Friday, October 9, 2009

I've Been Jumping...

Sooo...I had my first jump lesson today, with Karin, the trainer I used in late winter this year... It was, to say the least, interesting.

First off, not sure if I TOTALLY have advertised this, but since July I've had Daisy trimmed with a natural trimmer. I'm LOVING the entire natural trimming process, and Daisy *seemed* and felt, like she was doing really well with it. This week Monday, the trimmer came again, and it turns out Daisy is foundering *very*, very slightly in all 4 feet. She has a small orange tinge on one part of the white-line of her hoof. The trimmer said that since she's on so little grass to begin with, she'd be fine, and just keep an eye on it and if it got worse to take her off grass altogether. He also noticed that she has very slight thrush in her right hooves; it's not advanced, but it's there. As he advised, I'm spraying Daisy's hooves daily now with a mixture of tea tree oil and organic apple cider vineger, which is supposed to help. Sounds like an odd mixture, but (this is a little silly) I have personal experience with organic apple cider vinegar killing off warts, so I think it will work.

Anyway, with all the things I've read about shoeing and farrier's trimming vs. natural trimming, I don't think I could EVER go back to shoeing, lets put that straight. Besides the fact that Daisy nearly killed the farrier multiple times (through excessive rearing during shoeing), shoeing is just wrong. Read up on it, there is a WEALTH of knowledge out there about natural trimming, and it's amazing.

Karin started out the lesson asking me to trot, and change directions at the trot, and asked me why I put galloping boots on Daisy's legs. I said I did because she tends to hit her legs together when I ride, and she responded "So to protect her, right?" and I said yes. Then she asked why I wear half-chaps, and the answer was for protection. So than she asked me why I could go around expecting my horse to work for me while she is in constant pain because she doesn't have shoes on. She wondered how I could possibly put my horse through so much pain when she obviously shouldn't be barefoot and favors her right side.
Those words stung. Bad. I'm a teenager, alright? Not to make excuses, but I'm still young and have experience, but not THAT much, and I try really hard to do the best I can for Daisy. I honestly believed (AND STILL DO) that shoes are WRONG. So Karin berated me for quite a while, which was horrible. Worse than anything, because she's older than me (duh). She has an amazing reputation as being a great riding instructor. She's had years of knowledge. Somehow, I knew that whatever I said, she'd counter, and I wouldn't be able to convince her. It's something that she just wouldn't understand, I know it. So I kept my mouth shut, in a kind of silent disagreement. I didn't agree with anything she said. In all honestly, I felt like crap. It stunk having to listen to her talk, and not figure out HOW to make her understand!
Finally, she seemed to realize I wasn't agreeing with what she said, and she said that in the end it was my choice what I did with my horse, but that I should know that Daisy was in pain and "off" to her right.
We started working for real, which was slightly awkward because I was now very aware of how Daisy's trot would die when we'd turn to change direction at the trot and change when on the right diagonal. She had me work on two-point, which I STINK at because I rarely do it at home as I ride western and rarely english, and just don't do two-point (standing in the stirrups, heels dropped down, leaning almost horizontal over the horse's back and shoulders). We trotted around, and she worked on improving my two-point.
Then she set up this course:
All the cavalettis were at full height. (lines start out magenta, than black, then (although it's hard to tell) maroon.) I would start out the course at a right lead canter, and after the first cavaletti, switch to left lead. I got lost the first two times, as I apparently have a terrible sense of direction...Daisy was, as usual, flat over the jumps in the beginning, but when she got into it and knocked a pole, she started picking up her feet more, and jumping better. At this point, however, Daisy has to go faster to jump better; eventually she was fast cantering, almost galloping, around the ring for the jumps, popping over each one...unfortunately, again no video, just my little diagram... :-/...
I felt pretty dumb jumping...I felt like Daisy was out of control galloping, and though she felt like she was jumping rounded and not flat, her speed was embaressing (I thought). Plus I felt like I was jumping badly. I saw a video of us jumping that Jean took on her phone, however, and we didn't look too bad! In fact...we looked GOOD! Creepy, huh?!

Towards the end, Daisy started to refuse the oxer (two cavalettis side-by-side) and after MUCH smacking with the crop to no avail, Karin got out the lunge whip. That was kinda freaky, because I KNEW she'd hit Daisy, but I wasn't sure how Daisy would react...Daisy shot forward when the whip hit her legs, but she wasn't hard to balance on, and we went over the oxer. Karin had to smack her with the whip 2 more times as she tried to refuse, before we ended with her going over without needing the whip.

Karin still tried to drill the shoe deal into my head again as we finished up...I just sat silent again.

She did give me some pretty cool info on Daisy's past owners, however...Apparently, Daisy used to be really bad at shows because she'd whinny and scream to the mare she was stabled with over the ring fence (I'm assuming her mother)...Ironic, considering other horses mean NOTHING, zip, zero, zilch to Daisy now; they can't motivate her, they don't comfort her, she doesn't feed off them, NOTHING. :P

Sooo, in all, it was worth the money, cool lesson...besides the terrible shoe-talk part. I need to honestly look into Old Mac's G2's...I'm NOT shoeing! NO WAY. Just need to get down and get those boots!

On Monday, I'm riding Daisy in a cross-country jump schooling with Oliver and Phoenix and Karin...Yeah...I'm crazy....we'll see how it goes. I'll try REALLY hard to get some video! :)


Unknown said...

