Monday, February 19, 2018

All things broken

Ahh, what is going on in this little world?  Lots of stuff, not all good.  After my last post, I rode on Tues and Thurs.  On Thurs the 8th, we were doing our normal ride and the person who rides with us at night came off and fractured her collar bone, 5 ribs, and a vertebra.  Her horse was being a true ass, he simply refused to stop or slow down and ended up taking off on her.  There are absolutely things she could have done to prevent it but I am not going to bash her. It happened and everyone reacts differently.  After she was up and walking (Yes, even with all of that, she was walking around AND got on Mia for about 3 minutes), I got on her horse and spanked his ass.  He tried to take off on me a couple of times so she got to see pulley rein action on him.  Then he tried to take off in the canter and not only did he get pulley reined, he got spun hard.  After the third time of being spun, he reared up.  Note, she has super long legs and I have short stubby legs.  Like a 27" inseam.  Since I ride so often without stirrups, I don't even bother changing the stirrups when I ride him.  Well, since I  had nothing to support myself on, I literally slid off of his back and ALMOST landed on my feet.  When he came down, he gave the slightest tug backwards on the reins so I fell on my butt and got tons of sand in places there should not be sand.  There should never ever be sand in those places.

Unfortunately for him, I don't let go of reins when I come off (bad habit of mine, I know) and I also had the dressage whip in my hand from when I had been on Mia.  He got his butt whipped pretty hard to understand that was a VERY BAD IDEA before we walked over, I got back on and then rode him hard again.  I made him canter a solid 6 minutes.  At the 4 minute mark, I asked him to trot but he didn't right away, and instead sped up, so we cantered more and more until he wanted to stop.  And then we cantered another 6 full laps.  I was so angry at him, as was his owner, as there really was no reason for his behavior.  She asked him to slow down and he didn't, she asked him to stop and he didn't, he wanted to just go because he had too much energy. 

The rider is down for 3 months before she can ride again. I have offered to ride the horse at night after I am done with Mia if she comes and tacks him up, we will see if she takes me up on the offer.  Mia was an angel through the entire ordeal, she was called a Classy Lady the other day bc of how proper and unphased she can be.  Ha!

After that endeavor, the farrier was out.  When I brought Mia in, she had a good bit of blood on her leg.  She had been bitten (assuming the 3yr old gelding she is out with) on the inner thigh at some point that morning.  We got her cleaned up and put some Neosporin on it, however on M/T/W she was lame on that leg.  Last Sat it was not really warm anymore but still a little tender to touch.  She is slightly short on that leg but works out of it at the trot until she turns.  When she puts a lot of weight on that leg, she gets really short for 6+ strides before she works out of it again.  Ugh.  The scab sloughed right off so it got cleaned again, more meds put back on and kicked back out.

I am going out again tonight to see how things are.  Tomorrow should be 60+ degrees so if that happens, App will get a bath (DISGUSTING HORSE!!).  I am excited to ride, maybe I will just get on Mia and walk around and work on two point.  Damn horses, stop being broken!

Monday, February 5, 2018

The start of fitness begins with a single step

Things are finally starting to go right in my riding world.  Though without a lot of time, and it being late, I feel this post is a little scattered.  So, my apologies?  But the weather is staying above 15 degrees, the arena is finally NICE and I (mostly) have time to ride (current week excluded)!  We have worked exclusively on long and low, getting Mia to lift her back and really work on some fitness for both of us.  I have even been doing some workouts at lunch, though not as regularly as I should be.  *eyeroll at myself*  These types of rides are cool, but don't give a lot to talk about in blogger world.

We start our rides with a stretchy walk, really marching forward and trying to get Mia to stretch down.  I try to keep her in a shoulder in position, sometimes I succeed, sometimes not because I am not working hard at it as I am more concerned with her staying long and low.  After a few laps each direction, 10 mins or so, we pick up the trot and I really ask for the stretch down.  The lower the better, peanut rolling if she could do it.  Which she can't.  I am able to keep the shoulder in here and at this point, we usually start doing some 3, 4 and 5 loop serpentines.  Ride shoulder in, ride the turn, straighten for a step, shoulder in the opposite direction, ride the turn, straighten, shoulder in the opposite direction, wash, rinse, repeat. Also throw in some 10m circles, lots of changes of direction, and am really focusing to keep Mia's tempo and connection the same throughout.  We both have been doing really good at this! 

From here, I mix it up. We always work on trot adjustability, though one night I really pushed harder.  We were able to get slow trot, working trot and even a true extended trot (without a change of pace!) all with seat and leg cues.  That was a cool night, but she needs lots of trot transitions before she can do that because otherwise she just goes faster.  She usually just goes faster.  Another night we worked on half pass vs leg yield, a half pass is harder of course.  One night she had just so much energy, I let her go.  She galloped around 5 or 6 laps before she brought herself back to a canter.  I really think she fully enjoyed that opportunity.  We do some canter, working at shoulder in, and also a nice stretchy canter where she is still carrying herself and not plowing onto her forehand.  So much progress is being made!  On Saturday I even rode in my jumping saddle for the first time since October, let's just say my muscle fitness is non-existent in that saddle.  More work is needed for certain.

This week is really a bust in riding.  Yesterday we got 6.5 inches of snow. Today was 12 degrees and I had a ton of stuff to do at the barn that was not riding.  Supplement bags, dewormer, Pentasan shots, thrush treatments, blanket changes, not enough time and just too cold.  Tomorrow I have to bring my cat to the vet and Wednesday I have a dentist appointment on top of the additional 5-8 inches of snow that is supposed to show up.  Oh joy.  That's okay, one doesn't get fit in a day and we have a good 2 months to work on it.  We do have a lesson scheduled for March 24th, I am super excited to have a goal to work towards.  I want to be fit for that lesson, being able to ride in both saddles and be jumping by then.  I work better with goals so one is now firmly in place. Time to get into a shape that isn't round!