Thursday, April 29, 2010

If you want a revolution, evolve.

The week prior to Rolex is always the hardest. I'm on call for the event to cover the event, and this year we had massive freezes.

The karma was well rewarded- I not only experienced excellent shopping, I picked up a number of potential sponsors along the way for the Team. I'm happy.

The week lent itself to a lack of riding, so when my partner and I hosted our kickoff clinic with Patience Prine-Carr and a rider dropped at last minute, the pony took the spot (company perk). I felt horrible for not preparing. Thanks to Lindsay and company the pony got there, in style and was warmed up for Saturday.

To make the situation more interesting, we're trying out a new saddle, and it was my first serious ride.

The first day was a tuning day. Patience had us ride in and out transitions and ultra forward canter and trot sets to get rid of the up and down pony trot. Patience is on par with everything. By the end of day one, we had crisper in and out transitions and clarified the changes.

Second day we switched to the double, I wanted Patience to see Sinari in this, and some of the problems. Thankfully due to the expectation laid down the stoppy-ness has stopped. She worked mostly lateral work, going to mediums in haunches in and shoulder in and half pass to working pir's to counter canter. Patience also gave us numerous exercises to play with. She also said the pony is getting too whip smart about the changes and I should go do more counter canter work for flexibility and carrying power. Sinari also needs to work on flexibility. I need to work on my position.

In the end, FEI is getting more and more in reach. Give us six weeks and we should be schooling in the sixties at PSG. But it's not easy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Love sticks sweat drips

For Sincere, growing up hasn't always been easy.

The first heart attack moment he gave was to his mother when he jumped the fence between fields and went hanging with his current band of brethren. No panic there. Thankfully he was reunited with May before anything got out of hand.

Then there was weaning, quickly followed by leading issues, quickly followed by the arena soon followed by our current challenge du jour: cross ties.

I'm not a fan of cross ties. I like ground tying and single ties, but cross ties just bother me. But still, it's a necessary thing to learn.

Sincere ties wonderfully, however, young horse ADD does kick in occasionally and it kicked in big time. He got himself turned around during the process, tangled on the ties and panicked. Thankfully, during that time he listened and then managed to pop off his halter without breaking it.

He was caught fed a few cookies and then put back on ties to finish up the experience. None worse for wear, but still, gives you a heart attack wondering.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I fly like paper

The week passed with some difficulty.

Tuesday was spring shots, and with six over two weeks, her neck is sore. Also on the medical side is the Power Pac, five days of Panacur. Thankfully, she's alright about worming.

To make matters worse Casanova down the way is singing his sweet song to a very in-heat Sinari in already hot weather.Resulting in a crampy, tired pony.

It's with this week we re-evaluated our time line for FEI.While our stretch goal is August, our practical goal is next spring, starting with the Snowbird, accumulating into the KDA show and letting off in the late summer and fall.

The reasonable goal this year is fourth and get our scores at third to confirm for the L program.

But in the same regard, there have been a few blessings as well.

I temporarily relieved the old saddle for a borrowed one, and I've talked to my County Saddles people into coming out and fitting her completely. I think I may have good terms.

The half pass and pirouettes are improving still but they need to become stronger, and a half halt needs to be established.

Secondly I put her back into the double. I didn't want to crutch on it, but I did want her to get back into it. I'm rusty as hell with two reins, and still prefer the snaffle.  She was much less stoppy, and much better about many things.

Finally, she's officially the big 1-1. Just turned 11 this past weekend.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Times they are a changin'

Sincere is on another, never ending growth spurt. This time, it's not it's butt or whithers that's expanding, it's his muscle tone.

I think this is what Denny Emerson and Bruce Davidson meant when they said, kick the young horses out into the hills and don't worry about conditioning.

Gone is fluffy goosey baby, in that duckling's place is a handsome young man who is athletic looking and in my opinion, outclasses his classmates in fitness and tone.

Yes, he still has gawky written all over him, but he is a solid individual. He is the geek-jock of the herd.

And soon will be the days where I can no longer throw my arm around his shoulders.

