up for a really fun, really great, and really varied year. I’m hoping that on Monday, I’ll have a great dressage show report to start things off!

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