Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In the Arena #19 - Just what the doctor ordered

Having a (hellishly) irritating day? (lawyers... neighbors burning toxic trash... frustrating clients) My prescription is to head straight for the barn without delay! If mucking, raking and moving hay doesn't heal you, give your horse a long loving groom, tack him up and ride, ride, ride :)

Goals for our ride yesterday:

1. Be in the moment / focus and maintain attention for the benefit of my horse

2. Ride Val like the horse that I want him to be / use the lightest aides possible 

3. Visualization and thought as the first level of aiding

4. Lose my expectations (see #1)

We did some lovely relaxed work: good walk/halt transitions, maintained nice contact, minimal resistance. In the last part of the ride I gave up the reins, halting and turning off of my seat and legs only. It has been quite a while since our last ride, and this was a great way to get back into the swing of things.

It can be challenging to be the only dressage rider in your riding community. "Don't you get bored just going around in circles?" I've been feeling concerned about our (lack of) progress lately. Thank goodness for my trainer and our "phone lessons". She keeps me from getting too discouraged and reminds me (gently) to watch my attitude. Thanks Erin :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

At the barn #17 - Say hello to my leetle fren...

Since we're on an extended riding hiatus due to wretched heat and humidity I thought I'd introduce you to one of our neighbors... as per usual with neighbors, some are great and some - not so much :)

Today was my second encounter with bad baby opposum this week. I missed my chance to catch him the other day because when I ran to get my camera he skittered off. I was ready this morning. There really wasn't much catching as all he did was hiss at me and then act dead. (We haven't had any cases of rabies on the island which is why I handled this little guy.)

I'm guessing he may have fallen off of his mom in the woods nearby. Lucky for me, he didn't know he's supposed to be nocturnal. Unlucky for me he may have been attracted to Val's spilled food in the run-in shelter. This is not good as opposums spread the dreaded EPM. Don't even get me started worrying about that....

I'm hoping the wildlife rehabilitator (his new home as of midday) is correct and he was probably still nursing... hopefully not chowing on any infected dead critters just yet.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

At the barn #16 - No hoof, no horse

Today was farrier day. Happily, Val's feet are doing really well at the moment. In the last year we're gone from being shod all around, really shelly, lack of sole, and no heel especially on the backs. My farrier has patiently made the transition to barefoot with us, and I'm super happy with the results.

What I love about Will, besides the fact that he drives over three hours to see to our horses, is that he patiently takes the time to explain where your horses feet are, and how he'd like to get to where they need to be. And Val has really warmed up to him - very relaxed.


   What a good boy! (treat was inhaled before I could snap the photo lol)

            Will had his hands full with our neighbor Cowboy's feet...

                       And Val got most of the wormer in his mouth :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

There is some SUPER exciting news which has kept me from posting in a while. It looks like I will be buying the property that Val is boarded on. Closing on August 1st. It is the opportunity of a lifetime - I truly can't believe my good fortune. My running around doing real estate errands all week leaves very little to report on the training front. We've had a couple of nice rides and lunging sessions in the evenings when the weather was cool enough. In the meantime I thought I'd post a few odds and ends...

In the last month or so these marks showed up as Val finished shedding out. He was pinfired at some point. I'm assuming it was when he was training for the track. I've done a bit of research, and the placement suggests he had a bowed tendon. This could be why he doesn't appear to have raced.

Here are excerpts from a 2006 Thoroughbred Times article"Pinfiring Proves Obsolete":

"Due to relatively few treatment options to effectively and swiftly treat lameness issues such as tendinitis, many veterinarians and trainers continue to fire horses' legs and hope that it helps. Trainers often feel they are wasting valuable time when they cannot see healing in injuries such as sprained tendons, as the healing process is extremely slow. These trainers often ask their veterinarians to fire their horses' legs in an effort to be proactive in healing the injuries."

"A five-year study conducted through the University of Bristol in England compared treating tendinitis with firing to treating it with rest alone. Results showed that linefiring did not appear to have an effect on the healing process of the tendon.
In addition, clinical cases of pinfiring in which the cautery iron was extended into the tendon itself caused permanent changes in tendon structure. These changes were confined to the tracks of the firing pin.

However, no evidence was found that linefiring or pinfiring of the skin had any marked effect on tendon healing, with the exception that in a few cases it appeared to delay the overall healing process."

 "...the American Veterinary Medical Association has upheld its acceptance of veterinarians using firing in horses and presently described the use of thermocautery or pinfiring as having therapeutic value for horses under certain conditions."?????

If we won't do it to ourselves, why would we do it to our horses?

We've had numerous visits from the death dealing wild bunny recently. I'll have to rename him as he no longer leaves panic in his wake. He let me get really close when I took these pictures. I wondered if wild bunnies knew what carrots were... I threw him a piece of Val's breakfast carrot, which was gone a few minutes later - so I guess they do.

                                              The only good fly...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

At the barn #15 - What the 4th means to me...


Freedom from hunger - my lady brought me stacks of extra hay this morning as she is running the Water / Watermelon booth at the village 4th of July celebration and might be a bit late for my dinner.

Freedom from undue exertion as it is much too hot to trot around in circles and curlicues... although we made up for it on Friday and Saturday - I didn't mind at all because it was delightful weather and my lady and I were both in the mood to work. I will likely spend most of today munching hay and dozing off in my stall under the box that makes wind. I will be ready for my cool rinse this evening just the same.

Freedom from fireworks!!!! (almost as bad as hunting season - a very bad time)...

Due to a tragic accident last July 4th, our community decided to skip that loud scary tradition this year. Tonight will be peaceful :)

Happy 4th of July everyone - be safe!

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