Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Winter Vacay

 Oof, winter has only just officially begun but it's hitting us hard already. Cinder is officially on winter break. I haven't ridden her in twoish weeks? And with the weather forecast calling for snow/ice and days of freezing temps starting on Christmas, it doesn't look like she'll be getting worked anytime soon. But I'm not to upset by it. She's four; it's good for her to get a little break and let her body do some more growing and filling out. 

Her job right now is to eat and hopefully fill out a little bit

Over the weekend and Monday, it poured. I haven't checked the totals, but I know from Saturday night to Monday morning we had gotten about 4 inches of rain. The ponies had to stay in Sunday and Monday because the pastures were flooding. Thankfully the water went down as fast as it came up, and the ponies (minus Peebs still on small paddock rest) were able to go back out. 

It was raining so hard on Sunday I didn't get a chance to walk him, so when it was only sprinkling on Monday we went out for a 15min walk. He was not amused

Of course, when I pulled Peebs out on Monday for his walk, his right hind was stocked up. I found a small cut high up on the inside of his cannon bone, probably from hitting himself while rolling. It was had to tell with his winter fuzz, but it looked like a small puncture. I was waffling on whether to call the vet or not and decided to call. I know if I didn't it would probably blow up on Christmas. Ain't nobody want an emergency vet call on Christmas. My vet was luckily close by and after texting a pic, he agreed that he should take a look at it. Thankfully, after clipping the hair for a closer look, it turned out to be a scrape with a flap of skin folded on itself creating a lovely little bacteria pocket. He cut of the flap, scrubbed the scrape, and put on some antibiotic ointment. We should be good to go, and the swelling was already mostly gone yesterday. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Pride Goeth Before I Fall

 After owning him for 5 years and 11 months, Peebs finally dumped me last Friday. To be fair, it wasn't his fault at all. I'm sore, but no permanent damage and thankfully Peebs just stood there while I crawled around on the ground trying to find my glasses and phone that went flying.

So, to set the scene, I had gotten off work at noon last Friday for a doctor's appointment. I was slightly worried going into it, but got really good news so I was in a great mood heading out to the barn. I pulled Cinder out first, lunged her lightly, then hopped on. We've been working over ground poles lately, mainly so I can get comfortable with her canter and train my eye to her much larger than Peebs' stride. 

She was being super good, so I was brave and set a cross rail. I've only trotted her over two jumps outside of lessons, so this is a big deal for me. We also hadn't jumped in almost three weeks, since the show on Halloween. But being the good girl that she is, Cinder didn't act like she hadn't jumped in three weeks and our canter to the cross rail was the exact same as it was to the ground pole. While not every approach was perfect, hello drifting to the outside tracking right and dropping her inside shoulder going left, I was able to fix our issues and had reasonably good distances every time. I was able to see those distances as well, which is a huge win in my book. So I was on a huge high ending the ride on her, and moving onto Peebs. 

We've also been working on walking through and standing in puddles which Cinder is learning to tolerate

As per our usual, I hopped on Peebs bareback. We putzed around the arena for about fifteen minutes, me mostly checking social media, before doing our seven minutes of on contact walk, before I dropped the reins again and let him wander. I returned to my phone and was scrolling IG when out of the corner of my eye I saw his head shoot up and felt his back tense. The next second he was spinning sideways, and I wasn't. I don't know exactly what he spooked at, but when I came off he stood stock still, more upset about me on the ground than whatever it was that scared him. I landed on my left hip and rolled to my hands and knees and stayed there for second to make sure all my body parts were ok before crawling around to find my glasses and phone. He did walk over to me as I stood up and nuzzled me. I could tell that getting back on wasn't going to be a smart idea, especially bareback, so we limped our way into the barn and I put him away. 

