Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First jumping lesson

Today was our first jumping lesson. We were in a group with four other horses, two OTTB's, one pony and one other whom I am not sure of his breed. Drifter has only trotted over ground poles a few times and she needed to be ridden straight and with leg through them.

Nothing was different today. She was very calm and sensible about trotting a variety of poles. When we set up a little 12inch vertical she wanted to stop or run-out but some guidance and strong leg aids helped to send her over it. At the same time she was challenging me about the vertical she was trotting through a set of alternately raised poles without issue. She finally figured it out- trot over the raised pole/vertical. We ended with jumping over a small 18" vertical without issue. She just didn't pick up her feet much or put much effort into it. I would like to have her do some jumping on the lunge line and do some exercises with her to increase her awareness of her legs.

What exercises are helpful in getting a horse to be a bit more careful about hitting the pole- these are heavy wooden poles- not PVC. I am hoping with with more exposure that she will figure it out and that maybe it was greenie lack of confidence- rather then laziness or carelessness.

Monday, December 21, 2009

This is my 100th post!

Drifter has been doing well, although we are still working on 100% resolution of the scratches. She has remained sound despite the swelling. I have been focusing on cantering and her canter depart (or lack thereof). We cantered for the first time with another horse in the ring the other day.

As she moves a bit further along under saddle she is trying some evasions. Her favorite one after cantering is to go behind the vertical. This is a very bad fault and I have been working on bending her and using leg to send her forward at the walk after cantering. This helps her stay in front of the vertical, but hasn't solved the issue. She gets very tense about the canter depart, so I think there is some connection between her tenseness and her going BTV. Every now and then she will come above the bit, but it's minimal and easily fixed with bending. She continues to fall in to the right, but only on one side of the arena, so I don't think it's structural, more a habit or a combination of my left sided tightness and her drifting to the middle. Overall, things are going well and I can easily pass 45 minutes riding and working on straightness, forwardness and getting that canter depart.

Hopefully, we'll take part in the upcoming jump schools! Also, AQHA has made dressage an official sport for points.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thankful for freezing weather

Drifter was a bit stocked up on Tuesday and will all the mud I figured she had a bit of scratches brewing. I treated with Gold Bond and Prep H on 2 legs (one front and one back) and just with Gold Bond on the other two. I did ride on Tuesday- walked for 20 minutes and trotted just a few minutes. Her hind legs looked better (right was down 75% and left down 50%). However, she went right back out into the mud!

I got a call this morning that she looked really bad and was stocked up again. When I went out to see her she was standing on one spot and didn't look like she had moved much. When I asked her to move her pogo stick hopped on her right leg and refused to put down her left. I thought that she was "broken", but within a few steps she was hobbling like normal.

In the barn I cleaned her legs and examined the left hind. There were several crusts and some started bleeding when being cleaned. I cleaned her up and when she was mostly dry we went for a 20 minute hand walk. This helped to reduce the swelling. After walking I brushed off the arena dust and completed MTG treatments on both front pasterns (few crusts and minimal stocking up) and Prep H on both hind pasterns (more crusts). I have a feeling that the stocking up is a combination immune response in addition to decreased movement due to the recently frozen mud pit. I'll do another check tomorrow and hopefully I can do 20-30 minutes of mounted walking.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Have I mentioned lately...

that I love my horse?

She is so fantastic. We cantered yesterday for the first time since the move. She was very gracious about it. I have to do some body work on her to help her with the right lead- that's her hard side. Her left lead was quite nice and she has a fabulous canter. It's great that she is getting back into work again- now I just have to stay consistent.