|emergency sunday text to farrier: plz come fix my horse. again. he's lame. again.|
We had a great lesson on Thursday where BM helped us put the canter back on track--literally the track instead of fishtailing all over--but more on that in a second. He had Friday and Saturday off because Rolex, and then I got on him Sunday afternoon. He felt fine at the walk, but as soon as he stepped into the trot he immediately felt not right.
I let him keep going for a few minutes, playing around with the loosening exercise we'd worked on Thursday to see if he'd work out of it as Farrier and BM both think there's a chance he could just be body sore.
He's not. I mean, he might have some aches and pains here and there from being a hard working mother fucker, but he's not lame in one front leg or the other because his ass needs a stretch. He continued to be lame, and when I started to pick him up and put him on a shorter rein, he started head bobbing. I quit there and sent a text to Farrier that he needs wedges put back on. She'll be out Wednesday to do that, and he'll start a new supplement that day as well. Feel how you will about supplements. If I don't see them working, they get pulled. If I see a change, I'm a believer.
|looks like a sherman tank thanks to cocosoya and tri amino.|
looks like ten different horses because shitty conformation.
I feel like a crazy person. Okay, no, I don't feel like that. I feel like people think I'm a crazy person because he'll be sound a week straight, and then he'll be off, but not so off that it's really noticeable unless you're me whose been riding this horse since his very first time under saddle and can tell when he's feeling uncomfortable and where it's coming from. I know when he's out behind, I know when he's just stiff, and I know when he's giving me the same feeling he gave me last year when I spent $1k+ on x-rays and outside diagnostics and fancy fucking shoes to make him sound again.
In short: JUST LET ME BE THAT CRAZY OWNER THAT WANTS TO SHOVE MONEY AT YOU TO MAKE MY HORSE FEEL BETTER.
|sirens and horses walking past make ears up a breeze|
So. Anyway. Let's talk lesson.
Starting from the trot, BM had me, as always, with my reins almost to the buckle. She's big on letting the horse take the stretch as far down as he can without any restriction. So that there's no one second of resistance before I can react and let out more rein, I have to work with the longest reins on the planet. This is exceptionally hard for someone like me who lives off of being grabby and micromanaging, but I'm getting there. It's making me ride off my seat and leg way more, and it's making me put an outside rein half halt through that leaves a lasting impression since it's so fucking awkward to finagle my body parts into position to ask for it.
Our trot work was spent on one exercise to get him loosened up and working with a good bend since I'd asked that we really tackle the canter work. She had me leg yield Bobby over to the inside track focusing less on how much he stepped over--it could be an inch as long as he shifted his back--and more on keeping him straight in his neck and head. Then I had to catch him with my inside leg and as we came into the corner shift him into a deep inside bend for the short side.
|LOOK AT MY LOOPY INSIDE REIN.|
LOOK AT IT.
It was both easy and hard. He was better to the right, to the left he started off wanting to jet off once he hit my inside leg so we kept missing the bend in the corners because I had to half halt him to bring him back instead. We got it though, and he was certainly feeling free and bendy by the time we struck off into the left lead canter.
The left is the better direction at the canter, but it's still not great especially since he likes to ride the change train that direction. He's getting to that point that green horses reach: Where he thinks he has the answer to everything but he doesn't actually know anything. Only instead of being green to the world, he's green to the beginnings of all the upper of the lower level tricks. "Flying changes? I can do those, so easy. Half pass? Why didn't you just say so? Oh, you didn't say so? Here it is anyway."
BM right away pointed out that he likes to park his right shoulder out making it sit a good two inches lower at the canter. He's bending, but he's not lifting the outside shoulder which is the cause of why he feels so crazy weird--stiff as a board, and yet loosey gooseying all over the place.
That carries over to the right lead as well--different shoulder, but same problem.
She put us on a circle to the right--we were able to get it fixed going straight to the left--and told me to think of riding a pirouette canter. I was like, "LOL, who the fuck do you think we are, BM?" But the idea was that the inside rein is the open door, the outside rein is the closed door, and the hind end really has to sit and push to give the shoulders the room to move up and out of the way. Since we're obviously nowhere near ready to ride a fucking canter pirouette, it was channeling that canter for a few strides and then letting him open up and go forward for several strides and then right back in again.
I had to work hard on remembering to push him over with my outside thigh instead of pulling him in with my inside rein ("Don't do inside rein! If you ever want to really fix this, stop touching your inside rein!"), and sitting on my inside seat bone to get the bend.
|proof my horse can dink around with no inside rein yanking. |
ughhhhh, trainers being right is the worst.
Through this all, every break we gave him he went right down into a deep stretch. We're working so hard lately that he's learning to take his stretch breaks very seriously when he gets them. I hope this carries over to our tests as well as free walk has always sucked for him.
This morning he was sound. Of course he was. I did the same warm up from our lesson and had great results. He remembered how to horse at the canter, and then we rode through 2-2. I'm doing 2-2 and 2-3 in two weeks so I figured I'd better remember how the tests went.
Very happily he stayed in the counter canter! I probably overrode the bend to hold it, but oh well. We also had to throw in a little canter half pass to scoot over to E quick enough once, but no change once we hit the wall! He was cool, calm, and not at all offended by my legs being on him to ask for the change of bend on the little loopy circle things at X between SI and travers.
PLEASE BE THIS NORMAL (SOUND) HORSE AT SHOWS, BOBBY!!!!