Friday, March 5, 2010

Mud and clinics

While talking to Rex the other night, she told me her sister - an equine surgeon at Littleton Large - had to put down 3 horses this week.

The owners turned them out to play and because the ground is so saturated and weird right now... sort of hard on top when it freezes overnight but soft and slippery underneath with all the mud... the horses broke bones while turned out from slipping in the mud.

Our horses happen to be stuck in their pens right now so the 3 pastures we rotate them in have a chance to recover from grazing and grow grass to supplement our horses' feed through the summer. They are safe.

Well, as safe as horses ever are...

I took a half day off from work Wednesday to haul Sera up to Johnson's Corner for a clinic at Bey Breze Farm with Debbie Riehl-Rodriguez. I was the first ride of the day and was glad I got there early while the mud in the driveway was frozen so I didn't get stuck!

Lucky for me, Sera didn't roll and re-up her armadillo-like coating of dried mud. She was relatively clean, tho', she has a couple scars on her legs that had looked sorta scaly earlier in the week so I rubbed in some goo to soften them. The goo attracted all sorts of dust... and when I was trying to scrub the goo out, the scars I'd softened via goo began to show pinpricks of blood. Sigh. Well, I'll leave 'em alone and she'll just have gross spots of blackened/dirty goo on her legs. Not exactly the Dressage Queen "look". Oh well!

My clinic was good. There's been improvement in our bending and consistency in the bridle. We worked on collected canter which sort of pisses Sera off and we worked on the haunches in at the canter which also pisses Sera off. (not sure WHY since she likes cantering with her haunches in when she's supposed to be straight... I guess she doesn't like it when it's MY idea vs. hers!)

Toward the end, I was to do a canter exercise of a 20 meter square and at each corner I was to ask Sera for a haunches in and to come around her haunches in a 1/4 canter pirouette. To the right this was performed fairly well - she's still learning so they weren't spot on or beautiful - but she was trying. After a short walk break we were to accomplish the same exercise to the left.

This is pretty much where Sera told me to F off. I could feel her body sort of puff up and I knew what was coming. Any time I put my leg on she'd throw her haunches out against my leg vs. in like I was asking and she'd kick.

I know she was tired and I know this is hard work for her but... uh.... sorry - till you start paying for your feed, farrier and vet bills, you'll just have to comply my darling! She was having quite a snit over the exercise. I kept my leg and whip quietly against her side so she'd "get" that her kicking and tantrums wouldn't make them go away. Only when she tries and gives in will they stop.

After 15 min. or so there was effort on her part. Not nearly as much as the other direction, but she gave and tried a little and that is when we ended the session, on this good note with lots of praise for Sera.

There WAS a funny part to my ride. Debbie wanted me to sit the extended trot. When Sera is extending the way Debbie wants her to extend, I have a hard time sitting it. I guess I was so focused on keeping my seat IN the saddle that I let loose with my arms. Debbie was laughing because my hands came up and my elbows were flapping like a chicken. She said, (in betwixt snorts and giggles) that I did stay in the saddle more...

Leave it to me to be such a dork, forget about the top half o' my body and provide such comedic relief first thing....

Furry Husband came to tape the ride - I'll try and get it posted. Tho' I may skip the arm flapping chicken, Iowa farm boy on a plow horse out in the corn field section... or maybe for humility's sake, I should post it so you can see JUST how much of a goof I am.

We'll see. I haven't watched it yet and I dunno if you need to see THAT sorta mess. grin.


Dedene said...

Sounds like Sera and you have a power struggle going on. But you will win. Can't wait to see the video!

Heather said...

Sounds awesome! I am amazed at the canter work! I would love to see a video of that! Its interesting how much easier things can be on one one side vs the other!

Shanster said...

Dedene - yeah, we'll get past it!

Heather - most definately easier on one side than t'other!!