Monday, August 20, 2018

ain't nobody got time for that

Phew summer is flying by, guys. Things have been so wild around here lately - I feel like I've been so scattered and kinda absent (which I hate, btw) even as things I want to share keep stacking up.

The good news is: my move (first time moving in a decade!) is complete, my internet service is restored, and the internet upgrade I needed in the new place (dear god but was it slow...) is finished now. So, theoretically speaking, we should be getting back into a normal groove around here soon!

no real commentary on any of the pics. except <3 <3 <3
So let's take advantage of these pics from last week's lesson -- meaning, the lesson before Jenny Camp -- to get a little caught up.

The lesson itself was fairly straight forward. Not a whole lot to write about it, bc of that whole "happiness writes white" thing. I had been away almost the entire week prior but Brita had kept the horse ridden with some conditioning rides during my absence. Thanks a million, girl!

The horse was a superstar for the lesson. We kept things short and sweet - just a few warm up efforts down the lines, then a quick course. I asked trainer P to put the jumps up for our course tho, considering we really hadn't jumped much at all in the past month, and I wanted our eyes on some height before the show. Charlie likey, guys. Charlie likey.

this is charlie's "minimal" effort these days. also lol at trainer P's "outside leg" as we bend to the jump hahaha
He cruised through everything relatively effortlessly. Felt adjustable (which he carried onto course with him the next day too, yay!!!). Felt relaxed and happy and soft through his entire body.

When Charlie feels like this, he feels invincible. Plain and simple. It's an incredible feeling -- something I've craved my entire riding life without ever really believing it could be possible. I feel so lucky.

still cute even when he's so casual lol
It's been tough bc lessons have been a bit hard to come by in recent months, with some tricky scheduling and a budget blown to smithereens by my moving expenses and the increasing likelihood of legal proceedings regarding my past living situation (blargh fucking kill me ugh). And we haven't had a proper cross country lesson since last year for more logistically challenging reasons. Certainly not by choice, and not for lack of trying.

So we've ended up pressing onward a bit by ourselves without the advantage of professional eyes on the ground. It's not ideal. It means for slower progress, and more mistakes that could have been avoided. A bumpier ride overall.

But.... It's also been ok. Actually, arguably (and demonstrably) better than ok. Charlie's doing really well. He's learning. I'm also learning. On one hand I want so desperately to be better. To be good. To not make mistakes, and not let my horse down. On the other hand, tho, it's extremely gratifying to know that.... for better or worse, my horse and I have a partnership where we can make it work no matter what.

boppin right on along
Jenny Camp was exactly the redemption I needed too. We had mistakes and issues and Charlie still starts cross country a bit like a stalled pull-cord lawn mower lol.... But none of it caught us off guard or came as a surprise, and we were able to work through it all as a team.

And the best news of all? I had written that we took home a 2nd place ribbon when we ought to have finished 4th since my stadium rail went unrecorded. I was wrong tho in that it should have been a 3rd place finish - I would just be swapping places with my barn mate who was also in the high 30s while everyone else in the division had issues on xc.

Except.... When I talked to my barn mate about it he said he also had a stadium rail that went unrecorded. So.... that 2nd place finish? It stands. Charlie's best finish yet, and only 0.1 penalty off his best yet final score (not including sub-BN scores lol). Good boy, Sir!

we had to work a little bit down this triple line of short 30'-30' distances, he was good tho. aaaand another trainer P cameo in the foreground "jumping" with us haha
So... as you have undoubtedly already figured out, I'm still riding pretty high on that whole shebang lol. Which stands to reason, considering I spent nothing short of six weeks obsessing over the Plantation fiasco. What can I say but that I hang on to things? I'm a dweller lol...

But life goes on, yes? And I imagine even tho y'all are incredibly patient with my 12yo girlhood gushing about my first ever real life pony..... I imagine that maybe I should try to at least pretend to vary my content occasionally lol.

call me biased but i think he's pretty cute
With that in mind, there are other things going on, other things on my mind. Like planning my outfit costume for our annual paper chase outing at Tranquility. For which my team and I are drawing shameless inspiration imitation from Sarah's recent hunter pace haha.

Or like how, lately I've been trying like crazy to rein in the veritable botanical garden that blossoms on every inch of Charlie whenever his coat so much as considers making a seasonal change. In particular, I found myself shocked and aghast when I went to saddle him and he practically belly-flopped in the barn aisle.

