Monday, July 25, 2022
Sunday, July 17, 2022
It's been hard to write about handwalking. Because that's pretty much all I've been doing. About a month ago we had a vet check and got clearance to add in 5 min and then 10 min of trotting, so that's been nice, though Gwyn definitely thought that if we were trotting, then we were allowed airs above ground, which is NOT conducive to healing.
We started with walking over some low poles at the walk in hand. Chriss' big rule is that the horse must not push on your space. So in the case of walking over the poles, straightness is key, but also impulsion in the hind end to keep her from swing her hips out and pushing in with her shoulder. As I'm walking I need to be mindful of where she's looking and preparing to correct the push, which gets more subtle the more we work, but I'm also getting better at feeling it the more we work.
It was harder to do going to the right, which made sense to me because that's usually where I struggle when riding to have her really filling my outside rein, she likes to collapse to the inside. The same was happening in hand. It took a lot of effort and work to get her thinking straight and maintain control of her hips and shoulder.
From there we moved on to long lining. Again the goal was using the long lines to encourage her to bend and really step under herself with her inside hind leg. I found feathering the inside 'rein' while using the outside line wiggle to encourage forward so her outside hind couldn't swing to the outside to have amazing results. There was a balancing act and I was starting to get a good feel of asking for the forward would require immediate reminder to ask her nose to poke in just the slightest. I need to keep shoulder fore in my head. We even worked at a trot and I'm pretty sure I got her working in the best trot ever. She was practically floating across the ground, working evenly and through her back and hind.
AHHH! This lesson really upped my game with the long lining and I'm excited again about our 'hand walking' because now it's things we can work on to keep both our brains engaged.
Vet recheck friday, fingers crossed we get approval to add more work back in.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
A lot has changed in the 20 years since I graduated Pony Club (that hurt to write, by the way)
|D-Rally in 1999 with Clyde|
I'm a little weird.
|This rally was held at the Connecticut Audubon Society and Earle Park in Glastonbury Connecticut. I also remember doing my rating here.|
I graduated as a C-1 when I left Pony Club, in the time of you were done once you aged out at 21 years old. I figured I wouldn't be able to pursue riding through college and wouldn't be able to push my rating further. Then they added Horse Masters, and then just rolled adult membership back into the club as a whole. And changed up how the rating worked so people could still advance without needing to jump. And became more inclusive with Hunter Seat Eq and Western.
|Glastonbury Pony Club maintains a riding ring, and a whole ass cross country course.|
Now when I look at my rating, it lists me as C-1 EV (eventing) and D-3 HM (horse management).
|2005 would be when I aged out|
But the chart of learning states that riding certifications cannot be awarded until the horse management for that level has been passed.
I can technically advance through H-HM without a sound horse. This would be heading into national certifications territory and just looking through the standards of proficiency, they are a beast. But I think if I start aiming for that now, I can get some things created in preparation and have them sitting and waiting. That path would mean doing C1, C2 and C3 HM, then H-B, then H-HM. Because the Standards of Proficiency explicitly state "An H-B member may take the H-HM/H/H-A certification without completing any national level riding certifications."
I worry about Gwyn's capabilities in taking me up the levels given the heights being asked. She's nowhere near jumping 2'9", the level I graduated in. I'm not even ready to be back jumping at that level. Dressage might be a better track for her long term, and I can always collect that rating with her. She's about at D-2 dressage level, I'd say but needs much more work to do D-3.
I'm going to start filling out my Health and Maintenance Record Book now, with the expectation that it will be used to meet an H-A standard of proficiency. It requires a years worth of records after all. Why not document this road to recovery for Gwyn?
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
At the end of March, Gwyn got hock and stifle injections. She was allowed to rest but was still presenting as lame at the trot. At the end of April, I had a complete hysterectomy and I am still recovering from that surgery.
All of this to say, that's why I've been focusing on groundwork lately. It's something low impact we can both do while healing.
|She fell asleep mid-hoover of alfalfa dust, like an exhausted toddler in a plate full of food|
I had the vet out for the injection reassessment and was anxious to be there specifically because Gwyn was still not sound. We flexed and trotted her, then moved on to blocking the fetlock and then suspensory in her left hind.
She was sound after the suspensory block.
So we moved on to ultrasound of the area. My vet found swelling of the suspensory on the left side (and even my uneducated eye could see the differences between L and R on the machine) and diagnosed an injury to the left proximal suspensory ligament.
The bad news is that recovery is 4-5 months. All of my pony club plans, endurance, gone. I'm not riding for a while.
The good news is that she's got a good prognosis for recovery. There's no lesion or tear. It's swelling but not the worst it could be. I've got a plan for treatment. And I've got the greenlight from the vet to continue the groundwork lessons. On the surface, Gwyn's life won't change.
I'm also planning to stick with Pony Club. They can always use adult volunteers so I'll stay involved and really get to know the members. Maybe work on my HM rating since that's different from the riding rating.
Thursday, May 12, 2022
May 11 was Gwyn's Sweet Sixteen so I pinterest Mom'd it up and planned a photo shoot. We had fun. May 12 is her Gotcha Day. The day she arrived in Washington for the first time from Florida. She's been mine for 11 years now.
"Aww, does your kid really like unicorns?"
|Oh look! Actual nice face!|
And now for the good pictures. Remember, backwards order lol
|Generally photogenic as a sixteen year old.|
|A very prehensile snozz|
|Ugh, that back half of her mane never grows anymore|
|I've been converted to be a mare person. She's the best mare|