Today, I am happy.
I went to the barn and took a ride on Albert. It's still really frackin cold here, like 22 degrees in the barn, so I just rode for about ten minutes. He didn't get sweaty or anything, but I was nervous about stressing him at all. It's going to stay pretty cold here for the next week at least, and I feel pressure that I have to get these horses working if I'm going to be able to get to that show in March. I need to get myself back in shape too, or I'll my legs will be noodles at the show.
This year for Christmas Craig and I bought a new video camera instead of buying each other gifts. So I had Susan get some video of me riding Albert. In the first clip you can hear one of the barn cats, Carmella, hollering at Susan and trying to jump up on her. Susan is trying to film me and keep the cat away from her at the same time, so it's a little choppy in spots.
You can also see that I'm not using the whole arena. There are two reasons for this. The first is that the sawdust truck came to deliver a load of sawdust, and dragged some snow into the arena with it. This snow is now frozen into hard ice strips, which I don't want to ride over. Second, someone dumped water buckets out into the arena, and the water has frozen solid. Not exactly safe either. You can see the three spots that I have to ride between. Not fun.
I think both Albert and I look at little stiff, and I was so bundled up that I felt like that kid Randy in A Christmas Story who had so many coats on that he couldn't move. Also the tack was dirty and I wasn't getting any stick on my boots, so my leg was moving more than I'd like. The hot water has been frozen in the barn for a week now, and there is no way I'm going to clean tack with icy cold water in 20 degree temps. Suppsedly the fix-it guy is coming to replace the heat tape today, and that should thaw the pipes. Anyway, overall I think Albert looks pretty good for not being worked for a month. The leg yields need work again, since he got himself all nervous and tense when I asked. I also forgot to use my seat and that doesn't help.
I also got Kaswyn out and put him on the lunge line for ten minutes. We started out at the walk and he walked about half way around the circle and then trotted off on his own. This was such a good sign! I also have video of him on the lunge line. You can still see his ribs, but he doesn't look nearly as sucked up, and his energy has certainly returned. You can also see in the second video that he's back to his old lunging tricks. He doesn't actually dive bomb me during the reverse, but he certainly canters off in an energetic manner.
There are four clips, and I tried to make them into one long clip, but the video editing software that came with the camera sucks beans, so we'll have to buy a video editing suite that is halfway decent.
Clearly, my horse feels better. He's still skinny, but Dr. B said he would steadily pick up weight with the addition of the alfalfa cubes. Tomorrow the horsie chiropractor is coming out to check his back and adjust him. Then I will ride on Tuesday. My thoughts right now are that Kaswyn is trained, and he just needs to get back into shape for the show. I'm thinking 4th level and Prix St. George. He knows his job. By the time Regionals rolls around we'll be in great shape. I'm pretty sure that I just need one score of 50% at each level to qualify for Regionals. I think we can get that done at the next show. In fact I know we can. It won't be a 70%, but I just want to qualify so I can concentrate on perfecting what we need to.
Albert will need a bit more work than Kaswyn, but I think he can handle Training and First Level. I think he'll get qualified at the March show, but he'll still need lots or work before Regionals in June.
Ohhhh, I'm starting to get excited about this year. Now I just need to get to okay from my boss to take the time off for the shows, and I'm all set. Well, then there is the little problem of getting to the shows, since Susan has a truck but neither of us has a trailer. Susan and I have a plan...we'll see if it works out.
1 week ago