Despite landing on my left side, my right hip/butt has been hurting worse. All weekend it felt like there was a flaming rock in the middle of my right butt cheek. I did manage to make it to work this week, and got back into the saddle (I am riding Peebs with a saddle from now on) last night. I still don't feel 100%, so Cinder is getting time off till I do. She might be a very good baby, but she's still a baby. 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Peebs Rehab Update

 Ugh, I'm so behind in posting about Peebs. But there's really not a lot to say. His suspensory is healing, but slowly. We did get cleared for walking under saddle, and are currently up to 23 minutes loose rein walk and 7 minutes of a forward, on contact walk. We go back in two weeks to reultrasound and hopefully will get cleared to start trotting. 

When your pony and outfit match the leaves you have to take a pic

Our walking "under saddle" is a bit of a misnomer, as I actually haven't put a saddle on him since he re-injured himself. He's almost 6 months into this rehab, but it still level headed enough that I can ride him bareback with no issues or drugs. I figured this can be my no stirrup November as I'm not ready to drop my stirrups with Cinder yet. 

Peebs got his first acupuncture session two weeks ago. The new vet at our clinic, who has handled most of Peebs' rehab does it and while I was a bit skeptical, I think it's helped. Peebs took a nice nap during the session, which was great considering he lost his damn mind when we got to the clinic because there were sheep in the field next door. If nothing else, the acupuncture sure relaxed him and helped overcome his sheep induced neurosis.  We're going to do another session in a few weeks, after his next ultrasound.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Foto Friday

Major shout out to Impulsion Images! She took some amazing pics at the show and only charged $35 for the digital download for all the pics. And she took 59 of Cinder, between A and I. I wish she was the show photographer for all my shows! Don't worry, I won't make you see all 59, just some of my favorites. All images below bought from her.

A up for one of the 0.60m rounds. And yes Cinder is missing a bell boot. A was walking her around between classes to stay warm and Cinder had a bit of hissy fit walking away from her friends which resulted in a dead bell boot.

The assignment: Find the camera. Cinder: understood the assignment

One of my new all time favorites

Peep A climbing up on the fence to video my rounds while wrapped in a cooler

Being the best teaching couch

The outside line was supposed to be a four, but Cinder got three easily, and almost did two and half once

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

MDT Jumper Show: The Great Pumpkin

 Our last show of the year was Sunday, the last in the same series as the September show. This time I and Trainer A were riding Cinder, me in the cross rails and A in the 0.60m. The venue changed, as the facility the September show was held at was sold to become a boat storage facility (which I guess is better than a housing development but still sucks) and we lucked out with good weather for the outdoor arena at the new location. 

I had found a Halloween themed saddle pad/bonnet combo on Etsy, so Cinder and I were going as the great pumpkin. The bonnet ended up being super small and I could barley stuff Cinder's ears into them. Wearing black breeches and a long sleeved t-shirt to show in did make my inner hunter princess a little twitchy, but my inner 10yr old was happy so it was win.

They had some spooky jump decorations including a skeleton with horse head and swinging ghoul. Cinder took a brief look at the horse head guy, but was very good while A warmed her up. I got on and while she felt more jazzed than she normally does we had a decent warm up. I just tried to focus on being relaxed and going with her over the fences. I could feel her switch into ammy mode once she realized I wasn't asking for as much as A had been. She stood quietly at the back gate while we waited our turn and didn't even care when another horse tried to back up into us to avoid going in the ring. 

Photo bought from Impulsion Images.

I expected to be nervous heading in for our first round, but I wasn't. I knew Cinder is more than capable of trotting a course of cross rails, and I'm a decent enough rider to get her around. I was mostly still marveling at how we're actually at the point where we can show, under saddle, together. Anything else was icing on the cake!

 Cinder listened perfectly, came back when I asked, turned when I asked, took a couple crazy angled fences for our speed round, and honestly felt so much older and more experienced than she is. We did have a rail in our first round (I think she got a little lazy), and in our third round I turned too sharply and aimed at the standard so I circled to re-approach, so we ended up with a second, third, and fourth for our efforts.

