Down in the Dumps

I admit it. I’m struggling.

O, regardless of what others have said while I’ve been gone, feels like the same, lame pony that I started rehabbing three weeks ago. I know that’s not a huge amount of time, but I somehow expected her to be different. Or at least lose some of that weight. I don’t feel any change.

Tonight I thought a nice bareback ride would cheer me up. O currently looks like a big, fluffy couch so it was pretty fun. Plus it was cool and her body warmth kept me all toasty.

Blurry...but you get the point.  Big, fuzzy, fat O.  Plus me.

Blurry…but you get the point. Big, fuzzy, fat O. Plus me.

Te he. It reminded me of this:

Anchorman anyone?

Anchorman anyone?

Tuesday, it was still light when I got out there, so I was able to take some update photos. I don’t see a lot of changes at this point, but still thought it’d be interesting.

Early September

Early September

October 15th 2013

October 15th 2013

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Anyway, feeling a little down today about this whole thing. Hopefully I can bust out of this mood soon, and keep pushing onward.

O’s Report Card

Being away from my pony this weekend was hard (typically the best time for me to ride), but it was fantastic family time and lots of windsheild bonding. On our journey through the state of Kansas this was definitely my favorite part.

20131015-090102.jpg
Worlds biggest ball of twine decked out for halloween. Go mid-western USA!

Reports I got from the people riding O this weekend are leaving me a little confused, happy with her workouts, and very ready to see her for myself. Apparently on Friday she was amazing and felt great to ride. Saturday she was fine….nothing earth shattering. Sunday she got to do her hills work and looked/acted a bit stiff in the back. Fortunately in a strange twist of fate and timing, one of our vets was the person on her back during the stiffness. The same vet keeps her own pony at my stable and I love that she is always around and willing to help!

Last week was bad for my two point challenge…after my starting time of 4:14, I have fallen to less than 4 minutes by my rough calculations. I didn’t have my phone on me to do official start stop time, I just had to make do with a clock. Hopefully I can kick it back up this week and get back on a good path! I would really like to be at 5:30 minutes minimum by the end of the two point challenge. Better get to it!

Also, for anyone who has ever complained about a no stirrup lesson (I know I have)…

Weekend away from O

This weekend will be completely O free. Probably not horse free, as we might be visiting my in-laws who have their own little herd! O is going to get some loving and a few workouts while I’m gone from the junior riders at my stable. They are awesome-and I’m about 99.9% sure that O will be amazing for them. It’s not her style to be naughty, even with this weird weather.

Feeling pressure from all sides lately. Work has been crazy. O is getting her 5 workouts a week. And yes, my poor, neglected husband does factor in here too! I honestly don’t know when the last time was that I had free time. Not that I’m truly complaining, but sometimes you just need a minute to breathe. Maybe this weekend will help a bit with that.

Just for a Friday smile. Enjoy!
We Bought the Wrong Horse-Issurance Commercial

Budweiser Ad

One foot after the other

We are officially in O’s second week in pony rehab. She’s gotten her 5 workouts a week, and seems to have taken to it well. Also, her belly is definitely looking better. Thank goodness her girth was barely making it on. I’ve been really pleased with her mindset and willingness, especially for a horse that was not fit at all. The hills still make her work a bit, but that’s kind of the point!

Are we ready yet?

Are we ready yet?

In one ride, she felt AMAZING, and was totally engaged and stretching her hind end. I even heard her clinking her shoes a bit. As strange as it is, for a horse that has been short in the back end for months, hearing her overstep was kind of a happy moment. In other news: thank god for bell boots. We still have all 4 shoes as of now! However, still trying to not get excited…the next time I saw her go this week, she was really ouchy. So who knows.

Rode a lesson horse for my lesson this week. He’s a nice fella, someone I rode quite a bit before the O purchase last winter. I had a rough time mentally, the whole time I’m going around I’m thinking about O and how I wish I was on her. Conclusion…it’s really hard to move on without your horse. As far as I know, O won’t be back into lessons until her full 2 months are up. So it’s probably a good idea for me to get over that about now, so I can stay in shape for whatever comes next. It did feel great to jump again.

We’ve been walking a lot lately. Inspiring some oh so nice horse selfies. I would fail as a photographer. Especially with my iphone. Ta-da!

