Monday, September 24, 2012

Dressage lessons, Jumping lessons and ditches, oh my!

So I'm blowing off working on my group project paper to catch-up on my blogging.

So when I last wrote Charlie had lost his shoe just prior to shipping down to the farrier.  We ended up going to Aiken on Monday instead of Saturday.  I wish I could say the trip was uneventful but alas it was not.  I should have known it was going to be a bad drive when on the way through town (I have to drive through town to get on the local hwy i.e. 1-lane state hwy to Aiken) and because of an accident, I got rerouted through the ghetto.  With no directions on how to get out of the ghetto.  Fun times driving through the ghetto with a horse trailer.  Then, about 45 minutes from the farrier, I ran over something that did this to my trailer:

Left front corner.

Just behind the escape door on the left hand side.

I thought whatever it was, was just a piece of rope or thick wire.  But as soon as I was basically on top of the thing, I realized it was some sort of metal strip with huge nails sticking out of it!  I don't know how I didn't blow out a tire.  I guess after running over it with the truck, it flipped up and hit the trailer.  To say I was upset is an understatement.  

After "The Incident", things went pretty well.  Charlie was really good for Bruce and his tootsies look fantastic even with the lost shoe.  Believe it or not, he wasn't lame even though he wandered around shoeless for 3 days.  My wrapping skills must be coming back.  Heaven knows they've gotten enough practice this summer.  

Charlie got hacked on Tuesday after clinical so we didn't do too much.  Wednesday was a lesson day and he was really good.  We jumped which we haven't done in like 2 weeks and we jumped bigger than I've ever jumped on Charlie.  It was pretty funny because he jumped me out of the tack!  I'm so used to jumping little stuff that Charlie doesn't have to try over and when he put a little effort into a jump, I wasn't expecting it!  He was a total rockstar as usual.

SuperMom was kind enough to buy us a new breastplate - I'm so excited because I love this design.  It came from England and wasn't really that expensive - I so need to move to England!

Thursday we flatted.  It didn't start off very well - I felt like a D-2 but by the end, things were pretty nice.  I'm working on perfecting my half-halts.  Charlie's pretty good going to the left but going to the right, he tends to run through the half-halt a bit.  He gets a little locked in his jaw on the left.  Nothing awful, just something I need to keep after.

Friday was a dressage lesson with Carolyn.  We went to her farm where they were resurfacing the jump ring.  Charlie came off the trailer with his eyes bulging out of their sockets!  He was so amped, I could barely get his bridle on.  Bad horse!  He was a bit of a lunatic walking from the trailer to the ring as there was a ton to look at - heavy equipment all over the jump ring, some guy surveying with something that kept beeping, horses running around in turnout because the flies were horrendous up there, etc.  Getting on him was an adventure but he settled right down.  I was a bit shocked at how quickly he was willing to go to work considering how awful he had been.  We had a great lesson - Charlie was so ridable and really got down to business.  When the big tractor started up in the middle of our lesson, he didn't even bat an eyelash.  Didn't look, didn't twitch, nothing.  Just kept on trucking.  Wonder pony strikes again.  We ran through our test a few times and our homework is to try to perfect (as best we can!) our half-halt for this weekend.

Charlie (in the distance!) enjoying the lovely weather at home after our dressage lesson.

Saturday we flatted and Sunday was clinical.  I ran to the barn after clinical because, wait for was going to be cold enough for Charlie to wear a sheet!  Total and complete win!!!

Charlie Sunday night.  And yes that's my ear because I don't know how to photoshop it out!

Today was another jump lesson (I'm making up for not taking any this summer!) and we did a mini-XC school.  Banks and ditches were in order and it was awesome.  SuperMom was on the scene with video to prove how awesome my horse is.  This is the second video.  Didn't have any good video of the ditch but Amy was awesome in helping us get over it.  Charlie doesn't really have a ditch issue (or he didn't) but we tried to jump a scary one in June and I think he scared himself because he kind of helicoptered over it.  But he's no longer scared of ditches.  Yay!

No more lessons until after the show.  Tomorrow I'm going to flat and maybe do some jump poles.  Wednesday he'll get off because I have clinical, Thursday will be dressage, and Friday hack/jump.  Then Saturday and Sunday will be FENCE.  Wish us luck!

Friday, September 14, 2012

What happened to last week?

Oh my goodness!  I have been busy, busy.  School is a bit out of control and I find my time management is a bit lacking.  Here's a brief rundown because unfortunately for me, there has been little riding.

I rode on Friday but for the life of me I can't remember what we did - flat work most likely.  I showed up on Saturday morning ready to ride but Charlie walked out of the field with this.

