Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lesson with H

To finish off our Memorial Day weekend, I hauled 1.5 hours way for a cross country lesson with H.  It is at the facility of my next show so I figured it would be a great way to practice to ensure we are 100% for our next Novice Horse Trial!

SO and I got there 30 minutes before the lesson and got tacked up, we saw H wayyyyy out in a field giving a lesson so we meandered over to one of the fields to warm up.
After going over some small logs, we went over some Novice fences and still we waited.

 And waited.

Eventually H came over, 30 mins after our lesson start time.  She also brought some other riders and added 3 people to my lesson.  Uhhh, okay?  They are all going novice this upcoming weekend and so she was squeezing them in.
Cremello's don't care about no water
 We went over everything she pointed us to, the only real issue we had was over the 3rd fence she had us go over.  It was an airy square oxer and despite applying leg, he kept sucking back at the jump.  He jumped it each time, despite coming to almost a standstill the first time, and it took 4 tries to get him to jump it correctly.

Novice ditch baby!
We were almost done when we pointed towards a log pile that may have been a training level jump, the bigger issue was there was literally a tractor about 15 feet behind us "chasing" us down on the road (a fence separated the field from the road).  We got to the jump and TWH had a runout :-(  I gave him several tugs and kicks but wasn't super mean about it like I have been in the past, I probably should have circled and let the tractor go by instead of just going for it.

At our next attempt, TWH didn't even think of running out and jumped it like it was no big deal.

 We finished up the lesson in a little under an hour and walked back to the trailer.  H said she would be at the show, she really wanted to see how we were doing as she had heard about our last show already.  I told her I probably didn't need a lesson but would appreciate any feedback she had about the show at our next lesson.

I got TWH all rinsed off, put some liniment on, wrapped him up and headed home.  I am again torn about how to proceed with H.  I really like her and her lessons with App were very beneficial.  The problem I am running into now is that I get absolutely nothing out of my lessons on TWH.  I tried really hard and can't think of anything that was helpful in this lesson.  Nothing!  She didn't comment/fix/nit pick my position (and I have these pics to prove I wasn't perfect!!!!) which is something I am always asking her to do.  I have been able to prove through pictures that I am no longer yanking on his face over fences (win!) but I still tend to look AT his ears instead of through them, I want her to remind me to quit that crap!  I am torn.  I am considering trying a new instructor for xc just to see if I get anything more out of it.  I can't possibly be doing well enough that I don't need lessons right?

Our next show is this upcoming Sunday, I haven't ridden as much dressage as I would have preferred BUT I am now solidly in the 5 minute mark for 2 point so I am MUCH more confident that I will be a better rider over fences.  Today and tomorrow is dressage work, Friday is stadium and Saturday is dressage, course walk, bathe, pack and get ready to go.  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mia's big day

The next "to-do" on the list of things for Mia is exposure her to as much as possible.  With show season now in full swing, that is admittedly harder than I had hoped it would be however doing new stuff is still on my list.  With her antics at the clinic, a big priority was hauling somewhere and exposing her to other horses without having the brain lag we had last time.  This Memorial Day weekend was set up to be extremely relaxing, we didn't have any real plans for chores for once and we were going to have a true "stay-cation" instead of a "work-cation"

On Friday I got a random text from a friend, shw was going to be hauling over to a park to trail ride on Saturday and asked if I wanted to go.  I checked my schedule, double checked it and even checked with SO, for once I had the time and ability to go on a spur of the moment haul-out ride!!!  Saturday SO and I ran errands that were desperately needed and still made it home in time to head out.  Mia was brushed and wrapped and we went to the trailer, would she be a good girl and hop on?  Why yes, yes she would be!  Thankfully that first/only trailer loading session we had seems to have stuck and she isn't even fighting trailer loading, she says Yes Madam and is hopping right up.  Such a good horse, I hate bad loaders.

We got to the park a short 30 mins later and unloaded, she was already much calmer than she was at the clinic.  She did scream for other horses several times but not nonstop, that was a huge improvement.  I got her tacked up and hopped on and walked to the outdoor arena to see what kind of horse I had, did her brain ship with her or do I have to wait for it to catch up with us?  She was very hesitant to go through some mud in front of the arena but after a couple good boots with a spur she went over it.  Once in the arena I walked her all around and even walked her through a large puddle (much to her annoyance).  By that time my friend had joined us so I tried trotting, Mia was quiet, calm and relaxed.  So! Much! Awesome!  After trotting for a few minutes I said I was ready and so the green bean mare and I walked to the trailhead.

