Hermione

A temporary break from a horse blog to discuss my best friend, my favorite dog, my Velcro, my co-dependent pup.

Hermione.

Last Tuesday she woke me up vomiting bile and acting lethargic. She wasn’t interested in food. I went to work, came home to check on her at lunch, found she was super perky but still not eating so I went back to work. That night, she was super lethargic so after chatting with my vet practice a few times, we took her to ER vet #1.

 

They did X-rays (inconclusive), gave her fluids, and pain meds and at 2 am we were released.

The ER is boring!

The plan was to follow up with our normal vet in the morning for more x-rays but the ER vet didn’t feel she needed to stay overnight…

Of course, by the morning (all 3.5 hours later), she was groaning and miserable. So, we fed the horses while Hermione lay in the grass looking pathetic and in pain and basically made me cry. Our vet appointment was at 10, but we carted her over the moment they opened at 8:30 to sit in the waiting room and the took us pretty much as soon as a vet showed up.

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The vet immediately suspected pancreatitis. The admitted her, drew blood, re-ran x-rays, and called me a few hours later. X-rays didn’t reveal much. Blood pointed to pancreatitis. Continued on pain, fluids, and a long acting antibiotic through the day. That night we were going to transfer to ANOTHER ER clinic (my vet doesn’t have 24/hr monitoring).

So, we picked her up at 7 and took her down to the other ER vet. They weren’t convinced it was pancreatitis and we made a tentative plan to ultrasound in the morning depending on if she was willing to eat. Vet said she’d call me at 6:15 unless something bad happened. No other news was good news.

img_0238So, finally around 11pm we left, drove off, left the highway, stopped at a drive thru for food and coffee and found our truck, with BRAND NEW BRAKES (literally, every single piece of the brakes from front and back lines to pads to calipers to parking brake) sliding into the car in front of us. And my husband’s food was on the floor. When I got out, brake fluid was GUSHING OUT. EVERYWHERE. So yeah, there was that. Thankfully there didn’t appear to be any damage to the other vehicle. And the driver was very nice about it. Thankfully. Exchanged info, but (knock on wood) it wasn’t needed.

I called AAA and they said 50-75 minutes. We managed to get the truck to a parking spot (yay for new parking brake). 20% brakes came back. AAA tow truck driver called to say they were low on tow trucks and it would be at least 2 hours (only 2 trucks in Chester County that night and abnormally busy). So, we were looking at 1:45AM. 1:45AM turned in 4AM. I got a ride home to feed the horses, feed the cats, clean litter boxes, feed and grab Marble, and drive back to Erik. And we waited. We eventually got the truck off to Toyota. And got home around 4:30AM.

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Defective Caliper. Seriously. WTF?!

And then the vet called at 6:15 to tell me she didn’t want to eat and we agreed on an ultrasound. So much for sleeping.

And then the horse vet came at 9:30… So it’s not like I could go back to sleep either! (routine)

Around 10:30 I got a call that the ultrasound revealed a foreign body in her small intestine. Plus an unhealthy part of her small intestine. Surgery. Thanks to my mother for saving the day, we were able to make the surgery happen. [Somehow while waiting for news about surgery I managed to get my promotion documents submitted…]

She came through with flying colors. The removed a portion of her small intestine (several puncture holes), but were NOT able to identify what she ate…

By Friday morning she was eating chicken at the vet.

We visited on Friday night.

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Reunited! We both cried. 

Saturday night she was released to come home.

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Heading HOME!

And for the last week I’ve been sleeping on the sofa while my best puppy ever has been living in an x-pen and trying to be the best patient ever. We SHOULD have a follow up with the surgeon on Wednesday and hopefully she’ll get her sutures removed.

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So HAPPY!

Anyway, I was holding off on this blog until I felt better about my Hermione. She’s still on antibiotics for another 30 days (well, it might only be 27 now) but otherwise is recovering well. She’s grumpy about no sofa or running around or mostly laying in my lap on the sofa, but otherwise she’s doing well. She doesn’t eat stuff so this whole thing was just strange. She just needs to keep doing better.

 

Blog Hop: (MULTI) Millionaire Me

Joining the blog hop started by hellomylivia because why not?

