quietann: (Trump)
My favorite of the day -- at the end of cross-country:


more back here )
quietann: (Default)
So I did get to ride Minnie today.

Read more... )
quietann: (Default)
I now have written clearance from my doctor to ride, yay! And I had a 30 minute session of pool PT with almost no soreness afterwards, though the therapist did pick up on the weird way my left side works, or doesn't.

Talked to [livejournal.com profile] goddessfarmer. Minnie is feeling better, but it's pretty clear that this year's hock injection has not restored her to soundness :( I will have a short ride on her tomorrow, but how much she can be worked is still up in the air. Also up in the air is how she'll deal with the cold once it really sets in. She's *old*. We talked a little about alternatives should Minnie not be available. I dread the process of finding a good barn where I could half-lease a horse, and hope that it won't get to that for a few more years. I am fretting, oh yes I am.

grumble

Oct. 27th, 2007 12:19 pm
quietann: (Default)
Windrush won't let me come back to riding lessons until I have a doctor's note saying it's OK. I just wish they'd told me sooner, because getting the email on Friday means I can't get the note for Monday's lesson.

Riding Minnie went very well, though, and I was not sore at all afterwards. I seem to have made a big jump within the last few days and now have pain only when doing specific things that I know will aggravate things.
quietann: (Default)
So I had my PT evaluation today. Of course, *time* is the most important thing to heal me, that and not doing any more stupid stuff to aggravate it. The PT woman was not thrilled about my continued riding, but she got that it's important for my head. So I am at walk only, do not lead horses for long distances, and be careful/ask for help when grooming.

I think this may be the first time in my life where I have *minimized* the impact of an injury because I could not stand to stop doing something. Odd.

So I will have twice a week pool therapy sessions for a couple of weeks, and then re-evaluate. The therapist said to expect about 6 weeks of PT.
quietann: (Default)
I wish my brother didn't live in Alaska. We just had a very nice phone conversation, and he, having experienced all sorts of athletic injuries, read me the riot act, in a very sweet way, about not pushing myself right now. He's skeptical of the riding, or rather, not the riding, but the amount of time on the ground to get the horse ready, take it to the ring, etc. Will do what I can, and no more.

(My brother, if you don't already know, is an "all-around" athlete. He's hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, climbed a 20K plus peak in Bolivia, skis (both cross country and downhill, including back-country downhill, where one treks up to the top of some steep slope and skis down), bicycled across the US, won marathons, and once more or less carried a friend who'd had a stroke in the Alaska back country ten miles to the nearest landing strip.)

hip update

Oct. 16th, 2007 02:20 pm
quietann: (Default)
really should be "butt update."

I finally went to see my doctor about my injury, because it's just not getting any better. He poked and prodded me, found the ouchy spots, watched me walk and didn't like the amount of wobble. So off to Xrays and he will call me when he has them. I *may* have cracked my pelvis or left "sit bone." It's more likely a deep bone bruise, and he will set me up for PT.

Ouch.

Notes on this:

Riding should probably be walk only and maybe a little cantering. Sitting trot w/o stirrups is fine on a smooth horse like Bearito. Posting trot only if it's not painful. No jumping! The gentle motion of a horse's walk is helpful. (This means walking Minnie on Monday, because she is rather bouncy. Given how long she's been off work, pushing her wouldn't be good, anyway.)

Watch sitting and driving positions. I tend to fold my left leg under, and it's painful to get out of that position. Especially when driving my car, which is a stick shift, I need to keep the left foot just by the clutch at all times.

Mornings are the worst; I may try sleeping in the other bed tonight, because it has a squishier mattress.

Keep taking ibuprofen but try to cut back a bit.
quietann: (Default)
I went back to Bearito this morning. He was in a mood while I was brushing him; he kept trying to nip me, and was very pushy about trying to get out of the stall when I went out to get something... Yes, he was tied, but remember that he knows how to undo a safety knot with his teeth! I was faster than he was, however.

