Monday, April 22, 2019

Everything is Broken

Or, to put a positive spin on things, "Back to Basics (Even though I feel like we never actually left them...)".

But really. Everything is broken.

Fortunately, every time I say that show season starts in just a couple weeks, a week goes by and we're still a couple weeks out. Eighteenth winter has sent us into a weird twilight zone. May 4th is approaching at some point in the near future I can say with certainty at least. It just might be snowing then as well. That leaves me with plenty of time to fix things... or everything.

current state of dressage.
this picture makes me laugh and laugh because i honestly have no idea what's happening.

Things that have gone to shit in the past fifteen seconds. Because we started out last week with some really good rides, and then towards the end of the week we couldn't horse at all. Currently the halt, the connection, the hind end, the forward, and the sideways are all missing. What can we do?

GOOD QUESTION.

i haven't broken the walk yet, praise baby jesus.

Alright, I'll stop being dramatic. Things are kind of falling apart, but we're talking #childgenius here which means I just put the pieces back together. His tummy meds have seemed to help with his general life anxiety while I'm around although BM reported that he spent one evening last week twitching out of his skin in his stall for no apparent reason so I added a magnesium supplement to his diet as well. He seems mentally able to go to work now though.

From the beginning!

The halt is a product of working on the rein back. Opie is A Good Boy at the rein back. He knows he's A Good Boy, and he knows he gets A Good Boy neck scratch every time he performs it well. Now when I ask for a halt, he pauses for a second, and then wants to show me what A Good Boy he is. Which is all well and good, but that leaves me with no actual halt. I've scrapped the rein back for now and instead have been convincing him he's An Even Better Boy when he just halts and hangs out. He's suspicious of this change, but we came up center line at the end of our ride this morning and he threw down a 10 halt. All is not lost there.

nobody can do a broken wrist like i can.

The connection is fine as long as I don't do weird things with my hands. FAT CHANCE OF EVER STOPPING THAT, DRESSAGE. Thank god for Hubby being dragged out over the weekend because I was like, "Dear fucking Christ, this has reached new levels of weird." My ride this morning was much improved when I stopped bending my poor horse's neck and steered with my legs and seat instead.

made lots of square turns at the canter today. it was clearly needed.

The hind end, the forward, and the sideways are all tied in together. None of them want to participate.

for fuck's sake, just gooooo.

He was being such a fucking slug yesterday I finally just booted him and chased him down the long side. When I brought him back to the trot, he was vastly offended but at least sort of went forward.

"lady, have i mentioned lately that you're the worst?"

Then we got into an argument about not bashing my leg into the wall. My right knee has been killing me lately. The weather has been weird and both my knees are pretty fucked up in general, but this has been some next level shit. Yesterday I was all, "Wait. This feels like deja fucking vu." Last year around this time I was dealing with massive hip pain in my right leg that went away once BM discovered Opie wasn't using the right side of his back at all and was throwing me painfully out of whack. This year it seems like my knee is being thrown painfully out of whack having to work double overtime to (unsuccessfully) try to get my horse to stop blowing through my right leg.

Bring in the sideways problem, and then bring in our friend Mr Tappy, Mr Spanky's long necked cousin.

no rail work for you

I'm not good with the dressage whip. I never use it because I've never had a horse that's taken well to its very existence. My experience with whips has been occasionally carrying a jumping bat, but beyond that I got nothing. I'm perfectly proficient with spurs, but my poor old lady knee needs some backup.

I used Mr Tappy a couple times last spring with Opie when I first started teaching him about moving over. He understood the concept, I put Mr Tappy back in my trailer, and there it remained for the rest of the year. When I brought him back out this morning, Opie was convinced the tickle on his bum was for going forward instead of over. A couple of corrections and restarts of the ask, and suddenly I had a horse stepping the hind leg over promptly. He got all the scratches and good boys, and the entire rest of the ride not only did I have over, but I also had a very easy forward. I think it's time to learn to ride with Mr Tappy more often.

not always grumpy when he has to do real work

So things are breaking, but they're getting fixed. Thus is riding horses which brings us to the age old question of why do we torture ourselves with it? I don't know, but I feel like spending more money will make me feel better! Tomorrow Dopie gets his teeth done and then he's officially set to kick off the year.

