Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Miss Cinderella

I have thought about giving Riva a show name for the past year.  I have come up with lots of possibilities, but have not decided on one yet.  Yesterday afternoon, I came up with yet another one...

    Miss Cinderella   

Yes, she lost her most expensive custom made right front shoe!  The good news - her foot was not damaged, looked like it just dropped the shoe.  Bad news - shoe was not in her stall, nor the indoor arena, nor hanging on her stall door.

So, husband & I set off into the mare pasture to see if the missing shoe could be located.  This is about a 5 acres pasture, that has not been mowed for awhile.  Lots of nice, lush grass.  We walked for about 20 minutes - and my husband found it!!!  Just after he had said for the second time, "this is a waste of time, we are never going to find it".  :)

Now I am waiting on a call back from our farrier as to when he can get out to put the shoe back on.  I am on summer break from my job, so at least I am available anytime to meet him at the barn.

So the unexpected shoe loss nixed my plans I had for last evening to take the girl for a nice long hand walk around the hayfield and property.  Had to settle for a good grooming, fly spray, and treats.  

I did ride her for about 20 minutes on Sunday afternoon, at our prescribed walk pace, in the outdoor dressage arena.  I rode most all of the ride without stirrups and worked on using my seat and legs to steer and stop.  Short ride because the BO decided to let horses out early for the night and she was waiting on me.  I rode again on Monday evening for about 30 minutes - walk again in the outdoor dressage arena and a little around the property.

Both rides she was well behaved and listening.  She seems to enjoy the rides outside.  Friday is the day I am to call her vet with an update and to see if we can up the amount of days she can be ridden and if we can add trot.  Keeping fingers crossed!  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

IDS Dressage Show

Lex and Hennessy had a wonderful show experience yesterday...
     1.   Hennessy was very well behaved - no stall walking (which is his show vice)

     2.  Weather was gorgeous  (seems to always be cold and or raining when we go to Edinburgh)

     3.   Lex received her highest Dressage tests marks ever

     4.   First blue ribbon in Dressage for Lex (and she got two!)

Here are some pics from yesterday -

Getting ready to go work on the lounge line

Waiting their turn - Lex waiting until the last possible second to put on her coat :)

After the first test - Traing Level Test 1 (first time to show at this level)

Pretty Henny - looking good in blue

A happy girl - and VERY sunburned (note to show mom - remember the sunscreen next show!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Second Re-Hab Ride

Last evening was our second ride since the vet released Riva to begin under saddle work again.  But first, she had her appt with our farrier.  Vet would like to keep for on a 4 week trim/shoes re-set cycle.  Farrier will be on vacation next week, so I had her seen at 3 weeks.  Our farrier was very pleased with Riva's progress - he had to expand the bar shoe on her club foot, as her foot had spread.  Trimmed a bit off the heels on the right foot.  Trimmed and re-set the left foot and trimmed the back feet.  She will be seen again in 4 weeks and at that time, I will have her back feet re-shod.  Forgot the camera...will try and remember tonight to take updated feet photos to post.

I had my husband put Riva on the lunge so our farrier could watch her trot.  He rated her as less than a .5/5 to the left and not ratable to the right.  He is very happy with her progress in this amount of time.  And he thought she over all looks and acts much more comfortable.  Riva stood the best she ever has for her farrier work - no naughtyness what so ever - yeah!!

After the farrier left, I groomed and tacked her up.  She was a bit jumpy in the cross ties - kept dozing off and then would startle at noises.  So I started off riding in the indoor.  Riva was not at all happy about this and had to be growled at a bit to keep moving and listening.  After she started moving out better and behaving, I rode her to the outdoor dressage arena to continue with our walk.  She was a bit looky on the first lap around the ring, but then settled, dropped her head and I was able to ride her on the buckle the entire rest of our ride.  I also dropped my stirrups and worked on turns with my legs and body only - no reins.  Riva respond very well to this.  I am hoping that I will be able to lower my stirrups by the time we are given the ok to start trot work again.  My stirrups already felt too short when I put my feet back in to walk back up to the barn.

