Saturday, September 23, 2017

Training Level Debut

We made it to the show with no other issues and immediately got Mom and Rosemary ready to go. Rosemary did a bit of cob trot, but quickly remembered how tough it was and went to work. She took over the calling since Comrade was at home. Then she decided to spice the show up with some bucking due to giant horse flies. Luckily we keep Vicks in the trailer for this problem. A few racing stripes on her butt, and Mom was set. I wish I looked a good my first show back in years. She did have me call her test, just in case. They did Intro B and scored a 66.8% earning them 5th in a competitive class of 8 pairs.

Considering my muscle soreness, I was glad I only had my ride at this show. I was pretty stressed and told them both I would not settle until I sat on Roscoe. Only then would I know we could do this. After four dressage shows, the jump chute clinic, the inspection and going to Sprieser, he finally figured out he could chill away from home. He was the most professional and mature he has been all year.

He could have used more warm up. His transitions could have been sharper. I did not have it in me to push for more though. What he did give me was peace of mind. We could do this. It is already icing on the cake to even be at this point, so  I just decided to go with it.

As my turn arrived, I started to go around the arena. But there was already someone going around, so I stopped and went back toward the judge to make sure it was my turn. It was and lucky me the judge rang the bell as soon as the other rider cleared the way.

Needless to say the entry and first halt were not great.

 Roscoe fought the halt surprising me. The tension stayed around for the first half of the test. I thought he felt better than some of his tests previously.

My small canter circle problem reared up on the left, but the canter felt pretty good.

Then I got the best free walk to date out of Roscoe. Of course at my lesson on Wednesday, Lauren said to watch his walk. She said it could be said he was "running." That was a new one for me. Well guess what comment we got on our medium walk?

 To the right Roscoe settled into the trot.

His canter was good once he picked it up.

 He went deeper into the corner than I though he would, so we had a bobble on the straight.

Our last trot was great and we ended almost straight at the halt. I was thrilled.


We walked back to the trailer relieved to have made our Training level debut. The Training 1 class originally had 9 people, but 2 actually did different tests. As we waited for scores, we loaded the trailer. A girl at the next trailer asked "How did your boy do?" At first we did not know she was talking to us, but soon we realized she was talking about Roscoe. Turns out she looks for him at these shows when she comes. My pony is getting a following and not just on the world wide web.

I walked back to get my test. As I predicted the person who has been winning the last shows, won again. I was amazed when she handed me a red ribbon. All I could figure was that she split the class. When the results came out a couple days later, I saw that was not the case. Turns out we tied for 2nd with a 63.26%. I'm okay with that score. It says we have work to do, but we are in the right place.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How Not To Prepare For A Show

First off, thank you everyone for the response to my last post. My sister in law, after 7 days in a hospital bed, 5 surgeries and receiving her clam shell body support, was able to walk a step to a chair and then later walk back to her bed. We sent a little stuffed corgi with my brother so she would have her therapy dog, since her real corgi can't visit.

So on Thursday, I headed into work and traffic just before the highway was bad. This area is tough because people are merging from the highway, going onto the highway and jumping into the right lane from the middle. Well on this day someone did something to cause brakes to slam. I quickly hit my breaks and breathed a sigh of relief as I avoided the person in front of me. Then I was rear ended. Luckily it did not push me into the car in front. Everyone involved was uninjured, but two out of three cars had damage. Unfortunately the one who was at the rear left before the police came, so it is being treated as a hit and run. Shaking, I dealt with the police and insurance and my family. I did not go to work so I could start the claim process.

This was stressful since my car is 15yrs old with over 300,000 miles. I started cleaning my car right away to help with it's value. I think I found another corgi in the back seat. During that process, the adjuster called to say it was not totaled yet. Now I had to stress until it went into the shop for the final assessment. Of course with the great timing of fate, the drop off was on Saturday. I did feel better when the shop said they thought my car had some wiggle room from the estimate and total. Tuesday evening I finally got the call that though they found more damage, the work was approved by the insurance.

The same Saturday I needed to do show prep. Needless to say, I did not have my normal amount of time to bath and load the trailer. Roscoe did not appreciate his 9pm bath, especially after getting one last week. Plus my bridles did not get cleaned. A car accident is definitely not the best way to prepare for a show.
When they fit on one side of the trailer

Their first show ever :)

Show day dawned and my show nerves were raging in addition to the tension of sore muscles. Rosemary had mud on her face which required touch up. As I worked on her, I saw Roscoe take off out his door and start racing around. Oh boy, the last show he did not work for 4 days before a show, he took an hour to warm up. I took some hope from the fact that he loaded himself on the trailer after I told him he was going to get to work. We ended up having to drive back to the barn when I realized I forgot my whip. At this point I was hoping the old saying of bad before means a good show...

