Tuesday, May 30, 2023

More of the Same

 Not much exciting going on over in Cinder land. She's recovered from her fat/scraped leg and went back to work with no issues. I have decided that she's not getting advanced warning about future shows just incase she decides to injure herself right before them again. 

Trail walkies

She definitely did struggle with the heat wave we had, and will probably have again later this summer, so thanks to Trainer A and tube of dorm gel, she got her first body clip. She loved having her back clipped and was leaning into the clippers but was not pleased about her head and legs getting done. Which is what we expected, hence the dorm. I'm just thankful that her clipped coat color is pretty much the same as her normal coat color and she doesn't have that weird orangey tint that some chestnuts get when clipped. 

She absolutely does not like the sound of the water coming out of the culvert, so we spend time hanging out and grazing near it for exposure therapy

We've had some really good lessons lately, continuing to build on our lateral work and getting me more comfortable with a little more pace in the canter. My main mantra right now is "Shoulders in, haunches out." Trainer A did try to kill me in my jump lesson last week when she picked a pole up off the ground and spooked the shit out of Cinder. We were like halfway across the arena, but A was behind us. I didn't see what happened, just felt Cin tuck her butt, scoot forward, then start dolphin leaping. We recovered, cantered a circle, and were able to continue on to our next line, which earned me a "nice recovery". I'm getting more comfortable handling Cin's spooks and returning to work like no big deal, which has been really good for my confidence. 

I'm hoping we can continue this momentum going forward, as we've got some fun summer plans. I'm not spilling the beans, but Cinder is now registered with USEF and I've renewed my USEF registration for the first time since 2009. Please stop injuring yourself Cinder, we have places to go and things to do!

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Womp Womp

 Well, we didn't make it to the show this past weekend. Or at least Cinder didn't make it to the show, I went and helped out on Saturday. Which really wasn't the worst thing ever, considering it was 92 on Saturday and 95 on Sunday. 

When she cast herself a few months ago she ended up with that lovely split

Cinder got into something, or scraped the shit out of herself, and it blew up. She had scrapes, skin sloughing off, and swelling all down her left front. 

It kinda looked like when she had the reaction to the Voltaren back in February, and a couple nights before the leg blew up she was dewormed. I'm thinking she might have rubbed some of the dewormer on her leg, and had a reaction to it. Neither I nor Trainer A have heard of something like this happening, but both of us believe that if it could happen, it would happen to Cinder. The vet's coming out today for a few other horses and A's going to ask her about it. 

The good thing is that Cinder was sound on the leg, it just looked horrible. She got cold hosed, I scrubbed it with chlorohex, slathered it in the antibiotic and steroid cream the vet gave us, and wrapped her. I did make the mistake of giving her the molasses flavored bute in her grain instead of her preferred citrus flavor and she declined eating both dinner grain on Saturday and breakfast grain on Sunday. So Sunday morning when I went to check on her I had to remake her breakfast and hand feed her like the diva she is. 

Nope, not spoiled at all 

Trainer A said other than some scabbing, the leg looked normal yesterday and she's going to ride her today to see how she does. Today is Cinder's 6th birthday, so apparently she wanted her birthday weekend off, complete with spa treatments. 

Friday, May 12, 2023

Foto Friday: Chugging Along

Not much exciting has happened since the eventing derby three weeks ago, we've just been chugging along working on the basics.  We are headed off to our second hunter show of the season this weekend and hoping to make our hunter derby debut.  And, I've renewed my USEF membership and upgraded my USHJA membership from an outreach membership to a full membership, and signed Cinder up for a lifetime registration, for the first time since 2009 in hopes of making our rated show debut in August. So I guess you could say things are getting serious. 

We did attempt a trail ride after the derby but Cinder decided to not cross the bride she's crossed many times before. After spending an hour trying to get her over it, she finally put one hoof on the bride and we called it a success. She got called many bad names on the walk of shame back to the barn.

I was going to do attempt a solo trail ride a couple of weeks ago, but on our way out the BOs started up the chainsaw to clear part of the trail, so we turned around. No need to tempt fate with a chainsaw.

I felt sad about not finding a tack shop while in Europe, so when SmartPak was having their sale Cinder ended up with the flower power fly sheet and fly mask. She has successfully removed the fly mask a couple of times in the pasture, so she's got a different one on but I still love this fly sheet. We had two nice days in the 70s when she wasn't wearing a fly sheet and she got a little sweet itchy on her belly, so she'll be living in a fly sheet till it's time to switch back to winter blankies.