Like, omfg but how on earth is he this back sore?!? For fucks sake where on earth is that vat of steroids when you need it, clearly we need to fucking inject everything from the eyes down bc this horse is literally crippled omg! Oh-- wait-- Ah, yes, ok, wait it's just rain rot. Like, five microscopic specks of rain rot. Yes, I see now. That's right, sometimes I forget that Sir is not.... not what you would call stoic.

fancy is as fancy does. i'll take another chuck any day of the week tho.
So ya know. We're basically living and breathing in the light and truth that is MTG right now. God but I love that stuff. I know not every horse can tolerate it, and I know a LOT of people just hate hate hate how it smells.

But I'm a believer. MTG is legit my favorite when it comes to any sort of skin funk or fungus ---- except for scratches. Bc fuck scratches. If the first dose of MTG doesn't knock that out, I skip straight on ahead to the full prescription force animax/dermalone. After the months and months of raging warfare with scratches with Isabel, I never wanna go down that road again.....

Luckily Charlie seems to respond really well to MTG. And even tho he breaks out super easily in every form of fungus imaginable (face, flank, fetlock, you name it!) he usually clears up quickly with treatment.


Other things on my mind right now include sharing more of our journey into learning about studding for cross country. Charlie and I have used studs three times now - first for our pace clinic at Loch Moy, then for schooling at Windurra, and third for Jenny Camp.

If you remember, the impetus for getting him drilled and tapped was our last xc school at OF. We struggled to maintain a confident forward pace through the bending downhill approach to the two stride combination of rolltops. After our three rides with studs since then, I'm at ~97% confidence that the studs are helping.

To writ: Trainer P observed that Charlie's hind shoe nails looked a little dubious* going into Jenny Camp, and wondered if maybe the torque from studs would increase the likelihood of him pulling a shoe. My immediate knee jerk reaction? Too bad. We are studding, yo. Bc yea, The horse seems to like them. And actually pops off auto lead changes left and right like the easiest thing in the world the second he even thinks about shifting balance. It's nice!

(*he did not lose a shoe, and nails have since been fixed lol)

mhmm, yes please.
Finally -- other items on my to-discuss list include recounting some of the tack changes we have made in the last few months. Some inspired by the Plantation Shit Show (changing to a wider gullet plate in our jump saddle) and others more par for the course.

Especially like talking about the differences in my dressage saddle since Jan Huslebos basically completely refit the thing to both of us earlier this summer. And talking about some of the switching around we've done with bitting for jumping. And my thoughts on how to carry that experimentation forward as Charlie learns to be more responsible for his own self carriage, even as he's still kinda learning. Or! Talking about those baller Stubben stirrup irons I picked up at Rolex Kentucky!

So yea. Happy Monday, everyone. I appreciate your patience with the scattered hair-brained feel this space has had the past couple months. But, as always, I look forward to having more to share.

And - as is also always the case - I'm curious on your thoughts too! Anybody else beleaguered by a summer rapidly dwindling away, or dealing with recent fungus explosions? Or working through tack / equipment changes for better or for worse? Or are you just here for the shots of Charles lookin like only a Charles can do?? lol....

32 comments:

  1. I have been terrible about commenting but I have been reading and you and Charlie are looking awesome!! And I'm sorry about the former living situation drama, been there, hope it gets resolved without too much stress. That shit is soul sucking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thanks, and yea soul sucking doesn’t even begin to describe it. Blargh. It’s been completely consuming - but hey at least I’m finally moved!!

      Delete
  2. Glad you are settled in. Sucks about the drama though. Hope that passes quickly and with as little stress as possible. Summer here has been a bunch of nothing but that should be coming to an end soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - and I seriously hope you get to enjoy a little more of summer in short order!! Fall is my favorite riding season anyway ;)

      Delete
  3. That feeling when you're just cruising along with the training program is THE BEST. Also, skin issues SUCK. Miles had SUCH sensitive skin -- he couldn't go more than two days without grooming and I used to pay friends to do whenever I had to go out of town. So. Annoying. Makes me wonder, like, how in the world did these fragile creatures ever exist outside, in the elements, without us? lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yesss the besssst!!! and yea but skin issues are the worst. charlie gets groomed to within an inch of his life every time i see him bc i'm basically reduced to my 12yo girlhood dreams of brushing my pony constantly lol... but even still, he's just such a sensitive creature. every time his coat starts shedding or doing any seasonal changes, bam! skin funk.

      Delete
  4. Yeah, summer Is blowing by! Part of me doesn't mind - I got my new horse home in early June, did a couple of shows and we can now wind down for winter. Or so I thought. lol - Homeboy is from Kentucky and can't handle Canadian bugs! Every turnout attempt is fraught with hives. Fun times. Manageable, but still a pain. No fungus yet, but we did have a puncture wound from a stick (seriously!) and a round of antibiotics! *sigh* horses... lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. awwwww poor guy, charlie is likewise a total and complete pansy about bugs. true story: when i first brought him home and he flirted with a mild bout of colic, it was taking him outside to the bugs that distracted him enough to recover from the belly ache haha. hopefully the bugs will die down for you soon!!

