Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Great News! Great Day!

So... today Peri and I took Sunny and Dan to Dr. Brown to see what we needed to do for the boys. At this point, I was expecting (and hoping) that Dr. Brown would say Dan is fine. He's been feeling super so I don't think whatever I was feeling is still there. My gut is either one of two things.... he either was developing some shoulder bursitis secondary to the shoeing change we did that we thought would be good but in retrospect was maybe not good or he tore a shoulder/chest muscle and was sore as he had a weird indentation that hasn't been there before. Dr. Brown looked at him and said he looked great! He was out in his right ischium which gave me a moment of heart attack thinking he had pulled a hamstring too now. But nope.. the ischium adjusted out. Phew. He said he looked fantastic and he didn't think that there was anything wrong with him. He did not the little muscle tear area and say he looked like he tore a muscle. HA! GO ME!!! I mean.. sucky that it happened, but... go me for catching it. :) 

So yep... Dan's on track for full work soon. He's cantering now. Up to 10 minutes... which is actually a really long time to canter. :) His ultrasounds are looking good. His feet are looking awesome. His mane is pulled and shortened and he had his body clip. :) And... Dr. Brown doesn't think Dan has EPM as he would be much weaker in the tail pull. So yay for that! Whooo hooooo

So then on our way home, I dropped Peri off and then went for a ride. I didn't really want to do dressage but I also couldn't do much in the woods because the trails were still pretty sloppy. In retrospect, I probably could have as long as I avoided a few spots as it wasn't as bad as I thought. But that's okay. We ended up going for a hack and doing some trotting in the fields. And then we ended up in the XC field and I decided to do dressage in the field. It was fun!! Danny was fairly up which was helpful but he behaved. We had some really nice trot work with his back up. And we worked on our canter departs which got way better and our canter felt really nice too. We also did some serpentines and lengthenings at the canter and even worked on the change of lead through the trot. That was tough. We got the wrong lead a few times doing it that way and he hollowed out a few times, but we had a few nice transitions too. So something to work on before we enter the dressage schooling shows. 

But yep.. a nice day. :) 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Fancy pants lesson

Today was a good day!

Adjusted Dan last night and fixed his mane

Came out strutting today

Felt a little like (Okay a LOT like) he was falling in to the right, leaning. Working on lifting my chest and core and instead of counterbending to straighten, fix it at the root of the problem.. bending the right ribcage around my inside leg. Took almost the entire lesson, but at the end.... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! I was able to do it. Almost have to kick my leg out in front of me, then lift my toes, and sink my weight down and use it as a carousel rod. But I'm able to do it now some. Dan responded... Lovely trot. 

Keep my butt from going out behind when I ride the canter to keep his hiney from going out behind. Not much on my part, but enough. 

Actually heard Cindy say "Quicken your post". Um.... what?!?! That's NEVER happened! ha ha. I used it to get Dan snappy. :) Not fast... snappy!

Good stuff today :) 

Monday funday

Cancelled icelandics.... fit 3 others in.... went and played!

Hacked with Kelli, then did dressage in the jump arena, then hacked with Peri and Kelli

Troubles picking up the left lead because I'm shutting out his escape by crossing my left hand over the neck. Keep the left rein open. Don't hula with my core. 
Worked on sitting and stirrup less more, but still struggling. Maybe getting a tiny bit better. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Yay for a soggy foggy ride

So.... I was so bummed because it was supposed to rain all weekend. Like hard! Like... a months worth of rain in 3 days. But.... the weather cooperated and we got lucky. It rained pretty hard last night, and the grounds were already fairly saturated from the heavy rains on Wednesday, but... it was only misty this morning and looked like the rain would hold off til about 12:30. Perfect!! I went to bed early last night because I was so exhausted so I was able to wake up fairly early and get a ride in. I almost didn't go, because it was misty and gross and soggy out, but... I knew if I didn't I'd be so irritated by Monday. Especially if it rained Monday too. 

And I'm so glad I did. I ended up doing some dressage in the jump arena first as the footing was great. Danny was a good boy and we worked on me some and him some. I even did some sitting trot without stirrups. But not a ton as I didn't have a ton of time and was still pretty tired. We did some cantering too. And.. ugh. I still can't figure out the left lead canter aids. I think I finally figured it out though today... Maybe not the correct way, but... maybe? I don't know if it's just that I have to start with more generic aids and we'll eventually get to softer quieter more subtle aids...or if I just am so crooked with my body that I'll always have to ask this way... or if he's compensating and therefore he's throwing that right shoulder out... But.. if I close my outside leg, he goes into the correct lead. Going to the right, I feel like I don't have to use my outside leg and can just use my seat and inside leg. But going to the left...if I don't use my outside leg, he throws himself to the right and picks up the right lead. Sigh... But we did manage to get it right multiple times, so.. maybe I'm figuring it out. We got some nice canter work to the left, but the right lead isn't as nice. Of course.... It's easier to get but not as nice of a canter. Oh well. We're only two weeks into cantering... after 5.5 months of not. So... fair enough. 

