Monday, April 30, 2012

Rolex 2012: Dressage Day 2

Just a few more dressage pics, this time from Friday.  Once again, I have pictures of everyone.  So if there's a specific horse or rider, let me know.  The ones I've posted were randomly selected, because I don't think anyone wants to see all 1 000 pictures :)  Cross country's up next!
 Allison Springer and Arthur

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rolex 2012: Dressage Day 1

I managed to procure a nicer camera for myself... my old point and shoot conveniently died (the screen now displays only multicoloured lines) 1 week before Rolex.  So I persuaded someone to lend me their Nikon D40 I beleive.  Either way, it's been fantastic & I managed to organize the nearly 700 photos I took into individual folders for each rider.  Here are a few randomly selected samples.  If anyone has a specific pair they'd like photos of, let me know.  I managed to catch at least a part of every single test, and thus have pictures of all.
 Will Coleman and Twizzel 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On Lessons and Laziness

Saturday: Cadence and I had an awesome lesson.  Started to work on transitions again, and did a wee tiny bit of collection in the canter to improve her anter-trot transitions.  Her trot (and canter for that matter) have remained light and relatively relaxed, and she's been going beautifully & sans clammer 100% of the time.  Her trot-stretches still suck, but she's nice and supple (and sensitive... no grabbing/laying/ignoring going on) for her walk stretches.

Sunday: The Mare got the day off.  I came out to walk her & check her back, & all was well.  We went for an in hand hack through the corn field, and had a total spaz attack because one of the boarder's trucks was parked in a different spot.  A sure sign of the apocalypse...

Monday: Since all was well with Cadence's back, we went ahead with out plan to start jumping again.  Unfortunately, we could NOT have picked a worse day to start jumping again.  The wind was blowing at a gusty 50 miles/hour, which was causing the three big doors on the arena to bang and creak.  They had been opened because we'd been having such nice weather, but that meant they were only loosely chained shut... and thus the banging and creaking ensued.  To make matters worse, a few pieces of aluminum siding on the doors had started to come loose, & with the bad weather the BO was only able to do a temporary fix.  Thus, the noise built.  So with all that going on, I tacked Cadence up complete with a standing martingale (just to be on the safe side), and a fly veil to (in theory) muffle the noise.  I lunged Cadence briefly, and as she appeard calm, I hopped on.  Let the games begin!  Actually, the games never really started.  It was as if I'd forgotten to light the torch, or had thrown a bucket of ice cold water on top of it.  Banging doors and creaking metal could have been butterflies and daisies.  Actualy, the latter would probably have been scarier.  Either way, Cadence was so calm she didn't even bother lifting her feet over the small cross rail I'd set up to warm up over.  She went so far as to seem insulted by its insignificant size.  After a few more tries (I had to make sure that her lackadaisical jump wasn't an anomaly) I relented and set up a tiny 2' vertical.  She hopped merrily over this, and was so chill with it we even tried it in the canter.  That was a little more... exciting, and in typical Cadence fashion she grabbed the bit and dragged me to the fence.  We worked a little on settling that, and called it quits.  Overall, I couldn't have been happier with our ride!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back...

... or so the saying goes.  It certainly feels like its ringing true for us right now.  Cadence has been building her muscle  back up at a shocking pace.  In two short weeks, her neck has muscled right back up & I'm starting to notice more defenition in her hind end too.

However, two things have been plaguing me.  First off, Cadence's bad leg (the one that always seems to puff up if her legs are going to be up for whatever reason) has been up a bit these past two days or so . So after our ride tonight (for which it was encased in a polo for support and a bit of warmpth) I iced the leg before rubbing it down with Green Cool and putting her away for the night.  As I'm at the clinic tomorrow, I won't be able to see if there's any improvement, but my coach has agreed to take a look at her tomorrow and let me know if her leg's still up.  Unfortunately, Cadence's back seemed a little sore tonight as well.  I can't tell if its because of her cycle (yay for raging spring heat!) or if its because of the work.  Either way, I'm out to ride her this morning after she had yesterday off.  Cross your fingers & lets hope it was just spring mareishness that caused the soreness symptoms.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone has enjoyed their bank holiday weekend, and  taken full advantage of the chocolate and sweets that tend to be associated with holidays like this!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I lied...