As we walked up to it, we were in the lead and Mia said No Thank You and balked.  And then sidepassed.  And then backed up.  There was no way she wanted to go from the field/parking area into a big scary trail!  My friend tried to get her TB to go down the trail but she knew he wouldn't behave well and he didn't, he backed up and threw a much bigger tantrum, backing into us several times.  *Sigh*  Why so difficult? I grabbed my crop that I had hoped to not use and was able to convince Mia that it was in fact better to do as I ask, several swift hard smacks got her to move forward and eventually we inched onto the trail.  Ugh, baby horses.

We moved down the trail a short distance before we came to our first obstacle, more MUD.  Mia really, really didn't want to get her toes dirty but some firm persuasion got her through it.  Wash, rinse, repeat about 8 more times before she finally decided that mud wasn't going to kill her and it was much easier to just walk through it than fight me.  Yay for learning progress!

Our ride was 2 hours long and had us going up hills, down hills, through very narrow trails and through wide open fields.  Mia was remarkably calm, other than at mud or water she showed absolutely no worry or concern.  She didn't care when other horses passed us from the front or the rear, she didn't care when we walked away from my friend or when my friend walked away from us.  She crossed water, mud, small trees and branches without more than a strong look!  Once we got back she got a bunch of treats and she may have stopped at the trailer door but a swift smack with the lead rope sent her hopping right into the trailer for the ride home.  All things considered, a green horse, little to no actual trail experience, new horses, new landscape, new expectations, leading, following she did wonderfully!  Mia's big day was a resounding success, now I just have to find time to do it again.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Our first Novice Horse Trial - Part 3

I shook my head as I looked at the placing, that can't be right.  I found my name again and slid my finger along the paper to make sure.  Yes, my name.  Yes, my horse.  Yes, that crappy 40% dressage score and our 9th place placing.  Yes we went double clear in cross country but that still can't be right.  I stared at the board, we were in third place.

Apparently after 1 elimination, one rider with 20 jump penalties and 5 riders with time penalties, we were suddenly sitting in third place.  OMG!!!  Talk about a dark horse in the race, I never dreamed I would have moved up that much and was going to be very pleased with a 4th or 5th!  Now in an adrenaline high, RB4 and I walked back, finished tacking TWH up and meandered over to stadium to watch how the course was flowing.

The course was tight, very tight.  The arena was only slightly larger than my own which made me think maybe I could in fact fit a crap ton of jumps in my arena.  There were some refusals and and an elimination, I hoped it got better at Novice level.  We warmed up and TWH was tired and not jumping well.  I only jumped a half dozen times as I didn't want to tire him out too much but he was doing his infamous 4-footed canter step right before the jump (see pic in Part 2).  That specific step he adds makes a very sudden decrease of speed which then throws me forward and he jumps awkwardly.  And he wasn't fixing himself despite my adding leg.

Quickly enough it became our turn to the arena and off we headed.  Jump one went okay but jump 2 had a 4 footed canter step and things went downhill.  Jump 5 was done at almost a standstill, a repeat performance from our "lovely" fence 2 display during cross country.  Amazingly enough he did jump it and we didn't knock anything down as we got a hard kick to show my displeasure and he kept going over jumps.  At fence 9 he was tired and bunny hopped it and hit the pole but thankfully it stayed up, we came in under time by 2 seconds.  I took a second look at the arena, yes all of the jumps were up.  Double clear again??

I hung around the exit gate for a few moments to confirm and yes, I overheard a walkie talkie say my entry was double clear, ready for the next rider.  Wow, I was impressed.  TWH was exhausted.  I was exhausted.  I rode like crap.  I knew there wouldn't be a single stadium picture I would like from the official photographer (I was right too!).  But somehow we managed to ride a double clear round despite jumping from a standstill and having a lot of 4 footed canter strides.  I had trained TWH to go over whatever I put in front of him regardless and he did.  I trained him to trust me and he did.  Suddenly the placing wasn't as important as the accomplishment.  He jumped things he hadn't ever seen before, in a competition, at a division higher than we have shown before and he still did it.  He did it because I asked him.  He not only did it, but did it well enough that we moved up in rankings to get a pretty ribbon.  I am so proud of my horse!

