Monday, September 7, 2009

Cross Training Woes

I've been tossing around the idea of bringing Louie to a nearby dressage schooling show going on this weekend to try Intro A and B. I have no real formal dressage training and I don't own hardly any of the necessary equipment, but what the heck, if I enjoy it and find the feedback as potentially achievable, maybe I'll take some lessons. I'm fully prepared to fail miserably, but the only way to find out is to try it, so I entered. Generally I have a dislike for events that require me to commit ahead of time because I like the flexibility of being able to decide on a whim, but it's not too expensive and it's very close to home, so we'll give it a try.

I'm borrowing my friend's saddle- a 70's model brown Stubben (suprisingly comfortable from my perspective!), along with my hunt bridle, and an old pad that the barn manager gave me. When it comes to bitting, we struggled for a while to find one suitable to the USDF rulebook, but I finally found a legal bit that I own- just a plain half-cheek snaffle. I have the required clothing from my hunt seat closet, so we're set! I had my friend Sarah out to the barn yesterday to ride and play and we had a great time. She watched us perform our two dressage tests and gave me some feedback. The main feedback was that I've got my patterns down, but when it comes to collection/bending, equitation, and other dressage-specifics, we're going to require some longer-term work that is not going to happen by Saturday, so just do our best, have fun, and don't worry about it too much.

The other feedback was that Louie looked a little short on his left hind again. I've been debating his soundness lately and the decision of whether I should bring him back to Dr. Turner for a follow up visit, as I was instructed to follow up if the injection wasn't the answer as he had more ideas and plans. Louie hasn't been all that short on that hind leg, just ever so slight, and it seems as though he's more tight in his back, loin, and croup as he really tends to tighten his topline up when he trots. Well, I think I am going to bring him back to see Dr. Turner. Louie's second massage didn't produce nearly the results that the first did, and he was actually notably short at the walk yesterday. Now I'm not sure what part of this might have to do with this new saddle I've been riding him in for the past 2 days as Stubbens do have a reputation for being rather ouchy for some horses' backs, or if it is due to one of his pasture shennanigans or something else, but he's definately taken a little step back from when I watched the barn manager ride him on Thursday (two new riders for Louie this week- and the only real riders other than myself- and he treated both quite nicely)! Here is a short video I got of him on a lunge line last weekend, where you can see that he is a tiny bit short, but more than anything just looks lazy in the hind end:

So, I'll give him a few days of rest and light stretching work, then if he doesn't look too off, take him to the show on Saturday- see this is why I hate pre-entering, no more than 1 day after I sent in my entries and fees does my horse turn up lame. . . ugh. Well hopefully we can get in to see Dr. Turner soon and get a definative diagnosis. I'm ready to have a sound horse again. . .

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