Since Gina’s been back in work, I’ve been alternating light dressage and conditioning work. I’d like to go hunting a few more times before the season ends and have Gina legged up for the spring hunter pace.
I hacked out yesterday with my friend and her ex-police horse; it was pushing 80 degrees, so we kept the horses to a brisk walk around the hay meadow. Gina was marvelous. She felt like a coiled spring, full of power and energy. She wasn’t fractious or anxious- it was more like she was eagerly awaiting our next move.
We headed into the shady indoor for a little trot and canter after hacking out. Gina felt even better at those gaits! Her trot was springy and energetic, and her canter was round and forward. I couldn’t be happier with how she’s going right now. Her fitness continues to increase and her attitude has been excellent for the last few weeks. I’m almost sad to breed her, since she’ll eventually be out of commission for riding (for a few months, at least- I don’t plan to retire her permanently)!
I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning her up for hunting and showing. I pulled her mane and spent nearly two hours clipping her. She was looking pretty woolly- the last time I clipped her was in October. I’d opted not to do her head then for a couple of reasons: a) I thought keeping the fur on her face would help her be less uncomfortable in the cold and b) I’ve never clipped a horse’s head before. But she looked awfully silly with this blood bay head and a light brown neck, so yesterday I spent a very long time meticulously clipping Gina’s entire face. (I figure the difference between a bad clip job and a good one is a couple of weeks, so why not see how she looked?) She was a star and stood very patiently while I shaved the hair from her cheeks, her forehead, and the delicate places near her eyes. I also got her left side reclipped- the right side will just have to wait until later this week!
So with Queen G fit, clipped, and feeling good, I think we’re ready to rejoin the hunt field! We’re definitely headed to closing hunt on March 26, but we might try to go this weekend, too. It’s at a fixture that’s a little closer to the barn, which would certainly be nice!