Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Salem for the Region 4 Championships - Part 2

Part 1

The first night trying to sleep in the tent at the Arabian horse show, I did more tossing and turning than I did actual sleeping. The trains seemed to be running more regularly than I had remembered. The sound of their horns warning their approach was beginning to drive me crazy. I think I got two hours of sleep at the most before I gave up and climbed out of bed.

I had decided the decision about riding Dandy in trail would be based on how he did when I schooled him for hunter. If the horse was going to show in hunter and possibly get qualified for the regional championships, I wouldn't ride trail. I didn't want to tire him out so that he wasn't good for Rachel's classes. I would need to ride the horse hunt seat to see if the Adequan had the chance to work early enough in the day to still post enter trail if that was going to fit into our schedule.

I haven't tried to ride the horse in hunter pleasure since before the last show. I had hurt my back at that time and riding hunter had been very painful. I hadn't been back in a hunt saddle since that time. My back was much better and I expected it not to be a problem, however, that's not what happened at all.

I climbed into the saddle and worked on flexing and bending the horse, moving him off my leg to warm him up. That seemed to go ok although the horse was a bit stiff. Once he felt like the stiffness was worked out and he was moving softly off my legs, I moved the horse on into the trot. That was a huge mistake.

The horse was immediately stiff again and bracing against the bit. He was not getting underneath himself at all and was actually dragging one hind leg. With his unevenness pains shot up my back and there was no way I could continue. I doubt if I did a quarter of the arena before I pulled the horse to a stop and jumped off doing my best to keep tears from filling my eyes. There was no way that Rachel would be showing hunter.
But then, I wasn't sure I was up to trail either because I could no longer stand up straight. Instead I had a slight twist to the right and a big hitch in my get along. Walking back to the stalls was not going to be fun.

Wouldn't you know it I had not brought along muscle relaxants. They were one of the casualties of Andy's wreck. Between me and the horse I wasn't sure which was worse. It was pretty clear that we both had a problem. I attributed Dandy's problem to his age and need for Adequan. Mine, I attributed to Dandy's roughness. Looking back at things, I'm wondering how much of my soreness had to do with me and do I need to get some help too. Guess time will tell.

Rachel had ridden her bike up to the arena so I gave the horse to Rachel to walk back to the stalls and I took her bike. By the time I reached the stalls I was standing straighter but could feel the muscle spasms shooting up my back and into my neck. My old whiplash injury was rearing its ugly head.

I talked to Rachel about riding trail and she seemed to have lost all interest, even though the week before I was sure she had been intrigued with the idea. If she wasn't wanting to ride trail, I wasn't really sure that I should be either. I could wait until the Daffodil Summer Show and ride the horse in trail then. By that time maybe Legs would be ready to show trail as well.

It was about this time I found out that Rachel's parents were planning on coming to Salem that day. Because they couldn't get off work for the regional championship rides, they were planning on catching the first day of the pre-show rail classes. Since we were going to scratch both hunter classes, I decided to post enter Dandy and Rachel in a western class so that Rachel's parents could see her ride in something.

Later that evening I schooled Legs in the main arena. Just like the show before the horse seemed to be concerned about the old building late at night and all it's eerie sounds. Although this time he wasn't bouncing off the walls and I had no more flashbacks of those ghost horses from the past. I think that writing those posts before I left for the show helped put some of those memories to bed.

The stallion's fears did cause him to round up much deeper underneath himself. Considering the problems I was having with him being afraid to go forward into the bit, this roundness, even though fear induced, was welcomed. It didn't really matter what got him going towards that bit. What mattered was him having the experience without any bad side effects. Learning that the bit wasn't going to hurt him when he got that round was an important lesson. I was thankful for that creaking old building driving the horse so deeply underneath himself.

After the ride I spent some time back at the stall's visiting before it got dark enough for me to try to sleep. I was grateful when the darkness fell and I could hit the sack..........assuming I was so tired I would finally get some sleep. You know how that assuming goes............and that's how it went for me. Just because I needed sleep didn't mean I got any. Well, I did get some, about three hours before I finally gave up and started a new day. At this rate, it was going to be a long, long horse show.

To be continued................

Part 3
Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. Lovely horse!

    Just for fun, will you vote in my poll?

    The Mane Point

  2. I hate it when my suspiscions are right :-( Onward and upward girl, no-one deserves it more than you. I hope that it doesnt turn bad for Rachel but I have a feeling that she is heading for a bit of a loss of interest.

    I know about trains we are 100ft from the tracks as you know and they start sounding their horns from just before they reach our house, actually after 7 years I dont even hear them anymore LOL.



  3. I've been catching up on recent posts - whew - so much to read here, MiKael, and all so interesting. You are so prolific!

  4. No sleep and a bad back, I can relate to that. I hope you at least had some Advil or something else with you to ease the pain.
    Legs sounds like he was doing well even with the eerie sounds in that arena. Dandy should feel less stiff too with the Adequan as time goes on. I hope Rachel doesn't lose interest, she has such a wonderful horse to work with, and is so lucky to have him. Most kids would be so excited for the chances she has. I hope you all do well in the next post.

  5. My back is starting to hurt just reading about those spasams! So sorry that had to happen. Also the lack of sleep must have been awful! I wouldn't have been worth a plug nickle!

  6. feel better!
    you've put in the work, so maybe your luck will turn.

  7. Listening to trains puts me right to sleep:-) I can empathize with the bad back...been pretty stiff lately myself...and wondering if I will be graduating to a gaited horse soon.