Sunday, July 25, 2010

He's a Prince

After spending the week in Kansas (I've been there so often I was "Guest of the Week), I took Splash to Patty's on Friday to try a ride.  It's been 2 weeks since his adjustment and we have been applying the Horse Butt Crunch as directed.

Verdict?  Splash is still off but is some better.  So, let cross fingers for a full recovery.  I just happened to have Pico in the trailer so I rode him for a short lesson after working Splash a bit a walk and trot (along the long sides).  Pico was spooky near the overhead door on the north side but we worked anyway - on shoulder-in and haunches-in at the trot with 10 m circles to introduce the moves.  Except for one canter depart on the wrong lead, we had some nice canter work on spiral circles in and out.

Saturday - Marsha, Patty and I carpooled to the Ida Anderson seminar (Upgrading your Judging Eye 1) sponsored by ODS at Freddie's in Sapulpa.  We spent the day listening to lecture, practicing judging tests and (of course) eating a great lunch.

The good news is that Splash would not be excused from a dressage test since he is only off in one direction.  So, I will see if Dr. Ennis thinks I can show walk/trot classes at the next show scheduled for Aug. 7 at the Rocking C.

We discussed the definition change of marks 5 and 6 - Sufficient is now 6 - as well as expanding the vocabulary for use on the 50 tests a judge would complete during a normal show day.  The tradition of making a remark on good and bad points in the big box - but NO directives and never call the horse CUTE.  So "well matched pair" is good - "nice pair" is too vanilla.  Words to use include "wishing for...." and "unfortunate break of gait or irregularity or whatever" to explain the lower mark for an otherwise nice movement.  Save use of resistance/disobedient for bucking, kicking, snaking neck, and running backwards.  

For Intro tests, "on the bit" is not required so can be rewarded but, when not done consistently, might bring score down.  Training level is scored 1/3 for "on the bit" 1/3 for geometry and 1/3 for regularity.  We reviewed the Dressage Training Scale. - from Rhythm - Suppleness - Contact - Impulsion - Straightening - to Collection; and how development of the horse starts with working trot (angle of energy 5 or 10 degrees above horizontal culminating in piaffe with the angle of energy at the vertical.  Unless the horse is 3-legged lame, use "inconsistant" or "irregular".... "today"...  Overall - an interesting view from the other side of the dressage test (in the box).

Sunday included a trip to Rita's to visit Prince and a stop at Mallory's new place to check out the arena.  Prince is getting much bigger and more beautiful every time I see him.  He is a people friendly baby and will make a great horse when he grows up.  Here's hoping for a yaya ride this week - maybe Thursday evening?  Please???

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Horse Butt Crunch

Splash update - Several weeks of supplements and anti-inflammatory and Splash was still off on the right hind end.  So, before we head to Oakridge for serious medical investigations, we tried chiropractic adjustment.

Patty recommended Dr. Jim Ennis from Arkansas and I go an appointment Friday afternoon July 9th.  My truck blew the big belt on Friday morning so wonderful Sherry took us over to Prairie Lane to meet the Doctor.  I gave Dr. Ennis the history and details of his injury in early May and Dr. E started to evaluate starting at the poll. 

Flexibility seemed good until the right shoulder and the Doc adjusted.  Then along the spine was fine until the left hip.  The right side was better and Dr. E finished the adjustment with the Horse Butt Crunch. 

HBC - Take 2 coins, press hard on both sides of the tail head and push up toward the loin.  The result is that the horse will rotate the pelvis and stretch the "lower" back.  The prescription is to apply the Horse Butt Crunch daily and when grooming to ride.  Also, no lounging; work on straight lines rather than circles.  Mostly walking with short trot segments. 

So, immediately after the adjustment, we rode a bit and Splash seemed better.  Our arena was to soggy from all the rain - so no ride on Sat.  I rode a little on Sunday afternoon before I headed off to Kansas for the week. 

Stay tuned to see if this treatment helps - I will get another appointment in early August as a follow-up.

In other news...  After the rainy week following the 4th of July, our hay guy got cutting when the weather looked clear for a good 4/5 day stretch.  Steve and Kale got the first truck load Wed evening and planned to pickup a load Thurs morning and the get the bulk of our hay Thursday evening after dinner.  As the grill was ready for cooking, a huge storm blew in and Steve, Kale and Alex scrambled to get the hay in time.  The hay was on both trucks and the trailer as the rain started and the crew covered with tarps and backed a truck into the barn as the sky opened and the deluge began.  So, Friday the tarps came off and the hay dried mostly.  Then, the vortex caused by hay almost dry enough to stack in the barn, another storm blew in and the tarps came out again.   Sat. and Sun. were dry and most of the hay is now in the barn, but about 30 bales are still wet and out in the sun to try to save them. 

The 4-H show on Sat. was the fastest show on record.  The kids were excused from hot show cloths and got to show in T-shirts and jeans.  Classes ran so fast, we were done by 1pm and I got to go to lunch after dropping horses and kids by the house.  We did start early and the judge skipped rail work at every opportunity.  Wish they were all like that.  Ivy won the hunter hack class and beat Alaina in western classes when Sunny dropped gait - Alaina beat Ivy in the English classes since freako-Pico was afraid of the new BIG RED tank at the end of the arena.  They had a good time and really liked the casual show attire and Alaina won reserve high point for 9-11.

With rain Thurs/Friday, the arena was soaked.  Finally got a chance to check on Splash this evening.  So, wiped sweat off to saddle and applied the HBC and worked a bit.  I really couldn't tell how he was since the arena is to short and uneven to really try to trot straight.  So, we will cross fingers for improvement on Sat. at the next party lesson.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day Update

OK, I am dependent on the soundness of my horse for my equine therapy and my horse is still OFF on the right hind.  Here we are 2 months after the clinic at Prairie Lane where poor Splash dropped his hind end into an unsoundness of the arena and started this sad episode.  We have been to Shipman and completed the specified cure - at this past Sat. lesson, Splash is not cured.  So, I rode Pico for the lesson and Alaina worked Sunny on Trail obstacles.

After 2 months without riding, I got sore (it's a good sore) and Pico got worked a bit.  With the 4th of July pyrotechnics having worked Pico into a spooky frenzy, the layout of the trail obstacles and the gutter noises from the steady rain combined to make focus difficult for poor Freako-Pico.  But, with Patty's help, we rode circles between B and E to the inside of cavalletti poles alternating with work over the poles.  Pico was very tense and particularly difficult to the right past the 'fan' poles setup and the open door to the north.  We worked to bend away from the distraction and managed to improve and canter both ways. 

Pico really likes leadership from his rider and his personality changes.  During tack-up, he always lays his ears back and acts like he could get ugly.  After being ridden, he LOVES me.  It is fun to dominate.

Alaina and Sunny had some good work despite the rain.  They worked on basics as well as the fan trot-over, canter cavelletti, barrel/cone back-through, and the dreaded 'T' side-pass.  Only one cone was killed and the pair worked the T really well.  Alaina is excited to work trail because of her 3rd place success at State.  Ivy stayed home with a lameness issue of her own.  After the lesson, Larry joined Alaina, Patty and me for lunch at Graham's with Nancy and Carol.

So, the next step is to get Splash to a chiropractor and if that doesn't help, the long trip to Edmond appears to be the following step.  Cross fingers and toes that we can work through this problem or who knows what additional problems may arise for me without my equine therapy.....