Monday, January 22, 2018

Something finally happened!

App is doing well!  His weight is perfect now, I am cutting his rice bran down to one scoop and going to leave his blanket off a little more.  His thrush is as good as it can be, he is turned out in a paddock that isn't cleaned and there isn't much I can do about that.  I have asked to have him moved and it never happened because, well, barn politics.  He has 3 weeks until the farrier appointment and his hoof crack is looking good, I am super hopeful we can get rid of it with this next trim cycle!  It's funny, the barn is back to calling him an angel and the best behaved horse on the property.  HA!  You forget....just a short 6 months ago it was impossible to keep him fenced in.  He really is either awesome or an total ass and not much in between!

After month(s) of nothing happening, the planets aligned.  The temperature was above 10 degrees (40 in fact!!), the arena wasn't dusty (just watered as we still wait for MAG flakes) and I had time to ride.  Out came my trusty (dusty) dressage saddle and although Mia wasn't fully amused at first, we had a good ride.  It was structured solely with fitness in mind, we did lots of trot that focused on a long and low headset.  I wanted her back up and her head down to really work over her topline.  We did a ton of directional changes and gait changes, going from walk to trot to slow trot to mid trot to extended trot and back and Mia was SOO GOOD.  She seemed really happy to be doing something after a week of doing nothing, she didn't pick a single argument.  It was almost like picking back up from last fall!

We did 2 laps of canter each direction before I figured I'd ask for a little more canter.  Mia went from perfectly content mare to "GALLOPS ALL THE TIME!" mare.  Luckily we were alone in the arena so I just let her go. It's been since fall since we actually galloped and she seemed to enjoy my allowance.  After 3.5 laps around the arena, she dropped back but I made her canter another lap for good measure before calling it quits.  She was just so happy to be doing stuff, as was I.  I was borderline sweaty and she was breathing a good bit, I'll call that a good start to getting back into fitness.  We cooled down with a hack down the driveway and while Mia was much more "up" and ready to go than I expected, she was good, listened and she got stuffed full of treats.

I had big plans.  This week is supposed to have lows in the 30's, the MAG flake was delivered today, perfect time to work on fitness.  And then Saturday night I tweaked my bad knee again.  Seriously.  SERIOUSLY! ARGH! This time I seem to have hurt my LCL ligament vs my ACL which I have torn twice.  I did go on a group trail ride Sunday which went well enough.  I rode bareback with the thought that having no stirrups would be easier on my leg.  Mia behaved beautifully and didn't put a single hoof wrong.  My leg, on the other hand, was pissed and screamed at me the whole time.  Okay, I got it.  No riding.  The outside ligament is pretty sore to touch and wakes me up at night if the leg goes in a position it doesn't like.  SMH.  So apparently now I am taking a few days off to try to let it rest.  I have my Back On Track knee brace on, taking some advil and taking it easy.  Is anyone else happy to see warmer temps finally?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

In which nothing has happened

So....yep.  Pretty much sums it up right there.  The arena was not ridable for 90% of December due to the extreme dust.  They fixed the arena with different footing right before Christmas but then the holidays happened and then the super extreme cold arrived in which we weren't hitting double digit highs.  At least we weren't as bad as others, many friends didn't even hit single digit highs!  Then it warmed back up but when they had put the different footing down, they didn't put any dust control on it so as soon as the footing dried out, it became WORSE than in December if you can believe it.  UGH!!! The footing issue is slated to be fixed today with 50 bags of MAG flake going down, so crossing fingers I can actually use the facilities I pay for.

Sassy mare is sassy!
So since October, I have maybe ridden in a saddle three times?  Maybe four?  With it being so dusty, riding bareback (and in just a halter 50% of the time) is doing a good job of making sure I don't overdo it when I do ride. Even when we don't do anything but walk, I have been riding at least 2-3 times a week (save the week of extreme cold).  Now while bareback in just a halter we can do shoulder in, some beautiful serpentines, leg yield, and all the laterals.  Riding shoulder in all of the time is really helping her, maybe once we start riding again with a saddle I can work on it harder in the canter again.  Also counter canter.  Plus fitness.  So much fitness needed for both horse and rider....

Broken ponies still get to play in the arena
So what else has happened?  Not a whole lot.  Nothing to note from the farrier side of things.  App had a big fight with thrush and had a split that went through his frog into his heel, rendering him basically 2 legged lame (we call him 3 legged with his shoulder issue).  An aggressive treatment of Coppertox and Neosporin fixed that and he is back to normal after about 2 weeks of uncomfortableness.  He still has thrush issues due to the turnout the barn is keeping him in, unfortunately there isn't a whole lot I can do about that but I am still treating it aggressively.  Mia is doing quite well, the (not really new anymore) farrier has done a fabulous job of tweaking her right front so it is not as clubby.  Small surface cracks have reappeared on that hoof but the farrier says it is because her hoof capsule is finally expanding out instead of being so upright.  Since the hoof doesn't really flex that way, small cracks are showing as it expands but to not be concerned about them.  They will either always be there, as long as her hoof is growing good and wide, or the hoof will accommodate and produce more keratin and the cracks will grow out.  We won't know which it will do yet, I am aiming for the latter.
More treats required. Always. You can see her upright vs normal hoof here really well.
I HOPE, like seriously hope, that I will have more to talk about next week.  This is over a month of doing nothing but toodling around and I am so over it.  It is hard to stay fit when you can't ride!  It is one reason I have stayed bareback all of this time, at least it makes me work harder than riding in a saddle.  And it has helped.  My balance is still on point and I am super secure in all gaits.  Since I have my strength and balance, I just need to add fitness back into it.  Fingers crossed!

He looks so good right now!