Thursday, December 7, 2023

Rainier Equestrian Events: December 2023 Show

 At the end of November, right about when I stopped riding, Trainer A decided she wanted to take her new horse out to a h/j schooling show to get more rounds under their belts. She asked if I wanted to go as her groom/jumperland interpreter for the weekend and of course I said yes. We both were a little sad that I couldn't ride in it, then A asked if I wanted her to show Cin. I initially said no, as I still hadn't gotten my bill from the ER visit in September and I knew I had more medical bills looming. But my mom offered to pay for the show as an early Christmas present, so we entered Cin last minute. 

All photos bought from On Murden Cove Photography

Rainier Equestrian Events puts on USHJA Outreach shows on the west side of the greater Seattle/Tacoma area, and its about 3hrs from Cinder's barn. Neither A nor myself had been there before, but from what we could see online, their shows looked nice and they set fences to height. Most of the outreach shows around us tend to set soft, so this would be a good test for both Cinder and Surelock. 

 We left early Saturday morning, and it was absolutely awful in Portland. Pouring rain, strong winds, standing water on the roads, just flat out horrible weather. Thankfully the weather cleared up and when we made it to the show, it was sunny and dry, if still a little cold. We were lucky to get a good parking spot by the ring, and timed it right to slowly start getting Cinder ready after we checked in. It had rained earlier in the week in WA, so the outdoor arena that's usually used for warm-up was closed, and part of the covered arena had been blocked off for warm-up. It was a small space, but thankfully there weren't many horses warming up when A got on. Cinder was entered in a 2'9" round, and two 3' rounds and there was one other horse in the 2'9" and no one else in the 3'. 

Cinder was great in warm up. Walked right into the arena like she'd been there a hundred times before and got right to work. A big group of six riders came in to warm up for a costume contest/eq on the flat class and even with the small space and some wound up horses Cinder didn't care. I'm still so in awe at how professional she's become this year when showing. 

All three of A's rounds had the same course, so that made learning and discussing the course super easy. That, plus the lines being set on a 10' stride, would be my only complaints about this show. If you're going to offer two hunter rounds at the same height, make them different courses. And if you're setting to height, set the lines on a 12' stride, especially for the bigger classes. We've been working on getting Cinder to open up for the 12' stride without running off her feet, so to have to reel her back in for the 10' stride was a little challenging. 

Trainer A used the 2'9" round as their schooling round, to get a feel for arena and how the lines rode. Cinder was little distracted by people sitting outside the ring, but didn't care at all about any of the fences, or the shadows along the one far side. We knew the lines would ride tight, but overall both A and I were happy with the round. The other horse in the class was a very seasoned horse with a professional riding, and they rightly earned first. I asked A about doing one warm-up fence between the 2'9" and 3' to let Cinder know the jumps had gone up, but she didn't think they needed to since they had schooled 3' while warming up. I had my doubts, and was proven correct when Cinder jumped into the top rail of the first fence in the first 3' round. So now, even if A doesn't think we need to, I'm going to make sure we jump at least once bigger fence between rounds at different heights. Cinder also broke to the trot on the long approach to the single oxer when A asked her to settle a little, but they were able to pick the canter back up and had a decent distance to the fence. 

The third round was definitely their best round. Cinder was getting tired and the lines got a little tighter, and she missed a lead change, but even with the bobbles both A and I were super happy. Cinder was a total professional, marching right around a new arena with no hesitation or issues. She also settled into her stall after her rounds with no problem, and didn't care at all when Surelock left for his jumper rounds. I'm so glad we were able to take her, and hopefully we can make it back up to some of their shows next year. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Handing Over the Reins

Back in September I ended up in the ER with what I thought was a ruptured appendix. It turned out to a ruptured ovarian cyst, which for the record, really fucking hurts. I was told to follow up with my regular doctor because it appeared I had another cyst on the same ovary. Two ultrasounds and one MRI later, it turns out I a massive 15cm (and growing!) cyst on my right ovary. 

Love watching Trainer A school Cin

I'm going to have my ovary removed sometime in January, but I'm in this weird in between place right now. Both my regular doctor and the surgeon gave me the ok to do some light riding, as long as it doesn't hurt (which sometimes it does) and as long as I don't fall off. Falling off could cause the cyst to rupture or twist, both of which would be extremely painful and would require emergency surgery. The cyst sometimes gives me what feels like the worst period cramps when I'm not on my period, or feels like a rock in pelvis with a burning pain going from my thigh to my ribs along my right side, and it occasionally pushes on my bladder making it feel like I have to pee RIGHT NOW.  None of which is conducive to a good ride. 

So I've decided to hand over the reins to Trainer A until after my surgery. Once I have a surgery date set, I'll probably hop on one last time since I won't be allowed back in the tack for 4wks. At least my ovary picked the right time of year to put me on stall rest. I do not mind not riding in the pour rain, wind, darkness after work, or freezing temps. Hopefully winter will be on its way out when I can get back into the saddle.