Not sure if you can see it but the leg is swollen.  He's had this cut for awhile and I was pretty diligent about putting stuff on it and it seemed to be finally healing.  Then this.  I was really worried he might be developing cellulitis but he wasn't sensitive and he was sound.  But because I'm a horsie hypochondriac, he spent the day inside with wraps.  When I went back that evening to feed, it wasn't any better but it wasn't any worse so I tossed him out.  I had a 12 hour shift in the ER on Sunday so SuperMom was called into action to make sure he was still ok.  The little bugger was fine with zero swelling.  Of course he was, I couldn't ride on Sunday...

Monday was spent going up to North Carolina to get some hay.  Hay guy says this is the worst year he's ever seen for hay so I'll be making another trek back up to stock up on one more bale to ensure we have enough to last the winter.  I get hay that comes from the midwest because I'm scared of coastal.  Charlie will be feasting on the most gorgeous alfalfa-orchard grass mix.  It really is beautiful.

Tuesday and Wednesday was spent in clinical - 12 hr shifts.  SuperMom took care of the wonder pony for me and got him ready for me so I could sneak in a 20 minute ride Wednesday evening after clinical. She is really super!

Thursday I had a test and planned to ride after class.  SuperMom was kind enough to run out and feed him for me where she discovered him minus a shoe.  Bad pony!  I was so bummed because I had a lesson set up for today and he's going to the farrier tomorrow!  Silly horse - couldn't you have waited a day?


I still went to the barn after class so I could outfit him in a gorilla tape bootie.  The red tape is so I could find it if it fell off.  


I ordered Charlie a new bridle and made him model before breakfast hence the unhappy face.  It's not exactly what I want but Jamie at Five Star Tack is so awesome she's ordering me a nose band that doesn't have the stupid loop for a flash.  I promise better pictures when the new nose band comes in.


Charlie has to stay in tonight because we're going see Bruce, the farrier, tomorrow.  His feet have to be as dry as possible for the glue to stick.  You'll notice he's sporting a new cribbing collar cover, courtesy of SuperMom.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Half-Halts and other musings

So school this semester is no joke.  So much to do and too few hours in the day to accomplish everything that needs to get done.  Such is life.

Life has been steamy and I find that to be a serious demotivator.  I am OVER the heat.  It just needs to stop.  We just went for a walk around the neighborhood last Friday and I didn't ride Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.  Sunday and Monday were 12 hr shifts in the ER which pretty much means no riding as I have to be there by 6:30 AM and I wouldn't be able to get to the barn before 7:30 PM.  I might be able to swing a quick ride afterwards if I really feel it's necessary but it would be a quick hack as it's pretty much dark by 8:30.  I rode on Tuesday and Charlie was quite good although I forgot to drop my stirrups at the end of the ride.  Oops! Wednesday was a dressage lesson with Carolyn.  The focus of the lesson was pushing for quicker response to the half halt.  Carolyn really wanted Charlie to understand that the half halt was there to package the frame and encourage him to round his back.  My job was to keep after him to get the correct response in a timely manner.  I need to not let his fussing talk me out of getting tough.  My habit is to accept mediocrity instead of pushing through the crap to get to the good stuff.   It was, as usual, an awesome lesson.  And lucky for my, Mom came along for the ride and videoed!  Is that a word?  It's kinda long and I don't really have the time to figure out how to edit (I used to know how but I've forgotten since it's been so long!).

I took this last Thursday evening - it was a blue moon.  It was pretty clear so I'm not quite sure why my phone made it look blurry but for some reason it reminds me of van Gogh's "Starry Night".

My attempt at being artistic; I don't think Charlie appreciated it...

We jumped today and it was ok.  I really dislike jumping at home because the ring is so small (approx 30 meters x 50 meters).  I'm ok with grids or foot work exercises but whenever I try to jump singles things don't go so well.  Nothing awful happens but I just kinda suck at having a plan.  I did ride without stirrups for a little bit and did a lap around the property in my half-seat!  Yay!  Well, not really yay but you all understand what I mean.

My fitness plan isn't going so well - it's still really hot out which means I need to get up early to ride and by the time I'm done, it's too hot to do anything else.  Excuses, excuses...;)  I'll get there eventually.

Sorry this is so short but I need to hit the books.  I keep telling myself I only have about 3 months left but I have a feeling it's going to seem like forever.  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Busy little beaver

So no real update - have to study but promise one for tomorrow!  And I have video!

An oldie but a goodie - I'm fantasizing about cooler weather.