Friday, May 29, 2015

Catching Up and Show Prep

I've got a little catching up to do in terms of what we've been up to and what's coming - brace yourselves!

Sunday May 27th we were at the Myopia Hunter Pace. I figured since it was relatively physically taxing I'd give her two days off afterwards, so I'd pick up riding again on Wednesday.

Tuesday (19th) the spring vaccines my barnmates and I ordered (we give them ourselves) arrived and we administered the 5-way right away since we were a little behind the game in getting them this year. So since Maggie got her shots Tuesday evening I ended up giving her Wednesday off as well. Me and S let Maggie and Rio run around the arena together for a little while before we gave the shots basically to make ourselves feel better about the ponies getting 3 days off and we tried to get pics of them running with the pretty dogwood in bloom in the background.

Excuse the levitating Mustang in the background...
So Thursday (the 21st) ended up being the first time I rode after the hunter pace. I did what I thought was a fairly easy dressage ride that wasn't too focused. I was just trying to get her back in the groove without being to strenuous. I recall thinking that it was just an 'ok' ride - nothing spectacular. Then I brought Maggie back into the barn to untack, brush her off, etc. Part of my untacking routine is to make Maggie do "carrot stretches" but she wouldn't stretch at all. Normally she is super bendy. Poor pony - apparently she was more sore from the injection than I thought!

Friday (the 22nd) I made Maggie do the carrot stretches before I tacked up and she was a still a tiny bit stiff, but she still eventually reached back all the way on both sides. Much better than the day before. We did a short ~20 mins of riding and we worked on a slightly longer rein and did a lot of figure eights and center line turns. Then we went for a nice hack down the road with S and Rio.

Saturday (the 23rd) I was determined to jump so I tried setting up the cloverleaf exercise from my last lesson to practice. Turns out that our ring (at least in it current partially dug up state - but that's another story for another day) is too small to do this exercise properly, so I just ended up doing the fences singly instead of stringing them together. I also set up the barrels (which to my delight and surprise Maggie did not spook at) and I also set up these pallets which are yet to be turned into brush boxes. Dan scores them from his work for me - total win when your husband can get you crap to make jumps out of! Maggie didn't even blink at them. Good pony!

Sunday (24th) I was going to do a dressage ride. My plan after that was going to be to give Maggie Monday off, ride Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then give her Friday off, then show (Groton House Farm 2-Phase) Saturday. However, when I was grooming her before tacking her up on Sunday, I noticed that her back seemed a little sore.


Indeed, as I ran my fingers down her back and alongside her spine she dipped it a little bit. Not OK, horse. Not OK. What the heck? My hypothesis - or the only thing I can think of, really - is that maybe when I rode her on Thursday, she over compensated with her back for her sore neck? Maybe? I don't know... But I gave her a liniment bath and no riding.

Monday (I'm not going to specify the date anymore) I felt her back again and it still dipped a little so I decided to give her another liniment bath and the day off again. I also gave her a gram of bute in her dinner just to hopefully help her along. I left her morning grain drug-free so that she'd be clean by Tuesday evening.

Tuesday I had a dressage lesson and I was nervous all day about Maggie's back, but when I got to the barn and tested her she was good. We had a kind of hit or miss dressage lesson; things were great...until we went to run through the actual test (Intro B). We had trouble getting a good walk rhythm coming back from the free walk and before picking up the trot again and after picking up the the trot again she would rush and not settle back down until halfway through the next 20 m circle. Nothing too rough and my instructor that it was good overall, so I know we'll be fine for the show Saturday. It'll be what It'll be.

Wednesday Maggie's back was a little more sore than the day before, but not at bad as it was on Sunday or Monday. Plus she had the mother of all manure stains on her back. I opted not to ride and just hosed her off, gave her another liniment bath, and let her graze. Ah, to be a horse.

That's what I get for not picking her paddock the day before...
Yesterday, Thursday, her back was less sore than the day before so I opted for a quick ride; just 15 minutes. We did the free walk - medium walk - trot transitions, and they were alright. Our centerline turns and halts at X were pretty decent, if I do say so myself. I gave her another gram of bute in her dinner grain.

Today, Friday, I took the day off of work and I have a full day of vet appointments and show prep planned. I'll start by trailering Zipper over to the vet's to get her teeth done (thus avoiding a farm call) and then I'll have a little time to run some errands before heading to the barn where I plan to do show prep including packing and tack cleaning, plus I really need to clean all the empty shavings bags out of my storage stall. We have a vet appointment (they should show up sometime between 3-5 pm) for the four horses in our Co-Op, including Maggie, to get their teeth floated. Apparently the vet won't do more than 4 floats in a day, thus trailering Zipper to them in the morning. Eh, whatever.

My ride time on Saturday is 2:12 pm and the jumping time is unspecified - it seems like a lot more people registered this year than last year! My division (E) is split in two and the BN division is split in 3. Overall, I'm really excited and looking forward to this show. I love the venue and I'm excited to get back to eventing stuff after doing some "unconventional" (for me) shows earlier this year.

There is a little piece of me though that's nervous that we're going to flub the dressage for some reason. Probably because we've been so hit or miss for the past week and a half. I really want all the hard work we've done over the winter and spring to be evident! But if there's anything that horses (and dogs and every animal really) have taught me, it's that they're unpredictable and whatever happens, happens - you just have to roll with it. I'm ready though - bring on the season!

I just want THIS.
(and if anyone has any though about Maggie's back, let me know! It's weird...she's never had a back problem before, and I do routinely check because I'm a crazy paranoid person like that.)  


  1. love those pics of the horses playing!! also you guys are gonna be awesome this weekend - esp with all the work you've been putting in!

    re: the back soreness... i am constantly paranoid about my mare (and may or may not border on hypochondriac tendencies...). frequently i think there are problems with her hocks (and wish i could put her on joint supps) that make her compensate with her back. but really, i don't know and am probably just crazy lol