I did a lot of Spring Cleaning this weekend both figuratively and literally. In the actual sense, I spent Sunday cleaning, organizing and sorting my things around the barn. In the more creative sense, Justin and I cleaned out the cobwebs to better assess our skills and test our homework we’ve worked on this winter.
I have developed the awful habit of neglecting my tack lately. In my defense, its quite hard to use water to do anything when its below freezing, so cleaning my tack was set on the back burner for a while, and the less often I did it the less likely I was to pick it up again. Today I decided to break the spell and deep clean all my tack. To say it was much needed would be an understatement.
From there, I knew I needed to attack my tack trunks. When I moved Justin to Hastening Farm I looked forward to arranging my stuff and organizing it just so. Well, it’s been three months and I hadn’t done it yet, so I figured I should get a move on. I have been keeping my trunks in a stall along with my saddle pads, blankets and other odds and ends. I keep basically everything else in the wash stall where I tack up daily. I have been using, and leaving, lots of bottles and boots and rags around lately, so I decided to move my tack trunk closer, so I can hide all of my stuff!
Moving trunks also gave me a good opportunity to sweep out the barn and my grooming stall while it was empty and give it a face lift too. I also grabbed a blanket rack that had been in the trailer to hang. I’m going to use it to hang Justin’s boots and other tack to dry. So far I’ve been a complete mess and kind of left it all over. And of course with all Spring Cleaning I purged and tossed all the non-essentials. New year, new us (two months late)!
This weekend Justin and I also gauged our preparedness for the spring season. I hooked up with Julia, a friend through Area II Adult Riders, and we did a cross-country school on Saturday. We went to Loch Moy in Maryland, which has a ton of portables set up in their large all-weather arenas. Going in, my goal was to assess Justin’s willingness and fitness since neither of us have gone schooling in months!
He took to it perfectly! It was so rewarding to see our fitness work and show jumping practice pay off. Running around the jumps at Loch Moy was like we never took a break, and in fact sometimes it was even an improvement. I planned to work all the Novice questions and then introduce the Training ones, but he was so keen we popped over almost all the Prelim questions they had!
Not only did we have lots of fun, but it was also reassuring and confidence boosting. Since the move, we’ve only had one jump lesson. I’m more accustomed to a lot of time with an instructor, so I have been feeling hesitant as we move into the upcoming show season. Thanks to the diligent work of my many fabulous instructors in the past, they have managed to ingrain some skills in me!
Not only has Justin impressed me over fences, but he’s been a star in the sand box. This weekend and last we’ve taken lessons with Allison, and Justin has blown me away with his canter work. He’s finally strong and fit enough to carry himself, and feels better than ever! I think overall he’s feeling very cocky confident in his abilities. He’s less spooky and more willing to do anything I ask.
This weekend was a great gauge of how far we’ve come this winter. When Justin was first coming back to work the climb seemed so far, and we still have a ways to go, but I’ve got a happy, sound, confident horse ready to show! I’m planning on going to a jumper show at Morven Park next weekend to practice some courses, and then I am tentatively planning on doing the starter trials at Loch Moy the following weekend. The weekend following that I finally will be traveling to the Carolina International to cover media for the USEA – further proof that winter is over!
I have spring on the brain. Last weekend I even gave the pony another haircut! People have warned me that snow and cold weather can linger through the end of March, but I’m going to keep up with my denial and enjoy the 10 day forecast predicted. X