Also bought from Impulsion Images

A then got back on her and schooled her lightly during the break before the 0.60m. A's also had another student showing in that division and Cinder was happy to stand in the ring while A coached from her back. A was doing two classes, and unfortunately had the same fence down in both. The first time she cut the turn a little tight and Cinder had to leap long at the fence, and the second time A held her out a bit too much and caught the outside standard with her foot. They earned fourths for both of their efforts. 

so thrilled

We had only showed at two of the four shows in this series, but they only held the cross rail classes at those two shows, so Cinder earned herself her first series champion! We won a handmade ceramic mug, a big ass ribbon, and a handful of peppermint candy for Cinder. No better way to end our show season!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Field Trip: Sherwood Forest

 Trainer A moved her program to a new facility, and last Friday I hauled up for a trainer ride/lesson. A has been looking to move for a while, wanting to expand her program, and while I had hoped she'd stay close to where she had been located, she moved farther north, to the outskirts of Portland. The facility is amazing with big indoor, huge outdoor, lots of paddocks and pastures, and 80 acres of xc fields and trails. I had been toying with the idea of moving Cinder, depending upon where A landed, but board at SF is about 3x what I'm currently paying and it's a little over an hour away with no traffic (and there's always traffic in this part of greater PDX) so hauling in will have to do. 

 SF has about 60? stalls and there was a big h/j program moving in, lessons going on in the outdoor, and a vet working on horses when we got there. Cinder was pretty wide eyed so A got on her first in the indoor. Cinder could see the walkway on the hill from the barn down to the arenas and whenever she saw a horse along the path she sang the song of her people. Not in a too obnoxious way, more of "Hey I'm here" way. Over all she was really well behaved, if not as quiet and relaxed as she has been on previous outings. 

There were a few fences set up, and after adjusting fence heights (I learned I HATE the stupid metal cups seen above that just rest on the standard) A started popping Cinder over a few things. Cin peaked at some of the filler, but never thought about stopping or running out. She did get a little excited on a bending line into the one stride, and almost ran into a standard, but she figured it out and saved herself. A's been working on getting her to add a stride and not just leave super long and she's really starting to get it. She doesn't like it, but she's doing it. 

I then got on for my first off property ride and jump school. We trotted a vertical a few times including one where Cinder let out a lovely whinny and bulged sideways, but I kept my nerves under control so at least one of us wasn't freaking out. Then A said to do the one stride and my brain promptly left my head. Thankfully Cinder is a very good girl and put her brain back on track and hopped through it like no big deal. We quit with that since Cinder was getting tired but I was so happy with how she did and myself for not getting too nervous. I'm hoping we can haul up once a month or so for lessons/rides and I do want to take her out on the trails there. We'll just have to see how time/money/traffic works out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

WW: Show Pics

 It's hard to get good show pics in a dark indoor, over cross rails, but the show photographer was a teen using the money to pay for her own shows and at $5/pic, I had to buy a couple.

"wot are legs?"Cinder, most definitely

When I sent this one to A, she said she felt so confident in Cinder that she decided to take a nap mid course

Friday, October 1, 2021

My Rides

 I realized I haven't really talked about my rides on Cin lately. For the most part, she's been really really good. So good that I tend to forget she's only four. But then she'll have an ADD day and I remember. 

I've been luck in that we've had weekly lessons with J and I feel like each ride we've made progress. We started with just trotting a single fence, to being able to trot a course of cross rails. Baby steps, but still steps! 

Always pat your pony

We had a lesson last night and since fall is here, it was starting to get dark during our ride. Cinder was a little more up than she normally is and I let that get to me. I was nervous about riding down to the far end because Cinder was tense down there and when we did make our way down there I forgot to ride and sat there like a sack of potatoes. After a couple of circles Cinder relaxed and I remembered to actually ride her and then the far end was a non issue. 

