Recapping : Ranger, Subi, and life challenges

Sorry for the radio silence here. Work sort of started taking over my life again and I forgot to blog…

My swollen, eye returned (mostly) to normal thanks to mass steroids and I was able to have my regular lesson on Ranger last week. Now, trying to recap the lesson,  I’m reminded that I really should have recapped sooner because much of the lesson was a  blur… oops.

Some of the highlights:

Flat work:

  • Ranger was as stiff as a board in the beginning and decided to pay me no attention at first when I asked him to bend. It took an insane amount of leg and hand and effort to start getting any response.
  • It occurred to me that there was some sort of camp this week which meant kids…
  • I asked Ranger for some small circles around jumps and after our 3rd attempt he FINALLY softened and realized who was on his back and I had my Ranger back and we started bending.
  • Once we worked out the kinks at the trot, his canter was LOVELY. Truly, truly LOVELY.
  • Our halts were gorgeous as well.
  • My trainer reminded we that I am the only advanced rider or rider with any sort of education that rides him so I get to do all the reschooling. Which is why I got to have “fun” in the beginning of the ride. But, it’s also why when I get through to him, he gives me 150% (I think it’s the pounds of carrots and peppermints that I stuff down his throat after lessons and the fact that I don’t hang on his mouth).
  • I rode with my new boots and didn’t feel as secure because, new boots. But, supposedly my leg looked fantastic…


Over fences

  • The plan was to do more, but we ended up working on 3 jumps the entire lesson (which was fine since it was HOT and I was feeling strange still from the steroids–unlike a normal person,  I get wired and restless and tired and add in heat and I just felt weak).
  • The course was our inside single brown boxes towards the road around to our inside line of the straw bales to the stone wall oxer (or whatever the second jump was). The plan today, unlike our normal forward course, was slow steady, and holding with the add. So, the line was to be done in the 6 vs the normal 5. [In the picture below, the inside single is the brown jump in the middle and the inside line is the one with the white winged standards. The heights were different but at least I found a semi accurate picture?]img_4573
  • First time through we were fine for the first jump, but it turned out I learned we could have been slower, but I didn’t slow down enough on the landing. Ranger started pulling a bit because he’s just STRONG.  But, because we took the scenic route, (read: we wiggled our way to jump 2 in our line), we managed the 6.
  • Take 2, same thing. First jump was fine, then too much speed, but then we move up for a 5. The 5 is nice. I mean, really, really nice. He’s not out of control.
  • Take 3, repeat.
  • Take 4. This time we talked first about lifting and tugging him up. I came in MUCH slower and managed to land slower from the first jump. But, turning to the line, even trying to lift him up and lightly tug tugging, he started pulling and we got the  5. Let me tell you, this horse is strong. I mean, really, really STRONG. He was a big head and when he uses it… He’s STRONG. He’s not bad, he’s not anything, but strong.  So, the really take away was that I have to be way more aggressive to shorten him up. I was a little passive that time.
  • Take 5. Gorgeous first jump. He was off his front end, super collected, shorten right up, landed, stayed collected, and we held that stride right to the first fence of our line (good boy Ranger!). In the end, despite EVERYTHING, by staying perfectly straight, I ended up legging him at the end up for the 5 because I saw that despite everything that we weren’t going to fit the 6 and I didn’t want the half stride chip. So I made the decision to get a nice 5 vs an ugly chip/crash/trot stride.  My trainer said she’s not sure he could actually fit in the 6, but what she wanted was that ride. We ended there.

Take aways:

  • Trainers comment: 2’6″ has become easy. It’s starting to look small?


In other news, the vet was out on Tuesday for vaccines and Subi also got his teeth floated. The other guys get done by the dentist, but at this point, I just suck it up and get the vet to do Subi so that he can get sedated. He’s been acting even more strange about food lately so I was hoping she’d find an issue with a tooth, but they all looked pretty OK (He has amazing teeth for a senior.  Actually, I think the statement was he has amazing teeth for pretty much any horse), but he’s so sensitive that hopefully the float will help anyway. It did last time. That said, he was super drunk from very little drugs. Falling over drunk. We had to hold him up drunk. Once he was back out in the field, he was still a little hung over but I didn’t think anything of it, but after work, when I came out to feed him meal 2 of 3 (he’s currently on the 3 meal a day plan…), he just stared at it. I eventually swapped it out for chopped hay which he did eat. Dinner time 3 hours later, he just sort of moved his lips around in his soaked cubes after much coaxing to even show up to his bucked. Breakfast the next morning? Ate no grain, but did managed to polish off a bucket of chopped hay (I skipped meal 2 yesterday). It was only last night, a full 36 hours after the sedative that he attacked he meal with gusto and seemed completely alert and normal. This morning he ate his grain (mixed with beet pulp) and chopped hay and was waiting for breakfast when we came out to feed.


Horses. Are they trying to drive me insane?

And because I can’t leave anyone out, my poor puppy decided to have her seasonal allergies start back yesterday so we had to have an emergency vet appointment for her yesterday as well (0-100 in severity overnight. She and I were up all night while she itched and cried non stop. This happens every year and every year I forget to get meds to have on hand…). I don’t need money at all, do I?