We stuck around for the placings and we were pinned third.  I am so, so pleased with him.  Me?  Not so much, but him yes.  We got TWH home and poulticed up and turned out.  He took a long drink of water (because water brought from home isn't as good as water at home) and then actually threw himself on the ground to roll and roll.  He is getting the week off and then it is back to training, we have 3 weeks until his next show the first weekend of June and I WILL be a better rider for the next show.  That is a promise.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Our first Novice Horse Trial part 2 (pic heavy)

Evil cremello death stare
(The pictures are from our schooling session and not our show)

RB4 and I quickly untacked TWH and started walking the cross country course so I knew where to go.  The course looked like it may be rather small according the map, most jumps were pretty close to each other except for 5 and 6 which looked really out of place wayyyy off by themselves.  After some wandering to find the start box, we headed out.  Fence one was an easy coop and two was a stone wall.  Three was a log, 4 was a roll top and then there was a long canter to 5 and 6.  Like over 500 feet, it was a LONG haul back!  5 was a bench with a 4 stride to a ditch.  Great, a ditch.  TWH's favorite jump, not!  

7 was a coop and 8 was a roll top, up a hill to 9 as a log.  10 was go into water and jump up a small bank (yay for practicing during our schooling sessions!) to a corner for 11 and a big ass castle jump for 12.  It was on a slight incline and was very solid making it look huge.  Surprisingly, on the other side it looked like a small, nothing of a jump but from the approaching side, damn it made me nervous!  13 was another corner, 14 was a veggie stand, 15 a log and 16 a wall with a 90 degree turn to the finish and we had 5:15 to get it done.  Oh boy!

We got done with the course walk in time to eat a quick lunch and then get TWH tacked up.  They announced the placings were up so RB4 and I went over to see how dressage went.  My heart sank as I saw we had gotten a 40%, we were in 9th place.  I was disappointed because while I didn't think his dressage was spectacular, I didn't think it was THAT bad.  I kept my fingers crossed as we finished tacking up and made the fairly long trek down to the warmup only to find they weren't ready, warmup jumps hadn't even been put up yet.  After a lot of standing around and chatting with others, warmup jumps were finished and the first horse went out.  I took the opportunity to put TWH over the crossrail with the intention of going over the crossrail most of the time for confidence building, the vertical a couple of times and then the oxer right before we went out.  The issue was that the footing was horrible.  The warm up area had actual standing water on 75% of the grass footing.  As a result the footing in front of the jumps was horrible soft, deep and slippery.  Ugh!

We went over the crossrail a couple of times before trying the vertical as the vertical was very slightly higher and drier than the crossrail.  He took it okay so I put him over the oxer with the intention of calling the warmup done until the ride before us left.  As TWH came up to the jump, his hind end slipped and he twisted in the air over the oxer.  Thankfully he stayed upright and I stayed on, he gave a great effort to help us both stay that way too, but damn, not how I wanted to warm up.

When the rider before us left, I made him go over the 3 jumps again and while they were okay, they weren't great.  No time to fix it and no place to jump anything better, might as well go on course.  Jump one was okay, he took it a little funny as he was unsure of the footing but we went over it and went to the stone wall of fence 2.

Fence 2 he slid to an almost stop as he seriously considered refusing.  I had kicked as we approached and I jabbed him HARD with the spur, we were NOT going to let this be how our cross country run was starting.  He jumped fence 2 from almost a standstill and climbed over the fence.  Oh TWH, way to make us look good.

He got a seriously swift kick over fence 3 but he seemed much more in tune now and I didn't even add leg over fence 4 as we kept cantering along to find fence 5.  He took 5 without a problem but I knew the ditch was afterwards.  I was kicking in the air over fence 5 and he put on the afterburners in shock.  As a result, at the ditch of fence 6 he had way too much momentum to stop and we soared over it without even a blink.  Go US!  

Semi-regular occurrence.  How does one have 4 feet on the
ground in a canter?  And yes, he did/does jump it.
I let him cruise along for fences 7 and 8 and while I was getting tired, I wasn't having to apply much leg and he was jumping well.  The water was a little nerve wracking as I wasn't sure if he would go in but he did and jumped out perfectly.  So glad we practice every time we go schooling!

Fence 11 was easy though he jumped more towards the middle of the corner vs the edge, oh well.  Fence 12 was the intimidating one for me so I sat up and started kicking 4 strides out.  No surprise, TWH jumped it without even looking at it as all of the issues are in my head, not his.  At this point we were both getting really tired and I told him we only had 4 more to go.  13 was easy enough and 14 looked like a starter jump compared to some of the stuff we had been doing lol.  

