Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring Break Recap

I had all of the intentions in the world to actually write blog posts over Spring Break... and then there was Grey's Anatomy... and sunny weather outside... and an adorable puppy that I was dog-sitting... and DIY projects to work on... and a handsome husband to cuddle with. The result is zero blog posts. BUT a lot happened over Spring Break in terms of horse life and so I'll do my best to catch everyone up.
Horse time is the best time

I got really sick on the first Sunday of the break. The type of sick where you get all of the symptoms of everything but don't have extreme symptoms of any kind. So the best remedy is to just sit on the couch and rest. This got really boring really fast so I taught myself to crochet and made horse ear bonnets! This was a hobby that continued on for the rest of the break, but since being sick only lasted a day, I got to ride soon enough!
Super sick

One of the first days out to the barn, I was able to convince the hubby to come with me and play photographer. It was a really good ride on the flat. Casey was being super responsive and fun!
Some more trotting

We did a bit of jumping over some verticals to warm up.
Landing after teeny-tiny cross-rail
Cutest jumper ever
Loooonnnnggggg shot

Then I set up a bounce to a small oxer and crap hit the fan. Casey floundered through the bounce without enough steam and then took a super exaggerated jump over the oxer.
Right about now I was thinking "Oh crap..."
Yeah, I don't even know what is happening here

I shortened the distances before going through again, but that went even worse, because Casey stopped at the jump. I was immediately concerned, because my horse is not a stopper, she never stops, she jumps everything!
The only time my horse has ever stopped on me

With fears of mentally breaking my horse running through my head I took out the bounce and made the oxer a vertical... and she ran out on it. The type of run-out that even with all of the rein and leg pressure I could muster, she still just plowed through me.
Running out

Now I was really concerned, so I dropped the oxer to an itty-bitty crossrail and she went over it fine. Then I made it a 2' vertical, again she jumped it fine. Raised it again to 2'6" and again no problems jumping. At the time I thought that maybe her confidence had just gotten shaken. My thoughts were so focused on her potential mental state though that I didn't really consider that it could be a physical problem... until the next ride.
Cute front end
Jumping the jump that had caused us issues

I was supposed to be in a jump lesson and after some trotting (in which Casey appeared to be sound), Trainer asked us to pick up the canter. We went to pick up the right-lead canter and Casey immediately started changing her lead in the back. She then dropped into the trot. Trainer was super worried about this so we stopped with the lesson, did some flexion tests and determined that Casey had some type of tweak in her stifle. When Trainer said "tweaked something" I immediately remembered that bad jump over the oxer and brought it up and Trainer agreed that she had probably pulled it while doing that. In some ways this was reassuring, because it meant that Casey didn't stop at the jump due to her mental state, but it was really not a good thing because instead she actually hurt herself! So that's how Casey earned herself her own vacation. We started her on a remedy of Bute and stall rest (4-10 days off). We are pretty sure it is her stifle and it seems to be a really minor tweak, seeing as she is mostly sound and there is no apparent swelling. If the Bute and stall rest combo doesn't work, the vet is coming out to the barn next week anyways, so I can get her checked out. I'm hoping that it is just a minor muscle pull though and that she'll get better soon!
The rest of the photos don't relate to the content, I just like them!

Since my horse was broken for half of my vacation, I continued my riding on other horses. I got to school the lesson pony, Tigger. He was kind of being a brat (which is why I had to school him in the first place). His go-to annoying habit right now is trying to run in the opposite direction that you are asking him. It's really *fun* (sarcasm should be apparent).
Cantering Casey

I also got to ride Mac, the big fancy black gelding who once was a million-dollar horse (however is no longer worth anything). He was a total sweetheart, albeit a bit foot-sore because the farrier had seen him recently.
Casey can be fancy too!

Today I got to ride my BFF's horse, Wings. He is a fancy hunter-type horse and is soooooo easy to ride (when he doesn't spook on you, that is). BFF encouraged me to jump him a bit, so I popped him over some cross-rails. Then she told me I should go higher so I raised them to about 2'6" and he was a doll. THEN other barn friend showed up and with an evil grin raised the jumps to about 2'9"-3' and told me to go for it. So I popped him casually over a really decent sized course and it was no biggie to him!
Casey is definitely not a "hunter-horse"

He is so easy to jump that it feels totally effortless, and all of his jump training makes it so that he takes perfect distances every time, allowing me to always get the right position over every fence. Casey will never jump like that, because she jumps so incredibly round, but I hope that with more jump training she will at least get the mellow and educated vibe that Wings has while jumping. If she were more consistent with her distances it really would make a world of difference (plus she wouldn't tweak her stifle from making dumb distance choices).
More cantering

And now my Spring Break is over and so I am going back to riding at night in the dark when I am tired :( At least the week off was a lot of fun!
I love my horse, hopefully she gets better soon!

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