Monday, April 18, 2011

Poplar Place Cross Country Video!

I'll post an update of his cut/lameness thing this weekend, but he's doing fine! It ended up that his stifles were giving him a little trouble; he still needs more muscle there after his time with EPM. So we'll be using Dana's new cavaletti every day, and as soon as it's summer vacation, we are going to try to go to Shelby Farms to work on the hills every weekend! We're hopefully going this weekend. It will also be a good way for me to start driving the truck and trailer.

280-Kristen Gallo-Tiamo-NR-XC-27Mar11 from CatchRide LLC on Vimeo.

My video! I've been waiting almost 4 weeks for this thing to be uploaded! For me, this looks pretty good. I had a lot of fun doing it! However, the 2-stride and jump afterward are TERRIBLE. I'm really embarrassed about that part, and we also took (less dramatic) fliers elsewhere, bad Kristen. One immediate thing I will do before the next show is shorten my stirrups two holes. And of course there are other things that need a fixin' that I'm aware of.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jump Rope

I listened to this song many times on the way to Poplar Place, and it's very catchy.

After the Up of Poplar, there is now a slight Down. When he walked out of the crossties Tuesday afternoon (4/5), his walking looked a little off. I thought his left hind looked a little funny but everyone else noticed his left front. I jogged him for Dana, and he basically hopped along holding up his left front. I decided it must be only his left front and that it might be an abcess. However, there wasn't really any signs of one. Dana poked at his left front shoulder too (important later), and he reacted very slightly. Actually, maybe not at all. There wasn't any heat or swelling there. I maybe felt a little rough patch/scab on very top, inside part of his leg when grooming him but probably assumed it was the little scabby stuff he gets once in awhile there. I packed his hoof with Magic Cushion and wrapped it.

The vet came out yesterday afternoon, and I took his diaper/vet wrap/duct tape boot off to jog him. He walked normally but was still lame when I jogged him. The left hind was much more visibly weird. So she flexed his hock/stifle area and front pastern, and I jogged him several more times. She thought that every time we jogged off he looked like he wanted to canter. I thought he was just "hopping" weirdly for lack of a better term. There wasn't much variation between the front and back flexions although he was a bit worse after the hock flexion. That time he really looked discombulated with legs going four different directions. She also did some of the neurological tests for safe measure because his small relapse last summer presented itself more as a lameness at first too. She couldn't pull him off his path during the tail pull, he spun around as coordinated as a Reining horse in the spin test, and before Poplar, I had Bill's vet check him out while getting the Health Certificate, and he did yoga-like moves with his legs no problem.

Right before we left the arena, she noticed a small scrape (just the hair gone), some slightly swelling, and warmth on the inside of his left front leg, near his chest. He reacted strongly with barely any pressure. She shaved some of the hair off to get a better look and couldn't tell if it was a scrape or possibly a mild puncture wound. So she decided to give me antibiotics and Fura-Zone, and I need to coldhose it ~20 minutes 1-2 times a day. She also gave him a tetanus shot just to be careful. On Monday, unless he's dramatically better, she's coming back in order to do Xrays and blocking. She thinks there could be a possibility that he's being a big baby about a tiny scrape but the hock/stifle flexion is still something to think about.

All that is very minor compared to what was happening at our barn while I was dealing with Ti. My Down is no big deal compared to it. I'm happy Ti is still happy and fine despite his somewhat mystery lameness.

Just before I drove into the barn, the barn manager's horse was galloping with two other horses in the pasture when he slipped and fell. He was on a flat, grassy, dry area but somehow he slipped. I don't think they realized how bad it was until the vet got there and determined he had broken his shoulder. Within an hour, the owner went from watching her horse in the pasture to putting him to sleep out there. It was a horrific freak accident, and I feel very badly for her and her daughter. I wish I could so something to take away the pain, but I know they just need time to deal with it. RIP Myles. He was a very pretty dark bay and full of personality, and I know he's very missed. :(

Poplar Place Recap

I originally wrote a recap a few days after Poplar Place, but I deleted it because it kept showing up as one huge paragraph. I'm way too OCD to keep that! So I'm just going to do a brief recap again.

Dressage- My dressage ring was originally in the arena that ended up having very, very deep sand footing. They moved it to the usual cross country warm up which was much better, but it did have some divets and slightly slippery footing, especially in the corners. We had an absolutely great warm up that was less than 20-25 minutes. Our test wasn't quite as good but still a very solid test. I could have prepared better for the corners and my transitions. I also got slightly sloppy about being accurate with the geometry. We got mostly 7s, a couple of 6s, and three 8s for a 32.2.

Stadium- My warm up was fairly good, but I let him be behind my leg at the beginning. Then the last few jumps were good. We were both relaxed, and he was even a bit on the lazy side. The first two fences were good, and then I started tipping with my shoulders. When I tip with my shoulders, he tends to start taking off earlier and landing stronger. I really tried to be a thinking rider, sit down and "lift and lighten him" like Allison says, but I wasn't getting it done. I ended up steering him around very sweeping turns and pulling too much so we ended up with 2 time penalties. I think I really need to focus and light a fire under myself to ride better than I have been. At the very least, I saw WAY scarier rides at Training although that's a terrible excuse, and I did have a better round than January Poplar.

Cross Country- I used a Gag instead of his normal Slow Twist Full Cheek. I really do not need that strong of a bit and plan on going back to the Full Cheek, but looking back, I don't regret using it because it made me let go of his face in between fences. I know I need to get out as much possible and practice pacing, and I have been doing this when the footing isn't super wet. Unfortunately, it has been very, very muddy and wet recently, but I've fit in a few 'gallops' in between that. Using the gag finally made me realize that I'm not going as fast as I think I am. I do think I could have been a little softer to and over the fence, but it was an enormous improvement over January Poplar. It was a pretty small, straightfoward course anyway, but he made it so easy! I felt like we were balanced up and down the hills, and there were some fairly steep ones on course. Many of the horses were stopping at the first fence as well as peaking at the Dog Cabin with cutout. I wasn't really expecting any issues in the first place, but he was very good. I'm really looking forward to seeing the CatchRide Video so I can see what it looked like!