Fence 15 was a big hanging log and I told TWH we only had 2 left, we could do it!  I kicked him more than I probably needed to to make sure we made it over and we headed to fence 16.  I was exhausted, I had been conditioning TWH but I hadn't been conditioning myself in 2 point.  I had made it up to 4 minutes of 2 point and here we were pushing 5 and still weren't done.  I helped him over fence 15 by sheer will (who am I kidding, I was a passenger at that point) and trotted over the finish line at 5:10, just 5 seconds slower than optimum time.  It was the very first time I have come so close to optimum, nothing like not being adequately prepared!

TWH got a nice rubdown, cookies and some liniment as we hung out for a couple of hours waiting for stadium.  I did a good bit of stretching as the xc ride had really put my lower back in knots, I knew I was going to be sore the next day.  I scolded myself for not being prepared in my 2 point, it was an unacceptable oversight that was unfair to TWH.  There is no reason I should be flopping around and still expect him to perform at 100% so I guess now I have homework. Bad rider.

We started to tack up as the Training level riders made their way over to the stadium course when I heard the scores had been posted for cross country.  I knew at least 2 people had been eliminated during cross country, I wondered where that put us?  I eagerly walked over to see where we were score wise, will stadium make any more of a difference?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Our first Novice Horse Trial part 1

After a dismal xc session several weeks ago, I brought TWH to a second xc schooling session the day after Mia's clinic. If he was still jumping spectacularly crappy, I would bump him down to Beginner Novice for the upcoming show. We got there and went over a ton of small, confidence building starter jumps before trying a beginner novice jump and he was great.  After about 2 dozen jumps I put him towards a novice jump and he was great, not at all like he was at the last session where I shook his confidence. Yay, time to try showing novice!

One of the biggest downsides of moving up a level is that you ride in the morning. That means you have to get up OMG early to make it and I really don't prefer that as I really enjoy sleeping! On Friday I woke up at 5a to start getting ready as I had to also work that day.  I gased up the truck, check the air in the tires, filled hay nets, packed the truck and trailer and the coolwer and went to work.  After work I bathed and clipped TWH and was actually able to take a shower and still be in bed by 8p but boy was I tired.  It is hard work getting it all done in a day! Two benedryl's ensured I fell asleep while the sun was still out but 4a still came awfully damn early. Thankfully the TWH stayed clean in his stall and didn't need a 2nd bath so after some last minute details being attended to, RB4 and I made the 1.5 hour drive to the show.

I was quite nervous of this show for many reasons. It was the first of the season. We didn't get a schooling show to 'warm up' on. We moved up a level. Neither of us had ever been to this facility before, so far TWH and I have always schooled the jumps before competition in some fashion. We also had a 1.5 hr drive to get there, what was I thinking!?! We made it to the show grounds in plenty of time however and despite almost forgetting my number (Thanks RB4!!!), we made it to the dressage warmup. TWH was nicely forward and relaxed however there was plenty of chaos as there were 2 rings going and no ring steward and things were behind. Great! I warmed up and then hung around waiting. When my division finally started, I warmed up some more but gave him another rest as there was still another 15 mins before our ride.  When the gal before us entered the ring, I went for one last warm up lap. TWH gave me the wrong lead in the canter and out of habit I booted him and immediately regretted it. Why did I do that?!? TWH was suddenly heavy and nervous.  He relies heavily on the riders confidence and approval and I had just told him he was a bad horse.  What a bad rider!! At home he would need a good 5-10 mins to settle back down and get his bearings back together and I had only 2. Ugh!  I tried to get him back to confident and relaxed and just could not.

The dressage test went okay, not spectacular but not too bad.  He was a little heavy and really didn't want to bend much to the right.  Finally coming down the last center line he showed me his frustration as he clearly stepped his haunches left through the halt. Ugh! With dressage over, we went back to the trailer and hung out for cross country.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mia's clinic pt 2 (pics!)

The never ending onslaught of busy has temporarily broke. This, in combination with suddenly having 20 (!!!) followers gave me the time and motivation to blog. Thanks so much for reading!!