  • New farm!!! I don’t actually need/want anything crazy either.
    • Possibility 1 – pasture needs work, but it’s doable
    • Possibility 2 – house is a bit too grand, but my dogs love having a pool so I don’t want to take that from them or have to put 1 in… Barn is cute but being connect to trails in nice
    • Possibility 3 – 45 acres? why not. House is lovely and no pictures of the barn, but I could put in a ring or 2 (outdoor and indoor) and a pool (dogs) and still have acreage for turnout AND hay. Plus Peacedale is a gorgeous preserves! You can ride there, but you can’t haul in so being attached to the trail network…
    • Possibility 4 – 26 acres! Needs horse facilities and a dog pool (yes, I’m serious), but… Land looks lovely.
    • Possibility 5 – This is a little extreme… But… wow!
  • Ranger. Sorry he needs to come join the new farmimg_7981
  • All weather sacrifice paddock (Cough. Jiminy. Cough.)
  • New trailer
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    Upgraded one of those please!
  • New truck (Let’s not go there…)
  • Pay off student loans
  • Pool (if current house doesn’t have one — doggies need  a pool) AND pool guy — we’d use it SO MUCH MORE if we had a pool person other than us!
  • Arena (s)
  • Hired help — maybe not all the time but definitely regular help
  • Second/third riding horse (why not?)
  • CART AND TRAINING FOR JAMES (and Jiminy also needs an attitude adjustment)
  • Unlimited supply of Carleigh’s Cookies for Subiimg_7991

Maybe I am asking for a lot.

But mostly I want Ranger.

My poor lame and miserable horse

Short Saturday post to vent.

Subi is miserable this morning. He was trimmed Wednesday and my farrier noted his feet were really soft, especially for him. Kept him long in hopes that he’d not come up sore (in 8-9 years of my awesome farrier, Subi has only once been sore and that had more to do with the lost shoe vs his work). Unfortunately, he’s ouchy.

Then, last night, super monsoons and I doubt this mud will EVER dry. A nearby town had 12″ of rain yesterday, 7-8 in 1 hour…

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This morning, HIVES.

Very uncomfortable! 😕

I’m running to the vet for more dex but he’s so miserable and off his feed (standard for him). He’ll eat when he’s less uncomfortable. I’m tempted to pick up some good hay and leave him in the less muddy area alone next to his boys and put his easyboot clouds on to help. Just for the weekend. Plus maybe some keratex on his feet if the boots keep them dry.

We’ll see, either way, he’s miserable today. Vet’s out Thursday for routine stuff so we’ll chat about pain management which regardless of this mess, I think we need sooner vs later 😕 The old man is getting creaky and ouchier.

Ranger Recap: I forgot how to ride…

This post could also be titled: Don’t do yoga before you ride…

It was also a week of boxes and shipments and we all love boxes, especially when they don’t cost anything! And even when they do…

First box? New helmet ordered on IHAD! I ordered the Trauma void and then spent hours debating whether it fit (I had tried one on a few weeks ago so I knew the size was right). I also realized that my old One K helmet did NOT fit (plus was giving me headaches again–the last thing I need). Thanks Michele for laughing at me and thank you to Amanda @ 900 Facebook Pony for helmet fit advice from pictures and random text messages! I’m still not sure I love the look, but it’s comfortable and it definitely fits. I’ll do a full review one of these days!

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Next box? ~$300 worth of Kensington fly stuff! I won an Instagram drawing a few weeks ago and now am the proud owners of lots of fly garb. All my guys already have fly sheets (Batty and Jiminy JUST got new sheets this year) but Subi’s is on his 4th summer so he was the recipient of the prize package. Fly sheet, fly mask, fly boot, tail cover (not really sure about this one), and a matching lead rope. At some point I might splurge and get a matching neck cover, but, as I don’t use the neck cover on Subi too much, he may just use his current next cover on with this sheet… Who cares about matching… I’ll dress him up this weekend and take a picture. The mask MAY be too big as he usually wears a cob mask and the smaller size was listed as arab (on the package it’s listed as cob/arab) so we’ll see. It’s a new style so very few reviews. Regardless, it’s still nice to win stuff!