Hoping to give Riva a much needed bath this evening and get the trailer ready to haul our daughter's horse to Edinburgh for her dressage show on Saturday.  We will haul the trailer home for the night and go to get her and her horse on Friday evening.  Supposed to be good weather for Friday and Saturday - cool, sunny, sounds good to me!  Going to be a long day Sat - her dressage times are 10:51 am and 5:04 pm.  Upside is I will have lots of time to watch other riders.  Next best thing to getting to take Riva and compete is spending all day learning from others.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

There is something about the outside of a horse

...or in my case, there is something about the back of a horse that is good for the inside of a woman.  I got to see those cute fuzzy ears from the back and hug my girl after a long walk from the saddle :)  I had my first ride on Riva, last evening, for the first time in over a month and it was great!  We walked, and walked, and walked some more.  Spent about 45 minutes riding her in walk.  We spent half the time in the indoor arena, then went out to the outdoor dressage arena.  She was relaxed and moving nicely.  Another rider was in the indoor and everytime we passed the pair, who were working mostly at trot and canter, Riva would ask "can I go faster too?"  Not yet girlie.

After our walk, I brought her in to untack and took her back in the indoor with her halter and lead to check her gait.  Husband watched me hand trot her twice down the long side of the arena and she was moving well - no lameness...thank goodness!

Will ride again Wednesday after the farrier sees her.  We are to stay on a 4 weeks cycle with the farrier for now.  He will be on vacation next week, so we are having her seen a week early.  Then, probably no riding until Sunday.  Daughter has a dressage only show in Edinburgh on Saturday.  Her trainer, who she is working for, is not showing this weekend (scribing instead).  So, we will be driving up to get daughter and horse to haul them to the show on Friday evening then back to trainer's on Sat. night. 

I was pretty bummed about not being able to show Riva - had planned to show whenever daughter did this season.  But I am so thankful Riva is improving and know that we have years ahead to show.  Just loving being back up on my girl.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Good News!

Today was Riva's vet re-check.  She has been in her new shoes for 2 1/2 weeks.  Our vet had me first free lunge her in the round pen at trot.  She explained today that during a lameness exam, she watches each foot for 5 beats.  When the vet watched her a month ago - she scored her as a 4 / 5.  Today, she scored the right front as a 0/5 and the left front as a .5/5.  Vet was happily surprised that Riva has improved so dramically in a month's time.  She then checked Riva's feet and was pleased with the trim and shoeing - just the way she had discussed treating her with our farrier.

So - the new plan is I can start riding her, just at a walk, 3 times a week for an hour each time.  She recommend nice long outdoor hacks, whenever possible.  I can also free 'lunge' her, at a walk, in the arena, with brief amounts of trotting down the long sides only.  She wants her feet trimmed and shoes re-set in 1 1/2 to 2 weeks - with re-shoeing every 4 to 5 weeks.  I am to call her with a phone progress report in 2 weeks and then she will decide if we can start trotting under saddle, riding more often, etc.

VERY PLEASED to hear all this!  No tears on the ride home today :)  And Riva was very good girl - she was well behaved while we waited about an hour to be seen by the vet - hopped right on the trailer to haul home - walked calmly off the trailer once arriving home to settle in her stall with some treats and hay.

Looking forward to riding her again - most likely on Sunday afternoon or evening.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Show Mom Once Again

My daughter evented at Centerline Stables in Greencastle on Saturday.  We met her and her trainer at the showgrounds on Friday evening so that Lex could come home for the night.  We watched them school on Friday evening, then took her out to dinner, to Walmart for a few supplies, then home for her to spend the night.  She talked pretty much non stop about what she has been doing while at her working student position.  It is evident from listening to her, and hearing the enthusiam in her voice, that she is loving this 'job'. 

A storm came thru Greencastle on Friday night/early Sat. morning, so we arrived at the showgrounds on Sat morning to find lots of large limbs down and a wet sloppy warm up arena.  They were still able to have the jumping and cross country, as planned, outside, but moved the dressage to the indoor.

This was Lex's first time to compete Beginner Novice - jumps at 2'6" and the Beg Novice Test a.  Dressage was first - they are improving and she was happy with her score.  They were 5th out of 9 at the end of dressage.

She had about 4 hours to wait for stadium jumping.  She walked the jump course and the cross country with her trainer and a few other people.  The stadium jumping is in the grass - no fence enlosing - and consists of 8 jumps.  Lots of tight turns and strange lines.  Cross country has 14 natural jumps - lots of logs, ditches, banks, barrels filled with flowers, tires, one water obstacle to go thru, and covers a lot of area.  There are different directions that they can have to go.  One jump in particular many people were a bit worried about - looked like a big wooden planter box with evergreen limps sticking up out of it. 