      Delete
  5. You guys look great in the video. I'm glad that things are going so well that you have little to write about! And congrats on the 2nd!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aw thanks! it's definitely nice to not have a ton of inner turmoil for once lol ;)

      Delete
  6. ugh legal proceedings do NOT sound fun.Hope that resolves.Also you guys have had a shit of rain and moisture right/ I guess you should be happy that he didn't have a whole ton of rain rot :) HA! Poor hot house flower Charlie. Glad you had a good lesson and got moved and real internet etc. AND HOW CAN IT BE ALMOST SEPTEMBER. EGADS :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea seriously -- so many horses at my barn are literally bald all across their hind ends from so much fungus and rain rot. charlie should be grateful that he just has a few small specks haha.

      Delete
  7. Legal stuff doesn't sound like fun, but yay for good lessons, internet, and being finished with the move! Ugh with skin crud! Hayley always got rain rot... She was the picture of a thin skinned chestnut, always getting skin crud. The other boys aren't too bad though, thankfully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ugh yea one of my barn mates has the classic thin skinned chestnut TB and he's been a mess with all this recent weather. it's always something with these critters!

      Delete
  8. Charlie looking ON POINT THO.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Charles Fan here for the Charles... and your thoughts about the Universe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol pretty ponies and rambling thoughts on the universe - YUP you came to the right place ;)

      Delete
  10. Ooohhhh the legal proceedings do not sound like a good time. I'm really sorry about that. I know I certainly feel the summer slipping away! But DAMN you two look FANTASTIC in those pictures! Those are not low jumps either - you go girl! I'll be here every day for pics like that ;) haha! But seriously you two look awesome <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol thanks! i don't think i've ever really consistently been able to work over jumps these size and feel pretty reasonably good about it. it's kinda crazy, actually! we had another lesson this weekend too that likewise got to see charlie stretch out a little bit over higher fences. it wasn't quite as polished but i'm still super proud of him!

      Delete
  11. You guys were looking smooooth in that video! And hey if you just want to gush about your awesome pony for a while, I say go for it! The seasons we're in always change (sorry for your shitty rental baggage - blah) so you can always ride whatever wave you're catching knowing a different one will come along too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aw thanks! and yea i definitely agree with enjoying the good moments when we can, bc they sure don't seem to stick around forever....

      Delete
  12. He looks like an absolute beast in your lesson pics. GO YOU TWO!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks girl ;) he felt like an absolute beast too haha!

      Delete
  13. Gosh he looks good. Also your tan... Making me wish for our warm summer days, until they get here and I'm dying because anything abut 35C is too hot.

    Hope you get to enjoy the rest of your summer, and that the horrible adulting stuff can get sorted quickly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha! i'm not used to being thought of as "tan" -- the pale red head syndrome is strong with me!! lol but yes, summer still rages on here, and i'm even sporting a fresh sunburn from volunteering at an event this past weekend.... it ain't bad!! ;)

      Delete
  14. Damn, Charles. Lookitchu go. Who dat?

    It's definitely a summer ripe with fungus! My guys have ALL had a little bit here and there and I'm really...impressed? Shocked? Grif especially is the anti-fungus horse and has had a couple specks.

    And tack changes for us this summer have mostly been an influx of shims. I'm learning what my horses dietary needs are in a whole new way now that they're not on 28 acres of primo pastures. As a result, everyone has lost weight along their loins and behind their shoulders. *cue sad face and a very freaked out Liz* BUT I think I've got things figured now because they're definitely maintaining and possibly looking more filled out?! We'll get there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh man, dietary changes are the hardest -- that's one thing i'm SUPER grateful to say is relatively stabilized in charlieland right now haha. tho yea we have had to deal with changes in fit as charlie's body has adapted and adjusted. it's hard to keep up with!

      Delete
  15. I actually love your pony gushing!! You've worked so hard for this and I love when you get a chance to celebrate the good. Congrats on the honest 2nd place!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Woohoo! Glad the studs are doing their job. I wanted to do that for P but my trainer said he definitely doesn't need them. Damn it, you balanced and sure-footed horse. Studs would make me feel like a real eventer!

    The pictures look phenomenal!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Gah, where is my comment from yesterday? He is looking so good, like a grown up jumpy jump horse! Congrats, you go Charlie! Fungus is just the worst, I too have a mare covered in the stuff.
    Sucks to hear about the legal proceedings, why can't things just be simple! I hope it goes away quickly and without issue.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm super behind on blog posts too, so I feel ya there.

    He looks so friggen good - and so do you!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment! If you have trouble with this form, please email: fraidycat.eventing at gmail.