Not from last night but back when daylight after 6:30 was still a thing

We ended the lesson by trotting a fence out of the scary corner towards home and again, the first time I sat there like a lump and let Cinder get crooked and take off early. Thankfully she doesn't hold grudges (well, not in these instances) and the second time I remembered to go deeper on the turn and use more left leg to keep her straight. We had a nice jump, landed on the correct lead, and had a soft canter after. What more could a girl want?

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

MDT Jumper Schooling Show

Originally when we started planning for this little jumper schooling show, a few of A's other clients were going to come, but it ended up being just Cinder in the cross rails and A's gelding Metro in the 1.20m, ie the first and last classes of the day. I had gotten a day stall for Cinder because I don't trust her tied to the trailer, so at least she was able to hang out and I didn't have to worry about her. 

A came down again and schooled Cinder the day before the show

The facility was really nice with a huge indoor. There was a dressage rail set up along the perimeter of the arena, with room for people to sit and jump storage along the sides. Cinder had a couple hard spooks at the people along the rail, as well as a pile of planks, but once A got her going and started jumping she settled down. Cinder did stop at one of the fences that had these little picture frame boxes next to it. She stopped a good three or four strides out and had a bit of a tantrum about going forward when A asked. She did get over it, and in her typical fashion, acted like nothing happened when A approached it for the second time.

Uh oh, people

Cinder was fourth in the order so she had a few minutes to think and hang out in the warm up before her first round. We did have a moment of excitement when a naughty school pony jumped the dressage rail from the show ring into the warm up and almost ran into Cinder. Thankfully Cinder didn't bat an eye!

Actually people aren't that bad


Cinder was still a little green for the first round. Not bad, but a little looky and bulging out through the turns. But A did a really good job of just supporting her and letting her figure it out. They made it to the jump off and while A just let Cinder cruise around and made wide turns, they won the class. The second and third rounds were speed rounds, over the same course so A was able to refine the turns and their track. Cinder won the second round as well. By the third round she was totally chill and A and I briefly discussed me getting on her for it. I had brought all my stuff, but I decided to just leave A in the tack. Cinder was being so good, why change it up? And I do honestly love watching her go around so I didn't feel disappointed with not getting on.


spoiler alert

Unfortunately Cinder was a little too chill in the third round and pulled a rail. They were still the fastest four falter and scored fourth for their efforts. She did manage to pull off champion for the division and won a cool ribbon and a candle. She then got stuffed with cookies and put in a stall with a pile of hay while we waited for Metro to go. A had some great rounds with him and also ended up champion in the 1.20s. Go team!

They were both less than impressed with us wanting win pics

Monday, September 20, 2021

Just a Little Touch Up

Even though I'm not in Trainer A's barn anymore, she told me she still considers me "in her program". I even got to stay in the barn group chat about upcoming shows. So when A put it out to the group about going to a little jumper schooling show, I messaged her separately and asked if she wanted to show Cinder at it. She quickly responded, "Yes please!"

Cinder loves a long spot

I asked A if she wanted to ride Cinder at all before the show, and her response of "I probably should" made me laugh. So last week she came down and I handed the reins over for a little touch up ride. I've jumped trotted a few cross rails since bringing Cinder home, so she hadn't had a real jump school since the end of June. But you would have never know that by the way she happily hopped around. 

I told A she's such an event rider

A said she felt really good, more inclined to stretch into the contact, and like she rode her last week instead of 6 weeks ago. It felt very, very nice to hear that I haven't screwed her up too much since leaving full training! They warmed up over some cross rails before I put the fences up. They had a few baby horse bobbles, including a run out in a bending line in which Cinder didn't really focus on the second fence till the last second. But she came back around and did great on the second try.  


I'm excited to see them back in action together on Saturday! We're doing the show for mileage and experience, not ribbons and points, but I'm hoping we come home with some satin!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

The Good and the Bad

 Let's start with the good. Cinder has been absolutely great the past couple of weeks. We did manage to get a lesson in with A two weeks ago, and while Cinder was little more up and distracted that she has been lately, we had a couple of great breakthrough moments. 

