Friday, September 30, 2016

Yes- I'm Alive

I've just been slacking on the blog front. Mental exhaustion will do that to ya.

But I am alive, both mentally, and physically, because... I rode fire breathing mare in a SNAFFLE. A RUBBER snaffle.

We've been "training" for the Hunter Derby at the year end show (which I don't get to go to thanks to my on call schedule- you rock, vet school, thanks for making my life *fantastic*). We needed a "hunter appropriate" bit for Lexie; my trainer recommended a pelham since Lexie will "go in it" and she "doesn't like anything anyway". Being the weenie adult amateur I am, two reins on a rogue freight train who kicks is just not what I want to deal with on 3-4 hours of sleep and in a ring with 3-4 other riders who don't understand my mare kicks, so I suggested, why not try the rubber snaffle. H snorted, and asked me if I was feeling brave, but we gave it a whirl.

A while back, I was reading on COTH forums about bit options, when I stumbled across a user who watched a clinic with a reputable BNT (I want to say Bernie Traurig). There was a girl who was riding a hot horse in an elevator, but the horse was blasting through her hands- he swapped her into a rubber Dee and the horse went much better. I went out and purchased a rubber dee off eBay... and let it sit in my trunk for 7 months until this Wednesday.

Well, mare loved it. It's a different feel with a much thicker mouthpiece, but I surprisingly had brakes despite a mild bit, and, when I half halted, mare wasn't angry. She's still not seeking contact 100%, but seemed like a much happier horse.

I guess it's a weird case of bitting down on a hot horse. She's a ball of fire 24/7, but she can get unresponsive/worse when she's uncomfortable. It's also a testament to my hard work as a rider (trying to focus on my positives)- I struggled to ride her over small fences in a loose ring snaffle in the Doug Payne clinic, but could *relatively* comfortable pilot her over 2'6" fences on straight lines. We're finally figuring each other out, I'm trusting her when she gets quick, and she's listening.

So if my eq could come back.... that would be fantastic.
- K & C & L

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Out With the Old, In With the New

I already eluded to this a bit on Instagram and Facebook, but I felt like a full blown blog post was warranted because... well... nostalgia and a lot has changed in over 4 years.

I bought the boots on the left in early 2013. At the time, I was working at Hagyard Equine Medical Center as a technician during foaling season, and loving it. I was keeping Candy at a self-care facility, and working my way back to 3'3" after a scary fall in October of 2012.

I was driving home from the barn with these boots on my feet on a Friday morning when I found out I got into vet school. I scared the daylights out of my mom when I called sobbing to tell her I got into vet school; she, of course, thought I was hurt or Candy was dying, but no- just vet school.

These boots moved 8 hours south with me, down to Alabama.

I was wearing these boots when I walked away from what was undoubtedly one of the most confusing relationships I've ever been in.

I was wearing these boots when I was on the way home from my last time jumping Candy, again, crying to my mom about retiring him.

I was wearing these boots when I was on my phone at the barn, and happened to swipe right to some boy named Phillip. I was also wearing those boots when he met Candy for the first time and tried to feed him Doritos.

Those boots were on my feet when Candy colicked last year, and we thought it was a mass (just a firm fecal ball), when I hacked Lexie the first time, when I found out Sawyer was lame.

I wore them for my dream externship, 6 weeks of my equine block, and half of my food animal block.

And now, they're worn with holes and leaking water, cracked soles and ripped leather, but these boots have been on quite the adventure in 3 years. Many rides, different horses, countless miles walked.

I can't wait to see what adventures the next pair sees.

- K & C & L

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Blessin's on Blessin's

So after a cancelled show, minimal riding, bumps/bruises, and just general grumps, I had a fantastic Labor Day weekend.

On Sunday, Lexie was phenomenal to flat- super forward and strong, but so fun. I could not stop grinning.

Then... for whatever reason, I got an itch to ride Candy. Candy has a reputation for being kind of a spaz, so I was a little nervous riding him on a blustery day. He was little cranky/confused by the saddle, and wouldn't stand still while I bridled him up, or when I got on. But we did w/t/c for about 15 minutes (1 lap at a trot and 1 lap at a canter in both directions), and he was so good. Obviously, not sound, but he was so excited, and wanted to frame up.

"My bridle is on. Where are we going?!"
Then I did a spur of the moment lesson Monday, and I brought my big girl panties out in full force. Lexie was being quick and strong, so we just worked on turns, which is the best way to make her collect and come back. She was doing so well... I may or may not have asked my trainer to put the jumps up a hole, which is unprecedented for me. My confidence is finally on its way back! Now... if I can stop slouching and stop breaking my wrists while I ride...

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend, and reminded me why I work so hard to do what I do!

- K & C & L