Monday, September 28, 2009

What a Great Day!

Pic above is a quick shot of the trail ride Possum and I went on on Saturday.

Yes, you heard me right from the title of this post, today is a great day. No particular reason other than the sun is shining and I hopped out of bed this morning with a feeling of purpose, strange I know. The air is warm and clear, and despite the fact that I work a looong day today it seems to be working out alright. I also get frequent calls from my special cowboy friend which also helps to make the day move along in a pleasant way.

Things have been pretty quiet since the show. I wanted to give Possum some time off and he just got a new round bale when we got back Sunday night, so I let him gorge on that most of the week. Saturday was a gorgeous day with a small bite to the air, perfect sweater weather! I slept in some, took a shower and decided to leave the dogs at home so I could thoroughly enjoy my ride on the pony. Possum came right to the gate and I led him into the barn. I spent a while grooming him and looking him over. He is starting to shed his summer coat for a thicker and more dense winter coat, aghhh!!! I'm not ready for winter. I saddled him up and led him over to the picnic table and hopped on. My plan for the ride was to have fun and enjoy the weather on the trail. The ride was great, it was just Possum and I and we were able to have some bonding time together. No stress, no agenda, it was great. When the footing allowed on the way out we trotted some. It felt good to feel the extra spring in his step from having the week off and he went forward willingly. About half way through our ride I couldn't resist and we took a detour to a large field and then I just let him fly. I forced myself to be aware of everything. The sound of his hooves thudding in the mowed grass, his rhythmical breathing, the up and down of his neck, the wind in my face and the sound it made as it screamed by my ears. I looked up to see bright blue sky and the sprawling field ahead, this is heaven I thought to myself. Forget the dusty arenas, the yelling of trainers on the sidelines, the nervous chomping on the bit by the horses and the scared and tense look of the riders. I was riding with a huge smile on my face that I couldn't hide if I tried.

All too soon the end of the field came into sight and I slowly pulled him up. He gave a toss of his head as a small protest to slowing, but he too saw that the woodline was approaching. We walked the rest of the way back until we hit the road. It was nice with my feet dangling out of the stirrups and the steady swing of his back as he walked with purpose. I have to confess that on the straight stretches I asked him for some collection and to reall work through his back as he trotted. Then when we cantered I would ask every few strides for a flying change just to make sure he wasn't rusty, he wasn't. He did everything I asked, I could tell that he too was feeling good. When we got back his neck had dried to a crusty sweat and we both felt better, like some satisfaction had been filled. I untacked and gave him a brushing and threw him back out.

I'm gonna be real busy with work this week, working late 4 nights this week until 8p. I hope one of those nights I can get out and ride before the sun sets. That's about all that is happening. Yesterday it rained all day. I went to the laundromat and then watched movies with the roomie most of the day and cleaned the apartment. I may be planning on a trip out to MN with the roomie sometime in November, but it's purely in the planning stages right now, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Hope you all have as great a day as I'm having.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pic from the show

Someone sent me a fairly decent pic from the show last weekend. Possum looks pretty good, but I'm jumping slightly ahead and my release could have been higher, but I can tell you that I had to be right on top of it on the landing so I'm guessing that's why I didn't release as much as normal. Not to say that's an excuse, but he was pretty strong on the landings. But on the plus side, Possum and I do look the part even though we couldn't walk the walk that day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Weekend re-cap

Well I finally have time to sit for a few minutes and check in with your guys. I apologize for not having any great stories or long accounts of the show, but I really just wasn't feeling it. I feel like I've been in a race since I came back from Virginia and really just wanted to do something fun and relaxing and the horse show was anything but. Thursday I got ready for the show most of the day because were were shipping out Friday late morning. I got all my tack cleaned and horse clean and everything packed. My back was killing me by the end of the day but it felt good to have it all done. I then went home and got all of my stuff together for the most part. That night I went to the local fair with a friend to hang out with some of the bull riding people that had come into town. I ended up having so much fun. They were primarily from Minnesota and Iowa and what a great bunch of people they are! I didn't want to leave. We were laughing and joking and just having a great time. I didn't go to bed until the wee hrs of the morning.