After a yummy lunch, SO went home and RB4 and I got Mia tacked up. She was much, much calmer and quieter after the dressage lesson. She only bellowed a couple of times which was a significant improvement. Mia did, however, seem really confused when I hopped back on her, wasn't she done?? Oh poor mare, not when you are to be a show pony! We walked around and hopped over some stadium fences to warm up and she was moving well. She didn't strech and GOOOO over the jumps like she did when we came to school so that was an improvement. We were going over the small oxer when I saw the clinician arrive, it's showtime!
No stretch and go?  Alright!
Mia's thinking cap is on!
This clinician just came back from Ocala, apparently she is riding 2* levels. Cool! She also seemed to like Mia and thankfully, Mia didn't seem to want to take off when I cantered her with the other horse. Win! I said I wanted to go over starter and BN jumps but to work up to it and I think the clinician was very accommodating. We started over a small log and then a small bench.
Small bench?  No problem!
We made our way around the course and jumped all of the starter jumps without Mia even looking at them. Yay! I pointed to a BN hanging log I wanted to try and while Mia was a bit crooked to it, she jumped it without a problem AND didn't take off on landing.

We circled around and jumped a starter jump and pointed to a BN coop, I applied leg and over she went, I think she really likes to jump. We jumped several more BN jumps before I pointed her over a novice level bench. Hmm, would she do it? Novice sized? Not only did she jump it, she didn't seem to care that she did it!
We don't care 'bout no ditches!
Canter into water?  No probs!
After the second novice fence we called it a day, Mia was excellent. She rode well with other horses, she didn't freak when the other horse left us, she didn't freak when we left the other horse, she didn't take off, she didn't have a (serious) refusal and she did everything I asked. I am very happy with my mare!!
Banks aren't a problem
Down a bank?  Easy peasy
I was also happy with the cross country instruction, she wants me to sit up and back more and allow myself to be left behind if needed.  She also wants my hands to be wider to help funnel the horse where I want it. Uh, I had been doing that and had JUST changed my tactics, go figure.  While I often feel babysat with H, I felt this was an honest lesson which I really enjoyed.  Enough about Mia though, the next day was for TWH.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mia's clinic pt 1

It was finally time to bring Mia to a clinic!  I was actually, in a small way, happy that the May 4th show had been cancelled. Happy for Mia anyway, devastated for TWH but I couldn't change it. The clinic comprised of both a dressage and cross country lesson with 2 different instructors. The dressage instructor is a fairly well known classical dressage instructor, I haven't had a real dressage lesson with a dressage instructor since I had moved over 3 years ago and was actually excited for their comments.

I started getting ready for the clinic by trailer loading training on Saturday. I certainly didn't want to fight Mia into the trailer on Sunday so after I hooked up and got the trailer loaded, Mia got to learn to load onto a trailer properly. Needless to say, I found something she wouldn't do for a treat! There was a lot of standing at the trailer door and then putting one foot in before she said No. Then she just refused. Oh mare! After a lot of strong groundwork and a dressage whip later, she decided to try again. While pointing her into the trailer I tapped her rump with the whip. After a few taps she decided to run me over as she ran between me and the trailer. A hard correction later, we tried again. After a few taps, she decided to again run me over but this time she failed as I was able to block her. She got some pretty stiff whacks with the whip to learn running people over is NOT okay and we walked to the trailer again. I presented her, tapped her rump and she literally JUMPED into the trailer! Yay mare! We practiced unloading and loading a few times and called it a day. Not a bad way to end a session though I would of preferred less trampling lol.

I was very pleased to NOT have to get up at 4a to get to the clinic and hauled out at a comfortable 9a with RB4. Loved my ride time! We got there in plenty of time and got Mia settled. Or tried anyway. She was eating and fairly calm but would NOT stop screaming for everyone/anyone. She was much worse than when we went xc schooling, apparently I have 'that' horse who doesn't hush up. Oh fun. Some slaps did get her attention a tiny bit better and we saddled her up. I had 20 mins to our ride time but if this is how she is acting, I wanted every second to calm her down. Ugh, green horses!

We walked her over to a spot for me to hop on and Mia let out another bellow and jumped on top of me, she body bumped me and stepped/scrapped down half the length of the outside of my boot. In doing so, the damn mare also broke my HS spur!! OH was I mad! I took the reins and went off on her, we had JUST had a conversation about running me over and now she also broke may GOOD show set of spurs?!? I gave Mia to RB4 as I went to the trailer and switched my spurs out. When I came back, Mia was much more relaxed. Maybe all she needed was a beating?