The lesson was mostly inside flatwork. I think I am getting better, though I also think Tina gets exasperated with me sometimes, because I don't understand what she's saying. I now know that Bearito requires precise canter aids, because he will counter-canter (canter leading with the "outside" leg) if those are the aids he is given. Like I have said, he's a well-trained pony.

We went outside and did a little jumping. Tina was mad because she had set up a little course for us on Friday, and the people running Special Olympics on Saturday took it all down. I did three jumps, two 12 inch crossrails and one a little higher, with no problems except for jagging the pony's mouth on the second one. It just feels so weird to *not* move up into jumping position until Bearito is taking off; I think that way back when, when I learned how to jump, I rode more "forward" to be absolutely sure I would be easy on my mount's mouth. But Tina was pleased.

But... I am still sore. really sore. Riding made things worse, though I seem to be recovering now. I feel wobbly, like my left hip joint is too loose. During riding itself, I was in pain but not enough to stop (and I am a pain wimp!) except when landing after a jump, which was bite-my-lip painful. I quit while I was ahead; the other students each did a little more than I did. I won't be riding again until next Monday, which is probably good.

After that, I had a brief trip up to see Minnie and brush at least some of the dirt off her before she went to the vet. She was not happy that I did not take her out to graze, but I was just moving too slowly to feel like I could control her if she got silly. She was extra-fussy so I think she might be in heat. Also I needed more treats for her than I had available. I watched her with the pigs afterwards... they Wuv her, and she wants to bite them.

But... NEXT WEEK I will be able to ride Minnie again, and I am very happy about that!
quietann: (Default)
The mother of a possible Unauthorized Raspberry Picker came by today with a nice container of tasty raspberries. I can't tell you how much I appreciate this, as opposed to the "My Child Wouldn't" or "What Do You Expect; The Berries Were There for the Picking" school of parenting.

Also, I heard from Tina and she wants me to stay with Bearito and the Monday lesson, but not push to do the bigger jumps until my balance is better. This is fine with me; I may need to look for another lesson barn sometime next year though, if I want to go a lot further with the jumping. But in the meantime, getting to ride the Cute Pony is just fine...

Bearito nose

Skippy!

Oct. 9th, 2007 10:36 am
quietann: (Default)
OK, I couldn't resist. Not my horse, this is [livejournal.com profile] goddessfarmer's new guy ... and I want everyone to see the good pony :) I will admit to being a vicarious horse owner through the generosity of [livejournal.com profile] goddessfarmer, who's taken me in as a student/riding friend/horse-crazy admirer.**

These are from UNH Horse Trials last weekend, where he placed second in Training level. And you know, it's not just that weird leg marking that gets peoples' attention; it's that cute Connemara pony face (even though he's 16.3 hands, which is definitely bigger than pony-sized.)



rest of the sequence back here )

** We talked ponies quite a bit at the party, and came to the conclusion that while I could probably swing a boarding situation for Minnie closer to where I live so I could ride her more, it is better for everyone to keep her at [livejournal.com profile] goddessfarmer's house, so she can live with Trumpie and [livejournal.com profile] goddessfarmer and I can ride on the roads and trails over the winter. We will be shooting for twice a week... Minnie gets her hock treatment next week and I should be able to start riding her again the week after that. I am expecting a certain amount of shenanigans on her part the first time I ride her, because she's been standing around bored for a while now. OTOH, the very first time I rode her, late last year, she was mostly good, even though she'd *really* been standing around bored for a long time.
quietann: (competence)
Took some Big Drugs to kill pain and help me sleep, going to bed now. Feeling better about the riding... need to talk to Tina when I am feeling brave. Current hope is to ride Trump on Thursday *at a walk* and let his big swinging butt do some physical therapy on me... (I swear that horse, from the rear, reminds me exactly of a very sexy woman shashaying down the street...)
quietann: (happy guiness)
I have a problem.