Now, lesson time! Thanks to a weird  kumbaya day at work, I ended up doing a lot of yoga instead of working (less the 90 minute intensive research class I had to teach while the rest of my colleagues were running around playing video games and painting rocks). I love yoga, but it’s been a while. As a result, I felt it when I hopped on Ranger last night. Flat work was fine. Did a lot of extending and collecting at the canter.

Over fences, we started out working on an extending/collecting exercise over the center line (maybe 1ft fences). First time in, 10 strides, next length in for the 9, then collecting for the 10, then back to the 9, then 10, then 11, then 8. One time I overrode for an 8 instead of the 9, but ultimately, you get the idea. The fences weren’t the issue, the stride length was.

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Next we took it to the inside single around to the inside line. Goal was to do the inside line first in a holding 7 then a going 6. The single was fine, the holding 7 was fine, reapproaching the single was fine, the 6, less so. I failed to keep my right leg on him as my leg was starting to die by this point and because of a lack of a straight line, we ended up with a 7 vs 6. So continuing around, we landed from the single, moved UP, stayed straight, and got the 6. Easy, no issue (this time).

After this we did the other inside single (oxer) around to the outside line (4 strides) back to the inside line in the 6. This was, er, less successful. As we turned to the oxer, Ranger had a moment of GALLOP in his mind (he caught his eye on the outside line vs the oxer) and I had to collect). Despite that, the oxer wasn’t terrible). But, we landed and didn’t exactly regroup and sort of flew to the line and while I collected as necessary, I failed to ADD LEG at the base and we chipped before thankfully finishing the line semi successfully. The inside line was OK.

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On the reapproach, I stayed out longer before the turn to the oxer and there was no attempt the gallop as Ranger did NOT get his eye on the wrong jump as my turn was better and direction was clear. The turn to the outside line was again so much better. BUT, where I completely failed was the inside line… OMG. I landed from the in and just lost it. We did the line in a 7 and it was ugly. So, I was to go to the other inside single and go back around to the inside line. Except… I completely FAILED at that. (legs DEAD and no heel and shaking legs re: yoga coming in to play)

Let me just mention this. It deserves its own line.

Ranger is a SAINT.

Ranger SAVED MY BUTT.

I have no idea how WHY we got over the jump OR how I stayed on.

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Summer is ending quickly…

First he thought we were jumping the brick box NEXT to the single then realized I was likely thinking single and said, “Idiot, I’ll jump that, hang on fool.” And jumped from the base of the fence about a foot higher than the jump so that he cleared it. I landed in a HEAP on his neck. But managed to stay on as he cantered around the corner and decided he’d throw in a front change just because… (I’ll while I’m promising him so many cookies and peppermints to make up for my mistakes).

Needless to say, we restarted and I regrouped and got my leg under me and we jumped both of the damn jumps/lines. They weren’t perfect, but I believe at that point, as it didn’t look like I was going to die, my trainer decided that was a close to perfect as things were going to be. I made promises never to do yoga before I rode ever again and off Ranger and I went for a walk (where he proceeded to spook at a horse running and bucking and almost unseating me AGAIN–thankfully I had decided to put my feet back in my stirrups as there was NO strength left in my legs to hold on to his side jump and spin).

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My new helmet ALMOST got a crash test.

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Ranger got an INSANE number of peppermints and cookies.

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Ranger Recap: omhumidity

I FINALLY had a lesson Thursday after 2 lesson free weeks. First I was away on a much needed vacation (where I spent the week covered with ice packs barely able to walk because of an allergic reaction to some sort of biting/stinging creature that took me 14 days to recover from — not seeking medical attention was not a good idea but I’m also allergic to prednisone). Then trainer was away at pony finals. I did ride Ranger (Dr. Ranger in case anyone asks) while she was away though it was insanely hot. But FINALLY a lesson.