Then Kelli got there so we went for a hack. It was so soggy that we only walked and avoided the bridges but it was a good ride. :) We had fun!

And I'm so glad because it looks like tonight and tomorrow it will rain, rain, and rain some more. So.. hopefully I can get Dan adjusted. And then hopefully we can ride on Monday, get our lesson Tuesday, and then Wed we go to Dr. Brown. Hopefully I can sneak in a ride on the way home since I have to work Thursday. Although I *might* finish early enough to ride Thursday too. Then... next week... A WHOLE WEEK OFF!!!! I'm so excited. Of course I'm sure the time will fly and I won't accomplish nearly what I need/want to. But... still, a whole week off. We're going to Calloway for 3 days, so I won't get to ride Every day, but... plan to ride on the others. :)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

My legs are not going to work tomorrow!

What a fun day!!!

It was a little chilly this morning but it warmed up to a nice 55 plus degrees by late afternoon. I hauled both boys to Morning Run for a lesson with Beth. Well, Danny for a lesson, Fleck to hack with Cindy after. I was running a little behind so Dan didn't get to hack before hand, but... oh well. We had a great, but exhausting ride. 

We worked on keeping my elbows heavy and keeping the connection. Then Beth wanted me to slow him down to encourage him to sit. She said that when he goes too fast, he just pulls himself along, using momentum. So we worked on slowing the rhythm but keeping him hopping along. I also had to ride the outside aids to keep him from drifting out, but not forget inside bend. And when we track left, he's straighter on his own. I have to focus on the bend. When we track right.. he wants to overbend, so I need to really focus on straightness. 

We did some transitions and Beth tweaked my sitting trot. She said that I was too deep in my seat and needed to sit softer. Almost like a 3 point when jumping. So... instead of sitting so deep, I thought about sitting but almost bouncing more, and lifting my pelvic floor. Apparently it worked. We then focused on keeping my elbows heavy during the up and down transitions and using my soft seat to sit. 

Then we went to the canter. Sigh... I can't get the left lead again. It's like he goes to pick it up, but then somehow I've messed him up, so he ends up on the right lead. After two tries or so, he realizes I'm an idiot and just picks up the left lead. Out of pity. Argh... at least that's how it seems. The right lead I can coordinate my aids, but.. I can't quite get it going to the left. Oh well. So then we were cantering and Beth had me work on my core. She said to use my transverse abdominal muscles... my TA's... and use my core... and pull my belly button to my spine, but also to shove it out in front of my "girls". I also worked on sitting on my pants pockets. And... I told Beth that I was able to get my top half and my seat right, but then I felt like my knees were creeping up and pinching. I mentioned that Cindy was talking about posting the trot without stirrups and.. next thing I knew, Beth told me to drop my stirrups. Ha ha... I really should know better by now. ;) 

So... it was helpful though. And awful. I'm really really out of shape! But really kind of helpful. It didn't seem like it at first. At first I just felt like my legs were flopping all over the place and useless, but... my seat was good. And then it made it clear that without my leg, Danny doesn't keep the pace. But it's hard to squeeze my legs appropriately. I want to slide them back and/or turn out my toe. But I got the hang of it a little bit. I need to squeeze with my lower calf and ultimately.. it's hard to do because Dan is so narrow, but... I sort of got it. And I was able to keep my leg longer and not let it slide up so much. After we did that I got my stirrups back and... we actually got some really nice canter. It did help a lot to get that feel. And Danny felt really nice. And at some point, his back got nice and lofty and bouncy! He got that buoyant trot that almost makes you want to shut him down because it's almost too big to ride. But I didn't! I enjoyed it. :) 

Yay! We did a quick little walk around the parking lot to cool off. I didn't quite have enough time to take him for a hack and we were both pretty tired. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dressage is HARD!!!

Cindy lesson

Dan in a mood.... chewing on cross ties, not even cross tied, and smacked himself in the face a few times... pulled back... Sticking his nose in Jessicas' face. Bouncing when Quigley got stupid

Working hard.... my toes in does NOT make my leg slide back.. it lengthens my leg and makes it correct. The right side really needs to get longer in the leg with my toes forward so I can encourage him to lift and bend around that rib. And it works.

Keep my chest open... Don't turn with my head only.. make him turn....

Counter canter 3 loop serpentine.. held it the first time (only one direction!), broke the second time.. too much outside rein.

Up and down transitions.. focus on the shoulders and the lift and not allowing him to throw his shoulders right or left

So sore at the end.... almost had to puke. But in a good way. ;) 

Was able to almost post without stirrups just by lifting my toes... not having to actually take them out of the stirrups...