Tuesday, February 24, 2015

postponed again

Thanks for everyone's well wishes about the fix-a-test show! I planned to go right up until mid-morning when it was finally postponed again bc of the weather. Grrrr  

It made sense - our farm was a total wreck bc of the snow storm too - but the warm temps (45*!!!!) and strong sun meant that the roads and everything were pretty clear. Oh well - it's rescheduled for March 7, which as a lesson day isn't exactly ideal... but we'll figure it out. 

'caution - cute horses!'

Isabel didn't escape entirely, however, tho I didn't ride. It was tempting to gallop around in the field - but I ended up being too worried about getting into a fight with her in risky footing... So we went for a little lunge instead. 


Ms Princess had already frolicked around in the field a bit when she was turned out that morning - and it was SUPER cute bc she almost never plays (she's much too dignified, obvi). But it was also short lived, so I figured a little extra work wouldn't kill the mare. 


Cagey mare that she is tho, she walked away to the far fence line when I started calling her name and made me trudge all the way over... boo haha. I didn't even bother taking her into the barn for a grooming tho (but had a hoof pick in my pocket just in case she had big snow balls) and went straight up to the field. She was immediately pretty curious and interested in the change up. 


The sun was super warm and strong too and it was all very relaxing. Isabel was practically dozing on the line haha. 

She was good tho - and trotted around quite politely when I asked. Never mind that she hasn't worked in over a week. I guess this is what it means to be a sensible and broke 13 yr old horse? But who knows, maybe when I finally DO get back on she'll be a little more nuts haha. 


I just had her walk and trot around, changing directions somewhat frequently and not trotting for very long extents. The deep heavy snow combined with warm temps meant she was blowing pretty soon and I didn't want to wear her out - just keep her mind engaged. 


There's a distinct difference between tracking right and left tho. She can keep a pretty reasonable circle shape and stays at the end of the rope to the left. 

When going right, tho, she usually pulls toward home and comes in off the circle on the 'away' side. So I have to add more pressure to keep her at the end of the line, and her response to pressure isn't to move away from it (like I want her to) - it's to go faster and become further imbalanced. 

kinda love this pic - esp the shadow! - but wish her tail wasn't cut off

We have the same problems under saddle and I'm definitely trying to work on it... but it's frustrating to still face this same lateral imbalance after focusing on it for so long... Ugh. The biomechanics clinician comes back in March tho. I love riding with her but I think our first lesson will have *her* in the saddle to see if she can guide Isabel to straightness and balance so that it'll be easier for me to do afterward. 


All said, Isabel lunged for maybe 15 minutes. Then we hung out with some parents watching their kids' lesson and Isabel became bffs with one mother who had peppermints lol. 


Then it was back to her pasture - having never actually stepped into the barn. The horse was kinda shocked, I think, at how it all went. She stood at the gate kinda incredulous, like 'that's it? really? don't we normally hang out for hours?' and stood around up there like maybe she thought maybe I'd be coming back for her. 


It was actually really adorable to see her waiting there - and got the attention of quite a few other folks, who then gave her even more treats and were snapping pics of her lol. I don't mind that at all, haha - if it means she'll come to the gate instead of walk away, it's all good by me! 



26 comments:

  1. I'm starting to think I may never get to ride again...stupid snow!

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    1. ugh it's driving me bananas. we're hoping to haul out today if an arena is available... fingers crossed!

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    2. My farm *has* an indoor...sadly, its frozen. Words cannot describe the frustration. Trainer says it hasn't happened before in the 7 years she's been there :(

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    3. ugh now THAT is the worst.... hopefully it thaws out soon :(

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  2. i'm sorry to hear. that sucks. but, sounds like you made the best of it and had some time with isabel anyways!

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    1. yea it's disappointing, but also part and parcel of february in maryland... isabel certainly doesn't care tho - she'd much prefer to go feral lol

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  3. Aww she is so pretty! March 7 is right around the corner - hopefully it will bring better weather with it!