But, it was crazy humid. Seriously, I almost died. I wanted to pass out several times during my lesson. And I’ve lost just about all strength in my right leg thanks to stinging injury… We got on early and the previous lesson was running late. So I took a nap on Ranger while the cantered for a bit before I was advised to start trotting (sorry, napping was a better idea). Thankfully, Ranger came to play and we had a nice forward trot and, at least on the left rein, incorporated some nice bending. And, because there is nothing more you want to do when your horse is moving forward, we also decided to add in some sitting trot circles… Ugh. To the right, nothing was as easy. As I mention, I have less than NO right leg and Ranger does not like to bend to the right. I am helped by the fact that I am the only person that can get him to bend (we worked a lot on bending last week when my leg was in worse condition). Eventually we walked, other rider worked on her changes then it was time to canter.

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Major success at Pony Finals for one of our riders! 3rd o/f, 3 overall, champion welsh in mediums!

Because I’m an idiot, I decided to pick up the left lead first. Our easy direction. At this point I was already exhausted. Humidity was killing me. I really need to work on the hard stuff (right lead) first. Instead, we cantered for what seemed like an eternity: circling, lengthening, etc. before we finally changed direction. To the right, the balance was not there. I could feel my legs shaking from the start and no amount of right leg plus hand could get his head where I wanted it. Of course, my outside hand started becoming ineffective too so there’s that. But, we had a moment where the balance came suddenly. While our trot circles suck, right lead canter circles don’t. And suddenly Ranger was round, bending, and balanced. So, at the canter, I need to remember to circle early, balance, and then work down the sides until I can achieve that balance with him elsewhere. Part of it is that he’s a lesson horse that no one else does any of this, but still…

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(at this point I downed my entire bottle of water and proceeded to die while the other rider started jumping before we joined in)

The exercise was to trot into the outside line and canter out in the 6 (I think… It’s been a few days). First time through we got a 7 as we just had no momentum into the in of the line and had to land and work. After that, realizing that the trot we needed was almost a canter but still a trot (basically forward with energy–these weren’t tiny fences though obviously not massive either), it worked. We did this several more times until no more thinking was required. The other horse did one more fence and left the ring (Ranger was less than impressed, but was joined by another horse which softened the blow).

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You can see the out of the outside line (not an oxer in this picture) and the log jump. You needed to pass the out of the line before turning to the log. (The inside single is the tree/brick wall half cut off by this picture)

Next we cantered into our inside single and were to go around to the log jump and then back to the outside line. Except, nope. Fail. The single was fine, the single was great actually. We moved up to a gorgeous spot. The log though. Drive by. First drive by in a while. It’s a hard approach as you have to go by the out of the outside line and turn to the log there (and the log is a skinny). But, being that you’re already cantering down the quarter line… So we reapproached, this time I used twice as much leg and hand and sat back and Ranger grabbed the bit, gave me the middle finger, and laughed in my face. My shoulder still aches from that one. So I got angry back, pulled up, added leg, and at least did quite let him pass it even though we had no change of getting over it. At that moment, Ranger realize I wasn’t once of those little kids he gets to drag around. With a more conservative approach, a couple tug, tugs, we got over the damn jump. Then we did the whole thing twice. The first time was decent. The second time we moved up to everything and called it a night. Sometimes you just don’t want to mess with a good thing.

 

 

The tale of the neighborhood pony.

I haven’t written about Jiminy lately.

He’s fine. Neglected in his new purple fly sheet. But fine.

I decided recently that he needs more work. But, with the insane amounts of rain we’ve had, I really don’t wan to lunge him and tear up my grass round pen. Plus it is SO BUGGY and it appears I’m allergic to every. single. bug. out there so I thought I’d start taking him for walk, because, why not? If nothing else, if I ever start driving him, it’ll be good desensitizing.

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Best pony every.

So we starting our walks last night with a stroll around the neighborhood (or the development across the street). We didn’t get out of my driveway before we were stopped by a car and a lady in her mid 70s who had to chat about Jiminy (and make sure I still had my big red horse too). Jiminy was a little antsy during the chat, but we worked on personal space and he got the message really quickly. He’s a pretty good egg. Most of the time.

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So much to explore!

We continued our walk. Chatted with a lady and her elderly dog who failed to notice us for about 5 minutes and passed by lots of cars. We mostly stopped and let them pass, working on patients and watched people smile and him. He brought lots of smiles from people.

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Taking it all in

It was also the night before trash day. So we handle large trash cans, and odds and ends at driveways. We sniffed some and took in the sights. He doesn’t spook and mostly just walked up to things and looked. The only thing he didn’t care for was the grates of the street. To be honest, his feet would likely fall through so they’d be an issue anyway, but the most he did was stare at those.