I fell off Bearito this morning... he "refused" at a jump (quotes explained below) and I kept going and landed on my butt. I was up within seconds but still pretty rattled. Tina was nice about it, handed me the pony and told me to go cool off and get back on when I was ready to. After crying into his mane for a few minutes, I did get back on, and went through the line of jumps again, made smaller because of....

well, those "quotes". I just can't find my balance on Bearito; he's small and his center of balance is somewhere in that enormous neck of his. My going into jumping position, unless I get it just right, unbalances him and makes it hard for him to get over the jump, unless it's tiny. It doesn't help that I am a lot more top heavy than I was when I was 17, the last time I was jumping ponies of comparable size.

In short, I am too fat for him. Well, to jump him anyway. We do fine on the flat. It was totally not his fault that he couldn't get over a 2 foot rail with me on his back.

So much for this; it was a fluke. ETA: that is not Bearito! That's Trump, a 16 hand TB/Warmblood...

So I somehow need to change horses, *if* Windrush even has one that's suitable for me... I need a bit bigger horse, who is as reliable over jumps as Bearito is. Or I need to switch lessons, either back to flatwork only or "baby jumping" ... I like the lesson I am in, but it's advanced for me and I am still getting my "jumping legs" back. And somehow I need to talk to Tina or someone in the next two weeks (no lesson next week because of Columbus Day.) and find out what is possible. Which terrifies me because I am afraid they'll just kick me out because they don't have a horse I can ride, and I am kind of too weird for them anyway... Keep in mind Windrush's main focus is therapeutic riding, and a lot of the horses can't be jumped at all.

Oh, and then, after the lesson, I forgot to close the gate. (The jumping ring is within a huge field where some of the horses get turned out.) Luckily no one escaped, but I just keep making mistakes like this in my riding and horsemanship, and sooner or later *someone* or more likely *some horse* is going to get hurt.

I really just want to walk away... one moment, and then the next I realize how much I like it there.

I spent some time with Bearito afterwards, scritching him and hugging him until it was time for his next lesson.

My butt hurts, I'm cranky, and still crying occasionally over this.
quietann: (happy guiness)
We had a good ride today. It was very humid, so no one really felt like working hard, but we practiced some of the wibbly bits in the dressage tests, mostly downward transitions. Minnie was a bit jiggy at first, but showed me that she's capable of using herself well. Once again, no martingale, and almost no head tossing (and what there was may well have been caused by a horsefly.) I still would not try to jump her or ride her outside without it, but she's being a very good girl. I still need to convince her that shortening the reins does not mean "Go faster!" until I tell her to.

Came home, crashed, went and rescued [livejournal.com profile] madbodger from an interminable Arisia meeting for a bit, dinner out with him and some Arisia folks -- or partial dinner, because he had a flight to catch, and I took him to the airport. It seems he may be up here more often, which is a good thing :)
quietann: (happy guiness)
Now 99% sure I am going to the show. [livejournal.com profile] goddessfarmer may not know it yet, but she gets to be my "coach" for the next 3 weeks, so we can actually do the test without screwing up. And I am saying a prayer to the God of Horseshoes that silly Minnie actually keeps her shoes on her feet.

update

Jul. 1st, 2007 07:51 pm
quietann: (cactusflower)
I am healing, but sore. I did squick a few people with the cuts and bruises on my arm last night :) People tended to assume that I'd been *riding* Minnie when it happened, but no, I was leading her. Or she was leading me. Most of the bad things that have happened to me when I am around horses have not happened when I have been riding them, BTW. I have found that with this particular injury, the best place for me is up and about, not sitting or resting. The mornings after have hurt like hell.

The party was fun, there were people to talk with and I was really OK with the crowd, mostly because unlike the Hot Foods party, which is held in February, this one had plenty of room outside. [livejournal.com profile] goddessfarmer was relieved to see me up and about. I don't think I realized just how scary it was to watch me hit the ground. I was not only up and about; I had spent several hours at the Groton House horse trials earlier in the day, watching people gallop their horses through a long and difficult cross-country course.

Then we had [livejournal.com profile] madbodger as an overnight guest (and not nearly enough time to cuddle him), and went back to the aftermath of the party this afternoon, and then took him to the airport.
quietann: (happy guiness)
So, moving ponies and riding them has been accomplished. It will be better to have them up on The Hill because the indoor ring and the field of jumps (for Trumpie, mostly) are both there. So, no more trailering ponies up and down.

