I apologize for falling off the face of the internet; these last weeks have been crazy and they just get more packed in the closer we get to our (hopefully!) final show and Graduation! I promise a post dedicated to the new horse in my life just as soon as I have proper pictures to showcase him with. In any case him and I have found an agreement that works well for us and I am very happy with the progression of his training back into work right now. He ended up throwing a shoe last week but it has since then been put back on and I have been working him.
Val has been a real star since the show. We came back home and suddenly he got really uncomfortable in the work however. I don’t know if he pulled something during boot camp or if during trailering or showing he stressed something in his fragile body. For horses being such large creatures you wouldn’t think them so completely susceptible to the most minute things. His left half pass started to stick and loose the natural rhythm. His flying changes became so difficult he started launching and pulling me through them. I was really worried about my big guy and gave him a day off to call the chiropractor and get Dr. Heidi out to see him. She was supposed to be out this Thursday but due to volcanos in Iceland she was unable to fly out of Germany culminating in her subsequent trip to Spain to be able to get back to these United States. I scheduled a lesson for Saturday thinking it would be perfect for right after his adjustment but the visit got pushed back to Saturday afternoon so he had to work a little sore.
Saturday dawned with a downpour that lasted all day long. Luckily I loaded the trailer on Friday night so all that was left to put on was the horse himself. He is such a trooper and hopped right up for a lesson though. The lesson was really fantastic. Jason got himself hurt working a horse and so with a broken arm and some serious pain medication he hauled himself out there to teach me – I guess he does love me after all! We worked on getting Val to really trot well with his knees more active in the front and the hind legs really pushing and bending behind. He has a very natural tendency to carry his poll high which is both a blessing and a curse. I also worked on getting him to be more straight and honest through the outside of his body especially in the canter where I have a tendency to fixate and overflex to the inside. We also did schooling canter pirouettes on both legs which turned out well as long as I keep the body turning and don’t let him turn and the pull off the line. Every step needs to be bent and even. The canter pirouettes are definitely going to be the hardest movement when we go to jump into the YR next year. The best part of the ride had to be the half-step work at the end. This time it was more focused on the passage-like steps then the piaffe and it felt incredible! He is going to have such a talent when we really start schooling those for the Grand Prix someday (hahaha blog title ;D)! The rain was hellacious though and between the actual noise and the feedback from my ear piece it was a pretty loud ride.
All of this just means the freestyle has to get done this week. Choreography is in the final stages and now it is filming and putting the music to it so I can start riding and practicing. Did I mention our next show, when we are going to ride our first Kur ever, is in oh say three weekends? Pause for ensuing panic. Stress is high, school is over the Monday after Poplar, and I don’t know how we are going to make it if I have another ride like I did last night (envision Stephanie getting off, sitting on the mounting block and sobbing). I guess you will just have to wait and see like me! And oh, I get to go visit my college this Thursday and tour Val’s potential new home – I know you will want to see and so I will take lots of pictures.