Friday, August 21, 2015

Not According to Plan

Horses are so hilarious.

First of all, I was not planning to still feel like crap on Wednesday morning (and I'm writing this on Wednesday afternoon). Gluten is such a bitch for those of us with celiac disease. I hate it. So I hadn't eaten much since Monday night, and ordinarily I'm a big eater, so it's no shock that I felt weak and gross and headachy on Wednesday morning. I tacked up Red anyway. Got on at 6:30am. Because I am insane.

I put the jump tack on him and set out one pole on the ground because he needs to do something besides work on connection and engagement for a minute. He was happy to see the pole, and after I let him trot over it a couple of times... I had a horse who'd have had an excellent first level test. Ha. He's a goof.

My plan after warming up was to trot the pole a couple times, and then canter it. If he stayed rhythmical in the canter with the pole, I'd put it on the lowest setting of the blocks, so like 6". Then I was going to get a rhythmical canter over that each way and go back to the barn. WELL. As soon as Red saw the pole was off the ground, he ZOOOOOOOOOOMED at it. Being a little ill was a good thing, because my natural instinct to sit back when he does that (and hence drive him even more forward) was beat out by my floppy "stay with him" seat that is what actually works if the "jump" is going to work out well. When you're on a horse that coils against the hand and rushes like that, do notttttt lean back and drive them unless you like flat jumps. That's my advice.

I was surprised at how much he was grabbing the bit and running, but then again, that's his go-to move. So this is the work I have to do. Next time we do this exercise, I'll move the pole to a better spot in the ring and do downward transitions once we've turned to it until he's cantering nicely, or do the old Steinkrauss exercise of getting his eye on it and then turning him away if he starts rushing. I've done that one with him before and it's worked well.

I then drove to M's thinking about how much easier my jump lesson on Mo was going to be than trying to canter the "broke" horse over a cavaletto. Because I am dumb and I like to jinx shit.

Oh hi, right hock

I guess Mo said something rude about the pony's mother and the pony nicked his hock with one of his sharp little pony feet.
At least there's not a show this weekend

I led him up to the ring where M was riding and she asked why he didn't have a saddle on. I told her it was time to start training for the circus so I wanted her to put all the jumps to the top of the standards while I rode tackless. Then I made her watch him trot and she said what I thought: horse is totally sound.

We scrapped the jump lesson, obviously, but since he was sound and I could palpate it without him crying, she and I decided I should tack him up, walk him out on our short hacking loop, and then trot a little in the ring. The idea was to get him to go forward and move the joint, because moving is good for edema and standing in the stall is bad.

Wouldn't you know that he actually gave me the best trot work I've had in over a week? Really stepped up under himself and engaged. Horses. So weird.

Afterwards, I iced his hock for 20 minutes to be on the safe side. He was quite patient with the whole ordeal.

Too cheap for ice boots when this works too

He only pouted when his pony left the barn
After all of that, the swelling had gone down quite a bit.

My best attempt to get the same angle while woozy from lack of food
By Thursday morning it was all back to normal and I was thrilled. We had a good jump school that I'll write about another time. I'm glad that M and I were on the same page--if he's sound and happy, he can keep hacking out. It's better for him than stall rest, and there's NO reason for stall rest given that he's sound. And the plan worked, because all that remained Thursday morning was a small scrape.

It'll be nice when we figure out how to bubble wrap horses.


  1. Yuck. It's good that the swelling went down so quickly though.

  2. That's how I ice too! Poor people unite :)

  3. :( darn! Well that argyle polo is pretty you got that going for you.

  4. Always something with the fuzzy ones.

  5. If you figure out how to bubble wrap horses, let me know! My old guy was a pro at injuring himself in stupid ways. Glad it came down so fast and you were back to work in no time.

  6. ugh fat legs are the worst... glad it didn't turn out to be anything worse