If you don’t have anything nice to say…

Don’t say anything at all.

Unfortunately, that leads to a pretty blank blog. I always appreciate the honesty in other people’s blogs: Megan at A Enter Spooking has never been shy about sharing the issues she has with her young horse, Emma at Fraidy Cat Eventing has an amazing sense of humor about horsey fails*, and┬áNicole Sharpe at ┬áZen and the Art of Baby Horse Management totally highlights her horse’s quirk. As a result, I think it is only fair to lay it all out there.

*I am still on the Isabel era because I read all new (to me) blogs from the very beginning. Does anyone else do this?

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From the beginning, I knew 2017 would be a bit of a throw-away year. I started the year in a new state, at a new barn, with a new job, a pay cut, and a wedding to plan in the middle of the summer. (We are officially less than 3 weeks out from that one!) However, I did have some goals. I wanted to improve my riding, I wanted to get confident over Novice sized fences, at least in the arena, and I wanted to get May solidly to a 1st level understanding of Dressage with some schooling of 2nd level stuff. It is August and none of these things have been accomplished. In fact, I haven’t had a lesson in a month, and I haven’t had a jumping saddle in more than 3 months.

All year, we have had 2 jumping lessons and a series of repetitive Dressage lessons. The repetition of the Dressage is not my trainer’s fault. The skills we are working on (strength and flexibility) take time to develop, and when you have a lesson every week, there isn’t enough time in between lessons to develop enough that we can go on to new skills.

So what has happened this year…

  • The end of March marked our first lesson since the previous December. It was a Dressage lesson, which I was quickly able to follow with a Jump lesson, which was not eventful enough for a post.

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  • We had a jump lesson where we actually really jumped things.

More #ponyspam #jumping #horses

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  • Then… May ripped off her shoe for the 3rd time, and I decided it would be best to let her feet go barefoot.
  • As a result of the transitioning to barefoot, I thought it would be a great time to have the fit on my questionable saddle checked. As you all know, it didn’t fit… at all… and was probably contributing to May’s crow hopping after fences.

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  • Either way, we had our Dressage goals, and we made some serious progress on those in May!
  • Then… June… and May’s eye decided to blow up the Thursday before I had to travel to Kansas for a wedding party. It took about 2 weeks to resolve, but I was able to keep riding through it.
  • July got hot… very hot… really too hot for May with 95 degree days with serious humidity. Rides were reduced to quiet walks. I wasn’t upset when my trainer and I had to cancel a couple of lessons due to scheduling conflicts.

#dressage in the rain is only ok if it comes with cookies #may #horsesofinstagram

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  • Then August. August has officially broken my heart. I found the saddle of my dreams for May and I, and it is more than $1,000 past the budge I had set if I ALSO sold my Dressage saddle, which is not something I really want to do. The lead time on getting the saddle ordered is 10 weeks (a custom Stubben), which would put me at the end of October… and the end of the season. With the wedding and wanting to (hopefully) buy a house this year, spending so much on a saddle feels completely ludicrous, but I have yet to find another viable option.
  • August has a part 2. May came in last week with a swollen back leg. No heat. No lameness. No idea… I cold hosed it, put a BOT wrap on for a while, came back the next day to ice it again… and there was no swelling anymore. Iced it anyway and gave her another day off before giving her a light ride on Sunday. No big deal.
  • Then August part 3 came up, I showed up on Tuesday this week… and a front leg was swollen. No heat… no lameness, but I pretty good cut on her fetlock where it seemed she had kicked herself (or something) really good. Cold hosed… BOT… an anti-inflammatory for good measure
  • Plan was to go up last night and check on it, but a migraine so bad it left me sick meant I couldn’t physically drive myself to the barn. Tonight we’re supposed to have our first Dressage lesson in over a month… but we will see.

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