On Saturday the horses got the day off. They also got clipped. Albert was a hairy beastie and would get sweaty even in the coldest temperatures. I knew we were going to get warmer weather this week so that hair had to go. I only gave him a blanket clip because when the horses go out sometimes they are out all day long and I didn't think it would be nice to clip anything that would stick out from under his blanket. Well, I did clip his belly because I thought it would look weird if I didn't. Anyhow, here he is before -
And here is the after shot -
His legs still look really hairy but I'm hoping that the clipped area will grow in some before the show, and that the legs will shed out a bit so the whole look is more even. I'm pretty pleased with how he turned out.
However, I'm not happy with the job I did on Kaswyn. He didn't need a full body clip so I just clipped his legs up to his fetlock, but I think it looks terrible. It's the worst clip job I've ever done (well, except for that one time), and I really hate it. I don't know if it's because he's hairer this year than he's ever been or what, but his legs better grow in/shed out too or it's going to seriously bug me.
Today I rode both boys and I have to say that they are feeling pretty good. Albert is up to a 25 minute workout. We're warming up and then running through mock training and first level tests. It's been so long since I've shown those levels that I don't know the tests anymore, so I just make them up from what I remember. He's doing a pretty decent job, but then I wouldn't expect anything less. He's been completely trained through first level before, so he just needs to get back into the swing of things. He's not quite ready for second, so we'll have to stay at training and first for this year.
Since I'm still trying to get weight on Kaswyn I'm only working him for 15 minutes. I'm working him round and deep, especially at the canter, and not asking for too much collection or elevation of the front end. That doesn't mean I'm letting him go around on the forehand - it's just that I think he needs to get stronger in the back and hind end before he's asked to collect much. He is in the habit of collecting and sometimes will come into the corner and lighten the forehand, raise his shoulders, and shift back, but I put him back down again. I don't want him hurting himself or making himself sore. But overall he feels good.
And for the first time in many months I feel good too. I'm getting stronger, my riding is getting more precise, and I don't have any back or butt pain. I'm pleased, very thankful, and really looking forward to getting back in the show ring.