Friday, April 13, 2007

Sport Horse Nationals 2009, anyone?

After being sick for a few days I was able to get out to the barn and ride Kaswyn today. Dr. B was there giving shots and shackwave treatment to another horse. He watched me ride Kaswyn and thinks that he's improved 95%. I agree, but unfortunately we need that last 5% to be able to get us back to the show ring. He says that on the improvement scale we're close to 100%, but in the healing timeline we're pretty much at the beginning.

All three of us (me, my trainer, and Dr. B) agree that Kaswyn is very careful about where he puts that left front foot. He's not lame and doesn't act like he's in pain, but he's just more hesitant about putting that foot down. Dr. B described it this way - "You know when you're running through a pasture with high grass? You're always looking down, watching where you put your feet." He's much more free when going to the right than the left. This is no surprise to my trainer and I, because this is how he has always been.

The left side of my horse has been a problem for both of us since day one. He wants to bulge out through the left side of his body and throw the weight there. He also likes to hang on the left rein and avoid contact with the right rein. You'd think that if his left front was the problem that he'd want to get the weight off of it and push more to the right, but that's not the case. Getting Kaswyn straight, then balanced is not an easy task. He must be ridden very carefully because he's a very sensitive horse and big adjustments in his frame get big reactions, and not necessarily good ones. Riding Kaswyn is like walking a tightrope - it's best accomplished by making constant, tiny adjustments. So far only myself and my trainer have been able to ride Kaswyn with any real success because we understand this.

More discussion after my ride brought us to the conclusion that maybe my horse has reverted to where he was when I first started working with my trainer. At that point we were at first level, and working on second level. Kaswyn was very uneven strided and had major balance issues. It took years to get him balanced and even. Taking this into consideration, we're thinking that he's physically slid back into first level mode, and we must build that solid base again.

Before Dr. B left the barn, he had some advice that his father (a very successful thoroughbred racing trainer) had given him. He said "For every month off, you need a month of training." That means we have 16 months of training to do before I can expect to show. Or maybe even more.

I just can't bring myself to cancel those hotel reservations. Yet.


Rising Rainbow said...

I've heard that recommedation about a month to a month. I know it took me a long time to get my EPM horse right. But doing it slow and easy is the best way for your horse even though it's frustrating.

By 2009 I might be ready to show at sport horse nationals. I have a horse here I'm just getting started. He might be ready by then. If the weather will co-operate and I could get over my fear of the circles in the tests. I can ride circles just fine, but I have problems figuring out the size in relationship to the letters. (dyslexic)

annette said...

I am sure Kaswyn will tell you when he is ready :) All the best - and glad he is better!

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