Haven’t posted lately because there’s not really much going on!
Although it is definitely feeling better day by day, my ankle is still not ok for riding. I can put weight on it now, but it still is a little swollen at the impact site, which was basically right to the bone, since there’s not much of anything but skin and then bone right at your ankle bone and above that. My doctor thinks it might be a bad bone bruise, and recommends that I give it a few more weeks so that it can heal completely.
So much for the end of July/early August show plans. Have no fear though, Mabou has found another way to quickly deplete my bank account. Enter: the chiropractor.
For some quick background, ever since I got Mabou, I have wanted to have him treated by a chiropractor. From my research, it is not unusual for horses off the track to need adjustments and have areas of muscle soreness, as racing is pretty strenuous. The chiro we used in the past went MIA, so when the Hampton Classic prize list came out this year and we saw a holistic veterinary practice in there, we figured it was worth a shot. (it also so happens that Margie Goldstein Engle’s husband is part of this practice, so thats kind of cool)
We scheduled an appointment for several horses and the chiro came out last Thursday. From the outset, I really really liked her. She was honest, thorough, and didn’t rush at all. She watched Mabou walk to evaluate his gaits and look for any asymmetry, and then tested his entire body for soreness (including his hooves and teeth!) She immediately noticed that his one hip was higher than the other, and that his hips seemed locked, and did not swing as he moved the way that they should. She also immediately noticed that he had muscle atrophy on his face (who knew horses had face muscles), and that he was super sensitive when she touched the area, thus showing that he had very bad TMJ. Upon testing him for soreness, she found that the poor boy was sore basically everywhere in varying degrees. Worst was his lower neck, shoulder, lower back, hips, inside of his stifle, and he was also sore in his poll, withers and his entire back.
Let’s just say when we discovered this I FELT HORRIBLE FOR HIM. We had thought since we got the custom saddle that his back was doing better, as he doesn’t react if I probe it with my hands. However, the vet was able to test along the different muscles of his back and truly determine that he was hurting.
She did some range of motion work on his poll to help with the TMJ and also did a lot of work to open up his shoulder joints, which were pretty locked. When it came to his hips, he was totally not feeling any efforts she did to get them unlocked (probably because it was uncomfortable!) so she did some acupuncture on him and laser therapy along his back and hips. He LOVED the laser, he gave us big yawn right after big yawn.
She decided that she would leave it at that for the day, so that we didn’t do too much to him in one session, and recommended a follow up appointment within 2 weeks to continue fixing his back and to get those hips unlocked. From now until then, no riding. Which I guess if I have to give him off, now would be the time since I am also sidelined.
I feel bad for him, he raced until he was 10 or so, so he had a very long career and could have been living with this pain for quite some time. This show season will be sidelined as we work out these body issues, as those are definitely priority. The vet did say that after we get the initial scar tissue worked out and restore his range of motion, then we can maintain it with just a few sessions a year and various exercises that she will show me to do. He has always been such a good boy, I am really looking forward to how wonderful he feels to ride when he is not hurting!
First, I must say that Mabou was excellent at the show. Since we were staying in jumpers we let him stick with his happy mouth snaffle, and he was cool as a cucumber from the moment he stepped off the trailer to the moment he stepped back on.
We did two shows this week, and he has figured out what this showing thing is all about. He thinks it’s fun and actually likes to stand by the rings just watching, no grazing, just chilling and watching the goings-on.
He strolled into the jumper ring at a relaxed walk for each trip, and even after getting fired up, relaxed back down and walked out of the ring as quiet as he walked in.
We stepped up to the 2’6″, and ended up reserve champion again, with a fifth (I always hold him back too much on the first round until I start to feel brave), second, and a first. Our jump off time in the last round was actually the fastest time of the day, so I was pretty proud of myself for that!
My trainer gave me some advice which I found hilariously true- go into the ring looking like you want to win not live. Unfortunately sometimes I am the latter!
Photos to come when I buy them from the show photographer (my mom took videos of the grass accidentally)
Next: this lovely injury occurred after we got home from the show. (Note: my ankle is normally not this big!)
Long story short, after we got back to the barn my trainer asked me to bring in a horse for her. As I was holding his lead and reaching to open the gate the other horse he is turned out with basically mauled him. Poor victim horsie could only escape by running me over (I forgive him). This was the aftermath.