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So much grass and no eating… 

Mostly he took everything like a champ. Include kids doing sprints behind him. They eventually came up and said hi to him (their dad was on their driveway and was the ONE person we ran into who didn’t look impressed), but even their running didn’t bother him. Since they weren’t running up to him, just running in general, I didn’t say anything. Jiminy didn’t care. I’d have moved if it bother him but he was very unfazed by the entire thing.

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Such a good boy

All in all, we were about about 35 minutes and he was tired by the end, but pretty perfect. I’d like to do this a few times a week and eventually take him out for a few mile treks at Fair Hill this fall. He just takes everything in like the good little mini horse he is. Hopefully as more people see him, he’ll continue to bring people smiles.

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Best mane ever

Ranger Recap: the lesson that almost didn’t happen

For reasons that I don’t feel like going into (other than saying, I HATE TRUCKS), I almost cancelled my lesson this week. But, for my sanity, thankfully, I didn’t.

For the first time in the longest time, I did not get to tack up. So the entire ride was sort of weird??? I showed up and started getting my stuff together when my trainer walks in and grabs Ranger and informs me that she’ll tack up while I get my boots on. Turns out the previous lesson no showed (or more likely cancelled the week before and no one remembered) and since I was there, she’d tack up for me while I got ready. Ok then. I sort of relish my time tacking up, but… not going to upset the apple cart. img_7981

Thankfully once I was on, I could take my time to breathe before we actually started working and trotting. So I took a few minutes to breathe and stretch before we got to work. That said, I was still carrying and insane amount of tension throughout all of my trot work. Still, I felt like I’m really getting somewhere with bending and Ranger is realizing that I am going to make him and it’s just easier to listen. Part of the issue is I’m one of the only ones who make him bend so… to the left we drilled sitting trot which is TERRIBLE when you are carrying tension. And I’ve had on and off back issues and probably need an mri… OMG. To the right, more of the same, less the sit trot, but two point instead. That said, I don’t think I’ve done 2 point in a lesson around the ring in a while… BUT, my 2 point was impressive so??? Yay?  After that, we walked while Ranger took a few minutes to breathe (humid as hell). I vented. Then it was time to canter. Venting for 5 minutes made me feel SO MUCH BETTER! Tension… GONE. Of course, supposedly I transferred all of it to my trainer, but whatever. Sorry. Nothing exciting about the canter work this week.

Over fences:

We started off cantering over the inside line of 2 TINY crossrails. The goal was to do it first in a super slow 8 strides, trot across the center of the ring, canter it in 7, trot across, canter it again in 8. Basically, exercise in stride length and adjustability.

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Unlike some people, I LOVE this exercise. We succeeded the first 2 times through without any issues. The 3rd time I didn’t use quite enough right leg and we had a bit of right drift and tripped at the crossrail and lost our trot for a stride but, in theory, would have had the 8 had we cantered. So we did it again just to be sure. T

Next we cantered around and did the other inside line. So, the line that has the green tree standards. First time through in a 6, then in a collecting 7. First time through, I had the pace, but remembering the last time I did this line, I cut me corner to prevent left drift which actually causes left drift (I never said I was smart). So, I never had a straight line to the second fence. As a result, I had land and add leg to get there in 6. We did it easily, but it was more work than necessary. So, instead of collecting, we did that again. Second time through, I stayed out until I could see the straight line, made the crisp turn, and what do you know? It was easy. Then we trotted through the center, collected (super easy by the gate) and did the 7, trotted through the center, added leg, and sent Ranger forward and did the 6. This time, when landing, we continued around to the outside single white oxer. Except, instead of steadying my pace, I didn’t see anything and tried to adjust. I forgot to just count 1-2, 1-2… and THEN look for something. But we got over. We did just the oxer by itself and it was easy because I remembered by that point how to ride…

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Green jump around to the oxer. I cut off the ring, but you get the idea… 

We let Ranger walk for a couple of minutes while I got my last instructions. Basically, the end single around the random stone pillar to the brown oxer (out of the inside line we were just jumping) turning right in the air. Ranger was dead at this point so my goal was do it in one so we could be done. Usually that means I’m stuck on his back jumping forever but this time? I was clear and confident. I could feel him getting sticky so I picked up my canter at the far end and just established my pace and he knew I meant business. It just worked? I remembered where I was going and actually rode, using my ring and staying back, but looking ahead and being forward. Interesting that I can do that sometimes…

We cooled out with a walk which had Ranger had fly spray (oops, missed in our rush out), Ranger probably would have enjoyed more. But, overall, a very much needed lesson.

