Jack's Journal - Page 4

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Jack's Journal

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    11-02-2012, 03:11 PM
Well, I tried the Antares last Saturday and it was definitely not the right saddle for me. The twist was too wide and it sat low in the front just like the pessoa did. The difference was that the wider twist caused me to get bruises on my inner thighs. Seriously painful. So, I kept the Spooner. I wish it came in a forward flap version, then it would be absolutely perfect for me. Better than paying over $5000 for custom though.

I just love the position it puts me in and I finally have brakes! I think we can start working on my position and getting it right especially over fences.

Yesterdays lesson was great. We were really happy with how I was getting better at not slouching and collapsing over the fence and I worked really hard at not succumbing to the draw to the long spot. (Both Jack and I really love the long spot). I also rode Steve and that went well.

Then today Jack was off again on his left front. Not the entire time just sort of randomly. I'm afraid that the bone chip may be rearing it's ugly head. We are going to have the farrier check his feet to see if he is foot sore at all (he was when I bought him so we put front shoes on him and that seemed to solve it at the time). If that doesn't show anything then I'm afraid we will have to do xrays to see if the bone chip has moved and it might have to come out. Yay! Another $2000 by the time that's all done and Jack would have to be on stall rest for at least 6 weeks. I think it's stupid to keep him at Chestnut Hill for recovery so I will have to move him to a cheaper barn for the time being. Also means a lot less riding for me which really sucks because I was just starting to get back into it.

Also found out that my dog, Barry, has a heart murmur that wasn't there 3 months ago. He's a rescue but we think he's about 12 years old so I guess this is what happens sometimes in older dogs but I'm still kind of devastated by it. I know that it doesn't necessarily mean that he's on borrowed time or anything but it's the first thing that has come up with him that really confirms that he's getting old. I guess with my Mom's dog freshly laid to rest, it just seems all the more sobering to me.
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    11-07-2012, 11:15 PM
Today we did a flat lesson without stirrups. Ouch. I am trying so hard to keep my body upright but I always let me shoulders slump and slouch forward. It is so hard to do these exercises with not stirrups but hopefully it will help my position eventually. I desperately want to be able to ride more than just 2 or 3 days a week. But, oh well I guess that whole work thing just gets in the way.
    11-17-2012, 09:02 PM
I had a lesson today after being out of town for the week. We did a flat lesson that my trainer based off of the lessons that the clinician that is at the barn this week is doing. A lot of 3 track work and pushing the hind end over. I probably should have been doing the lesson without stirrups. I'm sure that it's good for Jack but it didn't feel super helpful. The clinician (Bruce Good, I think his name is) was here all week. Lessons for $200 an hour in a 3 lesson series throughout the week. Yikes! The lessons aren't even private either! I just can't imagine.

I got a notice in my barn bill this month that they are raising half training by $100. They are justifying it by saying that you will get 2 more sessions every month so you always get 3 a week but that's $50 a session so it kinda sucks. I had been taking an extra lesson on the schooling horse every week for the last month but I think I have to stop doing that. Not only has the cost of training gone up but they are adding several "surcharges" for the winter. $60 for heat and hay. A little annoying because my friend does indoor board and I have to pay the same surcharge and I do outdoor board. Poo. I was going to bring Jack in next month but it's just too much money. I can technically afford it but I just feel like it's more money than I am comfortable with. I sort of feel like they are maybe putting pressure on people like myself and my friend to maybe move out of the barn. They have been completely full lately and we don't provide them with as much money as most of the other boarders do.

I sat down and tried (again) to find another barn to move to but they are either just as expensive, much further away, crappy facilities or places I know from growing up and don't want to ride at. Also, Jack's a cribber so not all places would take him. I'll keep my eyes open for other barns. $780 a month for half training and outdoor board is just insane.

On a brighter note, Jack is getting his trace clip next week! It's going to make my life so much easier so that's a good thing.

But he does have a spur rub from one of my trainers sessions with him this week. She felt really bad and it happened all in one session! She said she was working on getting him to yield and respond quicker to the leg. I'm not mad or anything, especially considering that his hair practically falls off if you look at it!
    11-21-2012, 10:09 PM
Still no trace clip (we are low horse on the barn priority totem pole) and the spur rub hasn't healed yet. We had a lesson today and we got to jump (it's been a little while) so that was fun. Jack did pretty well, just had a problem with diving into the turn after landing. I feel like I'm still all over the place which is very frustrating.

I don't have time to ride tomorrow (family coming over for t-day) so next time I get to ride is Saturday. My trainer is off at that time so I will be training with the barn owner so that should be interesting. I'm still just so frustrated that I can't get to the barn more often. I asked Lane if I could try coming in before work some day. I would have to get up around 6 and rush to get ready, drive to the barn, ride, leave Jack in a stall to dry off and then drive to work for my 12 hour shift. I'm going to give it a try but don't know if it's realistic to do every week. I'm not a morning person. I'm just really having a rough time right now so it's just hard to be upbeat or positive.
    11-24-2012, 06:47 PM
Still no trace clip =(

I had a lesson this morning with the barn owner who is also a trainer. It was a really good lesson. We did a figure eight jumping basically the in and the out of a line but jumping both from the inside of the line the out with an approach off the rail and a right turn after the jump. That may not make sense but it resulted in us practicing an extremely tight turn off the jump. It was very fun and I felt like a barrel racer we were turning so tightly!

