Saturday, October 1, 2011

Out of Practice

Okay, so maybe 2'9" wasn't the best starting point, but in my defense, I really did think it was only 2'6" at best.

I rode Star on Friday, with the intent of jumping her (over something bigger than a crossrail) for the first time since her knee injection.  And we are definitely out of practice.

So the story goes something like this:

Star has been an IEA horse for the past two seasons.  But the situation is a little different this year, and I wasn't sure I could justify letting some kid I don't really know who might ride with a trainer I don't really like jump around my amazing horse when my costs for maintaining her have gone up (and said kid will likely have no appreciation for this) and it is more wear and tear on an already-deteriorating joint.

But the fact remains that Star is good at her job as an IEA horse, and the fact of the matter is that as winter rolls around, I simply will not have the time to keep her as fit as she needs to be.  I now need to be extra-vigilant about keeping her weight down, and exercise really is one of the best things for an arthritic horse.

So I've decided to just take it one day at a time.  Star will be going to her first IEA show of the season next Sunday.  I will be there all day, so I will be able to monitor how she is doing, and I will see how she comes out of it at the end of the and the next.  If she's uncomfortable at all, she's done.

So to this end (and because I'd been meaning to do it for a while, anyway), Friday was a jumping day for Star.  She was great in the sense that she never hesitated, never stopped, and didn't knock down a single rail, but we do need to get back into a better working partnership.  Some distances were long, some were close, and some, when we were working as a team, were pretty darn good.  Several of those long or short distances did results in pretty good rubs, which, although the rail didn't fall, are still not my favorite thing.

And I'm pretty sure I didn't look too pretty, either.

I think that it's just a matter of time before we're back in the swing of things.  I think, too, going back to our regular Pelham will help.  I have now tried her a couple times in a mullen mouth Pelham with a shorter shank than our usual Pelham, as I thought it might be a more appropriate bit for IEA riders.  But I flat out don't like the mullen.  I personally don't like riding Star in her Kimberwicke, either - in both the Kimberwicke and the mullen Pelham, she gets stiff, and she was very brace-y in the Pelham.  She seems to really like her regular Pelham, so... well, who am I to argue with a reserve world champion?

So we'll try out out usual Pelham again later this week, after tomorrow's Adequan shot.  If all is well, Star can go in that for Sunday.  And if it's not great, we'll just put her back in her old IEA-standby Kimberwicke.

And for our own purposes, we'll just keep working to get back into the swing of things.

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