2013 Memories

2013 Memories

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Update

 
We will get the bad news out of the way first... 3 surgeons looked at Mystics radiographs and all agreed that his side bone is fractured. They also agreed that with the nerve blocks that were done he should have blocked significantly better, if not sound, which was not the case. So the potential of there being a bigger problem is still at play. The vet school is having a lameness course and they asked to use him. Thankfully that means I will get all the diagnostics done at no charge to me. So he will get re nerve blocked (and they will go up higher) and radiographed again. Also any other diagnostics that may need to be done if something else is found. So everything is up in the air until he goes in the first week of May. Either way, we know there is a long term rehab involved with the fractured side bone (and potential for surgery still).

Bentleys update is much better though! Here is a comparison picture of him when I got him versus last week. I wish his ears were up and he wasn't standing quite as funny but keeping him still with his head off the ground was quite the chore!
 

I think he is finally starting to look better to me. It's hard when you see them every day to see the long term progress but the ribs are starting to be covered! My vet even commented on how much better he looks and compared him to a swim suit model. His jumping is coming along and I can start to feel how his jump is going to be as he continues to develop. I think as the fences get bigger he will just keep getting better and better. 
 

He has a busy next couple of weeks. While I am gone in Kentucky (less then a week!!) he is going to get a week of training rides. This will be the first time anyone else has ridden him. The weekend after I get back he is doing the dressage show in barn on Saturday and then going back up to DevonWood on Sunday to do the derby again. Then the following weekend we are doing the jumper show that is also held at our barn. Can't wait for all the fun to begin! And very thankful that I have him to keep me going through this summer without the Wonder Pony 😃 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Here we go again...

Just when you start getting back into the swing on things something always has to go wrong. Especially with horses! Unfortunately the Wonder Pony is, yet again, on another unplanned "vacation". The diagnosis being a fractured side bone. Leave it up to my horse to 1) fracture a bone that he wasn't even born with and 2) fracture a bone that very rarely ever causes problems let alone fractures. 
 

I am still waiting to hear back from my vet as to what steps we need to take and what kind of time frame we are looking at. He sent Ponys radiographs to the radiologist and is trying to track down the surgeon to get their opinions. Worst case he heads to surgery to have it removed. Best case my vet calls and tells me happy late April fools (wishful thinking right?). As of now it sounds like we have a long road ahead of us. To say I'm heart broken would be an understatement. I love this Pony more then anything and am at a loss as to why the past year has been filled with so many lameness problems. I am hoping to hear back from my vet today to get a game plan. It's looking like Baby Bentley is going to have to step up this season! 
 

Thankfully I'm off to escape my pony problems in just over a week as I head to Rolex with some good friends 😃

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Break Through

As I've mentioned before Bentley is a brave and game over fences but highly uneducated. I mean having jumped 5 times doesn't really make you an expert. The thing is... the dude thinks he's an expert! What we have learned about him is that he is very brave and game when he gets to do it his way (read: this includes running. Before the jump, after jumps, over the jump where ever 😂). In turn he was the equivalent of a one man wrecking ball because he would brace, run, and barely even pick up his legs. He was never out of control and he was quite pleased with himself but he would also either demolish a solid 50% of the jumps or have an awkward jump. To work on this we set some trot poles in front of the cross rail. He willingly went through but wasn't buying into doing it my way and instead had some rough approaches. After that he decided my way sucked (even though he never really did it fully my way) and if he couldn't do his way he wouldn't do it at all. Point him at a single fence and he was fine. 
 
The trainers working student been tacked up for me so I could get to my lesson in time!

So this past week I spent some time doing just pole work. But he had to do the pole work my way. The goal was to keep it simple and allow him to figure out the name of the game. He was great!!
 