I did hop on Peebs one evening. He hasn't been sat on since October, and it's almost two years since his first suspensory injury. He was 100% sure that since he's retired he doesn't have to put up with my bullshit, but was good boy and wandered around the arena for 10mins while I watched a thunderstorm roll in. He felt very wide, hollow backed, and very short compared to Cinder.  He's happy living his best feral horse life, living out in the pasture 24/7. He was also thoroughly offended about having to get a bath and wear a fly mask. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Aspen Farms Eventing Derby April 2023

 So, when your trainer mentions doing an eventing derby (xc and stadium fences in an arena) the week after you get back from a two week vacation, you obviously say yes, right? Originally I was just going to have Trainer A take Cinder, but I was feeling brave and signed myself up to show as well. I did a round at starter (18") and A did a beginner novice round. I will say thank you to show management, as the courses were set so soft that I said the starter looks tiny. 

I honestly think the crossrail was the biggest thing we jumped. All photos bought from Ashley Kemp photography. Horrible quality brought to you by blogger

Trainer A was also showing another client horse, Jazzy, and her gelding Metro. My division was going first with my ride time at 8:47 and Metro's last round at 5:30. A had four rounds on the mares between 10:40 and 12:45. We opted to take A's new-to-her 4 horse LQ trailer which was great, because I ended up taking a nap in the afternoon on the couch. 

Pretty much jumped this from a walk.

Between Cinder not wanting to load at 5am, and the 2.5hr drive, we were a little later getting to Aspen than we liked. I quickly walked my course, tacked up, and got on. Thankfully they were being lax with ride times and taking people as they were ready. Cinder was a little up in warm-up, but settled once we started jumping. The plan was to start trotting the first few fences, and see how she felt as the course went on. 

She throws her tongue out when she's unsure of something, and my mouth is open because I was talking to her the whole time.

The arena we were showing in is beautiful, with tress all around it, a large hill on one side with places for people to sit, and an ambulance parked in one corner under the trees. Cinder didn't care about the people on the hill, but the ambulance and paramedics under the trees were absolutely terrifying. Coming out of the start box she felt good, popped over fence one (little log) and then stopped and tried to turn away going to fence two when she saw the ambulance. I got her going again and we continued onto two and three (both little logs). Four was the cross rail above, and it was heading towards the ambulance. I think Cin was a little confused as to why we were trotting logs, but once she saw the cross rail it clicked that these were jumps, and she actually jumped it. She was still scared, and tried to stop on the way to five (the wood boxes) and we jumped them from the walk. 

The start of her saying "Hell no"

The original plan was to go straight after the boxes, go into the corner next to the ambulance, and then turn to fence 6. Cinder was pretty sure we were going to die if we stuck to the original plan, so we just walked between two bigger jumps and picked the trot back up once we turned away from the ambulance. I was a little worried that she was going to try and bolt going away from scary corner, but she didn't and locked onto the little vertical we had as the next fence. The last two fences we shared with the hopeful division (2'3") but they still looked small to me. They were a little coop and another log. They both ride fine and while it wasn't the round I was hoping to have, I was really happy with how I rode and handled things. I'm finally feeling confident that I can get Cin around (baby fences) if she has a melt down and I trust her enough to know she's not going to try and kill us by doing anything stupid. 

Cinder didn't really like this yellow oxer and jumped it big to show her displeasure

I hand grazed Cin while watching other rounds go, while A got Jazzy ready, and while A showed Jazzy. Then we switched and A got on Cin and I held Jazzy. A did a quick warm up with Cin (she was getting tired and thought having to go twice was bullshit) before taking her to the ring. Cinder was still convinced the ambulance was terrifying and stopped at fence 2 because she was so busy staring at the ambulance she didn't see the fence. A got her over it, but their course took them into the scary corner between fences three and four and Cinder stopped on the way to four. A got after her and Cin kept moving, but was rattled. They made it around the course, but it wasn't pretty. There was another rider ready to go after A, but then no one else had come up from warm-up so after the other rider was done, A asked the judge if she could go in and just trot around. The judge gave the ok and A went in for a schooling session. They did a big trot circle by the ambulance and Cinder was able to relax a bit and trot away calmly. 

Again, not the round we were hoping for, but a good schooling opportunity. And now we know that Cin dose not like ambulances so if future shows have them parked next to the ring, we will school the shit out of her first. Cinder also learned a lot about having to hang out at the trailer, and on the trailer, all day at show and behaved herself pretty well. I'm sure being exhausted played a role, but for the most part as long as she had hay and a friend she was quiet all afternoon while we waited for Metro to go. I entered this show as a schooling opportunity and to keep getting Cin out to things, and it was a good growth experience for both of us.