Getting over fear and abscesses!

Earlier this week Mister had his farrier appointment and it was discovered that he did have an abscess in November.  The whole bottom of his hoof was soft from it and the farrier said he could only remove a bit at a time so that he still has some foot on the bottom.  We thought that maybe the abscess blew out the bottom of his foot because we couldn’t find any other exit spot.   He said that if that’s the case it would only take a couple of trims and shoeing to get it all healed up.  He said if it was higher up in the hoof it could take a  up to a year since the whole hoof has to grow out. Which would mean shoes since his foot would need the stability.   Later when we were looking at his hoof more closely on the top inside of his hoof we found a tiny little puncture.  Now we know where it came out of.  It’s a good thing we were planning on keeping him in shoes anyways because now we have to, at least on the fronts though we do have 4 shoes on him right now.  Thankfully he is sound and it’s just a matter of keeping that puncture free of infection so everyday I ride Mister gets a few treatments, one to harden up his hoof underneath and the other to keep out any infection.  He’s been pretty good about it. I’m thankful it was an abscess and it wasn’t any injury.  We were pretty sure it was an abscess though but it was nice to have it confirmed.

It’s warmed up this week so the snow has been crackling and moving on the roof lots!  It has really unnerved Mister.  He just won’t settle down and relax!  Wednesday he was ok but Thursday he was a mess!  He walked in really nicely and lunged really nicely, I even taught him a new phrase when lunging-wrong way when he didn’t listen to my cues to change direction!  But when riding he was just out of sorts, spooking at a board in the far end of the arena that’s been there for years!!! It turns out that normally we start our ride going the other direction so that may have been a factor, however he just wouldn’t let it go!  I tried everything to distract him from it and get his attention back on me and to relax, but while he did stop spooking he didn’t relax the whole ride.  Friday we didn’t ride because the snow was coming off the roof in a huge slide and was crackling and groaning the whole morning finally giving away in the afternoon.  Saturday was a better ride, we were pretty tense in the beginning, his spooking has been scaring me a bit lately which is a bad cycle to get into since me being tense makes him more tense which makes me more tense etc…. However we worked through it when his spooks at the little bits of snow that were left became smaller and smaller.  We ended our ride much much more relaxed, got some nice trotting in and some cantering and just some nice relaxation!  I really do need to be more brave for Mister!

Next week will be a good week.  No more snow coming off the roof to get us all twisted up!  It’s supposed to stay warm so that’s good too!  Maybe I’ll start off my ride going the direction Mister doesn’t like since he needs to get over that!

 

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Learning to Fly!

 

So it has been a good start to the new year.  Mister is another year older and seems to be pretty content.  We are going full steam ahead.  I had a few lightbulb moments and it’s only the 3rd week of January and we’ve had some cold days so no riding and last week I was sick .  It was funny-Mister knew before I did.   He was so off, I felt fine so I didn’t think it was me (It turns out it was me! ). He was just unsettled and antsy and wouldn’t relax but didn’t want to move either.  I chalked it up to his fear of the snow coming off the roof and even though I didn’t hear anything thought maybe he could hear it cracking and shifting. So I called it a day and decided  I’d come out earlier tomorrow so we don’t have to worry about the snow and the roof.  It’s been the one fear he has not been able to get over since he was a baby.   I got to work and was extremely exhausted but didn’t think anything of it since I didn’t feel bad in any other way, just full body exhaustion.  The next morning I got up and was very sick, cancelled riding and didn’t go to work.  When I did finally go out Mister was super sucky which he is only like when I’m sad or sick! So we just hung out with no expectations.  It was nice.  Today we were back to work.

I’ve been pushing for extensions and collections and I’m finally starting to get them.  My lightbulb moment was when I was talking to my mom over Christmas and she was asking how they get that nice beautiful trot in dressage and I said it’s when you tell your horse to go forward with your leg but keep them held back with the reins and then the energy builds and you get that nice airy trot!  Intellectually I know how to do it, it’s just getting my arms and legs to both act!  I’m starting to get it, it’ll take some time!

I also have figured out the spiral in/out exercise that I’ve had a hard time with and now know why I need to know how to do it! That was my second lightbulb moment over the last few weeks!  I love that they’re flickering now!!  I’m also super excited to show again and see what my scores are going to be like this year!  I’m aiming for high 60’s in training level and then I’ll go on to First Level.  I’m thinking the first show I’ll be in Training Level but the rest of the summer I’ll be showing at First Level.  I am definitely loving this dressage journey so far. I am feeling more and more competitive-not against anyone just that I want to keep improving and pushing my scores!

I’m also working on the serpentine though I’m having problems getting that one.  So that will be our next one to conquer. Until next time.  I’m hoping to keep this updated once a week.