Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Unlocking New Levels

This year I am not planning to show and if I do it will probably be combined tests so I can jump. I really want to do more lessons and set us up for the move to 1st. Camp was the beginning. It jump started the process. Now Mom and I are doing two semi private lessons a month which works out to each of us paying for one lesson each month. This gives us both a chance  to advance.

We planned for a lesson at Sprieser for a Sunday Mom had off work. Roscoe and I both had a session of PEMF the day before. Roscoe's injury has been less inflamed after a couple sessions.

 Sara the therapist, wanted to let him know that the therapy can feel good too. He thinks it tickles. So she did a bit of body work on him. Roscoe soon figured out he really liked the effect. He demanded she work the spot on his upper right hip.

The next session she brought the big butterfly loops and did both sides. Roscoe yawned and cocked his hips and chewed. He really showed his appreciation.
For the lesson I took off his noseband so it would not bother his stitches. He acted the goof and promptly got his tongue over the bit and his full cheeks in his mouth. I ended up raising his bit a hole. He snorted at the drains and acted like he had not just seen them a few weeks ago.

I began to wonder if we had pulsed his brain away. But as always he found it once I sat on his back. I could not let him look in the mirrors too much since he wanted to challenge the horse he saw. Gotta love a stallion.

 The big surprise came when I asked him to trot. He had this ease of motion with a control that was not there before. Lauren right away mentioned that he looked amazing. When she put us on the circle and had us do shoulder in, Roscoe seemed more willing to try. We slowed to micro speed, but the movement was correct. When we went straight, his trot opened up. Lauren really felt like he had unlocked new levels of trot. Instead of the regular 1-10, he had 1-20.
She wanted to save his energy for canter work which did not disappoint. We continued to work on walk to canter transitions and then in the canter, worked on half halt and sit. The left was our tough side. I have to figure out the balance of getting him to lift his back, sit into the half halt, but still keep moving forward. We did actually manage more this time then we did in camp. To the right we not only managed half halt with forward, we also worked on opening and closing his stride. Adjustability is pretty cool. I really wish I had video, so I could see what we looked like. Hopefully it was not one of those " this is what I think I look like" vs " this is what I actually look like." Roscoe felt together and we clicked.

We ended the lesson with a mental challenge for both of us. Lauren had us half pass four steps, then leg yield four steps, then repeat. Lateral is a weakness for me. My coordination is awful. Lauren had to talk me through the steps. Roscoe is not a fan of shoulder control. We slowly did two lines. I seriously doubt we did anything correctly, but he did move his shoulders. Homework will definitely involve working on those shoulders.

And all the foals seem to be taking their time being born this year, but the first grandfoal finally came.
Welcome Ffrewyn Miss Ffame, PC Jen Robertson

She is Roscoe's youngest son's daughter. I really thought there would be more white since he has the biggest belly spot, but she just has the four white legs and a blaze. She got her mom's light eyes.
The family tree is blooming!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Life as an Oxymoron

So I mentioned that my ulcerative colitis has been flaring. It has caused issues at work and at the barn. Right now I am on steroids to hopefully get my system back on track. There has been minor improvements, but life is still rocky. Some days I cannot even make the 45 minute drive to work without stopping. Raw fruits and vegetables are out. Milk is out. Food in general is the enemy, and I seriously have to pick my battles.

I am  like my Cobs, an easy keeper. All my life I have been what society considers "overweight." Even when I actively worked out, I did not lose a ton of weight. So my dropping 30 pounds since November, though welcome, has been distressing. I have been shedding hair at an alarming rate. Remember my sister has alopecia, so hair loss is no joke. The dang UC is not allowing me to absorb enough nutrients. Nothing stays in me long enough. Even my pills are going right through me. So now I am an oxymoron. Who ever heard of a malnutritioned overweight woman? Mom is worrying because my Memere's actual cause of death was starvation.
I am now taking a multi vitamin and my breakfast is a nutritional drink. Dad even got me some that are really high in protein. I am not as tired, but am still dropping weight.
one of my therapists