Riding went well, although Minnie was doing the thoroughbred thing today and would NOT stand still for grooming, bridling, me getting on, etc. J helped a lot. We rode for about 40 minutes again. Monday, if the weather is good, J and I will take them out on a hack to walk up and down hills, which is good for their, and our, fitness.

So everything was wonderful... until it was time to put them in their new digs. Minnie was getting very antsy; she does not like changes, and probably the only thing that kept her from flipping out entirely was that Trumpie was plodding along right beside her (it's a bit of a walk from the barn to their field.) In retrospect, she should have had the chain on her leadrope over her nose; yes, it's painful if her handler yanks on it, but that *will* get her to listen.

The gate to their field is narrow, and has a small step down. Minnie rushed the gate, and she pulled ahead, and then she tripped, and then I tripped and rolled. J said it looked really bad; she was sure I'd been stepped on. But Minnie was a good girl and somehow avoided me, though I did see her hooves pass *right* above my face.

Nonetheless, I have a couple of cuts on my left arm, and a sore forearm, and will, I am sure, have bruises up and down my left side. But -- nothing is broken. I was back on my feet in about 30 seconds. The "crack!" that I heard as I went down was not one of my bones, or one of Minnie's; it was a downed tree branch that one of us landed on.

It does serve to remind me that horses are big and dangerous, though.

And now Minnie has two boyfriends, Trumpie and Jack. Jack is a very pretty TB gelding who lives up there as a pasture puff; he can't be ridden because of neurological issues. He and Minnie spent quite a while getting acquainted over the fence.
quietann: (happy guiness)
She's baling hay today (literally), a *very* labor-intensive project, and she's short-handed, but nonetheless she took the time to help me and Minnie get up to the indoor ring, and brought us back later. Yes, the field where J was tedding the hay is just down the hill, but she did *not* have to accommodate me.

So... for the first time in I don't know how long, I actually rode *by myself* today. The barn manager was around, but busy for the most part. Minnie was *really* good. We worked for 40 minutes and stayed mostly at the walk on account of the heat, but got in a few short trots and a canter in each direction. She was very "snatchy" of the bit when she got tired and I probably let her walk too much with her head and neck stretched down. But, she had her ears pricked and her hocks under her and was a happy horse being ridden. Afterwards, I hosed her down and turned her out to graze for a bit, and cleaned tack and talked with someone who has her horses at the barn for the summer (and is very impressed with the standard of care at the barn, BTW!)

And I now know just how silly Minnie gets when she's taken away from Trumpie. She banged around in the trailer and whinnied most of the way to the barn, and then did the same when we took her away from her barn pals. She managed to work herself into quite a sweat before I ever got on her, just from separation anxiety. And the whole time we were riding, she kept up a "call and response" of whinnying with other horses in the barn.

We took Minnie back home and I did a few chores for J because she was so busy, and then I came home.

riding

Jun. 22nd, 2007 10:03 pm
quietann: (happy guiness)
BTW, in case anyone is wondering, yes, I do things besides ride Minnie! But nothing especially interesting has been going on.

Minnie was very very good today. She seems to be getting used to the routine: I show up, she gets loaded on a trailer with Trumpie, we go up to the barn where there are **other horses**, she gets groomed and tacked up and I ride her. Afterwards, depending on what else is going on, she gets turned out in a grassy paddock or just led around to eat grass on the lawn behind the house, and then goes back on the trailer and back home.

She has become a complete doll about having her bridle put on, which makes me think she's enjoying being ridden. We did a lot of transitions today and overall it went pretty well. Minnie collected herself a bit more which made her much easier to ride. I still feel a bit all over the place when riding her, but J assures me I look a lot better than it feels to me. Today she *trotted* over poles rather than jumping over them.

