Thursday, June 23, 2016

Alpine Perview - Pre Greens

A fortuitous break in my schedule is allowing for some more timely blogging... which is helpful for both my thought process and analysis.

The Pre Greens this week were not quite as spectacular as last week - and in fact leave me with a few questions.

Yesterday, Winds had a mediocre warm up, and we saw a return of the cross-lead on landing.  I haven't seen much of the dreaded cross lead since the second week of The Oaks, and I haven't missed it.
In California, we thought that perhaps the cross lead showed up because the PG's moved from a big pretty grass field, into a small sand ring.  But here - we've been in the same (smallish) sand ring both weeks.  No change in footing or ring size.  That makes me think that Winds might be the teensiest stiff or sore, or just annoyed about life.

Anyway - So yesterday - bad warm up, and then three decent(ish) rounds where he landed cross out of a four stride in two of them, and got pretty nailed for it.  He won the round that he managed to land on true leads, but overall he was a bit sulky to the leg and not jumping quite as brilliantly as last week.

still good with his ears though!
The hack also not fabulous and we pulled a 7th in a field of 10.  Winds never really got through his back and moved out like he did up at Tbird... and there were for sure some lovely movers he would have a hard time beating on his best day.

Here's video of the first round - which he threw in a cross lead going out of the four away from the camera.  Twit.  You'll notice he's willing and still going nicely... but not his usual unicorn self.

Today, he finished the division with two more rounds.  Warm up was similar.  A bit sulky behind the leg and stabbing a bit on landing. 

But he went much better in the actual show ring.  No cross leads (thankfully) and a bit more forward - but still not his shiniest moment. 

He won his third round:

And pulled 3rd in the 4th:
(please enjoy my riveting commentary on lost change the ring crew found..)

We still managed Reserve, as the leaderboard was pretty all over the place and that worked in our favor.  There were only two horses at 3'3" so the Pre Greens combined with the 3' section which I always think is weird.  I *know* the judge is capable of keeping track of the horses, but the notion of collapsing division across height always seems odd to me... not complaining - just an observation on the system.

Anyway, this lackluster start to Week Two leaves me thinking a few things...

One - he's a bit girthy, and the sulky to the leg makes me wonder about ulcers.  Our barn was supposed to participate in a study for a new medication (which... free), but that has been held up and I'm not sure I'm willing to wait much longer.  So Mr. Man might be getting scoped when we go home.

Two - a short warm up ring makes him ball up and turn into a turtle, which is easy to push past the first week - but a bit harder to manage the second.  He's obviously stiff or uncomfortable somewhere - but whether its the lack of turnout, footing, or exhaustion - I don't know. 

This is only the second time we've shown him two weeks in a row - but it's also the second time week two has been a bit bumpy. 

So, he'll get a workup when we get home and make sure that nothing is majorly bothering him.  I also ordered him some bodywork at the show in case it's simply stiff and sore from being a rock star. 

So, that's where we are.  He's being good - but not brilliant.

Tomorrow he doesn't have anything to do until the Derby (!) again in the evening.  Hoping that the bigger ring and longer track will work to our advantage in coaxing him out into a bigger step.

If it doesn't - that's good info to have as we move forward. 

Blurry - but super cute!


  1. First, I don't think Winds can take a bad photo....all of these are gorgeous! Whether he's landing cross-leads or not, he's still so lovely to watch, and I hope his wonkyness is nothing serious. Sending positive vibes your way!

  2. I agree with Jenn, Winds is ridiculously photogenic and can't take a bad pic. Here's to hoping that he just wants more turnout after a week of showing. I am sure bodywork will help too, everyone can use a nice message....ahhhhh :D

  3. Hopefully it's nothing. My vet says younger horses are more susceptible to ulcers and of course anything that ships and shows. So she had me start my guys on tract guard which is a preventative. Just an idea and it is inexpensive.

  4. Ulcers seem possible and are an easy enough fix. And as well as he jumps, it wouldn't surprise me if he's a little stiff from all the jumping. Hoping there's an easy fix for him! He looks fantastic regardless.

  5. Still sounds like he is game to jump and that's great. I'm sure you'll have him feeling right as rain in no time!


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