Friday, August 31, 2012

It's Friday!

Long Labor Day weekend ahead!  Of course, our area is predicting buckets of rain for the next couple of days.  Ruining my plans of lots of galloping track work!

So, since I am not motivated to focus on work today, thought I would do a little pedigree digging.  Always more fun than work I am getting paid to do, right?

A few days ago, behindthebitblog had a post about young ones for sale with color.  Loved this little foal so did a little looking at the sales web site.

Seems Party Favor has Rainbow in her linage - Rainbow is Riva's sire's sire. (Rainmaker is Riva's sire).  I happened on this website today
that not only highlights Rainbow, but his!  Rainmaker is on the 'kids' page - towards the bottom of the page, he is free jumping in his pic and says Young's Farm on the photo.

I think Riva looks a lot like her grandsire! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Maybe a Rest was in Order

Would never wish an injury on any horse or rider.  But it seems the time off last week did both Riva and I some good.  We went back to work Sunday evening and she feels amazing!  Lex gave us a shortened lesson, refresher on everything we had been working on before the lameness onset.  We kept the workout on the light side with frequent walk breaks.

When we started on some canter work, that is when I noticed the break may have done Riva and I a world of good.  Lex is normally after me to give Riva a good 'pony club' or 'cowboy' kick to get more speed and power in her left lead canter.  For whatever reason - I was able to do it Sunday!  I had never been able to lift both legs off her side and kick (with stirrups.  I can without stirrups)...something must have happened to my legs during their riding time off.  Not complaining!  The left lead was so nice after that - smooth, effortless, fun to ride.

Sunday night and Monday morning our area got some much needed rain...a little too much.  The indoor arena flooded and the outdoor was very soupy.  Monday evening's ride was a nice long walking hack around the property and some light trot work in the drier end of the dressage arena.  Riva offered canter a few times, but I thanked her and politely brought her back to trot.  Did not want to chance her slipping and more injury.

Tuesday's ride was smile worthy!  I warmed her up around the galloping track - which was still soft mud in spots so we ambled in and out of the just cut alfalfa field that the track borders.  Riva was so funny because she kept trying to go back to the track everytime we got off into the field - I normally keep after her to stay on the track.  She most likely did not understand why I was changing the rules!

We then schooled in the dressage arena that had been groomed so that we could use 3/4 of the arena - back 1/4 still too wet.  This worked out well as I need to practice canter at the A end - that is where we canter for Intro C.  I was so happy with our canter work!  We were consistantly getting the correct lead to the right (Win) and keeping a mostly 20 meter circle at A without Riva trying to exit the arena.  Left was even better with my new found 'pony club/cowboy' kick to keep the tempo up.  I did not go thru my test but am feeling much more confident about the canter portion.  Week from Saturday is out first of two September shows!

I have been cold hosing Riva's left lower leg after each ride just for good measure.  No swelling, heat, or lameness...just over protective horse mom.  So thankful she does not have tendon damage and very happy to be back riding!

Saturday, August 25, 2012



Had our first ride today after the week of lameness and it was wonderful!  I was so looking forward to our hack today (vet said to just hack out for the first ride) that I dreamed last night about riding.  Woke up early and convinced my loving husband to come along on a Saturday morning and take photos.  Why would you want to waste this gorgeous morning sleeping anyway?


Riva seemed happy to be out - ears forward, eager to trot and a brief canter.  Finished up with a bath and treats.  No swelling in the leg or heat, no lameness, moving just like she was before the lump appeared on her leg.


Just one issue with her limited turn out yesterday - seems a bug found her eyelid.
Kinda looks like she got punched in the eye!  Don't mind me, I look kinda mad...
Only thing Lex said when she saw this pic was 'Mom, pull her mane!'.
Life is good.



Friday, August 24, 2012

Good News!

I am a happy horse mom today!  Riva was poked, prodded, trotted up and down the lane, and finally ultrasounded this morning by our vet.  The verdict - no tendon damage showed on the ultrsound and vet said she is sound today.

After listening to what we have went thru since Sunday - the stall rest, cold hosing, wrapping, and Bute - she believes Riva most likely whacked her front leg with her back hoof either when ridden last Saturday or during turn out.  The swelling on her leg is gone, no heat, moving like normal.

The vet said to start with light turn out and light riding - ease her back into work.  I can handle that plan.  So relived that the tendons are not damaged. 

 Thank you all for your concern and well wishes. Only horse people get it!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vet Visit Friday!

Thank you all for your comments and well wishes for Riva - also for the boot recommendations!

