Clipping Mocha was the right thing to do. I checked underneath her blanket before I pulled it off and she was toasty warm. Nice loft, and she was relaxed and comfortable.
Under saddle, she showed more energy than is typical for her on a cool day. She tends to be sluggish in winter; not so today. But it was a focused energetic, not stupid, and while she grunted the whole time we worked it was also productive (most likely her commentary on the heavy emphasis on alternating bend and counter bend. She doesn’t necessarily approve of it. But it makes such a nice difference in how she works. Even if she doesn’t approve. I don’t approve of the yoga that loosens up my stiff hips and all, but I do it anyway).
Got a nice counter-canter after one failed attempt. I just popped her and growled, and backed her a few steps. She picked it right off, and today I got a nice, more rounded counter canter in BOTH directions, helped in part by the fact that the footing is still odd and encourages her to round up and work, I’m sure.
So nice lap of counter-canter in each direction, balanced and round. After that, we took advantage of Not Having Rain to hack a little bit outside. We explored a few feet past one of our usual spots, and Oh, My, Something Eats Horses Here. So we explored further, then turned, walked, whoaed, lather, rinse, repeat. Then I turned her back. This time she approached the Big Scary Whatever Shed with an energetic walk and lowered head, ears forward. Apparently if we didn’t get chased then it becomes something to be curious about.
Took her back, brushed her up, starting to get a shine going on her freshly clipped coat. A nice work and better than a lot of other winter works I’ve had on her. I suspect clipping may be the way we go most winters, if the trend continues next year. But next year I’ll definitely do something about it sooner. She’s a lot more relaxed.