26 comments:

  1. My "dressage hands" suck also. Like, we'll have all these beautiful pictures where my posture is perfect, perhaps my mouth ISN'T hanging open for once, and my horse looks like Charlotte is riding him...but then my hands ruin the entire effing thing.

    That first picture made me LOL. You'll get the pieces put back where they need to be!

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    1. Those fuckers seriously take on a mind of their own sometimes!

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  2. I also need to start riding with Mr. Tappy instead of Mr. Spanky. Lol!

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  3. Ugh it's hard when they're really beside themselves like that. And all you want them to do is chill. I hope the magnesium supplement helps, via calm worked a little for spicy (I had a lot of advice on calming supplements). In the end none of them really worked. And some days the hamsters are running too fast in his head for him to calm down still, but for the most part he is trying to be calmer.

    What kinda grain (if any) is he getting?

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    1. Opie's generally a pretty chill dude, but this spring has just knocked his little brain out of orbit for whatever reason. Hopefully he goes back to being normal soon.

      He gets a little bit of Blue Seal CarbGuard along with his Empower Boost. Not a ton, and I don't want to jump into a total diet overhaul right before show season starts. That seems like a good way to real fuck up anything going on in his tums.

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  4. You can’t throw down the comment ‘no one can do a broken wrist like I can’ and not expect a challenge. Here, hold my beer. I AM THE QUEEN OF BROKEN WRISTS.

    Every spring I wonder if I have ever ridden my horse because clearly nothing has been remembered. You two will pull it all together. Not sure what stomach remedies you are giving him. He may need the super expensive ones. Because of course.

    Don’t worry the child genius is the in there.

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    1. LOL I stand confidently on the best at broken wrist pedestal. I will take any and all challengers!

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  5. I have a tendency to overuse my dressage whip, so I am not allowed to ride with it daily. HOWEVER I am also not allowed to NOT ride with it regularly. Which means, about once or twice a week, I bring out the whip. Bast is BAD about leaning on my left leg, and it is so helpful for getting him to stop taking all his load with his left leg, and start actually sitting on his right. Ugh. Baby horses, why you all out of balance, yo?

    That said, Dopasaurus Rex up there is still looking lovely.

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    1. Being straight in your body is the actual hardest tho.

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  6. Riding with a Dressage whip is so awkward. I suck at it too, haha.

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    1. It's definitely not an extension of my body for me. Unless that body part has the seizures.

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  7. lol my favorite (not) thing about riding is maybe the fact that.... whatever i do to solve today's problem eventually ends up morphing into its own new and exciting problem haha

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    1. also, ahem, that "Wheee!" picture lol, that basically looks like my life right now...

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    2. Riding is basically one giant never ending problem.

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  8. That first picture reminds me of a carousel horse pose that real horse people look at and are like "yeah real horses don't move like that". I guess I stand corrected!! ;-) Glad things are turning around, I'm always so impressed with your ability to work through problems that would have me totally stumped.

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    1. I don't think real horses are SUPPOSED to move like that lol!

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  9. Oh baby horses... thank goodness he's a child genius and you can put him back together again.

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  10. I cannot even with a dressage whip. It's the same reason I cannot video game. Brain cannot connect to the thing in my hand in a way that translates proper use. There is a complete disconnect somewhere in my wrist that doesn't translate. Reins? Cool. Anything extra? Nope.

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    1. I'm maybe so-so with my dominant hand, but I switched to my left hand this morning and that is a resounding NOPE NOPE NOPE.

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  11. My hands also have a life of their own - weird world. I'm glad though that things are not all lost and hey - May 4th is like real soon!

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    1. So close and yet never seeming to get any closer!

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  12. Omg. So relatable. Training horses is the worst.

    But also the best? But most days it's the worst.

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If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.