Personally, I am against metal shoes. I have to drive my horses on the road a lot. They can't go barefoot. No way. We also have to go through mud and other such things. I have gone through a few types of boots. I found the renegades are the best but they still didn't hold up. I went to a clinic a month or so ago for these plastic shoes called easy walkers They are fexible, just like the horses natural bare foot. They provide shock absorption and require only two or three nails compared to some shoes that need 6. See since they flex if a horse steps on one with a back foot it will snap back into place rather than rip off.
Not only that I noticed in our main carriage horse after doing a 4 hour drive she would normally be wanting to walk the whole time but she wanted to trot! A very new thing for her. She still has life in her at the end of a drive compared to her being totally pooped with boots or metal shoes. They really do honestly make a difference.
BTW: Fall grass can be more dangerous than fresh spring grass I wrote a paper in university I have it posted here Just be very careful. I have dealt with my share of laminatic/foundered horses. It's a horrible ailment and theres no "proven" way to fix it. Even a mild case can escalate very quickly beyond your control. I would consult your vet. Perhaps put her on an anti inflammatory. I would hate to hear that Daisy has foundered.

Mrs. Mom said...

Good for you to stand up for what you believe in. You sound like a strong young woman, who will do well in life.

As to shod V barefoot- I admit, I have a bit of a preference myself being a barefoot trimmer, married to a barefoot trimmer. The only question I have for your instructor is: If she feels the horse is off, why continue the work, and include jumping?

I'm not trying to be mean, pick a fight, or be argumentative. But that just kinda stuck out at me some. If a horse is off, we stop. Yes, thrush is enough to make them off. If your horse indeed is coping with a mild laminitic incident, that too can make her off. Or it may not be hoof related at all.

As to the laminitis: cold hose. Cold hose. Cold Hose!! Dr. Christopher Pollitt has done extensive research into the causes and treatments of laminitic incidents, and one of the biggest things he has proven is the massive benefit with cold hosing. Hose her after you ride, hose her when you think about it.

Keep up the good work! I look forward to reading more of your adventures!

Michaela said...

If it makes you feel, any better, I was also criticized about my decision to go barefoot, too. Some people will never get it. It is hurtful when people three times your age say things like that. I moved Indigo to a different farm and I LOVE it. They don't all their horses so they don't find Indigo's barefootedness unusual. I also use their farrier now because my original barefoot trimmer just seemed to make things up as she went along lol. Indigo has thrush in all four feet, and it got kinda gross. I tried Absorbine thrush remedy and it did nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. I heard good things about Mustad Thrush Buster so I bought some, it's expensive but it's the only thing that works that I know about. Good luck at cross-country and just ignore everyone who doubts you, they're not worth it. ANd, I was going to buy boots for Indigo, but I don't think he really needs them. I've jumped him 3'6 in the ring, schooled cross country, and taken him out on trails and climbed on rocks and he's fine. Daisy might be different though. My original trimmer suggested the Easyboot Epics, because they are easy to put on and don't have any hardware on the outside which is better because it won't get caught on jumps or anything on the trail. So maybe you should look into those instead. Have fun cross country!

Unknown said...

I forgot to add: Barefoot is much like bitless. The traditionalists believe what was around when Genghis khan ruled, the world was also flat then ;). They rode in bits and a form of shoes had been developed. If they don't want to believe all that science has been saying they are better off left in the dark.

Jordyn Daniels said...

Sounds like fun! I agree with Mrs. Mom though... If a horse is off you don't do all that jumping and anything that would stress them any more :)! I LOVE having barefoot horses ;)! ALL of my horses are barefoot and I also am starting to trim them myself :). I would NEVER, after what I read, put shoes on my horses! Sounds like you liked your lesson!


Jutta said...

Hallo Melissa,wende mich hier an Dich da ich Deine E.Mail nicht weiss!
in Facebook hast ein Song reingestellt der mich sehr anspricht.würdest Du mir da bitte mal senden wer das genau ist wo ich diese Cd bekommen kaufen kann?
Dieses Lied rührt mich sehr hätte es gerne mal für daheim zum anhören!
Im Gegensatz zu Dir kostet mich You Tube jedesmal Geld....kann ich mir nicht erlauben von daher da muss es doch eine Cd geben mit diesen Liedern?
Wäre sehr lieb wenn mir da was schicken könntest danke im vorraus gruss an dich und alle Tante Jutta :-)

Mellimaus said...


Thank you for ALL your comments, I read them and really appreciated them...nice to hear I'm not alone :P.

Syndey: WOW I never knew that stuff about fall grass! I always thought it was the spring grass to worry about...very good to know...Daisy is off grass, currently...

Mrs. Mom: Cold hose?! On her hoof, or her leg? The instructor said she doubted Daisy was off because of the laminitis...I totally think she's wrong. If she was off because of being in pain with her hooves, wouldn't she seem in pain walking over gravel and stones? She can do all gaits over thick, jagged stones, and she doesn't stumble; she's FINE with them...and from what I've seen, her conformation has improved a ton since being naturally barefoot, too... Also, I feel kind of stupid, but you say maybe it isn't hoof-related...what would it be, than? I really am not sure... ? Like I said, she was VERY slightly off, so much that I didn't notice it until it was pointed out...

Michaela: I'll look into the Epics...My trimmer swears by vinegar and tea tree oil...
Anyone else heard of that combination?

Again, thanks SO much for your comments! Loved reading them! :)

Mrs. Mom said...

Hey Mel-
If you suspect a laminitic incident at all, I cold hose from the knees/ hocks down to the hoof. Cold hosing post work out on the legs seems to help tremendously in keeping working horses sound, too.

By not being hoof-related, she might be "off" in a knee, her shoulder, a hip... anywhere along her body. Watch her go, and look at stride length, how her hooves are landing, if her hips stay level, etc. All of that will help sort out where the issue is, and help plan how to treat her.

Feel free to shoot an email if you have questions- always happy to help where we can!

Slip that mare a carrot from me please!


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