Jack did really well with it and I was surprised to see how tightly we were able to turn. I have always had a problem keeping him cantering off tight turns so this was good practice. He only broke to the trot once!

Then we did the whole line which was actually a 3 stride to a 2 stride. It was a long line so I had to get him to open up quite a bit. It really felt like we were cruising. We did the figure eight and then the line both directions a couple of times and it was really good. Lots of fun too.

My mother came to watch the lesson and we watched the next lesson while Jack dried off in a stall. Then we went into Oconomowoc and shopped on main street in some cute little shops and had lunch. After that we went to the salon/spa that I go to for my nails and I treated her to a pedicure. Good mother-daughter day overall!

I'm just hacking tomorrow but I'm going to really push myself to work without stirrups, ride until I'm breathing hard and make sure that I work him hard enough to get a good sweat. So, lots of transitions and lots of cantering! Maybe I'll be gutsy and take my stirrup leathers off (but probably not)
    11-25-2012, 10:31 PM
Well the good news is that I took my stirrup leathers off!

The bad news is that he was off on that front left again.

I don't remember if I wrote about it but the vet and farrier were both at the barn a month or so ago and they watched him go when he was off. Neither of them were concerned.

This journal has helped though because it does tend to show a trend of being lame the day after a day of jumping. The barn owner recommended a gram of bute the evening of his jumping lessons. Probably not bute exactly though since he potentially has ulcers.

So frustrated. I just want to ride for crying out loud. I don't even care if we win at shows, I just want to have fun.
    11-29-2012, 10:53 PM
My trainer lunged Jack yesterday and she really thinks he's just foot sore. She's going to have the farrier put leather pads on his fronts next time and we will see f that helps. If not, then the vet.

We've also decided to move him indoors for the winter. He is getting really ribby and we just can't get the weight on him. I've worked out that Jack will just get put out in his old pasture with his buddies during the day. The indoor horses usually go out for half the daytime in individual paddocks and spend the other half of the daytime inside. I just don't believe that a horse should spend that much time indoors and fortunately, since he cribs, it didn't take much to convince them. Now I just have to figure out $300 more bucks in the budget every month. At lease he's getting a full clip job now.

I lessoned on Steve today and then hacked Jack. He was perfectly sound today so I hope he will be sound for our lesson tomorrow.
    11-30-2012, 04:28 PM
We had an ok lesson today. He was being super reactive to my leg and kicking out a lot and then he refused a jump and my confidence was totally rattled. I "let" him run out a couple of times because I didn't have enough leg and we sort of had to take a step back to get past it. I was doing ok with the crow hops (which are actually just his hind end striking out and not a buck) in the beginning but they seemed to escalate and I just couldn't deal with it. Frustrating, of course. I let my frustration and fear cloud my riding way too much. I'm even totally conscious of it at the time but still just can't shake it. The other trainer was in the ring and said I could get off and they would ride him through it but I stuck with it. My trainer said we ended really well. I just wish that my fear wouldn't get the best of me so often. I wasn't afraid before but my last horse just shot my confidence straight to hell and I don't know how I will ever get it back.

Jack has his new "miracle collar" on and is going to get clipped next week while the show team is in St. Louis.
    12-14-2012, 12:03 AM
The bad news is that the miracle collar does not work. It stretches out another hole practically every day and even when I tighten it he still cribs. Oh well. I'm going to try a cage muzzle next but I keep forgetting to bring it to the barn.

I do, finally, have some good news. Jack is getting clipped tomorrow morning! Yay! I also had a breakthrough in my lesson today. I had watched a lesson last weekend of a teenager that rides at the barn. She also does jumpers and has a very upright position. Her horse rides very different than Jacks but I decided to picture her in my head when I ride. Somehow, that seemed to work and I was able to recover right after landing and therefore my legs didn't swing back behind me. I was so much more stable and it felt sooooo good. I hope this means that I have crossed a threshold of some sort and I can finally move forward with my riding. My trainer was pretty much doing a happy dance for me. It's so nice to finally see improvement.

The other good news is that my trainer finally convinced the head trainer to let her start a "B" team for the barn. It would by my friend Kim, myself and a couple of other younger girls. So we will go to a bunch of B rated shows, schooling shows and then an "A" show at the end of the season. I'd really like to go to the September Maffitt show. I'm very excited because this way I will be able to afford to go to so many more shows. Not only will the shows themselves just be less expensive but we won't have a groom so we won't have to pay for the full service. My mom will come to as many as she can and I have always taken care of myself at shows anyways. It's fun to have a groom take care of everything, but I know that we can do it.
    12-15-2012, 12:58 AM
Another very promising lesson today. I leaned forward a little bit but still a huge improvement so I'm really glad that yesterday wasn't a fluke. Jack was not lame either so I'm hoping that the leather pads they put under his shoes is helping him. We worked on roll backs which are a lot of fun. Jack does so well to the left but he is much weaker to the right and was breaking to the trot a lot today.

We jumped bigger today too. 3' oxer at least so that's good. The first time he jumped it we picked a perfect spot and the jump felt tiny. The second time, I left out a stride (which I tend to do, although I have been getting much better at it) but rockstar Jack cleared it with no problem. That one felt much bigger. Lol

I have assurances that he will really be clipped today. I left all of his blankets, neck cover, sheet and his new barn sheet in front of his stall. He has as many articles of clothing as I do. I bought tags to put on each of his items. (Jack-Midweight, Jack-outdoor sheet, etc) so I hope things won't walk off and disappear as much. Although I seem to have lost his halter again...

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