Our pole work exercise 
 Fast forward to our jump lesson today and we had a major break through! The trainer and I discussed our new game plan now that we know a little more how he ticks when it comes to jumping. We started off with random poles throughout the arena. With no course we just trotted and cantered around over all the poles every which way. He was super rideable and was much more aware of his legs. Then we slowly added some jumps one at a time. He was looking for the jumps, not rushing, and actually felt a little rounder in his jumping style. He even gave me a couple of lead changes on his own. He jumped around intro sized fences with everything from flowers, to picket fences, to planks with zero issues! He actually even bailed me out of a few that I didn't ride well to and instead of running out or stopping he popped right over. Once he figures out how to use his body he will be quite the jumper I think. Love him!
 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cross Rails to 3rd Level

Last weekend our barn kicked off show season and it was seriously a blast. Every person came home with a blue ribbon (or two!) and had very successful rides. The boys were great and my only "complaints", if you can call them that, have to do with either how I rode them or the training they don't have yet. Can't complain about that! Actually that's a lie. Hand walking Bentley around on Saturday was like flying a 1200lb kite. It was only when we walked by the jump arena which I thought was not promising for the next day. Thankfully it wasn't a sign! 

Here are some picture and video evidence of the weekend!
 

 



Bentleys first dressage test ever! It also happened to be on his 5th birthday and exactly 3 months after coming off the track. Training level test 1- he got just over a 64%! Couldn't be more excited for this boys future.

 
 
 
Ponys third level is coming along. Score didn't really reflect it and we still have lots to work on but he is feeling stronger and stronger! He finished the weekend with a 62% and a 63.5%. Favorite judges comment was "Lots to like here. Plus cute points 😁". Scores were all over the board from 4 (damn changes... but we did manage to get a 6 on one of our changes! That was a first) to 8s! Now to get more consistency in our test to keep the scores up. It's always a pleasure to ride this boy even if it feels like progress isn't coming as quickly as I would like.

 
 
Bentley also competed in his first derby where he did the cross rail class. It was only his 4th time ever jumping! He was super game and had a blast. Even jumped his first xc jump without hesitation! Unfortunately he demolished the last fence (picking up his feet is a work in progress) because if he hadn't he would have gotten 2nd place with a dressage score of 33.5.



 
When your horse looks/acts like it could be going prelim and then shows up for the cross rail class 😂
 

Looking forward to going back for this same show in May! Next time we will not be doing cross rails though!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Back to back

Bentley had a big last two days and I am pleased to say that he really rose to the occasion. Sunday he had his very first Teacher Mary dressage lesson. I LOVE teacher Mary. She has been there with me pretty much from the beginning with Mystic, and now Bentley too, which is super cool. The last few rides he has come out quite relaxed from the start which has been very helpful. TM had us focus on his rhythm because as we all know that is the building block to all. Being a very green OTTB baby rhythm is not his friend and is quite hard for him to maintain especially when asking him to do anything else along with it. We started with some forehand turns on a square where I had to keep him round while keeping him off my right rein and eventually progressed to completing a forehand turn and trottting off right away. His trot go less grounded/sewing machine like and his transitions became more prompt. We then played with bringing the circle smaller and leg yielding out to the big circle as I tried my hardest to not pull on my left rein that I think I must pull on to steer 😳 Next up was some baby haunches in type stuff down the wall where he really impressed me by picking it up quite quickly. It got harder and less angle in the trot but he still did it quite well. That exercise really helped his canter transitions because it helped get him to engage that outside hind leg. So not only were the transitions more prompt but they were not rushy and felt pretty good for where is he at. I'm looking forward to putting this all to work! And... he got the TM seal of approval. Can't ask more out of a day like that!
 


Then the next night, our normal lesson night with the in barn trainer, we had our 2nd jump lesson. Figured it may be good to jump a little more before we go to a show and do it! It was a blast! As the lesson went on I could really feel him thinking about the jumps and my aids more. He progressively got better and better and really started to figure it out! Our biggest thing to work on is maintining a quality can't to the jump without getting faster. Because he is so green still getting a quality canter is hard enough without having to maintain it to a jump. But we pieced some 5 fence courses together including flower boxes, picket fence fillers, and cross rail oxers. What I love about him is that I can trust him to jump the jump. He is pretty brave and willing. The trainer and I discussed adding in some more oxers in the future to help improve his technique. He jumps quite flat over the small jumps but shows the ability to jump nicely when taken to the oxers. I think he is just not impressed. My homework is to not micromanage him to the jumps. I have to keep in mind that he is not my 3rd level dressage pony so I can't set him up like he is. We need an active but slower canter that stays the same in its rhythm without me changing anything 2 strides out. Super excited to see how he handles this weekends show!
 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Colic Scare and Upcoming Activities