Afterwards, I had lunch with J and her daughter and we went to look at a horse J might be interested in buying, because Trumpie is starting to get old and is not up for the next level of eventing competition. So this was my introduction to a serious horse business -- expensive horses, beautiful facilities, etc. The barn people didn't have time to take the horse out of his stall, but J had a favorable first impression. All I can say is that he's HUGE -- well over 17 hands, which is really, really tall. He seems friendly. J will go back again next week for a better look.
quietann: (happy guiness)
The poor girl forgets that she is 24, not 4. We rode today, a short lesson in the newly-mown hay field where J and her daughter have set up a jump course. Minnie was jiggy, mostly because of the flies. But she also honestly thought she was there to jump, and I had to convince her otherwise. Picking up a trot about 20 feet diagonally from one of the jumps, she definitely wanted to *canter* and go that way, but she did listen enough to *trot* and go a different way, not impeded by jumps, instead. We did a lot of transitions, halfway around the large circle at a walk and then halfway at a trot or canter. At the canter, I managed to keep her at a reasonable pace even when she wanted to go. I feel like much less of a passenger these days, though I feel badly about yanking too much on Minnie's mouth when slowing down.

(The jumps are just the size I was used to when I quit riding, or perhaps a little smaller. And perhaps someday I will be able to ride a course like this again!)

Then J put a pole on the ground for us to go over. This is the first baby step towards actually jumping. Minnie was good walking over it, but then we went to trot over it, and she made it into a jump, which meant cantering several strides before it and then actually *jumping* over this little pole on the ground. After the most egregious example of this, I made her walk over it the next time, which according to J was the right thing to do. Only when she was tired did she stop jumping it and just go over it normally.

Things I need to work on: not looking down when approaching said pole on the ground (or when trying to slow down Minnie), keeping better contact on the horse with my calves, more seat work, figure out if I do need to go back to putting a brace on my right ankle when I ride.

After that, J took Trumpie back from her daughter, who had been jumping him, and we rode down the hill to see if one of the other hay fields is dry enough to be mown. This was amusing at first, because we rode by several of the paddocks and at the first few, whatever horse was in it came galloping down to say hi to Minnie and Trump. Unfortunately just as we turned to go back up to the barn, Minnie spooked, and just as we got back, J figured out that she'd lost a shoe (which wsa what had made her spook.) So I got off and untacked Minnie, hosed her off and let her eat grass while J and Trumpie went back and found the shoe.

I cleaned tack while J and her daughter showered and took them to the train station, went to the Post Office and now I'm home.
quietann: (happy guiness)
So yesterday was my last ride on Guiness until the fall, sigh :( But we had a good lesson, and because the weather wasn't too hot, Tina assigned a *lot* of cantering. This included half-seat (two-point, or whatever), which was fine, and *without stirrups* which was a little more shaky, but I never felt like I would fall off. We did have one, um, episode, which was either a sudden speed-up or a start of a buck, but I recovered quickly.

Also I got a little horsemanship lesson from Tina on the good and bad points of Guiness's conformation. Good: very sound legs and hard hooves and a good "engine" (hindquarters), withers to hold everything in place, and a pretty head and expression. Less good: weak topline, back is bit too straight, slightly straight shoulders (yet he does not go heavy in front.) What this all means is that it's hard for him to "pretty up" when moving out. Tina likes him, but for some reason she kept saying that he's small. Well, yes. He's 14.2 hands. But that's a good size for me. But Tina's thing is eventing, where a 16 hand horse is considered small.

I am also seeking a better sports bra; sitting trot is, well, bouncy, even on a horse as smooth as Guiness. The highly recommended Elann bra turns out to be all wrong for me. It's meant for women who are not flat-chested, which I'm not, but my ribcage is too big and my breasts too small to fit any of their sizes.

One more thing: on June 23 and June 30, I will be helping Windrush raise money by collecting money at the parking lot at Groton House Farm's horse trials. I will be going out in the late morning each day and then working a noon to 3 p.m. shift. The setting is beautiful and it should be fun for horsey people. http://www.grotonhousefarm.com/html/groton_house_farm_events.html
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