Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend Update...

Friday, I continued with my snuffles out to the barn.. my initial plan was to swing by work, hammer out some reports, go plop on my couch with some meds and a nap before scooting out to the barn (tea in hand) to watch BO ride Miss Pia.  Unfortunately I got sidelined by a bizarre employee issue that ended in larceny, confessions, and all sorts of odd things.  The best laid plans... right?

Anyway, when I actually escaped the claws of work I scampered out to the barn, and we decided since P was calm and careful on her leg Thursday, that we'd drop the ace to 1/2 a cc and see what happened.  She was still pretty quiet.  She stayed calm, though she did pick her "sticky-no-go" fight again.. but we pushed through and got another good 30 minutes in.

Saturday, I still felt like crap, so BO got one more ride, this time with 1/4 cc... P seemed nice and calm in the cross ties, and since she'd had a couple days of work, we skipped any lunging and the BO just popped on, or at least, she popped on for a moment.

After about 10 feet of walking, Pia stopped and refused to go forward.  Some serious kicks and one lace from the whip elicited a HUGE standing buck, at which point, the BO dismounted (voluntarily) and stuck the brat on the lunge.

(This is when all plans for "light trot work" and "building canter work next week" went out the window)

Pia UNLOADED. she was bucking, kicking, rearing, freaking, galloping, etc all on about a 10 meter circle.  The mare refused to stay on the ground or on a big circle, which made for me cringing in the corner.  But you know what? oh well.

At this point I'm thinking that
a) her tendon didn't have a lesion, so we probably aren't doing any damage.
b) this is going to have to come out sooner or later, so let's get it out
c) BO is doing a good job of having conversations about Pia's, ummm.... "displays"
d) I'm too hopped up on cold meds to have any thoughtful input.

So, the mare ran, she ran, and ran, and ran.  Eventually she calmed down enough to get some good obedient lunge work in, which is about when we pulled the lunge and attempted to get on again.  Same crap, Pia was hunching and totally ignoring BO's leg.  I shouted (well... I sort of cough/shouted) that the next time she ignored her leg, she should feel free to get off and SPANK her.  BO asked if I was willing to sacrifice another set of reins if she broke free... and I said yes.  It seems like a modest sacrifice for the conversation at hand.

So, at the next objection, she popped off and laced her across her butt once - which was all it took for P to shoot in the air, come down and stand stock still until asked to move.  BO got back on, and voila! Magic well-behaved horsey.

(this is where I would like to say that usually I consider myself a pretty soft rider, but this mare, just needs a spanking every once in a while... Afterward she's all sugar and honey, but man o man... it's hard to justify at the time..)

Anyway, after about 15 minutes of good work (45 min total) we called it quits and decided to bubble wrap her and let her blow out any remaining energy in the ring on her own.  I cooled her out, curried her all clean, booted her up and crossed my fingers.  She still had PLENTY of gas left in the tank when I turned her loose, but no big aerial moves (thank god).  Pia ran for another 20 minutes, then walked herself cool (thank YOU extra great free lunging manners). 

I was having a bit of a mental battle the whole time - weighing the benefit of controlled movement/exercise against her mental sanity and odds of doing something REALLY dumb if she didn't get to run herself dead..

Ultimately, she ran herself dead, got hosed off, wrapped up and put inside for the night.  I kissed her on her nose and asked EXTRA nice that she pretty please not have done something stupid...


Sunday I finally felt better so I decided to ride.  I unwrapped Pia's legs to find them all cool and tight (yesss) and tacked the girl up.  We still juiced a smidge (just under a 1/4cc) before heading out, but I  lunged her just to test the waters.  We trotted nciely for a few minutes before the real test - a canter transition..

She popped into her canter nice and smoothly, no tantrums, no kicking, so I brought her back to a walk and hopped on.  Oh, and I was wearing BO's barely-used-Konigs.. Holy CRAP those felt way different than my lovely, soft as a glove, field boots.. WOW. I felt like I had wooden boxes around my legs.  The feel on her sides is TOTALLY different and it took a while for me to get a sense of when my spur was on, but ultimately the stovepipes made it significantly easier to keep my heel not so far down and my toes a little more in...

I'll get a dressage legat eventually.. but it is not coming naturally to this girl..

P was "ok."  she was more forward than the previous rides but still annoying.  We got some nice increase/decrease work in, which always helps her move out, and some good transitions.  We did some baby leg yields, shoulder fore, and finally a touch of canter which was uneventful, but really difficult to keep her balanced in.  We were giving her the benefit of the doubt because of the ace, but the mare was reeeaaaallly getting heavy in the bridle, which isn't like her at all.

Today I'm back out for another lesson, tomorrow she gets the day off, Wednesday lesson, Thursday lesson then I'm gone again Friday for the weekend...  Something always comes up when we get a rhythm going again...

I left her unwrapped last night to see if any swelling comes back.. cross your fingers we're in the clear!
Look at our pretty new pad!?  We've already gotten several compliments.  I love it.

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