A lot has happened since I last updated. As I posted last time, I’ve been practicing my jump position and riding without stirrups. I kind of slacked off this week, but I have an excuse! On Sunday Oh So’s right hind leg blew up while he was in his stall during the day. I called the emergency vet (because these things always happen on holiday weekends) and she said if his temperature was normal and he was sound and eating normally, then I should just do a sweat wrap and give him some SMZs if I wanted. To be on the safe side, I did start him on SMZs. It didn’t go down much at all on Sunday night which really concerned me, but he was still acting normal and his vitals were fine. After consulting with the vet again over the phone, we decided she didn’t need to come out, thankfully. I sweated it one more time and it went down a bit more Monday night and is completely normal today. So, whatever it was, it’s gone now. I couldn’t detect a cut anywhere, but he does have typical “gelding crud” on the fronts of his hind legs that I regularly pick and curry off, so maybe it got irritated? They never bleed or get raw, so this really was a mystery.
Before all of this happened on Sunday, I took Sam to Morningside for a little play day. He hasn’t been out in awhile and I have him entered in the CDCTA evening dressage show next week, so I wanted to get him out once before. We warmed up on the track and did a little novice/training level canter both ways. He was puffing, but I think he enjoyed himself. I’ve actually never taken him on a track before. When we were competing, we never had access to a good track. It’s definitely a different feeling compared to Oh So. His neck is so short and he’s constantly spooking and swerving sideways, but I don’t mind. He’s having fun!
We popped over a few cross-country jumps in the infield and then ran through the steeplechase practice water on the edge of the lake. I finished by letting him walk down the horse ramp into the lake. We went up to about his belly to cool off.
This past week, I’ve been working on Oh So’s flat work. We’ve been introducing counter canter serpentine loops in my lessons, so I’ve been working on keeping his neck in line with his body and making sure I’m truly sitting straight. I’ve also been adding some rein backs and canter-walk, walk-canter transitions in, as well as sitting the trot. I’m still waiting to able to order a new dressage saddle which I think will greatly improve my ability to sit his trot. I had good lessons last night with both boys although I felt like I was going to pass out the whole time.
Today I took Oh So to our first jump lesson (at Morningside) in almost three weeks and he was quite strong, but jumping well. I was seeing my spots and keeping the canter active. We went up on the cross-country hill and just dropped down a few banks into water and cantered up one. He hasn’t seen a down bank into water all season at competitions and I know Maryland HT always has one. He was kind of leaping off, but mostly because he was spooking at grass clippings in the water (so my trainer says). So, they weren’t beautiful, but we had a couple of nice step downs in the end and got the job done.
I’ve been earning quite a few points to top the training amateur/adult rider charts for Area II and CDCTA which is kind of cool. I used to be a member of CDCTA and earned some Area II year-end awards with Sam and my mare Palais, but had kind of forgotten about it the last few years while I’ve been bringing Oh So along. He probably would have done quite well during his novice and first training year last year. I got inspired because I had to type up all the association year end awards for COTH while I was interning, so I joined CDCTA again and signed up for Area II points. Apparently I should be tied for 5th on the national Training Adult Rider chart too, but when I talked to someone at USEA, she said she was getting the IT department to look into it. I kind of want to get a screen shot just to say I made it on the list. I doubt I’ll stay there unless I win everything the rest of the year. It’s sort of unfair because it’s only rider and not horse/rider combination. So any amateur competing two horses will earn double the points. But, it’s not really about that to me. I just think it’s cool to see how I stack up against others and would love to get a fancy ribbon at the end of the year!
I was early to work on Saturday, so I took the long way on Landmark Road in The Plains. I’d never been that way before, so I stopped alongside the road and took some photos of the O’Connor’s farm and some pretty scenery.
Besides working at the Sporting Library and competing/riding, I’ve been watching an amazing BBC documentary series called Coast which follows the coastlines of the British Isles and some parts of Europe. I’ve been making mental notes of the places I want to visit some day. The show talks about history from ancient to modern and how the coastlines have literally changed shaped. It really is amazing. I just wish they would make it available in the US! I’ve been streaming six seasons worth and it’s a hassle with a slow internet connection.