Friday, November 16, 2007

Day after day

I think I've said before that I keep a daily calendar of what I do every day with Kaswyn. It's nothing special - it's just your standard twelve month calendar with boxes for each day. In fact I get one free every year from the local tack store - The Paddock Saddlery. It's great because the last page of the calendar has a place to record his worming schedule, farrier visits, and other things that are good to keep track of. I started keeping a calendar years ago at the urging of my first dressage trainer. She said she thought it was important to keep a riding journal so I could keep track of my progress and make notes on how my ride was, or things I wanted to work on.

It ended up being less of a riding journal and more of a riding/health record. Years ago Kaswyn had an issue with hives. I dutifully kept track of every day he had hives, what medications he got, and how long the hives lasted. This came in handy when we finally went to Ohio State Veterinary Hospital for a skin allergy test. I had his entire hive history on the calendar for the vet to review when we were discussing treatment options.

It's also been very helpful during this two year long lameness ordeal. When I was taking Kaswyn to see Dr. G I would bring my calendars with me so we could review and discuss his symptoms and changes in work. The last time he actually took two years worth of calendars and told his assistant "Please copy these and put them in his file."

On Monday when Dr. B came out he asked "Now when did this all start?" I pulled out my calendar and said "October 16. I rode for about 30 minutes working on stretching because I thought he might have been sore from the ride on October 14, when we schooled a particularly difficult movement (I'll explain the movement later - it's complicated). The two weeks prior I had ridden him three days in a row for the first time because I decided to step the training up a notch." Based on this Dr. B made his assessment of why Kaswyn was having this new lameness.

It's been fantastic during this injury/healing process to be able to look back and see exactly what I did with Kaswyn each day. Today I wrote this -

R 15 min
W/T no O's
sl. owie

Which means that I rode (R) for 15 minutes at the walk and the trot (W/T), I didn't ride any circles (no O's) and that he was slightly ouchie and felt like he hurt a bit (sl. owie).

Does anyone else do this? I think only one other person at the barn does. My trainer might do it too, but I'm not sure. Am I overly obsessed?


Anonymous said...

I used to keep track of this kind of stuff with both boys. I guess I got lazy and stopped. I was very good at writing down vet/ferrier, but stopped doing that as well.

I think it's a great idea and like you have said, it's a great way of tracking any problems you have- both training and health wise. Could work well for good stuff as well. I had one of those college black and white marbly hard cover journals that I kept in my locker. I don't have a clue what happened to them. Chucked I am thinking.


Wiola said...

I used to write full diaries of every young horse I worked with. I have 12 diaries now with all the training details etc. The last one - the 13th - (Wilastra's) I did online as a blog and will continue to do so with all other new horses.
I think it's fantastic and I love looking back at it and compare things.
I must say, I didn't do much of shortcuts alike yours though but it's a good idea :)

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