Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Pony Club Goals

 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
Notably, it's not just one rating. You can choose tracks like Eventing, Dressage, Hunter Seat Equitation or Western. You also have a Horse Management track. From what research I've been able to do, the Horse Management track might typically advance as you advance your mounted rating. And your Horse Management rating should equal or exceed your mounted rating. 

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

Healing and 2022 plans

 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

A Sweet Sixteen and Happy Gotcha Day

 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.

If you ever want to make a grocery store floral department employee's day, get balloons for your horse and tell them
"Aww, does your kid really like unicorns?"
"Well, it's actually for my horse..."
"Will she be okay with the balloons?!"

Have some phone photos in order, and then good camera photos in backwards order. I don't even care even if Blogger screwed it up.

It was very hard to get good photos mostly because once she figured out that the balloons were nbd, she was fucking bored and Over It. 

I was grumpy at this tiara though, because tiaras aren't made for horse heads, especially ones that are part draft. But I think I know how to make a product that will make them more stable. It'll just require your 4 legged friend to actually have a forelock.

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 also took some photos of the flowers I got to stick in her mane and forelock

I've been converted to be a mare person. She's the best mare

All in all she was an excellent sport about the balloons. It was super windy and they were moving all over the place.

And to tend this photo dump, the balloons are affixed to her stall for extra desensitization as a birthday gift to the entire barn.