Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event Recap- Day 1 Dressage

Last weekend 3 of my pony friends and I flew to Kentucky to attend RK3DE.  I can honestly say it was a horse lover’s paradise and a must-experience. Even though I am not an eventer I was so awed and inspired by all the great riders.(AND you can’t beat the shopping).


First off, Lexington is BEAUTIFUL. So green and so many horses!! From the horse statues at the airport to the rolling fields as far as the eye could see it really looked like a horse utopia. 


Our hotel was super cute and horse themed (how appropo). It was also really nice with a good continental breakfast (complete with make your own waffles station).



We arrived Thursday night and just got settled in and had some Cracker Barrel (Cracker Barrel, why are you not in NY?!)

Friday morning we woke up nice and early to hit the show, watch some dressage, walk the course, run the Twilight 5K and shop forever. 

My shopping haul and free swag haul will have to have their own post to give them the proper attention that they deserve.


First we watched some dressage and admired all the shiny horses and fancy tack. The event horses are SO FIT, it’s such a contrast to the typical beefier warmbloods I am used to seeing when watching dressage. 


Then we shopped until we dropped (to the tune of about 10 miles walked, thanks FitBit!) Here’s a sneak peak to one of my purchases- 

There were so many shops and deals and also $$$ items to drool over. We of course went to Dubarry and had mimosas and tried on boots. (My wallet was relieved that even their slim calf size was so wide on my that I could stick my whole arm down into the boot).


Another fun Friday activity was test driving the Range Rover over their obstacle test drive course. Let’s just say, I could get used to driving one. 


Walking through all the vendors took hours and was so exciting! While there were crowds, it was never unbearable and even the bathroom lines weren’t so bad.


Friday evening we ran in the Twilight 5K race, which kind of sucked after being on our feet all day and walking so much but we got a cool free shirt so that pretty much made it worth it. PLUS, running through the gorgeous Kentucky horse park was very inspiring, I even got a pretty good time. 


After the race of course we had to refuel for the big cross country day so we hit Waffle House, then promptly returned to our hotel room and went into comas. 

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Transformation Tuesday- muscle pony 

I have been seriously slacking on this blog, but alas life just has a habit of getting in the way. I just got back from the Rolex Three Day event so that definitely deserves its own post, which I will hopefully get to in the next few days. 

For now, I’ll leave this comparison here- Mabou the first year I had him to now, two years later. 

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday 

  
Last night was pony’s first ride post SI injections- holy cow! Gone was the pinned back ears and crappy quality canter and/or kicking out and bucking. I had an ears pricked happy pony cantering both ways with an amazing collected and balanced canter.

I could cry tears of joy!

  

Tack Tuesday- Rodrigo wide noseband bridle review 

After lusting after a wide noseband bridle for a while, and purchasing the Bobby’s padded wide noseband bridle, which, while gorgeous was just too much for my boy’s fine head, I found the Rodrigo wide noseband bridle on sale for a steal of a deal that just couldn’t be passed up. It also came with matching fancy stitch laced reins.

  
I have now had it for 5 months, so a review is definitely due! 

When I first got it, it was a lighter more orangish color that is typical of brand new Rodrigo or Pessoa bridles. With two liberal coats of neatsfoot oil it darkened to a gorgeous deep chocolate color, while the stitching stayed nice and white and crisp. It was also very supple and soft without me doing much. 

  
It is a monocrown with little cutouts for the ears and seems to lay very nicely on the poll. My sensitive TB hasn’t complained which is always a good sign. The stitching is clean tight and even and looks sharp with the oiled leather. 

  
I love the fancy stitching on the brow and noseband. It’s just enough. The width of the noseband is perfect for my pony’s face, and not weighed down by thick padding. 

I find the sizing is quite generous, my horse who is on the bigger side of cob, smaller side of horse, is on the highest holes for the cheek pieces. But the browband and noseband fit well. 

  
Verdict- I love it and it’s a great deal for the money! 