So I got to spend Sunday evening in the hospital ER *hooray*. Verdict: bad contusions with mild sprain. They gave me a soft cast and crutches, neither of which I am using at work today because I am stubborn. Hope I can ride later this week!
Due to a lot of construction and renovation to my house, blogging got pushed to the back burner and a long hiatus occurred. Adulting is such a buzz kill! There will be a lot of catch up here with updates and product reviews for all my new tack acquisitions (tack addiction is a real thing).
For now, here’s a picture spam preview of what’s been going on!
First off- my Eskadron package from Calevo has arrived! The total time from ordering to my door was just under a month.
I am in love with the pretty blue boots that I got. I am just waiting for all of this MUD to go away before I will use them!
Things have FINALLY begun to thaw out around here, which means lots of mud! Thick, pastern deep, suck your shoes off mud. It’s really very lovely, I swear. But if the mud means that spring is coming, I am all for it.
There is still some snow still hanging on, as can be seen in the background of this pic. I guess to be honest, even though I basically feel as if I could not wear a jacket during the heatwave temperatures of 40 during the day…. it is still in the low 30’s-high 20’s at night.
Haven’t been riding too much, hence the lack of riding posts. I have reached the point where I am DONE being cold and DONE riding inside. I was elated to arrive at the barn last night after work and (1) Be able to ride in the DAYLIGHT!! and (2) be able to ride in the outdoor ring! The outdoor is largely melted, and we have stonedust footing which never gets muddy or slippery.
Mabou felt so good, and I could tell he was so happy to be outside finally. He has a massive stride, and the indoor really feels cramped on him.
Our first order of business after trotting around was to get up in half seat and let him canter forward around the ring (with a huge smile on my face). There is nothing in this world like the effortlessness of how a TB covers the ground.
Then we got serious and did some schooling, but nothing major just our usual bending and lateral work and changes of stride within each gait.
I am SO ready to being hunter pacing this spring and then showing! We have all our new gear ready to go, just waiting on you Mother Nature.
Saturday was 30, so it called for indoor schooling as usual. But Sunday hit 40 degrees!!! So I braved the snow to ride outside with the feel of sunshine on my face.
Although the ring was still snow covered the warm temps melted the ice so it wasn’t slippery. Mabou was a trooper, even when we rode through some deep snow drifts in the ring.
The sunshine did wonders to lift my mood and spirits (and daylight savings certainly helped that).
After a great ride husband and I went to a German beer house with some friends. BEST PRETZELS EVER!
Looking forward to this week and it not being dark after work!
Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Hubby and I are beginning to plan our vacation for this year. He has his heart set on going to Oktoberfest in Germany, and I want to ride in Ireland, so we are going to do both!
Has anyone been riding in Ireland? Any recommendations on stables etc? We are going the end of September.
Today’s ride featured: you guessed it- MORE SNOW!
We rode in the indoor and Mabou was calm cool and collected, as there were two seriously misbehaving horses in there with us and he didn’t even bat an eye. Kept the ride short and sweet as a third horse came in who was snorting and bucking and it was becoming a little dicey in the indoor.
When we came out of the indoor we were surprised that it had begun snowing HARD. More snow, just what we needed!
Just to start off- let’s take note that last night was a RECORD BREAKING low for this late in February! I am SO ready for the temps to warm up. I have been a good girl and keep the winter bitching to a minimum but today’s ride was just BRUTAL, my entire face was frozen. Today it was 20 degrees but felt like 10 degrees.
MOTHER NATURE, YOU WIN NOW WARM UP PLEASE.
As always, Mabou was a really good boy. Since it was cold, even with his quarter sheet on he took longer to warm up and we spent a while trotting on a loose rein to start. With show season in sight now, I have recently begun doing my entire trot warm up with no stirrups- gets me working while he is warming up. Once I feel his back start to swing and engage then I usually pick up my stirrups and contact and we get to work, unless I want to torture myself by continuing with no stirrups.
I ordered a Back on Track quarter sheet from Tack of the Day when they were on sale a few weeks ago (and polo wraps and the mattress overlay), so I am hoping that it arrives while the temps are still cold and I get to use it. I also think it will help with his warm up.
We did the usual flat schooling, lengthening and shortening of stride, transitions, bending and counter-bending, and leg yielding. Nothing too exciting, but he felt great after he was warmed up.
Tomorrow is supposed to be in the high 30’s woohoo!