Cally has been doing OK. Her leg was starting to look a little funky from being wrapped with moist Surpass, and loosing some hair, so I made a mistake and decided to try her with it off for 24 hours last weekend. Naturally, it puffed back up and she was very lame again. Since then, I’ve been keeping it wrapped, but dry, and she’s been improving in soundness, and the swelling is gone again. Having to keep it wrapped forever is probably not ideal, but it’s keeping her on the right course for now, so we’ll go along with it, and have a chat with the vet when he’s out next week for the spring shots/coggins/checkup festival. At this point, she’s sound on a straight line, and to the right, but just a bit off going on a circle to the left at the trot. I did try just a bit of canter to see how she’d be about her left lead, and she felt totally fine there, so I think we’re probably going to be sound for flatwork in another month, which means, fingers crossed, she can at least flat for the sidesaddle at the two spring shows the beginning of April!
While she’s been out of real commission, Holly’s generously been letting me hop on some of the barn horses to lesson and hack. Aside from the fabulous jumping lesson on Aly the other week, I got to go along with Holly to her dressage lesson on Aly, and last week, her dressage trainer, Aviva, came to our barn and did lessons with a few of us. I got to ride Hitch, who is one of Holly’s wonderful lesson horses. He does a lot of adult beginners, so he mostly goes about how you’d expect a horse to go for them–easy, slow, steady, and comfortable. But if you start to ask for more (and put on spurs!), he’s more than capable. Dressage trainer said that since he’s basically worth his weight in gold the way he is, we don’t want to try and fuss to much with him (no need to spend an hour on lateral work he doesn’t do as his “day job”), just work on me, which would get him carrying himself better.
Never can the lessoners say “he’s so slow!” about him, because he’s more than capable of lovely, forward work when you ask him. Not so easy as Cally to get there, but he had some great trot, and when he’s really using his back, he’s so so comfortable. He’s just the totally opposite ride of Cally, so figuring out the aids I need with him, versus the aids I’m used to, was a bit of a struggle. Like, it’s Hitch, he’s totally chill and not going to go anywhere, don’t be afraid to ask big, the worst he’s going to do is take one big step. Maybe two. And once I got over that a bit, we felt really great.
Then mostly, I’ve puttered with Cally. I’m hoping the visiting dressage lessons keep on as a monthly thing, because they make a nice supplement to our jumping training. And while Holly can do a great flat lesson, sometimes hearing things in a slightly different way every so often is helpful. I think we can probably count on doing a lot of dressage this year, anyway, since it’s going to be a while til she’s ready to jump again. I’m looking at our spring calendar, seeing if maybe we can make some dressage targets this spring for ourselves. If she’s sound enough to do basic flat by beginning of April, by the end of the month, she should be good to go out at Training a bit, and possibly get back on track with working out a freestyle. In line with Spring Preps, WBBF came along to the barn this weekend, and did a bit of cleaning on the NewToMe Trailer, which did have a bit of rust on the hubcaps and some decals on the back I wanted removed.
It’s looking sparkling now, ready for a bit of paint on the hubcaps, and a new bale of shavings for inside, and we’ll be ready to hit the road as soon as Cally is feeling good. Well, she’s actually feeling good, and happy to work, now. No reluctance to go forward, wants to stretch down into contact and stretch out her muscles, bright eyed and eager. So as soon as she’s feeling 100%, we’ll be ready to tentatively kick it into gear.