Monday, February 27, 2012

We All Fall Down

Cadence was looking a lot better after her massage.  So yesterday I lunged her, the EMT showed us a few fun stretches, and we headed out for a hike.  Cadence walked (and trotted) calmly (well... only half-crazed) along side me as she, my dog, and I tackled the semi-frozen trails in the forest behind our barn.  It was a lot of fun, an I was impressed with how well behaved the Mare Face was.  But luck and I aren't on speaking t erms right now so just as we were about to re-enter the barn Cadence decided that the trailer parked at the edge of our little parking lot was terrifying.  Naturally... I mean we've never seen a trailer before or anything like that, so of course  its absolutely terrifying.  Anyhow, we walked up to it, and I hopped onto the little ledge on the side to show her it really wasn't going to eat me.  She seemed to get the point, and once she relaxed I hopped back down again.
Now, I guess Cadence had moved on and was looking the other way/not paying attention or something, because when I got down from the little ledge/step thingy she jumped backwards.  This landed her squarely on the thoroughly water-logged lawn, which in turn caused her to slip and fall onto her left hind hip and side.  She sprung up right away, and aside from re-affirming her fear of this particular trailer, all seemed to be well.
Later on that night, I got a call from our BO.  Cadence was in a lot of pain, and although she wasn't colicing or anything she felt that the vet should be called to administer some banamine & check her over.  I assented, and said I'd be on my way ASAP.  I got there just a few moments before the vet, and when I arrived she was lying on the ground rolling in pain.  She presented like a colic, but had normal gut sounds, was not acting like it was her stomach  that was in pain, and had defecated recently.
The vet that was on call that evening was one whom I'm not particularly fond of, & her actions last night only reaffirmed those feelings.  Can someone explain to me why you'd do a rectal and check for an impaction on a mare that's defecating normally, has gut noises on both sides, and has a clear reason for being in pain?  Either way, she gave her the banamine & something for her 'colic' (which was non-existent if you ask me) and was on her way.  I can't wait to get the bill for that one.

In other less depressing news, I have some pics of Miss L.  Please excuse my attire, & hot pink camo boots.  Its cold, & they're warm... even if they are ugly.
 Lovin' the lope... look at that collection!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Massage Therapy

I'm very lucky to have a fantastic EMT (SM) who boards her & her boyfriend's horse with my mare (actually their horse is the one who kicked Cadence and led to all the fun with her leg... but after spending two hours massaging my mare yesterday all is most definitely forgiven.  My bank account doesn't feel the same way, but since when does debt ever feel good?  And once the saddle fitter comes I'm sure it won't be feeling any better.  I'm just waiting with baited breath for the day someone tells me my card's been declined.
Anywho, SM worked on Cadence for a long time yesterday and we hopefully worked out some of the sore spots.  She took body shots and labelled the sore areas & sent the pics to me.  Quite handy.  She also wrote out a full report, which has essentially saved me a full blog post!  Thanks, S!
Read on for report and pics.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Where Goes the Time?

I've been meaning to post, but I always get busy/distracted/run out of time.  Such is life, I suppose... but the guilt's been laying in & with the big events of today I figured I'd better just make time.  Who needs to study for chem anyway?

So first piece of neat news- I may have my first paid riding gig.  We'll see.  Its just one of the horses I ride every now and again, & the owner says that she can feel such a big difference every time I ride her mare, so she's hoping to work out a weekly thing.  I could use the extra cash right now... more on that later.

Second piece of news- Arty (my old pony) is now a super dressage show pony.  I took him in a show just for the heck of it, and he got 1st and 1st (out of 1 ;P) with scores of high 50's on the first test, and low 60's on the second.  Pretty damn good for a horse that's been in an indoor arena all of twice.  I liked the judge- she was critical, but I thought her critiquing was fair.  She explained where we'd lost points pretty well, and it gave me some things to think about.  Plus, she was more than happy to dock marks for him being overbent!  Not something you see often enough.