...I said I would post a video of Cadence being a wingnut, and I just haven't had the chance.  She's doing wll though, and on Friday we cantered again.  Her canter was good (though she bucked when we cantered left.  I REALLY hope she hasn't realized she can buck- I want to keep her using that nice short back of hers for good, not evil) but she was a little frazzled... or as some may refer to it: insane... after the canter.

Today's ride was a little more challenging, because whilst we were having our lesson (in the outdoor) the people who own the farm were taking their pool down.  Oh, and there was a horse eating death machine wood chipper parked near the ring.  Which was naturally tantrum worthy.  The lesson went well though, and allowed us to put some meaningful corrections in place.  Afterward, Cadence got bathed, trimmed, clipped, and shined within an inch of her life.  After shampooing, brushing, show-sheening, and braiding her tail, I turned the mare back out.  HOPEFULLY I'll return to a happy, healthy, not sore mare with a gorgeous tail on Monday.  In reality, she'll probably be sore and have rubbed her tail into smithereens.  Chances are I'll probably give in to temptation and go take her tail out tomorrow when our Easter company leaves.

In other news, I managed to break my foot Thursday night.  I broke my 5th metatarsal on my right foot getting into a fight wit the door-frame.  My foot came out a lot worse than the door-frame, unfortunately!  I thought I'd just burst a blood vessel, but when I mentioned this to my dad (who is an emerge doc) and asked him to take a look at it, he informed me I'd broken the bone.  Apparently its pretty easy to do.  It didn't hurt that badly... and was fine with only a wee tiny bit of pain when I walked on it.  However, over the past 2 days I've ridden 5 times & spent a lot of time on my feet.  Apparently, the bone doesn't like that and is now much more sore.  Ah well, it has tomorrow to heal, & I only have one horse Monday.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Calm to Crazy

That pretty much sums up my past two rides on The MAre.  Sunday Cadence's old owner came down to see her baby, and we had a lovely visit.  Cadence was calm, relaxed, and light in the contact.  Yippee!  I took the clammer out about half way through the ride, and Cadence carried on as if nothing had changed... just as light and soft (and calm!) as before.  Just the results we were hoping for.  Our rehab schedule said 20 minutes of w/t in frame, no collection.  She seemed to handle everything well, and the back still seems to be in good shape.

Today was a different story.  We were aiming for 30 minutes of w/t today, heavy on the walk.  It was gorgeous and warm out, and there was a lesson going on in the arena (with a horse that Cadence doesn't get on well with) so we decided to ride outside.  Seems like a good decision, but just before I hopped on the hay truck pulled in.  The hay truck is a big pickup (loaded up with hay) towing a big (HUGE) red trailer... also loaded up with hay.  The mare thought this was terrifying, and spent 10 minutes trying to trample me & perfecting her piaffe spooking.  Then when we'd regained some semblance of control we went out & circled the rig.  She happily munched hay straight from the trailer, but was still strong & jumpy.  We headed back into the ring & mounted up.  The first 10 minutes were spent attempting to walk (and failing miserably...) then when we'd gotten 10 steps in a row, we tried the trot.  Essentially, the whole ride was spent trying to calm her down and get her head 'back in the game'.  Unfortunately, when trying to wind down a hot headed energetic youngster while staying with in the confines of your rehab schedule, it rarely works.  She was evading me by curling up (which she has only done once or twice before... ) tossing her head, grabbing the bit (I was glad I had the clammer) and barging off into the trot or canter.  It was frustrating to go from having such good productive rides on Saturday and Sunday to this, but I know that this was not my mare & this was just one of those days.  Hopefully tomorrow I'll have my calm, light, sensitive, relaxed mare back.

Unfortunately, after Sunday's superb ride I decided to bring out the video camera.  I'll post the footage tomorrow probably, and you can judge for yourself.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Stages of Procrastination

Sometimes it feels like this is the story of my life...

P.s. if anyone has a degree in music history, want to help me write about the influences of the church in baroque versus classical music?  I'd sure appreciate it...