Why Owning a Horse is the Equivalent to Lighting all the Money You Have On Fire

It has been quite a while since I have posted with any kind of regularity, or at all.  I have been too busy spending all my money on my horse, and not for the fun kind of reasons. I also was just generally frustrated as we weren’t able to take lessons, fox hunt at all, or make any kind of progress due to everything.

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This is what it looks like to own a horse

When I last posted in October, it was a complete bitch fest about the string of crappy things that happened to both Mabou and me that made us unable to ride.  To summarize for those who don’t want to read all that whining- Mabou bruised his ankle on a trailer ramp, and his mystery SI or other problem continued to intensify, where he began bucking every time he cantered left, which culminated in me getting bucked off and breaking my left hand not once but twice (yes the second time was about a week after the first one healed….. I cannot express how fun that was).

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In addition to the riding issue, since he started this problem he always stood very close behind and resting the right hind.  Again, this didn’t really help to diagnose him but it was something that I noticed.

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Help me I am broken

I had gotten to the point where he was having a massage every week, chiropractor every two weeks, and I had two different vets look at him (along with the chiro who is also a vet).  Neither vet could find anything wrong with him.  He flexed perfectly, all his X-rays looked great, and even though I kept saying I thought it was an SI issue, they kept telling me that it appeared to be fine since he wasn’t sensitive to palpation there.

The chiropractor thought the issue was somewhere near the lumbar sacral or sacroiliac joint but his adjustments were not holding.  The only thing that seemed to give him relief was electro acupuncture.

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This does not look enjoyable to me, but pony loved it and basically fell asleep

It got to a point that it was suggested to me that perhaps it was a behavioral issue and he just didn’t want to work, or canter left or something like that.  I know my horse, and that is not like him at all, he actually enjoys working and is not a mean guy, so I was pretty set that something was wrong.  After a week trial of 1 gram of bute twice a day returned him to my perfect pony, it was basically confirmed there was something wrong with him, just that nobody knew what it was.

I decided to bite the bullet and take him to our local veterinary hospital for a bone scan, hoping that it would at least indicate where the problem was and then ultrasound or other diagnostics could be done from there as needed.  He would have to stay for 2 days, to allow for the radioactive isotopes he would get injected with for the scan to get out of his system.

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Hospital Jail

My trainer and I dropped him off on a Thursday morning and then I went to work, with directions from the hospital that they would call me at 5 with his scan results.  That day seriously dragged and I can’t say I was productive at work.  After an eternity, they called and the result- his left SI was very severely inflamed.  The vet told me that normally in a bone scan, or nuclear scintigraphy, when they take the overhead view of the hind end, the SI is blocked by the pelvis and doesn’t show in the scan.  His was so bad that it actually lit up through the pelvis!

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That black blob is his left SI.  It should be white or light gray like the rest of him.
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Cool images for those of you who are interested.

 

I can’t even tell you how relieved I was.  It was exactly as I suspected all along, and no other issues were found anywhere!  So he had both sacroiliac joints injected via ultrasound guided injections on Friday morning and then we picked him up Friday afternoon to go home.  Three days off with turnout and then he can return to his regular work and should feel like a million dollars.

Poor guy was generally really irritable when we got him home Friday, but I really can’t blame him, he had been through a solid day of testing and being poked and prodded and two whole days of no turnout, in isolation, sedated, and twitched.  (He has bruises on his nose from the twitching which breaks my heart but it was for his own good)

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Hopefully now I will have my fun horse back, and I can actually start posting fun horse things again.  I renewed my USEF and USHJA memberships back in December, in the hope that we would be showing again this year, and it looks like that was good luck or something.  For now we will concentrate on growing back the two bald spots on him that the hospital shaved for the injections (they are to the skin bald!!).

If I could go back in time I would have gone for the bone scan immediately rather than wasting months trying to figure it out with vets chiro etc.  It would have actually been cheaper in the long run.

Here’s to a 2016 filled with fun and ribbons.

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