But some things never change, he still likes to get his stockings dirty. I might as well start investing in Ivory soap.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Roller coaster of love

What a fantastic week with pony wondergirl! And another busy week with a ton of planning and plotting.

The girl is getting stronger and stronger and more assured in the lateral movements. Her half pass at the canter and at the trot are super quality, and becoming less stoppy. Her collection is on par for the pirouette and has been doing more micro pir's in preparation for the full on thing.

But the most exciting part is that we've officially set a time line for Sinari's FEI premier: August. The first annual fix-a-test followed by a one-day schooling show. After the last centerline, there will definitely be a party and a half.

After the spring round of shots, I got to sit down with my vet and develop a plan for routine upkeep.

FEI is hard work on all parties, and part of the game ahead is being as proactive as possible to keep her going as long as she wants to go. In addition to the regular massage work and ice therapy, I'm looking at a Back on Track blanket. We also discussed alternative therapies such as acupuncture and injections like Legend and Adequan (IM not joint).

FEI is also not cheap.

Adequan and Legend is $200 per month. Turning the pony into a pin cushion is pricey as well.

In addition to this, we're searching for a new saddle, thinking kieffer or ideal. If anyone knows of a good site to look for a used one, please leave a comment!

Other than that, it's a normal busy week.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The inside-outside connection.

I've been bad about updating lately. The nice weather, erratic schedule and good amounts of work hasn't allowed me to do much for writing.

Aside from the saddle issue, Sinari is doing well. She's dropped about twenty pounds and has begun to fit up into the the spring work.

We're almost six weeks in to the meat of the work and it's more or less about cleaning house at this point. She knows all the movements, it's just assuring them and strengthening them. Give it another six weeks and we should be rocking things out pretty well for FEI.

Recapping March's goals, we should be there soon:

The adjustable outline/ the accordion
Getting much better. Now systematically progressing utilizing stretch warm up in the front part of the week to a full ramped-up FEI outline by the end. 
Lateral work, specifically half pass. Needs more flow, and of course, the zig-zags.
Started breaking these down into baby steps again. First stabilizing the bend then adding in more generic lateral work. Got several good ones in the past week, but needs to be more comfortable in the gaits. 
Smoother, but still too large, especially after the third step. Working haunches in regularly to narrow it down. Better at the walk than at the canter.
-Transitions out of the halt to canter. She gets jiggy (not that I mind, it will come in handy for piaffe), and becomes stoppy at the up transition (resists contact). I want her to become comfortable with the transition itself.
Haven't worked this in a while. So a bit sticky still.
Tempi Changes (at least green ones) and regular uphill, straight changes.
Score! She does tempi's too bad she's whip smart about them. 
If the weather will allow- conditioning.
Went out a few times, but nothing to blow out in. Now the ground is parched and hard. Can't really win.

April's Goals:
Pirouette work
Half pass
Half halts
More educated transitions through the gaits. 
Saddle that fits properly
School through PSG at least once.
Double bridle.
Rolex is in two weeks and the shopping is supposed to be fabulous. On the list is Back on Track, a Shadbelly, sitting in saddles and talking to my breeches peeps. Can't wait.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Turn, turn, turn

I feel sorry for the poor boy. He's graduated from yak to goat in the fuzzy department, but the weather has caused him grief lately.

It's been unseasonably warm. April is normally 60 degrees, and lately it has been 70. Not good. So in addition to getting his first bath (hooray for long hoses and hot days) he got his first clipper encounter.

Otherwise, he's fantastic as usual. 

Which leads into March's goals:
Clippers (I would really like to get rid of the full Manchu):
According to the Barn Manager he and his fellow comrades were mechanically shorn of the winter look because of of the weather. Sincere now sports a reverse-hunter clip.
All went well, no drugs, very little fuss. Mission accomplished.
Work on the triangle. Namely setting him up, he already knows how to trot in hand.
Accomplished.  Setting him up was easy as pie. However, we got into the more intrinsic details of don't lean on the halter, turning and stop rushing. He's going to be ready by June to go on the triangle.
-Teaching him independently to pick up his feet by the touch of a whip (comes in handy later). 
Accomplished. He's whip smart too.

April goals:
-Trailer loading.
- Conditioning.
-Triangle work.