The many stages of dead Ranger

Ranger Recap: Lacking motivation but Ranger cures all.

So I’m going to try and recap 2 lessons here, but I may end up splitting this into 2 posts if it gets long. I’ve just really lacked blogging motivation lately thanks to life. But I’ve had a couple of great lessons that I should really write about…

Alas on with the posting!

Flat work:

As usual, we did our normal warm up. Working trot/halting/circles/you name it. Unlike normal, I was able to really focus on getting Mr. Ranger to cooperate on bending through our circles because he’s a gem and thankfully decided that he’d listen to my inside leg.

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At the canter we reintroduced our changes which…were a struggle. First time left to right we completely missed as I just had too little canter and Ranger noped right out of it, second time through I got more canter so that crossing through the center, when I shifted and added outside leg, he gave me a clean change. Right to left was a lot harder. We completely failed the first time. Second time we got the front only and continued around to try and get the back. Trained told me to kick in the corner and I…didn’t. Third time, same thing. Front, not back, but in the corner I listen, kicked and got the back. Basically, I needed to get the forward momentum from the back end which I was completely lacking which the kick allowed me to get. I so rarely need to kick Ranger that I was just out of sorts completely.

Over fences:

We started off we 3 fences on a circle. A cross rail, and the 2 outside singles.

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Plain jane standard cross rail and the white and blue standards outside single and the white standard outside single (different heights, but same locations)

The goal of the exercise was to ride the jumps in a continuous circle. We did it to the left first 3-4 time, then to the right 2-3 times. Even though Ranger bends better to the left, he likes to land right. So, the left was harder initially, but eventually we fell into the right rhythm. The right was just easy from the start. Key? Don’t rush.

Next, we attacked the single inside jump that gave me so much trouble last week, cantering up and down it 2-3 times each direction. My trainer thought it was the height (even though both the other jumps in our course were 3′ and didn’t give me issues) but I knew it was my brain. She put it back up to 2’9″/3′ and had me canter back and forth. Unlike last week, I remember that I needed to just have a steady canter (I’m back to counting my 1-2, 1-2 canter rhythm when needed to stop interfering) and that even if I screwed up the spot, the canter would make it OK. And the jump was perfect each time… “Well, no issues with that jump today…”

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Last we ended with last week’s course. Cantering right lead over our outside single (blue and white standards). Then MOVING away from the gate towards the inside single that I had finally mastered, and continuing down (left lead) to the other outside single which was now an oxer. Not huge but 2’6″-2’9″.  With a steady pace and confidence, we had no issues and did this a few times before calling it a night. img_7975

 

And like all good rides, we took a nice long walk to cool out, enjoying rural Chester County and the last nice night before monsoon season… or endless rain and floods unlike anything I’ve ever seen….

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I’ll write about this week’s lesson in another post.

 

Ranger Recap: Getting back in the swing of things

I FINALLY had another lesson after 2 weeks off from lessons due my trainer away at horse shows (I did get to ride Ranger but not as much as I had hoped due to migraines and a heat wave that, quite honestly, left me not wanting to ride).

But it was so nice to be back that I took absolutely NO pictures so deal with old media?

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Never too much of this face

I got on a bit early and just chilled on Ranger. He’s really a good couch. To be perfectly honest, if all I did that evening was sit on his back, I would have been 100% happy. I can’t describe how much I love this horse. He’s perfection is ALMOST every way (my ears will talk about that later…).

