Wait what? A lesson?

We’re kicking off the hot summer months with something exciting!

On Saturday morning, I got the dog’s daily run out of the way early and headed to the barn to try to beat the heat.  My trainer was there with a few other adult students and asked me to join her lesson.  A lesson!  Those words haven’t been heard in these parts in 25 years **said in Karen Kilgariff voice**.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being a little apprehensive.  I looked at my hands multiple times while tacking up to make sure that they weren’t trembling (they were, just a little bit).

I put Mae in her gag bridle and we headed out to join the others in the baking sun.  My trainer had a four jump course laid out - two singles and a bounce - but we were only going to trot the single cross rails.  We warmed up on the course by cantering a pole on the ground, flanked by standards, in both directions.  The first time around, Mae cantered quite steadily up to the pole but then tried to blast off after it so my trainer had me stop straight after the pole in each direction.  She also remarked that Mae does no such thing with her (trainer) riding, so I was being tested.  In order to stop her after a fence even with the gag, I pretty much have to stand up in my stirrups, which are already shortened for jumping.  This is why - I try to remind myself - that working transitions on the flat are so important. 

After we cantered the pole in both directions, stopping straight right after each time, she started to calm down.  We then introduced the next challenge which was trotting the cross rail, stopping straight right after.  Quite honestly, riding her to the jump is simple.  Close your legs, keep a slow and steady pace, touch the outside rein every few seconds to make sure she’s listening and not speeding up.  Typical thoroughbred, Mae likes to take the gap and I was told to let her if it was reasonable but she surprisingly did a good job of waiting until the base of the jump.  At the end of the lesson when we were both about to keel over from the heat, she was approaching the jump steadily and calmly and the landing side was just as steady. 

So it wasn’t the most exciting lesson in the world.  So we trotted each of the fences.  And we didn’t “do” anything that we hadn’t ever done before.  My trainer wanted to make sure that when I jump on my own, I’m doing it correctly so that means taking it back to fundamentals.  Also, having ridden this mare to fences many times before, this was the first time I felt like I was riding a true jumper.  I sat up, sat back, kept my hands up, and tapped my reins to keep her from leaping forward which was SUPER fun.  There was only one instance where I got left behind but it was because I was riding too defensively.

I’m really proud of the both of us.  It was hot (in the 90s) and we were both drenched in sweat.  No one died and no one was yelled at by my trainer.  I’ll count that as a victory!

F for Fantastic!
Oh and because nothing horse-related doesn’t end in something weird, I’m sharing a picture of something Mae did to her foot.  Ignore her dry, brittle OTTB hoof walls.  We’ve been working on them forever and they’re way better than they used to be.  Anyway, I caught this crack last weekend and my trainer and I both had no idea how she did this or what it was.  She hasn’t been lame on it at all and we had the vet come out last week.  He said it’s just a random crack and to keep it moisturized and that’s all we can do.  So random and so odd.

What IS that?


Comments

  1. Remus has a very similar crack and has had it for YEARS NOW. It has moved down a bit but still is essentially a HUH Crack?? LIKE WTF GO AWAY.

    YAY ON LESSON!! And ugh on heat! Yay on not getting yelled at and not dying! Kudos!

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    1. All of my horses have had janky weird feet that luckily haven't caused them issues. Ryon had a crack on his back hoof and Mae has an indentation (I'll take a picture for you) on hers. And then this random one, like what??

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  2. I would add, regarding the hoof crack, to treat it with some kind of anti-thrush or similar. Sometimes, weakness in the hooves is due to bacteria/fungus/etc getting up in there and weakening the structure. (May had a similar crack in the front of her hoof and it went away with treatment & growth)

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    1. Good call - I have some Banixx I can spray on it (since I'm spraying it all over her feet anyway). Do you use Keratex?

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  3. Yay lessons! I love being able to lesson again.

    I'm lucky Scarlet's feet seem to be pretty solid so I haven't had to deal with too much weird. Hopefully she doesn't get sore on it at all.

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    1. Super lucky that his feet are good. Yes, I'm hoping she stays sound this summer. Usually she's the biggest drama queen about it

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  4. That's great to hear that the session went well, Ruth! A solid lesson is always great:D And I've read the others' comments. Not knowing anything about horses, can't really say much about it but treating it with an anti-thrush sounds like a good idea:)

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    1. :) I like having you in the cheering section, even if you're not a horse person!

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  5. Yay for not getting yelled at or dying!!

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  6. Seems like an "event" crack to me but I am also not a hoof expert lol Glad that the lesson went well! It's always great to get a lesson

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    1. It's really odd. She has bell boots over that foot and the bell boots weren't damaged

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  7. I'm glad going back to basics was helpful and I'm extra glad you survived it! Is it normal for a horse trainer to yell?

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