Friday, September 24, 2021

Ember News

 So Ember keeps getting bigger and with each spurt he has to figure out how to use his legs. As I mentioned before I was seriously feeling a lack of skills to move him forward. I could not afford my trainer to work with him, but found help closer to home. My PEMF therapist rides with a hunter trainer in the neighborhood. She was available to assess Ember.







The first time, I rode him to show his movement. Dang pony actually cantered for the longest amount ever. She got on and put him through the gaits. Ember was so spooky with her. He did not believe she would protect him from the scary stuff ring side. Even with that he was really good. Her thoughts, he is very green and needs to mature. 


The next two times she came while my Mom was there and did training rides. He had some progress and some steps back. She got to see a bit of his muleish behavior. Lunging showed it had to do with being ridden. So we may have to prepare him for work.




She believes he is still growing and to focus on bare basics for a while. The best part is that she made my Mom realize that she can ride him. Mom tries to make him a priority since Roscoe has to be mine.

Ember will eventually grow and be comfortable with what the trainer calls his enormous movement. When that happens, he will be very cool. 

Sadly the trainer's husband had a really bad accident so she has not been able to ride him recently. I will say she and Mom have him moving much straighter than before. A huge accomplishment. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Second Level Debut




I was beginning to think our Second level debut was cursed. Last month it was canceled due to weather that never actually happened. Then this month is all rain and super-hot, humid weather. Roscoe and I do not do well in humidity. The weather meant we had one ride in the week before the show and that was a lesson where we could not get a good transition. I was seriously questioning my choice to go Second, but I am also a stubborn person who does not like to chicken out. My trainer was not thrilled with my need to prioritize movements, but I do want I need to get through first time tests.


The weather forecast was questionable with all the tropical storms developing and moving. The organizer held strong and the show went on. I took a huge chance and washed Roscoe on Friday even knowing there was a chance for rain in the night. 



In the morning he had only gotten splash spots on his hind socks. I had used WOW and hoped it would come out okay. Thankfully the early bath was a good choice since I found a flat tire on the trailer when I went to load. Somehow between when I moved it Friday night and Saturday, it was a pancake. 



So Mom and I hustled to get it changed which required us to dig out the gravel below to fit the spare. Whew, I was dripping after. While we did that the boys ran around getting excited because the trailer moved a foot. And my previously clean pony rolled in wet mud.


Mom saved the day by taking care of him while I wrestled into show clothes. Putting on a tight body shaper cami is no joke after changing a tire.  Together we got loaded and on our way just in time.


The show was moving on time and it was time for the tricky part: warm up. The arena is in full sun and can be super-hot. I am still trying to find the right amount of warm up time to have enough horse left over for the test. I did figure out shoulder in is really hard for me without a fence. Our transitions were still tense, so I did what I could. Of course he was ready to go two tests before we actually went.



Outside the arena, he really showed a new maturity and found an awesome trot. Our first halt was a dud as he dived. I did remember not to salute with my whip. Not forgetting that again. I am thrilled to say our first medium was super. This will only improve as I learn to sit all that power and he can be free. 



Sadly our shoulder in was not as good as warm up, but we showed a tiny bit. The rein back was hesitant because he decided to throw his head up just prior to going into the ring, so I took time to set it up. 


All our canter transitions were rough. Definite long term homework there. It was not the worst, so improvement. And my big fear the counter canter went well. The last medium was less impressive, but not horrible.



The judge did not talk to anyone, but did make comments of the paper. Her main comment was that he is a very supple and forward horse who needs more engagement in the transitions. Totally agreed. I am always my worst critic, so I nearly fell over when I picked up my score sheet to find we earned a 67% and later found we had placed second.


I am absolutely thrilled by Roscoe and that he brings it every show. Another 2nd level rider commented that “we are a great pair and she enjoyed watching us.” Now to get ready for the Welsh show and see if he can gallop.


 Thanks for the encouragement! Dad gave me this pin one Christmas and it goes with me every day. 




PS we are also prepping to do one more First level test so we can qualify for year end awards. Turns out we are currently first. Not too shabby for only two 1-3 test scores.


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Confidence Crisis

 Well our July show got canceled and so our 2nd level debut will wait until August. Which turns out to be a good thing. I was feeling more pressure than I normally do and having a confidence crisis. And my pony who reads me well was getting worried too.  Battles galore and drama have filled our rides. 

