Belt: Rebecca Ray
|Cutest boys getting their pedis|
The current issue is the actual dentist. My last cleaning she was away at a conference so I didn't even have to see her. But this time she comes in and starts telling me about all these fillings I need. Then proceeds to stick all kinds of instruments and fingers all up in my face and, well, it was some kind of torture. Next she proceeds to talk down to me like I'm a five year old, repeating herself over and over. I finally looked her in the eye and said, "do you think I ought to find another dentist? Because you're speaking to me like I'm a child a right now." She was clearly taken aback and somewhat changed her tune, but sheesh. I very much do not want to go back there. Like, it's hard enough as it is, and now I also dislike her pretty strongly.
Honestly, it's 2023, how has science not figured out a better solution for tooth care? Any of you a dentist? Or related to one? Please tell me they're working on better and easier mouth care practices for the future.
Here's what Eros and I wore for our photo shoot:
When we last left off, we were waiting to see how Shiny felt after her vet work last week. I'm happy to report that she's feeling a lot better. I didn't notice a huge difference immediately on the flat, but when we started jumping in our lesson Thursday, that's when she realized she felt so much better. She was back to her old self. Taking me to the jumps, jumping ACROSS the fences, and feeling generally like the pony I remember from last year. So that's a huge relief. She's feeling better each day on the flat too. She's also a little wild, but we have to wait a little bit longer before she gets to have a free lunge. So, um... wish me luck when we jump tomorrow...
Speaking of our lesson last Thursday, it was able to happen because Jury Duty was canceled! Yay for that! I really wasn't excited to go.
Eros had his vet work done last Wednesday which meant he had vacation days through Saturday, and a light flat on Sunday. Monday the barn is closed, so he didn't have real work until yesterday which was our flat lesson. He feels great, but he is also WILD. And also can't free lunge at the moment. I think tomorrow's jumping lesson for him will consist of only trotting cross rails so nobody dies. I mean, I'm glad he's feeling good. But maybe he could tone it down a touch. Eros is a gentleman, so even when he's fresh, he doesn't do anything terribly wrong. But he PULLS. My old trainer when I was growing up always said it takes two to pull. Which is a true statement. But if you attempt to not play the pulling game with Eros, he just winds up with his face on the ground and full possession of the reins. It's pretty hilarious honestly... But also, kinda naughty. I just love him and his antics though.
Things are going pretty well with Al too. While mother nature continues to try and sabotage my lessons, we're working around that pretty well... I was hoping to finally jump the full course today, but the 30mph winds outside made today not the day. I still had my lesson, we just focused on the little jumps at the less noisy end of the ring. Maybe Friday will be the real day. Time will tell. I'm happy with him though. He's making an effort to pay attention to his rider, and that's definitely something for him. His flatwork is improving too. We had kind of paused with lateral work while his quarter crack was growing out and like any typical boy child he "forgot" how to properly do a shoulder in. But we've been plugging away at all things lateral and he's starting to really do thinks properly again. Proud of him!
That's really about all we've been up to here. I've been getting to ride an extra pony here and there which has been super fun. I know I'm totally spoiled and I get to ride three horses every day, but it's still so fun to me to get to sit on something else. Plus it kind of keeps you humble. When you ride the same horses all the time, they start to respond to you even if you're doing things wrong. So it's nice to hop on something else now and then to make sure I'm asking for things correctly.
How are things with you guys? Have any fun adventures lately?
Awhile back there was an article kind of shaming people who like their matchy matchy. That article pissed me off. Like how is it hurting anyone if you want to collect saddle pads? Okay, maybe in the long run if everyone on the planet did that we'd have an environmental issue. Fair. But like one person owning 15 pads? Who cares? Can you afford to support your saddle pad habit? If it's not negatively affecting your quality of life and finances, buy the effing saddle pad.
Are you someone who judges people who are into matchy stuff? Do you poke fun at people who have weird passions? Do you make other people feel badly about something that brings them joy? If you are, maybe look inside and redirect that to something YOU can be passionate about it. Are you uncomfortable because you kind of like something that people might find weird? Embrace that weird! Own it! Do it! You'll find life is so much better when you're enjoying something for yourself rather than hating on someone else for having a little fun.
