Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Progress and setbacks

SO is living it up at the new job and things are going REALLY well so far.  We have gotten a couple of very nice gifts from them and they are willing to pay for a LOT of stuff that his previous employer didn't.  And not expect a lot of things that his previous employer did.  It is looking very positive so far!  Topping that off with the fact he will actually be coming home for this weekend and next, it makes me a happy girl.

I decided on Monday that I needed to get my butt into gear and start on my fitness again.  I have a clinic mid April and I need to have my two point if I want to be able to jump and not look like a fool, right?  Time to get to work!  It is very obvious that I am not jumping fit, I found my baseline for two point.  After a good, long, cold winter, my base line for two point was 2 minutes and 40 seconds.  Oh pitiful, no way I can get around a course for that length of time!  Mia and I be bopped around the arena working on striding over a pole on the ground at both the trot and canter.  Overall it went really well.  Mia is slowly starting to figure out how to increase/decrease her stride upon request to match the pole.  We are not 100% but we are close to 80% and that is pretty good in my book.  We still have almost 2 months before our first event.

We did, however, have slip.  Mia slipped in a pee spot in the arena with the left hind and came up lame.  Pretty lame, actually and while she has no heat/swelling/sensitivity, she is certainly not right.  In addition to being short strided, she is also stabbing at the ground with her hoof.  Enough that she is sending up a spray of dirt in front of her toe with almost every step.  Grr.  I gave her bute and let her rest and as of this AM she is still off.  I took some video and sent them off to Dr A to see his opinion, hopefully he says just give it some time.  Figures.

Since Mia was lame, I rode App last night and he was a rock star.  He can be such a rock star when he wants to be.  He may be old and out of shape but he put up with all of my fitness antics like he actually cared as to if we accomplished goals.  Such a good horse.  After a bit of work, I timed myself again and was successfully able to make it to 4:30 in two point.  WIN!  That is awesome! I will take that kind of gain any day, but I certainly don't see myself making that kind of a gain again lol.  At the end, the outside of my ankles BURNED.  Fitness started, check.  Fitness obtained, negative.  Additional fitness needed, check.

I am off of riding until Sunday now thanks to giving lessons, if nothing else it gives Mia a chance to figure out how to heal herself.  I wish I could figure out where she hurt but apparently I suck at hind end lameness.  And since even the 10 second video is over 8mb, I can't get it to upload thanks to my slow internet.  Fun times.  That will be one of the highest priorities at our new place, good, fast internet.  Here's to hoping Mia is better fast and fitness goes well!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Some very big news

With things starting to actually warm up, mud season arrived.  With some strong winds over the past few days and no rain, things are finally drying up a little!  Most of the snow we have is just piles and in the shade, the majority of things are snow-free.  YAY!  I even was looking through my flower bed yesterday and saw little tiny green things starting to appear.  Houston, I think we found spring!  

Mia is doing really well under saddle still, lots of boring things that aren't fun to talk about.  Yay, she was soft, yay she stayed in contact, yay she was pushing from behind, yay she seemed to lift her back.  Wash, rinse, repeat, it comes across as quite boring.  M comes back from being gone mid-April so I still have a month to work on dressage and fitness.  Dressage is coming along quite well and I am excited to have her see my progress.  Fitness is not coming along well, however, and I have a lot of work to catch up on.  I did some two point this week at the walk and next week I am going to do some serious training again to get myself back up to par.  K and I are going to a clinic in April and are taking both a dressage and cross country lesson in it so I need to have my two point up to par by then so I don't look like a fool.  

The yearly vet visit was this past weekend and everything went well (and was less expensive than expected, yay!).  I did a lameness eval on both App and TWH and they both passed.  App still has arthritis in his hocks (obviously) but it isn't bad enough for him to need his hocks done again.  He is moving quite soundly for a 22 year old and even more work should make things better.  Now just need more time to get the more work in.  Ha!  TWH is sound as well with no residual suspensory issues after a year of going Novice.  Awesome!!  He was very slightly short in his right hind and Dr A is pretty sure that it is due to mud and his stifle being a little loose.  There is no fill or heat in his stifle, hocks or fetlocks however and he is pretty certain that once we get back to full fitness, the stifle will tighten up and things will be a-ok again.  Poles and jumping will help as well, which is good because that is the plan!

I do have some news, however.  Some really big news.  LogDog Acres is officially closing down.  We are selling our dream property and moving to northeastern PA and I will be going back to a boarding situation.  SO got a really good job offer (obviously, or we wouldn't be moving lol) and starts on Monday.  He will be going through training for 2 months and then will be scouting out the area for horse-friendly areas.  He is going to be in a field position so it is actually pretty flexible as to where we live, which is nice, so if anyone has any suggestions let me know.  I have looked up almost a dozen eventing barns that hold shows and wrote their towns down and hope to be fairly centrally located to several of them.  I won't be moving until the middle to the end of the year.  My expectation is to finish out the show season here in MI to go for points with Mia and hopefully win the Novice division this time.  After the show season is over, we will relocate and hopefully be moved by the end of the year.