I had my roomie load Possum on the trailer the next morning so I could have an extra hr of sleep and then she came back to the house where I helped her hook up the camper. I then got ready and packed and had to drive the one hr in the opposite direction to drop off my dogs, then went to the barn and loaded my car with the stuff I had packed the day before and then hit the highway to meet up with the trailer and my roomie at the show. It was just about dinner time when I arrived. I checked in on Possum and put some mats in his stall and fed him and gave him a quick grooming. I got my stuff ready for the jumper portion of the show and hung for a little bit in the barn and then went to the camper to sleep, since I was beat. I got up early the next morning and cleaned his stall and fed him breakfast and then took a shower and got changed in my riding gear. The show Saturday was soooooo slow. It was about 1pm before I finally was able to ride in the first jumper class. Possum had a great warm-up and felt good on that hind leg, but I also didn't want to push it. We had some good rounds in the jumpers. I can't remember off the top of my head what we placed, but it was fairly good. By the end of the day I was tired and cranky because it had been a hurry up and wait situation. I took care of Possum and then decided that I would drive the hr and a half back home that night to meet up with the cowboys for the last time since they were shipping out Sunday morning and I had a little crush on one of them, the one I stayed up till 5am talking to. I really wanted to spend a few more hrs with him before he went home to Minnesota. I took care of Possum and then hit the road. I got home about 8p and took a quick shower to wash off the days dirt and headed to the fairgrounds. It felt nice to walk up to the large group and have everyone yell my name and give me big hugs and excited to see me, I have to admit it made me feel good.

We hung out and then went to a local bar. I didn't drink since I had the show in the morning to drive back to. My classes were last of the day so there was no huge rush, but I still wanted to feed and make sure everything was ready and I also had to polish my boots. So I was the DD at the bar, but I still had a blast. I danced basically the whole night, moving from one cowboy to the next. They were such great people and so respectful that it was a breath of fresh air to hang out with them. They definately stuck out like a sore thumb in our small town or locals but they just took it all in stride and if someone was ride to them they just brushed it off. I got home about 2am and slept till almost 7am. I packed up and took a shower and was back at the show a little after 9.

The day was just not that fun. Our barn for the most part did excellent and that was great and I was happy for everyone. I had a good warm up on Possum and then when it was my time to go in the ring for our first eq class it went fairly well. Not great but ok, but we still ended up 4th out of 4. The medal class was pretty much a wash. I was a little nervous and ofcourse Possum picked up on it and started to get strong. We got some bad spots, he was rushing in the corners and lost his hind end lead. I was so nervous that I wasn't blinking on course and my contacts were drying out and almost fell out of my eyes, so I basically did the second half of the course with my eyes shut. I tried my hardest. Tight legs, sitting back and using my body to try and slow him. It was so bad once that he lost his hind that I had to wrestle him to a trot to bring him back. I ended up with a score of 50 which is pretty crappy and placed 3rd out of 4 and didn't even get a call back to do the second test. I was pretty upset and had to fight back tears.

I've realized that I really need to sit and think about what it going to make me happy. I have never loved showing, but it's getting to the point that I'm starting to hate it. It's a lot of work and money and if you don;t like doing it, it's gonna make you miserable. I don't really know what is going to happen, but I feel like a break from showing is necessary. If I'm not into showing, my horse sure as hell is not going to be into showing. As it is is he puts up with it because I wanted to do it. I think this fall we're gonna take it easy. Hit up a lot of the trails and just have fun and spend time together. Get out heads and bodies straight and then maybe make a decision.

I'm kinda down today, not in a bad way but I kinda miss my new friends, especially the one that I had gotten close to. Just a real great guy who is a sweetheart and very genuine. He's not a super model or anything, but once you start talking it's just so easy and smooth. I'm glad that I got to be friends with them and have a lot of their numbers so if their up this way again we can hang out or something. SO I'm back at work adn the daily grind, sitting here thinking what it would be like in Minnesota hahaha. Everyone has horses and farms and all that good stuff. We stayed up late a few nights just talking about the west and how different it is from the east and the people. It makes me wonder sometimes.