Dental adventures and 2 point

I haven’t done a whole lot of riding over the past couple of weeks. If dealing with a sore hip hasn’t been enough, I developed a really bad sinus infection about 2 weeks ago. Horrific sinus pain and headaches. Not fun. I managed a pathetic base time for 2pointober (1:31), but didn’t really ride much more that week. I ended up at the doctors and on antibiotics by Thursday a week ago.

However, even with the antibiotics, the sinus pressure didn’t improve all that much. I managed to teach lesson last weekend and struggled through 2 trail rides (and upped my 2point to 5:03 on one trail ride and was back down to 2:51 on the other) and started to finally feel better. Then the tooth pain began. On top of everything else, I started having tooth pain. I stayed home from work on Monday (as well as Friday and 1/2 on Thursday last week) and with regular ibuprofen, finally had some pain free moments. Returned to work on Tuesday (and had an evening workshop I forgot about which made a long day…longer) and made it through. Wednesday wasn’t good, but it was our anniversary so I went to work as well as out to dinner with my husband. Some point on Wednesday I realized the pain was now mostly in my mouth and I needed to see a dentist. I have a huge fear of the dentist and basically freaked out when I realized I needed to go. I called the local dental office and they could see me the next day, Thursday.

By Wednesday night, the ibuprofen was doing nothing (even taking 4 at a time) though somehow I managed to do OK out to dinner (up until this point I was more or less just eating bread and plain pasta as everything else upset my stomach thanks to antibiotics and pain meds), but overnight I contemplated the ER due to pain. Somehow I survived the night at home and in the morning had my dentist appointment. My wonderful mother came down to help me with the dentist (again, truly petrified of the dentist) and the office staff was very nice (probably understanding how much dental anxiety I have). Turns out, in addition to probably having TMJ, I also needed a nasty root canal in one of my molars. Due to the placement, I was referred to a specialist who could get me in that afternoon. Petrified, my mother drove me to that appointment and they did the root canal. That said, as nice as the regular dentist was, if the specialist had a general practice, I’d be moving over there. He made it so that I didn’t even feel the needles for the novocain and gave me a whole lot (past oral surgery experience had novocain wear off mid procedure). The actual root canal didn’t hurt and the wonderful dentist managed the novocain so well that only a tiny portion of my mouth was numb. Pretty impressive.

Since the appointment the pain had decreased though I’m still taking regular ibuprofen and I was never quite able to kick the sinus infection and am now on round 2 of antibiotics (which my stomach still hates). So, I’m still shuffling around, but hopefully on the mend.

On Saturday, Erik and I went out to Fair Hill to watch cross country all day. My camera died so no photos, but it was still a really nice day. But COLD. I’m pretty sure there was a massive grey cloud (and some rain drops) that settled over Fair Hill for most of the day.

Hermione's 3rd cross country day at Fair Hill

Hermione’s 3rd cross country day at Fair Hill

Marble's first Fair Hill

Marble’s first Fair Hill

So sleepy after a long, hard day.

So sleepy after a long, hard day.

So cold that, unfortunately, when I got home, I had to pull out blankets for the boys. We weren’t ready for below freezing temps. Today wasn’t much better and tonight’s going to be colder. That said, I should be able to pull blankets either tomorrow morning or Tuesday morning. Just need to check out weather.

Today’s cold weather also had a whole bunch of strange rain showers. I left around 1 to meet my mom and it was sunny and 49*. When I left to head back home an hour or so later, it was 46* and drizzling. I drove home through rain showers and sun and clouds. I got home and it was 42*. Seriously crazy weather changes over the course of 2 hours.

Despite the weather, I did ride when I got home but decided to stick with Batt and not bother with Subi. With the sudden gusts of wind and the rain/sun/storm clouds/tornado winds (ok, not exactly), it was probably a wise choice. That said, I wasn’t feeling it and neither was Batt. Just one of those days. We started off with a lovely round of 2 point 7:21.95 in the round pen. I tried to do the 2 point as a warm up, but since Batt hates the round pen, it was interesting. Instead of a nice forward walk, we moved between shuffling our feet at the walk (I forgot my crop…), cantering, and trotting (pretty much in that order). After 7 minutes or so, I hurt and we were both annoyed. We did some trot and canter sets on the hill and we survived (I asked for the canter right as a gust of wind came up behind us) before heading into the woods to finish up. Getting in the woods was more of a fight than normal (lots of wind and flying leaves), but he was pretty good once we started working. Of course, at the end of our ride, we had a huge (for batt) spook at the canter. Not at a flying tree branch, not at stuff falling from the trees, not at any of the normal things. No, Batt spooked at the jolly ball that Marble was running after in the yard. Of course, spooking really consisted as trying to turn sideways while cantering before slamming on the breaks and acting like a giraffe. It was really kind of funny. But, he survived and we finished up before calling it a day.

Too much 2point.

Too much 2point.

Not feeling it and certainly not impressed.

Not feeling it and certainly not impressed. Practicing our angry face…

Alert ears at flying debris

Alert ears at flying debris