Friday, March 23, 2012

Saddle Problems

Saddles. You have them right they are wonderful but when they are wrong they are a nightmare!

I currently ride in Keiffer Wein and while it fits Sam well I am struggling. I had it fitted in January. They had to add more padding at the front which at the time didn't click to me that it would change my seating position. I know that sounds dumb but I guess you have to learn the hard way sometimes.

I have been finding it hard to get comfortable since and my instructor even commenting on how awful my position now is. She advised to put a folded towel under my saddle at the back. I tried this this afternoon and wow what a difference. I felt in a more balanced position, more even in my seat and I felt that I was able to sit straighter.

I will contact the people who did the saddle fit and let them know of the problem I am now having so hopefully they will be able to set things straight next time they are in my part of the country.

My instructor has suggested I look at a better dressage saddle - maybe the Keiffer Ulla. I stumbled across the Keiffer Kurr tonight. Brand new, the saddlery store is closing down and selling it for HALF PRICE! HUGE saving. My problem is I have never ridden in one! Dilemmas!

Our ride this afternoon wasn't too bad. I am just having a lot of trouble getting Sam motivated and forward. We will get there and he is a lot better out than at home but it gets very frustrating!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Training day, Injury, Floods, Colic, Killer Mozzies and flies

Sam and I made it through the training day last month. We managed a Prep and Prelim dressage test. Lets just say it is really lucky that I have a horse that can hold himself together while his rider is having a nervous breakdown! We arrived the day before and camped over night. I was able to ride Sam around the grounds and get a feel for the place and figure out what arenas we were using. The morning of the big day I rose early to give Sam his breakfast and I couldn't see him!!!!! There he was flat out having a snooze - guess I didn't have to worry about him not feeling comfortable!

My first test was the Prelim at 8am. I started to warm up at 7.15am. I wanted to calm myself down and try and get Sam nice and supple. Well I was a mess. My OH came over at 7.50am with my jacket and I decided that I wanted to give up and go home. He was awesome and basically told me to get on Sam and do what I came to do! The judge was running about 20min which of course didn't help the situation! I was so tense that the test was horrible. Poor Sam was extremely tense because of me but we made our trot canter transitions where we were meant to and I was so proud of Sam.

We then had 15min of training with a coach and she was marvellous. Helped calm me down more, helped me relax which of course helped Sam and we went back and had a second go at the test. It was much better. More supple and free. I had about a 30min break before our next test which was the Prep test. By this stage Sam was starting to tire so I took him back to the float to have a rest, drink and quick snack.

Our Prep was good but this time we were the opposite from tense we were flat. I think we were both tired and it was starting to warm up. I didn't take the opportunity to use the coach on hand. I wanted to save some of Sam's energy for the final test. I decided to put spurs on to see if that helped. WE DID IT!!!!!! Please find a some footage of our last test
here. I was extremely happy with this test. I thought we were pretty good! So it was a fantastic weekend. I learnt that Sam holds it together extremely well while I am having a nervous breakdown, he works well with other horses, a 40min warm up will probably be suffice!

After a very good lesson the other week Sam injured himself yet again. We have been having a lot of rain lately and Sam must have been walking very close to the back of the stables. When the stables were being built one of the holes was dug in the wrong spot so they filled it up and dug it in the right spot. Due to all the rain the ground is soaked, it can not hold anymore water. Sam sunk in the hole that had been filled. As he pulled it out the top of his hoof has caught on the corrugated iron
Off to the vet to make sure all was ok. I had to keep it bandaged for about 10 days. During those 10 days The Rock and Wagga Wagga flooded. So Sam was stabled for about a week. By that stage I had a very grumpy horse on my hands who I had to turn out during the day or my stables weren't going to survive. (Sam loves his stable when he can come and go as he pleases, not to be locked in day after day after day!) I was able to keep the bandage on during the day which was lucky. He wasn't lame at all during this time but in the beginning didn't want to stand with all his weight on it, he would rest that hoof a lot.

We are on top of a hill so our place doesn't flood, but The Rock didn't fair so well. We had floods in 2010 where many people in our little town had their homes damaged. This was meant to be once in 100 year flood, and in 2012 it happened again but worse.
This photo was at the bottom of our road.
At this stage it was still rising. The creek that is flooding is behind those trees in the distance the township itself is on the other side of those trees. Luckily it went down that night and we were able to get out and get into Wagga Wagga but many residents in Wagga Wagga were effected as well.

The day we were flooded in, little Poppy had impaction colic. I rang the vet who advised just to watch her. She was spasming a few times through out the day where she would just sit down and look at her belly. I took her for a small walk around lunch time which picked up her spirits which was nice to see. By the evening still nothing had passed through but she had her appetite back. I found an old timers solution for impaction colic - feed epsom salt. So I gave Poppy a very small feed of white chaff and added a teaspoon of Epsom Salt to it. She ate it all and by 1am she had left me a nice little parcel of manure! I was so happy! I hate seeing your horse in pain and being able to do nothing. Since then I have heard that quite a few horses came down with colic the week of the floods.

Now we are dealing with monster mosquitoes that are huge and bite hard. During the day the flies are driving the horses nuts. They are really biting as well. There seems to be a shortage of citronella oil concentrate. I can not track any down anywhere and normal human aeroguard is not helping combat the flies.