We made it to the dressage area with 15 mins to go and we walked around okay so we trotted. The trot was horrible. Fast, up, crooked, dropping shoulders, diving in/out, no relaxation at all. I tried some circles, transitions and laterals and when that failed I did the best thing I knew, I cantered to wear her out so canter we did. For a solid five minutes!!! Once she started, it was all I could do to keep her from taking off so we just started cantering big circles, little circles, serpentine lines, anything to burn up time. Finally she relaxed and stopped pulling on me to go faster so after a few more laps I asked for a trot and got it and had a very happy, quiet, relaxed mare under me. I can only assume she shipped separately from her brain and we had to wait for it to catch up with her lol.

The dressage lesson went quite well. the clinician really liked Mia's conformation and attitude (Ha! Her attitude NOW). Mia has a very free, natural walk that would get a 6-7 on a test as it is now. Her trot has a lot of movement and we were able to get Mia to relax and really swing through her back fairly quickly, about halfway through the lesson. Her canter has a good amount of drive and while we need to work on connection, she has a good foundation and is at a good spot considering her training. Yay! The most interesting thing about the lesson was the instructors critique of me, she really liked my upright position but actually wants me to lean forward a little to help Mia out. Leaning forward is something I worked hard at fixing all winter grrr!! She also said she would like my hands lower and wider until I reach at least training level. SERIOUSLY?!?! The 2 things I worked really hard to 'fix', this gal says to revert back. Ugh, you can't please them all I suppose.

We went back to the trailer with a much mellower mare and relaxed while we waited for cross country. SO was nice enough to bring us lunch which made it even better! Finally it was time to get ready, let's see how Mia does in a group.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Still here! A quick recap

Many apologies for not posting lately, things have been extremely busy in both my personal and professional life which has left me with little to no time to blog.  The 5 minute recap of the past 2 weeks are:

TWH's cross country schooling went poorly, it started off well and I overfaced him to a jump and really shook his confidence.  BAD BLOGGER!!  By the end of the schooling he was jumping novice fences again but wasn't jumping them as I would have preferred.  I will be going again on Sunday to school, next weekend I have our first big horse trial and I entered him in the novice level.  If he isn't 100% on Sunday, I will bump him down to beginner novice for his first show.

Mia's cross country schooling went amazingly, after explaining to her she should canter over logs and such, she was a rock star!  She didn't run off with me (though we came kinda close), she didn't buck or rear, I didn't fall off (though I did severely sprain my sprained finger) and there wasn't a single spook anywhere.  Win!

TWH's dressage is feeling super sexy, I can't wait to have it video taped so I can watch it.  If it looks half as good as it feels, he will clean up in his Novice show next weekend.  Win!

Mia's dressage is coming along too, we can now pretty comfortably canter both directions, do mini shoulder ins at the trot and are starting 10m circles.  We finally found a copper mouthed eggbutt bit that she doesn't mind for her dressage show bridle.  I only had to go through 3 other bits to get to it, she does NOT like the loose ring french snaffle, the augarian D ring or the waterford.  She is okay enough in a stainless eggbutt to use it for jumping but not for dressage.  What a picky mare, at least we got it sorted out.

I have a clinic with Mia on Saturday with a well known dressage instructor, I am excited!  H is a good instructor but she doesn't kick my butt in dressage like I think she should.  I am really looking forward to another persons perspective on a horse that is well suited for dressage.  We will then also have a cross country lesson afterwards, I am going to put her over starter AND beginner novice jumps.  Go Mia!

I did sprain my finger when going cross country schooling on TWH 2 weeks ago, jumping down a bank my finger got caught in his mane and just bent sideways a bit.  I shook it off and kept riding, I mean it hurt but no biggie.  Well the next day I rode Mia cross country and was dealing with her greenness, she lept into the water the first time we went down a 12" step into the water.  All was good till my velcro butt came into play, I stayed on but my poor finger took the brunt of the force.  I doubled over in pain for over a minute thinking it had surely broken.  Thankfully it hadn't but it was terribly swollen.  I gave it a week off and kept it in a finger splint until last weekend and have been going around fine.  When jumping TWH last night what happened?  Landed wrong and rebent that same.  damn.  finger.  OMG pain!  There is a noticeable, uncomfortable bulge at the last joint of my finger.  :(  I am going to wear the splint again and am going to tape the finger whenever I ride until this is fixed, my poor finger is not doing well.

Hopefully everyone is doing well, I am kinda keeping caught up on everyones blogs.  Hopefully next week will be much slower and I can catch up.  I have tons of pictures and just no time to post them.  Hopefully my next post will include details about the clinic and schooling!