Well I think that;s about it. I don't have any pics right now and to be honest they wouldn;t be that great anyways. I'm glad to be home and have some time to relax and settle back into the routine. I have a late presentation at the local college tomorrow night so I won't be able to go to the barn, but hopefully Thursday I will.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Already Wednesday!!!

I have soooo much to do it's not even funny. Show is T minus 2 days away and I need to get a move on my packing. So this whole week has just been a balancing act of barn and work. AFter work last nite I literally raced to the barn to make sure I had enough daylight. I got Possum out and groomed him and gave him a once over. Ever since this funky left hind thing has been going on I've been hyper vigilent in checking everything over and making sure there are no changes or anything. Everything looked the same as it did before. I got him all dressed and took him in the outdoor arena. He was super lazy. I felt like I almost needed a crop to get him going. We spent a bit of time on his warm-up, lots of trotting and then cantering big circles so as not to put any early stress on that left hind. Basically my rides right now consist of really reading how he feels. My gut still told me that something wasn;t just right but I had nothing to base it off of. He was perfect and balanced cantering to the right, but still to the left I felt that slight compensation.

I decided to press on and trot some smaller jumps and really stay in tune with how he was feeling. He went right up to the jumps and did his job great. We started cantering smaller lines and he was steady and quiet and calm. After about 10 minutes I decided to throw a roll back in to the left. Right after the jump on the turn he lost his hind end lead. I cooled him out and decided to lunge him to see if I could see anything from the ground. I had asked everyone I could especially in the past few days to see if they could see anything going on with him. Even the barn owner and trainer couldn't see anything. I put him on the lunge and started to trot him out in a large circle. I could see that he wasn't striding up as much with the left hind and seemed to be picking it up slighter quicker than the right. Again, it's hard to see, especially when your trying to see something. Then I asked him to canter. This was the tell tale sign. With no rider to keep him balanced he was a mess. (Ok a mess in my mind, maybe not a mess to some people) He even started out cross cantering. ONce he did get the lead he quickly lost it. I ended the lunge session immediately. I went and talked to the trainer and he was to be given a gram of bute that night and put on MSM to help if there was any inflammation going on. She said that it definately did not look like stifle and she thought that it might be a slight muscle pull. We can't really know for sure, but it's really frustrating.

Possum isn't in any pain that I can tell. I know this horse inside and out and we communicate on a level that's kinda cool. He's not in pain, but it seems that it's more of a nuisance for him, like "c'mon leg, stop doing that" After untacking him I spent a good 10 minutes going over his entire body taking mental note of how everything felt and looked. Everything appeared to be fine. I touched his hind all over from rump to the bottoms of his feet and found nothing odd. I again washed his hind and legs down with liniment and popped him a gram of bute and started him on the MSM. I will not ride him the rest of the week until Saturday. Saturday morning before the show I'll lunge him and then ride him and make an asessment from that. We're only in 6 classes Saturday with nothing above 3ft. I just want to make sure my horse is 100% before we do anything. Keeping my fingers cross that it is just a sprained muscle or something and move on from there. I feel bad because he wants to keep riding and working, but I'd much rather be safe than sorry. As I let him back out in his paddok he trotted away and cantered, crazy horse, I told him not to do that, he looked back at me like "what's the big deal dummy?"

So with not riding my guy for the rest of the week I should have plenty of time to pack. Tonight we;re going to my parents to get the camper and for me to throw in a load of wash since our washer is dead. Tomorrow I will be cleaning tack and packing grain and hay and shavings. Getting all my equipment and supplies in their respectful totes and starting to make a list of all the clothes that I need for myself. I feel like I have a child and then some, having a horse is so much work, but I have to admit that I love it. I am psyched for a good time this weekend and I have faith that Possum will be 100% and rarin to go. Think good thought for us please!!