On the Cadence front, everything (save today... I'll explain in a minute) has been going fantastically.  Her dressage is feeling fantastic!  We've started doing some collection of her gaits (and some extension, but that still needs work) and she feels so lovely.  Its like floating- she's so light and responsive, and pleasant!  Her extensions are coming along, but her straightness issues tend to come through and to the left, I sometimes lose the right shoulder.  Straightness wise she's come along way.  The overbending (to ensure suppleness throughout the body, and especially neck/poll area & shoulders as those are the areas she likes to stiffen) to the right in the corners in the warm-up is perfect, so we're just doing occasional checks in with that to double check our suppleness, and are now acheiving a beautiful even bend.  On the jumping front, she's been one hot Tamale!  In our last jumping lesson (we've had 2 lessons and one individual school which ended with me free lunging her and her running for 20 minutes & jumping some of the stuff by herself) we achieved some form of calm and relaxation.  She just gets so excited!  At first I was worried it was nerves, but she quelled those suspicions for me when she free jumped herself.

In the not so good news department, Cadence came up REALLY sore in her back today.  I noticed it first when putting her saddle on- she tensed and kind of pinned her ears which I attributed to her being in heat.  She doesn't really pin her ears though, so I found that odd.  Then, when I was hopping on she pinned her ears again.  This time I attributed it to her being territorial and opinionated, as another horse was walking near us.  However, when she pinned her ears while we were trotting I nkew something was up.  She never ever pins her ears under saddle.  EVER.  She's always happy & while her ears generally face her rider, she never pins them or even puts them back.  Sure enough, when I palpated her back she was extremely sore in her loin area (near the cantle area of the saddle) on both sides of her back.  I'd been attempting to delay a saddle fitting, but it looks like it can wait no more.  So in the interum one of our boarders partner is a massage therapist so I'm attempting to get a hold of her so she can take a look at the Mare.  Massage therapy + saddle fitting?  Bring on the bills!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

An Amazing Story

I found this absolutely fascinating to watch.  I almost skipped over it, but boy am I ever glad I didn't!

Will You Be My Valentine?

This post was supposed to be up on valentines day... but apparently I missed the Publish Post button.
Valentines day, while symbolic of love and an internationally recognized holiday (even though we don't actually get a holiday for it... which isn't really fair.  If they're going to make a big deal about something the least they can do is let you have the day off) has other more important meanings- it was on valentines day in 2011 that Cadence oficially became mine.  Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'will you be mine?'  Anywho, to celebrate I stuffed her face full of apples and carrots and gave her the day off. 
In other news, Miss L has turned out to be a lot of fun.  Apparently, I have her going more like a dressage horse versus western pleasure, but she collects beautifully and sits down into a nice comfy jog without much effort at all.  Her transitions (up and down) are really improving too.  When I started riding her, her upwards transitions were nearly impossible to crank out, and were not the light and jumpy transitions I'm used to.  Down, she tended to fall through them & when  you asked for a canter- trot transition she'd fall right into a walk.  Now she moves off my leg nicely, and her canter trot transitions are smooth and flowing.  Its lovely!  I tried to get a video, but it failed miserably.  Perhaps next time?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Having Fun Hacking

The weather over the past week or so has been beautiful.  By beautiful, I mean hovering around freezing... whichi s beautiful for February in Canada!  Cadence and I have taken full advantage of this, and have enjoyed two fun filled hacks. The ground is almost totally frozen, which creates good footing because its mostly solid but there's still some give.
We went on the first hack by ourselves and Cadence was a superstar, as usual.  We made our way past the scary blowing white tarp without too much issue, and did some dressage in a little slopey meadow, where cadence tried to convince me that cantering up and down the hills was the only way to go.  No such luck mare.  From there, we headed into the forest and (accidentally) did some off roading!  Once again, I was impressed with my gall's awesomeness.  We finished by doing some more dressage infront of the cars parked in the lot, since she randomly decided that they were terrifying.  I wasn't having any of that, so we rode around them till we settled down and began listening.
Then ext hack we dragged Launa (and her leaser) along with us and had an awesome ride.  Cadence seeme to feed off of Launa's spookiness a bit, but settled enough to calm Launa down.  We lead and followed, and had quite a fun sunset ride.  It was cold though!  That was the last day of our nice weather.  Now it's well below freezzing, and tomorrow's supposed to be nicely below zero (-4) so I get to go freeze my butt off riding horses outside.  Eww.
On a positive note, Cadence and I have our first jumping lesson tomorrow.  Her cold seems to be on its way out, and she's been feeling fantastic fitness wise!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Awards & 200th Post

