Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Series of Unfortunate Events

My blog lately:

I swear I'm trying to be positive/optimistic. I started my Dairy rotation last week- 5 AM milkings, 6 AM feedings, but no on-call and ONE FREE WEEKEND. So naturally, I JUMPED at the chance to be able to go to Pensacola last weekend for my first away show. I swapped my 3 day weekend for a 2 day weekend, wrassled some money out of my savings, and started packing.

Stellar lesson on Lexie last Tuesday- worked on tricky rollbacks and bending lines. I barely batted an eye over 2'9" fences. Lexie had her usual oomph, but loved the newly enlarged arena.
How amazing is this arena?
 Flatted her on Thursday- goal was just to have a solid flat, work on lengthening and collecting, but overall positive experience. She was off in her right front.

Still off Friday morning, so we elected to not go.

The upside? I have found the magic potion to draw out her abscesses: epsom salt poultice.
Her abscess ruptured the next day after applying this- and has been draining nicely. I've been hacking her bareback up and down hills to maintain fitness, and going to try to have a lesson tonight, even if it's just flatting and pole work.

Plan of action is applying Durasole to all four feet, and adding front pads during the next farrier round to hopefully avoid abscesses. It's not totally Lexie's fault- the weather has been hot, moist, and rainy, and the new ring footing is still being perfected.

Abscess booties...
We are scheduled to do the year end show in November (a little stupid since I have boards the next week, but I'm on vacation- plenty of time to study), and hopefully one other show in between now and then.

Just never fails that I plan a show and something happens, but this also has the added twist of 3 extra days of 5 AM cow milking. Maybe I'm just not meant to be showing/riding this year...
Pretty much my life in a nutshell, right?
- K & C & L

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I Got 99 Problems...

But sleep ain't one.

This week (month really) has been a fiasco. I've had some kick ass rides and kick ass lessons, but in the last month... :

  • Neck zit
  • Stopped sweating
  • Baseball lump on flank
  • Cut on fetlock x 2
  • Rain rot/butt crud
  • Bite wound
  • Hives
  • Hives
  • Hives
  • Fetlock ding
  • Rain rot
As you can see, the kids have been having a wild rumpus- Lexie was in heat and extra temperamental and Candy was his usual ding dong of a self, rolling in ant hills and trying to ~*~canoodle~*~ with his lady. 

I've been trying to convince the barn owner my kids are usually not this high maintenance.


Because I have been sick the past few days. Whomp whomp. And lost an entire month's worth of SmartPaks....

Still trying to lesson tonight if I can power through the day. No promises.

-K & C & L

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lesson Recap: Remembering Basics

I am a super mental rider. I have the muscle memory and technical skills to pilot around most small courses safely, but once my brain gets anxious, all bets are off. My lesson the week before last was an example of that: awkward distances, losing pace, and just feeling awful all around. It's hilarious that I was watching Olympic cross country and it triggered in my brain: "You can jump the small stuff. Just sit up and back, dummy." Yes, that's right- watching people ride around a massive cross country course inspired me to jump 2'6"-2'9" without going into the fetal position.

In my defense, though, mare likes to run around like this.
But will still look like this in the end.

Every lesson, my trainer asks me, "Did you bring your big girl panties today?" and gets answers from, "Forgot them.", "I ran out.", "Kind of.", and lately, it's been, "Let's find out.". While I was warming up Lexie, we did get the super nice comment of "Who is that?" from a friend who didn't recognize Lexie being a rockstar on the flat.

We started jumping easy- trotted a crossrail a few times, then trot into the crossrail to a small 2' vertical in 4 strides. We successfully kept it at 5 strides every time, but the first few efforts we definitely took a flyer due to piloting errors. But the 3rd time, I held her for 5 consistent strides and we pinged over the fence. That's the best way to describe it- she felt round and using her hind end, and just ping! over the jump.

We added a "lollipop" turn after the line, going straight after the line, turning along the fenceline, and rolling back to a vertical. Again, striding was tricky until I remembered to sit back, wait, and keep her in my hands. Then we did it again: ping! We added another rollback, and again, sit up, sit back, and ping!