Well I think that's about it. It's a gorgeous day and the weather sounds good for the weekend!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Number 200

Believe it or not this is my 200th post on this blog!! I can't believe how the time has flown by. As I look back on all of my posts I see some growth along with all the struggles, and even some really good things that have gone down. The blog to me is a place to reflect and get thoughts out of my head and share comments with others that my not necessarily know me. I started this blog at a very hard time in my life and it's been through all of the journeys that I have been for the past year and a half. With that said, I had a good time in Virginia. The days were kinda boring and the nights were made fun! Some of the work shops were good and useful and some of the other ones were boring and not something that I could use in my work. Ohwell.

I came back Friday night and raced to my parents to pick up the dogs. They were so happy to see me, and the feeling was mutual for me as well. I had to wash a load of laundry while I was there because our washer shit the bed, joy, more money to spend. So it's 4 days and counting until we leave for the Medals. We will be leaving Friday afternoon to head up there with the horses and stuff. I will be coming up a little after since I have to drop my dogs off at my parents again. I'm really excited but I know that it's a lot of work and a lot to prepare for. I know once we get there and can settle in and relax that it will be fun. I just dread the thought of packing and stuff beforehand. So much to remember and bring and store that it's kinda depressing. I do have Friday off from work thank God! I also took that Monday off as well to unpack and relax a little since I will be out straight the entire weekend. So Friday I will pack all that I need, give Possum a bath and do all trimming and prep work at the barn so that all that needs to be done at the show is braiding.

My scheduled is as follows for the show. Friday we unload and unpack and settle the horses in. Saturday moring I egt him ready because we are entered in 6 jumpers classes, heights 2'3"-3ft. Because I decided to only do the jumper classes I do not need to wear formail show attire. I will be wearing beeches and tall boots and a polo shirt. Possum will be wearing a square embroidered white pad with his sheepskin half pad and he will not be braided. That way we can go around the ring, jump some courses and get some of the energy out of him. My goal is to have him nice and quiet for the day of the medals. Saturday night the barn owner is going to braid Possum for the Medals the next day.

Sunday will be the day of the Medals. Everything is to be clean and polished and looking great. I have an equitation class and a Medal class. My classes start later in the afternoon so that will give me a chance to get ready and watch the others from the barn. Sunda night we will finish packing everything up and head back to the barn.

So with the Medals weekend only 4 days away my goal is to ride consistently this week. I rode Saturday and I could feel his right hind acting up again. I have asked a lot of people about this, but no one seems to have a good idea by looking and feeling it. It is also something that you can't see when he's going other then losing his hind end lead. But when I ride him I feelhim tip his rib cage in and over compensate with the outside hind, therefore making him not through his body. But on a good note he has been very quiet and listening really well in our rides. Because of his hind issue I am not doing tons of jumping, but what we do he is very nice. I have even gotten to the point of asking him to add strides in a line and he's doing it! Our changes are also going really well, over 80% of the time on his bad side and 100% on his good side. My roomie even rode Possum one day that I was gone so it was good for him to stay in shape and working. I did not ride yesterday after riding fairly hard Saturday. When I was done Saturday I gave him a liniment bath making sure to really rub any sore spots and checking him over thoroughly.

Tonight after work I'm headed to the barn and going to have an easy ride. I think I may even just flat him and maybe go for a little jaunt down the road to keep him fresh. My reasoning is this. It's not that Possum can't jump the jumps or the height. He's good on tight turns now because we have been working on them, and he's getting a lot quieter in the lines. Basically I just need to keep him maintained and fit and most importantly sound. I have a feeling Saturday will nock him down a peg with the jumpers. I don;t want him too tired and that's why we;re only doing 6 classes. And if he still feels good there is a race track on teh grounds that we can play around with too. Possum especially loves galloping on the track, and remembers it wellfrom our marshaling days.

SO that's the game plan. I have also been having a lot of fun in my personal life as well. I'm not going into details since there are way more people that read this blog then I realize! But the weather has been consistently great and I'm having fun with friends and hanging outside. No BF prospects, but just having fun with good friends.

Alright, think that's about it. I am so busy at work too with school starting and being in VA all last week and now with the Medals coming up and having Friday off I'm swamped. Checkin tomorrow, later.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Alright already

Ok, so it's been brought to my attention that I havn;t updated my blog in a while. I think it's funny but also makes me feel just a teensy bit important to have people miss my posts, I'll take what I can get. So here goes....

