Monday, February 10, 2014

Foamy Face

I got to the barn yesterday to take Bobby's wraps off his hind legs and was horrified to find that he looked like he'd trampled someone to a bloody pulp overnight. His front hooves were covered in frozen blood and his ankles were puffy.


Apparently he'd gotten scraped up just above his hooves on all four legs while out in the snow on Saturday. I cleaned him up with warm water and looked for any serious damage, but everything seemed to be in order. He was pretty stiff and sore from working so hard and not being able to walk it out overnight. I gave him a little Bute with his dinner and out he went.

This morning he came out as good as ever which was nice because some strange juju had overtaken me and I was dying to do a dressage school. He got a beast of a currying and a long longe to help get rid of any lingering stiffness, and his bumbling body definitely appreciated it. Once I got on, he was willing to go forward and really swing through his back.

I, however, was dying. It's amazing how easy it is to lose fitness when not riding every day. Or maybe that's only me. Maybe I should stop eating all the marshmallows out of my giant box of Lucky Charms and start doing more squats. Better yet, maybe I should eat my marshmallows while doing squats! I'm going to patent that workout. Who wants to hire me as their personal trainer?

maybe someone should buy me another equiciser.
ah, the days of being a buff anorexic. 

Anyway, I really focused on sending Bobby forward without letting him dump his front end into my hands. Bobby was being very generous today and was willing to work with me. His warm up trot work was completely satisfactory, and while he wanted to get quick after a canter, he was very responsive to half halts.

I let him have a long walk break while I memorized the Training B test and double checked that the new Training A test is exactly the same as before. We ran through Training A quickly before doing Training B for the first time. We ran into problems as soon as we hit the walk work. It comes up very quickly, it's short, and it's crammed into a small pattern. From a lengthened canter on a circle, you trot at M, walk at C, free walk from H to B, walk from B to F, trot at F, canter at K. That's not a whole lot of room in a small arena.

Bobby's free walk is really coming along, but as soon as I went to shorten my reins he bounced into the trot. I brought him back to the walk, but then he wanted to canter off when I asked for the trot. He got frazzled that he wasn't getting it right so by the time we actually got to the canter, he was too tense. He blew out sideways on the 15m circle and got a little hoppy so I brought him back down to the walk. I walked him all the way back to C and we tried the sequence again. He was much better this time around now that he knew what he was supposed to be doing and we carried on with no problems until we finished the canter and had to do a stretchy trot circle.

There was no stretch to his circle and it was done at mach speed. Then he tried to canter across the diagonal for his trot lengthening. So we went back and redid that sequence too with better results. His halt was straight and square and I made a big fuss over him, but I did want to do it again.

The second time through, we didn't have to repeat a single thing. He was soft and round and his ears were flopped sideways and listening. No rushing through the walk, no drifting in the canter, and I slowly fed my reins out to him for the stretchy trot which he seemed to understand better causing him to keep his rhythm.

All said and done?

very successful ride.


  1. I too want an equicizer. Too bad you don't live closer we could maybe have joint custody? lol

  2. Marshmellows and squats...I'll buy in.

    1. Oh, me too!
      I also want in on joint custody of the equicizer!!
      PS - At the Pony Cup, Hilda Gurney said that ALL of us needed to follow our horses way more with our hands in the free walk, even if they are on a loopy rein. No kidding, our free walk scores went up an entire point the next day!!

  3. My monsters have a tendency to get cuts and scrapes on the coldest days of the year and the fozen blood makes it look like it is a giant gaping wound pouring out blood... Upon further investigation...a tiny scratch.

  4. I definitely like the sound of the marshmallow squats. What is it about Lucky Charms marshmallows that make them so addicting? They aren't even real marshmallows!!

    Yay for the good ride!

  5. Oh man. That free walk to medium walk transition always got me. Bloody jiggy anticipating horses!
    I don't know what an equiciser is, but I want one.

    1. An equiciser is an equestrian torture device. The neck moves up and down as you push it, hovering above its ugly barrel back. You don't think it will give you a work out until a few minutes in and you realize you're about to DIE.

  6. Yay! Glad to hear that you and the Bobs miiiiiight be back on the same team again :)

  7. Ooooh. I'd so go to the gym if they had an equiciser.


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