Since Sunday, we have been following the same routine every evening:

 - unwrap the standing bandages 
 - take her to the indoor arena to access lameness
 - cold hose the lower leg for 20 minutes
 - hand graze for half hour
 - gram of Bute
 - make sure stall is super clean and nicely bedded, water buckets full, plenty of hay
 - close the half door that looks outside at the pastures
 - BO brings Riva a buddy to be stalled next to her for the night
 - kisses, hugs, and treats

Each night, we have seen improvement.  The swelling is down, no heat (but we are using poultice wraps), and the degree of lameness decreases.  As of last night, she offered trot on the lounge with about a 1 out of 5 degree of lameness.  She is acting more like her normal self again.

Even with the improvement, we decided to take her to our vet on Friday morning.  We opted to take her in to the clinic (our vet sees equines on Friday at her practice - farm calls the rest of the week) so that if an ultrasound is needed, we will be able to have it done immediately. 

Diva gets farriered this afternoon, which she was already scheduled for.  Good timing so we can make sure her feet are not an issue.

While we could keep on with stall rest, wraps, Bute, etc., I want to have a diagnosis and vet plan.  I would hate to turn her out and start back riding, only to have the lameness increase.  Hoping for the best, and not a long rehab!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lame :(

The princess is lame on her left front leg.  Dead lame Sunday - much improved Monday - yet to be seen today.  Makes me want to skip work and go sit in her stall all day.  I know there is nothing I could do, except obsessively clean her stall, keep refilling her water, make sure her leg wraps are ubber secure, mounds of hay constantly in front of the Diva crazy, more or less.  So I will wait until after work to see how my baby girl is doing. Today will be the day we decide if the vet needs called.  If she is further improved and all swelling / heat are gone, I will continue with our course of treatment.  Worse or no improvement, vet call.

Saturday, Lex had her training ride on Riva.  All went well - she did not work her excessively hard or too long.  They worked on canter mostly - getting her speed up and circling the entire outdoor dressage areana, with a few 20 meter circles here and there.  They worked on flexion - some leg yielding - some shoulder in - trot lengthening on the diagonal.  I hopped on afterwards and walked her out around the galloping track.  My oldest daughter was with us, so I gave her a pony ride on Riva also - walking only.  Showered her off and put her up - they are on night turn-out, so Riva was put out to pasture a few hours after the ride.

Sunday was to be my lesson given by Lex.  I pulled her out of the stall and thought she was walking a bit odd - but she appeared to be asleep when we arrived, so thought nothing of it.  No problems till I went to pick up her right front hoof - she did not want to pick it up and once she finally did, she leaned heavily on my husband (who stepped in when he saw I could not get her foot off the ground).  I unhooked her cross ties and walked her forward - 5 out of 5 lame on the left front. 

After a brief crying spell (so I am a tiny bit dramatic, when it comes to lame horses), Lex, husband, and BO all felt and looked at her leg.  There was a swollen spot on the inside of her long pastern and her knee looked swollen - some heat in both areas.  I took her out to cold hose the leg, gave her a gram of bute, and we wrapped her leg with poultice wraps - other leg wrapped just in cotton wraps.  We had her kept in for a night - the BO held a baby sitting gelding in beside her and she seemed pretty content when we left.

Monday evening when we arrived, Riva had managed to remove the right leg wrap but thankfully left the needed left wrap on.  After removing it, I walked her around the indoor and she was much improved - not actually head bobbing but still not 100% sound.  The swelling was way down and no heat.  Cold hosed again, more bute, and re-wrapped.  She got a new gelding buddy last night - TB who had just returned from the vet for hock injections who had to stay in for the night.

Hoping the swelling on the pastern was caused by her opposing rear hoof and we aren't looking at tendon damage.  Her appetite is normal, she was acting like her normal self by last night...probably driving everyone batty by today with two nights without turn out.  Saying a prayer that this evening brings good news.

I am doing some comparision and price shopping for boots - would like them to have some tendon support (since her knee will always be fragile) and want them to be easy to get on and off and washable.  I am leaning toward Professional Choice VenTech Sport Elite Boots - front and rear.  Any thoughts on these or another type / brand?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Comparisions, Updates, and Ramblings

My goal for 2012 was to post more pics of the Princess Diva and I am doing fairly well on that front.  Posting though...needs much work.

First things first!  Some Comparision shots: 

August 2012 -  Lex and Riva, working on flexion

May 2012 - Lex and Riva, working on flexion

March 2012 - Lex and Riva, working on flexion

I like having a record thru the blog of progress and pictures help so much!
I am looking forward to showing, twice!, in September.  We are moving up to Intro C for both shows - one in Sheridan at CAF and one in Edinburgh at HHP.  Maybe showing at Octoberfest in Edinburgh.  Just depends on how much $ we spend at Regionals in KY in October (daughter showing!).  I then plan to spend the Winter schooling to show Training Level next year.