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Loss Of Core

Well, I will post the pictures of the Welsh show a bit later. We received news that my sister in law was in a horrible head on accident Friday. Unfortunately we were not informed the true extent of the severity until the show day. So we had to rush away from the Welsh show to get back to the barn. Mom and Dad then went to see my brother, who had been in TX when he received the initial call.

Getting hit head on at 50mph and surviving is equivalent to winning the Powerball 3x in your life. So her being alive is amazing in itself. Her guardian angel worked her ass off and if you can believe it my sister in law was lucid when help arrived. Fortunately neither of her kids were in the car. She sustained a broken foot (bone penetrating), dislocated ankle, broken knee (bone penetrating), broken hand (probably hit the radio), fractured back, she lost part of her small intestine and she lost her core muscles. As riders we all know and respect the core. Her six pack lost blood flow when her seat belt dug in. Her abdomen was an open wound for nearly two days until a top trauma surgeon could attempt to give her support with mesh and plugs. The surgeon declared it a "Victory" though my sister in law will always have a floppy stomach.

After five surgeries, she can finally leave ICU and begin to look ahead to therapy. A loss of core muscles means she will have to relearn to move using her back. She has a long road ahead and a loving husband and family to help where they can. I am a big believer in the power of positive energy so everyone send some her way if you can. Already she has received better results than the initial assessments. Her back fractured in such a way that it should heal on it's own retaining her mobility.

I am certainly going to appreciate my sore core muscles next time because now I know they can be lost in a flash. My sister in law is a very strong women and I am so glad she lived to fight on. She is the core of her family and that is one core that is irreplaceable.

Plus send some positive energy to Peggy's brother too, who is also facing serious medical issues. This double whammy, along with worry about family in hurricane zones has zapped my energy. I am glad our show on Sunday will be in the afternoon. Time to recoup :)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Chopped Hay, Chaffhaye And A Third Meal

We have had a slight breather recently, but we have two shows coming up. The last VA Welsh show is Saturday and the dressage show is the 17th. I am taking the leap to Training, fingers crossed, and I convinced my Mom to ride Rosemary in the show.

During the break we were able to take a look at our older horses. Dottie has been battling diarrhea for awhile now. Nothing has completely cleared her up, but she is doing better. The vet said that older horses have trouble absorbing fluid. We added diatomaceous earth, pysllium and pro bi to her meals to support her system.

For awhile now, we have chopped soft hay for the older horses. We use a leaf vac/cutter to chop the hay to a length easier for them to manage. During the worst of Dottie's diarrhea we soaked the hay to reduce the scratch factor.

The vet also recommended feeding her chaffhaye. This is also called "pasture in a bag."

Chaffhaye is premium, non-GMO, bagged alfalfa that mimics the characteristics and nutritional benefits of fresh pasture.  It is carefully cut and harvested to retain its natural plant juices, preserving the natural probiotics of the feed.  It is lightly sprayed with molasses to initiate natures fermentation process and compressed into air tight bags within hours of being harvested.  This process locks out dust, rain, mold, rodents and other undesirable elements to maximize nutrients, palatability and 

It is very strong smelling, but Dottie and DaVinci love it. We worried when we found white spots in the bags, some bigger than a hand. So we carefully picked out those spots. We feared it was mold. But the vet relieved that fear when she came back out for Ember by telling us it is yeast. The horses can safely eat it. It seriously still turns my stomach to feed though.

And finally Peggy gives Dottie a third meal in the afternoon. DaVinci protests that he is the oldest and should get the same privilege, so he gets some chaffhaye. After about a month of wet chopped hay, chaffhaye and third meals, Dottie is looking the best she has looked this year. She even walks away from the chaffhaye. I guess she is full. She has even been more active in the field. So great to see :)

DaVinci has been looking good without having fluid on his belly, but he has been flaring. Mom scheduled his next chiropractic appointment for next week to help him prepare for winter.

Senior management is tough sometimes because you don't always realize how far they have slipped and getting them back is a long haul. Luckily we caught Dottie before winter. The way she looked, I don't think she would have made the season.

Now we just need to get her past this abcess she has developed... and DaVinci past his swollen eye. Gotta love the vintage ponies. They keep you on your toes as much as the young ones.