Somehow, 2016 is here. Happy New Year! The winter has been mild and wet – so far. But today is COLD for this FLA girl. Luckily, we managed a party lesson yesterday. The forecast was to warm up to “almost 40” which is my mantra for good winter riding temps. Even though we started late to catch warmer temps, it was 29 when we started to ride. NOT almost 40. No worries, no wind in the covered arena, serious boots, gloves, ear warmers, extra layers and I was toasty. Splash was sluggish. Kizzy was bucky (to start) and Sunny was a good boy. Mallory/Max and Bev/Beau joined us for the first party lesson of the year.
Splash and I worked on “lightening” the downward transitions. Even though Splash is motivated to stand still, he doesn’t want to use his back end and we end up fighting for a halt. Or walk. Any downward trans. So, we practiced “stop/back” until there was improvement. Angie, Patty and I have discussed the possibility that Splash has Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM). Last summer we attended an ODS sponsored seminar at OSU and Dr. Holbrook discussed several problems for dressage horses including PSSM. Serious symptoms are hard to miss such as tying-up. However, tail swishing and reluctance to move forward can be subtle signs. Angie took the sample for me and genetic testing is in progress. If it turns out that he is positive, a change in diet should help him. If negative, Splash is the slug we think he is. It will be good to know either way.
Ivy wanted to work on extensions because she is planning to move up to 1st level this year. In preparation for extension, Ivy worked Kizzy in a circle until he was willing and showing some collection. Then, working slightly shoulder in along the straight and into the corner Ivy straightened him into the diagonal and then asked for extension. They looked great for a few strides. They repeated the preparation and ask several times each way until they were successful for more than a few strides. Several times, Kizzy cantered rather than extended, but he was willing to move out. Both Patty and Ivy were happy with the work.
Sunny has gained some weight but still looks thin. Alaina is focusing on building muscle slowly so they take it easy during the lesson. They had prompt transitions and consistent gaits. I could see a little of the “line walk” that OSU noticed with his right hind during the evaluation last November, but I think that is related to the lack of cartilage in the right hock. It doesn’t seem to affect his coordination but we will keep an eye on it.
Geronimo has started acting a bit bratty so we will be sending him for alteration as soon as possible. Ivy is still working him focusing on showmanship and plans to take him showing in the Will Rogers Classic. Hopefully, he will be a gelding by then.
Ivy is hooked on Hunting after we joined the Harvard Fox Hounds on their fall hunter pace. Splash and I rode with Patty and Prince and walked half the course just 5 minutes off the official pace time. Such a beautiful “fixture” and fun, friendly people. She is also in love with Mac – as well as driving with Becky B. Horses are FUN!
Alaina is easily distracted by a cute deer named Buford T Back-strap (the name should make him nervous). Of course, she is also distracted by kittens, puppies and any other inappropriate choice for a pet.
So in non-horsey news. The girls are in the second half of their junior year. The twins turned 17 on December 17, 2015. We applied for passports in anticipation of a European trip in July.
Ivy and her cross country team WON the 5A ladies cross country meet on Oct. 31 – they are champions!
Alaina signed up for COLLEGE algebra at RSU as a concurrent class.
Time Does Fly.
We did manage a trail ride on New Year’s Day and I am already plotting our next trail ride. As soon as if warms a little.