Sunday, January 17, 2010

Super Sunday.... :D


I had an absolutely wonderful Sunday, pretty much, so I just had to share about it.
Daisy was trailered to board at Jean's on Thursday afternoon. I rode on Thursday and Friday, Saturday I didn't make it to the barn, and then I went today after church.

I ordered the above cooler from horseloverz.com (AWESOME site; lots and lots of sales alllll the time) for $34 about a week ago, and it finally arrived Saturday and I tried it out today...I apologize for the picture quality, I took it with my phone. :) It looks sorta silly like that, but it's contoured and I'm glad I have it, because Daisy sweats a ton in winter, and it helps to get the sweat off. They didn't have it in red, so I had to settle for blue. :)

I got to the barn, unblanketed her, tried the cooler on, and then finished grooming and got on to ride. Daisy was very agreeable during grooming already; she leaned into the brush like she was loving it and she wasn't really girth-y today during saddling, either.

I headed out to the arena and was alone for the first half hour. I got on, and warmed up slowly, first walking and having her get on the bit at the walk, then slowly the trot. With the new Kimberwicke, she's on the bit a LOT more often, but she's not necessarily stepping through, which stinks...I'm hoping to take dressage lesson soon to see what I can do about that. I got her going and some nice trots in both directions while on the bit the majority of the time, and practiced getting nice round circles. Then I got a nice trot on a small circle going left, and asked for her left lead. She got it and after a little bit actually got on the bit for one of the first times cantering; yey! It didn't last for long periods, she'd get on the bit only for a few strides at a time, but it's improvement! I had her collecting her canter, and then I changed directions and trotted, then cantered right. She's generally really speedy going right because no matter what, it's still not her favorite side. I was really happy today, though, because she collected herself at the right lead much better then usual.

After that, I kinda made up a dressage test for myself :P and ran through it, changing directions and diagonals and canter leads and circling and even tried a free walk and such...she was sooo good!

Eventually Oliver (Jean's son) and Sarah (a 4H-er) came in on their ponies, and I rode with them a bit, got off to do some groundwork, and ended up quitting that and just walking around with Daisy following me. Generally, if I walk around without holding Daisy, she doesn't follow me. Even if we've just done a join-up, she'll only follow me for a little while before stopping or heading for the gate. Today, I did NO join up and she followed me everywhere! I used a lot of body language and had her pivoting on the ground just by stepping toward her, and turned circles and walked one direction, walked another, and she always followed! At the end, I walked toward the door, but stopped in the middle of the ring, said "whoa" and she stopped, too! If I'd been her I woulda kept goin' for the door :P.

So I had a wonderful ride :)

Just wanted to ask, does anyone know of specific problems a horse could have in a leg that's NOT hoof related that could throw off their leads (like Daisy's right lead) or make them stumble a bit while turning? I just know that if I take a dressage lesson, the trainer will jam on me that Daisy's hooves are making her "off" when she makes a tight turn to the right, but that can't be possible because her hooves are wonderful right now; no bruising whatsoever. She's had that funny stumbling turn problem since last winter at least, which is why I know the trainer will bring it up. Daisy's canter to the right is also "funny"; to me it just seems speedy, but another rider told me that she looks like she's throwing her front right out really far, like it looks stiff, when she canters on it. Frankly, it ticks me off that said trainer right away assumes it's her hooves simply because she's barefoot, because it could equally be any other part of her leg/body. Can she just have some sort of leg abnormality? I have no idea what it would be...this is probably silly, but could she have a shorter right leg or something? :P Or is it beginning arthritis (She's only 11, though)? Should I try joint supplement?

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On another note, I dissected a horse leg at a vet clinic yesterday (Saturday)! It was quite an experience, but very very cool...sad, but cool. I learned a lot about the leg, and it was really interesting to see everything underneath the skin and hair :P. Some say that's gross; to a point, it is, but I thought it was a great learning experience that isn't offered often and I'm glad I went.

6 comments:

Mrs Mom said...

There are lots of things that can create odd strides and something not quite right in horses. In a rear leg, it could be her hock, her stifle, or her hip. Those are generally the main culprits. In a front, obviously the knee is at issue, but there also may be shoulder or whither issues. If you can get video of her walking and trotting both ways, in a straight line to and from you as well as around you on a lunge line, Dear Husband and I would be happy to watch her go for you ;)

Your instructor needs to lighten up on Daisy's hooves IMO. Tunnel vision.... big time!

Sydney said...

There can be a lot of things with legs. There can be a lot of things with shoulders/hips/spines that can create exactly what your experiencing. Hard to say what it would be without actually seeing the horse though.

Sydney said...

And personally the trainer is kind of narrow minded. Shes there to give you a lesson, not dictate how you keep your horse.

Mellimaus said...

I will see what I can do regarding taping Daisy...I should be able to do it, I just probably won't have anyone actually filming, so it may be a little hard to see at some points...I'll do my best.

I know just what you mean, Sydney. My mom keeps telling me the same thing; she's there to give me a lesson, not tell me what to do. On one hand, though, she says what she does because the way Daisy moves would be hindering what we could be learning in the lesson?..if that makes any sense. In any case, I'm still going to use this trainer, but next time, I'm just going to tell her that she's paid to teach me; not tell me what to do outside of the riding.

Michaela said...

I agree with Mrs. Mom. A video would definitely help to analyze her shoulder movement and her hocks, stifles, etc. Just like humans, horses have a dominant "hand." So if she is having trouble with her left lead, she is probably "right handed." I read once (don't know if it's true) that by looking at a horse's whorl, you can tell what direction they are strongest tracking up to. I wouldn't buy a commercial joint supplement because they are full of all kinds of artificial things, most of which a horse doesn't need. And they are expensive. Instead, I would research a natural herb or oil that helps with joints. I know I've said try the leg stretches before: I haven't done them lately because I haven't been able to ride much because the ground is so hard, but I hear they really help with flexion. But if you find yourself still struggling to figure out what is wrong, you can call out a vet to do a full lameness exam with x rays and ultrasounds. You might discover something you would never figure out otherwise. I'll try to research what could be wrong, and I'll let you know if I find anything.

Anika said...

Sounds like you're ride was fun :D hahah i love it when you get ot the point where your horse follows you around, it makes you feel good :)

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