One thing A said really clicked with me. Instead of thinking of pulling my elbows back, I'm to think of pulling them down. Once I got that visual in my head, I was able to put Cinder together and we had some really nice trot work. I can't remember elbows down for very long, and Cinder is still building muscle so she can't hold herself together for very long, but every ride since then we've been able to get that feeling back. 

We also had a lesson last week with J. I told her what A had me work on, and she expanded on that. Cinder has developed a fun little habit of popping her left shoulder out while cantering to the right, especially as we go past the gate. Friend A had Scottie out during part of my lesson and while Cinder handled her buddy being around and having to work, once Scottie left, she really, really starting bulging out towards the gate. At one point my left leg almost hit a fence post. We had a little discussion involving my left heel and her side. And what do you know, our next canter circle was probably our best one yet. She was listening, actually straight, and was able to come into my hand and we had a few strides of this lovely, floaty canter.

Someone was not happy about trailer loading practice


In the bad news department, Peebs reinjured himself and made the very tiny lesion he had much bigger. About ten days ago he tripped while we were trotting. He had scraped up the knee on his good leg and we think he hyperextended his bad leg to catch himself. I took him in yesterday to ultrasound the leg and make a new rehab plan. He's getting a Pro-Stride injection next week, is on Previcox and 10mins of hand grazing for now, and then we'll restart with the hand walking. I'm pretty sure this was actually part of his plan to just be fully retired. F-ing horses, amiright?

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Figuring it Out

 We all know horse training is a roller coaster, and baby horses are even worse. Cinder and I are currently on a high spot, and while I'm not sure why, I'll take it. 

Mentally I've been a bit fried since bringing her home. Work was awful and having her home and under my care full time while rehabbing Peebs was super, super stressful. There was one point a couple of weeks ago I was ready to throw in the towel, turn her out for rest of the summer and not mess with her till I could somehow get her back into Trainer A's program. But my regular trainer J talked me off the ledge, and then gave me a couple of great lessons. 

Pictured: a very good girl

Then the perfect storm hit; we had temps in the high 90s-low 100s for a few days, I was going out of town for a long weekend, and J would be gone for a couple of weeks moving her daughter to college. Cinder got a little over a week off, just hanging out in the pasture. I honestly expected myself to be scared shitless to get back on her, but I think the mini vacation was exactly what we both needed. Cinder came out super willing to work, and mentally I felt the same. We've had some of our best work outside of lessons this past week. 

I also reached out to Trainer A and while originally we had talked about me hauling up to her for lessons, it looks like she'll be able to come to us. We're still trying to coordinate schedules, but hopefully we can find time this weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2021


 Peebs' rehab has been going really well. He's handled stall rest and hand walking fantastically. The only day I wished I had drugs for him was when they were harvesting the grass seed field next door and his brain left his head when he saw all the combines and tractors. I really wish I knew who chased him with a tractor so I could beat the shit out of them. 


I did put a stud chain on only because he'd try to snack on everything and anything during our walks and would drag me around. I never had to really use the chain; him wearing it was enough to reinstall manners.

 I was naughty and rode him a couple of times instead of hand walking. I rode sans saddle (not using the "b" word in case the bots decide it's too risque) and he was a perfect gentleman. I mean, how many horses could have over two months off, on stall rest, and you can hop on sans saddle and ride around on the buckle? Best boy ever.