With a very heavy heart, I am also selling TWH to K.  She completely adores him and she used the lameness eval as a pre-purchase of sorts so she knew what she would be looking at long-term.  She has been riding him for 6 months and he hasn't taken a lame step in the entire time which is very helpful.  She is going to show him all season and wants to eventually move up to Novice with him after a few years.  Both Dr A and I explained very clearly that Novice is as high as he could ever go and she is ok with that.  She is ok taking on a 12 year old horse that has slight arthritis.  She knows that eventually his hocks will need done and that I give him a monthly shot of Pentosan to help keep hock injections at bay.  Given all that, she agreed to buy him so he will remain the star of someones life and that makes me very happy.

On one hand, I am thrilled that he will have a great home with someone to dote on him daily, that makes him her priority and has no problem paying whatever may be needed to keep him happy and comfortable.  On the other hand, he and I have gone through a lot and he is very important to me.  I helped him sort through his emotional baggage that almost had him put down and he came out of it a very happy, sane horse that will try his heart out for anyone who asks.  Am I going to miss him dearly?  Yes.  She is going to post plenty of pictures and updates so I can watch from afar.  Yes.  He also has a buyback clause in his purchase agreement and she said she has no problem offering him back when she is done with him, if she ever is.  She is going to keep him here and will show with me until I am ready to leave. At that time I will help her find a good boarding barn and help get her set up on her own.  :*(

So this is my news, my life is getting flipped upside down and shaken out.  I have a  LOT of stuff I will be selling.  We won't be moving to another horse farm (unless something weird and strange happens) so the majority of my "stuff" is going to be liquidated.  I have already sold some stuff and I will be selling a lot more.  I am giving a whole tote of stuff to K so she has stuff for TWH from the start.  He will have his blanket, fly mask, some show sheets, a sleezy, a cooler, tail bags, tack hook, wraps, all kind of things.  So if anyone needs something in particular, let me know.  My blog is about to change from a training blog to a training and moving one, I hope you don't mind the journey!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The thaw begins

This week has been an oddity, it has been above 40 degrees.  Every day.  That hasn't happened since, when, November?  It is AWESOME!!  It has allowed me to ride my beasts AND be outside and not hate life!  Here is to hoping it doesn't dip back down, it shouldn't but who knows anymore. WARM!!!   The flip side to that is that everything is very wet.  Very, very wet.  The front eighth of the arena is wet thanks to the water coming in while everything was frozen.  I have that fixed and once it dries out I SHOULD have a dry arena during the spring.  I am much more optimistic than I have been the past 3 springs where 3/4 of the arena has flooded, I think I have the process down now.

I rode App on Saturday because why not.  We started in the arena before finishing on the road.  He was really good in the arena but became a jackhole on the road.  Well, no.  Only on the way back.  Rushing, jigging, refusing to slow down.  Argh I remembered what I hated about App.  The road was 80% ice so we walked in the ditch a lot so he didn't kill us by slipping b/c he was being an ass and once we got back in the driveway I went off on him.  After a good "discussion", I made him walk up and down the driveway until he listened to my seat.  What an ass he can be when he wants to.  He was 100% perfect on the way out.  Grrr.

Mia was much better.  I have been riding her strictly dressage and things are going really well.  I have said it before, but I am excited to ride with M so she can see our progress.  Mia is now stretching down into the bridle most of the time and isn't bracing like she was.  She can even carry herself in the canter both directions pretty well (yay for treats!).  Our ride Sunday was great.  Monday she was pretty good at the trot but obviously had a case of the zoomies and our canter wasn't so great.  It took a good while before I got her to listen and not chug along while ignoring me.  We even lost our steering a few times in the canter as she wasn't paying any attention to my outside leg and almost ran over TWH and K.  I made her do canter quarter circles (canter a quarter circle, trot a quarter/half circle) and that really helped get her brain back in her head and we finished on a good note.

Of course then yesterday I noticed my hip kinda hurt so I didn't ride.  I stretched it out some and went to bed and today it HURTS.  Figures.  I took some drugs and hope to be better for tonight when I have to give a lesson.  My plan is to take it easy tonight and see how it goes.  Figures I am sore right when it warms back up.  Grrr.

The vet is out this coming Saturday for shots/coggins and to see how App is.  I will have a lameness done on him to verify that his hocks are still doing fine.  I think they are but history has proven I suck at identifying hind end lameness.  I also have some big news, some very big news that I will be announcing shortly.  Enjoy the warmer weather and I hope people can find a semi-dry place to ride!