Thursday, August 30, 2012

Deathbed and other fun topics...

So I really didn't fall off the blogging wagon; I've been on my deathbed.  Or at least what I consider my deathbed.  First and most importantly, I'm never sick.  Never.  All those bugs other wimpy people catch, not me.  Every once in a while a cold will storm the walls but never a stomach bug.  Never.  Well, I can no longer say never.  Not only was I sick when I came back from PA but I was so sick on Monday, I really started to worry I'd somehow contracted E. coli even though I don't eat red meat (and yes I know you can get it from other stuff!).  Tuesday was better but I still didn't feel like eating anything or drinking anything for that matter.  And anyone who knows me, knows there's not much that comes between me and food.  By Wednesday, I was pretty much back to normal.  Good thing too as I had a lesson with Carolyn on Wednesday afternoon.  Convenient, huh?

So not much to say other than it was another typical, awesome Carolyn lesson.  I can never really put my finger on what is so awesome about each lesson but somehow I leave feeling like I can totally conquer the dressage world.  Charlie was really good when we got to the farm (he's only been there once before in early July) and settled right down, making tacking up easier (he doesn't tie...sigh).  He was a little silly when I got on but settled down fairly quickly.  We worked on lots of the same stuff (repetition is very good for me!) and Carolyn helped me with leg yielding to keep him on the rail and push him deeper in the corners.  Basically, when going down the long side, I have a tough time keeping him on the rail - he kind of drifts in and doesn't listen to my leg, gets strung out, etc.  Carolyn told me I need to help Charlie understand he's supposed to stay on the rail by thinking leg yield and ensuring I half-halt so he knows I want him to go sideways instead of forward.  Novel concept, right?  Once she said that, I felt kind of stupid because it's commonsense and I know this stuff but I guess that's why she gets the money and not me... It's the same idea to get him deeper in the corner - inside leg pushes him over while the outside rein asks him to stay the same speed.  I only lasted for about 30 minutes - it was hot and really humid (thanks Isaac) and I was still a little dehydrated from my whole deathbed thing so we called it quits.  She'll be back in the area next week so I get to see her two weeks in a row - making up for my break to PA!

So I don't usually rant but this topic really irritates me.  I've mentioned before that Charlie cribs as in a wind sucker, not a wood chewer.  There is a difference, promise!  It doesn't consume his life - he's kind of like a casual smoker, you know, the one who smokes when they get up, after meals, and before bed. He primarily does it around feeding time and it is completely controlled by a collar.  He came with this folks and he makes up for this bad habit in NUMEROUS other AWESOME behaviors.  Now to the part that annoys me.  I read/hear folks talk about how cribbers "just don't get enough turnout, don't have enough food in front of them, have ulcers, etc."  Basically, if I took better care of him, he wouldn't crib (same deal with rain rot -if you groomed him better, he wouldn't get it.  Well, he gets groomed/bathed daily and still gets rain rot).  Newsflash for all those folks who have never owned a cribber but seem to know exactly how to cure the habit - Charlie typically lives out 24/7 with another horse on either a 6 acre field or a 3 acre field filled with lots of grass.  When he is in, he has endless hay - I have never found him without some hay left in his hay net (and remember, I take almost complete care of him).  Oh, and he's been treated for ulcers.  Every horse is different and no horse is truly perfect.  Everyone has something they won't tolerate that to others, is not a big deal.  Bottom line - don't judge, especially if you have never had to deal with the trait you seem to think you know everything about.  Novel concept in the horse industry I know... Ok, done now!  Sorry!

I rode today - it was so humid, I thought I was going melt away to nothing.  It was really gross out even though it was only about 75 degrees out.  Charlie was really good and at the end, I took my stirrups off and practiced lots of sitting trot and some canter sans stirrups.  Posting was a bit tough in my dressage saddle so I think I'll save that for my jump saddle.  Fitness plan is coming, along with the riding schedule - I got thrown off track with the illness.

He just wanted his bath - not some silly girl taking his picture...


  1. I get those comments too, only I'm not able to be at the barn as often as you are, so they're like "He wouldn't be hard-to-catch if you were here more often," and "Do you every do anything but ride?" You just have to keep managing YOUR horse the way YOU know he needs to be managed. With so many different philosophies on horsekeeping, you're bound to board with one or fifty of them who "know better." I think you're doing awesome by him!

    1. Thanks Jen! I'm lucky in that I keep Charlie at a private farm where it's just him and his retired girlfriend - the owners are super nice and pretty much let me do whatever I want. I'm really apprehensive to enter the true boarding scenario again. I can't believe people tell you Connor would be easier to catch if you were out there every day. A true story to make you feel better on the days when the comments sneak past your defense - my trainer in high school had a mare who had jumped around both rolex and fair hill CCI3*s who would literally trot a 20 meter circle around whoever went to bring her in from turnout. Occasionally she would stop and let you get just close enough to think she was done playing only to whirl away at the last possible second. Pretty sure my trainer handled her everyday...just saying...

  2. Two fun things about management: 1) We have a nasty-ass cribber. He taught himself crib at 3 months old in a pasture of barbed wire fence with no other cribbers around. It is what it is and he'll do is everywhere. That said, he is an incredible jumper. 2) For all those "turn out cures all" mavens out there, my horse HATES turnout. He can do it about the same amount of time he can do dressage and then he is DONE.

    To each their own.