We did out normal w/t warm up with circles while the lesson before us was finishing up. Forward, thankfully, wasn’t an issue, though circles were and the effort it took to loosen Ranger up to right to get him to bend was something else… He was stiff as a board. Supposedly he was worked some already (beginners), but based on how much his neck resembled a 2×4, I’m guessing I was the first person to ask for any sort of bend. He rented the bend not the work. He has quite good work ethic. Eventually he gave in to my inside leg and rein and relaxed his neck and we achieved a nice bend and moved on. So exciting. Seriously. Like watching paint dry. On a 2×4.

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He’s the best

Cantering was nice. Our first direction. Relaxing and lovely. Then his friends left. And all hell broke loose. I mean, he was lovely and well behaved just a bit forward and screaming at the top of his lungs. See, Forrest was in the ring with us and OMG I LOVE YOU BFF FRIENDS FOREVER. So, yeah. Screaming. Ranger’s downfall. My poor ears. It got old. Really. Really. Fast. But, we forgot we were fighting me on bending so win?

We warmed up with a our log jump by cantering in, landing and turning and reapproaching based on whichever lead we landed. So turn right and approach from the right if right lead, left if left lead. We landed each lead 1x and then moved on. Meanwhile, my trainer had her daughter set up fences and don’t let a 9 year old put up jumps… Some of the fences were up already from the previous lesson, but now I have 2 3′ fences, a 3′ oxer, and a small line and a small vertical to warm up with. Thanks. For the oxer, the directions were to put it up a bit (it was 2’6″) and then she asked if she could make it an oxer… Oy. “Sarah doesn’t want to jump small jumps…” — Actually, Sarah doesn’t care!

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Old view of the course. Jumps at different heights but you can see the log. Landed and either went right or left and reapproached.

We started off with the vertical (which was actually the second jump on our inside) heading towards the barn around to the other inside line. The line was nice and small (2’3″) and while I was nailing the single vertical, I struggle SO MUCH with the approach to the in of the line! First time through, I cut my corner a touch and chipped. Second time, I stayed out, but then we had left drift. Third time OR fourth time (I lost track), we were to continue around to the massive 3′ oxer that I was giving the side eye… Thankfully I rode the line better this time and didn’t die with the oxer… MASSIVE outside leg was required to keep a certain pinto from left drift to the inside line.

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Where the X with blue/white standards would be the vertical and the tree jumps would be the inside line (can’t see the second one well but bother were similar height 2’3″ ish).  Outside singles can be see here too but just raise them a lot make the one left of screen an oxer and the inside jump is between the stone pillars

We changed things up the next time and moved on from this and instead did the OTHER outside single around to the inside single around to the outside oxer again. I’ll be honest, I never 100% got this. I got each part, but never completely put it together. And the more I started thinking, the less things worked. And we all know, thinking IS NOT A GOOD THING, at least with me. So, I would get the first jump, and then my trainer would tell me NOT TO CHANGE ANYTHING so I would somehow interpret that to mean SLOW DOWN and change my pace rather than keep my leg on… then guess what? The spot I would see would suddenly disappear! Amazing how crap like that happens and we’d chip a 3′ fence… But still clear it because Ranger is a saint. SAINT. Or, we’d swap coming up to it to make it work… Or, I’d ride PAST the distance. Then I’d realize I’m an idiot and fence 3, the oxer would be perfect. Or, I’d screw up jump 1, and come to my sense and jump 2 and 3 would be perfect. Basically, jump 3 became perfect. So, finally, getting exhausted, after attempt 4 or 5, I asked if I could leave out jump 3 because I didn’t want to start screwing up that jump after 5 perfect attempts in a row… So after another go or 2, we then just had jump 2 to contend with after perfect jump 1…

Believe me, it is possible to continue to screw up a single fence multiple more times…

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Saint.

Finally I decided to pick up my canter half way around the ring, start counting my 1-2, 1-2s OUT LOUD and what do you know? Perfect fence. I had just gotten in my brain and not given myself enough time to establish a pace… Ranger wasn’t helping either as by that point he was back to calling to Forrest… And trying to slow by the gate… I think picking up the canter early he realized I meant business…

Thankfully, by jumping that fence well, we ended.

Ranger got to reunite with Forrest (well, first there was screaming in stalls, and baths, and almost accidental turn outs of the 3 horse in their 3-some Mikey). And eventually, my hearing returned to normal.

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