Another thing I am doing to try to help is PEMF therapy. At adult camp the lunch speech is always about PEMF. The therapists bring a chair for people to try. I decided to sit on it. It ended up being nearly 40minutes and most of the time it focused on my left side. Guess which side my colitis is on? After the session I actually got hungry and did not have any gastro issues for a few hours. Soon after camp, Peggy found out that someone in the neighborhood had started doing PEMF treatments. She offered discounted services for people, dogs and horses. So twice a week she works on me, and even researched how to treat UC. Her machine is not quite as powerful as the one the other people have, but I have had some good results. After my last treatment, I even hopped on Roscoe bareback. It was therapy for my mental health. As long as I can ride, I can deal with the rest. Even being an oxymoron.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Plastic Surgery

***Today is the last day to enter a guess for the foal pool***
I got one of those surprises no one likes to get. Monday was my "work late" day, so I arrived closer to 6pm than my normal 5-515. It was raining and the horses were all tucked in sheds. After I put on my barn clothes the rain had stopped and my pony did his super sad " I got wet" neigh. He trotted up to me and I saw red.

And I don't mean his chestnut coat. Just behind his chin was a flap of skin and a fair amount of blood. It definitely looked like it was big enough to need a vet.

I put in a call to have Mom call me. She was having the worst thoughts by time she called me back. Thankfully I could tell  her it was not life or death. She agreed I should call a vet. I sent the vet pictures and they said they would be out to suture.
The vet said stallions are cheap dates when it comes to sedation. Roscoe was not interested in the needle and required a chain to cooperate. The vet was nice and kept the needle in while he switched syringes of medicine. He got banamine, antibiotics, and his happy juice cocktail. Once he was snoring he got one more poke of tetanus. Then the wound got cleaned, a close shave and some local numbing. All the injectables and cleaning solutions cost about $200.


Then came the stitches. He used a stronger thread since the area has some movement. Amazingly it took seven stitches and after looking at it again he added one more. I was impressed he was able to line up the different skin colors. Roscoe will still have his good looks. I guess the plastic surgery was worth $150.

Oh and since it was after hours the farm call was $155. Which was $45 cheaper than they told me via text. Small favors.

Tomorrow we will see how Roscoe likes PEMF. Hopefully it will help him heal faster. More than likely he was eating grass on the other side of the fence and pulled back to quickly and caught himself on a rough edge. The vet said it was not very deep despite how it looks.

My pony will live, always a good thing. And the new vet was awesome. I may be in pain from the bill and exhausted from the late night, but I will keep those in mind. Come on foals! I need a baby fix to take my mind off money pain.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Adult Camp Day Two

Day two brought us riding bright and early. I actually love when I have the first ride. I get the whole arena to myself and it is so quiet and peaceful. Roscoe is not as distracted and we seem to work really well.
Lauren started us with some leg yields and then we moved on to going between shoulder fore and shoulder in. Moving Roscoe's shoulders has always been difficult for me. And in the beginning he was moving his hind end. By the time Peggy started the video, he was actually moving his shoulders. All that chrome looks pretty cool in the lateral work.

From there we started the tough stuff of making him shoulder in on the circle. We have tried this before with no results. This time I could feel him attempt the exercise. The hope was to get him to bring his neck down and his back up. Neck falling down was a term we heard a bunch. We did start to figure it out on a circle. He was more active and true when he put it together. We had a harder time maintaining it through changes of bend. I am amazed at the change of quality he has achieved in just the last year.

We moved on to walk to canter transitions. She had us activate his walk and do some walk trot quick transitions. I have only played with these a couple times before. He gave me one awesome one. This time he was a bit tired, so they were not as clean. Once we were in canter, we had to work again at getting his neck to fall down. Plus add in some half halts to get him to sit. I ran out of oopmf to hold us both together. But the times we did manage to keep the canter going, it felt really good.

Unfortunately the phone ran out of video room before we got to the right lead. I had to tickle him with the whip to convince him he could keep going forward when I half halted. This was similar to the lesson with Lisa last year. Roscoe is better since then. We just might be able to handle 1st level.

Lauren kind of redeemed herself with this lesson. I came away feeling like I accomplished something and with hope for the future. Mom had a good lesson too. Lauren even made her canter. We are hoping to do two semi private lessons a month, which will cost the same as if we each did one private a month.

Lauren also provided all the campers with a goodie bag. Everyone except DaVinci likes the cherry flavored cookies.
Make sure to get your foal pool guess in!