First off, this is Riding From The Ground Up's 200th post.  Since its a bit of a milestone, I figured I should at least acknowledge it.  Moving on.
I've been extremely remiss in my award acknowledgment/recognition/thanks!  I got an award from Dom over at A Collection of Madcap Escapades whom I dearly adore, and Elizabeth (aka STB Eventer) over at Standardbred Excellence whose collection of ponies and the fun things she does with them always make me wish I had both her willingness to just do things, and her awesome ponies!

Dom very kindly passed on the One Lovely Blog award, back in OCTOBER!  She said she was far behind... 2 weeks is nothing compared to 4 months.  Anyhow, without further ado:

11 blogs:
1- Dressage Curmudgeon (if you're not reading this blog, START!)
2- Nina's Story
3- Standardbred Excellence
4- A Horse and a Half
5- Of Horses and Boys
6- Miles on Miles
7- Beyond Ribbons
8- Song of the Black Horse
9- Jumping Percheron
10- The Trotting Post
11- Horse Rescue

7 things about me:
1- I have a weird thing about numbers.  I like them to read like a palindrome.  Hence 11 blogs, rather than 15.  I set the car radio to 11 or 22, and put things in the microwave for 2 minutes and 22 seconds.  Its actually a pretty obsessive compulsive habit... and I couldn't even tell you where/when/why I started.

2- I think if I weren't so obsessed with all things equine, I'd probably be in a band.  I adore music, but the idea of being in a band doesn't appeal to me because it means extensive road trips, which in turn means being away from my ponies for an extended period of time.  I still love music, but limit my love to listening and playing recreationally.

3- Baking is another love of mine.  While I enjoy cooking, I've always preffered baking.  I think its just because the food you bake is generally sugarier/yummier.

4- I am highly distractable, and pretty forgetful.  Hence the 4 months to post an award...

5- I own 2 dogs, 2 cats, one fish, and 7 chickens, & I originally became interested in horse back riding because of my love of animals, and the intense grace and beauty riders and their mounts seemed to possess.

6- Another love of mine is photography, but I've always chosen riding over everything else.  I've never had the money for a nice camera though, and generally resort to stealing my brothers Nikon D40 whenever I'm in desperate need.  I currently have two cannon pocket point and shoots, one that is actually a relatively nice little camera (though its difficult to access some of the shutter speed settings and such) but has an issue with the flash... it sparks and smells like sulphur whenever it is used!  So it's a video camera now.  The other's also a cannon that cost $40 and while not fancy, does the job.  I sometimes look longingly at a scene and wish I had a camera to capture it with, but I have a pony instead.

7- I have no hand eye coordination, and am a terrible clutz.  I can trip walking down a flat open hallway, and have done just that on numerous occasions.  My hand-eye coordination test results were (no joke) off the charts.  They were so bad they didn't even make it on there.  My 'sports' in school were soccer, because I could run, track and field, because I could run, and cross country... because I could run.  I used to do 800 and 1600 meter.  At 12 or 13 I could do my miles in 6.5 minutes, and was in the top 15 in the province.  I could never spring though, and would always come in dead last!  Threre's that coordination kicking in again.
Liebster Blog Award
5 blogs:
1- Dressage Curmudgeon: This blog has me rolling on the floor laughing every time I read it.  While I may not agree 100% with everything she says, a shocking amount of it rings startlingly true.  Start at the beginning, and work your way through Stephanie (AKA Ms. Curmudgeon) as she attempts to attain enlightened dressage glory... or something like that.