He had his recheck ultrasound this week and we got cleared to start real under saddle work and to trot. We'll start with 5mins a week, and add 5mins/week till we get to 40mins of trot. Then we'll reultrasound again. Of course we're in a heat wave this week and I have zero desire to ride in 100+ weather or at 5am before work, and I'm going out of town this weekend, so we'll start our trot work next week. I highly doubt Peebs cares. He also got the ok for some small paddock turnout time, so he'll get that while I'm gone. And since it's on grass, I'm fairly positive he'll spend his time eating instead of cavorting around.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Honeymoon Over

 Baby horses are hard. I brought  Cinder home June 30th and am just now feeling like we’re approaching where we were when I brought her home. The transition from her being ridden by Trainer A three times a week and me having one lesson a week plus one ride on my own to me riding solo was rough. Not that Cinder’s been naughty or bad, she’s actually been really good. It’s more my mental state and trying not to pass along my anxiety to her. 

The day after bringing her home we had a lesson with my regular trainer J and it went really well. Cinder was her normal laid back self and J was happy with how she was going. Our next couple of rides is when the wheels started falling off. Cinder got a little spooky at the far end of the arena, I got even more busy and burnt out at work and my anxiety got the best of me. I was scared to ride her in the spooky end, scared to push her when she was being resistant, and just generally terrified I’d come off her again. 

It didn’t help that I got a message from one of Trainer S’s (the first trainer I sent Cin to) students telling me that while she wished me the best, me posting about Cinder being good for me was hard for her to see because she felt like I was being mean to S. She felt like I was lying and proceeded to tell me about how other trainers had done was worse things to her than what S did to me/Cinder. You know what’s not great for an already anxious and stressed out person? Someone they really don’t know that well shitting on their experience and saying how they’ve had it worse so you shouldn’t complain. I was pretty much ready to sell both my horses and live as a recluse at that point. 

And of course during this time J and I couldn’t coordinate our schedules for another lesson. We did finally have one a week ago and I spent the first ten minutes dumping all my emotions onto J. We came up with a game plan going forward and actually managed to have two other lessons last week as well. Each lesson and each ride has felt better and better. I’m feeling much more confident with myself and Cinder, and J has told me that I’m not allowed to put Cinder up for sale. She, and Trainer A, fully believe that Cinder will be the horse I want her to be, I just need to believe in myself, my riding, and in her.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Catch Up Part 2: We’re Going Down

 In preparation for moving Cinder home this week (holy shit still not ready to wrap my head around that) I bumped up to two lessons a week on her instead of one. Last week I had a flat lesson on Tuesday and then a jump lesson on Wednesday.

Cooling off with a walk down the road

Our flat lesson was pretty good. I’m able to get her consistently put together at the trot, but the canter is still a work in progress. We did attempt our first walk-canter transitions and they were surprisingly decent, considering upward canter transitions aren’t our strong suit. 

For jump lesson, we did a quick warm up then Trainer A had us start by trotting into a line. We jumped the first fence fine, kinda fell apart in the line and trotted the out fence. It felt good, I stayed with her and kept my leg on, but Cinder tripped on the landing. And she kept tripping for about 30-40 feet. A said it looked like a cartoon where their legs are spinning circles but they’re going nowhere. She finally went down to her knees and rolled onto her right side. 

My poor, poor saddle

I got tossed clear of her, landing on my right boob (possibly hitting it on something?) and my right knee. I looked over and saw Cinder down on her side. She stayed down for a few seconds before deciding that rolling would be a good idea. I tried to crawl out of the way while yelling at her to get up but thankfully A made it over to us and was able to get Cinder up before she rolled on my saddle. 

A handed Cinder off to one of the barn kids while she went to grab some ice boots. Cinder had scraped up both of her knees and I was still down in the dirt with my banged up knee. Both of us got about 5 minutes in the ice boots before I felt ok to get up. I gingerly walked around before pronouncing I was ok to get back in the saddle. Once I got on it was clear my knee was not happy when I put my foot in the stirrup so I ended up dropping them. We walked around for another 10minutes or so before I gently slid off of her. Cinder, thankfully, didn't seem too upset by the ordeal. 