I rode for most of last week. Had a couple of good serious ring rides and a couple of really fun trail rides. The weather here for the last week has been beautiful. We're so used to having it rain almost every day this summer, getting 7 days of sunshine in a row is like heaven. The temp is also perfect. 70's and80's during the day and nice and cool at night with no humidity. During one of my ring rides towards the end of our jumping session I felt that left hind acting up again in the turns. I cooled off quickly and then after untacking him inspected it. There was no heat or swelling, just those nasty looking lumps that have turned hard and calcified. I cold hosed it anyways for about 10 minutes and rubbed liniment on the whole leg and rump. If it's one thing about Possum, it's that he HATES liniment. I'm pretty sure it's the feeling he doesn't like, the tingling sensation. He dances around and stomps his feet and has even done little rears. He doesn't ast as bad if it's just his legs but if I scrub him down with a bucket of water and liniment he freaks. Just another little bit of info on my crazy appy.

It's actually been a good week for me and a restful holiday weekend. I've been hanging out with friends and having fun at night. Work has been crazy. Schools are back open again and I've been getting back into the schools and getting presentations ready for the year. After this weekend, Tuesday morning I fly down to Virginia for a conference for work for 4 days. I think I;ve said this before but I'm gonna miss my puppies like crazy!!!

I've also been running more this past week. I've been running down the old snowmobile trails and it's helping to keep my motivation up. But i have to admit that my meals have been less than healthy, I'm sipping on a can of Pepsi as I type this hahaha.

Last night was particularly nice. I got to the barn at around 6 and it was pretty quiet, just as I wanted it to be. The dogs ran around and and did their thing and I got Possum out and ready. He was pretty slow to warm-up. He usually doesn;t get his motor revved until we start cantering some and then he comes into himself. My goal was to work mostly on rhythm and pace. He did excellent. I was thrilled with him. His canter was absolutely perfect. I was able to just sit pretty and lift him up when he started to get a little heavy. He was nice and light for the most part and responsive, it felt really nice. I was still riding in the Happy Mouth Elevator. I've decided to keep riding in that right up until the medals since he is doing so well in it. I want him this light and responsive for the Medals rides. It also helps that we've been working a lot on the flat Bringing things back to basics and having him really listen to my seat aids more. Getting him to rock back on his hind for downward transitions. I'm actually pretty happy with our progress. SO when we got to the jumping part of the ride last night I was really sensitive to any heisitation on his left hind. He felt great and nice and strong. The rhythm and pace was right on! I was jumping for joy inside. Even with the jumps au around 2'6 and some close to 3ft he was still keeping that nice pace, and with that pace I was better able to get him to a good spot and not be fighting with him all the time to slow down. I only jumped serious for about 10 minutes, enough to get throigh every line and mix things up a bit, I didn;t want to push my luck.

After the ride I untacked him and gave him his dinner to eat in the yard. It was so nice just sitting in the grass watching him eat and playing with the dogs The sun was just setting and everything was pink and orange and a huge moon was hanging in the sky.

Today I really have no plans, I want to go to the barn and have a fun ride this afternoon since he was so good yesterday. The sky is such a bright blue with no clouds in sight, it's just beckoning me to ride. Tonight the roomie and I are going to her guy friends hous for a small cook out and he invited one of his single cop buddies over too to meet me. Who knows, I'm not expecting a love connection or anything, but can always use good friends. I've also been hanging with a few guys lately too. Nothing serious, just having a few drinks and chillin. It's nice to be in the company of guys again and chatting. I feel like I'm just starting to feel ok living the single life, doing my own thing and only taking care of myself. I'm looking forward to this fall andofcourse the medals are only 2 weeks away!!!! That's going to be the highlight for sure, everyone back together as a show team again and having the whole weekend dedicated to horses and showing, I can't wait.

Well I think that's about it for now. Sorry it's been so long between posts, I'll try and keep up, but when I'm in Virginia I'm not sure if I will have internet, so we'll see. Have a great holiday weekend!!!!!!