The radio silence around here isn't because nothing's been going on. Quite the contrary! Lots has been going on:
1. Rocket got roundpen training.
2. Rocket got ponying training.
3. Lex went XC schooling.
4. Lex had a SERIOUS meltdown. The day before a horse show.
5. Lex went to her first horse show and we lived!
6. Lex got an ulcer and is now on a paid vacation.
7. My darling baby nephew decided sitting on horses is fun.
All these things and more will be coming up here soon. The problem is, I don't have regular internet access at the moment. Bear with me while I get that figured out.
In the meantime, I'll give you some out-of-order updates and then the next chance I get, I will post video.
So little miss Lexi had a total meltdown last Friday. Bucking, spinning, rearing, you name it. If you've read this blog at all, you know she is my good little girl who sometimes has a tiny attitude but NEVER does anything like that. She just didn't want to go forward at all. I was like, "this is not my horse." M felt that perhaps she is just reacting to having more pressure put on her, and this is the horse who got on the paddock and gate list on the track. This was always in there.
Saturday morning, bright and early, we're off to a horse show. I wasn't feeling as super about it as I would ordinarily, because it was her first show and Friday's ride was a clusterfuck from hell. We hadn't even trotted more than two crossrails in a row, and we'd one two crossrails in a row exactly one time. We'd jumped 18" maybe four times (not four rides, four times). We'd never practiced the dressage test. I haven't been in a dressage ring since the '90s, and that is not an exaggeration. And now my precious bay mare is a dragon.
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS, right there.
Sooooo we get to the horse show, check things out, and I thank my lucky stars that the jumps are really far apart in the ring so I can bring her back to a walk between them if I need to. M told me not to pick any fights with her in the warmup (I never pick fights with her)--all long reins, kisses, happy times. That worked pretty well, we got one little buck and a whole lot of inverted trotting around. Next thing I knew, it was my turn in the ring for Intro A. We suffered through it, and the judge absolutely hated us, but I was actually pleased. She didn't spook at the judge's stand or the letters. She did the transitions when I asked for them. We actually had some decent trot work. I was pleased, and since I don't really care if she ends up being good at dressage, I was happy to move on to the jumping.
Because this was a schooling show, I was able to sign her up for a second jump round and I'm glad I did. She made a lot of baby mistakes (in the form of pulling rails) and asked me a lot of questions along the lines of, "Are you sure about that?" But she did her best and jumped around. We had a lot of walk transitions in there, and I'm totally cool with that. It was a schooling show, there was no one there, and I just wanted her to think that it's okay to come back to a walk after jumps. But she jumped 20 jumps in a row (we just stayed in for our second round) at her max height at a strange place and over weird jumps. I really couldn't have asked for better.
Now, of course, she's off her feed and a light bulb went on over our heads yesterday morning: the mare has an ulcer. That is why she's a dragon! So now she's on Ulcergard and ranitidine and probiotics and all that good stuff, with a paid vacation, and lots of kisses and carrots. I'm so relieved that a) her bad behavior is explained and b) that she did that well at a show even when she's not feeling well. Next time she acts like a huge bitch when I ride her, though, I'm going to assume it's a medical cause.
Okay, the next time I get online I will try to get video of the show for you, and I will also go back to recap the XC school and the other fun things we've been up to. Thanks for your patience!