2- Of Horses and Boys: A lovely blog full of incredible insights into the world of dressage & the equestrian world as a whole.  I find myself agreeing with just about everything that comes out of this blog... save for the opinions about Canadians.  Plus, I do seem to recall someting about a certain little boy wanting to be a Canadian after seeing Eric Lamaze.  He knows what he's talking about ;)

3- Nina's Story: Barb and her OTTB Nina are always entertaining.  Plus, I think Cadence and Nina are related... they both seem to get themselves into an inordinate amount of trouble!

4- On Track for a CCI*: Suzie and her two amazing boys Ed and Yves continue to educate, entertain, and amuse me.  Recently her adventures starting Mr. Yves and the sport horse pedigree lessons have proved both interesting and informative.  Always a great read, even if you're not an eventer.

5- The Jumping Percheron: Always a fan of breaking the breed stereotypes, The Jumping Percheron remains one of my favourites.  Klein and Stacey continue to shatter the world of draft related stereotypes as they ride their way into eventing stardom.  Klein's cute-as-a-button face certainly helps too :)

I hope I succeded in fulfilling both the requirements for the awards (better late than never, eh?) and successfully chosing blogs that HAVEN'T been nominated yet.  If not, my apologies!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Miss L

After riding Cadence and having a quick visit with her old owner (who'd dropped in to say hello & check on how her recovery is going) I nipped home for lunch and then headed out to ride the ex reining mare.  First off, I can see why she failed as a reining horse.  She's nicely built, kind, and a sweetheart... but man is she lazy.
The ride itself went well.  We free lunged her first since she hasn't been ridden in almost two weeks, and then I got to enjoy the pleasures of lifting a western saddle onto a 16 hand horse.  Fuuun.   Miss L has spectacular stop-on-a-dime breaks, but her gas pedal's a little sticky.  After walking around & finding her whoa and go buttons... and her reverse gear... we meandered off into a jog.  She was as comfy as a couch, but I had to keep an eye on the speedometer or we'd quickly slip back to 0.  Her steering is lovely, though she likes to push through her right shoulder when tracking right.  Nothing brutal, but its there.  It's even more noticeable in the canter.  Her lope is lovely.  Like I could go all day lovely, but again- slow.  Lots of revving to make the engine go.
I'm going to try to ride her twice a week, more if possible.  It'll probably work out to Tuesdays and Saturdays, and maybe the odd Friday or Sunday thrown in.  Our first goal is to fix the issues with the gas line and get that engine going.  After that, we'll do some collection and if all goes well I'd love to take a lesson on her just for fun.  My reining training is nill, so this should be exciting!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

News, News, News

Very inventive with titles, aren't I?  It really displays my expansive vocabulary.  Anywho, I have a few exciting pieces of news on the riding front.
1)If any of you have been reading this blog for a while, you'd remember my old pony, Arty.  Well, I've had the great pleasure of being given one month's lease on him. So for one month, I have my pony back.  To chronicle our month together (yes I'm that excited about this) I've created him a blog.  Please visit One Month Makeover and check it out!
2) While at the barn playing with the pony, I was talking to one of the other boarders.  She fall and hurt her knee skiing, and will be off for the next two months.  This leaves her mare without a rider, and as her owner's incredibly picky about... everything, she didn't want just anyone on her mare's back.  I was thus honored when I was asked if I'd like the ride on her.  The mare, we'll call her Miss L, is a 7 or 8 y/o paint mix who was bred and trained as a reining horse... but is s-l-o-o-o-w.  She also has some western pleasure training, and primarily goes as a trail horse.  It should be a fun challenge.  Providing the weather is good, hopefully I'll try her out this weekend.  Fingers crossed we get along!