Al is doing just fine and we've had some good lessons over the last week. I had to postpone my usual Friday to Saturday because Shiny was having some vet work done and the times overlapped. But it was a fun Saturday lesson. We rode with a couple of the younger kids. Al was feeling brave that day (no wind blowing the scary doors!) and we managed to find our way far enough toward the end of the ring to actually jump a real line. So that was a big deal for us. We're still jumping tiny, but getting further around the ring so I'm happy and feel like we're progressing. It can be a little depressing considering we were jumping around 3'6" this summer and now we're not... But that's horses. Sometimes there are set backs, but we keep plugging along and eventually we get back to where we left off. Al is such a nice horse, and it will be worth riding this struggle bus for now. Hopefully anyway.
Eros is also great! I switched him from the two ring to the dee bit, and he seems really happy in it. I can't get the same "sit" in it that I can with more leverage, so I plan to use the old bit here and there to keep his flatwork honest. But jumping in it was dreamy. I could actually take a half halt when I needed to and he accepted it without overreacting. My guess is that it might not be enough the first few times we jump outdoors, but hopefully that will be the only exception. Time will tell! He had his annual spring vet tune up today, so he'll miss his jumping lesson this week, but will be back at it for next time. Hopefully feeling amazing!
Shiny is feeling vastly improved. Doc was on the same page as I and agreed that it was time to do her neck, and also wanted to do the right stifle. Additionally she got some shockwave up by her poll. One of the things I really like about my vet is that he is interested to hear what my body worker says about the horses and lets some of her findings help guide which therapies we decided to try. He thinks the shockwave may help her next adjustment go better. We shall see! She had the weekend off and we've had a couple of fairly light flat rides this week so far. She's still kicking out when I ask for canter (doc believes that is in fact behavioral... Lol. Me too doc... me too) but her canter is so much more balanced and she's not tripping nearly as much as she had been. We're going to have a jump lesson tomorrow so we'll see what we have! I'm glad she's feeling better though. I probably should have addressed some of this sooner. It's tough to tell with her sometimes when she's hurting and when she's just being a sassy pony. Mares are tricky!
In other news, after a three year hiatus, I got to attend a really fun chili cook off hosted by a friend and her husband. They take it pretty seriously... like seriously fun anyway! The winner gets a trophy:
What about you? Do you have a Peeps preference, or just like anti peeps entirely?
Bridle: Joseph Sterling
Browband: Dark Jewel Designs
Despite all that, things are just fine around here! I've been lessoning twice weekly with Al, and each one brings slightly less angst despite all the universal challenges coming our way. Though we still have not ventured to the very end of the ring... Baby steps my friends. Today we jumped a little course, complete with a three stride line, and I only almost died once. So that's pretty good! And my response to the near death experience was to dig in and ride better, so I think we're actually getting somewhere. And by we, I mean me and my ridiculous fears. You're probably wondering what went wrong... It wasn't really much of anything really. The jumps have stayed small like 2'3" ish? Maybe 2'6"? Not sure. The height is of zero consequence with Al, our struggles are solely about things unrelated to the jumps themselves. But in this instance, I was glad the jump was small! So I was jumping a little vertical on the diagonal off the right lead. I was jumping away from the lounge area, heading toward the dreaded end of the ring. But the fence was set so I was really only about two thirds of the way up the ring upon landing. No where near the "scary end" really. But for some reason, on the way to the jump, Al had is eye on something to the left. And just as we left the ground to jump the fence, he shifted HARD to the right, like to the point that I thought he was just going to launch himself through the standard. I have no idea how we didn't demolish that standard. My instructor thought I was going to hook my foot on it, we were that close, but I scrunched my leg up and closed it around him as hard as I could and somehow just brushed the standard. It was kind of horrifying from my viewpoint. But we didn't die. I went back and tried again, and though he was still kind of a turd about whatever he was seeing on the left, he jumped the center that time without any real antics. The rest of the course rode nicely, and I'm looking forward to Friday when we can try again. I'm feeling optimistic that things are going to be fine.
In other exciting Al news, his saddle finally came!
Bridle: Camelot RCS Gold
Browband: Boy O'Boy Bridleworks