On to Updates:
My daughter is now my only trainer.  Our plan is for her to ride Riva once a week for a training ride and give me a lesson on another day.  Depending on Lex's schedule, both may or may not happen weekly.  Lex and I really click when she gives me a lesson - even though we both are opinionated, strong willed, always get the picture.  I do take instruction very well when I respect the trainer and can see the goal and results. 

We are focusing on canter work in my lessons and schooling.  The left lead gets better everyday.  Yesterday, I schooled cueing canter all over the outdoor dressage areana - all 4 corners, down long sides, and on 20 meter circles.  I even practiced canter, trot, canter on the long sides - a first for me! 

The right lead canter is my real homework.  Riva wants to pick up left lead canter instead.  Lex worked with me last Sunday on riding a 10 meter trot circle right before asking for right lead canter - tapping with my whip to encourage the back right leg to step under.  This worked well with Lex coaching me - on my own, I struggle with this.  I found last night, by trial and error, that when I got a nice tempo on contact trot on the right lead - the right lead canter was there.

I now warm Riva up on the galloping track before most every ride.  This gives us a nice long stretch for cantering - Riva loves it and so do I.  I could not have imagined doing this last year - my confidence has increased right along with Riva's maturity.  We normally cool out with another walk around the track or out around the pond at the front of the property.

Other things we have been working on - with Lex and on our own:
 - leg yields
 - lengthening the trot on diagonals
 - walk and trot with contact - working toward canter with contact

And last, Ramblings:
My wonderful horse husband gets the first one.  He is the best, really.  Cleans my tack regularly, helps me from the ground when I ask (esp with making sure I am on the correct canter lead), is the greatest arena groomer (love that our BO lets him use the gator and rake whenever he wants), and listens to my ramblings!
Turnout at our barn is next.  Riva is in the mare pasture, has been as long as we have boarded at the current barn (3 yrs), where there have been anywhere from 2 - 5 mares at a time.  No problem with this.  Riva apparently now is the alpha, since the herd dropped to just her and one little TB.  There are 3 smaller pastures that house 1 or 2 horses at a time and some rearranging needs to be done and more mares moved back into Riva's pasture.  BO tried putting her own mare back out with Riva and the little TB and Riva ran off the BO's mare. 

BO has talked to me twice about turning Riva out with the geldings instead - large herd pastured next to the mares.  I am against this and talked with her about it last night.  My fear is she will get run by the geldings, mounted when in heat, beat up (or she will beat one of them up!) and end up injuring her knee beyond repair.  I voiced my opinion to the BO and husband is going to talk with her about it also.  I don't want to change barns - just want her to remain in the mare pasture!

Last rambling - thank you for the kind comments and congrats on my last post about my daughter showing at Second and Third Level.  Love bloggers and your support :)  Makes it so much easier to hear when a fellow competitor criticized Lex for getting scores toward her USDF Bronze Medal on a 'borrowed' horse.  Fellow competitor that Lex scored higher than, we know very well and see very frequently.  Hurtful since Lex works very hard at her riding and plans to make a career in the horse world.  Lex is thick skinned, but is only18...just dissapointing.

Ok - can't end of that note!  One more pic of my girls:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Proud of My Daughter!

Alexis had the opportunity to ride an upper level horse this past Saturday and try to earn scores toward her USDF Bronze medal.  She was entered in two - third level tests - hoping to earn at least one score towards her Bronze medal.

The two tests were scheduled for one hour apart.  After riding her first test, her trainer was able to find out her score in time to move her to a second level test instead - because her first test score was high enough to qualify.  She needed a 60% or higher and earned a 61%.
Alexis was able to score high enough in the second level test to earn that qualifier also. She came away with two qualifying scores in 1 hour...not to bad!  Her second level test score was a 64%.
Third Level - test 1:

Second Level - test 2:

Lamiro was the horse she rode yesterday - lovely 19 yr old Dutch Warmblood gelding who certainly knows what to do when he enters the ring.  I had not seen Alexis ride him till yesterday - and I had to keep reminding myself, 'that is my daughter!'  While I felt nervous enought to lose my breakfast as they prepared to enter the ring for their first test, by the second test, I was able to relax and enjoy watching.

So proud of Alexis!  Not only for earning two qualifying scores yesterday, but for how she conducts herself at a show.  She took the time to stop and chat a moment with all the competitors she knew - asking how their rides went or wishing them good luck.  She jumped in without being asked to help her trainer's daughter who was also showing yesterday - running to get anything needed, showering off horses, and making sure everyone was where they needed to be.

Also feel very fortunate that Lex landed in a place with such quality horses, generous owners, and a top notch trainrer who truely cares for her.