A rode Cinder on Thursday and said she was little anxious approaching the first jump, but once she made it over she was fine. Cin has a little scrape on one knee, but otherwise just missing patches of hair. I had given her a gram of bute Wednesday night, but A said she felt and looked perfectly sound Thursday. I, on the other hand, was taking the maximum dosage of ibuprofen and took Thursday off of work, alternating keeping my knee up with ice on it, and walking around to loosen up some of the stiffness. I also have one hell of bruise on my boob. I'm feeling much more normal now, just some stiffness when I first get up in the morning, but we'll see how I feel once I get back in the saddle later today. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Catch Up Part 1: Peebs

 Hoo boy has the last week been a doozy and the next two aren’t looking any better. I don’t want to keep you in suspense, so our first update will be about Peebs’ suspensory. Sorry not sorry for that. Good new, there’s no sign of any tears or lesions, just inflammation at the top of the ligament. 

It’s been the hottest it’s ever been in the PNW this weekend so time to breakout the fans

Our plan of attack is still pretty conservative, just to make sure the inflammation doesn’t turn into something worse. We’re starting with 10 minutes of hand walking a day for two weeks, then adding 5mins per week till we get to 40. Then we’ll re-ultrasound. Peebs is also getting three shockwave treatments, and had his first on Thursday. 

My vet was out sick when we did the ultrasound, but his newly hired associate did it and I really like her. She also did Peebs’ first shockwave treatment and did a quick re-ultrasound because she said she had woken up at 3am thinking about him and wanted to double check that she didn’t miss anything. It made me feel really good to know that she’s as through and invested in my pony as my regular vet is. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

We Know What It Isn't

 Peebs had his first lameness exam last night and while we didn't get a conclusive answer, we know what it isn't. We were the last appointment of the day and the vet was running behind so we ran out of time before completing the diagnostics. They're supposed to call me this morning to schedule our next visit; hopefully soon and hopefully I have service in the basement I work in so I can actually get their call!

We started with hoof testers, and Peebs had a slight reaction on the left front, but it was pretty mild. Moved on to jogging down the driveway and he was only slightly lame on the left front on the straight aways, more lame on the turn. Flexions showed it might be his coffin joint, but again, it was slight. Put him on the lunge (tracking left first) and while he was lamer on the circle he still didn't look that bad. But tracking right (so lame leg on the outside of the circle) and he was much worse. 


Maybe someday we can use his new bridle for more than barn aisle pics

We did a couple low blocks, and while they helped a little, still not enough to make him sound. Vet thinks he probably has some arthritis in the coffin joint, but not enough to make him as lame as he is.  Our next appointment will be to block the suspensory, and possibly the knee. Vet is leaning towards suspensory being the issue. We also pulled blood for a metabolic panel because, while not on rich pasture and not getting fed a whole lot either, Peebs is a chonk right now, and him being ~25% Morgan makes him much more prone to metabolic issues. And horses with metabolic issues can be more prone to soft tissue injuries. 

So think happy leg and blood thoughts for us while I pray to the god of appointment scheduling that they can get us in quickly!

Monday, June 7, 2021

Inavale One Day Schooling Horse Trials

 Cinder went to her second show under saddle this weekend, the Inavale One Days. We hauled down Friday afternoon and Trainer A schooled her and then showed on Saturday. 

A spicy Cinder Saturday morning

Cinder was a little wound up Friday after arriving, but we went for a long hand walk before I chucked her in her stall and went to watch some of the kids ride. When A got on, a tractor had just started aerating the warm up area and I, being the h/j person, was like "Oh no, we need to find somewhere else to ride." while A was like "WTF, no I'll just work around the tractor." And she did. She made Cinder follow the tractor for a few minutes till Cinder didn't care about it and then proceeded to ride for 30 minutes working around it. First big difference between eventers and h/j'ers. 

After all of A's students had ridden and settled in, a few of the parents broke out the BBQ and we had a team dinner sitting around the trailers and campers. I tucked Cinder in for the night and left while A was rounding up the kids for course walks. I kinda wanted to walk the XC course, but I had worked in the morning before leaving to haul Cinder and I was exhausted. I was more than happy to pull the ammy owner card and not have to walk the course. 

