Missed a Month

Well, I haven’t journaled for almost a month. I have missed it, now that I start writing again. Unfortunately, Robbye and I didn’t accomplish a whole lot in November:

Yep, she spent two weeks being sick. Ugh. It was not fun.

Anyway, here is the short and sweet of what we spent November doing:

9: Went for a short road ride, then Robbye gave pony rides to two very very beginner riders. She was a very good girl.

10: We had some drama-free o/f work, then rode down the lane. Had a fun gallop on the way back from the lane.

11: Free jumped in the indoor. Robbye had way too much fun and was going out of her way to jump the jumps.

12: Had dramatic dressage ride. No longer remember what the drama was!

13: Had a lesson all about relaxing. Something I probably really needed, judging by the description of the ride the day before. Michele had me ride basically without reins, and just to pay attention to letting myself stop micromanaging. This is something I really really need to work on, or Robbye and I are not going to have a happy relationship.

14. I took the day off for my birthday. Well, really, I took it off to spend six hours at the vet with my cats. Sigh.

15. Spent the evening at the barn for dog agility practice. When I went to bring Robbye in from the pasture she was very lame and depressed. Could barely move, although she did put a bit of weight on the leg. She was swollen from her hoof all the way up to her butt, and had a temperature. Of course the leg in question was the one that stocks up normally, which made the whole situation even scarier. We scheduled a vet appointment for the next morning.

16. Spent the day at the barn waiting for the vet. He diagnosed lymphangitis, and prescribed antibiotics, painkillers, 20 minutes of cold hosing twice a day, and 20 minutes of hand walking twice a day.

17 – 21. Went to the barn twice a day (it was a rough week) in order to hand walk and cold hose. She got better very quickly, thankfully. After the first day she was still lame, but wasn’t nearly as depressed or pathetic. On the 21st, my vet told me that I could gradually (over ten days) work up to regular work, starting with twenty minutes of walking under saddle.

22-27. Gradually increased work, usually doing 20-30 minutes of basic gaits without asking for engagement or mental work. I really tried to make it easy.

28: Robbye got a day off, which I think she needed at that point. Julie and I went on a drive with Yogi (a holiday tradition).

29: Another day off for the holiday.

30: Finally feeling like we were back to work, we spent the Saturday afternoon jumping in the sunshine. The jumps weren’t high (18″ and crossrails), but I decided that we really needed to start working again. We fought a bit – she didn’t want to listen – but in the end it was a good ride. After two weeks off, this felt like a normal ride.

1: Robbye got the day off, but Julie and I went to the SPHO-OH year end awards. They were awesome! Julie won champion year end high point elite equitation, champion year end high point elite pleasure, and fourth place year end driving horse. I was surprised to win fourth place in year end adult Showmanship and adult equitation. The prizes were awesome and there was minimal drama. Woo!

2: I had late meetings, and Robbye got another day off. Dang.

3: Robbye and I had a short and sweet ride in the indoor. I rode bareback and just with a halter and leadrope, which I’ve been doing a lot during her rehab. She really has gotten very responsive to my legs and seat in terms of gait/tempo, although I still can’t steer with my seat. This is definitely something I’d like to work on more.

Anyway, the ride was great. I worked on canter transitions (without using the reins, which is hard for me!) and she did a great job. Somewhere along the line Robbye learned walk to canter transitions without me really teaching her. I guess this is the reward for training your horse…they become easier to ride and easier to train!

Lesson tonight! We’re trying out a dressage saddle that I got on loan right before she got sick. I hope it works – would be an amazing Christmas present.

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