 

The downward spiral started when my medicine was in a delayed delivery status due to paperwork not getting where it needed to be in June. Added to the thought of missing doses was the fact that my second Covid shot was two days before the show. Spoiler alert: I did have side effects, but still managed to bathe my pony.  And the continued worry about whether or not DaVinci would improve had its own effects




.

 

If you have ever had a chronic disease you know the stress of not wanting to decline, especially due to a paperwork issue. That stress rolled into my riding and it just felt like I was failing all over the place. 2nd has been a goal for four years and now that we are there it is freaking scary. How do I move forward?

 

I am trying to focus on the details, transitions and building his strength. Plus we are working on his neck, trying to get him to flex either way and get out of the rut only moving one way.


Roscoe and I still disagree about counter canter, but hopefully we can pull it off in August.



The shoulder in, we are using a 10m circle to help aid in getting our form.

 

So much is better, and that is what I need to focus on. The video in my last post came after all my crisis and is helping dig me out. Having a respected rider say “Holy S*@t, he looks awesome” goes a long way. My trainer who was riding at the time also decided that Roscoe is emotional and he worries when he does not do things right, so we have to be soft but firm. 

 



For Roscoe, the August show will be his last dressage show for the year. I know 2nd is a stretch so I will debut and retire to focus on training. Goal achieved within our current scope. Our first go is a real ring was not a train wreck so I have hope.

 


Then both my boys will go to the Welsh show in September. I feel it will be a good mental break for all of us. Everyone send me some longer legs so I can keep up with Ember! Finally we actually have Cobs in our area now. When we stopped showing there four years ago, mine were the only ones. One of those cobs is Roscoe’s son Aderyn Du Flyboy and some others are his grand foals, making it a family affair. The long day will end with a ride in Ridden Cob for Roscoe. Sadly we will still have our mismatched tack then so it will be just for fun.

 



Ember will get a post about the change in his life soon. But let’s just say the confidence crisis extended to him too. Canter is not a confirmed thing with him and that has made me feel like the worst green baby rider ever. Mom asked me whether or not we should keep him. No way is he going anywhere, so I found help.

 

Someone is getting big

My medicine finally arrived, though I  have to miss another dose to be completely back on track. At least I can pick a less hectic time to miss when I am not totally over faced by life in general. 

Meanwhile Roscoe and I can have a career in mobile poop picking :)


 


Friday, July 2, 2021

Foal Friday: Fancy Filly

 Well the breeder finally got some great shots of Ragtime and Gypsy as they took a turn around the round pen the other day. She has got the longest legs and she is showing them off. I can't even say how excited I am with this cross. Roscoe has been extremely lucky to be utilized by three great US Cob breeders now, Castleberry, Aderyn Du and now MHS. He has delivered every time with superior foals. 

Ragtime reminds me of Ember in movement and I can't wait to see her develop.

All pictures from MHS Welsh Cobs.





Girl has moves

Totally a Roscoe Look


Thursday, July 1, 2021

Product Review: Prolite Dressage Relief Pad

 After riding in the wrong saddle for so long, Roscoe developed hard nodules on either side of his spine. When we got the new saddle, he still showed some back soreness from the pressure on those nodules. I began putting the sheepskin lined pad on him and that helped, but I decided to bite the bullet and get a pressure pad. Going into Second level with all the sitting trot, I want him comfortable.

Advanced Saddle fit had the Prolite Dressage Relief Pad and it seemed to fit the bill.



I was lucky enough to find it at The Cheshire Horse during a sale and got it for $99.

Roscoe's back was much happier and did not show soreness after work. And bonus, his nodules are nearly gone. The pad has relieved my mind as I develop my sitting trot skills. So not ready to sit his lengthening.




The best surprise was that I put the pad on Ember. He is still in the Isabel and I know he has the same issues that Roscoe did, plus some due to being an awkward growing cob. He is quick to balk under saddle. With this pad, for three rides, he has not balked once. That is a serious benefit and makes this pad totally worth the price. Ember is like a different horse.







The pad stays  in place and stays up in the gullet. It only comes in black, but seems pretty nondescript on the horse. I highly recommend.

Prolite also has a fixed riser, multi riser and pocket version available.