If I could bottle that feeling, I would. Now to just get my heels a little deeper and legs a little tighter. The mare is loving jumping in a grass paddock/grass field, and loves hacking out in the grass. Now... if she would just quit doing silly little things to herself (neck zit, stopped sweating, then started sweating, then a bug bite/sting/baseball size lump, then a small cut on her fetlock).

-K & C & L

Monday, August 8, 2016

10 Questions for August and Life

Not too much happening in my end of the world. I have 2 horse shows on my radar, but we all know how my schedule likes to accommodate those. Lexie finally came back in full work after a month off due to feet issues, and now has decided sweating is for ~*~losers~*~. I put her on Guinness and electrolytes this week, and if that doesn't kickstart her sweating, I may give 1-AC a try. In a world of 95 degrees and 80% humidity, mama needs to sweat. Candy continues to be a dweeb and force his girlfriend to die of heatstroke- he stands in the sand by the barn waiting for pets, baths with the hose, and so he can steal hay from other horses' mouths (not kidding). Poor Lexie stands under him for a little bit of shade. Hopefully, we can all get settled in and back into our working routine. And hopefully, this Alabama summer may let up a little.

Since nothing is too new in the horse world, I figured I would do Viva Carlos' 10 Questions for August.

1. What is your biggest source of caffeine that gets you through the day? (drink, not just brand) 
I drink caffeinated Crystal Light and Mio by the gallon- I drink maybe 2 liters of it a day. In the fall and winter, I love green tea and chai tea. 

2. Do you honestly think your trainer is the best trainer for you?

I think my current trainer is a good match for my needs right now- laidback, supportive, and pushes me when I need it. I really like that she's open to me going to clinics/riding with other instructors as well all in the name of pushing forward my riding abilities.

3. One token of advice a fellow rider/trainer/horse person told you that you still remember to this day.  

Ride inside leg to outside hand. If I panic and remember one thing about riding- this is it. 

4. If riding meant costing your family so much money that they’d be basically on poverty line, or making your family terribly unhappy (if they were not supportive or understanding, etc.) would you still do it?

If it was just me alone and I could afford equine emergencies, absolutely. Significant other and I have had to make some compromises (I ride in the late evening or early morning, 4-5 days a week, spend one night solely with him); riding is so important to my mental health I think it would be hard for me to cut it out completely because then I would be a wealthy, angry person instead of a poor, happy person. So... I would continue to ride, but find a way to make it work.

5. (Girls) would you ride while pregnant?

I will ride until my doctor advises against it or until my land whale of a body can't get into the saddle.

6. How do you tell when a horse likes someone/has bonded with you or someone else?

I think it depends on that person and their interactions with the horse. I think Candy has bonded to me because he will look to me for my reactions in stressful situations and comes to me for comfort. Lexie and I have a working partnership, but I don't know that we've "bonded".

7. Are horses capable of loving, in your opinion?

I think so.

8. If you could have one horse from your past come back for 5 minutes, who would it be, why, and what would you do with them in those 5 minutes? 

I've been lucky to have not "lost" a horse yet, per se. I would want a sound Candy at his peak fitness and athletic abilities just to pop him over a fence or two, and ask for a couple half passes.

9. Should a trainer also be a friend, or should it be a student/teacher relationship? 

I think a trainer should be a mentor- so halfway between a friend and a teacher. I've asked trainers about things involving horses, and come to them when my life has hit the fan and I don't know where to turn. A mentor keeps it professional, but you can still develop a very personal relationship.
10. One piece of advice/training you were given by a trainer or mentor that you look back on now and view it as incorrect? 

Buying vaccines from Tractor Supply....

- K & C & L

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Photo Dump Update

First hack at the new barn.

Waiting for his daily bath.
Ponies and I are settling in well at the new facility. We had our first lesson last week, and while I rode like a sack of potatoes, Lexie and I were so happy to be jumping in a field again!

- K  & C & L