Saying hi to the judge

For Saturday, we would be juggling A's rides on her gelding going Training, A's rides on Cinder and one of A's students at Beginner Novice (but in different divisions), then the rest of the kids at intro and grasshopper. A's dressage on Metro was at 8:06 and her dressage with Cinder was at 9. Thankfully one of A's friends was there to play groom for Metro so I could focus on Cinder. As soon as A was done with Metro we threw her saddle on Cinder and she got on for a long warm up. Which was definitely needed as Cinder was super spicy. The temps had dropped about 30* in four days, and we had some strong winds and a little bit of rain off and on all day Saturday, so that plus the show atmosphere had Cinder feeling herself. There were some bucks, and one impressive bolt, but about 25 mins in you could see her relax and start to focus. 

Dressage is tiring

The test went really well. Cinder did want to pop above the contact, and did a few canter steps in the second trot circle, but overall for a 4yr old's first dressage test, both A and I were really happy. She got a 38.9 which A felt was little high and put her 11th out 13. I was just happy she did the things when she was supposed to, stayed in the court, and A stayed on her back! 

My mom is 4'11" for scale

Cinder then had an almost 2 hour break before show jumping, so she got untacked and got to hang out in her stall for a while. A had both SJ and XC for Metro in between, plus her student's dressage. I brought Cinder back out right when A was done with Metro so we switched tack again and A headed out with Cinder. The SJ course was the same for all divisions, with Training having two, two stride combinations and BN just having one. 


The SJ arena is on the smaller side (for the recognized horse trials they use the grass fields for SJ but for the one days they use their sand arena) and they had a lot of jumps crammed in there.  And they had maxed out the height/width of all the fences. A actually said the course was more of a Novice level course than a BN, especially for a schooling show. Cinder had never actually done a full course at this height and A was a little worried about how she'd do.

Overall Cinder did great! She was definitely impressed by some of the jumps, most notably the blue barrels in the two stride which caused a number of run outs/pulled rails, but she took everything in stride and came out much more confident. A got a little lost on the way from 7 to 8 which was a really, really tight roll back turn from the two stride to a single diagonal, and wound up off her line to fence 9 and which aimed Cinder at the standard of 9.  Cinder blew past it and they had to circle back. But even with the refusal and circle, they still ended up 2 seconds under time. 

WTF are those things

I really, really wish I had kept clicking the shutter on my camera but I was certain she wasn't going to go over the barrels but she did! The fence on the right side of the frame in the bottom pic was the next fence they had to jump. It was an impossible turn.

A was kicking herself for messing up to the last fence, but I was just happy they got over everything. It was a tough course for a seasoned pair, let along a baby horse. Like I had no desire to ride that course with Peebs. Even with the 4 faults, they moved up to 10th out of 13. 


Cinder got about a half hour break before XC while A warmed up her student for SJ. Both A and I were expecting Cinder to be a little fried, but she seemed to settle into the whole horse show thing really well. She was happy to stand around SJ warm up, then XC warm up till it was her time to go. A didn't really do much to warm up for XC, just pop her over the logs they had set up maybe twice before ambling to the start box. She trotted out of the box and to the first fence, then let Cinder have an easy pace around the course. 

There was an option on course, either do the water or a log and trot up the mound. The log/mound route was longer, but A decided to do that instead of trying to get Cinder in the water. Which was a good idea because Cinder looked hard at the water and almost stopped at the log because she was so concerned about it being next to the water. But she walked over the long and happily trotted up and down the mound. 

Last fence

They had 8 time faults on XC, and ended with a 50.9 in 8th place out of 13. But Cinder finished happy, and much more confident which was what the outing was all about. She had her spicy, green moments, but she learned and enjoyed herself and wasn't mentally or physically fried. A was super happy with her and so was I.