Sunday brought an 830 am lesson with my trainer. I told her I took a hit to the confidence the day before and that Roscoe might be sore. The plan was to work on canter. Roscoe was a bit put out with my spur choice and decided to protest by not transitioning.
We worked through that by moving him and suppling before tackling the tougher stuff…canter serpentine. He is getting smarter about the difficult stuff and will just change leads or break, so it has been a process. We started with shallow short curves which were improved since the last time she saw them. It took a bit of timing since a really nice Morgan gelding was having a lesson at the other end. We moved onto two curves. Right was okay, left is much harder.
Roscoe says this is hard
She then added some trot lengthening where Roscoe thought he knew better. A discussion turned him into an inverted teenager before he finally attempted to do the exercise. His final one was probably the best of the weekend. I would not say he was a 100% at the lesson, but it was good for him to realize he can still work. At least I felt somewhat better going home.
Roscoe was thrilled that we were taking him home to a stall bedded deeply with sawdust. He has very specific standards. Once we unloaded the car, cleaned the trailer and put him out with the boys, we had a little time to chill out. Our Magna Wave friend was coming to treat Griffyn, who my sister was bringing, on her day off. It seriously pays to have her down the road. Since she was coming I asked if she could treat Roscoe again and hopefully help him recover better. She did and both red boys enjoyed the treatment.
Sadly the cavaletti lesson and other factors continued to cause issues in the weeks that followed. We had to call in the big guns. More on that later.
After the first lesson I was feeling good, riding the positive wave of my trainer seeing growth even after a month of riding only 5 times. My mom and I settled him into the stall, which Roscoe said did not have enough sawdust for a good roll, and then headed to the arena to watch the cavaletti lessons. This camp divided people into groups of three or four for four sessions. I though the lessons were ½ hour to 45 minutes, but they ended up being an hour… ish. Not going to lie there were a lot of poles and it was interesting. As we watched it got intimidating. The instructor was an event rider who demanded perfection but did not give much direction. I could see areas that would be hard for Roscoe and I due to our weaknesses and the fact that we had not cantered poles a bunch. But he and I normally enjoy cavaletti and there was a chance for jumps.
Sadly this lesson fell into the category of a bad choice.
The instructor could not stay within the scheduled times and went over a half hour the session before mine. So my 4:30 lesson did not start until nearly 5:00. And yes we stood around with tacked ponies for that half hour. The lesson started well with working trot over the poles and finding our spots. Then she had us work one at a time doing canter circles over the single poles. That was not bad, though we missed some of our spots. What was tough was her directions were hard to follow. I remember dressage tests and jump courses, but could not get her directions.
The next step added a curved bounce line of poles. At the trot Roscoe wanted to cheat and we worked to get it right. At the canter to the left we did better than I expected.
The bad choice really became apparent when we switched directions after 15 minutes of standing. I should have insisted we start with the lowest setting, but she had it rolled to the middle height. Going right is when I lose his shoulder when we are stressed. Needless to say we jumped over the end of the cavaletti and had major misses. I tried counting which the instructor was big on, we missed. She said he was going too fast and I was messing him up. Confidence direct hit. I approached a couple more times and passed the poles not comfortable with the probable outcome. She said if you pass again you will never get him through. I got him through, but without watching the video I can’t even remember how it went. I was beaten and done. I kept apologizing to Roscoe for choosing to continue this lesson and put him in a bad spot.
I was the happiest when it all ended, sad to say.
The next time I have a bad feeling about something I am going to refuse to do the exercise. It was overly ambitious to do for a second lesson with horses that may not have ever done such specific work. Unfortunately, Roscoe felt the effects of the lesson the next day and is even still be dealing with something now. Roscoe got a ton of treats and his dinner. Mom and I still had to get to the barn and feed the rest of the herd.
I don't shy away from sharing the good, the bad or the ugly and all of these apply so I included all the videos except the early flat minutes.
The next morning I was so glad not to be riding with the cavaletti instructor which was the normal camp setup. My trainer changed it around so that her students rode with her. My mom and I did mention that we did not think the cavaletti lesson was suitable for the situation and the lack of punctuality was a problem. Turns out we were not the only ones to say something. I am the kind of rider that puts a fair amount of trust in the clinician to guide me to have the best ride I can in that moment. That does not mean it has to be perfect, but if I or Roscoe do something wrong, I would hope for direction on how to fix it. I am still kicking myself over this lesson.
February turned out to be a total bummer of a month for riding and a bit for life in general too. So I looked forward to a weekend of riding at Sprieser’s camp to close out the month. Roscoe and I both had our Magna Wave PEMF therapy on the Tuesday before and we were supposed to have a saddle fitting on Thursday . Well the saddle fitting got put off to March, very sad, so I was going to work that day. That plan changed though.
On Wednesday my Mom messaged saying she had to bring Griffyn to the emergency vet. For the sake of friendship I can’t go into details about what happened, but he suffered a severe injury. My poor mother was traumatized and our small animal vet was not able to take him, nor any close by. My parents had to take him over an hour away to receive treatment. I went to the barn to take care of the horses and pick up Deliah. When I made it home, Griffyn was there pumped full of pain meds and looking like Winnie the Pooh in his red vet wrap shirt.
Poor puffy puppy
We were in a wait and see mode as to whether he needed surgery to remove necrotic tissue. I immediately contacted my PEMF friend and asked to schedule a time for him the next day. She was great and even came to the house. Griffyn received 20 minutes and looked less inflamed and my sister said he did not whine as much at night.
Inflamation way reduced
My what big feet you have
Needless to say the stress level was a bit high in our family. That made the weekend a little iffy for me tummy wise, but fortunately did not result in a full flare up.
One day his name will be spelled right
Roscoe’s first lesson was with my normal trainer and had quite the audience. My trainer watched as we warmed up with leg yields on the rail and shoulder in. She could see improvement which is always good to hear. She had us work on our lengthenings. He is getting better even though he tries to canter sometimes. In a few months hopefully he will resolve the urge.
Then she threw something new into the mix, renvers. I have heard of them in a vague way and knew only they were a four track movement. Beyond that I was clueless. We worked it at the walk first. Beginning in shoulder in and then changing the bend and aids to ask for the renver. This was definitely easier to accomplish with the mirrors.
When I went away from the mirrors it was a difficult to keep him together. We did have our moments of correct movement that felt amazing. Most of the time I felt like I was rubbing my head and patting my belly. Especially when we tried it at the trot. Going right we had to play with small bits at a time because he would get stuck. She was okay with 30 seconds of stuck, but no more than that.
To end the lesson we let him stretch at the trot. This was a mental and physical work session. One lesson done, two more to go.