During one of our outings!

During one of our outings!

Mini vs. O

I have a feeling that over the next 50ish days my reports of “O trotted great today” and “O was kind of off today” are going to get a bit old. Hence I am going to spice up my weekend report from Miss O, with a non-undersaddle standoff. O and the mini that lives at our stable are buddies. The nuzzle, nip, or generally just ignore each other. It works. However, as the temperature dropped crazy fast this year (40 degrees overnight) many of the horses, including said mini, didn’t cope well with the change.

Solution 1: Put it in the office. It only lasted for a few minutes until trainer arrived to find a mini standing at her desk eating cheese-its wearing a random horses cooler.

Snug as a bug in a rug.

Snug as a bug in a rug.

Solution 2: Drape mini in the smallest horse sheet we can find and send it outside to bask in the sun. This solution definitely went over a lot better.

Much warmer now.

Much warmer now.

O was a good girl for our ride, and although she was a little off, the best part was definitely while we were hand grazing afterwards. O was maybe 40 feet away from the mini’s outdoor turnout when she caught sight of the draped, and now very cozy mini. My quiet, level-headed mare then transformed into a stallion-esque, blowing, snorting, and foaming hot mess. I probably didn’t help because instead of trying to reason with her, I took the opportunity to snap some pictures.

OMG.  WHAT IS THAT?!

OMG. WHAT IS THAT?!

Don't worry.  I won't let it get us!!

Don’t worry. I won’t let it get us!! (commences pawing)

It is definitely coming closer Mom!

It is definitely coming closer Mom!

Probably a horrible mom for laughing and taking pictures, but it was adorable. Mini never blinked an eye. Apparently my horse isn’t very threatening.

Plans Made and Changed

Apparently I have not learned my lesson about getting overexcited. O and I were scheduled to have our first lesson in 6 weeks on wednesday; our trainers were feeling positive. She felt great at the walk, I moved her into the trot…and it was glorious and smooth and…yah…within a half lap around the arena it was falling apart in my hands. Now she is officially in horsey rehab, and while I will be working her a lot, I will be lessoning on another mount for now. Bitter, but probably good for my mental state down the road.

This week was our “Let’s plan for 2014” meetings with our trainer. I love planning, I love riding; hence this is pretty much my favorite meeting ever. However, owning this horse has made me very anxious about how much of a certain path I can really have right now. Trainer and I instead discussed what on earth we are going to do with O this fall/winter, especially if she continues to be so ouchy.

The official (we wrote it down) plan is to give O pony 60 days of constant training, 5 rides a weeks, with conditioning, supplements-increasing her usual, and tons of love. On December 1st (or close to it) we will be making the call about whether or not this work and rehab is working for her. If she continues to be mysteriously lame then she will be leaving to spend the next 6ish months living with my in-laws as a lawn ornament.

These would be two of O's roomies in the country.

These would be two of O’s roomies in the country.

She will eat, play with other ponies, and have time to heal. Essentially she will just be a horse. Husband is totally on board with the idea, as are the in-laws. O will probably love it out there, and they do have an arena I can ride in if I want to check on her. But no “work”. Just rest. She’s only 7, and has such a bright future ahead of her. I refuse to give up on her, without giving her the time she may need.

O pony last winter

O pony last winter

Things I loved that came out of this conversation is that 1. Trainer does not think I made a bad purchase in O, and that she really is a nice horse, she is just struggling right now. 2. Trainers both believe I have done everything within reason to figure out what is wrong with her. 3. Trainers believe that I’m ready to move on in my own riding while we work on making O good again, and are excited to see what kind of riding/showing I can do next year (hopefully with my own horse).

Not what is important, but it'd be wonderful to show again.

Not what is important, but iit’d be wonderful to show again.

So until Dec. 1st, it is my goal to give her every chance I possibly can to come back from this! I’ve contacted two junior riders (who are awesome) and they are totally willing to help when I’m stuck at work. Our little “Olive Rehab” project has begun, and now we just have to see what happens. Suggested by a friend we are going to do weekly or biweekly, I haven’t decided yet, photos of her progress back into work. Also, we can all laugh at how fluffy she will be getting.

Starting photo:

Chubby pony.   Before conditioning.

Chubby pony. Before conditioning.