Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day and Dressage Show at the Rocking C

Friday evening, the Orban girls washed (water tortured) their mounts in preparation for the Rocking C dressage schooling show. They clean up well if a bit unwillingly.

Ivy and Alaina both rode in Pri Caprilli; Alaina added Training 1 and Ivy First 1. Alaina needs to work on uphill balance but had active tests. Ivy needs to ride the whole test in stronger contact to improve balance. I rode Splash in Intro C and Training 1. Splash was about as good as he has been since his injury more than two years ago. Sherry G says: "shorten frame to elevate the forehand - slowly - so that horse can improve balance." We scored 7's on both halts in I-C and 7's on both free walks (I-C and T-1).

Intro C
Cathy and Splash

Ivy and Pico


Alaina and Sunny


Both my rides were before lunch so I got to scribe for Sherry all afternoon. She is a lovely judge to scribe with because she explains her scores as well as comments. It was especially interesting when Ivy was riding because Sherry gave me some good information to pass along to Ivy - and anyone else wanting to improve connection. Slight contraction on one side is easier than collection on both sides at once. So, to get more connection and collection, work to contract the horse on the inside to make collection easier for the horse. This involves using a little leg yield to the outside, especially just before upward transitions. Coincidentally, this was the same exercise Patty introduced me to at my last lesson with Splash. We contracted the inside and leg-yielded out into walk/trot and trot/canter transitions.

We had a lovely time at the show, cloud cover (or smoke) kept the sun in check, the temperatures moderate, and we got to see several of our long lost friends. Christiana and Oreo were looking very fine; Mallory and Mario had good tests; Kathy on Boonie Doon was lovely (not a single buck)..... and Nancy was test reader-extraordinaire.

So, as is traditional on Memorial Day (not), Dr. Mika Ford visited the Wild O Ranch with his portable stocks to float teeth for the herd. Starting with Splash (points and hooks), Dr. Mika finished with TC (who needed an extraction of a very loose tooth); the rest had sharp points all around. While the geldings were "happy," I received instructions on bean removal. Splash had a very large bean, the others had 2 small beans each. Pico was tense so the Doc had to take over. Cleaning solution options are Dove dish soap or chlorhexadine wash. A good rinse is needed to finish. I can highly recommend Dr. Mika for his stocks side manner and his willingness to educate the average horse owner. In addition, he has agreed to give an educational presentation to the horse club at a regular meeting and to follow-up with a demonstration on a live horse at a clinic. Hopefully, we can get that scheduled in the fall.

Meanwhile, the girls are getting ready for STATE and we have a trip to Choteau Elementary on Friday to share horses with my 1st grade JA kids. No yaya ride this week since we are hoping for RAIN tomorrow. Cross all your fingers and toes.

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