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    1. yep fingers crossed!!! i'm kinda bummed bc we're supposed to have our lesson earlier that same morning, but depending on what kind of riding we get in between now and then i don't think it'd hurt her to ride for 2 hours instead of 1... we'll see!

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  4. Sorry your show was cancelled. Not sorry you got all our snow. ;)

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    1. lol right? everyone down here has been complaining about not getting any snow this winter... hopefully they can all shut up now please!!

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  5. Boo! But that just means next one will be awesome! Izzy looks sparkly and adorable in snow. She is quite the eyecatcher.

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    1. thanks!! all the ponies were pretty happy with sunday's weather, and isabel always enjoys showing off for an audience lol

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  6. I hate lateral imbalance!! Also makes me crazy.

    Try suppling exercises with her. From what I've read it sounds like Isabel is using her left-side stiffness (hard to stretch through the left side) as an "excuse" to pull away from you by the gate and then stop lunging on a circle. You can stretch out her left side by doing shoulder-fore and leg yields with a right bend (so tracking right) -- it works wonders! I do this with Murray nearly every ride. Even if you can't get a true shoulder-in or shoulder-fore, just starting to get her thinking about stretching out that stiff side can be super helpful. I like to do shoulder in down one long side of the arena, asking for a big 20 meter circle in the middle, and then a shallow leg yield down the opposite side and repeat a few times. My fave exercise, seriously.

    If it's her other side that's stiff and I misunderstood somehow, just reverse the exercise! I always do it both ways anyway.

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    1. thanks - those are all really helpful ideas. we actually do a LOT of suppling and flexing exercises already, and are trying for more lateral type stuff. however, the general consensus from my bio-mechanics trainer is that the left-side stiffness is a symptom, not the cause.

      she believes the imbalance stems from isabel not using her right hind leg effectively (she compares it to mechanical lameness, actually), and our chiro workups seem to support this... my 'bio-mechanics' and 'chiro' tags go into much greater detail if you're interested...

      in any case, the exercises you outlined are still solid for improving things, tho it's proving to be quite difficult for me to truly engage that right hind...

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    2. We're the same actually! Murray's right hind is weaker so he will do a lot to cheat and avoid actually using it. I am sure your chiro and biomechanics trainer have addressed this with you, but I have to be really vigilant about working on the right hind with Murray, and TRY to do it daily -- forcing him to cross it under and engage it a little in the beginning and during each ride. It's hard, it requires modifying exercises so he doesn't cheat, so I totally, totally feel your pain!

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    3. oh interesting!! i gotta admit to not having enough 'feel' yet to know whether isabel's achieving true cross over or not -- except to say that it's about 95% likely that she isn't haha (except mayyyyyybe here and there). but you've got me thinking now about maybe trying some in-hand exercises too...

      but whatever the case this bio-mechanics trainer is magical and i can't wait for her to come back to town (she's from FL and does monthly clinics at our barn, except in winter). i'm hoping that she will be able to better educate isabel on engaging that leg so that i can find it easier later... hopefully!!

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  7. Aw, she looks wonderful in the snow!

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    1. thanks - she seemed to have fun :)

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  8. It just started snowing again, and I think I'm gonna lose it *eye twitch* but the lunging is a nice option to have with a horse that knows the ropes. Denny Emerson just posted about the turn out issue in this weather. It's a great read!

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    1. ugh yea..... this winter can't end soon enough! thanks for pointing toward that post too - i'll have to check it out!

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  9. Sorry the show got postponed again, but at least you got to spend some quality time with Izzy!

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    1. yep!! one day the weather gods will deign to allow our plans to become reality... one day!

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  10. She is such a beauty posing in the snow to mugg passersby for treats hahah

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    1. haha it was actually hilarious - i was standing in the barn doorway snapping pics to get that dark frame (and izzy is just staring at me, obvi), and i walked out to get a closer pic and saw that someone else was photographing her at the same time lol. she's clearly a celebrity :)

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  11. Ugh ugh ugh! Snow go away! Sorry to hear about the cancellation :( It's a good thing she's so darn photogenic!

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    1. Yea this weather does NOT want to cooperate.... It can't last forever tho!!

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