Lex and Henny went to stadium jumping at their appointed time and Henny stopped at jump # 2 - never has he stopped at a jump on her. Lex turned him around, popped her on the but with her bat, and over they went!  Henny also caught one rail and knocked it down - which is very unlike him.  But they made it thru!

On to cross country - and I have to admit I was a bit of a worried mom - but did not let on to Lex.  Off they went and we could not see them after the first jump - we stood and waited for them to come home - course is supposed to be done in 4 minutes.  We saw them come cantering back and the smile on Lex's face said it all - she was loving it!

They were in 3rd after stadium and moved down to 4th after cross country.  He did not miss or refuse anything on cross country - but they had an over time fault.  I was so proud of Lex!  She is WAY braver than her mom :)

Getting ready to head to staduim and cross country jumping

Waiting her turn to stadium jump

Warm up for jumping

After cross country

A sleepy Hennessy and a happy Alexis

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lesson on Sampson

Had a great lesson tonight with my barn owner on her sweet guy Sampson.  He is awesome, very forgiving, but most definitely lets you know if you are not asking correctly.  We only worked at a walk - 20 meter circles, then 15 meter circles, then some serpentines.  I was able to have a lesson, for the first time, that was strictly about me.  One of my biggest obstacles to overcome is learning to relax and flow - from my calves up to my hands.  Here is a bit of video from our lesson:

Lesson on the Big Guy tonight

Really looking forward to my lesson on Sampson tonight with my BO.  We are going to work on walk, trot , my riding position, tools to incorporate when I am able to ride Riva again.  Need to remember to have hubby take some video.

Lex has a show this weekend - eventing, her first time competing Beginner Novice.  She has been schooling 3' courses at her trainers the past few weeks, so she feels confident going 2'6".  Hoping it doesn't scare mom!  Lex had one bad fall last summer while schooling at home.  Since then, we purchased a different jump saddle for Henny and she feels much more secure - good knee blocks do wonders!

Hoping for decent weather on Friday and Saturday for Lex's show.  The place she is showing is really pretty - nice cross country courses.  If it rains, they will switch to indoor and just do combined training.

A few pics when Lex competed there last year. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A short ride on the semi retired guy

Poor Cheers...I bet he hopes I am able to ride Riva again soon and let him get back to retired life!  I decided I better get a little riding in before my lesson on Thursday, or I am going to be sore. 

So hot last evening that I skipped hand walking Riva.  Just pulled her out of her stall, groomed her and fly sprayed her thoroughly.  Put her back with some treats and hay.

Husband helped me tack up Cheers and coached me a bit.  Lucky for me, Cheers was most agreeable last night.  We did a lot of walk - halts - walked over a few ground poles.  I asked for trot - he trotted a few steps and asked "do I really have to do this?"  Yes - you do!  He tried a few times to stop and refuse to move forward.  I just keep squeezing with both legs until he moved forward and he gave up the balking.  I got some nice trot and leg yield at trot before I finished up.  Just had to remember to keep a firm leg on and lots of praise.

I do love Cheers but can not wait until Riva is ridable again!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Not Much To Tell...

Riva has had her new therapeutic shoes on her a week now.  So far, so good - still on her feet!

I have went out to see her most every day - just to groom and take her for a hand walk outside.  Yesterday, she was so dirty, sweaty, and smelly that she got a good bath in the wash rack.  Last summer, I could not even get her in the wash rack - all her baths were outside.  This summer, she has walked right in to the wash rack and stood, somewhat patiently, for baths.  I have, so far, faced her to the wall while my husband held her for me. Yesterday, I turned her around and put her in the cross ties.  I did have my husband stand in front of her while I washed her.  She did fine - a bit of pawing and moving her haunches around - but definitely progress!

Before the bath, I took her for a hand walk around the hay field.  The path has a nice size hill at the back, so Riva has to walk up or down hill, depending on which way we go.  We went the up hill route.  She had to be stopped and told to back up a few times, but otherwise did great.  Of course, she thought the bugs were going to carry her away - despite the fly spray!

I miss riding - and feel so out of shape already!  I am going to take a lesson from our BO, on one of her horses, on Thursday.  He is a big guy - some kind of a draft cross.  Really looking forward to some saddle time.