A week ago The Wonder Pony gave me the scare of a lifetime when he showed zero interest in eating his dinner. This horse lives for food. He is like a vacuum cleaner and doesn't pick up his head until the food is gone. 30 min later when he still hadn't touched his food he got banamine IV (praise the lord for awesome barn friends!!) and a little hand walk. Thankfully he perked up some within 25 minutes but still wasn't 100%. I took my dinner and a chair into his stall and sat with him for another 30 minutes until he started acting more normal and showed some interest in the little bit of hay I put in his stall. The barn owners did a late night check to make sure he was still looking okay and by the morning he was back to normal! He earned himself a few days of bareback walks and went back to work on Tuesday. Thankfully he hasn't looked back since and seems no worse for the wear.
 

With that scare behind us both of the boys got entered into their first show of the season! Next weekend a group from our bar is heading up to DevonWood for their dressage show and derby. Pony didn't really need to go do it is more for me. I need to learn to ride this level better in the ring and the best way to do that is at a low key schooling show. He will show 3rd test 1 both days. 
 

Bentleys world is going to get rocked big time! I decided to do the dressage show on Saturday and the derby on Sunday. Mostly because for the derby division he is doing (cross rails for the win!) the dressage test is only walk/trot. I'm not saying our canter is anything to write home about right now but I feel really stupid doing an intro level dressage test all weekend. So Saturday we are doing training test 1 and Sunday he gets to hop around the cross rail course. Considering he has "jumped" 2 times in his life so far and this derby is in an open area there could be some entertainment involved with our round 😉 It will be a big weekend for him that's for sure! Also, the 25th (first day of the show) marks 3 months of him being off the track with me and it's his birthday! Looking forward to a fun weekend with my boys and my barn family!
 
 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

One of those lessons

Bentley and I had one of those lessons where you finish and just apologize that the trainer had to witness it 😂 I showed up to the barn to get ready and got a message from the mediums (I can the teenage barn rats this) that I was jumping outside. Let's rewind a minute. It's our first jump lesson (he has been over tiny cross rails twice), first time riding in the outdoor in the dark, and he basically had a non existent ride the day before due to no fault of this own. This will be fun!

 
         Pony want to make sure he is not forgotten!

I hopped on in the indoor and was riding a fire breathing dragon from the get go! He was amped. We headed outside and the first thing I said was "He is psycho tonight, good luck!". The first 30 minutes was spent in a trot that if you atattched needles to the bottom of his hooves he could nicely sew anything together. He was tense and paying attention to literally everything except for me. Once he settled slightly and started to sort of figure out the poles we moved to the canter where things were just as exciting but by now we were a little more relaxed (I use that term lightly). After cantering some poles a few times quite nicely she put up on a cross rail that he just stepped over like it was a pole on the ground. Once in the canter he did  his best impression of a demolition derby and scattered the cross rail across the arena. The good news? At least he is a smarty pants and picked him his legs next time and actually jumped it very nicely! We then moved on to a small vertical with some flowers under neath. He came in a little wiggly but I closed my legs and he popped right over. Same thing with the "oxer" cross rail! And then the drama returned... he had been through the bounce of two cross rails a couple of times and was figuring it out when he decided he was done. And I mean done! This legs planted in the ground and even my 39" inseam legs couldn't get that pony moving. He was throwing a major tantrum. He was tired, everyone had left him, and he was headed away from the barn. Bad news for him? I was ready to take on the challenge. 15 minutes later he was going through the bounce better then he was before and we called it a day. I put his back on track sheet on, sore no mored his legs, wrapped his legs (it took him a while to figure out he had to pick his legs up and not take out the jump haha), and told him he would be a better man for it the next day.

The trainer suggested that the next day I take him back into the outdoor and just do some pole work so he doesn't associate the outdoor arena or jumping as being bad. So we did. It was dark and rainy just like the night before. I set some poles up and wouldn't you know the dude was 150% better! More relaxed in his work and was paying attention to me. Let's hope that behavior continues for our lesson next week!